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Since "Or HUMAN BONDAGE" ap- 
peared quietly on the London 
book stalls eighteen years ago, 
Maugham has been established 
in the literary consciousness of 
England and America. He num- 
bers among his works three at 
least of the outstanding novels 
and as many of the suave, sophis- 
ticated dramatic successes of the 
past decade. "THE PAINTED 
literary history while such plays 
as "RAIN,'" "OuR BETTERS," 
CLE" are landmarks in the the- 



has become a classic of our time. 
When it was first published in 
1915, it appeared quietly on the 
London book stalls. England was 
busy with the war. There were no 

i r i i 

huzzas from the critics, but year 
after year the book has found an 
ever wider public until it is now 
ranked with "TnE WAY OF ALL 
FLESH" as one of the two great- 
est autobiographical novels of 
our day. 

The story is that of the first 
thirty years of Philip Carey's 
life. Through Philip's eyes one 
sees an English school, a German 
university, a colony of artistic 

failures in Paris, a London hos- 

. , , ' . . , 

pital; and one suiters with the 

sensitive boy the bitter realiza- 
tion of his physical handicap. 
And through Philip's vivid and 
very real experience Maugham 
leads to the conclusion that life 

has a meaning and pattern as 
rich though as unsymmetncal 

as those formed by the colors of 

an Oriental rug. 
r t i*f*s s5 ' ' iyyityyxx 







PRINTED AT THE Country Lift Press GARDEN CITY, N. v.. u. s. A. 


P\ SI* 

. Sf 




THE day broke gray and dull. The clouds hung heavily, 
and there was a rawness in the air that suggested snow. A 
woman servant came into a room in which a child was 
sleeping and drew the curtains. She glanced mechanically 
at the house opposite, a stucco house with a portico, and 
went to the child's bed. 

"Wake up, Philip," she said. 

She pulled down the bed-clothes, took him in her arms, 
and carried him downstairs. He was only half awake. 

"Your mother wants you," she said. 

She opened the door of a room on the floor below and 
took the child over to a bed in which a woman was lying. 
It was his mother. She stretched out her arms, and the 
child nestled by her side. He did not ask why he had been 
awakened. The woman kissed his eyes, and with thin, 
small hands felt the warm body through his white flannel 
nightgown. She pressed him closer to herself. 

"Are you sleepy, darling?" she said. 

Her voice was so weak that it seemed to come already 
from a great distance. The child did not answer, but smiled 
comfortably. He was very happy in the large, warm bed, 
with those soft arms about him. He tried to make himself 
smaller still as he cuddled up against his mother, and he 
kissed her sleepily. In a moment he closed his eyes and was 
fast asleep. The doctor came forwards and stood by the 

"Oh, don't take him away yet," she moaned. 

The doctor, without answering, looked at her gravely. 
Knowing she would not be allowed to keep the child much 
longer, the woman kissed him again; and she passed her 
hand down his body till she came to his feet ; she held the 
right foot in her hand and felt the five small toes; and 
then slowly passed her hand over the left one. She gave a 

"What's the matter?" said the doctor. "You're tired." 


She shook her head, unable to speak, and the tears rolled 
down her cheeks. The doctor bent down. 

"Let me take him." 

She was too weak to resist his wish, and she gave the 
child up. The doctor handed him back to his nurse. 

"You'd better put him back in his own bed." 

"Very well, sir." 

The little boy, still sleeping, was taken away. His mother 
sobbed now broken-heartedly. 

'What will happen to him, poor child?" 

The monthly nurse tried to quiet her, and presently, 
from exhaustion, the crying ceased. The doctor walked to 
a table on the other side of the room, upon which, under a 
towel, lay the body of a still-born child. He lifted the 
towel and looked. He was hidden from the bed by a screen, 
but the woman guessed what he was doing. 

"Was it a girl or a boy?" she whispered to the nurse. 

"Another boy." 

The woman did not answer. In a moment the child's 
nurse came back. She approached the bed. 

"Master Philip never woke up," she said. 

There was a pause. Then the doctor felt his patient's 
pulse once more. 

"I don't think there's anything I can do just now," he 
said. "I'll call again after breakfast." 

"I'll show you out, sir," said the child's nurse. 

They walked downstairs in silence. In the hall the doc- 
tor stopped. 

"You've sent for Mrs. Carey's brother-in-law, haven't 

"Yes, sir." 

"D'you know at what time he'll be here?" 

"No, sir, I'm expecting a telegram." 

"What about the little boy? I should think he'd be bet- 
ter out of the way." 

"Miss Watkin said she'd take him, sir." 

"Who's she?" 

"She's his godmother, sir. D'you think Mrs. Carey will 
get over it, sir ?" 

The doctor shook his head. 


IT was a week later. Philip was sitting on the floor in the 
drawing-room at Miss Watkin's house in Onslow Gardens. 
He was an only child and used to amusing himself. The 
room was filled with massive furniture, and on each of the 
sofas were three big cushions. There was a cushion too 
in each arm-chair. All these he had taken and, with the 
help of the gilt rout chairs, light and easy to move, had 
made an elaborate cave in which he could hide himself 
from the Red Indians who were lurking behind the cur- 
tains. He put his ear to the floor and listened to the herd 
of buffaloes that raced across the prairie. Presently, hear- 
ing the door open, he held his breath so that he might not 
be discovered ; but a violent hand pulled away a chair and 
the cushions fell down. 

"You naughty boy, Miss Watkin will be cross with 

"Hulloa, Emma!" he said. 

The nurse bent down and kissed him, then began to 
shake out the cushions, and put them back .in their places. 

"Am I to come home?" he asked. 

"Yes, I've come to fetch you." 

"You've got a new dress on." 

It was in eighteen-eighty-five, and she wore a bustle. 
Her gown was of black velvet, with tight sleeves and slop- 
ing shoulders, and the skirt had three large flounces. She 
wore a black bonnet with velvet strings. She hesitated. The 
question she -had expected did not come, and so she could 
not give the answer she had prepared. 

"Aren't you going to ask how your mamma is ?" she said 
at length. 

"Oh, I forgot. How is mamma?" 

Now she was ready. j 

"Your mamma is quite well and happy." 

"Oh, I am glad." 


"Your mamma's gone away. You won't ever see her any 

Philip did not know what she meant. 

"Why not?" 

"Your mamma's in heaven." 

She bep^n to cry, and Philip, though he did not quite 
understand, cried too. Emma was a tall, big-boned woman, 
with fair hair and large features. She came from Devon- 
shire and, notwithstanding her many years of service in 
London, had never lost the breadth of her accent. Her 
tears increased her emotion, and she pressed the little boy 
to her heart. She felt vaguely the pity of that child de- 
prived of the only love in the world that is quite unselfish. 
It seemed dreadful that he must be handed over to 
strangers. But in a little while she pulled herself together. 

"Your Uncle William is waiting in to see you," she said. 
"Go and say good-bye to Miss Watkin, and we'll go 

"I don't want to say good-bye," he answered, instinc- 
tively anxious to hide his tears. 

"Very well, run upstairs and get your hat." 

He fetched it, and when he came down Emma was wait- 
ing for him in the hall. He heard the sound of voices in 
the study behind the dining-room. He paused. He knew 
that Miss Watkin and her sister were talking to friends, 
and it seemed to him he was nine years old that if he 
went in they would be sorry for him. 

"I think I'll go and say good-bye to Miss Watkin." 

"I think you'd better," said Emma. 

"Go in and tell them I'm coming," he said. 

He wished to make the most of his opportunity. Emma 
knocked at the doo^ and walked in. He heard her speak. 

"Master Philip wants to say good-bye to you, miss." 

There was a sudden hush of the conversation, and 
Philip limped in. Henrietta Watkin was a stout woman, 
with a red face and dyed hair. In those days to dye the 
hair excited comment, and Philip had heard much gossip 
at home when his godmother's changed colour. She lived 
with an elder sister, who had resigned herself contentedly 
to old age. Two ladies, whom Philip did not .enow, were 


calling, and they looked at him curiously. 

"My poor child," said Miss Watkin, opening her arms. 

She began to cry. Philip understood now why she had 
not been in to luncheon and why she wore a black dress. 
She could not speak. 

"I've got to go home," said Philip, at last. 

He disengaged himself from Miss Watkin's arms, and 
?he kissed him again. Then he went to her sister and bade 
her good-bye too. One of the strange ladies asked if she 
might kiss him. and he gravely gave her permission. 
Though crying, he keenly enjoyed the sensation he was 
causing ; he would have been glad to stay a little longer to 
be made much of, but felt they expected him to go, so he 
said that Emma was waiting for him. He went out of the 
room. Emma had gone downstairs to speak with a friend 
in the basement, and he waited for her on the landing. He 
heard Henrietta Watkin's voice. 

"His mother was my greatest friend. I can't bear to 
think that she's dead." 

"You oughtn't to have gone to the funeral, Henrietta," 
said her sister. "I knew it would upset you." 

Then one of the strangers spoke. 

"Poor little boy, it's dreadful to think of him quite alone 
in the world. I see he limps." 

"Yes. he's got a club-foot. It was such a grief to his 

Then Emma came back. They called a hansom, and she 
told the driver where to go. 


WHEN they reached the house Mrs. Carey had died in 
it was in a dreary, respectable street between Netting Hill 
Gate and High Street, Kensington Emma led Philip into 
the drawing-room. His uncle was writing letters of thanks 
for the wreaths which had been sent. One of them, which 
had arrived too late for the funeral, lay in its cardboard 
box on the hall-table. 

"Here's Master Philip," said Emma. 

Mr. Carey stood up slowly and shook hands with the 
little boy. Then on second thoughts he bent down and 
kissed his forehead. He was a man of somewhat less than 
average height, inclined to corpulence, with his hair, worn 
long, arranged over the scalp so as to conceal his baldness. 
He was clean-shaven. His features were regular, and it 
was possible to imagine that in his youth he had been 
good-looking. On his watch-chain he wore a gold cross. 

"You're going to live with me now, Philip," said Mr. 
Carey. "Shall you like that?" 

Two years before Philip had been sent down to stay at 
the vicarage after an attack of chicken-pox ; but there 
remained with him a recollection of an attic and a large 
garden rather than of his uncle and aunt. 


"You must look upon me and your Aunt Louisa as your 
father and mother." 

The child's mouth trembled a little, he reddened, but 
did not answer. 

''Your dear mother left you in my charge." 

Mr. Carey had no great ease in expressing himself. 
When the news came that his sister-in-law was dying, he 
set off at once for London, but on the way thought of 
nothing but the disturbance in his life that would be 
caused if her death forced him to undertake the care of her 
son. He was well over fifty, and his wife, to whom he had 
been married for thirty years, was childless; he did not 


look forward with any pleasure to the presence of a small 
boy who might be noisy and rough. He had never much 
liked his sister-in-law. 

"I'm going to take you down to Blackstable tomorrow," 
he said. 

"With Emma?" 

The child put his hand in hers, and she pressed it. 

"I'm afraid Emma must go away," said Mr. Carey. 

"But I want Emma to come with me." 

Philip began to cry, and the nurse could not help crying 
too. Mr. Carey looked at them helplessly. 

"I think you'd better leave me alone with Master Philip 
for a moment." 

"Very good, sir." 

Though Philip clung to her, she released herself gently. 
Mr. Carey took the boy on his knee and put his arm round 

"You mustn't cry," he said. "You're too old to have a 
nurse now. We must see about sending you to school." 

"I want Emma to come with me," the child repeated. 

"It costs too much money, Philip. Your father didn't, 
leave very much, and I don't know what's become of it. 
You must look at every penny you spend." 

Mr. Carey had called the day before on the family solici- 
tor. Philip's father was a surgeon in good practice, and his 
hospital appointments suggested an established position; 
so that it was a surprise on his sudden death from blood- 
poisoning to find that he had left his widow little more 
than his life insurance and what could be got for the lease 
of their house in Bruton Street. This was six months ago ; 
and Mrs. Carey, already in delicate health, finding herself 
with child, had lost her head and accepted for the lease the 
first offer that was made. She stored her furniture, and, 
at a rent which the parson thought outrageous, took a fur- 
nished house for a year, so that she might suffer from no 
inconvenience till her child was born. But she had never 
been used to the management of money, and was unable to 
adapt her expenditure to her altered circumstances. The 
little she had slipped through her fingers in one way and 
another, so that now, when all expenses were paid, not 


much more than two thousand pounds remained to sup- 
port the boy till he was able to earn his own living. It was 
impossible to explain all this to Philip and he was sobbing 

"You'd better go to Emma," Mr. Carey said, feeling 
that she could console the child better than anyone. 

Without a word Philip slipped off his uncle's knee, but 
Mr. Carey stopped him. 

"We must go tomorrow, because on Saturday I've got 
to prepare my sermon, and you must tell Emma to get 
your things ready today. You can bring all your toys. And 
if you want anything to remember your father and mother 
by you can take one thing for each of them. Everything 
else is going to be sold." 

The boy slipped out of the room. Mr. Carey was unused 
to work, and he turned to his correspondence with resent- 
ment. On one side of the desk was a bundle of bills, and 
these filled him with irritation. One especially seemed pre- 
posterous. Immediately after Mrs. Carey's death Emma 
had ordered from the florist masses of white flowers for 
the room in which the dead woman lay. It was sheer waste 
of money. Emma took far too much upon herself. Even 
if there had been no financial necessity, he would have dis" 
missed her. 

But Philip went to her, and hid his face in her bosom, 
and wept as though his heart would break. And she, feel- 
ing that he was almost her own son she had taken him 
when he was a month old consoled him with soft words. 
She promised that she would come and see him sometimes, 
and that she would never forget him ; and she told him 
about the country he was going to and about her own home 
in Devonshire her father kept a turnpike on the high- 
road that led to Exeter, and there were pigs in the sty, 
and there was a cow, and the cow had just had a calf 
till Philip forgot his tears and grew excited at the thought 
of his approaching journey. Presently she put him down, 
for there was much to be done, and he helped her to lay 
out his clothes on the bed. She sent him into the nursery to 
gather up his toys, and in a little while he was playing 


But at last he grew tired of being alone and went back to 
the bed-room, in which Emma was now putting his things 
into a big tin box ; he remembered then that his uncle had 
said he might take something to remember his father and 
mother by. He told Emma and asked her what he should 

"You'd better go into the drawing-room and see what 
you fancy." 

"Uncle William's there." 

"Never mind that. They're your own things now." 

Philip went downstairs slowly and found the door open. 
Mr. Carey had left the room. Philip walked slowly round. 
They had been in the house so short a time that there was 
little in it that had a particular interest to him. It was a 
stranger's room, and Philip saw nothing that struck his 
fancy. But he knew which were his mother's things and 
which belonged to the landlord, and presently fixed on a 
little clock that he had once heard his mother say she 
liked. With this he walked again rather disconsolately up- 
stairs. Outside the door of his mother's bed-room he 
stopped and listened. Though no one had told him not to 
go in, he had a feeling that it would be wrong to do so ; he 
was a little frightened, and his heart beat uncomfortably ; 
but at the same time something impelled him to turn the 
handle. He turned it very gently, as if to prevent anyone 
within from hearing, and then slowly pushed the door 
open. He stood on the threshold for a moment before he 
had the courage to enter^He was not frightened now, but 
it seemed strange. He closed the door behind him. The 
blinds were drawn, and the room, in the cold light of a 
January afternoon, was dark. On the dressing-table were 
Mrs. Carey's brushes and the hand mirror. In a little tray 
were hairpins. There was a photograph of himself on the 
chimney-piece and one of his father. He had often been 
in the room when his mother was not in it, but now it 
seemed different. There was something curious in the look 
of the chairs. The bed was made as though someone were 
going to sleep in it that night, and in a case on the pillow 
was a night-dress. 

Philip opened a large cupboard filled with dresses and 


stepping in, took as many of them as he could in his arms 
and buried his face in them. They smelt of the scent his 
mother used. Then he pulled open the drawers, filled with 
his mother's things, and looked at them : there were lav- 
ender bags among the linen, and their scent was fresh and 
pleasant. The strangeness of the room left it, and it seemed 
to him that his mother had just gone out for a walk. She 
would be in presently and would come upstairs to have 
nursery tea with him. And he seemed to feel her kiss on 
his lips. 

It was not true that he would never see her again. It was 
not true simply because it was impossible. He climbed up 
on the bed and put his head on the pillow. He lay there 
nuite still. 


PHILIP parted from Emma with tears, but the journey 
to Blackstable amused him, and, when they arrived, he was 
resigned and cheerful. Blackstable was sixty miles from 
London. Giving their luggage to a porter, Mr. Carey set 
out to walk with Philip to the vicarage ; it took them little 
more than five minutes, and, when they reached it, Philip 
suddenly remembered the gate. It was red and five-barred : 
it swung both ways on easy hinges ; and it was possible, 
though forbidden, to swing backwards and forwards on 
it. They walked through the garden to the front-door. 
This was only used by visitors and on Sundays, and on 
special occasions, as when the Vicar went up to London 
or came back. The traffic of the house took place through 
a side-door, and there was a back door as well for the 
gardener and for beggars and tramps. It was a fairly large 
house of yellow brick, with a red roof, built about five and 
twenty years before in an ecclesiastical style. The front- 
door was like a church porch, and the drawing-room win- 
dows were gothic. 

Mrs. Carey, knowing by what train they were coming, 
waited in the drawing-room and listened for the click of 
the gate. When she heard it she went to the door. 

"There's Aunt Louisa," said Mr. Carey, when he saw 
her. "Run and give her a kiss." 

Philip started to run, awkwardly, trailing his club-foot, 
and then stopped. Mrs. Carey was a little, shrivelled 
woman of the same age as her husband, with a face ex- 
traordinarily filled with deep wrinkles, and pale blue eyes. 
Her gray hair was arranged in ringlets according to the 
fashion of her youth. She wore a black dress, and her only 
ornament was a gold chain, from which hung a cross. She 
had a shy manner and a gentle voice. 

"Did you walk, William?" she said, almost reproach- 
fully, as she kissed her husband. 



"I didn't think of it," he answered, with a glance at his 

"It didn't hurt you to walk, Philip, did it ?" she asked the 

"No. I always walk." 

He was a little surprised at their conversation. Aunt 
Louisa told him to come in, and they entered the hall. It 
was paved with red and yellow tiles, on which alternately 
were a Greek Cross and the Lamb of God. An imposing 
staircase led out of the hall. It was of polished pine, with 
a peculiar smell, and had been put in because fortunately, 
Khen the church was reseated, enough wood remained 
over. The balusters were decorated with emblems of the 
Four Evangelists. 

"I've had the stove lighted as I thought you'd be cold 
after your journey," said Mrs. Carey. 

It was a large black stove that stood in the hall and was 
only lighted if the weather was very bad and the Vicar had 
a cold. It was not lighted if Mrs. Carey had a cold. Coal 
was expensive. Besides, Mary Ann, the maid, didn't like 
fires all over the place. If they wanted all them fires they 
must keep a second girl. In the winter Mr. and Mrs. Carey 
lived in the dining-room so that one fire should do, and in 
the summer they could not get out of the habit, so the 
drawing-room was used only by Mr. Carey on Sunday 
afternoons for his nap. But every Saturday he had a fire 
in the study so that he could write his sermon. 

Aunt Louisa took Philip upstairs and showed him into a 

tiny bed-room that looked out on the drive. Immediately 

in front of the window was a large tree, which Philip 

, remembered now because the branches were so low that it 

was possible to climb quite high up it. 

"A small room for a small boy," said Mrs. Carey. "You 
won't be frightened at sleeping alone?" 

"Oh, no." 

On his first visit to the vicarage he had come with his 
nurse, and Mrs. Carey had had little to do with him. She 
looked at him now with some uncertainty. 

"Can you wash vour own hands, or shall I wash them 
ior you?" 

O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 13 

"I can wash myself,' he answered firmly. 

"Well, I shall look at them when you come down to 
tea," said Mrs. Care- 
She knew nothing bout children. After it was settled 
that Philip should ion'ie down to Blackstable, Mrs. Carey 
had thought niin.ii liow she should treat him; she was 
anxious to do her duty ; but now he was there she found 
herself just as shy of him as he was of her. She hoped he 
would not be noisy and rough, because her husband did 
not like rough and noisy boys. Mrs. Carey made an excuse 
to leave Philip alone, but in a moment came back and 
knocked at the door; she asked him, without coming in, 
if he could pour out the water himself. Then she went 
downstairs and rang the bell for tea. 

The dining-room, large and well-proportioned, had 
windows on two sides of it, with heavy curtains of red 
rep : there was a big table in the middle ; and at one end 
an imposing mahogany sideboard with a looking-glass in 
it. In one corner stood a harmonium. On each side of the 
fireplace were chairs covered in stamped leather, each 
with an antimacassar; one had arms and was called the 
husband, and the other had none and was called the wife. 
Mrs. Carey never sat in the arm-chair: she said she pre^ 
f erred a chair that was not too comfortable; there was 
always a lot to do, and if her chair had had arms she 
might not be so ready to leave it. 

Mr. Carey was making up the fire when Philip came in, 
and he pointed out to his nephew that there were two 
pekers. One was large and bright and polished and unused, 
and was called the Vicar; and the other, which was much 
smaller and had evidently passed through many fires, was 
called the Curate. 

"What are we waiting for?" said Mr; Carey. 

"I told Mary Ann to make you an egg. I thought you'd 
be hungry after your journey." 

Mrs. Carey thought the journey from London to Black- 
stable very tiring. She seldom travelled herself, for the 
living was only three hundred a year, and, when her hus- 
band wanted a holiday, since there was not money for two, 
he went by himself. He was very fond of Church Con- 


;id usually managed to go up to London once a 
year; and once he had been to Pifis for the exhibition, 
and two or three times to Switzerland. Mary Ann brought 
in the egg, and they sat down. T ^ chair was much too 
'ow for Philip, and for a moment nei her Mr. Carey nor 
his wife knew what to do. 

"I'll put some books under him," said Mary Ann. 

She took from the top of the harmonium the large Dibit 
and the prayer-book from which the Vicar was accustomed 
to read prayers, and put them on Philip's chair. 

"Oh, William, he can't sit on the Bible," said M:- 
Carey, in a shocked tone. "Couldn't you get him some 
books out of the study ?" 

Mr. Carey considered the question for an instant. 

"I don't think it matters this once if you put the prayer- 
book on the top, Mary Ann," he said. "The book of Com- 
mon Prayer is the composition of men like ourselves. It 
has no claim to divine authorship." 

"I hadn't thought of that, William," said Aunt Louisa. 

Philip perched himself on the books, and the Vicar, 
having said grace, cut the top off his egg. 

"There," he said, handing it to Philip, "you can eat my 
top if you like." 

Philip would have liked an egg to himself, but he 
not offered one, so took what he could. 

"How have the chickens been laying since I went 
away ?" asked the Vicar. 

"Oh, they've been dreadful, only one or two a day." 

"How did you like that top, Philip?" asked his uncle. 

"Very much, thank you." 

"You shall have another one on Sunday afternoon." 

Mr. Carey always had a boiled egg at tea on Sunday 
so that he might be fortified for the evening service. 


PHILIP came gradually to know the people he was to 
live with, and by fragments of conversation, some of it 
not meant for his ears, learned a good deal both about 
himself and about his dead parents. Philip's father had 
been much younger than the Vicar of Blackstable. After 
a brilliant career at St. Luke's Hospital he was put on the 
staff, and presently began to earn money in considerable 
sums. He spent it freely. When the parson set about 
restoring his church and asked his brother for a subscrip- 
tion, he was surprised by receiving a couple of hundred 
pounds : Mr. Carey, thrifty by inclination and economical 
by necessity, accepted it with mingled feelings ; he was 
envious of his brother because he could afford to give so 
much, pleased for the sake of his church, and vaguely irri- 
tated by a generosity which seemed almost ostentatious. 
Then Henry Carey married a patient, a beautiful girl but 
oenniless, an orphan with no near relations, but of good 
family ; and there was an array of fine friends at the wed- 
ding. The parson, on his visits to her when he came to 
London, held himself with reserve. He felt shy with her 
and in his heart he resented her great beauty : she dressed 
more magnificently than became the wife of a hardworking 
surgeon ; and the charming furniture of her house, the 
flowers among which she lived even in winter, suggested 
an extravagance which he deplored. He heard her talk of 
entertainments she was going to ; and. as he told his wife 
on getting home again, it was impossible to accept hospi- 
tality without making some return. He had seen grapes 
in the dining-room that must have cost at least eight shil- 
lings a pound ; and at luncheon he had been given aspara- 
gus two months before it was ready in the vicarage garden. 
Now all he had anticipated was come to pass: the Vicar 
felt the satisfaction of the prophet who saw fire and brirn- 
5 T one consume the city which would not mend its way to 


his warning. Poor Philip was practically penniless, and 
what was the good of his mother's fine friends now? He 
heard that his father's extravagance was really criminal, 
and it was a mercy that Providence had seen fit to take 
his dear mother to itself : she had no more idea of money 
than a child. 

When Philip had been a week at Blackstable an incident 
happened which seemed to irritate his uncle very much. 
One morning he found on the breakfast table a small 
packet which had been sent on by post from the late Mrs. 
Carey's house in London. It was addressed to her. When 
the parson opened it he found a dozen photographs of 
Mrs. Carey. They showed the head and shoulders only, 
and her hair was more plainly done than usual, low on the 
forehead, which gave her an unusual look; the face was 
thin and worn, but no illness could impair the beauty of 
her features. There was in the large dark eyes a sadness 
which Philip did not remember. The first sight of the dead 
woman gave Mr. Carey a little shock, but this was quickly 
followed by perplexity. The photographs seemed quite 
recent, and he could not imagine who had ordered them. 

"D'you know anything about these, Philip?" he asked. 

"I remember mamma said she'd been taken," he an- 
swered. "Miss Watkin scolded her. . . . She said : I wanted 
the boy to have something to remember me by when he 
grows up." 

Mr. Carey looked at Philip for an instant. The child 
spoke in a clear treble. He recalled the words, but they 
meant nothing to him. 

" You'd better take one of the photographs and keep it 
in your room," said Mr. Carey. "I'll put the others away." 

He sent one to Miss Watkin. and she wrote and ex- 
plained how they came to be taken. 

One day Mrs. Carey was lying in bed, but she was feel- 
ing a little better than usual, and the doctor in the morn- 
ing had seemed hopeful ; Emma had taken the child out, 
and the maids were downstairs in the basement : suddenly 
Mrs. Carey felt desperately alone in the world. A great 
fear seized her that she would not recover from the con- 
finement which she was expecting in a fortnight. Her son 


was nine years old. How could he be expected to remember 
her? She could not bear to think that he would grow up 
and forget, forget her utterly; and she had loved him so 
passionately, because he was weakly and deformed, and 
because he was her child. She had no photographs of her- 
self taken since her marriage, and that was ten years be- 
fore. She wanted her son to know what she looked like at 
the end. He could not forget her then, not forget utterly. 
She knew that if she called her maid and told her she 
wanted to get up, the maid would prevent her, and per- 
haps send for the doctor, and she had not the strength 
now to struggle or argue. She got out of bed and began 
to dress herself. She had been on her back so long that 
her legs gave way beneath her, and then the soles of her 
feet tingled so that she could hardly bear to put them to 
the ground. But she went on. She was unused to doing her 
own hair and, when she raised her arms and began to 
brush it, she felt faint. She could never do it as her maid 
did. It was beautiful hair, very fine, and of a deep rich 
gold. Her eyebrows were straight and dark. She put on 
a black skirt, but chose the bodice of the evening dress 
which she liked best : it was of a white damask which was 
fashionable in those days. She looked at herself in the 
glass. Her face was very pale, but her skin was clear : she 
had never had much colour, and this had always made the 
redness of her beautiful mouth emphatic. She could not 
restrain a sob. But she could not afford to be sorry for 
herself ; she was feeling already desperately tired ; and she 
put on the furs which Henry had given her the Christmas 
before she had been so proud of them and so happy then 
and slipped downstairs with beating heart. She got 
safely out of the house and drove to a photographer. She 
paid for a dozen photographs. She was obliged to ask for a 
glass of water in the middle of the sitting; and the assist- 
ant, seeing she was ill, suggested that she should come an- 
other day, but she insisted on staying till the end. At last 
it was finished, and she drove back again to the dingy lit- 
tle house in Kensington which she hated with all her heart. 
It was a horrible house to die in. 

She found the front door open, and when she drove up 


the maid and Emma ran down the steps to help her. They 
had been frightened when they found her room empty. At 
first they thought she must have gone to Miss Watkin. and 
the cook was sent round. Miss Watkin came back with 
her and was waiting anxiously in the drawing-room. She 
came downstairs now full of anxiety and reproaches : but 
the exertion had been more than Mrs. Carey was fit for. 
and when the occasion for firmness no longer existed she 
gave way. She fell heavily into Emma's arms and was car- 
ried upstairs. She remained unconscious for a time that 
seemed incredibly long to those that watched her, and the 
doctor, hurriedly sent for, did not come. It was next day, 
when she was a little better, that Miss Watkin got some 
explanation out of her. Philip was playing on the floor of 
his mother's bed-room, and neither of the ladies paid atten- 
tion to him. He only understood vaguely what they were 
talking about, and he could not have said why those words 
remained in his memory. 

"I wanted the boy to have something to remember me by 
when he grows up." 

"I can't make out why she ordered a dozen/' said Mr. 
Carey. "Two would have done." 

ONE day was very like another at the vicarage. 

Soon after breakfast Mary Ann brought in The Times. 
Mr. Carey shared it with two neighbours. He had it from 
ten till one, when the gardener took it over to Mr. Ellis 
at the Limes, with whom it remained till seven ; then it was 
taken to Miss Brooks at the Manor House, who, since she 
got it late, had the advantage of keeping it. In summer 
Mrs. Carey, when she was making jam, often asked her 
for a copy to cover the pots with. When the Vicar settled 
down to his paper his wife put on her bonnet and went 
ottt to do the shopping. Philip accompanied her. Black- 
stable was a fishing village. It consisted of a high street in 
which were the shops, the bank, the doctor's house, and the 
houses of two or three coalship owners ; round the little 
harbour were shabby streets in which lived fishermen and 
poor people ; but since they went to chapel they were of no 
account. When Mrs. Carey passed the dissenting ministers 
in the street she stepped over to the other side to avoid 
meeting them, but if there was not time for this fixed her 
eyes on the pavement. It was a scandal to which the Vicar 
had never resigned himself that there were three chapels 
in the High Street : he could not help feeling that the law 
should have stepped in to prevent their erection. Shop- 
ping in Blackstable was not a simple matter ; for dissent, 
helped by the fact that the parish church was two miles 
from the town, was very common ; and it was necessary to 
deal only with churchgoers ; Mrs. Carey knew perfectly 
that the vicarage custom might make all the difference to 
a tradesman's faith. There were two butchers who went 
<:o church, and they would not understand that the Vicar 
could not deal with both of them at once ; nor were they 
satisfied with his simple plan of going for six months to 
one and for six months to the other. The butcher who was 
not sending meat to the vicarage constantly threatened not 



to come to church, and the Vicar was sometimes obliged 
to make a threat : it was very wrong of him not to come to 
church, but if he carried iniquity further and actually went 
to chapel, then of course, excellent as his meat was, Mr. 
Carey would be forced to leave him for ever. Mrs. Carey 
often stopped at the bank to deliver a message to Josiah 
Graves, the manager, who was choir-master, treasurer, and 
churchwarden. He was a tall, thin man with a sallow face 
and a long nose ; his hair was very white, and to Philip he 
seemed extremely old. He kept the parish accounts, ar- 
ranged the treats for the choir and the schools; though 
there was no organ in the parish church, it was generally 
considered (in Blackstable) that the choir he led was the 
best in Kent ; and when there was any ceremony, such as a 
visit from the bishop for confirmation or from the Rural 
Dean to preach at the Harvest Thanksgiving, he made the 
necessary preparations. But he had no hesitation in doing 
all manner of things without more than a perfunctory con- 
sultation with the Vicar, and the Vicar, though always 
ready to be saved trouble, much resented the church- 
warden's managing ways. He really seemed to look upon 
himself as the most important person in the parish. Mr. 
Carey constantly told his wife that if Josiah Graves did 
not take care he would give him a good rap over the 
knuckles one day; but Mrs. Carey advised him to bear 
with Josiah Graves: he meant well, and it was not his 
fault if he was not quite a gentleman. The Vicar, finding 
his comfort in the practice of a Christian virtue, exercised 
forbearance; but he revenged himself by calling the 
churchwarden Bismarck behind his back. 

Once there had been a serious quarrel between the pair, 
and Mrs. Carey still thought of that anxious time with dis- 
may. The Conservative candidate had announced his in- 
tention of addressing a meeting at Blackstable ; and Josiah 
Graves, having arranged that it should take place in the 
Mission Hall, went to Mr. Carey and told him that he 
hoped he would say a few words. It appeared that the 
candidate had asked Josiah Graves to take the chair. This 
was more than Mr. Carey could put up with. He had firm 
views upon the respect which was due to the cloth, and it 


was ridiculous for a churchwarden to take the chair at a 
meeting when the Vicar was there. He reminded Josiah 
Graves that parson meant person, that is, the vicar was the 
person of the parish. Josiah Graves answered that he was 
the first to recognise the dignity of the church, but this 
was a matter of politics, and in his turn he reminded the 
Vicar that their Blessed Saviour had enjoined upon them 
to render unto Csesar the things that were Caesar's. To this 
Mr. Carey replied that the devil could quote scripture to 
his purpose, himself had sole authority over the Mission 
Hall, and if he were not asked to be chairman he would 
refuse the use of it for a political meeting. Josiah Graves 
told Mr. Carey that he might do as he chose, and for his 
part he thought the Wesleyan Chapel would be an equally 
suitable place. Then Mr. Carey said that if Josiah Graves 
set foot in what was little better than a heathen temple he 
was not fit to be churchwarden in a Christian parish. 
Josiah Graves thereupon resigned all his offices, and that 
very evening sent to the church for his cassock and sur- 
plice. His sister, Miss Graves, who kept house for him, 
gave up her secretaryship of the Maternity Club, which 
provided the pregnant poor with flannel, baby linen, coals, 
and five shillings. Mr. Carey said he was at last master in 
his own house. But soon he found that he was obliged to 
see to all sorts of things that he knew nothing about ; and 
Josiah Graves, after the first moment of irritation, dis- 
covered that he had lost his chief interest in life. Mrs. 
Carey and Miss Graves were much distressed by the quar- 
rel ; they met after a discreet exchange of letters, and made 
up their minds to put the matter right : they talked, one to 
her husband, the other to her brother, from morning till 
night ; and since they were persuading these gentlemen to 
do what in their hearts they wanted, after three weeks of 
anxiety a reconciliation was effected. It was to both their 
interests, but they ascribed it to a common love for their 
Redeemer. The meeting was held at the Mission Hall, and 
the doctor was asked to be chairman. Mr. Carey and Josiah 
Graves both made speeches. 

When Mrs. Carey had finished her business with the 
banker, she generally went upstairs to have a little chat 


with his sister; and while the ladies talked of parish mat- 
ters, the curate or the new bonnet of Mrs. Wilson Mr. 
Wilson was the richest man in Blackstable, he was thought 
to have at least five hundred a year, and he had married his 
cook Philip sat demurely in the stiff parlour, used only 
to receive visitors, and busied himself with the restless 
movements of goldfish in a bowl. The windows were never 
opened except to air the room for a few minutes in the 
morning, and it had a stuffy smell which seemed to Philip 
to have a mysterious connection with banking. 

Then Mrs. Carey remembered that she had to go to the 
grocer, and they continued their way. When the shopping 
was done they often went down a side street of little 
houses, mostly of wood, in which fishermen dwelt (and 
here and there a fisherman sat on his doorstep mending his 
nets, and nets hung to dry upon the doors), till they came 
to a small beach, shut in on each side by warehouses, but 
with a view of the sea. Mrs. Carey stood for a few minutes 
and looked at it, it was turbid and yellow, [and who 
knows what thoughts passed through her mind?] while 
Philip searched for flat stones to play ducks and drakes. 
Then they walked slowly back. They looked into the post 
office to get the right time, nodded to Mrs. Wigram the 
doctor's wife, who sat at her window sewing, and so got 

Dinner was at one o'clock; and on Monday, Tuesday, 
and Wednesday it consisted of beef, roast, hashed, and 
minced, and on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of mut- 
ton. On Sunday they ate one of their own chickens. In the 
afternoon Philip did his lessons. He was taught Latin and 
mathematics by his uncle who knew neither, and French 
and the piano by his aunt. Of French she was ignorant, 
but she knew the piano well enough to accompany the old- 
fashioned songs she had sung for thirty years. Uncle Wil- 
liam used to tell Philip that when he was a curate his wife 
had known twelve songs by heart, which she could sing 
at a moment's notice whenever she was asked. She often 
sang still when there was a tea-party at the vicarage. 
There were few people whom the Careys cared to ask 
there, and their parties consisted always of the curate, 


Josiah Graves with his sister, Dr. Wigram and his wife. 
After tea Miss Graves played one or two of Mendelssohn's 
Songs without Words, and Mrs. Carey sang When the 
Swallow's Homeward Fly, or Trot, Trot, My Pony. 

But the Carey's did not give tea-parties often; the 
preparations upset them, and when their guests were gone 
they felt themselves exhausted. They preferred to have 
tea by themselves, and after tea they played backgammon. 
Mrs. Carey arranged that her husband should win, be- 
cause he did not like losing. They had cold supper at eight. 
It was a scrappy meal because Mary Ann resented getting 
anything ready after tea, and Mrs. Carey helped to clear 
away. Mrs. Carey seldom ate more than bread and but- 
ter, with a little stewed fruit to follow, but the Vicar had 
a slice of cold meat. Immediately after supper Mrs. Carey 
rang the bell for prayers, and then Philip went to bed. 
He rebelled against being undressed by Mary Ann and 
after a while succeeded in establishing his right to dress 
and undress himself. At nine o'clock Mary Ann brought 
in the eggs and the plate. Mrs. Carey wrote the date on 
each egg and put the number down in a book. She then 
took the plate-basket on her arm and went upstairs. Mr, 
Carey continued to read one of his old books, but as the 
clock struck ten he got up, put out the lamps, and followed 
his wife to bed. 

When Philip arrived there was some difficulty in decid- 
ing on which evening he should have his bath. It was never 
easy to get plenty of hot water, since the kitchen boiler 
did not work, and it was impossible for two persons to 
have a bath on the same day. The only man who had a 
bathroom in Blackstable was Mr. Wilson, and it was 
thought ostentatious of him. Mary Ann had her bath in 
the kitchen on Monday night, because she liked to begin 
the week clean. Uncle William could not have his on Satur- 
day, because he had a heavy day before him and he was 
always a little tired after a bath, so he had it on Friday. 
Mrs. Carey had hers on Thursday for the same reason. It 
looked as though Saturday were naturally indicated for 
Philip, but Mary Ann said she couldn't keep the fire up 
on Saturday night: what with all the cooking on Sunday. 


having to make pastry and she didn't know what all. she 
did not feel up to giving the boy his bath on Saturday 
night ; and it was quite clear that he could not bath him- 
self. Mrs. Carey was shy about bathing a boy, and of 
course the Vicar had his sermon. But the Vicar insisted 
that Philip should be clean and sweet for the Lord's Day. 
Mary Ann said she would rather go than be put upon 
and after eighteen years she didn't expect to have more 
work given her, and they might show some consideration 
and Philip said he didn't want anyone to bath him, but 
could very well bath himself. This settled it. Mary Ann 
said she was quite sure he wouldn't bath himself properly, 
and rather than he should go dirty and not because he 
was going into the presence of the Lord, but because she 
couldn't abide a boy who wasn't properly washed she'd 
work herself to the bone even if it was Saturday night. 


SUNDAY was a day crowded with incident. Mr. Carey 
was accustomed to say that he was the only man in his 
parish who worked seven days a week. 

The household got up half an hour earlier than usual. 
No lying abed for a poor parson on the day of rest, Mr. 
Carey remarked as Mary Ann knocked at the door punctu- 
ally at eight. It took Mrs. Carey longer to dress, and she 
got down to breakfast at nine, a little breathless, only just 
before her husband. Mr. Carey's boots stood in front of 
the fire to warm. Prayers were longer than usual, and the 
breakfast more substantial. After breakfast the Vicar cut 
thin slices of bread for the communion, and Philip was 
privileged to cut off the crust. He was sent to the study 
to fetch a marble paperweight, with which Mr. Carey 
pressed the bread till it was thin and pulpy, and then it 
was cut into small squares. The amount was regulated by 
the weather. On a very bad day few people came to church, 
and on a very fine one, though many came, few stayed 
for communion. There were most when it was dry enough 
to make the walk to church pleasant, but not so fine that 
people wanted to hurry away. 

Then Mrs. Carey brought the communion plate out of 
the safe, which stood in the pantry, and the Vicar polished 
it with a chamois leather. At ten the fly drove up, and 
Mr. Carey got into his boots. Mrs. Carey took several 
minutes to put on her bonnet, during which the Vicar, in 
a voluminous cloak, stood in the hall with just such an 
expression on his face as would have become an early 
Christian about to be led into the arena. It was extraor- 
dinary that after thirty years of marriage his wife could 
not be ready in time on Sunday morning. At last she came, 
in black satin; the Vicar did not like colours in a clergy- 
man's wife at any time, but on Sundays he was determined 
that she should wear black; now and then, in conspiracy 



with Miss Graves, she ventured a white feather or a pink 
rose in her bonnet, but the Vicar insisted that it should dis- 
appear ; he said he would not go to church with the scarlet 
woman : Mrs. Carey sighed as a woman but obeyed as a 
wife. They were about to step into the carriage when the 
Vicar remembered that no one had given him his egg. 
They knew that he must have an egg for his voice, there 
were two women in the house, and no one had the least 
regard for his comfort. Mrs. Carey scolded Mary Ann, 
and Mary Ann answered that she could not think of every- 
thing. She hurried away to fetch an egg, and Mrs. Carey 
beat it up in a glass of sherry. The Vicar swallowed it at 
a gulp. The communion plate was stowed in the carriage, 
and they set off. 

The fly came from The Red Lion and had a peculiar 
smell of stale straw. They drove with both windows closed 
so that the Vicar should not catch cold. The sexton was 
waiting at the porch to take the communion piate, and 
while the Vicar went to the vestry Mrs. Carey and Philip 
settled themselves in the vicarage pew. Mrs. Carey placed 
in front of her the sixpenny bit she was accustomed to put 
in the plate, and gave Philip threepence for the same pur- 
pose. The church filled up gradually and the service began. 

Philip grew bored during the sermon, but if he fidgetted 
Mrs. Carey put a gentle hand on his arm and looked at him 
reproachfully. He regained interest when the final hymn 
was sung and Mr. Graves passed round with the plate. 

When everyone had gone Mrs. Carey went into Miss 
Graves' pew to have a few words with her while they were 
waiting for the gentlemen, and Philip went to the vestry. 
His uncle, the cuiate, and Mr. Graves were still in their 
surplices. Mr. Carey gave him the remains of the con- 
secrated bread and told him he might eat it. He had been 
accustomed to eat it himself, as it seemed blasphemous to 
throw it away, but Philip's keen appetite relieved him from 
the duty. Then they counted the money. It consisted of 
pennies, sixpences and threepenny bits. There were always 
two single shillings, one put in the plate by the Vicar and 
the other by Mr. Graves ; and sometimes there was a 
florin. Mr. Graves told the Vicar who had given this. It 


was always a stranger to Blackstable, and Mr. Carey won- 
dered who he was. But Miss Graves had observed the rash 
act and was able to tell Mrs. Carey that the stranger came 
from London, was married and had children. During the 
drive home Mrs. Carey passed the information on, and the 
Vicar made up his mind to call on him and ask for a sub- 
scription to the Additional Curates Society. Mr. Carey 
asked if Philip had behaved properly; and Mrs. Carey 
remarked that Mrs. Wigram had a new mantle, Mr. Cox 
was not in church, and somebody thought that Miss Phil- 
lips was engaged. When they reached the vicarage they all 
felt that they deserved a substantial dinner. 

When this was over Mrs. Carey went to her room to 
rest, and Mr. Carey lay down on the sofa in the drawing- 
room for forty winks. 

They had tea at five, and the Vicar ate an egg to support 
himself for evensong. Mrs. Carey did not go to this so that 
Mary Ann might, but she read the service through and 
the hymns. Mr. Carey walked to church in the evening, 
and Philip limped along by his side. The walk through the 
darkness along the country road strangely impressed him, 
and the church with all its lights in the distance, coming 
gradually nearer, seemed very friendly. At first he was shy 
with his uncle, but little by little grew used to him, and he 
would slip his hand in his uncle's and walk more easily 
for the feeling of protection. 

They had supper when they got home. Mr. Carey's slip- 
pers were waiting for him on a footstool in front of the 
fire and by their side Philip's, one the shoe of a small boy, 
the other misshapen and odd. He was dreadfully tired 
when he went up to bed, and he did not resist when Mary 
Ann undressed him. She kissed him after she tucked him 
up, and he began to love her. 


PHILIP had led always the solitary life of an only child, 
and his loneliness at the vicarage was no greater than it 
had been when his mother lived. He made friends with 
Mary Ann. She was a chubby little person of thirty-five, 
the daughter of a fisherman, and had come to the vicarage 
at eighteen ; it was her first place and she had no intention 
of leaving it; but she held a possible marriage as a rod 
over the timid heads of her master and mistress. Her 
father and mother lived in a little house off Harbour 
Street, and she went to see them on her evenings out. Her 
stories of the sea touched Philip's imagination, and the 
narrow alleys round the harbour grew rich with the ro- 
mance which his young fancy lent them. One evening he 
asked whether he might go home with her; but his aunt 
was afraid that he might catch something, and his uncle 
said that evil communications corrupted good manners. He 
disliked the fisher folk, who were rough, uncouth, and 
went to chapel. But Philip was more comfortable in the 
kitchen than in the dining-room, and, whenever he could, 
he took his toys and played there. His aunt was not sorry. 
She did not like disorder, and though she recognised that 
boys must be expected to be untidy she preferred that he 
should make a mess in the kitchen. If he fidgetted his 
uncle was apt to grow restless and say it was high time he 
went to school. Mrs. Carey thought Philip very young for 
this, and her heart went out to the motherless child; but 
her attempts to gain his affection were awkward, and the 
boy, feeling shy, received her demonstrations with so much 
sullenness that she was mortified. Sometimes she heard his 
shrill voice raised in laughter in the kitchen, but when she 
went in, he grew suddenly silent, and he flushed darkly 
when Mary Ann explained the joke. Mrs. Carey could not 
see anything amusing in what she heard, and she smiled 
with constraint. 



"He seems happier with Mary Ann than with us, Wil- 
liam," she said, when she returned to her sewing. 

"One can see he's been very badly brought up. He wants 
.licking into shape." 

On the second Sunday after Philip arrived an unlucky 
incident occurred. Mr. Carey had retired as usual after 
dinner for a little snooze in the drawing-room, but he was 
in an irritable mood and could not sleep. Josiah Graves 
that morning had objected strongly to some candlesticks 
with which the Vicar had adorned the altar. He had bought 
them second-hand in Tercanbury, and he thought they 
looked very well. But Josiah Graves said they were pop- 
ish. This was a taunt that always aroused the Vicar. He 
had been at Oxford during the movement which ended in 
the secession from the Established Church of Edward 
Manning, and he felt a certain sympathy for the Church 
of Rome. He would willingly have made the service more 
ornate than had been usual in the low-church parish of 
Blackstable, and in his secret soul he yearned for pro- 
cessions and lighted candles. He drew the line at incense. 
He hated the word protestant. He called himself a Catho- 
lic. He was accustomed to say that Papists required an 
epithet, they were Roman Catholic; but the Church oi 
England was Catholic in the best, the fullest, and the no- 
blest sense of the term. He was pleased to think that his 
shaven face gave him the look of a priest, and in his youth 
he had possessed an ascetic air which added to the impres- 
sion. He often related that on one of his holidays in Bou- 
logne, one of those holidays upon which his wife for 
economy's sake did not accompany him, when he was sit- 
ting in a church, the cure had come up to him and invited 
him to preach a sermon. He dismissed his curates when 
they married, having decided views on the celibacy of the 
unbeneficed clergy. But when at an election the Liberals 
had written on his garden fence in large blue letters : This 
way to Rome, he had been very angry, and threatened to 
prosecute the leaders of the Liberal party in Blackstable. 
He made up his mind now that nothing Josiah Graves said 
would induce him to remove the candlesticks from the 


altar, and he muttered Bismarck to himself once or twice 

Suddenly he heard an unexpected noise. He pulled the 
handkerchief off his face, got up from the sofa on which 
he was lying, and went into the dining-room. Philip was 
seated on the table with all his bricks around him. He had 
built a monstrous castle, and some defect in the founda- 
tion had just brought the structure down in noisy ruin. 

"What are you doing with those bricks, Philip? You 
know you're not allowed to play games on Sunday." 

Philip stared at him for a moment with frightened eyes, 
and, as his habit was, flushed deeply. 

"I always used to play at home," he answered. 

"I'm sure your dear mamma never allowed you to do 
such a wicked thing as that." 

Philip did not know it was wicked ; but if it was, he did 
not wish it to be supposed that his mother had consented 
to it. He hung his head and did not answer. 

"Don't you know it's very, very wicked to play on Sun- 
day? What d'you suppose it's called the day of rest for? 
You're going to church tonight, and how can you face your 
Maker when you've been breaking one of His laws in the 
afternoon ?" 

Mr. Carey told him to put the bricks away at once, and 
stood over him while Philip did so. 

"You're a very naughty boy," he repeated. "Think of 
the grief you're causing your poor mother in heaven." 

Philip felt inclined to cry, but he had an instinctive dis- 
inclination to letting other people see his tears, and he 
clenched his teeth to prevent the sobs from escaping. Mr. 
Carey sat down in his arm-chair and began to turn over 
the pages of a book. Philip stood at the window. The 
vicarage was set back from the highroad to Tercanbury, 
and from the dining-room one saw a semicircular strip 
of lawn and then as far as the horizon green fields. Sheep 
were grazing in them. The sky was forlorn and gray. 
Philip felt infinitely unhappy. 

Presently Mary Ann came in to lay the tea, and Aunt 
Louisa descended the stairs. 

"Have you had a nice little nap, William?" she asked. 


"No," he answered. "Philip made so much noise that I 
couldn't sleep a wink." 

This was not quite accurate, for he had been kept awake 
by his own thoughts ; and Philip, listening sullenly, re- 
flected that he had only made a noise once, and there was 
no reason why his uncle should not have slept before or 
after. When Mrs. Carey asked for an explanation the 
Vicar narrated the facts. 

"He hasn't even said he was sorry," he finished. 

"Oh, Philip, I'm sure you're sorry," said Mrs. Carey, 
anxious that the child should not seem wickeder to his 
uncle than need be. 

Philip did not reply. He went on munching his bread 
and butter. He did not know what power it was in him that 
prevented him from making any expression of regret. He 
felt his ears tingling, he was a little inclined to cry, but no 
word would issue from his lips. 

"You needn't make it worse by sulking," said Mr. 

Tea was finished in silence. Mrs. Carey looked at Philip 
surreptitiously now and then, but the Vicar elaborately 
ignored him. When Philip saw his uncle go upstairs to 
get ready for church he went into the hall and got his hat 
and coat, but when the Vicar came downstairs and saw 
him, he said : 

"I don't wish you to go to church tonight, Philip. I 
don't think you're in a proper frame of mind to enter the 
House of God." 

Philip did not say a word. He felt it was a deep humilia- 
tion that was placed upon him, and his cheeks reddened. 
He stood silently watching his uncle put on his broad hat 
and his voluminous cloak. Mrs. Carey as usual went to the 
door to see him off. Then she turned to Philip. 

"Never mind, Philip, you won't be a naughty boy next 
Sunday, will you, and then your uncle will take you to 
church with him in the evening." 

She took off his hat and coat, and led him into the 

"Shall you and I read the service together, Philip, and 


we'll sing the hymns at the harmonium. Would you like 

Philip shook his head decidedly. Mrs. Carey was taken 
aback. If he would not read the evening service with her 
she did not know what to do with him. 

"Then what would you like to do until vour uncle comes 
back?" she asked helplessly. 

Philip broke his silence at last. 

"I want to be left alone," he said. 

"Philip, how can you say anything so unkind? Don't you 
know that your uncle and I only want your good? Don't 
you love me at all?" 

"I hate you. I wish you was dead." 

Mrs. Carey gasped. He said the words so savagely that 
it gave her quite a start. She had nothing to say. She sat 
down in her husband's chair; and as she thought of her 
desire to love the friendless, crippled boy and her eager 
wish that he should love her she was a barren woman 
and, even though it was clearly God's will that she should 
be childless, she could scarcely bear to look at little chil- 
dren sometimes, her heart ached so the tears rose to her 
eyes and one by one, slowly, rolled down her cheeks. 
Philip watched her in amazement. She took out her hand- 
kerchief, and now she cried without restraint. Suddenly 
Philip realised that she was crying because of what he had 
said, and he was sorry. He went up to her silently and 
kissed her. It was the first kiss he had ever given her 
without being asked. And the poor lady, so small in her 
black satin, shrivelled up and sallow, with her funny cork- 
screw curls, took the little boy on her lap and put her arms 
around him and wept as though her heart would break. 
But her tears were partly tears of happiness, for she felt 
that the strangeness between them was gone. She loved 
him now with a new love because he. had made her suffer. 


ON the following Sunday, when the Vicar was making 
his preparations to go into the drawing-room for his nap 
all the actions of his life were conducted with ceremony 
and Mrs. Carey was about to go upstairs, Philip asked : 

"What shall I do if I'm not allowed to play?" 

"Can't you sit still for once and be quiet ?" 

"I can't sit still till tea-time." 

Mr. Carey looked out of the window, but it was cold and 
raw, and he could not suggest that Philip should go into 
the garden. 

"I know what you can do. You can learn by heart the 
collect for the day." 

He took the prayer-book which was used for prayers 
from the harmonium, and turned the pages till he came to 
the place he wanted. 

"It's not a long one. If you can say it without a mistake 
when I come in to tea you shall have the top of my egg." 

Mrs. Carey drew up Philip's chair to the dining-room 
table they had bought him a high chair by now and 
placed the book in front of him. 

"The devil finds work for idle hands to do," said Mr. 

He put some more coals on the fire so that there should 
be a cheerful blaze when he came in to tea, and went into 
the drawing-room. He loosened his collar, arranged the 
cushions, and settled himself comfortably on the sofa. But 
thinking the drawing-room a little chilly, Mrs. Carey 
brought him a rug from the hall; she put it over his legs 
and tucked it round his feet. She drew the blinds so that 
the light should not offend his eyes, and since he had 
closed them already went out of the room on tiptoe. The 
Vicar was at peace with himself today, and in ten minutes 
he was asleep. He snored softly. 

It was the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, and the collect 



began with the words: O God, whose blessed Son was 
manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, 
and make us the sons of God, and heirs of Eternal life. 
Philip read it through. He could make no sense of it. He 
began saying the words aloud to himself, but many of 
them were unknown to him, and the construction of the 
sentences was strange. He could not get more than two 
lines in his head. And his attention was constantly wander- 
ing : there were fruit trees trained on the walls of the vica- 
rage, and a long twig beat now and then against the 
windowpane ; sheep grazed stolidly in the field beyond the 
garden. It seemed as though there were knots inside his 
brain. Then panic seized him that he would not know the 
words by tea-time, and he kept on whispering them to him- 
self quickly; he did not try to understand, but merely to 
get them parrot-like into his memory. 

Mrs. Carey could not sleep that afternoon, and by four 
o'clock she was so wide awake that she came downstairs. 
She thought she would hear Philip his collect so that he 
should make no mistakes when he said it to his uncle. His 
uncle then would be pleased ; he would see that the boy's 
heart was in the right place. But when Mrs. Carey came 
to the dining-room and was about to go in, she heard a 
sound that made her stop suddenly. Her heart gave a little 
jump. She turned away and quietly slipped out of the 
front-door. She walked round the house till she came to 
the dining-room window and then cautiously looked in. 
Philip was still sitting on the chair she had put him in, 
but his head was on the table buried in his arms, and he 
was sobbing desperately. She saw the convulsive move- 
ment of his shoulders. Mrs. Carey was frightened. A thing 
that had always struck her about the child was that he 
seemed so collected. She had never seen him cry. And 
now she realised that his calmness was some instinctive 
shame of showing his feelings : he hid himself to weep. 

Without thinking that her husband disliked being awak- 
ened suddenly, she burst into the drawing-room. 

"William, William," she said. "The boy's crying as 
though his heart would break." 


Mr. Carey sat up and disentangled himself from the rug 
about his legs. 

"What's he got to cry about ?" 

"I don't know. . . . Oh, William, we can't let the boy 
be unhappy. D'you think it's our fault? If we'd had chil- 
dren we'd have known what to do." 

Mr. Carey looked at her in perplexity. He felt extraor- 
dinarily helpless. 

"He can't be crying because I gave him the collect to 
learn. It's not more than ten lines." 

"Don't you think I might take him some picture books 
to look at, William? There are some of the Holy Land. 
There couldn't be anything wrong in that." 

"Very well, I don't mind." 

Mrs. Carey went into the study. To collect books was 
Mr. Carey's only passion, and he never went into Tercan- 
bury without spending an hour or two in the second-hand 
shop ; he always brought back four or five musty volumes, 
He never read them, for he had long lost the habit of read- 
ing, but he liked to turn the pages, look at the illustrations 
if they were illustrated, and mend the bindings. He wel- 
comed wet days because on them he could stay at home 
without pangs of conscience and spend the afternoon with 
white of egg and a glue-pot, patching up the Russia leather 
of some battered quarto. He had many volumes of old 
travels, with steel engravings, and Mrs. Carey quickly 
found two which described Palestine. She coughed elabo- 
rately at the door so that Philip should have time to com- 
pose himself, she felt that he would be humiliated if she 
came upon him in the midst of his tears, then she rattled 
the door handle. When she went in Philip was poring over 
the prayer-book, hiding his eyes with his hands so that she 
might not see he had been crying. 

"Do you know the collect yet ?" she said. 

He did not answer for a moment, and she felt that he 
did not trust his voice. She was oddly embarrassed. 

"I can't learn it by heart," he said at last, with a gasp. 

"Oh, well, never mind," she said. "You needn't. I've 
got some picture books for you to look at. Come and sit 
on my lap, and we'll look at them together." 


Philip slipped off his chair and limped over to her. He 
looked down so that she should not see his eyes. She put 
her arms round him. 

"Look," she said, "that's the place where our Blessed 
Lord was born." 

She showed him an Eastern town with flat roofs and 
cupolas and minarets. In the foreground was a group of 
palm-trees, and under them were resting two Arabs and 
some camels. Philip passed his hand over the picture as if 
he wapted to feel the houses and the loose habiliments of 
the nomads. 

"Read what it says," he asked. 

Mrs. Carey in her even voice read the opposite page. It 
was a romantic narrative of some Eastern traveller of the 
thirties, pompous maybe, but fragrant with the emotion 
with which the East came to the generation that followed 
Byron and Chateaubriand. In a moment or two Philip in- 
terrupted her. 

"I want to see another picture." 

When Mary Ann came in and Mrs. Carey rose to help 
her lay the cloth, Philip took the book in his hands and 
hurried through the illustrations. It was with difficulty 
that his aunt induced him to put the book down for tea. 
He had forgotten his horrible struggle to get the collect 
by heart; he had forgotten his tears. Next day it was 
raining, and he asked for the book again. Mrs. Carey gave 
it him joyfully. Talking over his future with her hus- 
band she had found that both desired him to take orders, 
and this eagerness for the book which described places 
hallowed by the presence of Jesus seemed a good sign. It 
looked as though the boy's mind addressed itself naturally 
to holy things. But in a day or two he asked for more 
books. Mr. Carey took him into his study, showed him the 
shelf in which he kept illustrated works, and chose for him 
one that dealt with Rome. Philip took it greedily. The pic- 
tures led him to a new amusement. He began to read the 
page before and the page after each engraving to find out 
what it was about, and soon he lost all interest in his toys. 

Then, when no one was near, he took out books tor 
himself ; and perhap because the first impression on his 


mind was made by an Eastern town, he found his chief 
amusement in those which described the Levant. His heart 
beat with excitement at the pictures of mosques and rich 
palaces ; but there was one, in a book on Constantinople, 
which peculiarly stirred his imagination. It was called the 
Hall of the Thousand Columns. It was a Byzantine cis- 
tern, which the popular fancy had endowed with fantastic 
vastness; and the legend which he read told that a boat 
was always moored at the entrance to tempt the unwary, 
but no traveller venturing into the darkness had ever been 
seen again. And Philip wondered whether the boat went 
on for ever through one pillared alley after another or 
came at last to some strange mansion. 

One day a good fortune befell him, for he hit upon 
Lane's translation of The Thousand Nights and a Night. 
He was captured first by the illustrations, and then he 
began to read, to start with, the stories that dealt with 
magic, and then the others; and those he liked he read 
again and again. He could think of nothing else. He forgot 
the life about him. He had to be called two or three times 
before he would come to his dinner. Insensibly he formed 
the most delightful habit in the world, the habit of read- 
ing: he did not know that thus he was providing himself 
with a refuge from all the distress of life; he did not 
know either that he was creating for himself an unreal 
world which would make the real world of every day a 
source of bitter disappointment. Presently he began to 
read other things. His brain was precocious. His uncle 
and aunt, seeing that he occupied himself and neither 
worried nor made a noise, ceased to trouble themselves 
about him. Mr. Carey had so many books that he did not 
know them, and as he read little he forgot the odd lots he 
had bought at one time and another because they were 
cheap. Haphazard among the sermons and homilies, the 
travels, the lives of the Saints, the Fathers, the histories 
of the church, were old-f ashionad novels ; and these Philip 
at last discovered. He chose them by their titles, and the 
first he read was The Lancashire Witches, and then he 
read The Admirable Crichton, and then many more. 
Whenever he started a book with two solitary travellers 


riding along the brink of a desperate ravine he knew he 
was safe. 

The summer was come now, and the gardener, an old 
sailor, made him a hammock and fixed it up for him in 
the branches of a weeping willow. And here for long hours 
he lay, hidden from anyone who might come to the vica- 
rage, reading, reading passionately. Time passed and it 
was July; August came: on Sundays the church was 
crowded with strangers, and the collection at the offertory 
often amounted to two pounds. Neither the Vicar nor 
Mrs. Carey went out of the garden much during this 
period; for they disliked strange faces, and they looked 
upon the visitors from London with aversion. The house 
opposite was taken for six weeks by a gentleman who had 
two little boys, and he sent in to ask if Philip would like 
to go and play with them ; but Mrs. Carey returned a polite 
refusal. She was afraid that Philip would be corrupted 
by little boys from London. He was going to be a clergy- 
man, and it was necessary that he should be preserved 
from contamination. She liked to see in him an infant 

THE Careys made up their minds to send Philip to 
King's School at Tercanbury. The neighbouring clergy 
sent their sons there. It was united by long tradition to the 
Cathedral : its headmaster was an honorary Canon, and a 
past headmaster was the Archdeacon. Boys were en- 
couraged there to aspire to Holy Orders, and the education 
was such as might prepare an honest lad to spend his life 
in God's service. A preparatory school was attached to it, 
and to this it was arranged that Philip should go. Mr. 
Carey took him into Tercanbury one Thursday afternoon 
towards the end of September. All day Philip had been 
excited and rather frightened. He knew little of school 
life but what he had read in the stories of The Boy's Own 
Paper. He had also read Eric, or Little by Little. 

When they got out of the train at Tercanbury, Philip 
felt sick with apprehension, and during the drive in to the 
town sat pale and silent. The high brick wall in front of 
the school gave it the look of a prison. There was a little 
door in it, which opened on their ringing; and a clumsy, 
untidy man came out and fetched Philip's tin trunk and 
his play-box. They were shown into the drawing-room ; it 
was filled with massive, ugly furniture, and the chairs of 
the suite were placed round the walls with a forbidding 
rigidity. They waited for the headmaster. 

"What's Mr. Watson like ?" asked Philip, after a while. 

"You'll see for yourself." 

There was another pause. Mr. Carey wondered why the 
headmaster did not come. Presently Philip made an effort 
and spoke again. 

"Tell him I've got a club-foot," he said. 

Before Mr. Carey could speak the door burst open and 
Mr. Watson swept into the room. To Philip he seemed 
gigantic. He was a man of over six feet high, and broad, 
with enormous hands and a great red beard; he talked 



loudly in a jovial manner ; but his aggressive cheerfulness 
struck terror in Philip's heart. He shook hands with Mr. 
Carey, and then took Philip's small hand in his. 

"Well, young fellow, are you glad to come to school?" 
he shouted. 

Philip reddened and found no word to answer. 

"How old are you?" 

"Nine," said Philip. 

"You must say sir," said his uncle. 

"I expect you've got a good lot to learn," the headmaster 
bellowed cheerily. 

To give the boy confidence he began to tickle him with 
rough fingers. Philip, feeling shy and uncomfortable, 
squirmed under his touch. 

"I've put him in the small dormitory for the present. 
. . . You'll like that, won't you?" he added to Philip. 
"Only eight of you in there. You won't feel so strange." 

Then the door opened, and Mrs. Watson came in. She 
was a dark woman with black hair, neatly parted in the 
middle. She had curiously thick lips and a small round 
nose. Her eyes were large and black. There was a singular 
coldness in her appearance. She seldom spoke and smiled 
more seldom still. Her husband introduced Mr. Carey to 
her, and then gave Philip a friendly push towards her. 

"This is a new boy, Helen. His name's Carey." 

Without a word she shook hands with Philip and then 
sat down, not speaking, while the headmaster asked Mr. 
Carey how much Philip knew and what books he had been 
working with. The Vicar of Blackstable was a little embar- 
rassed by Mr. Watson's boisterous heartiness, and in a mo- 
ment or two got up. 

"I think I'd better leave Philip with you now." 

"That's all right," said Mr. Watson. "He'll be safe with 
me. He'll get on like a house on fire. Won't you, young 
fellow ?" 

Without waiting for an answer from Philip the big 
man burst into a great bellow of laughter. Mr. Carey 
kissed Philip on the forehead and went away. 

"Come along, young fellow," shouted Mr. Watson. "I'll 
show you the school-room." 


He swept out of the drawing-room with giant strides, 
and Philip hurriedly limped behind him. He was taken into 
a long, bare room with two tables that ran along its whole 
length; on each side of them were wooden forms. 

"Nobody much here yet," said Mr. Watson. "I'll just 
show you the playground, and then I'll leave you to shift 
for yourself." 

Mr. Watson led the way. Philip found himself in a large 
play-ground with high brick walls on three sides of it. On 
the fourth side was an iron railing through which you saw 
a vast lawn and beyond this some of the buildings of 
King's School. One small boy was wandering disconso- 
lately, kicking up the gravel as he walked. 

"Hulloa, Yenning," shouted Mr. Watson. "When did 
you turn up?" 

The small boy came forward and shook hands. 

"Here's a new boy. He's older and bigger than you, so 
don't you bully him." 

The headmaster glared amicably at the two children, 
filling them with fear by the roar of his voice, and then 
with a guffaw left them. 

"What's your name ?" 


"What's your father?" 

"He's dead." 

"Oh! Does your mother wash?" 

"My mother's dead, too." 

Philip thought this answer would cause the boy a certain 
awkwardness, but Yenning was not to be turned from his 
facetiousness for so little. 

"Well, did she wash ?" he went on. 

"Yes," said Philip indignantly. 

"She was a washerwoman then?" 

"No, she wasn't." 

"Then she didn't wash." 

The little boy crowed with delight at the success of his 
dialectic. Then he caught sight of Philip's feet. 

"What's the matter with your foot ?" 

Philip instinctively tried to withdraw it from sight, He 
hid it behind the one which was whole. 


'I've got a club-foot," he answered. 

'How did you get it ?" 

'I've always had it." 

'Let's have a look." 


'Don't then." 

The little boy accompanied the words with a sharp kick 
on Philip's shin, which Philip did not expect and thus 
could not guard against. The pain was so great that it 
made him gasp, but greater than the pain was the surprise. 
He did not know why Yenning kicked him. He had not 
the presence of mind to give him a black eye. Besides, the 
boy was smaller than he, and he had read in The Boy's 
Own Paper that it was a mean thing to hit anyone smaller 
than yourself. While Philip was nursing his shin a third 
boy appeared, and his tormentor left him. In a little while 
he noticed that the pair were talking about him, and he 
felt they were looking at his feet. He grew hot and un- 

But others arrived, a dozen together, and then more, 
and they began to talk about their doings during the holi- 
days, where they had been, and what wonderful cricket 
they had played. A few new boys appeared, and with 
these presently Philip found himself talking. He was shy 
and nervous. He was anxious to make himself pleasant, 
but he could not think of anything to say. He was asked 
a great many questions and answered them all quite will- 
ingly. One boy asked him whether he could play cricket. 

"No," answered Philip. "I've got a club-foot." 

The boy looked down quickly and reddened. Philip saw 
that he felt he had asked an unseemly question. He was 
too shy to apologise and looked at Philip awkwardly. 


NEXT morning when the clanging of a bell awoke Philip 
he looked round his cubicle in astonishment. Then a voice 
sang out, and he remembered where he was. 

"Are you awake, Singer?" 

The partitions of the cubicle were of polished pitch-pine, 
and there was a green curtain in front. In those days there 
was little thought of ventilation, and the windows were 
closed except when the dormitory was aired in the morn- 

Philip got up and knelt down to say his prayers. It was 
a cold morning, and he shivered a little; but he had been 
taught by his uncle that his prayers were more acceptable 
to God if he said them in his nightshirt than if he waited 
till he was dressed. This did not surprise him, for he was 
beginning to realise that he was the creature of a God 
who appreciated the discomfort of his worshippers. Then 
he washed. There were two baths for the fifty boarders, 
and each boy had a bath once a week. The rest of his wash- 
ing was done in a small basin on a wash-stand, which, 
with the bed and a chair, made up the furniture of each 
cubicle. The boys chatted gaily while they dressed. Philip 
was all ears. Then another bell sounded, and they ran 
downstairs. They took their seats on the forms on each 
side of the two long tables in the school-room; and Mr. 
Watson, followed by his wife and the servants, came in 
and sat down. Mr. Watson read prayers in an impressive 
manner, and the supplications thundered out in his loud 
voice as though they were threats personally addressed to 
ach boy. Philip listened with anxiety. Then Mr. Watson 
read a chapter from the Bible, and the servants trooped 
out. In a moment the untidy youth brought in two large 
pots of tea and on a second journey immense dishes of 
bread and butter. 

Philip had a squeamish appetite, and the thick slabs of 



poor butter on the bread turned his stomach, but he saw 
other boys scraping it off and followed their example. 
They all had potted meats and such like, which they had 
brought in their play-boxes; and some had 'extras,' eggs 
or bacon, upon which Mr. Watson made a profit. When he 
had asked Mr. Carey whether Philip was to have these, 
Mr. Carey replied that he did not think boys should be 
spoilt. Mr. Watson quite agreed with him he considered 
nothing was better than bread and butter for growing 
teds but some parents, unduly pampering their offspring, 
insisted on it. 

Philip noticed that 'extras' gave boys a certain consider^ 
fttion and made up his mind, when he wrote to Aunt 
Louisa, to ask for them. 

After breakfast the boys wandered out into the play- 
ground. Here the day-boys were gradually assembling. 
They were sons of the local clergy, of the officers at the 
Depot, and of such manufacturers or men of business as 
the old town possessed. Presently a bell rang, and they all 
trooped into school. This consisted of a large, long room at 
opposite ends of which two under-masters conducted the 
second and third forms, and of a smaller one, leading out 
of it, used by Mr. Watson, who taught the first form. To 
attach the preparatory to the senior school these three 
classes were known officially, on speech days and in re-, 
ports, as upper, middle, and lower second. Philip was put 
in the last. The master, a red-faced man with a pleasant 
voice, was called Rice; he had a jolly manner with boys, 
and the time passed quickly. Philip was surprised when it 
was a quarter to eleven and they were let out for ten min- 
utes' rest. 

The whole school rushed noisily into the play-ground. 
The new boys were told to go into the middle, while the 
others stationed themselves along opposite walls. They 
began to play Pig in the Middle. The old boys ran from 
wall to wall while the new boys tried to catch them : when 
>one was seized and the mystic words said one, two, three, 
nnd a pig for me he became a prisoner and, turning sides, 
helped to catch those who were still free. Philip saw a boy 
running past and tried to catch him, but his limp gave him 


no chance ; and the runners, taking their opportunity, made 
straight for the ground he covered. Then one of them had 
the brilliant idea of imitating Philip's clumsy run. Other 
boys saw it and began to laugh ; then they all copied the 
first; and they ran round Philip, limping grotesquely, 
screaming in their treble voices with shrill laughter. They 
lost their heads with the delight of their new amusement, 
and choked with helpless merriment. One of them tripped 
Philip up and he fell, heavily as he always fell, and cut his 
knee. They laughed all the louder when he got up. A boy 
pushed him from behind, and he would have fallen again 
if another had not caught him. The game was forgotten in 
the entertainment of Philip's deformity. One of them in- 
vented an odd, rolling limp that struck the rest as su- 
premely ridiculous, and several of the boys lay down on 
the ground and rolled about in laughter: Philip was com- 
pletely scared. He could not make out why they were 
laughing at him. His heart beat so that he could hardly 
breathe, and he was more frightened than he had ever been 
in his life. He stood still stupidly while the boys ran 
round him, mimicking and laughing; they shouted to him 
to try and catch them; but he did not move. He did not 
want them to see him run any more. He was using all his 
strength to prevent himself from crying. 

Suddenly the bell rang, and they all trooped back to 
school. Philip's knee was bleeding, and he was dusty and 
dishevelled. For some minutes Mr. Rice could not control 
his form. They were excited still by the strange novelty, 
and Philip saw one or two of them furtively looking 
down at his feet. He tucked them under the bench. 

In the afternoon they went up to play football, but Mr. 
Watson stopped Philip on the way out after dinner. 

"I suppose you can't play football, Carey?" he asked 

Philip blushed self-consciously. 

"No, sir." 

"Very well. You'd better go up to the field. You can 
walk as far as that, can't you?" 

Philip had no idea where the field was, but he answered 
all the same. 


"Yes, sir/- 
The boys went in charge of Mr. Rice, who glanced at 
Philip and, seeing he had not changed, asked why he was 
not going to play. 

"Mr. Watson said I needn't, sir," said Philip. 


There were boys all round him, looking at him curiously, 
and a feeling of shame came over Philip. He looked down 
without answering. Others gave the reply. 

"He's got a club-foot, sir." 

"Oh, I see." 

Mr. Rice was quite young; he had only taken his de- 
gree a year before; and he was suddenly embarrassed. 
His instinct was to beg the boy's pardon, but he was too 
shy to do so. He made his voice gruff and loud. 

"Now then, you boys, what are you waiting about for? 
Get on with you." 

Some of them had already started and those that were 
left now set off, in groups of two or three. 

"You'd better come along with me, Carey," said the 
master. "You don't know the way, do you ?" 

Philip guessed the kindness, and a sob came to his 

"I can't go very fast, sir." 

"Then I'll go very slow," said the master, with a smile. 

Philip's heart went out to the red-faced, commonplace 
young man who said a gentle word to him. He suddenly 
felt less unhappy. 

But at night when they went up to bed and were un- 
dressing, the boy who was called Singer came out of his 
cubicle and put his bead in Philip's. 

"I say, let's look at your foot," he said. 

"No," answered Philip. 

He jumped into bed quickly. 

"Don't say no to me," said Singer. "Come on, Mason." 

The boy in the next cubicle was looking round the cor- 
ner, and at the words he slipped in. They made for Philip 
and tried to tear the bed-clothes off him, but he held them 

"Why can't you leave me alone?" he cried. 


Singer seized a brush and with the back of it beat Phil- 
ip's hands clenched on the blanket. Philip cried out. 

"Why don't you show us your foot quietly ?" 

"I won't." 

In desperation Philip clenched his fist and hit the boy 
who tormented him, but he was at a disadvantage, and 
the boy seized his arm. He began to turn it. 

"Oh, don't, don't," said Philip. "You'll break my arm." 

"Stop still then and put out your foot." 

Philip gave a sob and a gasp. The boy gave the arm 
another wrench. The pain was unendurable. 

"All right. I'll do it," said Philip. 

He put out his foot. Singer still kept his hand on Phil 
ip's wrist. He looked curiously at the deformity. 

"Isn't it beastly?" said Mason. 

Another came in and looked too. 

"Ugh," he said, in disgust. 

"My word, it is rum," said Singer, making a face. "Is it 

He touched it with the tip of his forefinger, cautiously, 
as though it were something that had a life of its own. 
Suddenly they heard Mr. Watson's heavy tread on the 
stairs. They threw the clothes back on Philip and dashed 
like rabbits into their cubicles. Mr. Watson came into the 
dormitory. Raising himself on tiptoe he could see over 
the rod that bore the green curtain, and he looked into two 
or three of the cubicles. The little boys were safely in bed. 
He put out the light and went out. 

Singer called out to Philip, but he did not answer. He 
had got his teeth in the pillow so that his sobbing should 
be inaudible. He was not crying for the pain they had 
caused him, nor for the humiliation he had suffered when 
they looked at his foot, but with rage at himself because, 
unable to stand the torture, he had put out his foot of his 
own accord. 

And then he felt the misery of his life. It seemed to his 
childish mind that this unhappiness must go on for ever. 
For no particular reason he remembered that cold morn- 
ing when Emma had taken him out of bed and put him 
beside his mother. He had not thought of it once since it 


'happened, but now he seemed to feel the warmth of his 
mother's body against his and her arms around him. Sud- 
denly it seemed to him that his life was a dream, his moth- 
er's death, and the life at the vicarage, and these two 
wretched days at school, and he would awake in the morn- 
ing and be back again at home. His tears dried as he 
thought of it. He was too unhappy, it must be nothing but 
a dream, and his mother was alive, and Emma would 
come up presently and go to bed. He fell asleep. 

But when he awoke next morning it was to the clanging 
of a bell, and the first thing his eyes saw was the green 
curtain of his cubicle. 


As time went on Philip's deformity ceased to interest. 
It was accepted like one boy's red hair and another's un- 
reasonable corpulence. But meanwhile he had grown hor- 
ribly sensitive. He never ran if he could help it, because 
he knew it made his limp more conspicuous, and he 
adopted a peculiar walk. He stood still as much as he 
could, with his club-foot behind the other, so that it should 
not attract notice, and he was constantly on the look out 
for any reference to it. Because he could not join in the 
games which other boys played, their life remained strange 
to him; he only interested himself from the outside in 
their doings ; and it seemed to him that there was a barrier 
between them and him. Sometimes they seemed to think 
that it was his fault if he could not play football, and he 
was unable to make them understand. He was left a good 
deal to himself. He had been inclined to talkativeness, but 
gradually he became silent. He began to think of the differ- 
ence between himself and others. 

The biggest boy in his dormitory, Singer, took a dislike 
to him, and Philip, small for his age, had to put up with a 
good deal of hard treatment. About half-way through the 
term a mania ran through the school for a game called 
Nibs. It was a game for two, played on a table or a form 
with steel pens. You had to push your nib with the finger- 
nail so as to get the point of it over your opponent's, while 
he manoeuvred to prevent this and to get the point of his 
nib over the back of yours ; when this result was achieved 
you breathed on the ball of your thumb, pressed it hard 
on the two nibs, and if you were able then to lift them 
without dropping either, both nibs became yours. Soon 
nothing was seen but boys playing this game, and the more 
skilful acquired vast stores of nibs. But in a little while 
Mr. Watson made up his mind that it was a form cf 
gambling, forbade the game, and confiscated all the nibs f-v 



the boys' possession. Philip had been very adroit, and h 
was with a heavy heart that he gave up his winnings ; but 
his fingers itched to play still, and a few days later, on his 
way to the football field, he went into a shop and bought 
a pennyworth of J pens. He carried them loose in hi 
pocket and enjoyed feeling them. Presently Singer found 
out that he had them. Singer had given up his nibs too, 
but he had kept back a very large one, called a Jumbo, 
which was almost unconquerable, and he could not resist 
the opportunity of getting Philip's Js out of him. Though 
Philip knew that he was at a disadvantage with his small 
nibs, he had an adventurous disposition and was willing 
to take the risk ; besides, he was aware that Singer would 
not allow him to refuse. He had not played for a week 
and sat down to the game now with a thrill of excitement. 
He lost two of his small nibs quickly, and Singer was 
jubilant, but the third time by some chance the Jumbo 
slipped round and Philip was able to push his J across it. 
He crowed with triumph. At that moment Mr. Watson 
-came in. 

"What are you doing?" he asked. 

He looked from Singer to Philip, but neither answered. 

"Don't you know that I've forbidden you to play that 
idiotic game?" 

Philip's heart beat fast. He knew what was coming and 
was dreadfully frightened, but in his fright there was a 
certain exultation. He had never been swished. Of course 
it would hurt, but it was something to boast about after- 

"Come into my study." 

The headmaster turned, and they followed him side by 
. Singer whispered to Philip : 

"We're in for it." 

Mr. Watson pointed to Singer. 

"Bend over," he said. 

Philip, very white, saw the boy quiver at each stroke, 
and after the third he heard him cry out. Three more fol- 

"That'll do. Get up." 

Singer stood up. The tears were streaming down his 


face. Philip stepped forward. Mr. Watson looked at him 
for a moment. 

"I'm not going to cane you. You're a new boy. And I 
can't hit a cripple. Go away, both of you, and don't be 
naughty again." 

When they got back into the school-room a group of 
boys, who had learned in some mysterious way what was 
happening, were waiting for them. They set upon Singer 
at once with eager questions. Singer faced them, his face 
red with the pain and marks of tears still on his cheeks. 
He pointed with his head at Philip, who was standing a 
little behind him. 

"He got off because he's a cripple," he said angrily. 

Philip stood silent and flushed. He felt that they looked 
at him with contempt. 

"How many did you get?" one boy asked Singer. 

But he did not answer. He was angry because he had 
been hurt. 

"Don't ask me to play Nibs with you again," he said 
to Philip. "It's jolly nice for you. You don't risk any- 

"I didn't ask you." 

"Didn't you !" 

He quickly put out his foot and tripped Philip up. 
Philip was always rather unsteady on his feet, and he fell 
heavily to the ground. 

"Cripple," said Singer. 

For the rest of the term he tormented Philip cruelly, 
and, though Philip tried to keep out of his way, the school 
was so small that it was impossible ; he tried being friendly 
and jolly with him ; he abased himself so far as to buy him 
a knife; but though Singer took the knife he was not 
placated. Once or twice, driven beyond endurance, he hit 
and kicked the bigger boy, but Singer was so much 
stronger that Philip was helpless, and he was always forced 
after more or less torture to beg his pardon. It was that 
which rankled with Philip : he could not bear the humilia- 
tion of apologies, which were wrung from him by pain 
greater than he could bear. And what made it worse was 
that there seemed no end to his wretchedness ; Singer was 


only eleven and would not go to the upper school till he 
was thirteen. Philip realized that he must live two years 
with a tormentor from whom there was no escape. He was 
only happy while he was working and when he got into 
bed. And often there recurred to him then that queer feel- 

Ving that his life with all its misery was nothing but a 
dream, and that he would awake in the morning in his own 
little bed in London. 


Two years passed, and Philip was nearly twelve. He was 
in the first form, within two or three places of the top, and 
after Christmas when several boys would be leaving for 
the senior school he would be head boy. He had already 
quite a collection of prizes, worthless books on bad paper, 
but in gorgeous bindings decorated with the arms of the 
school: his position had freed him from bullying, and he 
was not unhappy. His fellows forgave him his success 
because of his deformity. 

"After all, it's jolly easy for him to get prizes," they 
said, "there's nothing he can do but swat." 

He had lost his early terror of Mr. Watson. He had 
grown used to the loud voice, and when the headmaster's 
heavy hand was laid on his shoulder Philip discerned 
vaguely the intention of a caress. He had the good memory 
which is more useful for scholastic achievements than 
mental power, and he knew Mr. Watson expected him to 
leave the preparatory school with a scholarship. 

But he had grown very self-conscious. The new-born 
child does not realise that his body is more a part of him- 
self than surrounding objects, and will play with his toes 
without any feeling that they belong to him more than the 
rattle by his side ; and it is only by degrees, through pain, 
that he understands the fact of the body. And experiences 
of the same kind are necessary for the individual to be- 
come conscious of himself ; but here there is the difference 
that, although everyone becomes equally conscious of his 
body as a separate and complete organism, everyone does 
not become equally conscious of himself as a complete 
and separate personality. The feeling of apartness from 
others comes to most with puberty, but it is not always 
devolped to such a degree as to make the difference be- 
tween the individual and his felfows noticeable to the 
individual. It is such as he, as little conscious of himself 



as the bee in a hive, who are the lucky in life, for they 
have the best chance of happiness : their activities are 
shared by all, and their pleasures are only pleasures be- 
cause they are enjoyed in common ; you will see them on 
Whit-Monday dancing on Hampstead Heath, shouting at 
a football match, or from club windows in Pall Mall cheer- 
ing a royal procession. It is because of them that man has 
been called a social animal. 

Philip passed from the innocence of childhood to bitter 
consciousness of himself by the ridicule which his club- 
foot had excited. The circumstances of his case were so pe- 
culiar that he could not apply to them the ready-made rules 
which acted well enough in ordinary affairs, and he was 
forced to think for himself. The many books he had read 
rilled his mind with ideas which, because he only half un- 
derstood them, gave more scope to his imagination. Be- 
neath his painful shyness something was growing up 
within him, and obscurely he realised his personality. But 
at times it gave him odd surprises ; he did things, he knew 
not why, and afterwards when he thought of them found 
himself all at sea. 

There was a boy called Luard between whom and Philip 
a friendship had arisen, and one day, when they were 
playing together in the school-room. Luard began to per- 
form some trick with an ebony pen-holder of Philip's. 

"Don't play the giddy ox," said Philip. "You'll only 
break it." 

"I shan't." 

But no sooner were the words out of the boy's mouth 
than the pen-holder snapped in two. Luard looked at 
Philip with dismay 

"Oh, I say, I'm awfully sorry." 

The tears rolled down Philip's cheeks, but he did not 

"I say, what's the matter?" said Luard. with surprise. 
"I'll get you another one exactly the same." 

"It's not about the pen-holder I care," said Philip, in a 
trembling voice, "only it was given me by by mater, just 
before she died." 

"I say, I'm awfully sorry, Carey." 


"It doesn't matter. It wasn't your fault." 

Philip took the two pieces of the pen-holder and looked 
at them. He tried to restrain his sobs. He felt utterly mis- 
erable. And yet he could not tell why, for he knew quite 
well that he had bought the pen-holder during his last holi- 
days at Blackstable for one and twopence. He did not 
know in the least what had made him invent that pathetic 
story, but he was quite as unhappy as though it had been 
true. The pious atmosphere of the vicarage and the re- 
ligious tone of the school had made Philip's conscience 
very sensitive; he absorbed insensibly the feeling about 
him that the Tempter was ever on the watch to gain his 
immortal soul ; and though he was not more truthful than 
most boys he never told a lie without suffering from re- 
morse. When he thought over this incident he was very 
much distressed, and made up his mind that he must go 
to Luard and tell him that the story was an invention. 
Though he dreaded humiliation more than anything in the 
world, he hugged himself for two or three days at the 
thought of the agonising joy of humiliating himself to the 
Glory of God. But he never got any further. He satisfied 
his conscience by the more comfortable method of ex- 
pressing his repentance only to the Almighty. But he could 
not understand why he should have been so genuinely 
affected by the story he was making up. The tears that 
flowed down his grubby cheeks were real tears. Then by 
some accident of association there occurred to him that 
scene when Emma had told him of his mother's death, 
and, though he could not speak for crying, he had insisted 
on going in to say good-bye to the Misses Watkin so that 
they might see his grief and pity him. 


THEN a wave of religiosity passed through the school. 
Bad language was no longer heard, and the little nasti- 
nesses of small boys were looked upon with hostility ; the 
bigger boys, like the lords temporal of the Middle Ages, 
used the strength of their arms to persuade those weaker 
than themselves to virtuous courses. 

Philip, his restless mind avid for new things, became 
very devout. He heard soon that it was possible to join a 
Bible League, and wrote to London for particulars. These 
consisted in a form to be filled up with the applicant's 
name, age, and school; a solemn declaration to be signed 
that be would read a set portion of Holy Scripture every 
night for a year ; and a request for half a crown ; this, it 
was explained, was demanded partly to prove the earnest- 
ness of the applicant's desire to become a member of the 
League, and partly to cover clerical expenses. Philip duly 
sent the papers and the money, and in return received a 
calendar worth about a penny, on which was set down 
the appointed passage to be read each day, and a sheet of 
paper on one side of which was a picture of the Good 
Shepherd and a lamb, and on the other, decorative4y 
framed in red lines, a short prayer which had to be said 
before beginning to read. 

Every evening he undressed as quickly as possible in 
order to have time for his task before the gas was put out. 
He read industriously, as he read always, without criti- 
cism, stories of cruelty, deceit, ingratitude, dishonesty, and 
low cunning. Actions which would have excited his horror 
in the life about him, in the reading passed through his 
mind without comment, because they were committed 
under direct inspiration of God. The method of the League 
was to alternate a book of the Old Testament with a book 
of the New, and one night Philip came across these words 
of Jesus Christ: 



// ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this 
which is done to the fig-tree, but also if ye shall say unto 
this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the 
sea; it shall be done. 

And all this, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believ- 
ing, ye shall receive. 

They made no particular impression on him, but it hap- 
pened that two or three days later, being Sunday, the 
Canon in residence chose them for the text of his sermon. 
Even if Philip had wanted to hear this it would have been 
impossible, for the boys of King' School sit in the choir, 
and the pulpit stands at the corner of the transept so that 
the preacher's back is almost turned to them: The distance 
also is so great that it needs a man with a fine voice and 
a knowledge of elocution to make himself heard in the 
choir; and according to long usage the Canons of Ter- 
canbury are chosen for their learning rather than for any 
qualities which might be of use in a cathedral church. But 
the words of the text, perhaps because he had read them 
so short a while before, came clearly enough to Philip's 
ears, and they seemed on a sudden to have a personal ap- 
plication. He thought about them through most of the 
sermon, and that night, on getting into bed, he turned 
over the pages of the Gospel and found once more the 
passage. Though he believed implicitly everything he saw 
in print, he had learned already that in the Bible things 
that said one thing quite clearly often mysteriously meant 
another. There was no one he liked to ask at school, so 
he kept the question he had in mind till the Christmas 
holidays, and then one day he opportunity. It was 
after supper and prayers were just finished. Mrs. Carey 
was counting the eggs that Mary Ann had brought in as 
usual and writing on each one the date. Philip stood at 
the table and pretended to turn listlessly the pages of the 

"I say, Uncle William, this passage here, does it really 
mean that?" 

He put his finger against it as though he had come across 
it accidentally. 

Mr. Carey looked up over his spectacles. He was holding 


The Blackstable Times in front of the fire. It had come in 
that evening damp from the press, and the Vicar always 
aired it for ten minutes before he began to read. 

"What passage is that ?" he asked. 

"Why, this about if you have faith you can remove 

"If it says so in the Bible it is so, Philip," said Mrs. 
Carey gently, taking up the plate-basket. 

Philip looked at his uncle for an answer. 

"It's a matter of faith." 

"D'you mean to say that if you really believed you could 
move mountains you could ?" 

"By the grace of God," said the Vicar. 

"Now, say good-night to your uncle, Philip," said Aunt 
Louisa. "You're not wanting to move a mountain tonight, 
are you?" 

Philip allowed himself to be kissed on the forehead by 
his uncle and preceded Mrs. Carey upstairs. He had got 
the information he wanted. His little room was icy, and he 
shivered when he put on his nightgown. But he always felt 
that his prayers were more pleasing to God when he said 
them under conditions of discomfort. The coldness of his 
hands and feet were an offering to the Almighty. And to- 
night he sank on his knees, buried his face in his hands, 
and prayed to God with all his might that He would make 
his club-foot whole. It was a very small thing beside the 
moving of mountains. He knew that God could do it if 
He wished, and his own faith was complete. Next morn- 
ing, finishing his prayers with the same request, he fixed 
a date for the miracle. 

"Oh, God, in Thy loving mercy and goodness, if it be 
Thy will, please make my foot all right on the night be- 
fore I go back to school." 

He was glad to get his petition into a formula, and he 
repeated it later in the dining-room during the short pause 
which the Vicar always made after prayers, before he 
rose from his knees. He said it again in the evening and 
again, shivering in his nightshirt, before he got into bed. 
And he believed. For once he looked forward with eager- 
ness to the end of the holidays. He laughed to himself as 


he thought of his uncle's astonishment when he ran down 
the stairs three at a time ; and after breakfast he and 
Aunt Louisa would have to hurry out and buy a new pair 
of boots. At school they would be astounded. 

"Hulloa, Carey, what have you done with your foot?" 

"Oh, it's all right now," he would answer casually, as 
though it were the most natural thing in the world. 

He would be able to play football. His heart leaped as he 
saw himself running, running, faster than any of the other 
boys. At the end of the Easter term there were the sports, 
and he would be able to go in for the races ; he rather fan- 
cied himself over the hurdles. It would be splendid to be 
like everyone else, not to be stared at curiously by new 
boys who did not know about his deformity, nor at the 
baths in summer to need incredible precautions, while he 
was undressing, before he could hide his foot in the water. 

He prayed with all the power of his soul. No doubts 
assailed him. He was confident in the word of God. And 
the night before he was to go back to school he went up to 
bed tremulous with excitement. There \ras snow on the 
ground, and Aunt Louisa had allowed herself the unaccus- 
tomed luxury of a fire in her bed-room; but in Philip's 
little room it was so cold that his fingers were numb, and 
he had great difficulty in undoing his collar. His teeth chat- 
tered. The idea came to him that he must do something 
more than usual to attract the attention of God, and he 
turned back the rug which was in front of his bed so that 
he could kneel on the bare boards ; and then it struck him 
that his nightshirt was a softness that might displease his 
Maker, so he took it off and said his prayers naked. When 
he got into bed he was so cold that for some time he could 
not sleep, but when he did, it was so soundly that Mary 
Ann had to shake him when she brought in his hot water 
next morning. She talked to him while she drew the cur- 
tains, but he did not answer; he had remembered at once 
that this was the morning for the miracle. His heart was 
filled with joy and gratitude. His first instinct was to put 
down his hand and feel the foot which was whole now, 
but to do this seemed to doubt the goodness of God. He 
knew that his foot was well. But at last he made up his 


mind, and with the toes of his right foot he just touched 
his left. Then he passed his hand over it. 

He limped downstairs just as Mary Ann was going into 
the dining-room for prayers, and then he sat down to 

"You're very quiet this morning, Philip," said Aunt 
Louisa presently. 

"He's thinking of the good breakfast he'll have at school 
to-morrow," said the Vicar. 

When Philip answered, it was in a way that always irri- 
tated his uncle, with something that had nothing to do with 
the matter in hand. He called it a bad habit of wool- 

"Supposing you'd asked God to do something," said 
Philip, "and really believed it was going to happen, like 
moving a mountain, I mean, and you had faith, and it 
didn't happen, what would it mean?" 

"What a funny boy you are !" said Aunt Louisa. "You 
asked about moving mountains two or three weeks ago." 

"It would just mean that you hadn't got faith," an- 
swered Uncle William. 

Philip accepted the explanation. If God had not cured 
him, it was because he did not really believe. And yet he 
did not see how he could believe more than he did. But 
perhaps he had not given God enough time. He had only 
asked Him for nineteen days. In a day or two he began his 
prayer again, and this time he fixed upon Easter. That 
was the day of His Son's glorious resurrection, and God 
in His happiness might be mercifully inclined. But now 
Philip added other means of attaining his desire : he began 
to wish, when he saw a new moon or a dappled horse, and 
he looked out for shooting stars ; during exeat they had a 
chicken at the vicarage, and he broke the lucky bone with 
Aunt Louisa and wished again, each time that his foot 
might be made whole. He was appealing unconsciously to 
gods older to his race than the God of Israel. And he 
bombarded the Almighty with his prayer, at odd times of 
the day, whenever it occurred to him, in identical words 
always, for it seemed to him important to make his re- 
quest in the same terms. But presently the feeling came to 


him that this time also his faith would not be great enough. 
He could not resist the doubt that assailed him. He made 
his own experience into a general rule. 

"I suppose no one ever has faith enough," he said. 

It was like the salt which his nurse used to tell him 
about : you could catch any bird by putting salt on his tail ; 
and once he had taken a little bag of it into Kensington 
Gardens. But he could never get near enough to put the 
salt on a bird's tail. Before Easter he had given up the 
struggle. He felt a dull resentment against his uncle for 
taking him in. The text which spoke of the moving of 
mountains was just one of those that said one thing and 
meant another. He thought his uncle had been playing a 
practical joke on him. 


THE King's School at Tercanbury. to which Philip went 
when he was thirteen, prided itself on its antiquity. It 
traced its origin to an abbey school, founded before the 
Conquest, where the rudiments of learning were taught by 
Augustine monks; and, like many another establishment 
of this sort, on the destruction of the monasteries it had 
been reorganised by the officers of King Henry VIII and 
thus acquired its name. Since then, pursuing its modest 
course, it had given to the sons of the local gentry and of 
the professional people of Kent an education sufficient to 
their needs. One or two men of letters, beginning with a 
poet, than whom only Shakespeare had a more splendid 
genius, and ending with a writer of prose whose view of 
life has affected profoundly the generation of which Philip 
was a member, had gone forth from its gates to achieve 
fame; it had produced one or two eminent lawyers, but 
eminent lawyers are common, and one or two soldiers of 
distinction ; but during the three centuries since its separa- 
tion from the monastic order it had trained especially men 
of the church, bishops, deans, canons, and above all conn- 
try clergymen: there were boys in the school whose 
fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, had been edu- 
cated there and had all been rectors of parishes in the dio- 
cese of Tercanbury ; and they came to it with their minds 
made up already to be ordained. But there were signs not- 
withstanding that even there changes were coming; for 
a few, repeating what they had heard at home, said that 
the Church was no longer what it used to be. It wasn't so 
much the money ; but the class of people who went in for 
it weren't the same; and two or three boys knew curates 
whose fathers were tradesmen: they'd rather go out to 
the Colonies (in those days the Colonies were still the 
last hope of those who could get nothing to do in Eng- 
land) than be a curate under some chap who wasn't a 



gentleman. At King's School, as at Blackstable Vicarage, 
a tradesman was anyone who was not lucky enough to 
own land (and here a fine distinction was made between 
the gentleman farmer and the landowner), or did not fol- 
low one of the four professions to which it was possible 
for a gentleman to belong. Among the day-boys, of whom 
there were about a hundred and fifty, sons of the local 
gentry and of the men stationed at the depot, those whose 
fathers were engaged in business were made to feel the 
degradation of their state. 

The masters had no patience with modern ideas of edu- 
cation, which they read of sometimes in The Times or The 
Guardian, and hoped fervently that King's School would 
remain true to its old traditions. The dead languages were 
taught with such thoroughness that an old boy seldom 
thought of Homer or Virgil in after life without a qualm 
of boredom; and though in the common room at dinner 
one or two bolder spirits suggested that mathematics were 
of increasing importance, the general feeling was that 
they were a less noble study than the classics. Neither 
German nor chemistry was taught, and French only by the 
form-masters; they could keep order better than a for- 
eigner, and, since they knew the grammar as well as any 
Frenchman, it seemed unimportant that none of them 
could have got a cup of coffee in the restaurant at Bou- 
logne unless the waiter had known a little English. Geog- 
raphy was taught chiefly by making boys draw maps, and 
this was a favourite occupation, especially when the coun- 
try dealt with was mountainous : it was possible to waste 
a great deal of time in drawing the Andes or the Apen- 
nines. The masters, graduates of Oxford or Cambridge, 
were ordained and unmarried ; if by chance they wished to 
marry they could only do so by accepting one of the 
smaller livings at the disposal of the Chapter; but for 
many years none of them had cared to leave the refined 
society of Tercanbury, which owing to the cavalry depot 
had a martial as well as an ecclesiastical tone, for the 
monotony of life in a country rectory ; and they were now 
ail men of middle age. 

The headmaster, on the other hand, was obliged to be 


married, and he conducted the school till age began to tell 
upon him. When he retired he was rewarded with a much 
better living than any of the under-masters could hope for, 
and an honorary Canonry. 

But a year before Philip entered the school a great 
change had come over it. It had been obvious for some 
time that Dr. Fleming, who had been headmaster for the 
quarter of a century, was become too deaf to continue his 
work to the greater glory of God ; and when one of the 
livings on the outskirts of the city fell vacant, with a sti- 
pend of six hundred a year, the Chapter offered it to him 
in such a manner as to imply that they thought it high 
time for him to retire. He could nurse his ailments com- 
fortably on such an income. Two or three curates who had 
hoped for preferment told their wives it was scandalous 
to give a parish that needed a young, strong, and energetic 
man to an old fellow who knew nothing of parochial 
work, and had feathered his nest already ; but the mutter- 
ings of the unbeneficed clergy do not reach the ears of a 
cathedral Qiapter. And as Tor the parishioners they had 
nothing to say in the matter, and therefore nobody asked 
for their opinion. The Wesleyans and the Baptists both 
had chapels in the village. 

When Dr. Fleming was thus disposed of it became 
necessary to find a successor. It was contrary to the tra- 
ditions of the school that one of the lower-masters should 
be chosen. The common-room was unanimous in desiring 
the election of Mr. Watson, headmaster of the prepara- 
tory school ; he could hardly be described as already a 
master of King's School, they had all known him for 
twenty years, and there was no danger that he would make 
a nuisance of himself. But the Chapter sprang a surprise 
on them. It chose a man called Perkins. At first nobody 
knew who Perkins was, and the name favourably im- 
pressed no one; but before the shock of it had passed 
away, it was realised that Perkins was the son of Perkins 
the linendraper. Dr. Fleming informed the masters just 
before dinner, and his manner showed his consternation. 
Such of them as were dining in, ate their meal almost in 
silence, and no reference was made to the matter till the 


servants had left the room. Then they set to. The names 
of those present on this occasion are unimportant, but they 
had been known to generations of school-boys as Sighs, 
Tar, Winks, Squirts, and Pat. 

They all knew Tom Perkins. The first thing about him 
was that he was not a gentleman. They remembered him 
quite well. He was a small, dark boy, with untidy black 
hair and large eyes. He looked like a gipsy. He had come 
to the school s.s a day-boy, with the best scholarship on 
their endowment, so that his education had cost him noth- 
ing. Of course he was brilliant. At every Speech-Day he 
was loaded with prizes. He was their show-boy, and they 
remembered now bitterly their fear that he would try to 
get some scholarship at one of the larger public schools 
and so pass out of their hands. Dr. Fleming had gone to 
the linendraper his father they all remembered the shop, 
Perkins and Cooper, in St. Catherine's Street and said 
he hoped Tom would remain with them till he went to Ox- 
ford. The school was Perkins and Cooper's best customer, 
and Mr. Perkins was only too glad to give the required 
assurance. Tom Perkins continued to triumph, he was the 
finest classical scholar that Dr. Fleming remembered, and 
on leaving the school took with him the most valuable 
scholarship they had to offer. He got another at Magdalen 
and settled down to a brilliant career at the University. 
The school magazine recorded the distinctions he achieved 
year after year, and when he got his double first Dr. Flem- 
ing himself wrote a few words of eulogy on the front 
page. It was with greater satisfaction that they welcomed 
his success, since Perkins and Cooper had fallen upon evil 
days : Cooper drank like a fish, and just before Tom Per- 
kins took his degree the linendrapers filed their petition in 

In due course Tom Perkins took Holy Orders and en- 
tered upon the profession for which he was so admirably 
suited. He had been an assistant master at Wellington and 
then at Rugby. 

But there was quite a difference between welcoming his 
success at other schools and serving under his leadership 
in their own. Tar had frequently given him lines, and 


Squirts had boxed his ears. They could not imagine how 
the Chapter had made such a mistake. No one could be 
expected to forget that he was the son of a bankrupt linen- 
draper, and the alcoholism of Cooper seemed to increase 
the disgrace. It was understood that the Dean had sup- 
ported his candidature with zeal, so the Dean would prob- 
ably ask him to dinner ; but would the pleasant little din- 
ners in the precincts ever be the same when Tom Perkins 
sat at the table? And what about the depot? He really 
could not expect officers and gentlemen to receive him as 
one of themselves. It would do the school incalculable 
harm. Parents would be dissatisfied, and no one could be 
surprised if there were wholesale withdrawals. And then 
the indignity of calling him Mr. Perkins! The masters 
thought by way of protest of sending in their resignations 
in a body, but the uneasy fear that they would be accepted 
with equanimity restrained them. 

"The only thing is to prepare ourselves for changes," 
said Sighs, who had conducted the fifth form for five and 
twenty years with unparalleled incompetence. 

And when they saw him they were not reassured. Dr. 
Fleming invited them to meet him at luncheon. He was 
now a man of thirty-two, tall and lean, but with the same 
wild and unkempt look they remembered on him as a boy. 
His clothes, ill-made and shabby, were put on untidily. His 
hair was as black and as long as ever, and he had plainly 
never learned to brush it; it fell over his forehead with 
every gesture, and he had a quick movement of the hand 
with which he pushed it back from his eyes. He had a 
black moustache and a beard which came high up on his 
face almost to the cheek-bones. He talked to the masters 
quite easily, as though he had parted from them a week 
or two before ; he was evidently delighted to see them. He 
seemed unconscious of the strangeness of the position and 
appeared not to notice any oddness in being addressed as 
Mr. Perkins. 

When he bade them good-bye, one of the masters, for 
something to say, remarked that he was allowing himself 
plenty of time to catch his train. 


"I want to go round and have a look at the shop," he 
answered cheerfully. 

There was a distinct embarrassment. They wondered 
that he could be so tactless, and to make it worse Dr. 
Fleming had not heard what he said. His wife shouted i| 
in his ear. 

"He wants to go round and look at his father's old 

Only Tom Perkins was unconscious of the humiliation 
which the whole party felt. He turned to Mrs. Fleming. 
"Who's got it now, d'you know?" 
She could hardly answer. She was very angry. 
"It's still a linendraper's," she said bitterly. "Grove is 
the name. We don't deal there any more." 
"I wonder if he'd let me go over the house." 
"I expect he would if you explain who you are." 
It was not till the end of dinner that evening that any 
reference was made in the common-room to the subject 
that was in all their minds. Then it was Sighs who asked i 
"Well, what did you think of our new head?" 
They thought of the conversation at luncheon. It was 
hardly a conversation; it was a monologue. Perkins had 
talked incessantly. He talked very quickly, with a flow oi 
easy words and in a deep, resonant voice. He had a short, 
odd little laugh which showed his white teeth. They had 
followed him with difficulty, for his mind darted from 
subject to subject with a connection they did not always, 
catch. He talked of pedagogics, and this was natural 
enough; but he had much to say of modern theories in 
Germany which they had never heard of and received 
with misgiving. He talked of the classics, but he had been 
to Greece, and he discoursed of archaeology; he had once 
spent a winter digging ; they could not see how that helped 
a man to teach boys to pass examinations. He talked of 
politics. It sounded odd to them to hear him compare Lord 
Beaconsfield with Alcibiades. He talked of Mr. Gladstone 
and Home Rule. They realised that he was a Liberal. 
Their hearts sank. He talked of German philosophy and 
of French fiction. They could not think a man profound 
whose interests were so diverse. 


It was Winks who summed up the general impression 
and put it into a form they all felt conclusively damning. 
Winks was the master of the upper third, a weak-kneed 
man with drooping eyelids. He was too tall for his 
strength, and his movements were slow and languid. He 
gave an impression of lassitude, and his nickname was 
eminently appropriate. 

"He's very enthusiastic," said Winks. 

Enthusiasm was ill-bred. Enthusiasm was ungentle- 
manly. They thought of the Salvation Army with its bray- 
ing trumpets and its drums. Enthusiasm meant change. 
They had goose-flesh when they thought of all the pleasant 
old habits which stood in imminent danger. They hardly 
dared to look forward to the future. 

"He looks mote of a gipsy than ever," said one, after a 

"I wonder if the Oean and Chapter knew that he was a 
Radical when they elected him," another observed bitterly. 

But conversation halted. They were too much disturbed 
for words. 

When Tar and Sighs were walking together to the 
Chapter House on Speech-Day a week later, Tar, who had 
a bitter tongue, remarked to his colleague : 

"Well, we've seen a good many Speech-Days here, 
haven't we? I wonder if we shall see another." 

Sighs was more melancholy even than usual. 

"If anything worth having comes along in the way of a 
living I don't mind when I retire." 


A YEAR passed, and when Philip came to the school the 
old masters were all in their places; but a good many 
changes had taken place notwithstanding their stubborn 
resistance, none the less formidable because it was con- 
cealed under an apparent desire to fall in with the new 
head's ideas. Though the form-masters still taught French 
to the lower school, another master had come, with a de- 
gree of doctor of philology from the University of Heidel- 
berg and a record of three years spent in a French lycee, 
to teach French to the upper forms and German to any- 
one who cared to take it up instead of Greek. Another 
master was engaged to teach mathematics more systemati- 
cally than had been found necessary hitherto. Neither of 
these was ordained. This was a real revolution, and when 
the pair arrived the older masters received them with dis- 
trust. A laboratory had been fitted up, army classes were 
instituted ; they ail said the character of the school was 
changing. And heaven only knew what further projects 
Mr. Perkins turned in that untidy head of his. The school 
was small as public schools go, there were not more than 
two hundred boarders ; and it was difficult for it to grow 
larger, for it was huddled up against the Cathedral; the 
precincts, with the exception of a house in which some of 
the masters lodged, were occupied by the cathedral clergy ; 
and there was no more room for building. But Mr. Per- 
kins devised an elaborate scheme by which he might ob- 
tain sufficient space to make the school double its present 
si/e. He wanted to attract boys from London. He thought 
it? would be good for them to be thrown in contact with the 
Kentish lads, and it would sharpen the country wits of 

EJ "It's against all our traditions," said Sighs, when Mr. 
e'erkins made the suggestion to him. "We've rather gone 



out of our way to avoid the contamination of boys from 

"Oh, what nonsense !" said Mr. Perkins. 

X<> one had ever told the form-master before that he 
talked nonsense, and he was meditating an acid reply, in 
which perhaps he might insert a veiled reference to 
hosiery, when Mr. Perkins in his impetuous way attacked 
him outrageously. 

"That house in the Precincts if you'd only marry I'd 
get the Chapter to put another couple of stories on, and 
we'd make dormitories and studies, and your wife could 
help you." 

The elderly clergyman gasped. Why should he marry? 
He was fifty-seven, a man couldn't marry at fifty-seven. 
He couldn't start looking after a house at his time of 
life. He didn't want to marry. If the choice lay between 
that and the country living he would much sooner resign. 
All he wanted now was peace and quietness. 

"I'm not thinking of marrying," he said. 

Mr. Perkins looked at him with his dark, bright eyes, 
and if there was a twinkle in them poor Sighs never saw 

"What a pity! Couldn't you marry to oblige me? It 
would help me a great deal with the Dean and Chapter 
when I suggest rebuilding your house." 

But Mr. Perkins' most unpopular innovation was his 
system of taking occasionally another man's form. He 
asked it as a favour, but after all it was a favour which 
could not be refused, and as Tar, otherwise Mr. Turner, 
said, it was undignified for all parties. He gave no warn- 
ing, but after morning prayers would say to one of the 
masters : 

"I wonder if you'd mind taking the Sixth today at 
eleven. We'll change over, shall we?" 

They did not know whether this was usual at other 
schools, but certainly it had never been done at Tercap- 
bury. The results were curious. Mr. Turner, who was *$ 
first victim, broke the news to his form that the he fl 
master would take them for Latin that day, and on 
oretence that they might like to ask him a question or f 


so that they should not make perfect fools of themselves, 
spent the last quarter of an hour of the history lesson 
in construing for them the passage of Livy which had been 
set for the day; but when he rejoined his class and looked 
at the paper on which Mr. Perkins had written the marks, 
a surprise awaited him ; for the two boys at the top of the 
form seemed to have done very ill, while others who had 
never distinguished themselves before were given full 
marks. When he asked Eldridge, his cleverest boy, what 
was the meaning of this the answer came sullenly : 

"Mr. Perkins never gave us any construing to do. He 
asked me what I knew about General Gordon." 

Mr. Turner looked at him in astonishment. The boys 
evidently felt they had been hardly used, and he could not 
help agreeing with their silent dissatisfaction. He could 
not see either what General Gordon had to do with Livy. 
He hazarded an enquiry afterwards. 

"Eldridge was dreadfully put out because you asked him 
what he knew about General Gordon," he said to the head- 
master, with an attempt at a chuckle. 

Mr. Perkins laughed. 

"I saw they'd got to the agrarian laws of Caius Grac- 
chus, and I wondered if they knew anything about the 
agrarian troubles in Ireland. But all they knew aboul 
Ireland was that Dublin was on the Liffey. So I won- 
dered if they'd ever heard of General Gordon." 

Then the horrid fact was disclosed that the new head 
had a mania for general information. He had doubts about 
the utility of examinations on subjects which had been 
crammed for the occasion. He wanted common sense. 

Sighs grew more worried every month; he could not 
get the thought out of his head that Mr. Perkins would 
ask him to fix a day for his marriage; and he hated the 
attitude the head adopted towards classical literature. 
There was no doubt that he was a fine scholar, and he 
was engaged on a work which was quite in the right 
tradition : he was writing a treatise on the trees in Latin 
literature ; but he talked of it flippantly, as though it were 
a pastime of no great importance, like billiards, which 
engaged his leisure but was not to be considered with seri- 


ousness. And Squirts, the master of the middle-third, 
grew more ill-tempered every day. 

It was in his form that Philip was put on entering the 
school. The Rev. B. B. Gordrn was a man by nature ill- 
suited to be a schoolmaster : he was impatient and choleric. 
With no one to call him to account, with only small boys 
to face him, he had long lost all power of self-control. He 
began his work in a rage and ended it in a passion. He was 
a man of middle height and of a corpulent figure ; he had 
sandy hair, worn very short and now growing gray, and a 
small bristly moustache. His large face, with indistinct 
features and small blue eyes, was naturally red, but during 
his frequent attacks of anger it grew dark and purple. His 
nails were bitten to the quick, for while some trembling 
boy was construing he would sit at his desk shaking with 
the fury that consumed him, and gnaw his fingers. Stories, 
perhaps exaggerated, were told of his violence, and two 
years before there had been some excitement in the school 
when it was heard that one father was threatening a prose- 
cution: he had boxed the ears of a boy named Walters 
with a book so violently that his hearing was affected and 
the boy had to be taken away from the school. The boy's 
father lived in Tercanbury, and there had been much indig- 
nation in the city, the local paper had referred to the 
matter ; but Mr. Walters was only a brewer, so the sym- 
pathy was divided. The rest of the boys, for reasons best 
known to themselves, though they loathed the master, took 
his side in the affair, and, to show their indignation that 
the school's business had been dealt with outside, made 
things as uncomfortable as they could for Walters' 
younger brother, who still remained. But Mr. Gordon had 
only escaped the country living by the skin of his teeth, 
and he had never hit a boy since. The right the masters 
possessed to cane boys on the hand was taken away from 
them, and Squirts could no longer emphasize his anger by 
beating his desk with the cane. He never did more now 
than take a boy by the shoulders and shake him. He still 
made a naughty or refractory lad stand with one arm 
stretched out for anything from ten minutes to half an 
hour, and he was as violent as before with his tongue. 


No master could hare been more unfitted to teach things 
to so shy a boy as Philip. He had come to the school with 
fewer terrors than he had when first he went to Mr. 
Watson's. He knew a good many boys who had been with 
him at the preparatory school. He felt more grown-up, and 
instinctively realised that among the larger numbers his 
deformity would be less noticeable. But from the first day 
Mr. Gordon struck terror in his heart; and the master, 
quick to discern the boys who were frightened of him, 
seemed on that account to take a peculiar dislike to him. 
Philip had enjoyed his work, but now he began to look 
upon the hours passed in school with horror. Rather than 
risk an answer which might be wrong and excite a storm 
of abuse from the master, he would sit stupidly silent, and 
when it came towards his turn to stand up and construe he 
grew sick and white with apprehension. His happy mo- 
ments were those when Mr. Perkins took the form. He 
was able to gratify the passion for general knowledge 
which beset the headmaster; he had read all sorts of 
strange books beyond his years, and often Mr. Perkins, 
when a question was going round the room, would stop 
at Philip with a smile that filled the boy with rapture, and 

"Now, Carey, you tell them." 

The good marks he got on these occasions increased Mr. 
Gordon's indignation. One day it came to Philip's turn 
to translate, and the master sat there glaring at him and 
furiously biting his thumb. He was in a ferocious mood. 
Philip began to speak in a low voice. 

"Don't mumble," shouted the master. 

Something seemed to stick in Philip's throat. 

"Go on. Go on. Go on." 

Each time the words were screamed more loudly. The 
effect was to drive all he knew out of Philip's head, and 
he looked at the printed page vacantly. Mr. Gordon began 
to breathe heavily. 

"If you don't know why don't you say so? Do you 
know it or not? Did you hear all this construed last time 
or not? Why don't you speak? Speak, you blockhead, 
speak !" 


The master seized the arms of his chair and grasped 
them as though to prevent himself from falling upon 
Philip. They knew that in past days he often used to seize 
boys by the throat till they almost choked. The veins in 
his forehead stood out and his face grew dark and threat- 
ening. He was a man insane. 

Philip had known the passage perfectly the day before, 
but now he could remember nothing. 

"I don't know it," he gasped. 

"Why don't you know it? Let's take the words one by 
one. We'll soon see if you don't know it." 

Philip stood silent, very white, trembling a little, with 
his head bent down on the book. The master's breathing 
grew almost stertorous. 

"The headmaster says you're clever. I don't know how 
lie sees it. General information." He laughed savagely. "I 
don't know what they put you in this form for. Block- 

He was pleased with the word, and he repeated it at 
the top of his voice. 

"Blockhead! Blockhead! Club-footed blockhead!" 

That relieved him a little. He saw Philip redden sud- 
denly. He told him to fetch the Black Book. Philip put 
down his Caesar and went silently out. The Black Book 
was a sombre volume in which the names of boys were 
written with their misdeeds, and when a name was down 
three times it meant a caning. Philip went to the head- 
master's house and knocked at his study-door. Mr. Per- 
kins was seated at his table. 

"May I have the Black Book, please, sir." 

"There it is," answered Mr. Perkins, indicating its 
place by a nod of his head. "What have you been doing 
that you shouldn't?" 

"I don't know, sir." 

Mr. Perkins gave him a quick look, but without answer- 
ing went on with his work. Philip took the book and went 
out. When the hour was up, a few minutes later, he 
brought it back. 

"Let me have a look at it," said the headmaster. "I see 


Mr. Gordon has black-booked you for 'gross imperti- 
nence.' What was it?" 

"I don't know, sir. Mr. Gordon said I was a club-footed 

Mr. Perkins looked at him again. He wondered whether 
there was sarcasm behind the boy's reply, but he was still 
much too shaken. His face was white and his eyes had a 
look of terrified distress. Mr. Perkins got up and put the 
book down. As he did so he took up some photographs. 

"A friend of mine sent me some pictures of Athens 
this morning," he said casually. "Look here, there's the 

He began explaining to Philip what he saw. The ruin 
grew vivid with his words. He showed him the theatre of 
Dionysus and explained in what order the people sat, and 
how beyond they could see the blue Aegean. And then 
suddenly he said : 

"I remember Mr. Gordon used to call me a gipsy 
counter-jumper when I was in his form." 

And before Philip, his mind fixed on the photographs, 
had time to gather the meaning of the remark, Mr. Per- 
kins was showing him a picture of Salamis, and with his 
finger, a finger of which the nail had a little black edge to 
it, was pointing out how the Greek ships were placed and 
how the Persian. 


PHILIP passed the next two years with comfortable 
monotony. He was not bullied more than other boys of his 
size; and his deformity, withdrawing him from games, 
acquired for him an insignificance for which he was grate- 
ful. He was not popular, and he was very lonely. He spent 
a couple of terms with Winks in the Upper Third. Winks, 
with his weary manner and his drooping eyelids, looked 
infinitely bored. He did his duty, but he did it with an 
abstracted mind. He was kind, gentle, and foolish. He had 
a great belief in the honour of boys ; he felt that the first 
thing to make them truthful was not to let it enter your 
head for a moment that it was possible for them to lie. 
"Ask much," he quoted, "and much shall be given to you." 
Life was easy in the Upper Third. You knew exactly 
what lines would come to your turn to construe, and 
with the crib that passed from hand to hand you could 
find out all you wanted in two minutes ; you could hold a 
Latin Grammar open on your knees while questions were 
passing round ; and Winks never noticed anything odd in 
the fact that the same incredible mistake was to be found 
in a dozen different exercises. He had no great faith in 
examinations, for he noticed that boys never did so well 
in them as in form : it was disappointing, but not signifi- 
cant. In due course they were moved up, having learned 
little but a cheerful effrontery in the distortion of truth, 
which was possibly of greater service to them in after 
life than an ability to read Latin at sight. 

Then they fell into the hands of Tar. His name was 
Turner; he was the most vivacious of the old masters, a 
short man with an immense belly, a black beard turning 
now to gray, and a swarthy skin. In his clerical dress there 
was indeed something in him to suggest the tar-barrel; 
and though on principle he gave five hundred lines to any 
boy on whose lips he overheard his nickname, at dinner- 



oarties in the precincts he often made little jokes about it. 
He was the most worldly of the masters; he dined out 
more frequently than any of the others, and the society 
he kept was not so exclusively clerical. The boys looked 
upon him as rather a dog. He left off his clerical attire 
during the holidays and had been seen in Switzerland in 
gay tweeds. He liked a bottle of wine and a good dinner, 
and having once been seen at the Cafe Royal with a lady 
who was very probably a near relation, was thenceforward 
supposed by generations of school-boys to indulge in orgies 
the circumstantial details of which pointed to an un- 
bounded belief in human depravity. 

Mr. Turner reckoned that it took him a term to lick 
boys into shape after they had been in the Upper Third ; 
and now and then he let fall a sly hint, which showed that 
he knew perfectly what went on in his colleague's form. 
He took it good-humouredly. He looked upon boys as 
young ruffians who were more apt to be truthful if it 
was quite certain a lie would be found out, whose sense of 
honour was peculiar to themselves and did not apply to 
dealings with masters, and who were least likely to be 
troublesome when they learned that it did not pay. He was 
proud of his form and as eager at fifty-five that it should 
do better in examinations than any of the others as he 
had been when he first came to the school. He had the 
choler of the obese, easily roused and as easily calmed, 
and his boys soon discovered that there was much kindli- 
ness beneath the invective with which he constantly 
assailed them. He had no patience with fools, but was will- 
ing to take much trouble with boys whom he suspected 
of concealing intelligence behind their wilfulness. He was 
fond of inviting them to tea; and, though vowing they 
never got a look in with him at the cakes and muffins, for 
it was the fashion to believe that his corpulence pointed to 
a voracious appetite, and his voracious appetite to tape- 
worms, they accepted his invitations with real pleasure. 

Philip was now more comfortable, for space was so 
limited that there were only studies for boys in the upper 
school, and till then he had lived in the great hall in which 
they all ate and in which the lower forms did preparation 

7 8 O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 

in a promiscuity which was vaguely distasteful to him. 
Now and then it made him restless to be with people and 
he wanted urgently to be alone. He set out for solitary 
walks into the country. There was a little stream, with 
pollards on both sides of it, that ran through green fields, 
and it made him happy, he knew not why, to wander along 
its banks. When he was tired he lay face-downward on 
the grass and watched the eager scurrying of minnows and 
of tadpoles. It gave him a peculiar satisfaction to saunter 
round the precincts. On the green in the middle they prac- 
tised at nets in the summer, but during the rest of the year 
it was quiet : boys used to wander round sometimes arm 
in arm, or a studious fellow with abstracted gaze walked 
slowly, repeating to himself something he had to learn by 
heart. There was a colony of rooks in the great elms, and 
they filled the air with melancholy cries. Along one side 
lay the Cathedral with its great central tower, and Philip, 
who knew as yet nothing of beauty, felt when he looked 
at it a troubling delight which he could not understand. 
When he had a study (it was a little square room looking 
on a slum, and four boys shared it), he bought a photo- 
graph of that view of the Cathedral, and pinned it up over 
his desk. And he found himself taking a new interest in 
what he saw from the window of the Fourth Form room. 
It looked on to old lawns, carefully tended, and fine trees 
with foliage dense and rich. It gave him an odd feeling 
in his heart, and he did not know if it was pain or pleas- 
ure. It was the first dawn of the aesthetic emotion. It 
accompanied other changes. His voice broke. It was no 
longer quite under his control, and queer sounds issued 
from his throat. 

Then he began to go to the classes which were held in 
the headmaster's study, immediately after tea, to prepare 
boys for confirmation. Philip's piety had not stood the test 
of time, and he had long since g : ven up his nightly read- 
ing of the Bible ; but now, under the influence of Mr. Per- 
kins, with this new condition of the body which made 
him so restless, his old feelings revived, and he reproached 
nimself bitterly for his backsliding. The fires of Hell 
burned fiercely before his mind's eye. If he had died dur- 


ing that time when he was little better than an infidel he 
would have been lost ; he believed implicitly in pain ever- 
lasting, he believed in it much more than in eternal hap- 
piness; and he shuddered at the dangers he had run. 

Since the day on which Mr. Perkins had spoken kindly 
to him, when he was smarting under the particular form 
of abuse which he could least bear, Philip had conceived 
for hi3 headmaster a dog-like adoration. He racked his 
brains vainly for some way to please him. He treasured 
the smallest word of commendation which by chance fell 
from his lips. And when he came to the quiet little meet- 
ings in his house he was prepared to surrender himself 
entirely. He kept his eyes fixed on Mr. Perkins' shining 
eyes, and sat with mouth half open, his head a little thrown 
forward so as to miss no word. The ordinariness of the 
surroundings made the matters they dealt with extraor- 
dinarily moving. And often the master, seized himself 
by the wonder of his subject, would push back the book 
in front of him, and with his hands clasped together over 
his heart, as though to still the beating, would talk of the 
mysteries of their religion. Sometimes Philip did not un- 
derstand, but he did not want to understand, he felt 
vaguely that it was enough to feel. It seemed to him then 
that the headmaster, with his black, straggling hair and his 
pale face, was like those prophets of Israel who feared not 
to take kings to task; and when he thought of the Re- 
deemer he saw Him only with the same dark eyes and 
those wan cheeks. 

Mr. Perkins took this part of his work with great seri' 
ousness. There was never here any of that flashing humouf 
which made the other masters suspect him of flippancy. 
Finding time for everything in his busy day, he was able 
at certain intervals to take separately for a quarter of an 
hour or twenty minutes the boys whom he was preparing 
for confirmation. He wanted to make them feel that this 
was the first consciously serious step in their lives ; he tried 
to grope into the depths of their souls ; he wanted to instil 
in them his own vehement devotion. In Philip, notwith- 
standing his shyness, he felt the possibility of a passion 
equal to his own. The boy's temperament seemed to him 


essentially religious. One day he broke off suddenly from 
the subject on which he had been talking. 

"Have you thought at all what you're going to be when 
you grow up?" he asked. 

"My uncle wants me to be ordained," said Philip. 

"And you?" 

Philip looked away. He was ashamed to answer that he 
felt himself unworthy. 

"I don't know any life that's so full of happiness as 
ours. I wish I could make you feel what a wonderful 
privilege it is. One can serve God in every walk, but we 
stand nearer to Him. I don't want to influence you, but if 
you made up your mind oh, at once you couldn't help 
feeling that joy and relief which never desert one again." 

Philip did not answer, but the headmaster read in his 
eyes that he realised already something of what he tried 
to indicate. 

"If you go on as you are now you'll find yourself head 
of the school one of these days, and you ought to be pretty 
safe for a scholarship when you leave. Have you got any- 
thing of your own?" 

"My uncle says I shall have a hundred a year when I'm 

"You'll be rich. I had nothing." 

The headmaster hesitated a moment, and then, idly 
drawing lines with a pencil on the blotting paper in front 
of him, went on. 

"I'm afraid your choice of professions will be rather 
limited. You naturally couldn't go in for anything that 
required physical activity." 

Philip reddened to the roots of his hair, as he always 
did when any reference was made to his club-foot. Mr. 
Perkins looked at him gravely. 

"I wonder if you're not oversensitive about your mis- 
fortune. Has it ever struck you to thank God for it?" 

Philip looked up quickly. His lips tightened. He remem- 
bered how for months, trusting in what they told him, he 
had implored God to heal him as He had healed the Leper 
and made the Blind to see. 

"As long as you accept it rebelliously it can only cause 


you shame. But if you looked upon it as a cross that was 
given you to bear only because your shoulders were strong 
enough to bear it, a sign of God's favour, then it would 
be a source of happiness to you instead of misery." 

He saw that the boy hated to discuss the matter and he 
let him go. 

But Philip thought over all that the headmaster had 
said, and presently, his mind taken up entirely with the 
ceremony that was before him, a mystical rapture seized 
him. His spirit seemed to free itself from the bonds of the 
flesh and he seemed to be living a new life. He aspired 
to perfection with all the passion that was in him. He 
wanted to surrender himself entirely to the service of God, 
and he made up his mind definitely that he would be or- 
dained. When the great day arrived, his soul deeply moved 
by all the preparation, by the books he had studied and 
above all by the overwhelming influence of the head, he 
could hardly contain himself for fear and joy. One thought 
had tormented him. He knew that he would have to walk 
alone through the chancel, and he dreaded showing his 
limp thus obviously, not only to the whole school, who 
were attending the service, but also to the strangers, peo- 
ple from the city or parents who had come to see their 
sons confirmed. But when the time came he felt sud- 
denly that he could accept the humiliation joyfully ; and as 
he limped up the chancel, very small and insignificant be- 
neath the lofty vaulting of the Cathedral, he offered con- 
sciously his deformity as a sacrifice to the God who loved 


Bur Philip could not live long in the rarefied air of the 
hilltops. What had happened to him when first he was 
seized by the religious emotion happened to him now. Be- 
cause he felt so keenly the beauty of faith, because the 
desire for self-sacrifice burned in his heart with such a 
gem-like glow, his strength seemed inadequate to his am- 
bition. He was tired out by the violence of his passion. 
His soul was filled on a sudden with a singular aridity. He 
began to forget the presence of God which had seemed 
so surrounding; and his religious exercises, still very 
punctually performed, grew merely formal. At first he 
blamed himself for this falling away, and the fear of hell- 
fire urged him to renewed vehemence ; but the passion was 
dead, and gradually other interests distracted his thoughts. 

Philip had few friends. His habit of reading isolated 
him: it became such a need that after being in company 
for some time he grew tired and restless ; he was vain of 
the wider knowledge he had acquired from the perusal of 
so many books, his mind was alert, and he had not the skill 
to hide his contempt for his companions' stupidity. They 
complained that he was conceited; and, since he excelled 
only in matters which to them were unimportant, they 
asked satirically what he had to be conceited about. He 
was developing a sense of humour, and found that he had 
a knack of saying bitter things, which caught people on 
the raw; he said them because they amused him, hardly 
realising how much they hurt, and was much offended 
when he found that his victims regarded him with active 
dislike. The humiliations he suffered when first he went to 
school had caused in him a shrinking from his fellows 
which he could never entirely overcome ; he remained shy 
and silent. But though he did everything to alienate the 
sympathy of other boys he longed with all his heart for 
the popularity which to some was so easily accorded. These 

. 82 


from his distance he admired extravagantly; and though 
he was inclined to be more sarcastic with them than with 
others, though he made little jokes at their expense, he 
would have given anything to change places with them. 
Indeed he would gladly have changed places with the dull- 
est boy in the school who was whole of limb. He took to 
a singular habit. He would imagine that he was some boy 
whom he had a particular fancy for ; he would throw his 
soul, as it were, into the other's body, talk with his voice 
and laugh with his heart ; he would imagine himself doing 
all the things the other did. It was so vivid that he seemed 
for a moment really to be no longer himself. In this way 
he enjoyed many intervals of fantastic happiness. 

At the beginning of the Christmas term which followed 
on his confirmation Philip found himself moved into an- 
other study. One of the boys who shared it was called 
Rose. He was in the same form as Philip, and Philip had 
always looked upon him with envious admiration. He was 
not good-looking; though his large hands and big bones 
suggested that he would be a tall man, he was clumsily 
made; but his eyes were charming, and when he laughed 
(he was constantly laughing) his face wrinkled all round 
them in a jolly way. He was neither clever nor stupid, but 
good enough at his work and better at games. He was a 
favourite with masters and boys, and he in his turn liked 

When Philip was put in the study he could not help 
seeing that the others, who had been together for three 
terms, welcomed him coldly. It made him nervous to feel 
himself an intruder ; but he had learned to hide his feel- 
ings, and they found him quiet and unobtrusive. With 
Rose, because he was as little able as anyone else to resist 
his charm, Philip was even more than usually shy and 
abrupt ; and whether on account of this, unconsciously 
bent upon exerting the fascination he knew was his only 
by the results, or whether from sheer kindness of heart, 
it was Rose who first took Philip into the circle. One day, 
quite suddenly, he asked Philip if he would walk to the 
football field with him. Philip flushed. 

"I can't walk fast enough for you," he said. 


"Rot. Come on." 

And just before they were setting out some boy put hia 
head in the study-door and asked Rose to go with him. 

"I can't," he answered. "I've already promised Carey." 

"Don't bother about me," said Philip quickly. "I shan't 

"Rot," said Rose. 

He looked at Philip with those good-natured eyes of 
his and laughed. Philip felt a curious tremor in his heart. 

In a little while, their friendship growing with boyish 
rapidity, the pair were inseparable. Other fellows won- 
dered at the sudden intimacy, and Rose was asked what 
he saw in Philip. 

"Oh, I don't know," he answered. "He's not half a bad 
chap really." 

Soon they grew accustomed to the two walking into 
chapel arm in arm or strolling round the precincts in con- 
versation ; wherever one was the other could be found also, 
and, as though acknowledging his proprietorship^boys who 
wanted Rose would leavt messages with Carey. Philip at 
first was reserved. He would not let himself yield entirely 
to the proud joy that filled him ; but presently his distrust 
of the fates gave way before a wild happiness. He thought 
Rose the most wonderful fellow he had ever seen. His 
books now were insignificant; he could not bother about 
them when there was something infinitely more important 
to occupy him. Rose's friends used to come in to tea in the 
study sometimes or sit about when there was nothing bet- 
ter to do Rose liked a crowd and the chance of a rag 
and they found that Philip was quite a decent fellow. 
Philip was happy. 

When the last day of term came he and Rose arranged 
by which train they should come back, so that they might 
meet at the station and have tea in the town before return- 
ing to school. Philip went home with a heavy heart. He 
thought of Rose all through the holidays, and his fancy 
was active with the things they would do together next 
term. He was bored at the vicarage, and when on the last 
day his uncle put him the usual question in the usual faceti- 
ous tone : 


"Well, are you glad to be going back to school?" 

Philip answered joyfully: 


In order to be sure of meeting Rose at the station he 
took an earlier train than he usually did, and he waited 
about the platform for an hour. When the train came in 
from Faversham, where he knew Rose had to change, he 
ran along it excitedly. But Rose was not there. He got a 
porter to tell him when another train was due, and he 
waited ; but again he was disappointed ; and he was cold 
and hungry, so he walked, through side-streets and slums, 
by a short cut to the school. He found Rose in the study, 
with his feet on the chimney-piece, talking eighteen to the 
dozen with half a dozen boys who were sitting on what- 
ever there was to sit on. He shook hands with Philip en- 
thusiastically, but Philip's face fell, for he realised that 
Rose had forgotten all about their appointment. 

"I say, why are you so late ?" said Rose. "I thought you 
were never coming." 

"You were at the station at half-past four," said an- 
other boy. "I saw you when I came." 

Philip blushed a little. He did not want Rose to know 
that he had been such a fool as to wait for him. 

"I had to see about a friend of my people's," he in- 
vented readily. "I was asked to see her off." 

But his disappointment made him a little sulky. He sat 
in silence, and when spoken to answered in monosyllables. 
He was making up his mind to have it out with Rose when 
they were alone. But when the others had gone Rose at 
once came over and sat on the arm of the chair in which 
Philip was lounging. 

"I say, I'm jolly glad we're in the same study this term. 
Ripping, isn't it?" 

He seemed so genuinely pleased to see Philip that 
Philip's annoyance vanished. They began as if they had 
not been separated for five minutes to talk eagerly of the 
thousand things that interested them. 


AT first Philip had been too grateful for Rose's friend- 
ship to make any demands on him. He took things as they 
came and enjoyed life. But presently he began to resent 
Rose's universal amiability; he wanted a more exclusive 
attachment, and he claimed as a right what before he had 
accepted as a favour. He watched jealously Rose's com- 
panionship with others ; and though he knew it was un- 
reasonable could not help sometimes saying bitter things 
to him. If Rose spent an hour playing the fool in another 
study, Philip would receive him when he returned to his 
own with a sullen frown. He would sulk for a day, and 
he suffered more because Rose either did not notice hi3 
ill-humour or deliberately ignored it. Not seldom Philip, 
knowing all the time how stupid he was, would force a 
quarrel, and they would not speak to one another for a 
coupla of days. But Philip could not bear to be angry with 
him long, and even when convinced that he was in the 
right, would apologise humbly. Then for a week they 
would be as great friends as ever. But the best was over, 
and Philip could see that Rose often walked with him 
merely from old habit or from fear of his anger ; they had 
not so much to say to one another as at first, and Rose 
was often bored. Philip felt that his lameness began to 
irritate him. 

Towards the end of the term two or three boys caught 
scarlet fever, and there was much talk of sending them all 
home in order to escape an epidemic; but the sufferers 
were isolated, and since no more were attacked it was sup- 
posed that the outbreak was stopped. One of the stricken 
was Philip. He remained in hospital through the Easter 
holidays, and at the beginning of the summer term was 
sent home to the vicarage to get a little fresh air. The 
Vicar, notwithstanding medical assurance that the boy was 
no longer infectious, received him with suspicion ; he 



thought it very inconsiderate of the doctor to suggest that 
his nephew's convalescence should be spent by the sea- 
side, and consented to have him in the house only because 
there was nowhere else he could go. 

Philip went back to school at half-term. He had forgot- 
ten the quarrels he had had with Rose, but remembered 
only that he was his greatest friend. He knew that he had 
been silly. He made up his mind to be more reasonable. 
During his illness Rose had sent him in a couple of little 
notes, and he had ended each with the words : "Hurry up 
and come back." Philip thought Rose must be looking 
forward as much to his return as he was himself to seeing 

He found that owing to the death from scarlet fever of 
one of the boys in the Sixth there had been some shifting 
in the studies and Rose was no longer in his. It was a bit- 
ter disappointment. But as soon as he arrived he burst into 
Rose's study. Rose was sitting at his desk, working with 
a boy called Hunter, and turned round crossly as Philip 
came in. 

"Who the devil's that?" he cried. And then, seeing 
Philip: "Oh, it's you." 

Philip stopped in embarrassment. 

"I thought I'd come in and see how you were." 

"We were just working." 

Hunter broke into the conversation. 

"When did you get back?" 

"Five minutes ago." 

They sat and looked at him as though he was disturbing 
them. They evidently expected him to go quickly. Philip 

"I'll be off. You might look in when you've done," he 
said to Rose. 

"All right." 

Philip closed the door behind, him and limped back to 
his own study. He felt frightfully hurt. Rose, far from 
seeming glad to see him, had looked almost put out. They 
might never have been more than acquaintances. Though 
he waited in his study, not leaving it for a moment in case 
just then Rose should come, his friend never appeared; 


and next morning when he went into prayers he saw 
Rose and Hunter swinging along arm in arm. What he 
could not see for himself others told him. He had for- 
gotten that three months is a long time in a school-boy's 
life, and though he had passed them in solitude Rose had 
lived in the world. Hunter had stepped into the vacant 
place. Philip found that Rose was quietly avoiding him. 
But he was not the boy to accept a situation without put- 
ting it into words; he waited till he was sure Rose was 
alone in his study and went in. 

"May I come in?" he asked. 

Rose looked at him with an embarrassment that made 
him angry with Philip. 

"Yes, if you want to." 

"It's very kind of you," said Philip sarcastically. 

" What d'you want?" 

"I say, why have you been so rotten since I came back ?" 

"Oh, don't be an ass," said Rose. 

"I don't know what you see in Hunter." 

"That's my business." 

Philip looked down. He could not bring himself to say 
what was in his heart He was afraid of humiliating him- 
self. Rose got up. 

"I've got to go to the Gym," he said. 

When he was at the door Philip forced himself to speak. 

"I say, Rose, don't be a perfect beast." 

"Oh, go to hell." 

Rose slammed the door behind him and left Philip 
alone. Philip shivered with rage. He went back to his 
study and turned the conversation over in his mind. He 
hated Rose now, he wanted to hurt him, he thought of 
biting things he might have said to him. He brooded over 
the end to their friendship and fancied that others were 
talking of it. In his sensitiveness he saw sneers and won- 
derings in other fellows' manner when they were not 
bothering their heads with him at all. He imagined to 
himself what they were saying. 

"After all, it wasn't likely to last long. I wonder he ever 
stuck Carey at all. Blighter !" 

To show his indifference he struck up a violent friend- 


ship with a boy called Sharp whom he hated and despised. 
He was a London boy, with a loutish air, a heavy fellow 
with the beginnings of a moustache on his lip and bushy 
eyebrows that joined one another across the bridge of his 
nose. He had soft hands and manners too suave for his 
years. He spoke with the suspicion of a cockney accent. 
He was one of those boys who are too slack to play games, 
and he exercised great ingenuity in making excuses to 
avoid such as were compulsory. He was regarded by boys 
and masters with a vague dislike, and it was from arro- 
gance that Philip now sought his society. Sharp in a cou- 
ple of terms was going to Germany for a year. He hated 
school, which he looked upon as an indignity to be endured 
till he was old enough to go out into the world. London 
was all he cared for, and he had many stories to tell of his 
doings there during the holidays. From his conversation 
he spoke in a soft, deep-toned voice there emerged the 
vague rumour of the London streets by night. Philip lis- 
tened to him at once fascinated and repelled. With his 
vivid fancy he seemed to see the surging throng round the 
pit-door of theatres, and the glitter of cheap restaurants, 
bars where men, half drunk, sat on high stools talking with 
barmaids ; and under the street lamps the mysterious pass- 
ing of dark crowds bent upon pleasure. Sharp lent him 
cheap novels from Holywell Row, which Philip read in his 
cubicle with a sort of wonderful fear. 

Once Rose tried to effect a reconciliation. He was a 
good-natured fellow, who did not like having enemies. 

"I say, Carey, why are you being such a silly ass? It 
doesn't do you any good cutting me and all that." 

"I don't know what you mean," answered Philip. 

"Well, I don't see why you shouldn't talk." 

"You bore me," said Philip. 

"Please yourself." 

Rose shrugged his shoulders and left him. Philip was 
very white, as he always became when he was moved, and 
his heart beat violently. When Rose went away he felt 
suddenly sick with misery. He did not know why he had 
answered in that fashion. He would have given anything 
to be friends with Rose. He hated to have quarrelled with 


him, and now that he saw he had given him pain he was 
very sorry. But at the moment he had not been master of 
himself. It seemed that some devil had seized him, forcing 
him to say bitter things against his will, even though at 
the time he wanted to shake hands with Rose and meet 
him more than half-way. The desire to wound had been 
too strong for him. He had wanted to revenge himself for 
the pain and the humiliation he had endured. It was pride : 
it was folly too, for he knew that Rose would not care 
at all, while he would suffer bitterly. The thought came 
to him that he would go to Rose, and say : 

"I say, I'm sorry I was such a beast. I couldn't help it. 
Let's make it up." 

But he knew he would never be able to do it. He was 
afraid that Rose would sneer at him. He was angry with 
himself, and when Sharp came in a little while afterward* 
he seized upon the first opportunity to quarrel with him. 
Philip had a fiendish instinct for discovering other people's 
raw spots, and was able to say things that rankled because 
they were true. But Sharp had the last word. 

"I heard Rose talking about you to Mellor just now," 
he said. "Mellor said: why didn't you kick him? It would 
teach him manners. And Rose said : I didn't like to. 
Damned cripple." 

Philip suddenly became scarlet. He could not answer, 
for there was a lump in his throat that almost choked him. 


PHILIP was moved into the Sixth, but he hated school 
now with all his heart, and, having lost his ambition, cared 
nothing whether lie did ill or well. He awoke in the morn- 
ing with a sinking heart because he must go through an- 
other day of drudgery. He was tired of having to do things 
because he was told; and the restrictions irked him, not 
because they were unreasonable, but because they were 
restrictions. He yearned for freedom. He was weary of 
repeating things that he knew already and of the ham- 
mering away, for the sake of a thick-witted fellow, at 
something that he understood from the beginning. 

With Mr. Perkins you could work or not as you chose. 
He was at once eager and abstracted. The Sixth Form 
room was in a part of the old abbey which had been re- 
stored, and it had a Gothic window : Philip tried to cheat 
his boredom by drawing this over and over again; and 
sometimes out of his head he drew the great tower of 
the Cathedral or the gateway that led into the precincts. 
He had a knack for drawing. Aunt Louisa during her 
youth had painted in water colours, and she had several 
albums filled with sketches of churches, old bridges, and 
picturesque cottages. They were often shown at the vicar- 
age tea-parties. She had once given Philip a paint-box as 
a Christmas present, and he had started by copying her 
pictures. He copied them better than anyone could have 
expected, and presently he did little pictures of his own. 
Mrs. Carey encouraged him. It was a good way to keep 
him out of mischief, and later on his sketches would be 
useful for bazaars. Two or three of them had been framed 
and hung in his bed-room. 

But one day, at the end of the morning's work, Mr. 
Perkins stopped him as he was lounging out of the form- 

"I want to speak to you, Carey." 


Philip waited. Mr. Perkins ran his lean fingers through 
his beard and looked at Philip. He seemed to be thinking 
over what he wanted to say. 

''What's the matter with you, Carey?" he said abruptly. 

Philip, flushing, looked at him quickly. But knowing him 
well by now, without answering, he waited for him to go 

"I've been dissatisfied with you lately. You've been slack 
and inattentive. You seem to take no interest in your work. 
It's been slovenly and bad." 

"I'm very sorry, sir," said Philip. 

"Is that all you have to say for yourself ?" 

Philip looked down sulkily. How could he answer that 
he was bored to death ? 

"You know, this term you'll go down instead of up. I 
shan't give you a very good report." 

Philip wondered what he would say if he knew how the 
report was treated. It arrived at breakfast, Mr. Carey 
glanced at it indifferently, and passed it over to Philip. 

"There's your report. You'd better see what it says," he 
remarked, as he ran his fingers through the wrapper of 
a catalogue of second-hand books. 

Philip read it. 

"Is it good?" asked Aunt Louisa. 

"Not so good as I deserve," answered Philip, with a 
smile, giving it to her. 

"I'll read it afterwards when I've got my spectacles," 
she said. 

But after breakfast Mary Ann came in to say the 
butcher was there, and she generally forgot. 

Mr. Perkins went on. 

"I'm disappointed with you. And I can't understand. 
I know you can do things if you want to, but you don't 
seem to want to any more. I was going to make you a 
monitor next term, but I think I'd better wait a bit." 

Philip flushed. He did not like the thought of being 
passed over. He tightened his lips. 

"And there's something else. You must begin thinking 
of your scholarship now. You won't get anything unless 
you start working very seriously." 


Philip was irritated by the lecture. He was angry with 
the headmaster, and angry with himself. 

"I don't think I'm going up to Oxford," he said. 

"Why not? I thought your idea was to be ordained." 

"I've changed my mind." 


Philip did not answer. Mr. Perkins, holding himself 
oddly as he always did, like a figure in one of Perugino's 
pictures, drew his fingers thoughtfully through his beard. 
He looked at Philip as though he were trying to under- 
stand and then abruptly told him he might go. 

Apparently he was not satisfied, for one evening, a week 
later, when Philip had to go into his study with some 
papers, he resumed the conversation; but this time he 
adopted a different method: he spoke to Philip not as a 
schoolmaster with a boy but as one human being with 
another. He did not seem to care now that Philip's work 
was poor, that he ran small chance against keen rivals of 
carrying off the scholarship necessary for him to go to 
Oxford: the important matter was his changed intention 
about his life afterwards. Mr. Perkins set himself to 
revive his eagerness to be ordained. With infinite skill he 
worked on his feelings, and this was easier since he was 
himself genuinely moved. Philip's change of mind caused 
him bitter distress, and he really thought he was throwing 
away his chance of happiness in life for he knew not what. 
His voice was very persuasive. And Philip, easily moved 
by the emotion of others, very emotional himself notwith- 
standing a placid exterior his face, partly by nature but 
also from the habit of all these years at school, seldom 
except by his quick flushing showed what he felt Philip 
was deeply touched by what the master said. He was very 
grateful to him for the interest he showed, and he was 
conscience-stricken by the grief which he felt his behaviour 
caused him. It was subtly flattering to know that with the 
whole school to think about Mr. Perkins should trouble 
with him, but at the same time something else in him, like 
another person standing at his elbow, clung desperately 
to two words. 

"I won't. I won't. I won't." 


Ke felt himself slipping. He was powerless against the 
weakness that seemed to well up in him ; it was like the 
water that rises up in an empty bottle held over a full 
basin ; and he set his teeth, saying the words over and over 
to himself. 

"I won't. I won't. I won't." 

At last Mr. Perkins put his hand on Philip's shoulder. 

"I don't want to influence you," he said. "You must de- 
cide for yourself. Pray to Almighty God for help and 

When Philip came out of the headmaster's house there 
was a light rain falling. He went under the archway that 
led to the precincts, there was not a soul there, and the 
rooks were silent in the elms. He walked round slowly. 
He felt hot, and the rain did him good. He thought over 
all that Mr. Perkins had said, calmly now that he was 
withdrawn from the fervour of his personality, and he was 
thankful he had not given way. 

In the darkness he could but vaguely see the great mass 
of the Cathedral : he hated it now because of the irksome- 
-less of the long services which he was forced to attend. 
The anthem was interminable, and you had to stand 
drearily while it was being sung; you could not hear the 
droning sermon, and your body twitched because you had 
to sit still when you wanted to move about. Then Philip 
thought of the two services every Sunday at Blackstable. 
The church was bare and cold, and there was a smell all 
about one of pomade and starched clothes. The curate 
preached once and his uncle preached once. As he grew 
up he had learned to know his uncle; Philip was down- 
right and intolerant, and he could not understand that a 
man might sincerely say things as a clergyman which he 
never acted up to as a man. The deception outraged him. 
His uncle was a weak and selfish man, whose chief desire 
it was to be saved trouble. 

Mr. Perkins had spoken to him of the beauty of a life 
dedicated to the service of God. Philip knew what sort of 
lives the clergy led in the corner of East Anglia which 
was his home. There was the Vicar of Whitestone, a par- 
ish a little way from Blackstable : he was a bachelor and 


to give himself something to do had lately taken up farm- 
ing: the local paper constantly reported the cases he had 
in the county court against this one and that, labourers 
he would not pay their wages to or tradesmen whom he 
accused of cheating him ; scandal said he starved his cows, 
and there was much talk about some general action which 
should be taken against him. Then there was the Vicar of 
Feme, a bearded, fine figure of a man : his wife had been 
forced to leave him because of his cruelty, and she had 
filled the neighbourhood with stories of his immorality. 
The Vicar of Surle, a tiny hamlet by the sea, was to be 
seen every evening in the public house a stone's throw 
from his vicarage ; and the churchwardens had been to Mr. 
Carey to ask his advice. There was not a soul for any of 
them to talk to except small farmers or fishermen; there 
were long winter evenings when the wind blew, whistling 
drearily through the leafless trees, and all around they saw 
nothing but the bare monotony of ploughed fields; and 
there was poverty, and there was lack of any work that 
seemed to matter; every kink in their characters had 
free play; there was nothing to restrain them; they grew 
narrow and eccentric: Philip knew all this, but in his 
young intolerance he did not offer it as an excuse. He 
shivered at the thought of leading such a life; he wanted 
to get out into the world. 


MR. PERKINS soon saw that his words had had no effect 
on Philip, and for the rest of the term ignored him. He 
wrote a report which was vitriolic. When it arrived and 
Aunt Lousia asked Philip what it was like, he answered 
cheerfully : 


"Is it?" said the Vicar. "I must look at it again." 

"Do you think there's any use in my staying on at 
Tercanbury? I should have thought it would be better 
if I went to Germany for a bit." 

"What has put that in your head ?" said Aunt Louisa. 

"Don't you think it's rather a good idea?" 

Sharp had already left King's School and had written 
to Philip from Hanover. He was really starting life, and 
it made Philip more restless to think of it. He felt he 
could not bear another year of restraint. 

"But then you wouldn't get a scholarship." 

"I haven't a chance of getting one anyhow. And besides, 
I don't know that I particularly want to go to Oxford." 

"But if you're going to be ordained, Philip?" Aunt 
Louisa exclaimed in dismay. 

"I've given up that idea long ago." 

Mrs. Carey looked at him with startled eyes, and then, 
used to self-restraint, she poured out another cup of tea 
for his uncle. They did not speak. In a moment Philip 
saw tears slowly falling down her cheeks. His heart was 
suddenly wrung because he caused her pain. In her tight 
black dress, made by the dressmaker down the street, with 
her wrinkled face and pale tired eyes, her gray hair still 
done in the frivolous ringlets of her youth, she was a 
ridiculous but strangely pathetic figure. Philip saw it for 
the first time. 

Afterwards, when the Vicar was shut up in his study 
with the curate, he put his arms round her waist 



"I say, I'm sorry you're upset, Aunt Louisa," he said. 
"But it's no good my being ordained if I haven't a real 
vocation, is it?" 

"I'm so disappointed, Philip," she moaned. "I'd set my 
heart on it. I thought you could be your uncle's curate, and 
then when our time came after all, we can't last for ever, 
can we? you might have taken his place." 

Philip shivered. He was seized with panic. His heart 
beat like a pigeon in a trap beating with its wings. His 
aunt wept softly, her head upon his shoulder. 

"I wish you'd persuade Uncle William to let me leave 
Tercanbury. I'm so sick of it." 

But the Vicar of Blackstable did not easily alter any 
arrangements he had made, and it had always been in- 
tended that Philip should stay at King's School till he 
was eighteen, and should then go to Oxford. At all events 
he would not hear of Philip leaving then, for no notice 
had been given and the term's fee would have to be paid 
in any case. 

"Then will you give notice for me to leave at Christ- 
mas?" said Philip, at the end of a long and often bitter 

"I'll write to Mr. Perkins about it and see what he 

"Oh, I wish to goodness I were twenty-one. It is awful 
to be at somebody else's beck and call." 

"Philip, you shouldn't speak to your uncle like that," 
said Mrs. Carey gently. 

"But don't you see that Perkins will want me to stay? 
He gets so much a head for every chap in the school." 

"Why don't you want to go to Oxford ?" 

"What's the good if I'm not going into the Church?" 

"You can't go into the Church ; you're in the Church al- 
ready," said the Vicar. 

"Ordained then," replied Philip impatiently. 

"What are you going to be, Philip ?" asked Mrs. Carey. 

"I don't know. I've not made up my mind. But what- 
ever I am, it'll be useful to know foreign languages. 1 
shall get far more out of a year in Germany than by stay- 
ing on at that hole." 


He would not say that he felt Oxford would be little 
better than a continuation of his life at school. He wished 
immensely to be his own master. Besides he would be 
known to a certain extent among old schoolfellows, and 
he wanted to get away from them all. He felt that his life 
at school had been a failure. He wanted to start fresh. 

It happened that his desire to go to Germany fell in with 
certain ideas which had been of late discussed at Black- 
stable. Sometimes friends came to stay with the doctor and 
brought news of the world outside ; and the visitors spend- 
ing August by the sea had their own way of looking at 
things. -The Vicar had heard that there were people who 
did not think the old-fashioned education so useful nowa- 
days as it had been in the past, and modern languages were 
gaining an importance which they had not had in his own 
youth. His own mind was divided, for a younger brother 
of his had been sent to Germany when he failed in some 
examination, thus creating a precedent, but since he had 
there died of typhoid it was impossible to look upon the 
experiment as other than dangerous. The result of in- 
numerable conversations was that Philip should go back 
to Tercanbury for another term, and then should leave. 
With this agreement Philip was not dissatisfied. But when 
he had been back a few days the headmaster spoke to him. 

"I've had a letter from your uncle. It appears you want 
to go to Germany, and he asks me what I think about it." 

Philip was astounded. He was furious with his guardian 
for going back on his word. 

"I thought it was settled, sir," he said. 

"Far from it. I've written to say I think it the greatest 
mistake to take you away." 

Philip immediately sat down and wrote a violent letter 
to his uncle. He did not measure his language. He was so 
angry that he could not get to sleep till quite late that 
night, and he awoke in the early morning and began 
brooding over the way they had treated him. He waited 
impatiently for an answer. In two or three days it came. 
It was a mild, pained letter from Aunt Louisa, saying that 
he should not write such things to his uncle, who was very 
much distressed. He was unkind and unchristian. He must 


know they were only trying to do their best for him, and 
they were so much older than he that they must be better 
judges of what was good for him. Philip clenched his 
hands. He had heard that statement so often, and he could 
not see why it was true ; they did not know the conditions 
as he did, why should they accept it as self-evident that 
their greater age gave them greater wisdom? The letter 
ended with the information that Mr. Carey had withdrawn 
the notice he had given. 

Philip nursed his wrath till the next half-holiday. They 
had them on Tuesdays and Thursdays, since on Saturday 
afternoons they had to go to a service in the Cathedral. 
He stopped behind when the rest of the Sixth went out. 

"May I go to Blackstable this afternoon, please, sir?" 
he asked. 

"No," said the headmaster briefly. 

"I wanted to see my uncle about something very im- 

"Didn't you hear me say no?" 

Philip did not answer. He went out. He felt almost 
sick with humiliation, the humiliation of having to ask 
and the humiliation of the curt refusal. He hated the head- 
master now. Philip writhed under that despotism which 
never vouchsafed a reason for the most tyrannous act. Ho 
was too angry to care what he did, and after dinner 
walked down to the station, by the back ways he knew so 
well, just in time to catch the train to Blackstable. H; 
walked into the vicarage and found his uncle and aunt 
sitting in the dining-room. 

"Hulloa, where have you sprung from ?" said the Vicar , 

It was very clear that he was not pleased to see him. 
He looked a little uneasy. 

"I thought I'd come and see you about my leaving. I 
want to know what you mean by promising me one thing 
when I was here, and doing something different a week 

He was a little frightened at his own boldness, but he 
had made up his mind exactly what words to use, and, 
though his heart beat violently, he forced himself to say 


"Have you got leave to come here this afternoon?" 

"No. I asked Perkins and he refused. If you like to 
write and tell him I've been here you can get me into a 
really fine old row." 

Mrs. Carey sat knitting with trembling hands. She was 
unused to scenes and they agitated her extremely. 

"It would serve you right if I told him," said Mr. Carey. 

"If you like to be a perfect sneak you can. After writing 
to Perkins as you did you're quite capable of it." 

It was foolish of Philip to say that, because it gave the 
Vicar exactly the opportunity he wanted. 

"I'm not going to sit still while you say impertinent 
things to me," he said with dignity. 

He got up and walked quickly out of the room into his 
study. Philip heard him shut the door and lock it. 

"Oh, I wish to God I were twenty-one. It is awful to 
be tied down like this." 

Aunt Louisa began to cry quietly. 

"Oh, Philip, you oughtn't to have spoken to your uncle 
like that. Do please go and tell him you're sorry." 

"I'm not in the least sorry. He's taking a mean advan- 
tage. Of course it's just waste of money keeping me on at 
school, but what does he care? It's not his money. It was 
cruel to put me under the guardianship of people who 
know nothing about things." 


Philip in his voluble anger stopped suddenly at the 
sound of her voice. It was heart-broken. He had not 
realised what bitter things he was saying. 

"Philip, how can you be so unkind ? You know we are 
only trying to do our best for you, and we know that we 
have no experience; it isn't as if we'd had any children 
of our own: that's why we consulted Mr. Perkins." Her 
voice broke. "I've tried to be like a mother to you. I've 
loved you as if you were my own son." 

She was so small and frail, there was something so 
pathetic in her old-maidish air, that Philip was touched. 
A great lump came suddenly in his throat and his eyes 
rilled with tears. 

"I'm so sorry," he said. "I didn't mean to be beastly." 


He knelt down beside her and took her in his arms, and 
kissed her wet, withered cheeks. She sobbed bitterly, and 
he seemed to feel on a sudden the pity of that wasted 
life. She had never surrendered herself before to such a 
display of emotion. 

"I know I've not been what I wanted to be to you, 
Philip, but I didn't know how. It's been just as dreadful 
for me to have no children as for you to have no mother." 

Philip forgot his anger and his own concerns, but 
thought only of consoling her, with broken words and 
clumsy little caresses. Then the clock struck, and he had to 
bolt off at once to catch the only train that would get him 
back to Tercanbury in time for call-over. As he sat in the 
corner of the railway carriage he saw that he had done 
nothing. He was angry with himself for his weakness. It 
was despicable to have allowed himself to be turned from 
his purpose by the pompous airs of the Vicar and the tears 
of his aunt. But as the result of he knew not what conver- 
sations between the couple another letter was written to 
the headmaster. Mr. Perkins read it with an impatient 
shrug of the shoulders. He showed it to Philip. It ran : 

Dear Mr. Perkins, 

Forgive me for troubling you again about my ward, but 
both his Aunt and I have been uneasy abeut him. He 
seems very anxious to leave school, and his Aunt thinks 
he is unhappy. It is very difficult for us to know what to 
do as we are not his parents. He does not seem to think 
he is doing very well and he feels it is wasting his money 
to stay on. I should be very much obliged if you would 
have a talk to him, and if he is still of the same mind per- 
haps it would be better if he left at Christmas as I origi- 
nally intended. 

Yours very truly, 

William Carey. 

Philip gave him back the letter. He felt a thrill of pride 
in his triumph. He had got his own way, and he was satis- 
fied. His will had gained a victory over the wills of others. 

"It's not much good my spending half an hour writing 


to your uncle if he changes his mind the next letter he 
gets from you," said the headmaster irritably. 

Philip said nothing, and his face was perfectly placid ; 
but he could not prevent the twinkle in his eyes. Mr. Per- 
kins noticed it and broke into a little laugh. 

"You've rather scored, haven't you?" he said. 

Then Philip smiled outright. He could not conceal his 

"Is it true that you're very anxious to leave?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Are you unhappy here ?" 

Philip blushed. He hated instinctively any attempt to get 
into the depths of his feelings. 

"Oh, I don't know, sir." 

Mr. Perkins, slowly dragging his ringers through his 
beard, looked at him thoughtfully. He seemed to speak 
almost to himself. 

"Of course schools are made for the average. The holes 
are all round, and whatever shape the pegs are they must 
wedge in somehow. One hasn't time to bother about any- 
thing but the average." Then suddenly he addressed him- 
self to Philip : "Look here, I've got a suggestion to make 
to you. It's getting on towards the end of the term now. 
Another term won't kill you, and if you want to go to 
Germany you'd better go after Easter than after Christ- 
mas. It'll be much pleasanter in the spring than in mid- 
winter. If at the end of the next term you still want to go 
I'll make no objection. What d'you say to that?" 

"Thank you very much, sir." 

Philip was so glad to have gained the last three months 
that he did not mind the extra term. The school seemed 
less of a prison when he knew that before Easter he would 
be free from it for ever. His heart danced within him. 
That evening in chapel he looked round at the boys, stand- 
ing according to their forms, each in his due place, and he 
chuckled with satisfaction at the thought that soon he 
would never see them again. It made him regard them al- 
most with a friendly feeling. His eyes rested on Rose. 
Rose took his position as a monitor very seriously : he had 
quite an idea of being a good influence in the school; it 


was his turn to read the lesson that evening, and he read 
it very well. Philip smiled when he thought that he would 
be rid of him for ever, and it would not matter in six 
months whether Rose was tall and straight-limbed; and 
where would the importance be that he was a monitor and 
captain of the eleven ? Philip looked at the masters in their 
gowns. Gordon was dead, he had died of apoplexy two 
years before, but all the rest were there. Philip knew now 
what a poor lot they were, except Turner perhaps, there 
was something of a man in him; and he writhed at the 
thought of the subjection in which they had held him. In 
six months they would not matter either. Their praise 
would mean nothing to him, and he would shrug his shoul 
ders at their censure. 

Philip had learned not to express his emotions by out- 
ward signs, and shyness still tormented him, but he had 
often very high spirits ; and then, though he limped aboui 
demurely, silent and reserved, it seemed to be hallooing 
in his heart. He seemed to himself to walk more lightly. 
All sorts of ideas danced through his head, fancies chased 
one another so furiously that he could not catch them ; but 
their coming and their going filled him with exhilaration. 
Now, being happy, he was able to work, and during the 
remaining weeks of the term set himself to make up for 
his long neglect. His brain worked easily, and he took a 
keen pleasure in the activity of his intellect. He did very 
well in the examinations that closed the term. Mr. Perkins 
made only one remark: he was talking to him about an 
essay he had written, and, after the usual criticisms, said : 

"So you've made up your mind to stop playing the fool 
for a bit, have you ?" 

He smiled at him with his shining teeth, and Philip, 
looking down, gave an embarrassed smile. 

The half dozen boys who expected to divide between 
them the various prizes which were given at the end of 
the summer term had ceased to look upon Philip as a seri- 
ous rival, but now they began to regard him with some 
uneasiness. He told no one that he was leaving at Easter 
and so was in no sense a competitor, but left them to their 
anxieties. He knew that Rose flattered himself on his 


French, for he had spent two or three holidays in France s 
and he expected to get the Dean's Prize for English es'- 
say ; Philip got a good deal of satisfaction in watching his 
dismay when he saw how much better Philip was doing in 
these subjects than himself. Another fellow, Norton, could 
not go to Oxford unless he got one of the scholarships 
at the disposal of the school. He asked Philip if he was 
going in for them. 

"Have you any objection?" asked Philip. 

It entertained him to think that he held someone else's 
future in his hand. There was something romantic in get- 
ting these various rewards actually in his grasp, and then 
leaving them to others because he disdained them. At last 
the breaking-up day came, and he went to Mr. Perkins to 
bid him good-bye. 

"You don't mean to say you really want to leave ?" 

Philip's face fell at the headmaster's evident surprise. 

"You said you wouldn't put any objection in the way, 
sir," he answered. 

"I thought it was only a whim that I'd better humour. 
I know you're obstinate and headstrong. What on earth 
d'you want to leave for now? You've only got another 
term in any case. You can get the Magdalen scholarship 
easily ; you'll get half the prizes we've got to give." 

Philip looked at him sullenly. He felt that he had been 
tricked ; but he had the promise, and Perkins would have 
to stand by it. 

"You'll have a very pleasant time at Oxford. You 
needn't decide at once what you're going to do afterwards. 
I wonder if you realise how delightful the life is up there 
for anyone who has brains." 

"I've made all my arrangements now to go to Germany, 
sir," said Philip. 

"Are they arrangements that couldn't possibly be 
altered?" asked Mr. Perkins, with his quizzical smile. "I 
shall be very sorry to lose you. In schools tho rather stu- 
pid boys who work always do better than the clever boy 
who's idle, but when the clever boy works why then, he 
does what you've done this term." 

Philip flushed darkly. He was unused to compliments, 


and no one had ever told him he was clever. The head- 
master put his hand on Philip's shoulder. 

"You know, driving things into the heads of thick- 
witted boys is dull work, but when now and then you 
have the chance of teaching a boy who comes half-way 
towards you, who understands almost before you've got 
the words out of your mouth, why, then teaching is the 
most exhilarating thing in the world." 

Philip was melted by kindness; it had never occurred 
to him that it mattered really to Mr. Perkins whether he 
went or stayed. He was touched and immensely flattered. 
It would be pleasant to end up his school-days with glory 
and then go to Oxford : in a flash there appeared before 
him the life which he had heard described from boys who 
came back to play in the O. K. S. match or in letters from 
the University read out in one of the studies. But he was 
ashamed ; he would look such a fool in his own eyes if he 
gave in now ; his uncle would chuckle at the success of the 
headmaster's ruse. It was rather a come-down from the 
dramatic surrender of all these prizes which were in his 
reach, because he disdained to take them, to the plain, 
ordinary winning of them. It only required a little more 
persuasion, just enough to save his self-respect, and Philip 
would have done anything that Mr. Perkins wished; but 
his face showed nothing of his conflicting emotions. It was 
placid and sullen. 

"I think I'd rather go, sir," he said. 

Mr. Perkins, like many men who manage things by their 
personal influence, grew a little impatient when his power 
was not immediately manifest. He had a great deal of 
work to do, and could not waste more time on a boy who 
seemed to him insanely obstinate. 

"Very well, I promised to let you if you really wanted 
it, and I keep my promise. When do you go to Germany?" 

Philip's heart beat violently. The battle was won, and he 
did not know whether he had not rather lost it. 

"At the beginning of May, sir," he answered. 

"Well, you must come and see us when you get back." 

He held out his hand. If he had given him one more 
chance Philip would have changed his mind, but he seemed 


to look upon the matter as settled. Philip walked out of the 
house. His school-days were over, and he was free; but 
the wild exultation to which he had looked forward at that 
moment was not there. He walked round the precincts 
slowly, and a profound depression seized him. He wished 
now that he had not been foolish. He did not want to go, 
but he knew he could never bring himself to go to the 
headmaster and tell him he would stay. That was a humili- 
ation he could never put upon himself. He wondered 
whether he had done right. He was dissatisfied with him- 
self and with all his circumstances. He asked himself dully 
whether whenever you got your way you wished after- 
v.-ards that you hadn't. 


PHILIP'S uncle had an old friend, called Miss Wilkin- 
son, who lived in Berlin. She was the daughter of a clergy- 
man, and it was with her father, the rector of a village in 
Lincolnshire, that Mr. Carey had spent his last curacy ; on 
his death, forced to earn her living, she had taken various 
situations as a governess in France and Germany. She had 
kept up a correspondence with Mrs. Carey, and two or 
three times had spent her holidays at Blackstable Vicar- 
age, paying as was usual with the Careys' unfrequent 
guests a small sum for her keep. When it became clear that 
it was less trouble to yield to Philip's wishes than to resist 
them, Mrs. Carey wrote to ask her for advice. Miss Wil- 
kinson recommended Heidelberg as an excellent place to 
learn German in and the house of Frau Professor Erlin 
as a comfortable home. Philip might live there for thirty 
marks a week, and the Professor himself, a teacher at the 
local high school, would instruct him. 

Philip arrived in Heidelberg one morning in May. His 
things were put on a barrow and he followed the porter 
out of the station. The sky was bright blue, and the trees 
in the avenue through which they passed were thick with 
leaves ; there was something in the air fresh to Philip, and 
mingled with the timidity he felt at entering on a new life, 
among strangers, was a great exhilaration. He was a little 
disconsolate that no one had come to meet him, and felt 
very shy when the porter left him at the front door of a 
big white house. An untidy lad let him in and took him 
into a drawing-room. It was filled with a large suite cov- 
ered in green velvet, and in the middle was a round table. 
On this in water stood a bouquet of flowers tightly packed 
together in a paper frill like the bone of a mutton chop, and 
carefully spaced round it were books in leather bindings. 
There was a musty smell. 

Presently, with an odour of cooking, the Frau Professor 



came in, a short, very stout woman with tightly dreised 
hair and a red face; she had little eyes, sparkling like 
beads, and an effusive manner. She took both Philip's 
hands and asked him about Miss Wilkinson, who had twice 
spent a few weeks with her. She spoke in German and in 
broken English. Philip could not make her understand that 
he did not know Miss Wilkinson. Then her two daughters 
appeared. They seemed hardly young to Philip, but per- 
haps they were not more than twenty-five: the elder, 
Thekla, was as short as her mother, with the same, rather 
shifty air, but with a pretty face and abundant dark hair ; 
Anna, her younger sister, was tall and plain, but since 
she had a pleasant smile Philip immediately preferred her. 
After a few minutes of polite conversation the Frau Pro- 
fessor took Philip to his room and left him. It was in a 
turret, looking over the tops of the trees in the Anlage ; 
and the bed was in an alcove, so that when you sat at the 
desk it had not the look of a bed-room at all. Philip un- 
packed his things and set out all his books. He was his own 
master at last. 

A bell summoned him to dinner at one o'clock, and he 
found the Frau Professor's guests assembled in the 
drawing-room. He was introduced to her husband, a tall 
man of middle age with a large fair head, turning now 
to gray, and mild blue eyes. He spoke to Philip in correct, 
rather archaic English, having learned it from a study of 
the English classics, not from conversation ; and it was odd 
to hear him use words colloquially which Philip had only 
met in the plays of Shakespeare. Frau Professor Erlin 
called her establishment a family and not a pension ; but 
it would have required the subtlety of a metaphysician to 
find out exactly where the difference lay. When they sat 
down to dinner in a long dark apartment that led out of 
the drawing-room, Philip, feeling very shy, saw that there 
were sixteen people. The Frau Professor sat at one end 
and carved. The service was conducted, with a great clat- 
tering of plates, by the same clumsy lout who had opened 
the door for him; and though he was quick, it happened 
that the first persons to be served had finished before the 
last had received their appointed portions. The Frau Pro- 


fessor insisted that nothing but German should be spoken, 
so that Philip, even if his bashfulness had permitted him 
to be talkative, was forced to hold his tongue. He looked 
at the people among whom he was to live. By the Frau 
Professor sat several old ladies, but Philip did not give 
them much of his attention. There were two young girls, 
both fair and one of them very pretty, whom Philip heard 
addressed as Fraulein Hedwig and Fraulein Cacilie. Frau- 
lein Cacilie had a long pig-tail hanging down her back. 
They sat side by side and chattered to one another, with 
smothered laughter: now and then they glanced at Philip 
and one of them said something in an undertone; they 
both giggled, and Philip blushed awkwardly, feeling that 
they were making fun of him. Near them sat a Chinaman, 
with a yellow face and an expansive smile, who was study- 
ing Western conditions at the University. He spoke so 
quickly, with a queer accent, that the girls could not always 
understand him, and then they burst out laughing. He 
laughed too, good-humouredly, and his almond eyes almost 
closed as he did so. There were two or three American 
men, in black coats, rather yellow and dry of skin: they 
were theological students ; Philip heard the twang of their 
New England accent through their bad German, and he 
glanced at them with suspicion; for he had been taught 
to look upon Americans as wild and desperate barbarians. 

Afterwards, when they had sat for a little on the stiff 
green velvet chairs of the drawing-room, Fraulein Anna 
asked Philip if he would like to go for a walk with them. 

Philip accepted the invitation. They were quite a party. 
There were the two daughters of the Frau Professor, the 
two other girls, one of the American students, and Philip. 
Philip walked by the side of Anna and Fraulein Hedwig. 
He was a little fluttered. He had never known any girls. 
At Blackstable there were only the farmers' daughters 
and the girls of the local tradesmen. He knew them by 
name and by sight, but he was timid, and he thought they 
laughed at his deformity. He accepted willingly the differ^ 
ence which the Vicar and Mrs. Carey put between their 
own exalted rank and that of the farmers. The doctor had 
two daughters, but they were both much older than Philip 


and had been married to successive assistants while Philip 
was still a small boy. At school there had been two or three 
girls of more boldness than modesty whom some of the 
boys knew ; and desperate stories, due in all probability to 
the masculine imagination, were told of intrigues with 
them ; but Philip had always concealed under a lofty con- 
tempt the terror with which they filled him. His imagina- 
tion and the books he had read had inspired in him a desire 
for the Byronic attitude ; and he was torn between a mor- 
bid self -consciousness and a conviction that he owed it 
to himself to be gallant. He felt now that he should be 
bright and amusing, but his brain seemed empty and he 
could not for the life of him think of anything to say. 
Fraulein Anna, the Frau Professor's daughter, addressed 
herself to him frequently from a sense of duty, but the 
other said little : she looked at him now and then with 
sparkling eyes, and sometimes to his confusion laughed 
outright. Philip felt that she thought him perfectly ridicu- 
lous. They walked along the side of a hill among pine- 
trees, and their pleasant odour caused Philip a keen de 
light. The day was warm and cloudless. At last they came 
to an eminence from which they saw the valley of the 
Rhine spread out before them under the sun. It was a 
vast stretch of country, sparkling with golden light, with 
cities in the distance ; and through it meandered the silver 
ribband of the river. Wide spaces are rare in the corner of 
Kent which Philip knew, the sea offers the only broad 
horizon, and the immense distance he saw now gave him 
a peculiar, an indescribable thrill. He felt suddenly elated. 
Though he did not know it, it was the first time that he 
had experienced, quite undiluted with foreign emotions, 
the sense of beauty. They sat on a bench, the three of 
them, for the others had gone on, and while the girls talked 
in rapid German, Philip, indifferent to their proximity, 
feasted his eyes. 
"By Jove, I am happy," he said to himself unconsciously. 


PHILIP thought occasionally of the King's School at 
Tercanbury, and laughed to himself as he remembered 
what at some particular moment of the day they were do- 
ing. Now and then he dreamed that he was there still, and 
it gave him an extraordinary satisfaction, on awaking, to 
realise that he was in his little room in the turret. From his 
bed he could see the great cumulus clouds that hung in the 
blue sky. He revelled in his freedom. He could go to bed 
when he chose and get up wb.en tue fancy took him. There 
was no one to order him about. It struck him that he need 
not tell any more lies. 

It had been arranged that Professor Erlin should teach 
him Latin and German ; a Frenchman came every day to 
give him lessons in French; and the Frau Professor had 
recommended for mathematics an Englishman who was 
taking a philological degree at the University. This was 
a man named Wharton. Philip went to him every morning. 
He lived in one room on the top floor of a shabby house. 
It was dirty and untidy, and it was filled with a pungent 
odour made up of many different stinks. He was gener- 
ally in bed when Philip arrived at ten o'clock, and he 
jumped out, put on a filthy dressing-gown and felt slip- 
pers, and, while he gave instruction, ate his simple break- 
fast. He was a short man, stout from excessive beer drink- 
ing, with a heavy moustache and long, unkempt hair. He 
had been in Germany for five years and was become very 
Teutonic. He spoke with scorn of Cambridge where he 
had taken his degree and with horror of the life which 
awaited him when, having taken his doctorate in Heidel- 
berg, he must return to England and a pedagogic career.. 
He adored the life of the German University with itu 
happy freedom and its jolly companionships. He was y 
member of a Burschenschaft, and promised to take Philip 
to a Kneipe. He was very poor and made no secret tha< th 



lessons he was giving Philip meant the difference between 
meat for his dinner and bread and cheese. Sometimes after 
a heavy night he had such a headache that he could not 
drink his coffee, and he gave his lesson with heaviness of 
spirit. For these occasions he kept a few bottles of beer 
under the bed, and one of these and a pipe would help him 
to bear the burden of life. 

"A hair of the dog that bit him," he would say as he 
poured out the beer, carefully so that the foam should not 
make him wait too long to drink. 

Then he would talk to Philip of the University, the 
quarrels between rival corps, the duels, and the merits of 
this and that professor. Philip learnt more of life from 
him than of mathematics. Sometimes Wharton would sit 
back with a laugh and say: . 

"Look here, we've not done anything today. You needn't 
pay me for the lesson." 

"Oh, it doesn't matter," said Philip. 

This was something new and very interesting, and he 
felt that it was of greater import than trigonometry, which 
he never could understand. It was like a window on life 
that he had a chance of peeping through, and he looked 
with a wildly beating heart. 

"No, you can keep your dirty money," said Wharton. 

"But how about your dinner ?" said Philip, with a smile, 
for he knew exactly how his master's finances stood. 

Wharton had even asked him to pay him the two shil- 
lings which the lesson cost once a week rather than once a 
month, since it made things less complicated. 

"Oh, never mind my dinner. It won't be the first time 
I've dined off a bottle of beer, and my mind's never clearer 
than when I do." 

He dived under the bed (the sheets were gray with want 
of washing), and fished out another bottle. Philip, who 
was young and did not know the good things of life, re- 
fused to share it with him, so he drank alone. 

"How long are you going to stay here?" asked Whar- 

Both he and Philip had given up with relief tht pre- 
tence of mathematics. 


"Oh, I don't know. I suppose about a year. Then my 
people want me to go to Oxford." 

Wharton gave a contemptuous shrug of the shoulders. 
It was a new experience for Philip to learn that there were 
persons who did not look upon that seat of learning with 

"What d'you want to go there for? You'll only be a 
glorified school-boy. Why don't you matriculate here? A 
year's no good. Spend five years here. You know, there 
are two good things in life, freedom of thought and free- 
dom of action. In France you get freedom of action : you 
can do what you like and nobody bothers, but you must 
think like everybody else. In Germany you must do what 
everybody else does, but you may think as you choose. 
They're both very good things. I personally prefer free- 
dom of thought. But in England you get neither: you're 
ground down by convention. You can't think as you like 
and you can't act as you like. That's because it's a demo- 
cratic nation. I expect America's worse." 

He leaned back cautiously, for the chair on which he 
sat had a ricketty leg, and it was disconcerting when a 
rhetorical flourish was interrupted by a sudden fall to the 

"I ought to go back to England this year, but if I can 
scrape together enough to keep body and soul on speaking 
terms I shall stay another twelve months. But then I shall 
have to go. And I must leave all this" he waved his 
arm round the dirty garret, with its unmade bed, the 
clothes lying on the floor, a row of empty beer bottles 
against the wall, piles of unbound, ragged books in every 
corner "for some provincial university where I shall try 
and get a chair of philology. And I shall play tennis and 
go to tea-parties." He interrupted himself and gave Philip, 
very neatly dressed, with a* clean collar on and his hair 
well-brushed, a quizzical look. "And, my God ! I shall have 
to wash." 

Philip reddened, feeling his own spruceness an intol- 
erable reproach ; for of late he had begun to pay some at- 
tention to his toilet, and he had come out from England 
with a pretty selection of ties. 


The summer came upon the country like a conqueror. 
Each day was beautiful. The sky had an arrogant blue 
which goaded the nerves like a spur. The green of the 
trees in the Anlage was violent and crude ; and the houses, 
when the sun caught them, had a dazzling white which 
stimulated till it hurt. Sometimes on his way back from 
Wharto^ Philip would sit in the shade on one of the 
benches in the Anlage, enjoying the coolness and watching 
the patterns of light which the sun, shining through the 
leaves, made on the ground. His soul danced with delight 
as gaily as the sunbeams. He revelled in those moments of 
idleness stolen from his work. Sometimes he sauntered 
through the streets of the old town. He looked with awe 
at the students of the corps, their cheeks gashed and red,, 
who swaggered about in their coloured caps. In the after- 
noons he wandered about the hills with the girls in the 
Frau Professor's house, and sometimes they went up the 
river and had tea in a leafy beer-garden. In the evenings 
they walked round and round the Stadtgarten, listening 
to the band. 

Philip soon learned the various interests of the house- 
hold. Fraulein Thekla, the professor's elder daughter, was 
engaged to a man in England who had spent twelve months 
in the house to learn German, and their marriage was to 
take place at the end of the year. But the young man 
wrote that his father, an india-rubber merchant who lived 
in Slough, did not approve of the union, and Fraulein 
Thekla was often in tears. Sometimes she and her mother 
might be seen, with stern eyes and determined mouths, 
looking over the letters of the reluctant lover. Thekla 
painted in water colour, and occasionally she and Philip, 
with another of the girls to keep them company, would go 
out and paint little pictures. The pretty Fraulein Hedwig 
had amorous troubles too. She was the daughter of a mer- 
chant in Berlin and a dashing hussar had fallen in love 
with her, a von if you please; but his parents opposed a 
marriage with a person of her condition, and she had been 
sent to Heidelberg to forget him. She could never, never 
do this, and corresponded with him continually, and he 
was making every effort to induce an exasperating father 


tit :*mnge his mind. She told all this to Philip with pi etty 
sighs and becoming blushes, and showed him the photo- 
graph of the gay lieutenant. Philip liked her best of all 
the girls at the Frau Professor's, and on their walks always 
tried to get by her side. He blushed a great deal when the 
others chaffed him for his obvious preference. He made 
the first declaration in his life to Fraulein Hedwig, but un- 
fortunately it was an accident, and it happened in this 
manner. In the evenings when they did not go out, the 
young women sang little songs in the green velvet drawing- 
room, while Fraulein Anna, who always made herself 
useful, industriously accompanied. Fraulein Hedwig's 
favourite song was called Ich Hebe dich, I love you; and 
one evening after she had sung this, when Philip was 
standing with her on the balcony, looking at the stars, it 
occurred to him to make some remark about it. He began : 

"Ich Hebe dick." 

His German was halting, and he looked about for the 
word he wanted. The pause was infinitesimal, but before 
he could go on Fraulein Hedwig said : 

"Ach, Herr Carey, Sie mussen mir nicht du sagen you 
mustn't talk to me in the second person singular." 

Philip felt himself grow hot all over, for he would never 
have dared to do anything so familiar, and he could think 
of nothing on earth to say. It would be ungallant to ex- 
plain that he was not making an observation, but merely 
mentioning the title of a song. 

"Entschuldigen Sie" he said. "I beg your pardon." 

"It does not matter," she whispered. 

She smiled pleasantly, quietly took his hand and pressed 
it, then turned back into the drawing-room. 

Next day he was so embarrassed that he could not speak 
to her, and in his shyness did all that was possible to avoid 
her. When he was asked to go for the usual walk he re- 
fused because, he said, he had work to do. But Fraulein 
Hedwig seized an opportunity to speak to him alone. 

"Why are you behaving in this way?" she said kindly. 
"You know, I'm not angry with you for what you said 
last night. You can't help it if you love me. I'm flattered. 
But although I'm not exactly engaged to Hermann I can 


never love anyone else, and I look upon myself as his 

Philip blushed again, but he put on quite the expression 
of a rejected lover. 

"I hope you'll be very happy," he said. 


PROFESSOR ERLIN gave Philip a lesson every day. He 
made out a list of books which Philip was to read till he 
was ready for the final achievement of Faust, and mean- 
while, ingeniously enough, started him on a German trans- 
lation of one of the plays by Shakespeare which Philip 
had studied at school. It was the period in Germany of 
Goethe's highest fame. Notwithstanding his rather con- 
descending attitude towards patriotism he had been 
adopted as the national poet, and seemed since the war of 
seventy to be one of the most significant glories of national 
unity. The enthusiastic seemed in the wildness of the Wal- 
purgisnacht to hear the rattle of artillery at Gravelotte. 
But one mark of a writer's greatness is that different minds 
can find in him different inspirations; and Professor 
Erlin, who hated the Prussians, gave his enthusiastic ad- 
miration to Goethe because his works, Olympian and 
sedate, offered the only refuge for a sane mind against the 
onslaughts of the present generation. There was a drama- 
tist whose name of late had been much heard at Heidel- 
berg, and the winter before one of his plays had been 
given at the theatre amid the cheers of adherents and the 
hisses of decent people. Philip heard discussions about it 
at the Frau Professor's long table, and at these Professor 
Erlin lost his wonted calm : he beat the table with his fist, 
and drowned all opposition with the roar of his fine deep 
voice. It was nonsense and obscene nonsense. He forced 
himself to sit the play out, but he did not know whether 
he was more bored or nauseated. If that was what the 
theatre was coming to, then it was high time the police 
stepped in and closed the playhouses. He was no prude 
and could laugh as well as anyone at the witty immorality 
of a farce at the Palais Royal, but here was nothing but 
filth. With an emphatic gesture he held his nose and 



whistled through his teeth. It was the ruin of the family, 
the uprooting of morals, the destruction of Germany. 

"Aber, Adolf," said the Frau Professor from the other 
end of the table. "Calm yourself." 

He shook his fist at her. He was the mildest of creatures 
and ventured upon no action of his life without consulting 

"No, Helene, I tell you this," he shouted. "I would 
sooner my daughters were lying dead at my feet than see 
them listening to the garbage of that shameless fellow." 

The play was The Doll's House and the author was 
Henrik Ibsen. 

Professor Erlin classed him with Richard Wagner, but 
of him he spoke not with anger but with good-humoured 
laughter. He was a charlatan but a successful charlatan, 
and in that was always something for the comic spirit to 
rejoice in. 

"Verruckter Kerl! A madman!" he said. 

He had seen Lohengrin and that passed muster. It was 
dull but no worse. But Siegfried! When he mentioned it 
Professor Erlin leaned his head on his hand and bellowed 
with laughter. Not a melody in it from beginning to end ! 
He could imagine Richard Wagner sitting in his box and 
laughing till his sides ached at the sight of all the people 
who were taking it seriously. It was the greatest hoax of 
the nineteenth century. He lifted his glass of beer to his 
lips, threw back his head, and drank till the glass was 
empty. Then wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, 
he said : 

"I tell you young people that before the nineteenth cen- 
tury is out Wagner will be as dead as mutton. Wagner ! I 
would give all his works for one opera by Donizetti." 


THE oddest of Philip's masters was his teacher of 
French. Monsieur Ducroz was a citizen of Geneva. He was 
a tall old man, with a sallow skin and hollow cheeks; his 
gray hair was thin and long. He wore shabby black clothes, 
with holes at the elbows of his coat and frayed trousers. 
His linen was very dirty. Philip had never seen him Li a 
clean collar. He was a man of few words, who gave his 
lesson conscientiously but without enthusiasm, arriving 
as the clock struck and leaving on the minute. His charges 
were very small. He was taciturn, and what Philip learnt 
about him he learnt from others : it appeared that he had 
fought with Garibaldi against the Pope, but had left Italy 
in disgust when it was clear that all his efforts for free- 
dom, by which he meant the establishment of a republic, 
tended to no more than an exchange of yokes ; he had been 
expelled from Geneva for it was not known what political 
offences. Philip looked upon him with puzzled surprise; 
for he was very unlike his idea of the revolutionary: he 
spoke in a low voice and was extraordinarily polite; he 
never sat down till he was asked to; and when on rare 
occasions he met Philip in the street took off his hat with 
an elaborate gesture; he never laughed, he never even 
smiled. A more complete imagination than Philip's might 
have pictured a youth of splendid hope, for he must have 
been entering upon manhood in 1848 when kings, remem- 
bering their brother of France, went about with an uneasy 
crick in their necks ; and perhaps that passion for liberty 
which passed through Europe, sweeping before it what of 
absolutism and tyranny had reared its head during the 
reaction from the revolution of 1789, filled no breast with 
a hotter fire. One might fancy him, passionate with theo- 
ries of human equality and human rights, discussing, 
arguing, fighting behind barricades in Paris, flying before 
the Austrian cavalry in Milan, imprisoned here, 


from there, hoping on and upborne ever with the word 
which seemed so magical, the word Liberty; till at last, 
broken with disease and starvation, old, without means to 
keep body and soul together but by such lessons as he could 
pick up from poor students, he found himself in that little 
neat town under the heel of a personal tyranny greater 
than any in Europe. Perhaps his taciturnity hid a contempt 
for the human race which had abandoned the great dreams 
of his youth and now wallowed in sluggish ease ; or per- 
haps these thirty years of revolution had taught him that 
men are unfit for liberty, and he thought that he had spent 
his life in the pursuit of that which was not worth the 
finding. Or maybe he was tired out and waited only with 
indifference for the release of death. 

One day Philip, with the bluntness of his age, asked him 
if it was true he had been with Garibaldi. The old man 
did not seem to attach any importance to the question. He 
answered quite quietly in as low a voice as usual. 

"Oui, monsieur." 

"They say you were in the Commune?" 

"Do they? Shall we get on with our work?" 

He held the book open and Philip, intimidated, began 
to translate the passage he had prepared. 

One day Monsieur Ducroz seemed to be in great pain. 
He had been scarcely able to drag himself up the many 
stairs to Philip's room; and when he arrived sat down 
heavily, his sallow face drawn, with beads of sweat on his 
forehead, trying to recover himself. 

"I'm afraid you're ill," said Philip. 

"It's of no consequence." 

But Philip saw that he was suffering, and at the end of 
the hour asked whether he would not prefer to give no 
more lessons till he was better. 

"No," said the old man, in his even low voice. "I prefer 
to go on while I am able." 

Philip, morbidly nervous when he had to make any 
reference to money, reddened. 

"But it won't make any difference to you," he said. "I'll 
pay for the lessons just the same. If you wouldn't mind 
I'd like to give you the money for next week in advance." 


Monsieur Ducroz charged eighteen pence an hour. 
Philip took a ten-mark piece out of his pocket and shyly 
put it on the table. He could not bring himself to offer it 
as if the old man were a beggar. 

"In that case I think I won't come again till I'm better." 
He took the coin and, without anything more than the 
elaborate bow with which he always took his leave, went 

"Bon'jour, monsieur." 

Philip was vaguely disappointed. Thinking he had done 
a generous thing, he had expected that Monsieur Ducroz 
would overwhelm him with expressions of gratitude. He 
was taken aback to find that the old teacher accepted the 
present as though it were his due. He was so young, he 
did not realise how much less is the sense of obligation m 
those who receive favours than m tnose wno grant them. 
Monsieur Ducroz appeared again nve 6f Six" clays later, He 
tottered a little more and was very weak, but seemed to 
have overcome the severity of the attack. He was no more 
communicative than he had been before. He remained 
mysterious, aloof, and dirty. He made no reference to his 
illness till after the lesson ; and then, just as he was leav- 
ing, at the door, which he held open, he paused. He hesi- 
tated, as though to speak were difficult. 

"If it hadn't been for the money you gave me I should 
have starved. It was all I had to live on.',' 

He made his solemn, obsequious bow, and went out. 
Philip felt a little lump in his throat. He seemed to realise 
in a fashion the hopeless bitterness of the old man's strug- 
gle, and how hard life was for him when to himself it was 
so pleasant. 


PHILIP had spent three months in Heidelberg when one 
morning the Frau Professor told him that an Englishman 
named Hayward was coming to stay in the house, and the 
same evening at supper he saw a new face. For some days 
the family had lived in a state of excitement. First, as the 
result of heaven knows what scheming, by dint of humble 
prayers and veiled threats, the parents of the young Eng- 
lishman to whom Fraulein Thekla was engaged had in- 
vited her to visit them in England, and she had set off with 
an album of water colours to show how accomplished she 
was and a bundle of letters to prove how deeply the young 
man had compromised himself. A week later Fraulein 
Hedwig with radiant smiles announced that the lieutenant 
of her affections was coming to Heidelberg with his father 
and mother. Exhausted by the importunity of their son 
and touched by the dowry which Fraulein Hedwig's father 
offered, the lieutenant's parents had consented to pass 
through Heidelberg to make the young woman's acquaint- 
ance. The interview was satisfactory and Fraulein Hedwig 
had the satisfaction of showing her lover in the Stadt- 
garten to the whole of Frau Professor Erlin's household. 
The silent old ladies who sat at the top of the table near 
the Frau Professor were in a flutter, and when Fraulein 
Hedwig said she was to go home at once for the formal 
engagement to take place, the Frau Professor, regardless 
of expense, said she would give a Maibowle. Professor 
Erlin prided himself on his skill in preparing this mild in- 
toxicant, and after supper the large bowl of hock and 
3oda, with scented herbs floating in it and wild strawber- 
ries, was placed with solemnity on the round table in the 
drawing-room. Fraulein Anna teased Philip about the de- 
parture of his lady-love, and he felt very uncomfortable 
and rather melancholy. Fraulein Hedwig sang several 
songs, Fraulein Anna played the Wedding March, and the 


Professor sang Die Wacht am Rhein. Amid all this jollifi- 
cation Philip paid little attention to the new arrival. They 
had sat opposite one another at supper, but Philip was 
chattering busily with Fraulein Hedwig, and the stranger, 
knowing no German, had eaten his food in silence. Philip, 
observing that he wore a pale blue tie, had on that account 
taken a sudden dislike to him. He was a man of twenty- 
six, very fair, with long, wavy hair through which he 
passed his hand frequently with a careless gesture. His 
eyes were large and blue, but the blue was very pale, and 
they looked rather tired already. He was clean-shaven, 
and his mouth, notwithstanding its thin lips, was well- 
shaped. Fraulein Anna took an interest in physiognomy, 
and she made Philip notice afterwards how finely shaped 
was his skull, and how weak was the lower part of his 
face. The head, she remarked, was the head of a thinker, 
but the jaw lacked character. Fraulein Anna, foredoomed 
to a spinster's life, with her high cheek-bones and large 
misshapen nose, laid great stress upon character. While 
they talked of him he stood a little apart from the others, 
watching the noisy party with a good-humoured but faintly 
supercilious expression. He was tall and slim. He held 
himself with a deliberate grace. Weeks, one of the Amer- 
ican students, seeing him alone, went up and began to talk 
to him. The pair were oddly contrasted : the American 
very neat in his black coat and pepper-and-salt trousers, 
thin and dried-up, with something of ecclesiastical unction 
already in his manner; and the Englishman in his loose 
tweed suit, large-limbed and slow of gesture. 

Philip did not speak to the new-comer till next day. 
They found themselves alone on the balcony of the 
drawing-room before dinner. Hayward addressed him. 

"You're English, aren't you?" 


"Is the food always as bad as it was last night?" 

"It's always about the same." 

"Beastly, isn't it?" 


Philip had found nothing wrong with the food at all, 
and in fact had eaten it in large quantities with appetite 


and enjoyment, but he did not want to show himself a per- 
son of so little discrimination as to think a dinner good 
which another thought execrable. 

Fraulein Thekla's visit to England made it necessary for 
her sister to do more in the house, and she could not often 
spare the time for long walks ; and Fraulein Cacilie, with 
her long plait of fair hair and her little snub-nosed face, 
had of late shown a certain disinclination for society. 
Fraulein Hedwig was gone, and Weeks, the American who 
generally accompanied them on their rambles, had set out 
for a tour of South Germany. Philip was left a good deal 
to himself. Hayward sought his acquaintance; but Philip 
had an unfortunate trait: from shyness or from some 
atavistic inheritance of the cave-dweller, he always dis- 
liked people on first acquaintance; and it was not till he 
became used to them that he got over his first impression. 
It made him difficult of access. He received Hayward's 
advances very shyly, and when Hayward asked him one 
day to go for a walk he accepted only because he could 
not think of a civil excuse. He made his usual apology, 
angry with himself for the flushing cheeks he could not 
control, and trying to carry it off with a laugh. 

"I'm afraid I can't walk very fast." 

"Good heavens, I don't walk for a wager. I prefer to 
stroll. Don't you remember the chapter in Marius where 
Pater talks of the gentle exercise of walking as the best 
incentive to conversation ?" 

Philip was a good listener ; though he often thought of 
clever things to say, it was seldom till after the opportunity 
to sav them had passed ; but Hayward was communicative ; 
anyone more experienced than Philip might have thought 
he liked to hear himself talk. His supercilious attitude im- 
pressed Philip. He could not help admiring, and yet being 
awed by, a man who faintly despised so many things 
which Philip had looked upon as almost sacred. He cast 
down the fetish of exercise, damning with the contemptu- 
ous word pot-hunters all those who devoted themselves 
to its various forms ; and Philip did not realise that he was 
merely putting up in its stead the other fetish of culture. 

They wandered up to the castle, and sat on the terrace 


that overlooked the town. It nestled in the valley along the 
pleasant Neckar with a comfortable friendliness. The 
smoke from the chimneys hung over it, a pale blue haze ; 
and the tall roofs, the spires of the churches, gave it a 
pleasantly mediaeval air. There was a homeliness in it 
which warmed the heart. Hay ward talked of Richard 
Feverel and Madame Bovary, of Verlaine, Dante, and 
Matthew Arnold. In those days Fitzgerald's translation of 
Omar Khyam was known only to the elect, and Hayward 
repeated it to Philip. He was very fond of reciting poetry, 
his own and that of others, which he did in a monotonous 
sing-song. By the time they reached home Philip's distrust 
of Hayward was changed to enthusiastic admiration. 

They made a practice of walking together every after- 
noon, and Philip learned presently something of Hay- 
ward's circumstances. He was the son of a country judge, 
on whose death some time before he had inherited three 
hundred a year. His record at Charterhouse was so bril- 
liant that when he went to Cambridge the Master of Trin- 
ity Hall went out of his way to express his satisfaction 
that he was going to that college. He prepared himself for 
a distinguished career. He moved in the most intellectual 
circles; he read Browning with enthusiasm and turned 
up his well-shaped nose at Tennyson; he knew all the 
details of Shelley's treatment of Harriet; he dabbled in 
the history of art (on the walls of his rooms were repro- 
ductions of pictures by G. F. Watts, Burne-Jones, and 
Botticelli) ; and he wrote not without distinction verses 
of a pessimistic character. His friends told one another 
that he was a man of excellent gifts, and he listened to 
them willingly when they prophesied his future eminence. 
In course of time he became an authority on art and liter- 
ature. He came under the influence of Newman's Apolo- 
gia; the picturesqueness of the Roman Catholic faith 
appealed to his aesthetic sensibility; and it was only the 
fear of his father's wrath (a plain, blunt man of narrow 
ideas, who read Macaulay) which prevented him from 
'going over.' When he only got a pass degree his friends 
were astonished ; but he shrugged his shoulders and deli- 
cately insinuated that he was not the dupe of examiners. 


He made one feel that a first class was ever so slightly vul- 
gar. He described one of the vivas with tolerant humour; 
some fellow in an outrageous collar was asking him ques- 
tions in logic; it was infinitely tedious, and suddenly he 
noticed that he wore elastic-sided boots: it was grotesque 
and ridiculous; so he withdrew his mind and thought of 
the Gothic beauty of the Chapel at King's. But he had 
spent some delightful days at Cambridge; he had given 
better dinners than anyone he knew ; and the conversation 
in his rooms had been often memorable. He quoted to 
Philip the exquisite epigram : 

"They told me, Herakleitus, thev told me you were 

And now, when he related again the picturesque little 
anecdote about the examiner and his boots, he laughed. 

"Of course it was folly," he said, "but it was a folly in 
which there was something fine." 

Philip, with a little thrill, thought it magnificent. 

Then Hayward went to London to read for the bar. He 
had charming rooms in Clement's Inn, with panelled walls, 
and he tried to make them look like his old rooms 
at the Hall. He had ambitions that were vaguely po- 
litical, he described himself as a Whig, and he was put 
up for a club which was of Liberal but gentlemanly 
flavour. His idea was to practise at the Bar (he chose 
the Chancery side as less brutal), and get a seat 
for some pleasant constituency as soon as the various 
promises made him were carried out ; meanwhile he went 
a great deal to the opera, and made acquaintance with a 
small number of charming people who admired the things 
that he admired. He joined a dining-club of which the 
motto was, The Whole, The Good, and The Beautiful. 
He formed a platonic friendship with a lady some years 
older than himself, who lived in Kensington Square ; and 
nearly every afternoon he drank tea with her by the light 
of shaded candles, and talked of George Meredith and 
Walter Pater. It was notorious that any fool could pass 
the examinations of the Bar Council, and he pursued his 
studies in a dilatory fashion. When he was ploughed for 
his final he looked upon it as a personal affront. At the 


same time the lady in Kensington Square rold him that 
her husband was coming home from India on leave, and 
was a man, though worthy in every way, of a common- 
place mind, who would not understand a young man's fre- 
quent visits. Hayward felt that life was full of ugliness, 
his soul revolted from the thought of affronting again the 
cynicism of examiners, and he saw something rather splen- 
did in kicking away the ball which lay at his feet. He 
was also a good deal in debt: it was difficult to live in 
London like a gentleman on three hundred a year; and 
his heart yearned for the Venice and Florence which John 
Ruskin had so magically described. He felt that he was 
unsuited to the vulgar bustle of the Bar, for he had dis- 
covered that it was not sufficient to put your name on a 
door to get briefs; and modern politics seemed to lack 
nobility. He felt himself a poet. He disposed of his room* 
in Clement's Inn and went to Italy. He had spent a winter 
in Florence and a winter in Rome, and now was passing 
his second summer abroad in Germany so that he might 
read Goethe in the original. 

Hayward had one gift which was very precious. He had 
a real feeling for literature, and he could impart his own 
passion with an admirable fluency. He could throw himself 
into sympathy with a writer and see all that was best in 
him, and then he could talk about him with understanding. 
Philip had read a great deal, but he had read without 
discrimination everything that he happened to come across, 
and it was very good for him now to meet someone who 
could guide his taste. He borrowed books from the small 
lending library which the town possessed and began read- 
ing all the wonderful things that Hayward spoke of. He 
did not read always with enjoyment but invariably with 
perseverance. He was eager for self -improvement. He felt 
himself very ignorant and very humble. By the end of 
August, when Weeks returned from South Germany, 
Philip was completely under Hayward's influence. Hay- 
ward did not like Weeks. He deplored the American's 
black coat and pepper-and-salt trousers, and spoke with 
a scornful shrug of his New England conscience. Philip 
listened complacently to the abuse of a man who had gone 


out of his way to be kind to him, but when Weeks in his 
turn made disagreeable remarks about Hayward he lost his 

"Your new friend looks like a poet," said Weeks, with a 
thin smile on his careworn, bitter mouth. 

"He is a poet." 

"Did he tell you so? In America we should call him a 
pretty fair specimen of a waster." 

"Well, we're not in America," said Philip frigidly. 

"How old is he ? Twenty-five ? And he does nothing but 
stay in pensions and write poetry." 

"You don't know him," said Philip hotly. 

"Oh yes, I do: I've met a hundred and forty-seven of 

Weeks' eyes twinkled, but Philip, who did not under- 
stand American humour, pursed his lips and looked severe. 
Weeks to Philip seemed a man of middle-age, but he was 
in point of fact little more than thirty. He had a long, 
thin body and the scholar's stoop ; his head was large and 
ugly ; he had pale scanty hair and an earthy skin ; his thin 
mouth and thin, long nose, and the great protuberance of 
his frontal bones, gave him an uncouth look. He was cold 
and precise in his manner, a bloodless man, without pas- 
sion; but he had a curious vein of frivolity which dis- 
concerted the serious-minded among whom his instincts 
naturally threw him. He was studying theology in Heidel- 
berg, but the other theological students of his own nation- 
ality looked upon him with suspicion. He was very un- 
orthodox, which frightened them ; and his freakish humour 
excited their disapproval. 

"How can you have known a hundred and forty-seven 
of him?" asked Philip seriously. 

"I've met him in the Latin Quarter in Paris, and I've 
met him in pensions in Berlin and Munich. He lives in 
small hotels in Perugia and Assisi. He stands by the dozen 
before the Botticellis in Florence, and he sits on all the 
benches of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. In Italy he drinks 
a little too much wine, and in Germany he drinks a great 
deal too much beer. He always admires the right thing 
whatever the right thing is, and one of these days he's go- 


ing to write a great work. Think of it, there are a hundred 
and forty-seven great works reposing in the bosoms of a 
hundred and forty-seven great men, and the tragic thing 
is that not one of those hundred and forty-seven great 
works will ever be written. And yet the world goes on." 

Weeks spoke seriously, but his gray eyes twinkled a lit- 
tle at the end of his long speech, and Philip flushed when 
he saw that the American was making fun of him. 

"You do talk rot," he said crossly. 


WEEKS had two little rooms at the back of Frau Erlin's 
house, and one of them, arranged as a parlour, was com- 
fortable enough for him to invite people to sit in. After 
supper, urged perhaps by the impish humour which was 
the despair of his friends in Cambridge, Mass., he often 
asked Philip and Hayward to come in for a chat. He re- 
ceived them with elaborate courtesy and insisted on their 
sitting in the only two comfortable chairs in the room. 
Though he did not drink himself, with a politeness of 
which Philip recognized the irony, he put a couple of bot- 
tles of beer at Hayward's elbow, and he insisted on light- 
ing matches whenever in the heat of argument Hayward's 
pipe went out. At the beginning of their acquaintance 
Hayward, as a member of so celebrated a university, had 
adopted a patronising attitude towards Weeks, who was 
a graduate of Harvard; and when by chance the conver- 
sation turned upon the Greek tragedians, a subject upon 
which Hayward felt he spoke with authority, he had as- 
sumed the air that it was his part to give information 
rather than to exchange ideas. Weeks had listened politely, 
with smiling modesty, till Hayward finished ; then he asked 
one or two insidious questions, so innocent in appearance 
that Hayward, not seeing into what a quandary they led 
him, answered blandly; Weeks made a courteous objec- 
tion, then a correction of fact, after that a quotation from 
some little known Latin commentator, then a reference 
to a German authority ; and the fact was disclosed that he 
was a scholar. With smiling ease, apologetically, Weeks 
tore to pieces all that Hayward had said ; with elaborate 
civility he displayed the superficiality of his attainments. 
He mocked him with gentle irony. Philip could not help 
seeing that Hayward looked a perfect fool, and Hayward 
had not the sense to hold his tongue ; in his irritation, his 
self-assurance undaunted, he attempted to argue : he made 



wild statements and Weeks amicably corrected them; he 
reasoned falsely and Weeks proved that he was absurd : 
Weeks confessed that he had taught Greek Literature at 
Harvard. Hayward gave a laugh of scorn. 

"I might have known it. Of course you read Greek like 
a schoolmaster," he said. "I read it like a poet." 

"And do you find it more poetic when you don't quite 
know what it means? I thought it was only in revealed 
religion that a mistranslation improved the sense." 

At last, having finished the beer, Hayward left Weeks* 
room hot and dishevelled ; with an angry gesture he said to 

"Of course the man's a pedant. He has no real feeling 
for beauty. Accuracy is the virtue of clerks. It's the spirit 
of the Greeks that we aim at. Weeks is like that fellow 
who went to hear Rubenstein and complained that he 
played false notes. False notes! What did they matter 
when he played divinely ?" 

Philip, not knowing how many incompetent people have 
found solace in these false notes, was much impressed. 

Hayward could never resist the opportunity which 
Weeks offered him of regaining ground lost on a previous 
occasion, and Weeks was able with the greatest ease to 
draw him into a discussion. Though he could not help see- 
ing how small his attainments were beside the Amer- 
ican's, his British pertinacity, his wounded vanity (perhaps- 
they are the same thing), would not allow him to give up 
the struggle. Hayward seemed to take a delight in display- 
ing his ignorance, self-satisfaction, and wrongheadedness. 
Whenever Hayward said something which was illogical. 
Weeks in a few words would show the falseness of his 
reasoning, pause for a moment to enjoy his triumph, and 
then hurry on to another subject as though Christian 
charity impelled him to spare the vanquished foe. Philip 
tried sometimes to put in something to help his friend, and 
Weeks gently crushed him, but so kindly, differently from 
the way in which he answered Hayward, that even Philip, 
outrageously sensitive, could not feel hurt. Now and then, 
losing his calm as he felt himself more and more foolish, 
Hayward became abusive, and only the American's smiling 


politeness prevented the argument from degenerating into 
a quarrel. On these occasions when Hayward left Weeks' 
room he muttered angrily : 

"Damned Yankee !" 

That settled it. It was a perfect answer to an argument 
which had seemed unanswerable. 

Though they began by discussing all manner of subjects 
in Weeks' little room eventually the conversation always 
turned to religion: the theological student took a profes- 
sional interest in it, and Hayward welcomed a subject in 
which hard facts need not disconcert him ; when feeling is 
the gauge you can snap your fingers at logic, and when 
your logic is weak that is very agreeable. Hayward found 
it difficult to explain his beliefs to Philip without a great 
flow of words; but it was clear (and this fell in with 
Philip's idea of the natural order of things), that he had 
been brought up in the church by law established. Though 
he had now given up all idea of becoming a Roman Catho- 
lic, he still looked upon that communion with sympathy. 
He had much to say in its praise, and he compared favour- 
ably its gorgeous ceremonies with the simple services of 
the Church of England. He gave Philip Newman's Apolo- 
gia to read, and Philip, finding it very dull, nevertheless 
read it to the end. 

"Read it for its style, not for its matter," said Hayward. 

He talked enthusiastically of the music at the Oratory, 
and said charming things about the connection between 
incense and the devotional spirit. Weeks listened to him 
with his frigid smile. 

"You think it proves the truth of Roman Catholicism 
that John Henry Newman wrote good English and that 
Cardinal Manning has a picturesque appearance?" 

Hayward hinted that he had gone through much trouble 
with his soul. For a year he had swum in a sea of darkness. 
He passed his fingers through his fair, waving hair and 
told them that he would not for five hundred pounds en- 
dure again those agonies of mind. Fortunately he had 
reached calm waU rs at last. 

"But what do you believe ?" asked Philip, who was never 
satisfied with vague statements. 


"I believe in the Whole, the Good, and the Beautiful." 

Hayward with his loose large limbs and the fine carriage 
of his head looked very handsome when he said this, and 
he said it with an air. 

"Is that how you would describe your religion in a cen- 
sus paper?" asked Weeks, in mild tones. 

"I hate the rigid definition : it's so ugly, so obvious. If 
you like I will say that I believe in the church of the Duke 
of Wellington and Mr. Gladstone." 

"That's the Church of England," said Philip. 

"Oh wise young man !" retorted Hayward, with a smile 
which made Philip blush, for he felt that in putting into 
plain words what the other had expressed in a paraphrase, 
he had been guilty of vulgarity. "I belong to the Church 
of England. But I love the gold and the silk which clothe 
the priest of Rome, and his celibacy, and the confessional, 
and purgatory ; and in the darkness of an Italian cathedral, 
incense-laden and mysterious, I believe with all my heart 
in the miracle of the Mass. In Venice I have seen a fisher- 
woman come in, barefoot, throw down her basket of fish 
by her side, fall on her knees, and pray to the Madonna; 
and that I felt was the real faith, and I prayed and be- 
lieved with her. But I believe also in Aphrodite and Apollo 
and the Great God Pan." 

He had a charming voice, and he chose his words as he 
spoke; he uttered them almost rhythmically. He would 
have gone on, but Weeks opened a second bottle of beer. 

"Let me give you something to drink." 

Hayward turned to Philip with the slightly condescend- 
ing gesture which so impressed the youth. 

"Now are you satisfied?" he asked. 

Philip, somewhat bewildered, confessed that he was. 

"I'm disappointed that you didn't add a little Bud- 
dhism," said Weeks. "And I confess I have a sort of 
sympathy for Mahomet ; I regret that you should have left 
him out in the cold." 

Hayward laughed, for he was in a good humour with 
himself that evening, and the ring of his sentences still 
sounded pleasant in his ears. He emptied his glass. 

"I didn't expect you to understand me," he answered. 


"With your cold American intelligence you can only adopt 
the critical attitude. Emerson and all that sort of thing. 
But what is criticism? Criticism is purely destructive; 
anyone can destroy, but not everyone can build up. You 
are a pedant, my dear fellow. The important thing is to 
construct : I am constructive ; I am a poet." 

Weeks looked at him with eyes which seemed at the 
same time to be quite grave and yet to be smiling brightly. 

"I think, if you don't mind my saying so, you're a little 

"Nothing to speak of," answered Hayward cheerfully. 
"And not enough for me to be unable to overwhelm you 
in argument. But come, I have unbosomed my soul; now 
tell us what your religion is." 

Weeks put his head on one side so that he looked like a 
sparrow on a perch. 

"I've been trying to find that out for years. I think I'm 
a Unitarian." 

"But that's a dissenter," said Philip. 

He could not imagine why they both burst into laughter, 
Hayward uproariously, and Weeks with a funny chuckle. 

"And in England dissenters aren't gentlemen, are 
they?" asked Weeks. 

"Well, if you ask me point-blank, they're not," replied 
Philip rather crossly. 

He hated being laughed at, and they laughed again. 

"And will you tell me what a gentleman is?" asked 

"Oh, I don't know ; everyone knows what it is." 

"Are you a gentleman ?" 

No doubt had ever crossed Philip's mind on the sub- 
ject, but he knew it was not a thing to state of oneself. 

"If a man tells you he's a gentleman you can bet your 
boots he isn't," he retorted. 

"Am I a gentleman?" 

Philip's truthfulness made it difficult for him to answer, 
but he was naturally polite. 

"Oh, well, you're different," he said. "You're American, 
aren't you?" 


"I suppose we may take it that only Englishmen are 
gentlemen," said Weeks gravely. 

Philip did not contradict him. 

"Couldn't you give me a few more particulars?" asked 

Philip reddened, but, growing angry, did not care if he 
made himself ridiculous. 

"I can give you plenty." He remembered his uncle's 
saying that it took three generations to make a gentle- 
man : it was a companion proverb to the silk purse and the 
sow's ear. "First of all he's the son of a gentleman, and 
he's been to a public school, and to Oxford or Cambridge." 

"Edinburgh wouldn't do, I suppose ?" asked Weeks. 

"And he talks English like a gentleman, and he wears 
the right sort of things, and if he's a gentleman he can 
always tell if another chap's a gentleman." 

It seemed rather lame to Philip as he went on, but there 
it was : that was what he meant by the word, and everyone 
he had ever known had meant that too. 

"It is evident to me that I am not a gentleman," said 
Weeks. "I don't see why you should have been so sur- 
prised because I was a dissenter." 

"I don't quite know what a Unitarian is," said Philip. 

Weeks in his odd way again put his head on one side: 
you almost expected him to twitter. 

"A Unitarian very earnestly disbelieves in almost every- 
thing that anybody else believes, and he has a very lively 
sustaining faith in he doesn't quite know what." 

"I don't see why you should make fun of me," said 
Philip. "I really want to know." 

"My dear friend, I'm not making fun of you. I have 
arrived at that definition after years of great labour and 
the most anxious, nerve-racking study." 

When Philip and Hayward got up to go, Weeks handed 
Philip a little book in a paper ^over. 

"I suppose you can read French pretty well by now. I 
wonder if this would amuse you." 

Philip thanked him and, taking the book, looked at the 
title. It was Renan's Vie de Jesus. 


IT occurred neither to Hayward nor to Weeks that the 
conversations which helped them to pass an idle evening 
were being turned over afterwards in Philip's active brain. 
It had never struck him before that religion was a mat- 
ter upon which discussion was possible. To him it meant 
the Church of England, and not to believe in its tenets was 
a sign of wilfulness which could not fail of punishment 
here or hereafter. There was some doubt in his mind about 
the chastisement of unbelievers. It was possible that a 
merciful judge, reserving the flames of hell for the heathen 
Mahommedans, Buddhists, and the rest would spare 
Dissenters and Roman Catholics (though at the cost of 
how much humiliation when they were made to realise 
their error!), and it was also possible that He would be 
pitiful to those who had had no chance of learning the 
truth, this was reasonable enough, though such were 
the activities of the Missionary Society there could not be 
many in this condition but if the chance had been theirs 
and they had neglected it (in which category were obvi- 
ously Roman Catholics and Dissenters), the punishment 
was sure and merited. It was clear that the miscreant was 
in a parlous state. Perhaps Philip had not been taught 
it in so many words, but certainly the impression had been 
given him that only members of the Church of England 
had any real hope of eternal happiness. 

One of the things that Philip had heard definitely stated 
was that the unbeliever was a wicked and a vicious man ; 
but Weeks, though he believed in hardly anything that 
Philip believed, led a life of Christian purity. Philip had 
received little kindness in his life, and he was touched by 
the American's desire to help him : once when a cold kept 
him in bed for three days, Weeks nursed him like a 
mother. There was neither vice nor wickedness in him, but 



only sincerity and loving-kindness. It was evidently possi- 
ble to be virtuous and unbelieving. 

Also Philip had been given to understand that people 
adhered to other faiths only from obstinacy or self- 
interest: in their hearts they knew they were false; they 
deliberately sought to deceive others. Now, for the sake of 
his German he had been accustomed on Sunday mornings 
to attend the Lutheran service, but when Hayward ar- 
rived he began instead to go with him to Mass. He noticed 
that, whereas the protestant church was nearly empty and 
the congregation had a listless air, the Jesuit on the other 
hand was crowded and the worshippers seemed to pray 
with all their hearts. They had not the look of hypocrites. 
He was surprised at the contrast; for he knew of course 
that the Lutherans, whose faith was closer to that of the 
Church of England, on that account were nearer the truth 
than the Roman Catholics. Most of the men it was 
largely a masculine congregation were South Germans; 
and he could not help saying to himself that if he had 
been born in South Germany he would certainly have been 
a Roman Catholic. He might just as well have been born 
in a Roman Catholic country as in England ; and in Eng- 
land as well in a Wesleyan, Baptist, or Methodist family as 
in one that fortunately belonged to the church by law 
established. He was a little breathless at the danger he had 
run. Philip was on friendly terms with the little Chinaman 
who sat at table with him twice each day. His name was 
Sung. He was always smiling, affable, and polite. It 
seemed strange that he should frizzle in hell merely be- 
cause he was a Chinaman; but if salvation was possible 
whatever a man's faith was, there did not seem to be any 
particular advantage in belonging to the Church of Eng- 

Philip, more puzzled than he had ever been in his life, 
sounded Weeks. He had to be careful, for he was very 
sensitive to ridicule ; and the acidulous humour with which 
the American treated the Church of England disconcerted 
him. Weeks only puzzled him more. He made Philip 
acknowledge that those South Germans whom he saw in 
the Jesuit church were every bit as firmly convinced of 


the truth of Roman Catholicism as he was of that of the 
Church of England, and from that he led him to admit 
that the Mahommedan and the Buddhist were convinced 
also of the truth of their respective religions. It looked as 
though knowing that you were right meant nothing; they 
all knew they were right. Weeks had no intention of un- 
dermining the boy's faith, but he was deeply interested in 
religion, and found it an absorbing topic of conversation. 
He had described his own views accurately when he said 
that he very earnestly disbelieved in almost everything 
that other people believed. Once Philip asked him a ques- 
tion, which he had heard his uncle put when the conver- 
sation at the vicarage had fallen upon some mildly 
rationalistic work which was then exciting discussion in the 

"But why should you be right and all those fellows like 
St. Anselm and St. Augustine be wrong?" 

"You mean that they were very clever and learned men, 
while you have grave doubts whether I am either?" asked 

"Yes," answered Philip uncertainly, for put in that way 
his question seemed impertinent. 

"St. Augustine believed that the earth was flat and that 
the sun turned round it." 

"I don't know what that proves." 

"Why, it proves that you believe with your generation. 
Your saints lived in an age of faith, when it was practi- 
cally impossible to disbelieve what to us is positively in- 

"Then how d'you know that we have the truth now?" 

"I don't." 

Philio thought this over for a moment, then he said : 

"I don't see why the things we believe absolutely now 
shouldn't be just as wrong as what they believed in the 

"Neither do I." 

"Then how can you believe anything at all?" 

"I don't know." 

Philip asked Weeks what he thought of Hayward's 


"Men have always formed gods in their own image," 
said Weeks. "He believes in the picturesque." 
Philip paused for a little while, then he said : 
"I don't see why one should believe in God at all." 
The words were no sooner out of his mouth than he 
realised that he had ceased to do so. It took his breath 
away like a plunge into cold water. He looked at Weeks 
with startled eyes. Suddenly he felt afraid. He left Weeks 
as quickly as he could. He wanted to be alone. It was the 
most startling experience that he had ever had. He tried 
to think it all out; it was very exciting, since his whole 
life seemed concerned (he thought his decision on this 
matter must profoundly affect its course) and a mistake 
might lead to eternal damnation; but the more he re- 
flected the more convinced he was; and though during 
the next few weeks he read books, aids to scepticism, with 
eager interest it was only to confirm him in what he felt 
instinctively. The fact was that he had ceased to believe 
not for this reason or the other, but because he had not 
the religious temperament. Faith had been forced upon 
him from the outside. It was a matter of environment and 
example. A new environment and a new example gave 
him the opportunity to find himself. He put off the faith 
of his childhood quite simply, like a cloak that he no 
longer needed. At first life seemed strange and lonely 
without the belief which, though he never realised it, had 
been an unfailing support. He felt like a man who has 
leaned on a stick and finds himself forced suddenly to 
walk without assistance. It really seemed as though the 
days were colder and the nights more solitary. But he was 
upheld by the excitement ; it seemed to make life a more 
thrilling adventure ; and in a little while the stick which 
he had thrown aside, the cloak which had fallen from his 
shoulders, seemed an intolerable burden of which he had 
been eased. The religious exercises which for so many 
years had been forced upon him were part and parcel of 
religion to him. He thought of the collects and epistles 
which he had been made to learn by heart, and the long 
services at the Cathedral through which he had sat when 
every limb itched with the desire for movement; and he 


remembered those walks at night through muddy roads to 
the parish church at Blackstable, and the coldness of that 
bleak building; he sat with his feet like ice, his fingers 
numb and heavy, and all around was the sickly odour of 
pomatum. Oh, he had been so bored! His heart leaped 
when he saw he was free from all that. 

He was surprised at himself because he ceased to believe 
so easily, and, not knowing that he felt as he did on ac- 
count of the subtle workings of his inmost nature, he 
ascribed the certainty he had reached to his own clever- 
ness. He was unduly pleased with himself. With youth's 
lack of sympathy for an attitude other than its own he 
despised not a little Weeks and Hayward because they 
were content with the vague emotion which they called 
God and would not take the further step which to himself 
seemed so obvious. One day he went alone up a certain 
hill so that he might see a view which, he knew not why, 
filled him always with wild exhilaration. It was autumn 
now, but often the days were cloudless still, and then the 
sky seemed to glow with a more splendid light : it was as 
though nature consciously sought to put a fuller vehemence 
into the remaining days of fair weather. He looked down 
upon the plain, a-quiver with the sun, stretching vastly 
before him : in the distance were the roofs of Mannheim 
and ever so far away the dimness of Worms. Here and 
there a more piercing glitter was the Rhine. The tremen- 
dous spaciousness of it was glowing with rich gold. Philip, 
as he stood there, his heart beating with sheer joy, thought 
how the tempter had stood with Jesus on a high mountain 
and shown him the kingdoms of the earth. To Philip, in- 
toxicated with the beauty of the scene, it seemed that it 
was the whole world which was spread before him, and 
he was eager to step down and enjoy it. He was free from 
degrading fears and free from prejudice. He could go 
his way without the intolerable dread of hell-fire. Sud- 
denly he realised that he had lost also that burden of 
responsibility which made every action of his life a matter 
of urgent consequence. He could breathe more freely in 
a lighter air. He was responsible only to himself for the 

O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 141 

things he did. Freedom! He was his own master at last. 
From old habit, unconsciously he thanked God that he no 
longer believed in Him. 

Drunk with pride in his intelligence and in his fearless- 
ness, Philip entered deliberately upon a new life. But his 
loss of faith made less difference in his behaviour than 
he expected. Though he had thrown on one side the Chris- 
tian dogmas it never occurred to him to criticise the 
Christian ethics; he accepted the Christian virtues, and 
indeed thought it fine to practise them for their own sake, 
without a thought of reward or punishment. There was 
small occasion for heroism in the Frau Professor's house, 
but he was a little more exactly truthful than he had been, 
and he forced himself to be more than commonly atten- 
tive to the dull, elderly ladies who sometimes engaged 
him in conversation. The gentle oath, the violent adjective, 
which are typical of our language and which he had culti- 
vated before as a sign of manliness, he now elaborately 

Having settled the whole matter to his satisfaction he 
sought to put it out of his mind, but that was more easily 
said than done ; and he could not prevent the regrets nor 
stifle the misgivings which sometimes tormented him. He 
was so young and had so few friends that immortality had 
no particular attractions for him, and he was able with- 
out trouble to give up belief in it ; but there was one thing 
which made him wretched; he told himself that he was 
unreasonable, he tried to laugh himself out of such pathos ; 
but the tears really came to his eyes when he thought that 
he would never see again the beautiful mother whose love 
for him had grown more precious as the years since her 
death passed on. And sometimes, as though the influence 
of innumerable ancestors, God-fearing and devout, were 
working in him unconsciously, there seized him a panic 
fear that perhaps after all it was all true, and there was, 
up there behind the blue sky, a jealous God who would 
punish in everlasting flames the atheist. At these times his 
reason could offer him no help, he imagined the anguish 
of a physical torment which would last endlessly, he felt 


quite sick with fear and burst into a violent sweat. At 
last he would say to himself desperately : 

"After all, it's not my fault. I can't force myself to be- 
lieve. If there is a God after all and he punishes me be- 
cause I honestly don't believe in Him I can't help it." 


WINTER set in. Weeks went to Berlin to attend the lec- 
tures of Paulssen, and Hayward began to think of going 
South. The local theatre opened its doors. Philip and Hay- 
ward went to it two or three times a week with the praise- 
worthy intention of improving their German, and Philip 
found it a more diverting manner of perfecting himself 
in the language than listening to sermons. They found 
themselves in the midst of a revival of the drama. Several 
of Ibsen's plays were on the repertory for the winter; 
Sudermann's Die Ehre was then a new play, and on its 
production in the quiet university town caused the great- 
est excitement; it was extravagantly praised and bitterly 
attacked; other dramatists followed with plays written 
under the modern influence, and Philip witnessed a series 
of works in which the vileness of mankind was displayed 
before him. He had never been to a play in his life till 
then (poor touring companies sometimes came to the As- 
sembly Rooms at Blackstable, but the Vicar, partly on 
account of his profession, partly because he thought it 
would be vulgar, never went to see them) and the passion 
of the stage seized him. He felt a thrill the moment he got 
into the little, shabby, ill-lit theatre. Soon he came to know 
the peculiarities of the small company, and by the casting 
could tell at once what were the characteristics of the per- 
sons in the drama ; but this made no difference to him. To 
him it was real life. It was a strange life, dark and tor- 
tured, in which men and women showed to remorseless 
eyes the evil that was in their hearts : a fair face concealed 
a depraved mind ; the virtuous used virtue as a mask to 
hide their secret vice, the seeming-strong fainted within 
with their weakness ; the honest were corrupt, the chaste 
were lewd. You seemed to dwell in a room where the night 
before an orgy had taken place : the windows had not been 
opened in the morning ; the air was foul with the dregs of 


beer, and stale smoke, and flaring gas. There was no 
laughter. At most you sniggered at the hypocrite or the 
fool: the characters expressed themselves in cruel words 
that seemed wrung out of their hearts by shame and 

Philip was carried away by the sordid intensity of it. He 
seemed to see the world again in another fashion, and this 
world too he was anxious to know. After the play was 
over he went to a tavern and sat in the bright warmth with 
Hayward to eat a sandwich and drink a glass of beer. All 
round were little groups of students, talking and laugh- 
ing ; c.nd here and there was a family, father and mother, 
a couple of sons and a girl ; and sometimes the girl said 
a sharp thing, and the father leaned back in his chair and 
laughed, laughed heartily. It was very friendly and inno- 
cent. There was a pleasant homeliness in the scene, but 
for this Philip had no eyes. His thoughts ran on the play 
he had just come from. 

"You do feel it's life, don't you?" he said excitedly. 
"You know, I don't think I can stay here much longer. I 
want to get to London so that I can really begin. I want to 
have experiences. I'm so tired of preparing for life: I 
want to live it now." 

Sometimes Hayward left Philip to go home by himself. 
He would never exactly reply to Philip's eager question- 
ing, but with a merry, rather stupid laugh, hinted at a ro- 
mantic amour ; he quoted a few lines of Rossetti, and once 
showed Philip a sonnet in which passion and purple, pes- 
simism and pathos, were packed together on the subject 
of a young lady called Trude. Hayward surrounded his 
sordid and vulgar little adventures with a glow of poetry, 
and thought he touched hands \yith Pericles and Pheidias 
because to describe the object of his attentions he used 
the word hetaira instead of one of those, more blunt and 
apt, provided by the English language. Philip in the day- 
time had been led by curiosity to pass through the little 
street near the old bridge, with its neat white houses and 
green shutters, in which according to Hayward the Frau- 
lein Trude lived; but the women, with brutal faces and 
painted cheeks, who came out of their doors and cried out 


to him, filled him with fear; and he fled in horror from 
the rough hands that sought to detain him. He yearned 
above all things for experience and felt himself ridiculous 
because at his age he had not enjoyed that which all fiction 
taught him was the most important thing in life; but he 
had the unfortunate gift of seeing things as they were, 
and the reality which was offered him differed too terribly 
from the ideal of his dreams. 

^ He did not know how wide a country, arid and precipit- 
ous, must be crossed before the traveller through life 
comes to an acceptance of reality. It is an illusion that 
youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it ; but 
the young know they are wretched, for they are full of 
\he truthless ideals which have been instilled into them, 
and each time they come in contact with the real they are 
bruised and wounded, it looks as if they were victims of 
a conspiracy ; for the books they read, ideal by the neces- 
sity of selection, and the conversation of their elders, who 
look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forget- 
fulness, prepare them for an unreal life. They must dis- 
cover for themselves that all they have read and all they 
have been told are lies, lies, lies; and each discovery is 
another nail driven into the body on the cross of life. The 
strange thing is that each one who has gone through that 
bitter disillusionment adds to it in his turn, unconsciously, 
by the power within him which is stronger than himself. 
The companionship of Hayward was the worst possible 
thing for Philip. He was a man who saw nothing for him- 
self, but only through a literary atmosphere, and he was 
dangerous because he had deceived himself into sincerity. 
He honestly mistook his sensuality for romantic emotion, 
his vacillation for the artistic temperament, and his idleness 
for philosophic calm. His mind, vulgar in its effort at re- 
finement, saw everything a little larger than life size, with 
the outlines blurred, in a golden mist of sentimentality. 
He lied and never knew that he lied, and when it was 
pointed out to him said that lies were beautiful. He was an 


PHILIP was restless and dissatisfied. Hayvvard's poetic 
allusions troubled his imagination, and his soul yearned for 
romance. At least that was how he put it to himself. 

And it happened that an incident was taking place in 
Frau Erlin's house which increased Philip's preoccupation 
with the matter of sex. Two or three times on his walks 
among the hills he had met Frr.'ilein Cacilie wandering 
by herself. He had passed her with a bow, and a few yards 
further on had seen the Chinaman. He thought nothing 
of it; but one evening on his way home, when night had 
already fallen, he passed two people walking very close 
together. Hearing his footstep, they separated quickly, and 
though he could not see well in the darkness he was almost 
certain they were Cacilie and Herr Sung. Their rapid 
movement apart suggested that they had been walking arm 
in arm. Philip was puzzled and surprised. He had never 
paid much attention to Fraulein Cacilie. She was a plain 
girl, with a square face and blunt features. She could not 
have been more than sixteen, since she still wore her long 
fair hair in a plait. That evening at supper he looked at 
her curiously; and, though of late she had talked little 
at meals, she addressed him. 

"Where did you go for your walk today, Herr Carey?" 
she asked. 

"Oh, I walked up towards the Konigstuhl." 
"I didn't go out," she volunteered. "I had a headache." 
The Chinaman, who sat next to her, turned round. 
"I'm so sorry," he said. "I hope it's better now." 
Fraulein Cacilie was evidently uneasy, for she spoke 
again to Philip. 

"Did you meet many people on the way?" 
Philip could not help reddening when he told a down- 
right lie. 

"No. I don't think I saw a living soul." 

He fancied that a look of relief passed across her eyes. 



Soon, however, there could be no doubt that there was 
something between the pair, and other people in the Frau 
Professor's house saw them lurking in dark places. The 
elderly ladies who sat at the head of the table began to 
discuss what was now a scandal. The Frau Professor was 
angry and harassed. She had done her best to see nothing. 
The winter was at hand, and it was not as easy a matter 
then as in the summer to keep her house full. Herr Sung 
was a good customer : he had two rooms on the ground 
floor, and he drank a bottle of Moselle at each meal. The 
Frau Professor charged him three marks a bottle and 
made a good profit. None of her other guests drank wine, 
and some of them did not even drink beer. Neither did 
she wish to lose Fraulein Cacilie, whose parents were in 
business in South America and paid well for the Frau 
Professor's motherly care ; and she knew that if she wrote 
to the girl's uncle, who lived in Berlin, he would immedi- 
ately take her away. The Frau Professor contented herself 
with giving them both severe looks at table and, though 
she dared not be rude to the Chinaman, got a certain satis- 
faction out of incivility to Cacilie. But the three elderly 
ladies were not content. Two were widows, and one, a 
Dutchwoman, was a spinster of masculine appearance; 
they paid the smallest possible sum for their pension, and 
gave a good deal of trouble, but they were permanent and 
therefore had to be put up with. They went to the Frau 
Professor and said that something must be done; it was 
disgraceful, and the house was ceasing to be respectable. 
The Frau Professor tried obstinacy, anger, tears, but the 
three old ladies routed her, and with a sudden assumption 
of virtuous indignation she said that she would put a stop 
to the whole thing. 

After luncheon she took Cacilie into her bed-room and 
began to talk very seriously to her ; but to her amazement 
the girl adopted a brazen attitude; she proposed to go 
about as she liked ; and if she chose to walk with the 
Chinaman she could not see it was anybody's busines but 
her own. The Frau Professor threatened to write to her 

"Then Onkel Heinrich will put me in a family in Berlin 


for the winter, and that will be much nicer for me. And 
Herr Sung will come to Berlin too." 

The Frau Professor began to cry. The tears rolled down 
her coarse, red, fat cheeks; and Cacilie laughed at her. 

"That will mean three rooms empty all through the 
winter," she said. 

Then the Frau Professor tried another plan. She ap- 
pealed to Fraulein Cacilie's better nature: she was kind, 
sensible, tolerant ; she treated her no longer as a child, but 
as a grown woman. She said that it wouldn't be so dread- 
ful, but a Chinaman, with his yellow skin and flat nose, 
and his little pig's eyes! That's what made it so horrible. 
It filled one with disgust to think of it. 

"Bitte, bitte," said Cacilie, with a rapid intake of the 
breath. "I won't listen to anything against him." 

"But it's not serious?" gasped Frau Erlin. 

"I love him. I love him. I love him." 

"Gott in Himmel!" 

The Frau Professor stared at her with horrified sur- 
prise; she had thought it was no more than naughtiness 
on the child's part, and innocent folly ; but the passion in 
her voice revealed everything. Cacilie looked at her for 
a moment with flaming eyes, and then with a shrug of her 
shoulders went out of the room. 

Frau Erlin kept the details of the interview to herself, 
and a day or two later altered the arrangement of the 
table. She asked Herr Sung if he would not come and sit 
at her end, and he with his unfailing politeness accepted 
with alacrity. Cacilie took the change indifferently. But as 
if the discovery that the relations between them were 
known to the whole household made them more shameless, 
they made no secret now of their walks together, and every 
afternoon quite openly set out to wander about the hills. 
It was plain that they did not care what was said of them. 
At last even the placidity of Professor Erlin was moved, 
and he insisted that his wife should speak to the Chinaman. 
She took him aside in his turn and expostulated; he was 
ruining the girl's reputation, he was doing harm to the 
house, he must see how wrong and wicked his conduct 
was; but she was met with smiling denials; Herr Sung 


did not know what she was talking about, he was not pay- 
ing any attention to Fraulein Cacilie, he never walked with 
her ; it was all untrue, every word of it. 

"Ach, Herr Sung, how can you say such things? You've 
been seen again and again." 

"No, you're mistaken. It's untrue." 

He looked at her with an unceasing smile, which showed 
his even, little white teeth. He was quite calm. He denied 
everything. He denied with bland effrontery. At last the 
Frau Professor lost her temper and said the girl had con- 
fessed she loved him. He was not moved. He continued to 

"Nonsense ! Nonsense ! It's all untrue." 

She could get nothing out of him. The weather grew 
very bad ; there was snow and frost, and then a thaw with 
a long succession of cheerless days, on which walking was 
a poor amusement. One evening when Philip had just fin- 
ished his German lesson with the Herr Professor and war 
standing for a moment in the drawing-room, talking to 
Frau Erlin, Anna came quickly in. 

"Mamma, where is Cacilie?" she said. 

"I suppose she's in her room." 

"There's no light in it." 

The Frau Professor gave an exclamation, and she 
looked at her daughter in dismay. The thought which was 
in Anna's head had flashed across hers. 

"Ring for Emil," she said hoarsely. 

This was the stupid lout who waited at table and did 
most of the housework. He came in. 

"Emil, go down to Herr Sung's room and enter with- 
out knocking. If anyone is there say you came in to see 
about the stove." 

No sign of astonishment appeared on Emil's phlegmatic 

He went slowly downstairs. The Frau Professor and 
Anna left the door open and listened. Presently they heard 
Emil come up again, and they called him. 

"Was any one there ?" asked the Frau Professor. 

"Yes, Herr Sung was there." 

"Was he alone?" 


The beginning of a cunning smile narrowed his mouth. 

"No, Fraulein Cacilie was there." 

"Oh, it's disgraceful," cried the Frau Professor. 

Now he smiled broadly. 

"Fraulein Cacilie is there every evening. She spends 
hours at a time there." 

Frau Professor began to wring her hands. 

"Oh, how abominable! But why didn't you tell me?" 

"It was no business of mine," he answered, slowly 
shrugging his shoulders. 

"I suppose they paid you well. Go away. Go." 

He lurched clumsily to the door. 

"They must go away, mamma," said Anna. 

"And who is going to pay the rent? And the taxes are 
falling due. It's all very well for you to say they must go 
away. If they go away I can't pay the bills." She turned 
to Philip, with tears streaming down her face. "Ach, Herr 
Carey, you will not say what you have heard. If Fraulein 
Forster " this was the Dutch spinster "if Fraulein 
Forster knew she would leave at once. And if they all go 
we must close the house. I cannot afford to keep it." 

"Of course I won't say anything." 

"If she stays, I will not speak to her," said Anna. 

That evening at supper Fraulein Cacilie, redder than 
usual, with a look of obstinacy on her face, took her place 
punctually ; but Herr Sung did not appear, and for a while 
Philip thought he was going to shirk the ordeal. At last he 
came, very smiling, his little eyes dancing with the apolo- 
gies he made for his late arrival. He insisted as usual on 
pouring out the Frau Professor a glass of his Moselle, and 
he offered a glass to Fraulein Forster. The room was very 
hot, for the stove had been alight all day and the windows 
were seldom opened. Emil blundered about, but succeeded 
somehow in serving everyone quickly and with order. The 
three old ladies sat in silence, visibly disapproving: the 
Frau Professor had scarcely recovered from her tears ; her 
husband was silent and oppressed. Conversation lan- 
guished. It seemed to Philip that there was something 
dreadful in that gathering which he had sat with so often ; 
they looked different under the light of the two hanging 


lamps from what they had ever looked before; he was 
vaguely uneasy. Once he caught Cacilie's eye, and he 
thought she looked at him with hatred and contempt. The 
room was stifling. It was as though the beastly passion of 
that pair troubled them all ; there was a feeling of Oriental 
depravity ; a faint savour of joss-sticks, a mystery of hid- 
den vices, seemed to make their breath heavy. Philip could 
feel the beating of the arteries in his forehead. He could 
not understand what strange emotion distracted him; he 
seemed to feel something infinitely attractive, and yet he 
was repelled and horrified. 

For several days things went on. The air was sickly with 
the unnatural passion which all felt about them, and the 
nerves of the little household seemed to grow exasperated. 
Only Herr Sung remained unaffected; he was no less 
smiling, affable, and polite than he had been before: one 
could not tell whether his manner was a triumph of civili- 
sation or an expression of contempt on the part of the 
Oriental for the vanquished West. Cacilie was flaunting 
and cynical. At last even the Frau Professor could bear 
ihe position no longer. Suddenly panic seized her; for 
Professor Erlin with brutal frankness had suggested the 
possible consequences of an intrigue which was now mani- 
fest to everyone, and she saw her good name in Heidel- 
berg and the repute of her house ruined by a scandal which 
could not possibly be hidden. For some reason, blinded 
perhaps by her interests, this possibility had never occurred 
to her ; and now, her wits muddled by a terrible fear, she 
could hardly be prevented from turning the girl out of the 
house at once. It was due to Anna's good sense that a 
cautious letter was written to the uncle in Berlin suggest- 
ing that Cacilie should be taken away. 

But having made up her mind to lose the two lodgers, 
the Frau Professor could not resist the satisfaction of giv- 
ing rein to the ill-temper she had curbed so long. She was 
free now to say anything she liked to Cacilie. 

"I have written to your uncle, Cacilie, to take you away. 
I cannot have you in my house any longer." 

Her little round eyes sparkled when she noticed the 
sudden whiteness of the girl's face. 


"You're shameless. Shameless," she went on. 

She called her foul names. 

"What did you say to my uncle Heinrich, Frau Pro- 
fessor ?" the girl asked, suddenly falling from her attitude 
of flaunting independence. 

"Oh, he'll tell you himself. I expect to get a letter from 
him tomorrow." 

Next day, in order to make the humiliation more public, 
at supper she called down the table to Cacilie. 

"I have had a letter from your uncle, Cacilie. You are to 
pack your things tonight, and we will put you in the train 
tomorrow morning. He will meet you himself in Berlin at 
the Central Bahnhof ." 

"Very good, Frau Professor." 

Herr Sung smiled in the Frau Professor's eyes, and 
notwithstanding her protests insisted on pouring out a 
glass of wine for her. The Frau Professor ate her supper 
with a good appetite. But she had triumphed unwisely. 
Just before going to bed she called the servant. 

"Emil, if Fraulein Cacilie's box is ready you had better 
take it downstairs tonight. The porter will fetch it before 

The servant went away and in a moment came back. 

"Fraulein Cacilie is not in her room, and her bag has 

With a cry the Frau Professor hurried along: the box 
was on the floor, strapped and locked; but there was no 
bag, and neither hat nor cloak. The dressing-table was 
empty. Breathing heavily, the Frau Professor ran down- 
stairs to the Chinaman's rooms, she had not moved so 
quickly for twenty years, and Emil called out after her to 
beware she did not fall; she did not trouble to knock, 
but burst in. The rooms were empty. The luggage had 
gone, and the door into the garden, still open, showed how 
it had been got a^y. In an envelope on the table were 
notes for the money due on the month's board and an 
approximate sum for extras. Groaning, suddenly over- 
come by her haste, the Frau Professor sank obesely on to 
a sofa. There could be no doubt. The pair had gone off 
together. Emil remained stolid and unmoved. 


HAYWARD, after saying for a month that he was going 
South next day and delaying from week to week out of 
inability to make up his mind to the bother of packing and 
the tedium of a journey, had at last been driven off just 
before Christmas by the preparations for that festival. He 
could not support the thought of a Teutonic merry- 
making. It gave him goose-flesh to think of the season's 
aggressive cheerfulness, and in his desire to avoid the 
obvious he determined to travel on Christmas Eve. 

Philip was not sorry to see him off, for he was a down- 
right person and it irritated him that anybody should not 
know his own mind. Though much under Hayward's in- 
fluence, he would not grant that indecision pointed to a 
charming sensitiveness; and he resented the shadow of a 
sneer with which Hayward looked upon his straight ways. 
They corresponded. Hayward was an admirable letter- 
writer, and knowing his talent took pains with his letters. 
His temperament was receptive to the beautiful influences 
with which he came in contact, and he was able in his let- 
ters from Rome to put a subtle fragrance of Italy. He 
thought the city of the ancient Romans a little vulgar, 
finding distinction only in the decadence of the Empire ; 
but the Rome of the Popes appealed to his sympathy, and 
in his chosen words, quite exquisitely, there appeared a 
Rococo beauty. He wrote of old church music and the 
Alban Hills, and of the languor of incense and the charm 
of the streets by night, in the rain, when the pavements 
shone and the light of the street lamps was mysterious. 
Perhaps he repeated these admirable letters to variou? 
friends. He did not know what a troubling effect they 
had upon Philip; they seemed to makeliis life very hum- 
drum. With the spring Hayward grew dithyrambic. He 
proposed that Philip should come down to Italy. He was 
wasting his time at Heidelberg. The Germans were gross 



and life there was common; how could the soul come 
to her own in that prim landscape? In Tuscany the spring 
was scattering flowers through the land, and Philip was 
nineteen; let him come and they could wander through 
the mountain towns of Umbria. Their names sang in 
Philip's heart. And Cacilie too, with her lover, had gone to 
Italy. When he thought of them Philip was seized with 
a restlessness he could not account for. He cursed his fate 
because he had no money to travel, and he knew his uncle 
would not send him more than the fifteen pounds a month 
which had been agreed upon. He had not managed his 
allowance very well. His pension and the price of his les- 
sons left him very little over, and he had found going 
about with Hayward expensive. Hayward had often sug- 
gested excursions, a visit to the play, or a bottle of wine, 
when Philip had come to the end of his month's money; 
and with the folly of his age he had been unwilling to 
confess he could not afford an extravagance. 

Luckily Hayward's letters came seldom, and in the inter- 
vals Philip settled down again to his industrious life. He 
had matriculated at the university and attended one or 
two courses of lectures. Kuno Fischer was then at the 
height of his fame and during the winter had been lectur- 
ing brilliantly on Schopenhauer. It was Philip's introduc- 
tion to philosophy. He had a practical mind and moved 
uneasily amid the abstract; but he found an unexpected 
fascination in listening to metaphysical disquisitions ; they 
made him breathless; it was a little like watching a tight- 
rope dancer doing perilous feats over an abyss ; but it was 
very exciting. The pessimism of the subject attracted his 
youth; and he believed that the world he was about to 
enter was a place of pitiless woe and of darkness. That 
made him none the less eager to enter it ; and when, in due 
course, Mrs. Carey, acting as the correspondent for his 
guardian's views, suggested that it was time for him to 
come back to England, he agreed with enthusiasm. He 
must make up his mind now what he meant to do. If he 
left Heidelberg at the end of July they could talk things 
over during August, and it would be a good time to make 


The date of his departure was settled, and Mrs. Carey 
wrote to him again. She reminded him of Miss Wilkinson, 
through whose kindness he had gone to Frau Erlin's house 
at Heidelberg, and told him that she had arranged to spend 
a few weeks with them at Blackstable. She would be 
crossing from Flushing on such and such a day, and if he 
travelled at the same time he could look after her and 
come on to Blackstable in her company. Philip's shyness 
immediately made him write to say that he could not leave 
till a day or two afterwards. He pictured himself look- 
ing out for Miss Wilkinson, the embarrassment of going 
up to her and asking if it were she (and he might so easily 
address the wrong person and be snubbed), and then the 
difficulty of knowing whether in the train he ought to 
talk to her or whether he could ignore her and read his 

At last he left Heidelberg. For three months he had 
been thinking of nothing but the future; and he went 
without regret. He never knew that he had been happy 
there. Fraulein Anna gave him a copy of Der Trompeter 
lion Sdckingen and in return he presented her with a vol- 
ume of William Morris. Very wisely neither of them ever 
read the other's present. 


PHILIP was surprised when he saw his uncle and aunt. 
He had never noticed before that they were quite old peo- 
ple. The Vicar received him with his usual, not unamiable 
indifference. He was a little stouter, a little balder, a little 
grayer. Philip saw how insignificant he was. His face was 
weak and self-indulgent. Aunt Louisa took him in her arms 
and kissed him; and tears of happiness flowed down her 
cheeks. Philip was touched and embarrassed; he had not 
known with what a hungry love she cared for him. 

"Oh, the time has seemed long since you've been away, 
Philip," she cried. 

She stroked his hands and looked into his face with 
glad eyes. 

"You've grown. You're quite a man now." 

There was a very small moustache on his upper lip. He 
had bought a razor and now and then with infinite care 
shaved the down off his smooth chin. 

"We've been so lonely without you." And then shyly, 
with a little break in her voice, she asked : "You are glad 
to come back to your home, aren't you ?" 

"Yes, rather." 

She was so thin that she seemed almost transparent, the 
arms she put round his neck were frail bones that re- 
minded you of chicken bones, and her faded face was oh ! 
so wrinkled. The gray curls which she still wore in the 
fashion of her youth gave her a queer, pathetic look ; and 
her little withered body was like an autumn leaf, you felt 
it might be blown away by the first sharp wind. Philip 
realised that they had done with life, these two quiet lit- 
tle people: they belonged to a past generation, and they 
were waiting there patiently, rather stupidly, for death ; 
and he, in his vigour and his youth, thirsting for excite- 
ment and adventure, was appalled at the waste. *They had 
done nothing, and when they went it would be just as if 



they had never been. He felt a great pity for Aunt Louisa, 
and he loved her suddenly because she loved him. 

Then Miss Wilkinson, who had kept discreetly out of 
the way till the Careys had had a chance of welcoming 
their nephew, came into the room. 

"This is Miss Wilkinson, Philip," said Mrs. Carey. 

"The prodigal has returned," she said, holding out her 
hand. "I have brought a rose for the prodigal's button- 

With a gay smile she pinned to Philip's coat, the flower 
she had just picked in the garden. He blushed and felt 
foolish. He knew that Miss Wilkinson was the daughter 
of his Uncle William's last rector, and he had a wide 
acquaintance with the daughters of clergymen. They wore 
ill-cut clothes and stout boots. They were generally dressed 
in black, for in Philip's early years at Blackstable home- 
spuns had not reached East Anglia, and the ladies of the 
clergy did not favour colours. Their hair was done very 
untidily, and they smelt aggressively of starched linen. 
They considered the feminine graces unbecoming and 
looked the same whether they were old or young. They 
bore their religion arrogantly. The closeness of their con- 
nection with the church made them adopt a slightly dicta- 
torial attitude to the rest of mankind. 

Miss Wilkinson was very different. She wore a white 
muslin gown stamped with gray little bunches of flowers, 
and pointed, high-heeled shoes, with open-work stockings. 
To Philip's inexperience it seemed that she was wonder- 
fully dressed ; he did not see that her frock was cheap and 
showy. Her hair was elaborately dressed, with a neat curl 
in the middle of the forehead : it was very black, shiny 
and hard, and it looked as though it could never be in the 
least disarranged. She had large black eyes and her nose 
was slightly aquiline ; in profile she had somewhat the look 
of a bird of prey, but full face she was prepossessing. She 
smiled a great deal, but her mouth was large and when she 
smiled she tried to hide her teeth, which were big and 
rather yellow. But what embarrassed Philip most was that 
she was heavily powdered: he had very strict views on 
feminine behaviour and did not think a lady ever 


powdered ; but of course Miss Wilkinson was a lady be- 
cause she was a clergyman's daughter, and a clergyman 
was a gentleman. 

Philip made up his mind to dislike her thoroughly. She 
spoke with a slight French accent; and he did not know 
why she should, since she had been born and bred in the 
heart of England. He thought her smile affected, and the 
coy sprightliness of her manner irritated him. For two or 
three days he remained silent and hostile, but Miss Wil- 
kinson apparently did not notice it. She was very affable. 
She addressed her conversation almost exclusively to him, 
and there was something flattering in the way she appealed 
constantly to his sane judgment. She made him laugh too, 
and Philip could never resist people who amused him : he 
had a gift now and then of saying neat things ; and it was 
pleasant to have an appreciative listener. Neither the Vicar 
nor Mrs. Carey had a sense of humour, and they never 
laughed at anything he said. As he grew used to Miss 
Wilkinson, and his shyness left him, he began to like her 
better; he found the French accent picturesque; and at a 
garden party which the doctor gave she was very much 
better dressed than anyone else, She wore a blue foulard 
with large white spots, and Philip was tickled at the sensa- 
tion it caused. 

"I'm certain they think you're no better than you should 
be," he told her, laughing. 

"It's the dream of my life to be taken for an abandoned 
hussy," she answered. 

One day when Miss Wilkinson was in her room he 
asked Aunt Louisa how old she was. 

"Oh, my dear, you should never ask a lady's age; but 
she's certainly too old for you to marry." 

The Vicar gave his slow, obese smile. 

"She's no chicken, Louisa," he said. "She was nearly 
grown up when we were in Lincolnshire, and that was 
twenty years ago. She wore a pigtail hanging down her 

"She may not have been more than ten," said Philip. 

"She was older than that," said Aunt Louisa. 


"I think she was nearer twenty," said the Vicar. 

"Oh no, William. Sixteen or seventeen at the outside." 

"That would make her well over thirty," said Philip. 

At that moment Miss Wilkinson tripped downstairs, 
singing a song by Benjamin Goddard. She had put her 
hat on, for she and Philip were going for a walk, and she 
held out her hand for him to button her glove. He did it 
awkwardly. He felt embarrassed but gallant. Conversa- 
tion went easily between them now, and as they strolled 
along they talked of all manner of things. She told Philip 
about Berlin, and he told her of his year in Heidelberg. 
As he spoke, things which had appeared of no importance 
gained a new interest: he described the people at Frau 
Erlin's house ; and to the conversations between Hayward 
and Weeks, which at the time seemed so significant, he 
gave a little twist, so that they looked absurd. He war 
flattered at Miss Wilkinson's laughter. 

"I'm quite frightened of you," she said. "You're sc 

Then she asked him playfully whether he had not had 
any love affairs at Heidelberg. Without thinking, he 
frankly answered that he had not; but she refused to 
believe him. 

"How secretive you are!" she said. "At your age is it 

He blushed and laughed. 

"You want to know too much," he said. 

"Ah, I thought so," she laughed triumphantly. "Look at 
him blushing." 

He was pleased that she should think he had been a sad 
dog, and he changed the conversation so as to make her 
believe he had all "sorts of romantic things to conceal. He 
was angry with himself that he had not. There had been 
no opportunity. 

Miss Wilkinson was dissatisfied with her lot. She re- 
sented having to earn her living and told Philip a long 
story of an uncle of her mother's, who had been expected 
to leave her a fortune but had married his cook and 
changed his will. She hinted at the luxury of her 


and compared her life in Lincolnshire, with horses to ride 
and carriages to drive in, with the mean dependence of 
her present state. Philip was a little puzzled when he 
mentioned this afterwards to Aunt Louisa, and she told 
him that when she knew the Wilkinsons they had never 
had anything more than a pony and a dog-cart; Aunt 
Louisa had heard of the rich uncle, but as he was married 
and had children before Emily was born she could never 
have had much hope of inheriting his fortune. Miss Wil- 
kinson had little good to say of Berlin, where she was now 
in a situation. She complained of the vulgarity of German 
life, and compared it bitterly with the brilliance of Paris, 
where she had spent a number of years. She did not say 
how many. She had been governess in the family of a 
fashionable portrait-painter, who had married a Jewish 
wife of means, and in their house she had met many dis- 
tinguished people. She dazzled Philip with their names. 
Actors from the Comedie Franchise had come to the house 
frequently, and Coquelin, sitting next her at dinner, had 
told her he had never met a foreigner who spoke such per- 
fect French. Alphonse Daudet had come also, and he had 
given her a copy of Sapho : he had promised to write her 
name in it, but she had forgotten to remind him. She 
treasured the volume none the less and she would lend 
it to Philip. Then there was Maupassant. Miss Wilkinson 
with a rippling laugh looked at Philip knowingly. What a 
man, but what a writer ! Hayward had talked of Maupas- 
sant, and his reputation was not unknown to Philip. 

"Did he make love to you?" he asked. 

The words seemed to stick funnily in his throat, but he 
asked them nevertheless. He liked Miss Wilkinson very 
much now, and was thrilled by her conversation, but he 
could not imagine anyone making love to her. 

"What a question !" she cried. "Poor Guy, he made 
love to every woman he met. It was a habit that he could 
not break himself of." 

She sighed a little, and seemed to look back tenderly 
on the past. 

"He was a charming man," she murmured. 

A greater experience than Philip's would have guessed 


from these words the probabilities of the encounter: the 
distinguished writer invited to luncheon en famille, the 
governess coming in sedately with the two tall girls she 
was teaching; the introduction: 

"Notre Miss Anglaise." 


And the luncheon during which the Miss Anglaise sat 
silent while the distinguished writer talked to his host and 

But to Philip her words called up much more romantic 

"Do tell me all about him," he said excitedly. 

"There's nothing to tell," she said truthfully, but in such 
a manner as to convey that three volumes would scarcely 
have contained the lurid facts. "You mustn't be curious." 

She began to talk of Paris. She loved the boulevards 
and the Bois. There was grace in every street, and the 
trees in the Champs Elysees had a distinction which trees 
had not elsewhere. They were sitting on a stile now by 
the high-road, and Miss Wilkinson looked with disdain 
upon the stately elms in front of them. And the theatres ; 
the plays were brilliant, and the acting was incomparable. 
She often went with Madame Foyot, the mother of the 
girls she was educating, when she was trying on clothes. 

"Oh, what a misery to be poor !" she cried. "These beau- 
tiful things, it's only in Paris they know how to dress, and 
not to be able to afford them! Poor Madame Foyot, she 
had no figure. Sometimes the dressmaker used to whisper 
to me : 'Ah, Mademoiselle, if she only had your figure.' " 

Philip noticed then that Miss Wilkinson had a robust 
form, and was proud of it. 

"Men are so stupid in England. They only think of the 
face. The French, who are a nation of lovers, know how 
much more important the figure is." 

Philip had never thought of such things before, but 
he observed now that Miss Wilkinson's ankles were thick 
and ungainly. He withdrew his eyes quickly. 

"You should go to France. Why don't you go to Paris 
for a year? You would learn French, and it would 
deniaiser you." 


"What is that ?" asked Philip. 

She laughed slyly. 

"You must look it out in the dictionary. Englishmen 
do not know how to treat women. They are so shy. Shy- 
ness is ridiculous in a man. They don't know how to make 
love. They can't even tell a woman she is charming with- 
out looking foolish." 

Philip felt himself absurd. Miss Wilkinson evidently 
expected him to behave very differently; and he would 
have been delighted to say gallant and witty things, but 
they never occurred to him ; and when they did he was too 
much afraid of making a fool of himself to say them. 

"Oh, I love Paris," sighed Miss Wilkinson. "But I had 
to go to Berlin. I was with the Foyots till the girls mar- 
ried, and then I could get nothing to do, and I had the 
chance of this post in Berlin. They're relations of Madame 
Foyot, and I accepted. I had a tiny apartment in the Rue 
Breda, on the cinqui&me: it wasn't at all respectable. You 
know about the Rue Breda ces dames, you know." 

Philip nodded, not knowing at all what she meant, but 
vaguely suspecting, and anxious she should not think him 
too ignorant. 

"But I didn't care. Je siiis libre, n'est-ce-pasf" She was 
very fond of speaking French, which indeed she spoke 
well. "Once I had such a curious adventure there." 

She paused a little and Philip pressed her to tell it. 

"You wouldn't tell me yours in Heidelberg," she said. 

"They were so unadventurous," he retorted. 

"I don't know what Mrs. Carey would say if she knew 
the sort of things we talk about together." 

"You don't imagine I shall tell her." 

"Will you promise ?" 

When he had done this, she told him how an art-student 
who had a room on the floor above her but she inter- 
mpted herself. 

"Why don't you go in for art ? You paint so prettily." 

"Not well enough for that." 

"That is for others to judge. Je m'y connais, and I be- 
lieve you have the making of a great artist." 


"Can't you see Uncle William's face if I suddenly told 
him I wanted to go to Paris and study art ?" 

"You're your own master, aren't you?" 

"You're trying to put me off. Please go on with the 

Miss Wilkinson, with a little laugh, went on. The art- 
student had passed her several times on the stairs, and she 
had paid no particular attention. She saw that he had fine 
eyes, and he took off his hat very politely. And one day she 
found a letter slipped under her door. It was from him. 
He told her that he had adored her for months, and that 
he waited about the stairs for her to pass. Oh, it was a 
charming letter! Of course she did not reply, but what 
woman could help being flattered ? And next day there was 
another letter ! It was wonderful, passionate, and touch- 
ing. When next she met him on the stairs she did not know 
which way to look. And every day the letters came, and 
now he begged her to see him. He said he would come in 
the evening, vers neuf heures, and she did not know what 
to do. Of course it was impossible, and he might ring and 
ring, but she would never open the door; and then while 
she was waiting for the tinkling of the bell, all nerves, 
suddenly he stood before her. She had forgotten to shut 
the door when she came in. 

"C'etait une fatalite." 

"And what happened then?" asked Philip. 

"That is the end of the story," she replied, with a ripple 
of laughter. 

Philip was silent for a moment. His heart beat quickly, 
and strange emotions seemed to be hustling one another 
in his heart. He saw the dark staircase and the chance 
meetings, and he admired the boldness of the letters oh, 
he would never have dared to do that and then the silent, 
almost mysterious entrance. It seemed to him the very 
soul of romance. . 

"What was he like?" 

"Oh, he was handsome. Charmant garfon." 

"Do you know him still?" 

Philip felt a slight feeling of irritation as he asked this. 


"He treated me abominably. Men are always the same. 
You're heartless, all of you." 

"I don't know about that," said Philip, not without 

"Let us go home," said Miss Wilkinson. 


PHILIP could not get Miss Wilkinson's story out of his 
head. It was clear enough what she meant even though 
she cut it short, and he was a little shocked. That sort 
of thing was all very well for married women, he had read 
enough French novels to know that in France it was in- 
deed the rule, but Miss Wilkinson was English and un- 
married ; her father was a clergyman. Then it struck him 
that the art-student probably was neither the first nor the 
last of her lovers, and he gasped : he had never looked 
upon Miss Wilkinson like that; it seemed incredible that 
anyone should make love to her. In his ingenuousness he 
doubted her story as little as he doubted what he read in 
books, and he was angry that such wonderful things never 
happened to him. It was humiliating that if Miss Wilkin- 
son insisted upon his telling her of his adventures in 
Heidelberg he would have nothing to tell. It was true that 
he had some power of invention, but he was not sure 
whether he could persuade her that he was steeped in 
vice; women were full of intuition, he had read that, and 
she might easily discover that he was fibbing. He blushed 
scarlet a<s he thought of her laughing up her sleeve. 

Miss Wilkinson played the piano and sang in a rather 
tired voice ; but her songs, Massenet, Benjamin Goddard, 
and Augusta Holmes, were new to Philip; and together 
they spent many hours at the piano. One day she wondered 
if he had a voice and insisted on trying it. She told him 
he had a pleasant baritone and offered to give him lessons. 
At first with his usual bashfulness he refused, but she 
insisted, and then every morning at a convenient time after 
breakfast she gave him an hour's lesson. She had a natural 
gift for teaching, and it was clear that she was an excellent 
governess. She had method and firmness. Though her 
French accent was so much part of her that it remained, 
all the mellifluousness of her manner left her when she was 


engaged in teaching. She put up with no nonsense. Her 
voice became a little peremptory, and instinctively she sup- 
pressed inattention and corrected slovenliness. She knew 
what she was about and put Philip to scales and exercises. 

When the lesson was over she resumed without effort 
her seductive smiles, her voice became again soft and win- 
ning, but Philip could not so easily put away the pupil 
as she the pedagogue ; and this impression conflicted with 
the feelings her stories had aroused in him. He looked at 
her more narrowly. He liked her much better in the eve- 
ning than in the morning. In the morning she was rather 
lined and the skin of her neck was just a little rough. He 
wished she would hide it, but the weather was very warm 
just then and she wore blouses which were cut low. She 
was very fond of white; in the morning it did not suit 
her. At night she often looked very attractive, she put on 
a gown which was almost a dinner dress, and she wore 
a chain of garnets round her neck; the lace about her 
bosom and at her elbows gave her a pleasant softness, and 
the scent she wore (at Blackstable no one used anything 
but Eatt de Cologne, and that only on Sundays or when 
suffering from a sick headache) was troubling and exotic. 
She really looked very young then. 

Philip was much exercised over her age. He added 
twenty and seventeen together, and could not bring them 
to a satisfactory total. He asked Aunt Louisa more than 
once why she thought Miss Wilkinson was thirty-seven: 
she didn't look more than thirty, and everyone knew that 
foreigners aged more rapidly than English women ; Miss 
Wilkinson had lived so long abroad that she might almost 
be called a foreigner. He personally wouldn't have thought 
her more than twenty-six. 

"She's more than that," said Aunt Louisa. 

Philip did not believe in the accuracy of the Careys' 
statements. All they distinctly remembered was that Miss 
Wilkinson had not got her hair up the last time they saw 
her in Lincolnshire. Well, she might have been twelve 
then : it was so long ago and the Vicar was always so 
unreliable. They said it was twenty years ago, but people 
used round figures, and it was just as likely to be eighteen 


years, or seventeen. Seventeen and twelve were only 
twenty-nine, and hang it all, that wasn't old, was it? 
Cleopatra was forty-eight when Antony threw away the 
world for her sake. 

It was a fine summer. Day after day was hot and cloud- 
less ; but the heat was tempered by the neighbourhood of 
the sea, and there was a pleasant exhilaration in the air, 
so that one was excited and not oppressed by the August 
sunshine. There was a pond in the garden in which a foun- 
tain played; water lilies grew in it and gold fish sunned 
themselves on the surface. Philip and Miss Wilkinson used 
to take rugs and cushions there after dinner and lie on the 
lawn in the shade of a tall hedge of roses. They talked 
and read all the afternoon. They smoked cigarettes, which 
the Vicar did not allow in the house ; he thought smoking 
a disgusting habit, and used frequently to say that it was 
disgraceful for anyone to grow a slave to a habit. He for- 
got that he was himself a slave to afternoon tea. 

One day Miss Wilkinson gave Philip La Vie de 
Boheme. She had found it by accident when she was rum- 
maging among the books in the Vicar's study. It had been 
bought in a lot with something Mr. Carey wanted and 
had remained undiscovered for ten years. 

Philip began to read Murger's fascinating, ill-written, 
absurd masterpiece, and fell at once under its spell. His 
soul danced with joy at that picture of starvation which 
is so good-humoured, of squalor which is so picturesque, 
of sordid love which is so romantic, of bathos which is so 
moving. Rodolphe and Mimi, Musette and Schaunard ! 
They wander through the gray streets of the Latin 
Quarter, finding refuge now in one attic, now in another, 
in their quaint costumes of Louis Philippe, with their 
tears and their smiles, happy-go-lucky and reckless. Who 
can resist them? It is only when you return to the book 
with a sounder judgment that you find how gross their 
pleasures were, how vulgar their minds; and you feel 
the utter worthlessness, as artists and as human beings, of 
that gay procession. Philip was enraptured. 

"Don't you wish you were going to Paris instead of 


London?" asked Miss Wilkinson, smiling at his enthu- 

"It's too late now even if I did," he answered. 

During the fortnight he had been back from Germany 
there had been much discussion between himself and his 
uncle about his future. He had refused definitely to go to 
Oxford, and now that there was no chance of his getting 
scholarships even Mr. Carey came to the conclusion that 
he could not afford it. His entire fortune had consisted 
of only two thousand pounds, and though it had been in' 
vested in mortgages at five per cent, he had not been able 
to live on the interest. It was now a little reduced. It would 
be absurd to spend two hundred a year, the least he could 
live on at a university, for three years at Oxford which 
would lead him no nearer to earning his living. He was 
anxious to go straight to London. Mrs. Carey thought 
there were only four professions for a gentleman, the 
Army, the Navy, the Law, and the Church. She had added 
medicine because her brother-in-law practised it, but did 
not forget that in her young days no one ever considered 
the doctor a gentleman. The first two were out of the ques- 
tion, and Philip was firm in his refusal to be ordained. 
Only the law remained. The local doctor had suggested 
that many gentlemen now went in for engineering, but 
Mrs. Carey opposed the idea at once. 

"I shouldn't like Philip to go into trade," she said. 

"No, he must have a profession," answered the Vicar. 

"Why not make him a doctor like his father ?" 

"I should hate it," said Philip. 

Mrs. Carey was not sorry. The Bar seemed out of the 
question, since he was not going to Oxford, for the Careys 
were under the impression that a degree was still neces- 
sary for success in that calling; and finally it was sug- 
gested that he should become articled to a solicitor. They 
wrote to the family lawyer, Albert Nixon, who was co- 
executor with the Vicar of Blackstable for the late Henry 
Carey's estate, and asked him whether he would take 
Philip. In a day or two the answer came back that he 
had not a vacancy, and was very much opposed to the 
whole scheme; the profession was greatly overcrowded, 


and without capital or connections a man had small chance 
of becoming more than a managing clerk; he suggested, 
however, that Philip should become a chartered account- 
ant. Neither the Vicar nor his wife knew in the least what 
this was, and Philip had never heard of anyone being a 
chartered accountant ; but another letter from the solicitor 
explained that the growth of modern businesses and the 
increase of companies had led to the formation of many 
firms of accountants to examine the books and put into 
the financial affairs of their clients an order which old- 
fashioned methods had lacked. Some years before a Royal 
Charter had been obtained, and the profession was becom- 
ing every year more respectable, lucrative, and important. 
The chartered accountants whom Albert Nixon had em- 
ployed for thirty years happened to have a vacancy for an 
articled pupil, and would take Philip for a fee of three 
hundred pounds. Half of this would be returned during 
the five years the articles lasted in the form of salary. The 
prospect was not exciting, but Philip felt that he must de- 
cide on something, and the thought of living in London 
over-balanced the slight shrinking he felt. The Vicar of 
Blackstable wrote to ask Mr. Nixon whether it was a pro- 
fession suited to a gentleman; and Mr. Nixon replied 
that, since the Charter, men were going into it who had 
been to public schools and a university ; moreover, if Philip 
disliked the work and after a year wished to leave, Her- 
bert Carter, for that was the accountant's name, would 
return half the money paid for the articles. This settled 
it, and it was arranged that Philip should start work on the 
fifteenth of September. 

"I have a full month before me," said Philip. 

"And then you go to freedom and I to bondage," re- 
turned Miss Wilkinson. 

Her holidays were to last six weeks, and she would bo 
leaving Blackstable only a day or two before Philip. 

"I wonder if we shall ever meet again," she said. 

"I don't know why not." 

"Oh, don't speak in that practical way. I never knew 
anyone so unsentimental." 

Philip reddened. He was afraid that Miss Wilkinson 


would think him a milksop: after all she was a young 
woman, sometimes quite pretty, and he was getting on for 
twenty ; it was absurd that they should talk of nothing but 
art and literature. He ought to make love to her. They 
had talked a good deal of love. There was the art-student 
in the Rue Breda, and then there was the painter in whose 
family she had lived so long in Paris: he had asked her 
to sit for him, and had started to make love to her so vio- 
lently that she was forced to invent excuses not to sit to 
him again. It was clear enough that Miss Wilkinson was 
used to attentions of that sort. She looked very nice now 
in a large straw hat : it was hot that afternoon, the hottest 
day they had had, and beads of sweat stood in a line on 
her upper lip. He called to mind Fraulein Cacilie and Herr 
Sung. He had never thought of Cacilie in an amorous way, 
she was exceedingly plain; but now, looking back, the 
affair seemed very romantic. He had a chance of romance 
too. Miss Wilkinson was practically French, and that 
added zest to a possible adventure. When he thought of it 
at night in bed, or when he sat by himself in the garden 
reading a book, he was thrilled by it; but when he saw 
Miss Wilkinson it seemed less picturesque. 

At all events, after what she had told him, she would 
not be surprised if he made love to her. He had a feeling 
that she must think it odd of him to make no sign : per- 
haps it was only his fancy, but once or twice in the last 
day or two he had imagined that there was a suspicion of 
contempt in her eyes. 

"A penny for your thoughts," said Miss Wilkinson, 
looking at him with a smile. 

"I'm not going to tell you," he answered. 

He was thinking that he ought to kiss her there and 
then. He wondered if she expected him to do it ; but after 
all he didn't see how he could without any preliminary 
business at all. She would just think him mad, or she 
might slap his face ; and perhaps she would complain to his 
uncle. He wondered how Herr Sung had started with 
Fraulein Cacilie. It would be beastly if she told his uncle : 
he knew what his uncle was, he would tell the doctor and 
Josiah Graves; and he would look a perfect fool. Aunt 


Louisa kept on saying that Miss Wilkinson was thirty- 
seven if she was a day ; he shuddered at the thought of the 
ridicule he would be exposed to ; they would say she was 
old enough to be his mother. 

"Twopence for your thoughts," smiled Miss Wilkinson. 

"I was thinking about you," he answered boldly. 

That at all events committed him to nothing. 

"What were you thinking ?" 

"Ah, now you want to know too much." 

"Naughty boy!" said Miss Wilkinson. 

There it was again! Whenever he had succeeded in 
working himself up she said something which reminded 
him of the governess. She called him playfully a naughty 
boy when he did not sing his exercises to her satisfaction. 
This time he grew quite sulky. 

"I wish you wouldn't treat me as if I were a child." 

"Are you cross ?" 


"I didn't mean to." 

She put out her hand and he took it. Once or twice 
lately when they shook hands at night he had fancied she 
slightly pressed his hand, but this time there was no doubt 
about it. 

He did not quite know what he ought to say next. Here 
at last was his chance of an adventure, and he would be 
a fool not to take it; but it was a little ordinary, and he 
had expected more glamour. He had read many descrip- 
tions of love, and he felt in himself none of that uprush 
of emotion which novelists described ; he was not carried 
off his feet in wave upon wave of passion ; nor was Miss 
Wilkinson the ideal : he had often pictured to himself the 
great violet eyes and the alabaster skin of some lovely 
girl, and he had thought of himself burying his face in the 
rippling masses of her auburn hair. He could not imagine 
himself burying his face in Miss Wilkinson's hair, it al- 
ways struck him as a little sticky. All the same it would be 
very satisfactory to have an intrigue, and he thrilled with 
the legitimate pride he would enjoy in his conquest. He 
owed it to himself to seduce her. He made up his mind to 
kiss Miss Wilkinson; not then, but in the evening; it 


would be easier in the dark, and after he had kissed her 
the rest would follow. He would kiss her that very eve- 
ning. He swore an oath to that effect. 

He laid his plans. After supper he suggested that they 
should take a stroll in the garden. Miss Wilkinson ac- 
cepted, and they sauntered side by side. Philip was very 
nervous. He did not know why, but the conversation would 
not lead in the right direction ; he had decided that the first 
thing to do was to put his arm round her waist; but he 
could not suddenly put his arm round her waist when she 
was talking of the regatta which was to be held next week. 
He led her artfully into the darkest parts of the garden, 
but having arrived there his courage failed him. They sat 
on a bench, and he had really made up his mind that here 
was his opportunity when Miss Wilkinson said she was 
sure there were earwigs and insisted on moving. They 
walked round the garden once more, and Philip promised 
himself he would take the plunge before they arrived at 
that bench again ; but as they passed the house, they saw 
Mrs. Carey standing at the door. 

"Hadn't you young people better come in ? I'm sure the 
night air isn't good for you." 

"Perhaps we had better go in," said Philip. "I don't 
want you to catch cold." 

He said it with a sigh of relief. He could attempt noth- 
ing more that night. But afterwards, when he was alone 
in his room, he was furious with himself. He had been a 
perfect fool. He was certain that Miss Wilkinson expected 
him to kiss her, otherwise she wouldn't have come into the 
garden. She was always saying that only Frenchmen knew 
how to treat women. Philip had read French novels. If 
he had been a Frenchman he would have seized her in 
his arms and told her passionately that he adored her ; he 
would have pressed his lips on her nuque. He did not 
know why Frenchmen always kissed ladies on the nuque. 
He did not himself see anything so very attractive in the 
nape of the neck. Of course it was much easier for 
Frenchmen to do these things ; the language was such an 
aid ; Philip could never help feeling that to say passionate 
things in English sounded a little absurd. He wished now 


that he had never undertaken the siege of Miss Wilkin- 
son's virtue ; the first fortnight had been so jolly, and now 
he was wretched ; but he was determined not to give in, he 
would never respect himself again if he did, and he made 
up his mind irrevocably that the next night he would kiss 
her without fail. 

Next day when he got up he saw it was raining, and 
his first thought was that they would not be able to go into 
the garden that evening. He was in high spirits at break- 
fast. Miss Wilkinson sent Mary Ann in to say that she 
had a headache and would remain in bed. She did not come 
down till tea-time, when she appeared in a becoming wrap- 
per and a pale face ; but she was quite recovered by sup- 
per, and the meal was very cheerful. After prayers she 
said she would go straight to bed, and she kissed Mrs. 
Carey. Then she turned to Philip. 

"Good gracious!" she cried. "I was just going to kiss 
you too." 

"Why don't you?" he said. 

She laughed and held out her hand. She distinctly 
pressed his. 

The following day there was not a cloud in the sky, and 
the garden was sweet and fresh after the rain. Philip went 
down to the beach to bathe and when he came home ate a 
magnificent dinner. They were having a tennis party at the 
vicarage in the afternoon and Miss Wilkinson put on her 
best dress. She certainly knew how to wear her clothes, 
and Philip could not help noticing how elegant she looked 
beside the curate's wife and the doctor's married daughter. 
There were two roses in her waistband. She sat in a garden 
chair by the side of the lawn, holding a red parasol over 
herself, and the light on her face was very becoming. 
Philip was fond of tennis. He served well and as he ran 
clumsily played close to the net : notwithstanding his club- 
foot he was quick, and it was difficult to get a ball past 
him. He was pleased because he won all his sets. At tea he 
lay down at Miss Wilkinson's feet, hot and panting. 

"Flannels suit you," she said. "You look very nice this 

He blushed with delight. 


"I can honestly return the compliment. You look per. 
fectly ravishing." 

She smiled and gave him a long look with her black 

After supper he insisted that she should come out. 

"Haven't you had enough exercise for one day?" 

"It'll be lovely in the garden tonight. The stars are 
all out." 

He was in high spirits. 

"D'you know, Mrs. Carey has been scolding me on your 
account?" said Miss Wilkinson, when they were saunter- 
ing through the kitchen garden. "She says I mustn't flirt 
with you." 

"Have you been flirting with me? I hadn't noticed it.'* 

"She was only joking." 

"It was very unkind of you to refuse to kiss me last 

"If you saw the look your uncle gave me when I said 
what I did !" 

"Was that all that prevented you?" 

"I prefer to kiss people without witnesses." 

"There are no witnesses now." 

Philip put his arm round her waist and kissed her lips. 
She only laughed a little and made no attempt to with- 
draw. It had come quite naturally. Philip was very proud 
of himself. He said he would, and he had. It was the 
easiest thing in the world. He wished he had done it be- 
fore. He did it again. 

"Oh, you mustn't," she said. 

"Why not?" 

u Because I like it," she laughed. 


NEXT day after dinner they took their rugs and cushions 
to the fountain, and their books; but they did not read. 
Miss Wilkinson made herself comfortable and she opened 
the red sun-shade. Philip was not at all shy now, but at 
first she would not let him kiss her. 

"It was very wrong of me last night," she said. "I 
couldn't sleep, I felt I'd done so wrong." 

"What nonsense!" he cried. "I'm sure you slept like a 

"What do you think your uncle would say if he knew ?" 

"There's no reason why he should know." 

He leaned over her, and his heart went pit-a-pat. 

"Why d'you want to kiss me ?" 

He knew he ought to reply : "Because I love you." But 
he could not bring himself to say it. 

"Why do you think?" he asked instead. 

She looked at him with smiling eyes and touched his 
face with the tips of her fingers. 

"How smooth your face is," she murmured. 

"I want shaving awfully," he said. 

It was astonishing how difficult he found it to make 
romantic speeches. He found that silence helped him much 
more than words. He could look inexpressible things. Miss 
Wilkinson sighed. 

"Do you like me at all ?" 

"Yes, awfully." 

When he tried to kiss her again she did not resist. He 
pretended to be much more passionate than he really was, 
and he succeeded in playing a part which looked very well 
in his own eyes. 

"I'm beginning to be rather frightened of you," said 
Miss Wilkinson. 

"You'll come out after supper, won't you?" he begged, 
"Not unless you promise to behave yourself." 


"I'll promise anything." 

He was catching fire from the flame he was partly simu- 
lating, and at tea-time he was obstreperously merry. Miss 
Wilkinson looked at him nervously. 

"You mustn't have those shining eyes," she said to him 
afterwards. "What will your Aunt Louisa think?" 

"I don't care what she thinks." 

Miss Wilkinson gave a little laugh cf pleasure. They 
had no sooner finished supper than he said to her : 

"Are you going to keep me company while I smoke a 
cigarette ?" 

"Why don't you let Miss Wilkinson rest?" said Mrs. 
Carey. "You must remember she's not as young as you." 

"Oh, I'd like to go out, Mrs. Carey," she said, rather 

"After dinner walk a mile, after supper rest a while," 
said the Vicar. 

"Your aunt is very nice, but she gets on my nerves 
sometimes," said Miss Wilkinson, as soon as they closed 
the side-door behind them. 

Philip threw away the cigarette he had just lighted, and 
flung his arms round her. She tried to push him away. 

"You promised you'd be good, Philip." 

"You didn't think I was going to keep a promise like 

"Not so near the house, Philip," she said. "Supposing 
someone should come out suddenly ?" 

He led her to the kitchen garden where no one was 
likely to come, and this time Miss Wilkinson did not think 
of earwigs. He kissed her passionately. It was one of the 
things that puzzled him that he did not like her at all in the 
morning, and only moderately in the afternoon, but at 
night the touch of her hand thrilled him. He said things 
that he would never have thought himself capable of say- 
ing ; he could certainly never have said them in the broad 
light of day; and he listened to himself with wonder and 

"How beautifully you make love," she said. 

That was what he thought himself. 


*'Oh, if I could only say all the things that burn my 
heart!" he murmured passionately. 

It was splendid. It was the most thrilling game he had 
ever played ; and the wonderful thing was that he felt al- 
most all he said. It was only that he exaggerated a little. 
He was tremendously interested and excited in the effect 
he could see it had on her. It was obviously with an effort 
that at last she suggested going in. 

"Oh, don't go yet," he cried. 

"I must," she muttered. "I'm frightened." 

He had a sudden intuition what was the right thing to 
do then. 

"I can't go in yet. I shall stay here and think. My 
cheeks are burning. I want the night-air. Good-night." 

He held out his hand seriously, and she took it in si- 
lence. He thought she stifled a sob. Oh, it was magnificent ! 
When, after a decent interval during which he had been 
rather bored in the dark garden by himself, he went in 
he found that Miss Wilkinson had already gone to bed. 

After that things were different between them. The next 
day and the day after Philip showed himself an eager 
lover. He was deliciously flattered to discover that Miss 
Wilkinson was in love with him : she told him so in Eng- 
lish, and she told him so in French. She paid him compli- 
ments. No one had ever informed him before that his eyes 
were charming and that he had a sensual mouth. He had 
never bothered much about his personal appearance, but 
now, when occasion presented, he looked at himself in 
the glass with satisfaction. When he kissed her it wa? 
wonderful to feel the passion that seemed to thrill her 
soul. He kissed her a good deal, for he found it easier to do 
that than to say the things he instinctively felt she ex- 
pected of him. It still made him feel a fool to say he wor- 
shipped her. He wished there were someone to whom he 
could boast a little, and he would willingly have discussed 
minute points of his conduct. Sometimes she said things 
that were enigmatic, and he was puzzled. He wished Hay- 
ward had been there so that he could ask him what he 
thought she meant, and what he had better do next. He 


could not make up his mind whether he ought to rush 
things or let them take their time. There were only three 
weeks more. 

"I can't bear to think of that," she said. "It breaks my 
heart. And then perhaps we shall never see one another 

"If you cared for me at all, you wouldn't be so unkind 
to me," he whispered. 

"Oh, why can't you be content to let it go on as it is? 
Men are always the same. They're never satisfied." 

And when he pressed her, she said : 

"But don't you see it's impossible. How can we here?" 

He proposed all sorts of schemes, but she would not 
have anything to do with them. 

"I daren't take the risk. It would be too dreadful if your 
aunt found out." 

A day or two later he had an idea which seemed bril- 

"Look here, if you had a headache on Sunday evening 
and offered to stay at home and look after the house, Aunt 
Louisa would go to church." 

Generally Mrs. Carey remained in on Sunday evening 
in order to allow Mary Ann to go to church, but she would 
welcome the opportunity of attending evensong. 

Philip had not found it necessary to impart to his rela- 
tions the change in his views on Christianity which had 
occurred in Germany; they could not be expected to un- 
derstand ; and it seemed less trouble to go to church quietly. 
But he only went in the morning. He regarded this as a 
graceful concession to the prejudices of society and his re- 
fusal to go a second time as an adequate assertion of free 

When he made the suggestion, Miss Wilkinson did not 
speak for a moment, then shook her head. 

"No, I won't," she said. 

But on Sunday at tea-time she surprised Philip. 

"I don't think I'll come to church this evening," she said 
suddenly. "I've really got a dreadful headache." 

Mrs. Carey, much concerned, insisted on giving her 
tome 'drops' which she was herself in the habit of using. 


Miss Wilkinson thanked her, and immediately after tea 
announced that she would go to her room and lie down. 

"Are you sure there's nothing you'll want ?" asked Mrs. 
Carey anxiously. 

"Quite sure, thank you." 

"Because, if there isn't, I think I'll go to church. I don't 
often have the chance of going in the evening." 

"Oh yes, do go." 

"I shall be in," said Philip. "If Miss Wilkinson wants 
anything, she can always call me." 

"You'd better leave the drawing-room door open, Philip, 
so that if Miss Wilkinson rings, you'll hear." 

"Certainly," said Philip. 

So after six o'clock Philip was left alone in the house 
with Miss Wilkinson. He felt sick with apprehension. He 
wished with all his heart that he had not suggested the 
plan; but it was too late now; he must take the oppor- 
tunity which he had made. What would Miss Wilkinson 
think of him if he did not ! He went into the hall and lis- 
tened. There was not a sound. He wondered if Miss Wil- 
kinson really had a headache. Perhaps she had forgotten 
his suggestion. His heart beat painfully. He crept up the 
stairs as softly as he could, and he stopped with a start 
when they creaked. He stood outside Miss Wilkinson's 
room and listened; he put his hand on the knob of the 
door-handle. He waited. It seemed to him that he waited 
for at least five minutes, trying to make up his mind ; and 
his hand trembled. He would willingly have bolted, but he 
was afraid of the remorse which he knew would seize him. 
It was like getting on the highest diving-board in a 
swimming-bath ; it looked nothing from below, but when 
you got up there and stared down at the water your heart 
sank; and the only thing that forced you to dive was the 
shame of coming down meekly by the steps you had 
climbed up. Philip screwed up his courage. He turned the 
handle softly and walked in. He seemed to himself to be 
trembling like a leaf. 

Miss Wilkinson was standing at the dressing-table with 
her back to the door, and she turned round quickly when 
she heard it open. 


"Oh, it's you. What d'you want ?" 

She had taken off her skirt and blouse, and was stand- 
ing in her petticoat. It was short and only came down to 
the top of her boots ; the upper part of it was black, of 
some shiny material, and there was a red flounce. She wore 
a camisole of white calico with short arms. She looked 
grotesque. Philip's heart sank as he stared at her ; she had 
never seemed so unattractive ; but it was too late now. He 
closed the door behind him and locked it. 


PHILIP woke early next morning. His sleep had been 
restless ; but when he stretched his legs and looked at the 
sunshine that slid through the Venetian blinds, making 
patterns on the floor, he sighed with satisfaction. He was 
delighted with himself. He began to think of Miss Wilkin- 
son. She had asked him to call her Emily, but, he knew not 
why, he could not ; he always thought of her as Miss Wil- 
kinson. Since she chid him for so addressing her, he 
avoided using her name at all. During his childhood he 
had often heard a sister of Aunt Louisa, the widow of a 
naval officer, spoken of as Aunt Emily. It made him un- 
comfortable to call Miss Wilkinson by that name, nor could 
he think of any that would have suited her better. She had 
begun as Miss Wilkinson, and it seemed inseparable from 
his impression of her. He frowned a little: somehow or 
other he saw her now at her worst; he could not forget 
his dismay when she turned round and he saw her in her 
camisole and the short petticoat ; he remembered the slight 
roughness of her skin and the sharp, long lines on the side 
of the neck. His triumph was short-lived. He reckoned out 
her age again, and he did not see how she could be less 
than forty. It made the affair ridiculous. She was plain 
and old. His quick fancy showed her to him, wrinkled, 
haggard, made-up, in those frocks which were too showy 
for her position and too young for her years. He shud- 
dered ; he felt suddenly that he never wanted to see her 
again ; he could not bear the thought of kissing her. He was 
horrified with himself. Was that love? 

He took as long as he could over dressing in order to 
put back the moment of seeing her, and when at last he 
went into the dining-room it was with a sinking heart. 
Prayers were over, and they were sitting down at break- 

"Lazy bones," Miss Wilkinson cried gaily. 



He looked at her and gave a little gasp of relief. She was. 
sitting with her back to the window. She was really quite 
nice. He wondered why he had thought such things about 
her. His self-satisfaction returned to him. 

He was taken aback by the change in her. She told him 
in a voice thrilling with emotion immediately after break- 
fast that she loved him ; and when a little later they went 
into the drawing-room for his singing lesson and she sat 
down on the music-stool she put up her face in the middle 
of a scale and said : 


When he bent down she flung her arms round his neck. 
It was slightly uncomfortable, for she held him in such a 
position that he felt rather choked. 

"Ah, je t'aime. Je t'aime. Je t'aime," she cried, with her 
extravagantly French accent. 

Philip wished she would speak English. 

"I say, I don't know if it's struck you that the garden- 
er's quite likely to pass the window any minute." 

"Ah, je m'en fiche du jardinier. Je m'en refiche, el je 
m'en contrefiche" 

Philip thought it was very like a French novel, and he 
did not know why it slightly irritated him. 

At last he said : 

"Well, I think I'll tootle along to the beach and have a 

"Oh, you're not going to leave me this morning of all 
mornings ?" 

Philip did not quite know why he should not, but it did 
not matter. 

"Would you like me to stay?" he smiled. 

"Oh, you darling! But no, go. Go. I want to think of 
you mastering the salt sea waves, bathing your limbs in the 
broad ocean." 

He got his hat and sauntered off. 

"What rot women talk!" he thought to himself. 

But he was pleased and happy and flattered. She was 
evidently frightfully gone on him. As he limped along the 
high street of Blackstable he looked with a tinge of super- 
ciliousness at the people he passed. He knew a good many 


to nod to, and as he gave them a smile of recognition he 
thought to himself, if they only knew ! He did want some- 
one to know very badly. He thought he would write to 
Hayward, and in his mind composed the letter. He would 
talk of the garden and the roses, and the little French 
governess, like an exotic flower amongst them, scented and 
perverse : he would say she was French, because well, 
she had lived in France so long that she almost was, and 
besides it would be shabby to give the whole thing away 
too exactly, don't you know ; and he would tell Hayward 
how he had seen her first in her pretty muslin dress and of 
the flower she had given him. He made a delicate idyl of 
it : the sunshine and the sea gave it passion and magic, and 
the stars added poetry, and the old vicarage garden was a 
fit and exquisite setting. There was something Meredithian 
about it: it was not quite Lucy Feverel and not quite 
Clara Middleton ; but it was inexpressibly charming. Phil- 
ip's heart beat quickly. He was so delighted with his fan- 
cies that he began thinking of them again as soon as he 
crawled back, dripping and cold, into his bathing-machine. 
He thought of the object of his affections. She had the 
most adorable little nose and large brown eyes he would 
describe her to Hayward and masses of soft brown hair, 
the sort of hair it was delicious to bury your face in, and a 
skin which was like ivory and sunshine, and her cheek was 
like a red, red rose. How old was she ? Eighteen perhaps, 
and he called her Musette. Her laughter was like a rip- 
pling brook, and her voice was so soft, so low, it was the 
sweetest music he had ever heard. 

"What are you thinking about?" 

Philip stopped suddenly. He was walking slowly home. 

"I've been waving at you for the last quarter of a mile. 
You are absent-minded." 

Miss Wilkinson was standing in front of him, laughing 
at his surprise. 

"I thought I'd come and meet you." 

"That's awfully nice of you," he said. 

"Did I startle you ?" 

"You did a bit," he admitted. 


He wrote his letter to Hayward all the same. There were 
eight pages of it. 

The fortnight that remained passed quickly, and though 
each evening, when they went into the garden after sup- 
per, Miss Wilkinson remarked that one day more had 
gone, Philip was in too cheerful spirits to let the thought 
depress him. One night Miss Wilkinson suggested that it 
would be delightful if she could exchange her situation in 
Berlin for one in London. Then they could see one an- 
other constantly. Philip said it would be very jolly, but 
the prospect aroused no enthusiasm in him ; he was looking 
forward to a wonderful life in London, and he preferred 
not to be hampered. He spoke a little too freely of all he 
meant to do, and allowed Miss Wilkinson to see that al- 
ready he was longing to be off. 

"You wouldn't talk like that if you loved me," she cried. 

He was taken aback and remained silent. 

"What a fool I've been," she muttered. 

To his surprise he saw that she was crying. He had a 
tender heart, and hated to see anyone miserable. 

"Oh, I'm awfully sorry. What have I done? Don't 

"Oh, Philip, don't leave me. You don't know what you 
mean to me. I have such a wretched life, and you've made 
me so happy." 

He kissed her silently. There really was anguish in her 
tone, and he was frightened. It had never occurred to him 
that she meant what she said quite, quite seriously. 

"I'm awfully sorry. You know I'm frightfully fond of 
you. I wish you would come to London." 

"You know I can't. Places are almost impossible to get, 
and I hate English life." 

Almost unconscious that he was acting a part, moved by 
her distress, he pressed her more and more. Her tears 
vaguely flattered him, and he kissed her with real passion. 

But a day or two later she made a real scene. There was 
a tennis-party at the vicarage, and two girls came, daugh- 
ters of a retired major in an Indian regiment who had 
lately settled in Blackstable. They were very pretty, one 
v-as Philip's age and the other was a year or two younger. 


Being used to the society of young men (they were full 
of stories of hill-stations in India, and at that time the 
stories of Rudyard Kipling were in every hand) they be- 
gan to chaff Philip gaily ; and he, pleased with the novelty 
the young ladies at Blackstable treated the Vicar's 
nephew with a certain seriousness was gay and jolly. 
Some devil within him prompted him to start a violent 
flirtation with them both, and as he was the only young 
man there, they were quite willing to meet him half-way. 
It happened that they played tennis quite well and Philip 
was tired of pat-ball with Miss Wilkinson (she had only 
begun to play when she came to Blackstable), so when he 
arranged the sets after tea he suggested that Miss Wilkin- 
son should play against the curate's wife, with the curate 
as her partner; and he would play later with the new- 
comers. He sat down by the elder Miss O'Connor and 
said to her in an undertone : 

"We'll get the duffers out of the way first, and then 
we'll have a jolly set afterwards." 

Apparently Miss Wilkinson overheard him, for she 
threw down her racket, and, saying she had a headache, 
went away. It was plain to everyone that she was offended 
Philip was annoyed that she should make the fact public. 
The set was arranged without her, but presently Mrs 
Carey called him. 

"Philip, you've hurt Emily's feelings. She's gone to her 
room and she's crying." 

"What about?" 

"Oh, something about a duffer's set. Do go to her, and 
say you didn't mean to be unkind, there's a good boy." 

"All right." 

He knocked at Miss Wilkinson's door, but receiving no 
answer went in. He found her lying face downwards on 
her bed, weeping. He touched her on the shoulder. 

"I say, what on earth's the matter?" 

"Leave me alone. I never want to speak to you again." 

"What have I done ? I'm awfully sorry if I've hurt your 
feelings. I didn't mean to. I say, do get up." 

"Oh, I'm so unhappy. How could you be cruel to me? 


You know I hate that stupid game. I only play because I 
want to play with you." 

She got up and walked towards the dressing-table, but 
after a quick look in the glass sank into a chair. She made 
her handkerchief into a ball and dabbed her eyes with it. 

"I've given you the greatest thing a woman can give a 
man oh, what a fool I was and you have no gratitude. 
You must be quite heartless. How could you be so cruel 
as to torment me by flirting with those vulgar girls. We've 
only got just over a week. Can't you even give me that?" 

Philip stood over her rather sulkily. He thought her be- 
haviour childish. He was vexed with her for having shown 
her ill-temper before strangers. 

"But you know I don't care twopence about either of the 
O'Connors. Why on earth should you think I do?" 

Miss Wilkinson put away her handkerchief. Her tears 
had made marks on her powdered face, and her hair was 
somewhat disarranged. Her white dress did not suit her 
very well just then. She looked at Philip with hungry, 
passionate eyes. 

"Because you're twenty and so's she," she said hoarsely. 
"And I'm old." 

Philip reddened and looked away. The anguish of her 
tone made him feel strangely uneasy. He wished with all 
his heart that he had never had anything to do with Miss 

"I don't want to make you unhappy," he said awkwardly. 
"You'd better go down and look after your friends. They'll 
wonder what has become of you." 

"All right." 

He was glad to leave her. 

The quarrel was quickly followed by a reconciliation, but 
the few days that remained were sometimes irksome to 
Philip. He wanted to talk of nothing but the future, and 
the future invariably reduced Miss Wilkinson to tears. At 
first her weeping affected him. and feeling himself a beast 
he redoubled his protestations of undying passion; but 
now it irritated him: it would have been all very well if 
she had been a girl, but it was silly of a grown-up woman 
to cry so much. She never ceased reminding him that he 


was under a debt of gratitude to her which he could never 
repay. He was willing to acknowledge this since she made 
a point of it, but he did not really know why he should be 
any more grateful to her than she to him. He was expected 
to show his sense of obligation in ways which were rather 
a nuisance : he had been a good deal used to solitude, and 
it was a necessity to him sometimes; but Miss Wilkinson 
looked upon it as an unkindness if he was not always at 
her beck and call. The Miss O'Connors asked them both 
to tea, and Philip would have liked to go, but Miss Wil- 
kinson said she only had five days more and wanted him 
entirely to herself. It was flattering, but a bore. Miss Wil- 
kinson told him stories of the exquisite delicacy of French- 
men when they stood in the same relation to iair ladies as 
he to Miss Wilkinson. She praised their courtesy, their 
passion for self-sacrifice, their perfect tact. Miss Wilkin- 
son seemed to want a great deal. 

Philip listened to her enumeration of the qualities which 
must be possessed by the perfect lover, and he could not 
help feeling a certain satisfaction that she lived in Berlin. 

"You will write to me, won't you? Write to me every 
day. I want to know everything you're doing. You must 
keep nothing from me." 

"I shall be awfully busy," he answered. "I'll write as 
often as I can." 

She flung her arms passionately round his neck. He was 
embarrassed sometimes by the demonstrations of her 
affection. He would have preferred her to be more passive. 
It shocked him a little that she should give him so marked 
a lead : it did not tally altogether with his prepossessions 
about the modesty of the feminine temperament. 

At length the day came on which Miss Wilkinson was 
to go, and she came down to breakfast, pale and subdued, 
in a serviceable travelling dress of black and white check. 
She looked a very competent governess. Philip was silent 
too, for he did not quite know what to say that would fit 
the circumstance; and he was terribly afraid that, if he 
said something flippant, Miss Wilkinson would break down 
before his uncle and make a scene. They had said their 
last good-bye to one another in the garden the night 


before, and Philip was relieved that there was now no op- 
portunity for them to be alone. He remained in the dining- 
room after breakfast in case Miss Wilkinson should insist 
on kissing him on the stairs. He did not want Mary Ann, 
now a woman hard upon middle age with a sharp tongue, 
to catch them in a compromising position. Mary Ann did 
not like Miss Wilkinson and called her an old cat. Aunt 
Louisa was not very well and could not come to the sta- 
tion, but the Vicar and Philip saw her off. Just as the 
train was leaving she leaned out and kissed Mr. Carey. 

"I must kiss you too, Philip," she said. 

"All right," he said, blushing. 

He stood up on the step and she kissed him quickly. 
The train started, and Miss Wilkinson sank into the corner 
of her carriage and wept disconsolately. Philip as he 
walked back to the vicarage felt a distinct sensation of 

"Well, did you see her safely off?" asked Aunt Louisa, 
when they got in. 

"Yes, she seemed rather weepy. She insisted on kissing 
me and Philip." 

"Oh, well, at her age it's not dangerous." Mrs. Carey 
pointed to the sideboard. "There's a letter for you, Philip. 
It came by the second post." 

It was from Hayward and ran as follows : 

My dear boy, 

I answer your letter at once. I ventured to read it to a 
great friend of mind, a charming woman whose help and 
sympathy have been very precious to me, a woman withal 
with a real feeling for art and literature; and we agreed 
that it was charming. You wrote from your heart and you 
do not know the delightful naivete which is in every line. 
And because you love you write like a poet. Ah, dear boy, 
that is the real thing: I felt the glow of your young pas- 
sion, and your prose was musical from the sincerity of 
your emotion. You must be happy! I wish I could have 
been present unseen in that enchanted garden while you 
wandered hand in hand, like Daphnis and Chloe, amid the 
flowers. I can see you, my Daphnis, with the light of young 


love in your eyes, tender, enraptured, and ardent; while 
Chloe in your arms, so young and soft and fresh, vowing 
she would ne'er consent consented. Roses and violets and 
honeysuckle! Oh, my friend, I envy you. It is so good to 
think that your first love should have been pure poetry. ^ 
Treasure the moments, for the immortal gods have given 
you the Greatest Gift of All, and it will be a sweet, sad 
memory till your dying day. You will never again enjoy 
that careless rapture. First love is best love; and she is 
beautiful arid you are young, and all the world is yours. I 
felt my pulse go faster when with your adorable simplicity 
you told me that you buried your face in her long hair. I 
am sure that it is that exquisite chestnut which seems just 
touched with gold. I would have you sit under a leafy tree 
side by side, and read together Romeo and Juliet ; and then 
I would have you fall on your knees and on my behalf kiss 
the ground on which her foot has left its imprint; then tell 
her it is the homage of a poet to her radiant youth and to 
your love for her. 

Yours always, 

G. Ei-heridge Hay ward. 

"What damned rot !" said Philip, when he finished the 

Miss Wilkinson oddly enough had suggested that they 
should read Romeo and Juliet together; but Philip had 
firmly declined. Then, as he put the letter in his pocket, he 
felt a queer little pang of bitterness because reality seemed : 
so different from the ideal. 


A FEW days later Philip went to London. The curate had 
recommended rooms in Barnes, and these Philip engaged 
by letter at fourteen shillings a week. He reached them in 
the evening; and the landlady, a funny little old woman 
with a shrivelled body and a deeply wrinkled face, had 
prepared high tea for him. Most of the sitting-room was 
taken up by the sideboard and a square table ; against one 
wall was a sofa covered with horsehair, and by the fire- 
place an arm-chair to match : there was a white antimacas- 
sar over the back of it, and on the seat, because the springs 
were broken, a hard cushion. 

After having his tea he unpacked and arranged his 
books, then he sat down and tried to read; but he was 
depressed. The silence in the street made him slightly un- 
comfortable, and he felt very much alone. 

Next day he got up early. He put on his tail-coat and 
the tall hat which he had worn at school ; but it was very 
shabby, and he made up his mind to stop at the Stores on 
his way to the office and buy a new one. When he had done 
this he found himself in plenty of time and so walked 
along the Strand. The office of Messrs. Herbert Carter & 
Co. was in a little street off Chancery Lane, and he had to 
ask his way two or three times. He felt that people were 
staring at him a great deal, and once he took off his hat to 
see whether by chance the label had been left on. When 
he arrived he knocked at the door; but no one answered, 
and looking at his watch he found it was barely half past 
nine; he supposed he was too early. He went away and 
ten minutes later returned to find an office-boy, with a long 
nose, pimply face, and a Scotch accent, opening the door. 
Philip asked for Mr. Herbert Carter. He had not come yet. 

"When will he be here?" 

"Between ten and half past." 

"I'd better wait," said Philip. 



"What are you wanting?" asked the office-boy. 

Philip was nervous, but tried to hide the fact by a jo* 
cose manner. 

"Well, I'm going to work here if you have no objec- 

"Oh, you're the new articled clerk? You'd better come 
in. Mr. Goodworthy'll be here in a while." 

Philip walked in, and as he did so saw the office-boy 
he was about the same age as Philip and called himself a 
junior clerk look at his foot. He flushed and, sitting 
down, hid it behind the other. He looked round the room. 
It was dark and very dingy. It was lit by a skylight. There 
were three rows of desks in it and against them high 
stools. Over the chimney-piece was a dirty engraving of a 
prize-fight. Presently a clerk came in and then another; 
they glanced at Philip and in an undertone asked the office- 
boy (Philip found his name was Macdougal) who he was. 
A whistle blew, and Macdougal got up. 

"Mr. Goodworthy's come. He's the managing clerk. 
Shall I tell him you're here ?" 

"Yes, please," said Philip. 

The office-boy went out and in a moment returned. 

"Will you come this way?" 

Philip followed him across the passage and was shown 
into a room, small and barely furnished, in which a little, 
thin man was standing with his back to the fireplace. He 
was much below the middle height, but his large head, 
which seemed to hang loosely on his body, gave him an 
odd ungainliness. His features were wide and flattened, 
and he had prominent, pale eyes ; his thin hair was sandy ; 
he wore whiskers that grew unevenly on his face, and in 
places where you would have expected the hair to grow 
thickly there was no hair at all. His skin was pasty and 
yellow. He held out his hand to Philip, and when he smiled 
showed badly decayed teeth. He spoke with a patronising 
and at the same time a timid air, as though he sought to 
assume an importance which he did not feel. He said he 
hoped Philip would like the work; there was a good deal 
of drudgery about it, but when you got used to it, it was 
interesting ; and one made money, that was the chief thing, 


wasn't it ? He laughed with his odd mixture of superiority 
and shyness. 

"Mr. Carter will be here presently," he said. "He's a lit- 
tle late on Monday mornings sometimes. I'll call you when 
he comes. In the meantime I must give you something to 
do. Do you know anything about book-keeping or ac- 
counts ?" 

"I'm afraid not," answered Philip. 

"I didn't suppose you would. They don't teach you 
things at school that are much use in business, I'm afraid." 
He considered for a moment. "I think I can find you some- 
thing to do." 

He went into the next room and after a little while came 
out with a large cardboard box. It contained a vast num- 
ber of letters in great disorder, and he told Philip to sort 
them out and arrange them alphabetically according to the 
names of the writers. 

"I'll take you to the room in which the articled clerk 
generally sits. There's a very nice fellow in it. His name is 
Watson. He's a son of Watson, Crag, and Thompson 
you know the brewers. He's spending a year with us to 
learn business." 

Mr. Goodworthy led Philip through the dingy office, 
where now six or eight clerks were working, into a narrow 
room behind. It had been made into a separate apartment 
by a glass partition, and here they found Watson sitting 
back in a chair, reading The Sportsman. He was a large, 
stout young man, elegantly dressed, and he looked up as 
Mr. Goodworthy entered. He asserted his position by call- 
ing the managing clerk Goodworthy. The managing clerk 
objected to the familiarity, and pointedly called him Mr. 
Watson, but Watson, instead of seeing that it was a re- 
buke, accepted the title as a tribute to his gentlemanliness. 

"I see they've scratched Rigoletto," he said to Philip, 
as soon as they were left alone. 

"Have they?" said Philip, who knew nothing about 

He looked with awe upon Watson's beautiful clothes. 
His tail-coat fitted him perfectly, and there was a valuable 
pin artfully stuck in the middle of an enormous tie. On 


the chimney-piece rested his tall hat; it was saucy and 
bell-shaped and shiny. Philip felt himself very shabby. 
Watson began to talk of hunting it was such an infernal 
bore having to waste one's time in an infernal office, he 
would only be able to hunt on Saturdays and shooting: 
he had ripping invitations all over the country and of 
course he had to refuse them. It was infernal luck, but he 
wasn't going to put up with it long; he was only in this 
infernal hole for a year, and then he was going into the 
business, and he would hunt four days a week and get all 
the shooting there was. 

"You've got five years of it, haven't you ?" he said, wav- 
ing his arm round the tiny room. 

"I suppose so," said Philip. 

"I daresay I shall see something of you. Carter does 
our accounts, you know." 

Philip was somewhat overpowered by the young gentle- 
man's condescension. At Blackstable they had always 
looked upon brewing with civil contempt, the Vicar made 
little jokes about the beerage, and it was a surprising ex- 
perience for Philip to discover that Watson was such an 
important and magnificent fellow. He had been to Win- 
chester and to Oxford, and his conversation impressed the 
fact upon one with frequency. When he discovered the 
details of Philip's education his manner became more pat- 
ronising still. 

"Of course, if one doesn't go to a public school those 
sort of schools are the next best thing, aren't they ?" 

Philip asked about the other men in the office. 

"Oh, I don't bother about them much, you know," said 
Watson. "Carter's not a bad sort. We have him to dine 
now and then. All the rest are awful bounders." 

Presently Watson applied himself to some work he 
had in hand, and Philip set about sorting his letters. Then 
Mr. Goodworthy came in to say that Mr. Carter had ar- 
rived. He took Philip into a large room next door to his 
own. There was a big desk in it, and a couple of big arm- 
chairs; a Turkey carpet adorned the floor, and the walls 
were decorated with sporting prints. Mr. Carter was sit- 
ting at the desk and got up to shake hands with Philip. 


He was dressed in a long frock coat. He looked like 
military man ; his moustache was waxed, his gray hair was 
short and neat, he held himself upright, he talked in a 
breezy way, he lived at Enfield. He was very keen on 
games and the good of the country. He was an officer in 
the Hertfordshire Yeomanry and chairman of the Con- 
servative Association. When he was told that a local mag- 
nate had said no one would take him for a City man, he 
felt that he had not lived in vain. He talked to Philip in 
a pleasant, off-hand fashion. Mr. Goodworthy would look 
after him. Watson was a nice fellow, perfect gentleman, 
good sportsman did Philip hunt ? Pity, the sport for gen- 
tlemen. Didn't have much chance of hunting now, had to 
leave that to his son. His son was at Cambridge, he'd sent 
him to Rugby, fine school Rugby, nice class of boys there, 
in a couple of years his son would be articled, that would 
be nice for Philip, he'd like his son, thorough sportsman. 
He hoped Philip would get on well and like the work, he 
mustn't miss his lectures, they were getting up the tone of 
the profession, they wanted gentlemen in it. Well, well, 
Mr. Goodworthy was there. If he wanted to know any- 
thing Mr. Goodworthy would tell him. What was his hand- 
writing like? Ah well, Mr. Goodworthy would see about 

Philip was overwhelmed by so much gentlemanliness : in 
East Anglia they knew who were gentlemen and who 
weren't, but the gentlemen didn't talk about it. 


AT first the novelty of the work kept Philip interested. 
Mr. Carter dictated letters to him, and he had to make fair 
copies of statements of accounts. 

Mr. Carter preferred to conduct the office on gentle- 
manly lines ; he would have nothing to do with typewriting 
and looked upon shorthand with disfavour : the office-boy 
knew shorthand, but it was only Mr. Goqdworthy who 
made use of his accomplishment. Now and then Philip 
with one of the more experienced clerks went out to audit 
the accounts of some firm : he came to know which of the 
clients must be treated with respect and which were in 
low water. Now and then long lists of figures were given 
him to add up. He attended lectures for his first examina- 
tion. Mr. Goodworthy repeated to him that the work was 
dull at first, but he would grow used to it. Philip left the 
office at six and walked across the river to Waterloo. His 
supper was waiting for him when he reached his lodgings 
and he spent the evening reading. On Saturday after- 
noons he went to the National Gallery. Hayward had 
recommended to him a guide which had been compiled out 
of Ruskin's works, and with this in hand he went indus- 
triously through room after room : he read carefully what 
the critic had said about a picture and then in a deter- 
mined fashion set himself to see the same things in it. His 
Sundays were difficult to get through. He knew no one in 
London and spent them by himself. Mr. Nixon, the so- 
licitor, asked him to spend a Sunday at Hampstead, and 
Philip passed a happy day with a set of exuberant stran- 
gers ; he ate and drank a great deal, took a walk on the 
heath, and came away with a general invitation to come 
again whenever he liked; but he was morbidly afraid of 
being in the way, so waited for a formal invitation. Natur- 
ally enough it never came, for with numbers of friends 
of their own the Nixons did not think of the lonely, silent 



boy whose claim upon their hospitality was so small. So 
on Sundays he got up late and took a walk along the 
tow-path. At Barnes the river is muddy, dingy, and tidal ; 
it has neither the graceful charm of the Thames above the 
locks nor the romance of the crowded stream below Lon- 
don Bridge. In the afternoon he walked about the com- 
Aion ; and that is gray and dingy too ; it is neither country 
nor town ; the gorse is stunted ; and all about is the litter 
of civilisation. He went to a play every Saturday nigh* 
and stood cheerfully for an hour or more at the gallery- 
door. It was not worth while to go back to Barnes for 
the interval between the closing of the Museum and his 
meal in an A. B. C. shop, and the time hung heavily on his 
hands. He strolled up Bond Street or through the Burling- 
ton Arcade, and when he was tired went and sat down 
in the Park or in wet weather in the public library in St. 
Martin's Lane. He looked at the people walking about and 
envied them because they had friends; sometimes his 
envy turned to hatred because they were happy and he 
was miserable. He had never imagined that it was possi- 
ble to be so lonely in a great city. Sometimes when he was 
standing at the gallery-door the man next to him would 
attempt a conversation ; but Philip had the country boy's 
suspicion of strangers and answered in such a way as to 
prevent any further acquaintance. After the play was over, 
obliged to keep to himself all he thought about it, he hur- 
ried across the bridge to Waterloo. When he got back to 
his rooms, in which for economy no fire had been lit, his 
heart sank. It was horribly cheerless. He began to loathe 
his lodgings and the long solitary evenings he spent in 
them. Sometimes he felt so lonely that he could not read, 
and then he sat looking into the fire hour after hour in 
bitter wretchedness. 

He had spent three months in London now, and except 
for that one Sunday at Hampstead had never talked to 
anyone but his fellow-clerks. One evening Watson asked 
him to dinner at a restaurant and they went to a music- 
hall together ; but he felt shy and uncomfortable. Watson 
talked all the time of things he did not care about, and 
while he looked upon Watson as a Philistine he could not 


help admiring him. He was angry because Watson obvi- 
ously set no store on his culture, and with his way of tak- 
ing himself at the estimate at which he saw others held 
him he began to despise the acquirements which till then 
had seemed to him not unimportant. He felt for the first 
time the humiliation of poverty. His uncle sent him four- 
teen pounds a month and he had had to buy a good many 
clothes. His evening suit cost him five guineas. He had 
not dared tell Watson that it was bought in the Strand 
Watson said there was only one tailor in London. 

"I suppose you don't dance," said Watson, one day, 
with a glance at Philip's club-foot. 

"No," said Philip. 

"Pity. I've been asked to bring some dancing men to a 
ball. I could have introduced you to some jolly girls." 

Once or twice, hating the thought of going back to 
Barnes, Philip had remained in town, and late in the eve- 
ning wandered through the West End till he found some 
house at which there was a party. He stood among the 
little group of shabby people, behind the footmen, watch- 
ing the guests arrive, and he listened to the music that 
floated through the window. Sometimes, notwithstanding 
the cold, a couple came on to the balcony and stood for a 
moment to get some fresh air ; and Philip, imagining that 
they were in love with one another, turned away and 
limped along the street with a heavy heart. He would 
never be able to stand in that man's place. He felt that no 
woman could ever really look upon him without distaste 
for his deformity. 

That reminded him of Miss Wilkinson. He thought of 
her without satisfaction. Before parting they had made an 
arrangement that she should write to Charing Cross Post 
Office till he was able to send her an address, and when 
he went there he found three letters from her. She wrote 
on blue paper with violet ink, and she wrote in French. 
Philip wondered why she could not write in English like 
a sensible woman, and her passionate expressions, because 
they reminded him of a French novel, left him cold. She 
upbraided him for not having written, and when he an- 
swered he excused himself by saying that he had been 


busy. He did not quite know how to start the letter. He 
could not bring himself to use dearest or darling, and he 
hated to address her as Emily, so finally he began with 
the word dear. It looked odd, standing by itself, and rather 
silly, but he made it do. It was the first love letter he had 
ever written, and he was conscious of its lameness ; he felt 
that he should say all sorts of vehement things, how he 
thought of her every minute of the day and how he longed 
to kiss her beautiful hands and how he trembled at the 
thought of her red lips, but some inexplicable modesty 
prevented him ; and instead he told her of his new rooms 
and his office. The answer came by return of post, angry, 
heart-broken, reproachful : how could he be so cold ? Did 
he not know that she hung on his letters? She had given 
him all that a woman could give, and this was her re- 
ward. Was he tired of her already? Then, because he did 
not reply for several days, Miss Wilkinson bombarded 
him with letters. She could not bear his unkindness, she 
waited for the post, and it never brought her his letter, 
she cried herself to sleep night after night, she was look- 
ing so ill that everyone remarked on it : if he did not love 
her why did he not say so? She added that she could not 
live without him, and the only thing was for her to com- 
mit suicide. She told him he was cold and selfish and un- 
grateful. It was all in French, and Philip knew that she 
wrote in that language to show off, but he was worried 
all the same. He did not want to make her unhappy. In 
a little while she wrote that she could not bear the separa- 
tion any longer, she would arrange to come over to Lon- 
don for Christmas. Philip wrote back that he would like 
nothing better, only he had already an engagement to spend 
Christmas with friends in the country, and he did not see 
how he could break it. She answered that she did not wish 
to force herself on him, it was quite evident that he did 
not wish to see her; she was deeply hurt, and she never 
thought he would repay with such cruelty all her kind- 
ness. Her letter was touching, and Philip thought he 
saw marks of her tears on the paper ; he wrote an impul- 
sive reply saying that he was dreadfully sorry and im- 
ploring her to come; but it was with relief that he 


received her answer in which she said that she found it 
would be impossible for her to get uway. Presently when 
her letters came his heart sank : he delayed opening them, 
for he knew what they would contain, angry reproaches 
and pathetic appeals ; they would make him feel a perfect 
beast, and yet he did not see with what he had to blame 
himself. He put off his answer from day to day, and then 
another letter would come, saying she was ill and loneh 
and miserable. 

"I wish to God I'd never had anything to do with her/ 
he said. 

He admired Watson because he arranged these things 
so easily. The young man had been engaged in an intrigue 
with a girl who played in touring companies, and his ac- 
count of the affair filled Philip with envious amazement. 
But after a time Watson's young affections changed, and 
one day he described the rupture to Philip. 

"I thought it was no good making any bones about it so 
I just told her I'd had enough of her," he said. 

"Didn't she make an awful scene?" asked Philip. 

"The usual thing, you know, but I told her it was no 
good trying on that sort of thing with me." 

"Did she cry?" 

"She began to, but I can't stand women when they cry, 
so I said she'd better hook it." 

Philip's sense of humour was growing keener with ad- 
vancing years. 

"And did she hook it ?" he asked smiling. 

"Well, there wasn't anything else for her to do, was 
there ?" 

Meanwhile the Christmas holidays approached. Mrs. 
Carey had been ill all through November, and the doctor 
suggested that she and the Vicar should go to Cornwall 
for a couple of weeks round Christmas so that she should 
get back her strength. The result was that Philip had no- 
where to go, and he spent Christmas Day in his lodgings. 
Under Hayward's influence he had persuaded himself 
that the festivities that attend this season were vulgar 
and barbaric, and he made up his mind that he would take 
no notice of the day; but when it came, the jollity of all 


around affected him strangely. His landlady and her hus- 
band were spending the day with a married daughter, and 
to save trouble Philip announced that he would take his 
meals out. He went up to London towards mid-day and 
ate a slice of turkey and some Christmas pudding by him- 
self at Gatti's, and since he had nothing to do afterwards 
went to Westminster Abbey for the afternoon service. The 
streets were almost empty, and the people who went along 
had a preoccupied look; they did not saunter but walked 
with some definite goal in view, and hardly anyone was 
alone. To Philip they all seemed happy. He felt himself 
more solitary than he had ever done in his life. His inten- 
tion had been to kill the day somehow in the streets and 
then dine at a restaurant, but he could not face again the 
sight of cheerful people, talking, laughing, and making 
merry; so he went back to Waterloo, and on his way 
through the Westminster Bridge Road bought some ham 
and a couple of mince pies and went back to Barnes. He 
ate his food in his lonely little room and spent the eve- 
ning with a book. His depression was almost intolerable. 

When he was back at the office it made him very sore to 
listen to Watson's account of the short holiday. They had 
had some jolly girls staying with them, and after dinner 
they had cleared out the drawing-room and had a dance. 

"I didn't get to bed till three and I don't know how I 
got there then. By George, I was squiffy." 

At last Philip asked desperately : 

"How does one get to know people in London ?" 

Watson looked at him with surprise and with a slightly 
contemptuous amusement. 

"Oh, I don't know, one just knows them. If you go to 
dances you soon get to know as many people as you can 
do with." 

Philip hated Watson, and yet he would have given any- 
thing to change places with him. The old feeling that he 
had had at school came back to him, and he tried to throw 
himself into the other's skin, imagining what life would 
be if he were Watson. 


AT the end of the year there was a great deal to 
do. Philip went to various places with a clerk named 
Thompson and spent the day monotonously calling out 
items of expenditure, which the other checked ; and some- 
times he was given long pages of figures to add up. He 
had never had a head for figures, and he could only do this 
slowly. Thompson grew irritated at his mistakes. His 
fellow-clerk was a long, lean man of forty, sallow, with 
black hair and a ragged moustache ; he had hollow cheeks 
and deep lines on each side of his nose. He took a dislike 
to Philip because he was an articled clerk. Because he could 
put down three hundred guineas and keep himself for five 
years Philip had the chance of a career ; while he, with his 
experience and ability, had no possibility of ever being 
more than a clerk at thirty-five shillings a week. He was a 
cross-grained man, oppressed by a large family, and he 
resented the superciliousness which he fancied he saw in 
Philip. He sneered at Philip because he was better edu- 
cated than himself, and he mocked at Philip's pronuncia- 
tion; he could not forgive him because he spoke without 
a cockney accent, and when he talked to him sarcastically 
exaggerated his aitches. At first his manner was merely 
gruff and repellent, but as he discovered that Philip had 
no gift for accountancy he took pleasure in humiliating 
him ; his attacks were gross and silly, but they wounded 
Philip, and in self-defence he assumed an attitude of su- 
periority which he did not feel. 

"Had a bath this morning?" Thompson said when Philip 
came to the office late, for his early punctuality had not 

"Yes, haven't you ?" 

"No, I'm not a gentleman, I'm only a clerk. I have a 
bath on Saturday night." 



"I suppose that's why you're more than usually dis- 
agreeable on Monday." 

"Will you condescend to do a few sums in simple ad- 
dition today? I'm afraid it's asking a great deal from a 
gentleman who knows Latin and Greek." 

"Your attempts at sarcasm are not very happy." 

But Philip could not conceal from himself that the other 
clerks, ill-paid and uncouth, were more useful than him- 
self. Once or twice Mr. Goodworthy grew impatient with 

."You really ought to be able to do better than this by 
now," he said. "You're not even as smart as the office- 

Philip listened sulkily. He did not like being blamed, 
and it humiliated him, when, having been given accounts 
to make fair copies of, Mr. Goodworthy was not satisfied 
and gave them to another clerk to do. At first the work 
had been tolerable from its novelty, but now it grew irk- 
some ; and when he discovered that he had no aptitude for 
it, he began to hate it. Often, when he should have been 
doing something that was given him, he wasted his time 
drawing little pictures on the office note-paper. He made 
sketches of Watson in every conceivable attitude, and 
Watson was impressed by his talent. It occurred to him to 
take the drawings home, and he came back next day with 
the praises of his family. 

"I wonder you didn't become a painter," he said. "Only 
of course there's no money in it." 

It chanced that Mr. Carter two or three days later was 
dining with the Watsons, and the sketches were shown 
him. The following morning he sent for Philip. Philip saw 
him seldom and stood in some awe of him. 

"Look here, young fellow, I don't care what you do out 
of office-hours, but I've seen those sketches of yours and 
they're on office-paper, and Mr. Goodworthy tells me 
you're slack. You won't do any good as a chartered ac- 
countant unless you look alive. It's a fine profession, and 
we're getting a very good class of men in it, but it's a pro- 
fession in which you have to . . ." he looked for the ter- 
mination of his phrase, but could not find exactly what he 


wanted, so finished rather tamely, "in which you have to 
look alive." 

Perhaps Philip would have settled down but for the 
agreement that if he did not like the work he could leave 
after a year, and get back half the money paid for his 
articles. He felt that he was fit for something better than 
to add up accounts, and it was humiliating that he did so 
ill something which seemed contemptible. The vulgar 
scenes with Thompson got on his nerves. In March Wat- 
son ended his year at the office and Philip, though he did 
not care for him, saw him go with regret. The fact that 
the other clerks disliked them equally, because they be- 
longed to a class a little higher than their own, was a bond 
of union. When Philip thought that he must spend over 
four years more with that dreary set of fellows his heart 
sank. He had expected wonderful things from London 
and it had given him nothing. He hated it now. He did not 
know a soul, and he had no idea how he was to get to know 
anyone. He was tired of going everywhere by himself. He 
began to feel that he could not stand much more of such 
a life. He would lie in bed at night and think of the joy 
of never seeing again that dingy office or any of the men 
in it, and of getting away from those drab lodgings. 

A great disappointment befell him in the spring. Hay- 
ward had announced his intention of coming to London 
for the season, and Philip had looked forward very much 
to seeing him again. He had read so much lately and 
thought so much that his mind was full of ideas which he 
wanted to discuss, and he knew nobody who was willing 
to interest himself in abstract things. He was quite ex- 
cited at the thought of talking his fill with someone, and 
he was wretched when Hayward wrote to say that the 
spring was lovelier than ever he had known it in Italy, 
and he could not bear to tear himself away. He went on 
to ask why Philip did not come. What was the use of 
squandering the days of his youth in an office when the 
world was beautiful? The letter proceeded. 

I wonder you can bear it. I think of Fleet Street and Lin- 
coln's Inn now with a shudder of disgust. There are only 


two things in the world that make life worth living, love 
and art. I cannot imagine you sitting in an office over a 
ledger, vnd do you wear a tall hat and an umbrella and a 
little black bag? My feeling is that one should look upon 
life as an adventure, one should burn with the hard, gem- 
like flame, and one should take risks, one should expose 
oneself to danger. Why do you not go to Paris and study 
art? I always thought you had talent. 

The suggestion fell in with the possibility that Philip 
for some time had been vaguely turning over in his mind. 
It startled him at first, but he could not help thinking of 
it, and in the constant rumination over it he found his only 
escape from the wretchedness of his present state. They 
all thought he had talent ; at Heidelberg they had admired 
his water colours, Miss Wilkinson had told him over and 
over again that they were charming; even strangers like 
the Watsons had been struck by his sketches. La Vie de 
Boh erne had made a deep impression on him. He had 
brought it to London and when he was most depressed he 
had only to read a few pages to be transported into those 
charming attics where Rodolphe and the rest of them 
danced and loved and sang. He began to think of Paris as 
before he had thought of London, but he had no fear of a 
second disillusion ; he yearned for romance and beauty and 
love, and Paris seemed to offer them all. He had a passion 
for pictures, and why should he not be able to paint as well 
as anybody else? He wrote to Miss Wilkinson and asked 
her how much she thought he could live on in Paris. She 
told him that he could manage easily on eighty pounds a 
year, and she enthusiastically approved of his project. She 
told him he was too good to be wasted in an office. Who 
would be a clerk when he might be a great artist, she asked 
dramatically, and she besought Philip to believe in him- 
self : that was the great thing. But Philip had a cautious 
nature. It was all very well for Hayward to talk of taking 
risks, he had three hundred a year in gilt-edged securities ; 
Philip's entire fortune amounted to no more than 
eighteen-hundred pounds. He hesitated. 

Then it chanced that one day Mr. Goodworthy asked 


him suddenly if he would like to go to Paris. The firm did 
the accounts for a hotel in the Faubourg St. Honore, which 
was owned by an English company, and twice a year Mr. 
Goodworthy and a clerk went over. The clerk who gener- 
ally went happened to be ill, and a press of work prevented 
any of the others from getting away. Mr. Goodworthy 
thought of Philip because he could best be spared, and his 
articles gave him some claim upon a job which was one of 
the pleasures of the business. Philip was delighted. ' 

"You'll 'ave to work all day," said Mr. Goodworthy, 
"but we get our evenings to ourselves, and Paris is Paris." 
He smiled in a knowing way. "They do us very well at the 
hotel, and they give us all our meals, so it don't cost one 
anything. That's the way I like going to Paris, at other 
people's expense." 

When they arrived at Calais and Philip saw the crowd 
of gesticulating porters his heart leaped. 

"This is the real thing," he said to himself. 

He was all eyes as the train sped through the country; 
he adored the sand dunes, their colour seemed to him more 
lovely than anything he had ever seen; and he was en- 
chanted with the canals and the long lines of poplars. 
When they got out of the Gare du Nord, and trundled 
along the cobbled streets in a ramshackle, noisy cab, it 
seemed to him that he was breathing a new air so intoxi- 
cating that he could hardly restrain himself from shouting 
aloud. They were met at the door of the hotel by the man- 
ager, a stout, pleasant man, who spoke tolerable English; 
Mr. Goodworthy was an old friend and he greeted them 
effusively; they dined in his private room with his wife, 
and to Philip it seemed that he had never eaten anything 
so delicious as the beefsteak aux pomines, nor drunk such 
nectar as the vin ordinaire, which were set before them. 

To Mr. Goodworthy, a respectable householder with ex- 
cellent principles, the capital of France was a paradise of 
the joyously obscene. He asked the manager next morn- 
ing what tliQre was to be seen that was 'thick.' He thor- 
oughly enjoyed these visits of his to Paris; he said they 
kept you from growing rusty. In the evenings, after their 
work was over and they had dined, he took Philip to the 


Moulin Rouge and the Folies Bergeres. His little eyes 
twinkled and his face wore a sly, sensual smile as he 
sought out the pornographic. He went into all the haunts 
which were specially arranged for the foreigner, and after- 
wards said that a nation could come to no good which per- 
mitted that sort of thing. He nudged Philip when at some 
revue a woman appeared with practically nothing on, and 
pointed out to him the most strapping of the courtesans 
who walked about the hall. It was a vulgar Paris that he 
showed Philip, but Philip saw it with eyes blinded with il- 
lusion. In the early morning he would rush out of the hotel 
and go to the Champs Elysees, and stand at the Place de 
la Concorde. It was June, and Paris was silvery with the 
delicacy of the air. Philip felt his heart go out to the peo- 
ple. Here he thought at last was romance. 

They spent the inside of a week there, leaving on Sun- 
day, and when Philip late at night reached his dingy rooms 
in Barnes his mind was made up ; he would surrender his 
articles, and go to Paris to study art ; but so that no one 
should think him unreasonable he determined to stay at the 
office till his year was up. He was to have his holiday dur- 
ing the last fortnight in August, and when he went away 
he would tell Herbert Carter that he had no intention of 
returning. But though Philip could force himself to go to 
the office every day he could not even pretend to show any 
interest in the work. His mind was occupied with the fu- 
ture. After the middle of July there was nothing much to 
do and he escaped a good deal by pretending he had to go 
to lectures for his first examination. The time he got in 
this way he spent in the National Gallery. He read books 
about Paris and books about painting. He was steeped in 
Ruskin. He read many of Vasari's lives of the painters. 
He liked that story of Correggio, and he fancied himself 
standing before some great masterpiece and crying : Anch 
'io son' pittore. His hesitation had left him now, and he 
was convinced that he had in him the makings of a great 

"After all, I can only try," he said to himself. "The 
great thing in life is to take risks." 

At last came the middle of August. Mr. Carter was 


spending the month in Scotland, and the managing clerk 
was in charge of the office. Mr. Goodworthy had seemed 
pleasantly disposed to Philip since their trip to Paris, and 
no\v that Philip knew he was so soon to be free, he could 
look upon the funny little man with tolerance. 

"You're going for your holiday tomorrow, Carey?" he 
said to him in the evening. 

All day Philip had been telling himself that this was the 
last time he would ever sit in that hateful office. 

"Yes, this is the end of my year." 

"I'm afraid you've not done very well. Mr. Carter's very 
dissatisfied with you." 

"Not nearly so dissatisfied as I am with. Mr. Carter," 
returned Philip cheerfully. 

"I don't think you should speak like that, Carey." 

"I'm not coming back. I made the arrangement that if I 
didn't like accountancy Mr. Carter would return me half 
the money I paid for my articles and I could chuck it at 
the end of a year." 

"You shouldn't come to such a decision hastily." 

"For ten months I've loathed it all, I've loathed the 
\vork, I've loathed the office, I loathe London. I'd rather 
sweep a crossing than spend my days here." 

"Well, I must say, I don't think you're very fitted for ac- 

"Good-bye," said Philip, holding out his hand. "I want 
to thank you for your kindness to me. I'm sorry if I've 
been troublesome. I knew almost from the beginning I was 
no good." 

"Well, if you really do make up your mind it is good- 
bye. I don't know what you're going to do, but if you're 
ir> the neighbourhood at any time come in and see us." 

Philip gave a little laugh. 

"I'm afraid it sounds very rude, but I hope from the 
bottom of my heart that I shall never set eyes on any of 
you again." 


THE Vicar of Black-stable would have nothing to do with 
the scheme which Philip laid before him. He had a great 
idea that one should stick to whatever one had begun. Like 
all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not chang- 
ing one's mind. 

"You chose to be an accountant of your own free will/' 
he said. 

"I just took that because it was the only chance I saw 
of getting up to town. I hate London, I hate the work, and 
n )thing will induce me to go back to it." 

Mr. and Mrs. Carey were frankly shocked at Philip's 
idea of being an artist. He should not forget, they said, 
that his father and mother were gentlefolk, and painting 
wasn't a serious profession ; it was Bohemian, disreputa- 
ble, immoral. And then Paris ! 

"So long as I have anything to say in the matter, I shall 
not allow you to live in Paris," said the Vicar firmly. 

It was a sink of iniquity. The scarlet woman and she of 
Babylon flaunted their vileness there; the cities of the 
plain were not more wicked. 

"You've been brought up like a gentleman and Chris- 
tian, and I should be .false to the trust laid upon me by 
your dead father and mother if I allowed you to expose 
yourself to such temptation." 

"Well, I know I'm not a Christian and I'm beginning to 
doubt whether I'm a gentleman," said Philip. 

The dispute grew more violent. There was another year 
before Philip took possession of his small inheritance, and 
during that time Mr. Carey proposed only to give him an 
allowance if he remained at the office. It was clear to Philip 
that if he meant not to continue with accountancy he must 
leave it while he could still get back half the money that 
he had been paid for his articles. The Vicar would not lis- 



ten. Philip, losing all reserve, said things to wound and 

"You've got no right to waste my money," he said at 
last. "After all it's my money, isn't it ? I'm not a child. You 
can't prevent me from going to Paris if I make up my 
mind to. You can't force me to go back to London." 

"All I can do is to refuse you money unless you do what 
I think fit." 

"Well, I don't care, I've made up my mind to go to 
Paris. I shall sell my -lothes, and my books, and my 
father's jewellery." 

Aunt Louisa sat by in .lence, anxious and unhappy : she 
saw that Philip was beside himself, and anything she said 
then would but increase his anger. Finally the Vicar an- 
nounced that he wished to hear nothing more about it and 
with dignity left the room. For the next three days neither 
Philip nor he spoke to one another. Philip wrote to Hay- 
ward for information about Paris, and made up his mind 
to set out as soon as he got a reply. Mrs. Carey turned the 
matter over in her mind incessantly; she felt that Philip 
included her in the hatred he bore her husband, and the 
thought tortured her. She loved him with all her heart. At 
length she spoke to him; she listened , attentively while he 
poured out all his disillusionment of London and his eager 
ambition for the future. 

"I may be no good, but at least let me have a try. I can't 
be a worse failure than I was in that beastly office. And I 
feel that I can paint. I know I've got it in me." 

She was not so sure as her husband that they did right 
in thwarting so strong an inclination. She had read of great 
painters whose parents had opposed their wish to study, 
the event had shown with what folly ; and after all it was 
just as possible for a painter to lead a virtuous life to the 
glory of God as for a chartered accountant. 

"I'm so afraid of your going to Paris," she said pite- 
ously. "It wouldn't be so bad if you studied in London." 

"If. I'm going in for painting I must do it thoroughly, 
and it's only in Paris that you can get the real thing." 

At his suggestion Mrs. Carey wrote to the solicitor, say- 
ing that Philip was discontented with his work in London, 


and asking what he thought of a change. Mr. Nixon an- 
swered as follows: 

Dear Mrs. Carey, 

I have seen Mr. Herbert Carter, and I can afraid I must 
tell you that Philip has not done so well as one could have 
wished. If he is very strongly set against the work, perhaps 
it is better that he should take the opportunity there is now 
to break his articles. I am naturally very disappointed, bu f . 
as you know you can take a hor to the water, but you 
can't make him drink. 

Yours vei sincerely, 

Albert Nixon. 

The letter was shown to the Vicar, but served only to in- 
crease his obstinacy. He was willing enough that Philip 
should take up some other profession, he suggested his 
father's calling, medicine, but nothing would induce him to 
pay an allowance if Philip went to Paris. 

"It's a mere excuse for self-indulgence and sensuality," 
he said. 

"I'm interested to hear you blame self-indulgence in 
others," retorted Philip acidly. 

But by this time an answer had come from Hayward, 
giving the name of a hotel where Philip could get a room 
for thirty francs a month and enclosing a note of introduc- 
tion to the massiere of a school. Philip read the letter to 
Mrs. Carey and told her he proposed to start on the first 
of September. 

"But you haven't got any money ?" she said. 

"I'm going into Tercanbury this afternoon to sell the 

He had inherited from his father a gold watch and chain, 
two or three rings, some links, and two pins. One of them 
was a pearl and might fetch a considerable sum. 

"It's a very different thing, what a thing's worth and 
what it'll fetch," said Aunt Louisa. 

Philip smiled, for this was one of his uncle's stock 

"I know, but at the worst I think I can get a hundred 


pounds on the lot, and that'll keep me till I'm twenty-one." 

Mrs. Carey did not answer, but she went upstairs, put 
on her little black bonnet, and went to the bank. In an hour 
she came back. She went to Philip, who was reading in the 
drawing-room, and handed him an envelope. 

"What's this?" he asked. 

"It's a little present for you," she answered, smiling 

He opened it and found eleven five-pound notes and a 
little paper sack bulging with sovereigns. 

"I couldn't bear to let you sell your father's jewellery. 
It's the money I had in the bank. It comes to very nearly 
a hundred pounds." 

Philip blushed, and, he knew not why, tears suddenly 
filled his eyes. 

"Oh, my dear, I can't take it," he said. "It's most aw- 
fully good of you, but I couldn't bear to take it." 

When Mrs. Carey was married she had three hundred 
pounds, and this money, carefully watched, had been used 
by her to meet any unforeseen expense, any urgent charity, 
or to buy Christmas and birthday presents for her hus- 
band and for Philip. In the course of years it had dimin- 
ished sadly, but it was still with the Vicar a subject for jest- 
ing. He talked of his wife as a rich woman and he con- 
stantly spoke of the 'nest egg.' 

"Oh. please take it, Philip. I'm so sorry I've been ex- 
travagant, and there's only that left. But it'll make me so 
happy if you'll accept it." 

"But you'll want it," said Philip. 

"No, I don't think I shall. I was keeping it in case your 
uncle died before me. I thought it would be useful to have 
a little something I could get at immediately if I wanted it, 
but I don't think I shall live very much longer now." 

"Oh, my dear, don't say that. Why, of course you're go- 
ing to live for ever. I can't possibly spare you." 

"Oh, I'm not sorry." Her voice broke and she hid her 
eyes, but in a moment, drying them, she smiled bravely. 
"At first, I used to pray to God that He might not take me 
first, because I didn't want your uncle to be left alone, I 
didn't want him to have all the suffering, but now I know 


that it wouldn't mean so much to your uncle as it would 
mean to me. He wants to live more than I do, I've never 
been the wife he wanted, and I daresay he'd marry again 
if anything happened to me. So I should like to go first. 
You don't think it's selfish of me, Philip, do you? But I 
couldn't bear it if he went." 

Philip kissed her wrinkled, thin cheek. He did not know 
why the sight he had of that overwhelming love made him 
feel strangely ashamed. It was incomprehensible that she 
should care so much for a man who was so indifferent, so 
selfish, so grossly self-indulgent ; and he divined dimly that 
in her heart she knew his indifference and his selfishness, 
knew them and loved him humbly all the same. 

"You will take the money, Philip?" she said, gently 
stroking his hand. "I know you can do without it, but it'll 
give me so much happiness. I've always wanted to do some- 
thing for you. You see, I never had a child of my own, and 
I've loved you as if you were my son. When you were a 
little boy, though I knew it was wicked, I used to wish 
almost that you might be ill, so that I could nurse you day 
and night. But you were only ill once and then it was at 
school. I should so like to help you. It's the only chance 
I shall ever have. And perhaps some day when you're a 
great artist you won't forget me, but you'll remember that 
I gave you your start." 

"It's very good of you," said Philip. "I'm very grate- 

A smile came into her tired eyes, a smile of pure happi- 

"Oh, I'm so glad." 


A FEW days later Mrs. Carey went to the station to see 
Philip off. She stood at the door of the carriage, trying to 
keep back her tears. Philip was restless and eager. He 
wanted to be gone. 

"Kiss me once more," she said. 

He leaned out of the window and kissed her. The train 
started, and she stood on the wooden platform of the little 
station, waving her handkerchief till it was out of sight. 
Her heart was dreadfully heavy, and the few hundred 
yards to the vicarage seemed very, very long. It was nat- 
ural enough that he should be eager to go, she thought, he 
was a boy and the future beckoned to him ; but she she 
clenched her teeth so that she should not cry. She uttered 
a little inward prayer that God would guard him, and keep 
him out of temptation, and give him happiness and good 

But Philip ceased to think of her a moment after he had 
settled down in his carriage. He thought only of the fu- 
ture. He had written to Mrs. Otter, the massiere to whom 
Hayward had given him an introduction, and had in his 
pocket an invitation to tea on the following day. When he 
arrived in Paris he had his luggage put on a cab, and trun- 
dled off slowly through the gay streets, over the bridge, 
and along the narrow ways of the Latin Quarter. He had 
taken a room at the Hotel des Deux Ecoles, which was in 
a shabby street off the Boulevard du Montparnasse ; it was 
convenient for Amitrano's School at which he was going 
to work. A waiter took his box up five flights of stairs, and 
Philip was shown into a tiny room, fusty from unopened 
windows, the greater part of which was taken up by a large 
wooden bed with a canopy over it of red rep; there were 
heavy curtains on the windows of the same dingy ma- 
terial; the chest of drawers served also as a washing- 


stand ; and there \yas a massive wardrobe of the style 
which is connected with the good King Louis Philippe. 
The wall-paper was discoloured with age; it was dark 
gray, and there could be vaguely seen on it garlands of 
brown leaves. To Philip the room seemed quaint and 

Though it was late he felt too excited to sleep and, go- 
ing out, made his way into the boulevard and walked 
towards the light. This led him to the station ; and the 
square in front of it, vivid with arc-lamps, noisy with the 
yellow trams that seemed to cross it in all directions, made 
him laugh aloud with joy. There were cafes all round, and 
by chance, thirsty and eager to get a nearer sight of the 
crowd, Philip installed himself at a little table outside the 
Cafe de Versailles. Every other table was taken, for it 
was a fine night ; and Philip looked curiously at the people, 
here little family groups, there a knot of men with odd- 
shaped hats and beards talking loudly and gesticulating; 
next to him were two men who looked like painters with 
women who Philip hoped were not their lawful wives ; be- 
hind him he heard Americans loudly arguing on art. His 
soul was thrilled. He sat till very late, tired out but too 
happy to move, and when at last he went to bed he was 
wide awake; he listened to the manifold noise of Paris. 

Next day about tea-time he made his way to the Lion 
de Bel fort, and in a new street that led out of the Boule- 
vard Raspail found Mrs. Otter. She was an insignificant 
woman of thirty, with a provincial air and a deliberately 
lady-like manner; she introduced him to her mother. He 
discovered presently that she had been studying in Paris 
for three years and later that she was separated from her 
husband. She had in her small drawing-room one or two 
portraits which she had painted, and to Philip's inexperi- 
ence they seemed extremely accomplished. 

"I wonder if I shall ever be able to paint as well a? 
that," he said to her. 

"Oh, I expect so," she replied, not without self- 
satisfaction. "You can't expect to do everything all at 
once, of course." 

She was very kind. She gave him the address of a shop 


where he could get a portfolio, drawing-paper, and char- 

"I shall be going to Amitrano's about nine tomorrow, 
and if you'll be there then I'll see that you get a good place 
and all that sort of thing." 

She asked him what he wanted to do, and Philip felt 
that he should not let her see how vague he was about the 
whole matter. 

"Well, first I want to learn to draw," he said. 

"I'm so glad to hear you say that. People always want 
to do things in such a hurry. I never touched oils till I'd 
been here for two years, and look at the result." 

She gave a glance at the portrait of her mother, a sticky 
piece of painting that hung over the piano. 

"And if I were you, I would be very careful about the 
people you get to know. I wouldn't mix myself up with 
any foreigners. I'm very careful myself." 

Philip thanked her for the suggestion, but it seemed to 
him odd. He did not know that he particularly wanted to 
be careful. 

"We live just as we would if we were in England," said 
Mrs. Otter's mother, who till then had spoken little. 
"When we came here we brought all our own furniture 

Philip looked round the room. It was filled with a mas- 
sive suite, and at the window were the same sort of white 
lace curtains which Aunt Louisa put up at the vicarage in 
summer. The piano was draped in Liberty silk and so was 
the chimney-piece. Mrs. Otter followed his wandering 

"In the evening when we close the shutters one might 
really feel one was in England." 

"And we have our meals just as if we were at home," 
added her mother. "A meat breakfast in the morning and 
dinner in the middle of the day." 

When he left Mrs. Otter Philip went to buy drawing 
materials ; and next morning at the stroke of nine, trying 
to seem self-assured, he presented himself at the school. 
Mrs. Otter was already there, and she came forward with 
a friendly smile. He had been anxious about the recep- 


tion he would have as a noureait, for he had read a good 
deal of the rough joking to which a newcomer was exposed 
at some of the studios ; but Mrs. Otter had reassured him. 

"Oh, there's nothing like that here," she said. "You see, 
about half our students are ladies, and they set a tone to 
the place." 

The studio was large and bare, with gray walls, on which 
were pinned the studies that had received prizes. A model 
was sitting in a chair with a loose wrap thrown over her, 
and about a dozen men and women were standing about, 
some talking and others still working on their sketch. It 
was the first rest of the model. 

"You'd better not try anything too difficult at first," said 
Mrs. Otter. "Put your easel here. You'll find that's the 
easiest pose." 

Philip placed an easel where she indicated, and Mrs. 
Otter introduced him to a young woman who sat next to 

"Mr. Carey, Miss Price. Mr. Carey's never studied 
before, you won't mind helping him a little just at first, 
will you ?" Then she turned to the model. "La Pose" 

The model threw aside the paper she had been reading, 
La Petite Republique, and sulkily, throwing off her gown, 
got on to the stand. She stood, squarely on both feet, with 
her hands clasped behind her head. 

"It's a stupid pose," said Miss Price. "I can't imagine 
why they chose it." 

When Philip entered, the people in the studio had 
looked at him curiously, and the model gave him an in- 
different glance, but now they ceased to pay attention to 
him. Philip, with his beautiful sheet of paper in front of 
him, stared awkwardly at the model. He did not know how 
to begin. He had never seen a naked woman before. She 
was not young and her breasts were shrivelled. She had 
colourless, fair hair that fell over her forehead untidily, 
and her face was covered with large freckles. He glanced 
at Miss Price's work. She had only been working on it two 
days, and it looked as though she had had trouble; her 
paper was in a mess from constant rubbing out, and to 
Philip's eyes the figure looked strangely distorted. 


"I should have thought I could do as well as that," he 
said to himself. 

He began on the head, thinking that he would work 
slowly downwards, but, he could not understand why, he 
found it infinitely more difficult to draw a head from the 
model than to draw one from his imagination. He got into 
difficulties. He glanced at Miss Price. She was working 
with vehement gravity. Her brow was wrinkled with 
eagerness, and there was an anxious look in her eyes. It 
was hot in the studio, and drops of sweat stood on her 
forehead. She was a girl of twenty-six, with a great deal of 
dull gold hair ; it was handsome hair, but it was carelessly 
done, dragged back from her forehead and tied in a hur- 
ried knot. She had a large face, with broad, flat features 
and small eyes; her skin was pasty, with a singular un- 
healthiness of tone, and there was no colour in the cheeks. 
She had an unwashed air and you could not help wonder- 
ing if she slept in her clothes. She was serious and silent. 
When the next pause came, she stepped back to look at her 

"I don't know why I'm having so much bother," she 
said. "But I mean to get it right." She turned to Philip. 
"How are you getting on?" 

"Not at all," he answered, with a rueful smile. 

She looked at what he had done. 

"You can't expect to do anything that way. You must 
take measurements. And you must square out your pa- 

She showed him rapidly how to set about the business. 
Philip was impressed by her earnestness, but repelled by 
her want of charm. He was grateful for the hints she gave 
him and set to work again. Meanwhile other people had 
come in, mostly men, for the women always arrived first, 
and the studio for the time of year (it was early yet) was 
fairly full. Presently there came in a young man with thin, 
black hair, an enormous nose, and a face so long that it 
reminded you of a horse. He sat down next to Philip and 
nodded across him to Miss Price. 

"You're very late," she said. "Are you only just up ?" 


"It was such a splendid day, I thought I'd lie in bed and 
think how beautiful it was out." 

Philip smiled, but Miss Price took the remark seriously. 

"That seems a funny thing to do, I should have thought 
it would be more to the point to get up and enjoy it." 

"The way of the humorist is very hard," said the young 
man gravely. 

He did not seem inclined to work. He looked at his can- 
vas; he was working in colour, and had sketched in the 
day before the model who was posing. He turned to Philip. 

"Have you just come out from England?" 


"How did you find your way to Amitrano's ?" 

"It was the only school I knew of." 

"I hope you haven't come with the idea that you will 
learn anything here which will be of the smallest use to 

"It's the best school in Paris," said Miss Price. "It's the 
only one where they take art seriously." 

"Should art be taken seriously?" the young man asked; 
and since Miss Price replied only with a scornful shrug, he 
added: "But the point is, all schools are bad. They are 
academical, obviously. Why this is less injurious than 
most is that the teaching is more incompetent than else- 
where. Because you learn nothing. . . ." 

"But why d'you come here then ?" interrupted Philip. 

"I see the better course, but do not follow it. Miss Price, 
who is cultured, will remember the Latin of that." 

"I wish you would leave me out of your conversation, 
Mr. Glutton," said Miss Price brusquely. 

"The only way to learn to paint," he went on, imper- 
turbable, "is to take a studio, hire a model, and just % fight 
it out for yourself." 

"That seems a simple thing to do," said Philip. 

"It only needs money," replied Glutton. 

He began to paint, and Philip looked at him from the 
corner of his eye. He was long and desperately thin; his 
huge bones seemed to protrude from his body ; his elbows 
were so sharp that they appeared to jut out through the 
arms of his shabby coat. His trousers were frayed at the 


bottom, and on each of his boots was a clumsy patch. Miss 
Price got up and went over to Philip's easel. 

"If Mr. Glutton will hold his tongue for a moment, I'll 
just help you a little," she said. 

"Miss Price dislikes me because I have humour," said 
Glutton, looking meditatively at his canvas, "but she de- 
tests me because I have genius." 

He spoke with solemnity, and his colossal, misshapen 
nose made what he said very quaint. Philip was obliged to 
laugh, but Miss Price grew darkly red with anger. 

"You're the only person who has ever accused you of 

"Also I am the only person whose opinion is of the least 
value to me." 

Miss Price began to criticise what Philip had done. She 
talked glibly of anatomy and construe tion, planes and lines, 
and of much else which Philip did not understand. She 
had been at the studio a long time and knew the main 
points which the masters insisted upon, but though she 
could show what was wrong with Philip's work she could 
not tell him how to put it right. 

"It's awfully kind of you to take so much trouble with 
me," said Philip. 

"Oh, it's nothing," she answered, flushing awkwardly. 
"People did the same for me when I first came, I'd do it 
for anyone." 

"Miss Price wants to indicate that she is giving you the 
advantage of her knowledge from a sense of duty rather 
than on account of any charms of your person," said Glut- 

Miss Price gave him a furious look, and went back to 
her own drawing. The clock struck twelve, and the model 
with a cry of relief stepped down from the stand. 

Miss Price gathered up her things. 

"Some of us go to Gravier's for lunch," she said to 
Philip, with a look at Glutton. "I always go home myself." 

"I'll take you to Gravier's if you like," said Glutton. 

Philip thanked him and made ready to go. On his way 
out Mrs. Otter asked him how he had been getting on. 

"Did Fanny Price help you?" she asked. "I put you 


there because I know she can do it if she likes. She's a dis- 
agreeable, ill-natured girl, and she can't draw herself at 
all, but she knows the ropes, and she can be useful to a 
newcomer if she cares to take the trouble." 

On the way down the street Glutton said to him: 

"You've made an impression on Fanny Price. You'd 
better look out." 

Philip laughed. He had never seen anyone on whom he 
wished less to make an impression. They came to the cheap 
little restaurant at which several of the students ate, and 
Glutton sat down at a table at which three or four men 
were already seated. For a franc, they got an egg, a plate 
of meat, cheese, and a small bottle of wine. Coffee was 
extra. They sat on the pavement, and yellow trams passed 
up and down the boulevard with a ceaseless ringing of 

"By the way, what's your name ?" said Glutton, as they 
took their seats. 


"Allow me to introduce an old and trusted friend, Carey 
by name," said Glutton gravely. "Mr. Flanagan, Mr. Law- 

They laughed and went on with their conversation. They 
talked of a thousand things, and they all talked at once. 
No one paid the smallest attention to anyone else. They 
talked of the places they had been to in the summer, of 
studios, of the various schools; they mentioned names 
which were unfamiliar to Philip, Monet, Manet, Renoir, 
Pizarro, Degas. Philip listened with all his ears, and 
though he felt a little out of it, his heart leaped with 
exultation. The time flew. When Glutton got up he said : 

"I expect you'll find me here this evening if you care 
to come. You'll find this about the best place for getting 
dyspepsia at the lowest cost in the Quarter." 


PHILIP walked down the Boulevard du Montparnasse. 
It was not at all like the Paris he had seen in the spring 
during his visit to do the accounts of the Hotel St. Georges 
he thought already of that part of his life with a shud- 
der but reminded him of what he thought a provincial 
town must be. There was an easy-going air about it, and a 
sunny spaciousness which invited the mind to day-dream- 
ing. The trimness of the trees, the vivid whiteness of the 
houses, the breadth, were very agreeable; and he felt 
himself already thoroughly at home. He sauntered along, 
staring at the people ; there seemed an elegance about the 
most ordinary, workmen with their broad red sashes and 
their wide trousers, little soldiers in dingy, charming uni- 
forms. He came presently to the Avenue de 1'Observa- 
toire, and he gave a sigh of pleasure at the magnificent, 
yet so graceful, vista. He came to the gardens of the Lux- 
embourg : children were playing, nurses with long ribbons 
walked slowly two by two, busy men passed through with 
satchels under their arms, youths strangely dressed. The 
scene was formal and dainty; nature was arranged and 
ordered, but so exquisitely, that nature unordered and 
unarranged seemed barbaric. Philip was enchanted. It ex- 
cited him to stand on that spot of which he had read so 
much ; it was classic ground to him ; and he felt the awe 
and the delight which some old don might feel when for 
the first time he looked on the smiling plain of Sparta. 

As he wandered he chanced to see Miss Price sitting by 
herself on a bench. He hesitated, for he did not at that 
moment want to see anyone, and her uncouth way seemed 
out of place amid the happiness he felt around him; but 
he had divined her sensitiveness to affront, and since she 
had seen him thought it would be polite to speak to her. 

"What are you doing here ?" she said, as he came up. 


"Enjoying myself. Aren't you?" 

"Oh, I come here every day from four to five. I don't 
think one does any good if one works straight through." 

"May I sit down for a minute ?" he said. 

"If you want to." 

"That doesn't sound very cordial," he laughed. 

"I'm not much of a one for saying pretty things." 

Philip, a little disconcerted, was silent as he lit a ciga- 

"Did Glutton say anything about my work?" she asked 

"No, I don't think he did," said Philip. 

"He's no good, you know. He thinks he's a genius, but 
he isn't. He's too lazy, for one thing. Genius is an infinite 
capacity for taking pains. The only thing is to peg away. 
If one only makes up one's mind badly enough to do a 
thing one can't help doing it." 

She spoke with a passionate strenuousness which was 
rather striking. She wore a sailor hat of black straw, a 
white blouse which was not quite clean, and a brown skirt 
She had no gloves on, and her hands wanted washing. She 
was so unattractive that Philip wished he had not begun 
to talk to her. He could not make out whether she wanted 
him to stay or go. 

"I'll do anything I can for you," she said all at once, 
without reference to anything that had gone before. "I 
know how hard it is." 

"Thank you very much," said Philip, then in a moment : 
"Won't you come and have tea with me somewhere?" 

She looked at him quickly and flushed. When she red- 
dened her pasty skin acquired a curiously mottled look, 
like strawberries and cream that had gone bad. 

"No, thanks. What d'you think I want tea for? I've 
only just had lunch." 

''I thought it would pass the time," said Philip. 

"If you find it long you needn't bother about me, you 
know. I don't mind being left alone." 

At that moment two men passed, in brown velveteens, 
enormous trousers, and basque caps. They were young, 
but both wore beards. 


"I say, are those art-students?" said Philip. "They 
might have stepped out of the Vie de Bohcine." 

"They're Americans," said Miss Price scornfully. 
"Frenchmen haven't worn things like that for thirty years, 
but the Americans from the Far West buy those clothes 
and have themselves photographed the day after they 
arrive in Paris. That's about as near to art as they ever 
get. But it doesn't matter to them, they've all got money." 

Philip liked the daring picturesqueness of the Ameri- 
cans' costume; he thought it showed the romantic spirit. 
Miss Price asked him the time. 

"I must be getting along to the studio," she said. "Are 
you going to the sketch classes ?" 

Philip did not know anything about them, and she told 
him that from five to six every evening a model sat, from 
whom anyone who liked could go and draw at the cost of 
fifty centimes. They had a different model every day, and 
it was very good practice. 

"I don't suppose you're good enough yet for that. You'd 
better wait a bit." 

"I don't see why I shouldn't try. I haven't got anything 
else to do." 

They got up and walked to the studio. Philip could not 
tell from her manner whether Miss Price wished him to 
walk with her or preferred to walk alone. He remained 
from sheer embarrassment, not knowing how to leave her ; 
but she would not talk; she answered his questions in an 
ungracious manner. 

A man was standing at the studio door with a large dish 
into which each person as he went- in dropped his half 
franc. The studio was much fuller than it had been in the 
morning, and there was not the preponderance of English 
and Americans ; nor were women there in so large a pro- 
portion. Philip felt the assemblage was more the sort of 
thing he had expected. It was very warm, and the air 
quickly grew fetid. It was an old man who sat this time, 
with a vast gray beard, and Philip tried to put into prac- 
tice the little he had learned in the morning ; but he made a 
poor job of it; he realised that he could not draw nearly 
as well as he thought. He glanced enviously at one or tw<? 


sketches of men who sat near him, and wondered whether 
he would ever be able to use the charcoal with that 
mastery. The hour passed quickly. Not wishing to press 
himself upon Miss Price he sat down at some distance 
from her, and at the end, as he passed her on his way out, 
she asked him brusquely how he had got on. 

"Not very well," he smiled. 

"If you'd condescended to come and sit near me I could 
have given you some hints. I suppose you thought your- 
self too grand." 

"No, it wasn't that. I was afraid you'd think me a 

"When I do that I'll tell you sharp enough." 

Philip saw that in her uncouth way she was offering him 

"Well, tomorrow I'll just force myself upon you." 

"I don't mind," she answered. 

Philip went out and wondered what he should do with 
himself till dinner. He was eager to do something char- 
acteristic. Absinthe! Of course it was indicated, and so, 
sauntering towards the station, he seated himself outside 
a cafe and ordered it. He drank with nausea and satis- 
faction. He found the taste disgusting, but the moral effect 
magnificent; he felt every inch an art-student; and since 
he drank on an empty stomach his spirits presently grew 
very high. He watched the crowds, and felt all men were 
his brothers. He was happy. When he reached Gravier's 
the table at which Glutton sat was full, but as soon as he 
saw Philip limping along he called out to him. They made 
room. The dinner was frugal, a plate of soup, a dish of 
meat, fruit, cheese, and half a bottle of wine ; but Philip 
paid no attention to what he ate. He took note of the men 
at the table. Flanagan was there again : he was an Ameri- 
can, a short, snub-nosed youth with a jolly face and a 
laughing mouth. He wore a Norfolk jacket of bold pat- 
tern, a blue stock round his neck, and a tweed cap of 
fantastic shape. At that time impressionism reigned in the 
Latin Quarter, but its victory over the older schools was 
still recent; and Carolus-Duran, Bouguereau, and their 


like were set up against Manet, Monet, and Degas. To 
appreciate these was still a sign of grace. Whistler was an 
influence strong with the English and his compatriots, and 
the discerning collected Japanese prints. The old masters 
were tested by new standards. The esteem in which 
Raphael had been for centuries held was a matter of deri- 
sion to wise young men. They offered to give all his works 
for Velasquez' head of Philip IV in the National Gallery. 
Philip found that a discussion on art was raging. Lawson, 
whom he had met at luncheon, sat opposite to him. He was 
a thin youth with a freckled face and red hair. He had 
very bright green eyes. As Philip sat down he fixed them 
on him and remarked suddenly : 

"Raphael was only tolerable when he painted other peo- 
ple's pictures. When he painted Peruginos or Pinturic- 
chios he was charming; when he painted Raphaels he 
was," with a scornful shrug, "Raphael." 

Lawson spoke .so aggressively that Philip was taken 
aback, but he was not obliged to answer because Flanagan 
broke in impatiently. 

"Oh, to hell with art!" he cried. "Let's get ginny." 

"You were ginny last night, Flanagan," said Lawson. 

"Nothing to what I mean to be tonight," he answered. 
"Fancy being in Pa-ris and thinking of nothing but art 
all the time." He spoke with a broad Western accent. "My, 
it is good to be alive." He gathered himself together and 
then banged his fist on the table. "To hell with art, I say." 

"You not only say it, but you say it with tiresome itera- 
tion," said Glutton severely. 

There was another American at the table. He was 
dressed like those fine fellows whom Philip had seen that 
afternoon in the Luxembourg. He had a handsome face, 
thin, ascetic, with dark eyes; he wore his fantastic garb 
with the dashing air of a buccaneer. He had a vast quan- 
tity of dark hair which fell constantly over his eyes, and 
his most frequent gesture was to throw back his head 
dramatically to get some long wisp out of the way. He 
began to talk of the Olympia by Manet, which then hung 
in the Luxembourg. 

2*6 O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 

"I stood in front of it for an hour today, and I tell you 
it's not a good picture." 

Lawson put down his knife and fork. His green eyes 
Hashed fire, he gasped with rage; but he could be seen 
imposing calm upon himself. 

"It's very interesting to hear the mind of the untutored 
savage," he said. "Will you tell us why it isn't a good pic- 

Before the American could answer someone else broke 
in vehemently. 

','D'you mean to say you can look at the painting of that 
flesh and say it's not good?" 

"I don't say that. I think the right breast is very well 

"The right breast be damned," shouted Lawson. "The 
whole thing's a miracle of painting." 

He began to describe in detail the beauties of the pic- 
ture, but at this table at Gravier's they who spoke at length 
spoke for their own edification. No one listened to him. 
The American interrupted angrily. 

"You don't mean to say you think the head's good?" 

Lawson, white with passion now, began to defend the 
head ; but Glutton, who had been sitting in silence with a 
look on his face of good-humoured scorn, broke in. 

"Give him the head. We don't want the head. It doesn't 
affect the picture." 

"All right, I'll give you the head," cried Lawson. "Take 
the head and be damned to you." 

"What about the black line ?" cried the American, trium- 
phantly pushing back a wisp of hair which nearly fell in 
his soup. "You don't see a black line round objects in 

"Oh, God, send down fire from heaven to consume the 
blasphemer," said Lawson. "What has nature got to do 
with it? No one knows what's in nature and what isn't! 
The world sees nature through the eyes of the artist. Why, 
for centuries it saw horses jumping a fence with all their 
legs extended, and by Heaven, sir, they were extended. 
It saw shadows black until Monet discovered they were 
coloured, and by Heaven, sir, they were black. If we 


choose to surround objects with a black line, the world 
will see the black line, and there will be a black line ; and 
if we paint grass red and cows blue, it'll see them red and 
blue, and, by Heaven, they will be red and blue." 

"To hell with art," murmured Flanagan. "I want to get 

Lawson took no notice of the interruption. 

"Now look here, when Olyinpia was shown at the Salon, 
Zola amid the jeers of the philistines and the hisses of 
the pompiers, the academicians, and the public, Zola said : 
'I look forward to the day when Manet's picture will hang 
in the Louvre opposite the Odalisque of Ingres, and it will 
not be the Odalisque which will gain by comparison.' It'll 
be there. Every day I see the time grow nearer. In ten 
years the Olympia will be in the Louvre." 

"Never," shouted the American, using both hands now 
with a sudden desperate attempt to get his hair once for 
all out of the way. "In ten years that picture will be dead. 
It's only a fashion of the moment. No picture can live that 
hasn't got something which that picture misses by a million 

"And what is that?" 

"Great art can't exist without a moral element." 

"Oh God !" cried Lawson furiously. "I knew it was that. 
He wants morality." He joined his hands and held them 
towards heaven in supplication. "Oh, Christopher Colum- 
bus, Christopher Columbus, what did you do when you 
discovered America?" 

"Ruskin says . . ." 

But before he could add another word, Clutton rapped 
with the handle of his knife imperiously on the table. 

"Gentlemen," he said in a stern voice, and his huge nose 
positively wrinkled with passion, "a name has been men- 
tioned which I never thought to hear again in decent so- 
ciety. Freedom of speech is all very well, but we must 
observe the limits of common propriety. You may talk 
of Bouguereau if you will : there is a cheerful disgusting- 
ness in the sound which excites laughter; but let us not 
sully our chaste lips with the names of J. Ruskin, G. F. 
Watts, or E. B. Jones." 


"Who was Ruskin anyway ?" asked Flanagan. 

"He was one of the great Victorians. He was a master 
of English style." 

"Ruskin's style a thing of shreds and purple patches," 
said Lawson. "Besides, damn the Great Victorians. When- 
ever I open a paper and see Death of a Great Victorian, I 
thank Heaven there's one more of them gone. Their only 
talent was longevity, and no artist should be allowed to 
live after he's forty ; by then a man has done his best work, 
all he does after that is repetition. Don't you think it was 
the greatest luck in the world for them that Keats, Shelley, 
Bonnington, and Byron died early? What a genius we 
should think Swinburne if he had perished on the day 
the first series of Poems and Ballads was published !" 

The suggestion pleased, for no one at the table was 
more than twenty-four, and they threw themselves upon 
it with gusto. They were unanimous for once. They elabo- 
rated. Someone proposed a vast bonfire made out of the 
works of the Forty Academicians into which the Great 
Victorians might be hurled on their fortieth birthday. The 
idea was received with acclamation. Carlyle and Ruskin, 
Tennyson, Browning, G. F. Watts, E. B. Jones, Dickens, 
Thackeray, they were hurried into the flames; Mr. Glad- 
stone, John Bright, and Cobden; there was a moment's 
discussion about George Meredith, but Matthew Arnold 
and Emerson were given up cheerfully. At last came 
Walter Pater. 

"Not Walter Pater," murmured Philip. 

Lawson stared at him for a moment with his green eyes 
and then nodded. 

"You're quite right, Walter Pater is the only justifica- 
tion for Monna Lisa. D'you know Cronshaw? He used to 
know Pater." 

"Who's Cronshaw?" asked Philip. 

"Cronshaw's a poet. He lives here. Let's go to the 

La Closerie des Lilas was a cafe to which they often 
went in the evening after dinner, and here Cronshaw was 
invariably to be found between the hours of nine at night 
and two in the morning. But Flanagan had had enough of 


intellectual conversation for one evening, and when Law- 
son made his suggestion, turned to Philip. 

"Oh gee, let's go where there are girls," he said. "Come 
to the Gaite Montparnasse, and we'll get ginny." 

"I'd rather go and see Cronshaw and keep sober," 


THERE was a general disturbance. Flanagan and two or 
three more went on to the music-hall, while Philip walked 
slowly with Glutton and Lawson to the Closerie des Lilas. 

"You must go to the Gaite Montparnasse," said Lawson 
lo him. "It's one of the loveliest things in Paris. I'm going 
to paint it one of these days." 

Philip, influenced by Hayward, looked upon music- 
halls with scornful eyes, but he had reached Paris at a 
time when their artistic possibilities were just discovered. 
The peculiarities of lighting, the masses of dingy red and 
tarnished gold, the heaviness of the shadows and the 
decorative lines, offered a new theme ; and half the studios 
in the Quarter contained sketches made in one or other of 
the local theatres. Men of letters, following in the painters' 
wake, conspired suddenly to find artistic value in the 
turns ; and red-nosed comedians were lauded to the skies 
for their sense of character; fat female singers, who had 
bawled obscurely for twenty years, were discovered to 
possess inimitable drollery ; there were those who found an 
aesthetic delight in performing dogs; while others ex- 
hausted their vocabulary to extol the distinction of con- 
jurers and trick-cyclists. The crowd too, under another 
influence, was become an object of sympathetic interest. 
With Hayward, Philip had disdained humanity in the 
mass ; he adopted the attitude of one who wraps himself in 
solitariness and watches with disgust the antics of the 
vulgar; but Glutton and Lawson talked of the multitude 
with enthusiasm. They described the seething throng that 
filled the various fairs of Paris, the sea of faces, half seen 
in the glare of acetylene, half hidden in the darkness, and 
the blare of trumpets, the hooting of whistles, the hum of 
voices. What they said was new and strange to Philip. 
They told him about Cronshaw. 

"Have you ever read any of his work?" 



"No," said Philip. 

"It came out in The Yellow Book." 

They looked upon him, as painters often do writers, 
with contempt because he was a layman, with tolerance 
because he practised an art, and with awe because he used 
a medium in which themselves felt ill-at-ease. 

"He's an extraordinary fellow. You'll find him a bit 
disappointing at first, he only comes out at his best when 
he's drunk." 

"And the nuisance is," added Glutton, "that it takes him 
a devil of a time to get drunk." 

When they arrived at the cafe Lawson told Philip that 
they would have to go in. There was hardly a bite in the 
autumn air, but Cronshaw had a morbid fear of draughts 
and even in the warmest weather sat inside. 

"He knows everyone worth knowing," Lawson ex- 
plained. "He knew Pater and Oscar Wilde, and he knows 
Mallarme and all those fellows." 

The object of their search sat in the most sheltered cor- 
ner of the cafe, with his coat on and the collar turned up. 
He wore his hat pressed well down on his forehead so that 
he should avoid cold air. He was a big man, stout but not 
obese, with a round face, a small moustache, and little, 
rather stupid eyes. His head did not seem quite big enough 
for his body. It looked like a pea uneasily poised on an 
egg. He was playing dominoes with a Frenchman, and 
greeted the newcomers with a quiet smile; he did not 
speak, but as if to make room for them pushed away the 
little pile of saucers on the table which indicated the num- 
ber of drinks he had already consumed. He nodded to 
Philip when he was introduced to him, and went on with 
the game. Philip's knowledge of the language was small, 
but he knew enough to tell that Cronshaw, although he had 
lived in Paris for several years, spoke French execrably. 

At last he leaned back with a smile of triumph. 

"Je vous ai battu," he said, with an abominable accent. 
"Gar gong!" 

He called the waiter and turned to Philip. 

"Just out from England? See any cricket?" 

Philip was a little confused at the unexpected question. 


"Cronshaw knows the averages of every first-class 
cricketer for the last twenty years," said Lawson, smiling. 

The Frenchman left them for friends at another table, 
and Cronshaw, with the lazy enunciation which was one of 
his peculiarities, began to discourse on the relative merits 
of Kent and Lancashire. He told them of the last test 
match he had seen and described the course of the game 
wicket by wicket. 

"That's the only thing I miss in Paris," he said, as he 
finished the bock which the waiter had brought. "You 
don't get any cricket." 

Philip was disappointed, and Lawson, pardonably 
anxious to show off one of the celebrities of the Quarter, 
grew impatient. Cronshaw was taking his time to wake up 
that evening, though the saucers at his side indicated that 
he had at least made an honest attempt to get drunk. Clut- 
ton watched the scene with amusement. He fancied there 
was something of affectation in Cronshaw's minute knowl- 
edge of cricket ; he liked to tantalise people by talking to 
them of things that obviously bored them ; Clutton threw 
in a question. 

"Have you seen Mallarme lately?" 

Cronshaw looked at him slowly, as if he were turning 
the inquiry over in his mind, and before he answered 
rapped on the marble table with one of the saucers. 

"Bring my bottle of whiskey," he called out. He turned 
again to Philip. "I keep my own bottle of whiskey. I can't 
afford to pay fifty centimes for every thimbleful." 

The waiter brought the bottle, and Cronshaw held it up 
to the light. 

"They've been drinking it. Waiter, who's been helping 
himself to my whiskey?" 

"Mais personne, Monsieur Cronshaw." 

"I made a mark on it last night, and look at it." 

"Monsieur made a mark, but he kept on drinking after 
that. At that rate Monsieur wastes his time in making 

The waiter was a jovial fellow and knew Cronshaw 
intimately. Cronshaw gazed at him. 

"If you give me your word of honour as a nobleman 


and a gentleman that nobody but I has been drinking my 
whiskey, I'll accept your statement." 

This remark, translated literally into the crudest French, 
sounded very funny, and the lady at the comptoir could not 
help laughing. 

"// est unpayable," she murmured. 

Cronshaw, hearing her, turned a sheepish eye upon her ; 
she was stout, matronly, and middle-aged; and solemnly 
kissed his hand to her. She shrugged her shoulders. 

"Fear not, madam," he said heavily. "I have passed the 
age when I am tempted by forty-five and gratitude." 

He poured himself out some whiskey and water, and 
slowly drank it. He wiped his mouth with the back of his 

"He talked very well." 

Lawson and Glutton knew that Cronshaw's remark was 
an answer to the question about Mallarme. Cronshaw 
often went to the gatherings on Tuesday evenings when 
the poet received men of letters and painters, and dis- 
coursed with subtle oratory on any subject that was sug- 
gested to him. Cronshaw had evidently been there lately. 

"He talked very well, but he talked nonsense. He talked 
about art as though it were the most important thing in 
the world." 

"If it isn't, what are we here for?" asked Philip. 

"What you're here for I don't know. It is no businesr 
of mine. But art is a luxury. Men attach importance on 1 y 
to self-preservation and the propagation of their specie:;.. 
It is only when these instincts are satisfied that they con- 
sent to occupy themselves with the entertainment which 
is provided for them by writers, painters, and poets." 

Cronshaw stopped for a moment to drink. He had pon- 
dered for twenty years the problem whether he loved 
liquor because it made him talk or whether he loved con- 
versation because it made him thirsty. 

Then he said : "I wrote a poem yesterday." 

Without being asked he began to recite it, very slowly, 
marking the rhythm with an extended forefinger. It was 
possibly a very fine poem, but at that moment a young 
woman came in. She had scarlet lips, and it was plain that 


the vivid colour of her cheeks was not due to the vulgarity 
of nature ; she had blackened her eyelashes and eyebrows, 
and painted both eyelids a bold blue, which was continued 
to a triangle at the corner of the eyes. It was fantastic and 
amusing. Her dark hair was done over her ears in the 
fashion made popular by Mile. Cleo de Merode. Philip's 
eyes wandered to her, and Cronshaw, having finished the 
recitation of his verses, smiled upon him indulgently. 

"You were not listening," he said. 

"Oh yes, I was." 

"I do not blame you, for you have given an apt illustra- 
tion of the statement I just made. What is art beside love ? 
I respect and applaud your indifference to fine poetry 
when you contemplate the meretricious charms of this 
young person." 

She passed by the table at which they were sitting, and 
he took her arm. 

' "Come and sit by my side, dear child, and let us play 
the divine comedy of love." 

"Fiches-moi la paix" she said, and pushing him on one 
side continued her perambulation. 

"Art," he continued, with a wave of the hand, "is merely 
the refuge which the ingenious have invented, when they 
were supplied with food and women, to escape the tedi- 
ousness of life." 

Cronshaw filled his glass again, and began to talk at 
length. He spoke with rotund delivery. He chose his words 
carefully. He mingled wisdom and nonsense in the most 
astounding manner, gravely making fun of his hearers 
at one moment, and at the next playfully giving them 
sound advice. He talked of art, and literature, and life. 
He was by turns devout and obscene, merry and lachry- 
mose. He grew remarkably drunk, and then he began to 
recite poetry, his own and Milton's, his own and Shelley's, 
his own and Kit Marlowe's. 

At last Lawson, exhausted, got up to go home. 

"I shall go too," said Philip. 

Clutton, the most silent of them all, remained behind 
listening, with a sardonic smile on his lips, to Cronshaw's 
maunderings. Lawson accompanied Philip to his hotel and 


then bade him good-night. But when Philip got to bed he 
could not sleep. All these new ideas that had been flung 
before him carelessly seethed in his brain. He was tremen- 
dously excited. He felt in himself great powers. He had 
never before been so self-confident. 

"I know I shall be a great artist," he said to himself. "I 
feel it in me." 

A thrill passed through him as another thought came, 
but even to himself he would not put it into words : 

"By George, I believe I've got genius." 

He was in fact very drunk, but as he had not taken more 
than one glass of beer, it could have been due only to a 
more dangerous intoxicant than alcohol. 


ON Tuesdays and Fridays masters spent the morning at 
Amitrano's, criticising the work done. In France the 
painter earns little unless he paints portraits and is patron- 
ised by rich Americans ; and men of reputation are glad to 
increase their incomes by spending two or three hours once 
a week at one of the numerous studios where art is taught. 
Tuesday was the day upon which Michel Rollin came to 
Amitrano's. He was an elderly man, with a white beard 
and a florid complexion, who had painted a number of 
decorations for the State, but these were an object of 
derision to the students he instructed : he was a disciple of 
Ingres, impervious to the progress of art and angrily 
impatient with that tas de farceurs whose names were 
Manet, Degas, Monet, and Sisley ; but he was an excellent 
teacher, helpful, polite, and encouraging. Foinet, on the 
other hand, who visited the studio on Fridays, was a diffi- 
cult man to get on with. He was a small, shrivelled person, 
with bad teeth and a bilious air, an untidy gray beard, and 
savage eyes ; his voice was high and his tone sarcastic. He 
had had pictures bought by the Luxembourg, and at 
twenty-five looked forward to a great career; but his tal- 
ent was due to youth rather than to personality, and for 
twenty years he had done nothing but repeat the landscape 
which had brought him his early success. When he was re- 
proached with monotony, he answered : 

"Corot only painted one thing. Why shouldn't I ?" 
He was envious of everyone else's success, and had a 
peculiar, personal loathing of the impressionists; for he 
looked upon his own failure as due to the mad fashion 
which had attracted the public, sale bete, to their works. 
The genial disdain of Michel Rollin, who called them im- 
postors, was answered by him with vituperation, of which 
crapule and canaille were the least violent items; he 
amused himself with abuse of their private lives, and with 



sardonic humour, with blasphemous and obscene detail, 
attacked the legitimacy of their births and the purity of 
their conjugal relations : he used an Oriental imagery and 
an Oriental emphasis to accentuate his ribald scorn. Nor 
did he conceal his contempt for the students whose work 
he examined. By them he was hated and feared; the 
women by his brutal sarcasm he reduced often to tears, 
which again aroused his ridicule; and he remained at the 
studio, noth withstanding the protests of those who suffered 
too bitterly from his attacks, because there could be no 
doubt that he was one of the best masters in Paris. Some- 
times the old model who kept the school ventured to re- 
monstrate with him, but his expostulations quickly gave 
way before the violent insolence of the painter to abject 

It was Foinet with whom Philip first came in contact. 
He was already in the studio when Philip arrived. He 
went round from easel to easel, with Mrs. Otter, the 
massiere, by his side to interpret his remarks for the bene- 
fit of those who could not understand French. Fanny 
Price, sitting next to Philip, was working feverishly. Her 
face was sallow with nervousness, and every now and then 
she stopped to wipe her hands on her blouse; for they 
were hot with anxiety. Suddenly she turned to Philip with 
an anxious look, which she tried to hide by a sullen frown. 

"D'you think it's good?" she asked, nodding at her 

Philip got up and looked at it. He was astounded; he 
felt she must have no eye at all ; the thing was hopelessly 
out of drawing. 

"I wish I could draw half as well myself," he answered. 

"You can't expect to, you've only just come. It's a bit 
too much to expect that you should draw as well as I do. 
I've been here two years." 

Fanny Price puzzled Philip. Her conceit was stupen- 
dous. Philip had already discovered that everyone in the 
studio cordially disliked her; and it was no wonder, for 
she seemed to go out of her way to wound people. 

"I complained to Mrs. Otter about Foinet," she said 
now. "The last two weeks he hasn't looked at my draw 


ings. He spends about half an hour on Mrs. Otter because 
she's the massicrc. After all I pay as much as anybody else, 
and I suppose my money's as good as theirs. I don't see 
why I shouldn't get as much attention as anybody else." 

She took up her charcoal again, but in a moment put it 
down with a groan. 

"I can't do any more now. I'm so frightfully nervous." 

She looked at Foinet, who was coming towards them 
with Mrs. Otter. Mrs. Otter, meek, mediocre, and self- 
satisfied, wore an air of importance. Foinet sat down at the 
easel of an untidy little Englishwoman called Ruth Chalice. 
She had the fine black eyes, languid but passionate, the 
thin face, ascetic but sensual, the skin like old ivory, which 
under the influence of Burne-Jones were cultivated at that 
time by young ladies in Chelsea. Foinet seemed in a pleas- 
ant mood; he did not say much to her, but with quick, 
determined strokes of her charcoal pointed out her errors. 
Miss Chalice beamed with pleasure when he rose. He 
came to Glutton, and by this time Philip was nervous too 
but Mrs. Otter had promised to make things easy for 
him. Foinet stood for a moment in front of Glutton's 
work, biting his thumb silently, then absent-mindedly spat 
out upon the canvas the little piece of skin which he had 
bitten off. 

"That's a fine line," he said at last, indicating with his 
thumb what pleased him. "You're beginning to learn to 

Glutton did not answer, but looked at the master with 
his usual air of sardonic indifference to the world's 

"I'm beginning to think you have at least a trace of 

Mrs. Otter, who did not like Glutton, pursed her lips. 
She did not see anything out of the way in his work. 
Foinet sat down and went into technical details. Mrs. 
Otter grew rather tired of standing. Glutton did not say 
anything, but nodded now and then, and Foinet felt with 
satisfaction that he grasped what he said and the reasons 
of it ; most of them listened to him, but it was clear they 
never understood. Then Foinet got up and came to Philip. 


"He only arrived two days ago," Mrs. Otter hurried to 
explain. "He's a beginner. He's never studied before." 

"Ca se voit," the master said. "One sees that." 

He passed on, and Mrs. Otter murmured to him : 

"This is the young lady I told you about." 

He looked at her as though she were some repulsive 
animal, and his voice grew more rasping. 

"It appears that you do not think I pay enough attention 
to you. You have been complaining to the massiere. Well, 
show me this work to which you wish me to give atten- 

Fanny Price coloured. The blood under her unhealthy 
skin seemed to be of a strange purple. Without answering 
she pointed to the drawing on which she had been at work 
since the beginning of the week. Foinet sat down. 

"Well, what do you wish me to say to you ? Do you wish 
me to tell you it is good ? It isn't. Do you wish me to tell 
you it is well drawn ? It isn't. Do you wish me to say it has 
merit? It hasn't. Do you wish me to show you what is 
wrong with it ? It is all wrong. Do you wish me to tell you 
what to do with it? Tear it up. Are you satisfied now?" 

Miss Price became very white. She was furious because 
he had said all this before Mrs. Otter. Though she had 
been in France so long and could understand French well, 
enough, she could hardly speak two words. 

"He's got no right to treat me like that. My money's 
as good as anyone else's. I pay him to teach me. That'3 
not teaching me." 

"What does she say? What does she say?" asked 

Mrs. Otter hesitated to translate, and Miss Price re- 
peated in execrable French. 

"Je vous paye pour m'apprendre." 

His eyes flashed with rage, he raised his voice and shook 
his fist. 

"Mais, nom de Dieu, I can't teach you. I could more 
easily teach a camel." He turned to Mrs. Otter. "Ask her, 
does she do this for amusement, or does she expect to earn 
money by it?" 


"I'm going to earn my living as an artist," Miss Price 

"Then it is my duty to tell you that you are wasting your 
time. It would not matter that you have no talent, talent 
does not run about the streets in these days, but you have 
not the beginning of an aptitude. How long have you been 
here ? A child of five after two lessons would draw better 
than you do. I only say one thing to you, give up this hope- 
less attempt. You're more likely to earn your living as a 
bonne a tout faire than as a painter. Look." 

He seized a piece of charcoal, and it broke as he applied 
it to the paper. He cursed, and with the stump drew great 
firm lines. He drew rapidly and spoke at the same time, 
spitting out the words with venom. 

"Look, those arms are hot the same length. That knee, 
it's grotesque. I tell you a child of five. You see, she's 
not standing on her legs. That foot !" 

With each word the angry pencil made a mark, and in 
a moment the drawing upon which Fanny Price had spent 
so much time and eager trouble was unrecognisable, a 
confusion of lines and smudges. At last he flung down the 
charcoal and stood up. 

"Take my advice, Mademoiselle, try dressmaking." He 
looked at his watch. "It's twelve. A la semaine prochaine, 

Miss Price gathered up her things slowly. Philip waited 
behind after the others to say to her something consola- 
tory. He could think of nothing but : 

"I say, I'm awfully sorry. What a beast that man is !" 

She turned on him savagely. 

"Is that what you're waiting about for? When I want 
your sympathy I'll ask for it. Please get out of my way." 

She walked past him, out of the studio, and Philip, 
with a shrug of the shoulders, limped along to Gravier's 
for luncheon. 

"It served her right," said Lawson, when Philip told him 
what had happened. "Ill-tempered slut." 

Lawson was very sensitive to criticism and, in order to 
avoid it, never went to the studio when Foinet was com- 


"I don't want other people's opinion of my work," he 
said. "I know myself if it's good or bad." 

"You mean you don't want other people's bad opinion 
of your work," answered Glutton dryly. 

In the afternoon Philip thought he would go to the 
Luxembourg to see the pictures, and walking through the 
garden he saw Fanny Price sitting in her accustomed seat. 
He was sore at the rudeness with which she had met his 
well-meant attempt to say something pleasant, and passed 
as though he had not caught sight of her. But she got" 
up at once and came towards him. 

"Are you trying to cut me ?" she said. 

"No, of course not. I thought perhaps you didn't wanf 
to be spoken to." 

"Where are you going?" 

"I wanted to have a look at the Manet, I've heard so 
much about it." 

"Would you like me to come with you? I know the 
Luxembourg rather well. I could show you one or two 
good things." 

He understood that, unable to bring herself to apologise 
directly, she made this offer as amends. 

"It's awfully kind of you. I should like it very much.' 1 

"You needn't say yes if you'd rather go alone," she 
said suspiciously. 

"I wouldn't." 

They walked towards the gallery. Caillebotte's collection 
had lately been placed on view, and the student for the 
first time had the opportunity to examine at his ease the 
works of the impressionists. Till then it had been possible 
to see them only at Durand-Ruel's shop in the Rue Lafitte 
(and the dealer, unlike his fellows in England, who adopt 
towards the painter an attitude of superiority, was always 
pleased to show the shabbiest student whatever he wanted 
to see), or at his private house, to which it was not diffi- 
cult to get a card of admission on Tuesdays, and where 
you might see pictures of world-wide reputation. Miss 
Price led Philip straight up to Manet's Olympia. He 
looked at it in astonished silence. 

"Do you like it ?" asked Miss Price. 


"I don't know," he answered helplessly. 

"You can take it from me that it's the best thing in the 
galiery except perhaps Whistler's portrait of his mother." 

She gave him a certain time to contemplate the master- 
piece and then took him to a picture representing a rail- 

"Look, here's a Monet," she said. "It's the Gare St. 

"But the railway lines aren't parallel," said Philip. 

"What does that matter ?" she asked, with a haughty air. 

Philip felt ashamed of himself. Fanny Price had picked 
up the glib chatter of the studios and had no difficulty 
in impressing Philip with the extent of her knowledge. 
She proceeded to explain the pictures to him, supercili- 
ously but not without insight, and showed him what the 
painters had attempted and what he must look for. She 
talked with much gesticulation of the thumb, and Philip, 
to whom all she said was new, listened with profound but 
bewildered interest. Till now he had worshipped Watts 
and Burne-Jones. The pretty colour of the first, the 
affected drawing of the second, had entirely satisfied his 
aesthetic sensibilities. Their vague idealism, the suspicion 
of a philosophical idea which underlay the titles they gave 
their pictures, accorded very well with the functions of 
art as from his diligent perusal of Ruskin he understood 
it; but here was something quite different: here was no 
moral appeal ; and the contemplation of these works could 
help no one to lead a purer and a higher life. He was puz- 

At last he said : "You know, I'm simply dead. I don't 
think I can absorb anything more profitably. Let's go and 
sit down on one of the benches." 

"It's better not to take too much art at a time," Miss 
Price answered. 

When they got outside he thanked her warmly for the 
trouble she had taken. 

"Oh, that's all right," she said, a little ungraciously. "I 
do it because I enjoy it. We'll go to the Louvre tomorrow 
if you like, and then I'll take you to Durand-Ruel's." 

"You're really awfully good to me." 


"You don't think me such a beast as the most of them 

"I don't," he smiled. 

They think they'll drive me away from the studio ; but 
they won't; I shall stay there just exactly as long as it 
suits me. All that this morning, it was Lucy Otter's doing, 
I know it was. She always has hated me. She thought after 
that I'd take myself off. I daresay she'd like me to go. 
She's afraid I know too much about her." 

Miss Price told him a long, involved story, which made 
out that Mrs. Otter, a humdrum and respectable little per- 
son, had scabrous intrigues. Then she talked of Ruth 
Chalice, the girl whom Foinet had praised that morning. 

"She's been with every one of the fellows at the studio. 
She's nothing better than a street-walker. And she's dirty. 
She hasn't had a bath for a month, I know it for a fact." 

Philip listened uncomfortably. He had heard already 
that various rumours were in circulation about Miss Chal- 
ice; but it was ridiculous to suppose that Mrs. Otter, liv- 
ing with her mother, was anything but rigidly virtuous. 
The woman walking by his side with her malignant lying 
positively horrified him. 

"I don't care what they say. I shall go on just the same. 
I know I've got it in me. I feel I'm an artist. I'd sooner 
kill myself than give it up. Oh, I shan't be the first they've 
all laughed at in the schools and then he's turned out the 
only genius of the lot. Art's the only thing I care for, 
I'm willing to give my whole life to it. It's only a question 
of sticking to it and pegging away." 

She found discreditable motives for everyone who 
would not take her at her own estimate of herself. She 
detested Glutton. She told Philip that his friend had no 
talent really ; it was just flashy and superficial ; he couldn't 
compose a figure to save his life. And Lawson : 

"Little beast, with red hair and his freckles. He's so 
afraid of Foinet that he won't let him see his work. After 
all, I don't funk it, do I? I don't care what Foinet says 
to me, I know I'm a real artist." 

They reached the street in which she lived, and with a 
sigh of relief Philip left her. 


BUT notwithstanding when Miss Price on the following 
Sunday offered to take him to the Louvre Philip accepted. 
She showed him Monna Lisa. He looked at it with a slight 
feeling of disappointment, but he had read till he knew by 
heart the jewelled words with which Walter Pater has 
added beauty to the most famous picture in the world ; and 
these now he repeated to Miss Price. 

"That's all literature," she said, a little contemptuously. 
"You must get away from that." 

She showed him the Rembrandts, and she said many 
appropriate things about them. She stood in front of the 
Disciples at Emmaus. 

"When you feel the beauty of that," she said, "you'll 
know something about painting." 

She showed him the Odalisque and La Source of Ingres. 
Fanny Price was a peremptory guide, she would not let 
him look at the things he wished, and attempted to force 
his admiration for all she admired. She was desperately 
in earnest with her study of art, and when Philip, passing 
in the Long Gallery a window that looked out on the 
Tuileries, gay, sunny, and urbane, like a picture by 
Raffaelli, exclaimed : 

"I say, how jolly! Do let's stop here a minute." 

She said, indifferently: "Yes, it's all right. But we've 
come here to look at pictures." 

The autumn air, blithe and vivacious, elated Philip ; and 
when towards mid-day they stood in the great court-yard 
of the Louvre, he felt inclined to cry like Flanagan: To 
Hell with art. 

"I say, do let's go to one of those restaurants in the 
Boul' Mich' and have a snack together, shall we ?" he sug- 

Miss Price gave him a suspicious look. 



"I've got my lunch waiting for me at home," she an- 

"That doesn't matter. You can eat it tomorrow. Do let 
me stand you a lunch.'' 

"I don't know why you want to." 

"It would give me pleasure," he replied, smiling. 

They crossed the river, and at the corner of the Boule- 
vard St. Michel there was a restaurant. 

"Let's go in there." 

"No, I won't go there, it looks too expensive." 

She walked on firmly, and Philip was obliged to fol- 
low. A few steps brought them to a smaller restaurant, 
where a dozen people were already lunching on the pave- 
ment under an awning; on the window was announced in 
large white letters : Dejeuner 1.25, vin compris. 

"We couldn't have anything cheaper than this, and it 
looks quite all right." 

They sat down at a vacant table and waited for the 
omelette which was the first article on the bill of fare. 
Philip gazed with delight upon the passersby. His heart 
went out to them. He was tired but very happy. 

"I say, look at that man in the blouse. Isn't he ripping !" 

He glanced at Miss Price, and to his astonishment saw 
that she was looking down at her plate, regardless of the 
passing spectacle, and two heavy tears were rolling down 
her cheeks. 

"What on earth's the matter?" he exclaimed. 

"If you say anything to me I shall get up and go at 
once," she answered. 

He was entirely puzzled, but fortunately at that moment 
the omelette came. He divided it in two and they began to 
eat. Philip did his best to talk of indifferent things, and 
it seemed as though Miss Price were making an effort on 
her side to be agreeable; but the luncheon was not alto- 
gether a success. Philip was squeamish, and the way in 
which Miss Price ate took his appetite away. She ate 
noisily, greedily, a little like a wild beast in a menagerie, 
and after she had finished each course rubbed the plate 
with pieces of bread till it was white and shining, as if she 
did not wish to lose a single drop of gravy. They had 


Camembert cheese, and it disgusted Philip to see that she 
ate rind and all of the portion that was given her. She 
could not have eaten more ravenously if she were starv- 

Miss Price was unaccountable, and having parted from 
her on one day with friendliness he could never tell 
whether on the next she would not be sulky and uncivil ; 
but he learned a good deal from her : though she could 
not draw well herself, she knew all that could be taught, 
and her constant suggestions helped his progress. Mrs. 
Otter was useful to him too, and sometimes Miss Chalice 
criticised his work; he learned from the glib loquacity of 
Lawson and from the example of Qutton. But Fanny 
Price hated him to take suggestions from anyone but her- 
self, and when he asked her help after someone else had 
been talking to him she would refuse with brutal rudeness. 
The other fellows, Lawson, Glutton, Flanagan, chaffed him 
about her. 

"You be careful, my lad," they said, "she's in love with 

"Oh, what nonsense," he laughed. 

The thought that Miss Price could be in love with any- 
one was preposterous. It made him shudder when he 
thought of her uncomeliness, the bedraggled hair and the 
dirty hands, the brown dress she always wore, stained and 
ragged at the hem: he supposed she was hard up, they 
were all hard up, but she might at least be clean; and it 
was surely possible with a needle and thread to make her 
skirt tidy. 

Philip began to sort his impressions of the people he 
was thrown in contact with. He was not so ingenuous as 
in those days which now seemed so long ago at Heidel- 
berg, and, beginning to take a more deliberate interest 
in humanity, he was inclined to examine and to criticise. 
He found it difficult to know Glutton any better after 
seeing him every day for three months than on the first 
day of their acquaintance. The general impression at the 
studio was that he was able; it was supposed that he 
would do great things, and he shared the general opinion ; 


but what exactly he was going to do neither he nor any- 
body else quite knew. He had worked at several studios 
before Amitrano's, at Julian's, the Beaux Arts, and Mac- 
Pherson's, and was remaining longer at Amitrano's than 
anywhere because he found himself more left alone. He 
was not fond of showing his work, and unlike most of the 
young men who were studying art neither sought nor 
gave advice. It was said that in the little studio in the 
Rue Campagne Premiere, which served him for work- 
room and bed-room, he had wonderful pictures which 
would make his reputation if only he could be induced to 
exhibit them. He could not afford a model but painted 
still life, and Lawson constantly talked of a plate of apples 
which he declared was a masterpiece. He was fastidious, 
and, aiming at something he did not quite fully grasp, was 
constantly dissatisfied with his work as a whole : perhaps 
a part would please him, the forearm or the leg and foot 
of a figure, a glass or a cup in a still-life ; and he would 
cut this out and keep it, destroying the rest of the canvas ; 
so that when people invited themselves to see his work he 
could truthfully answer that he had not a single picture 
to show. In Brittany he had come across a painter whom 
nobody else had heard of, a queer fellow who had been 
a stockbroker and taken up painting at middle-age, and 
he was greatly influenced by his work. He was turning 
his back on the impressionists and working out for himself 
painfully an individual way not only of painting but of 
seeing. Philip felt in him something strangely original. 

At Gravier's where they ate, and in the evening at the 
Versailles or at the Closerie des Lilas Glutton was inclined 
to taciturnity. He sat quietly, with a sardonic expression 
on his gaunt face, and spoke only when the opportunity 
occurred to throw in a witticism. He liked a butt and was 
most cheerful when someone was there on whom he could 
exercise his sarcasm. He seldom talked of anything but 
painting, and then only with the one or two persons whom 
he thought worth while. Philip wondered whether there 
was in him really anything: his reticence, the haggard 
look of him, the pungent humour, seemed to suggest per- 


sonality, but might be no more than an effective mask 
which covered nothing. 

With Lawson on the other hand Philip soon grew inti- 
mate. He had a variety of interests which made him an 
agreeable companion. He read more than most of the 
students and though his income was small, loved to buy 
books. He lent them willingly; and Philip became ac- 
quainted with Flaubert and Balzac, with Verlaine, Here- 
dia, and Villiers de 1'Isle Adam. They went to plays to- 
gether and sometimes to the gallery of the Opera Comique. 
There was the Odeon quite near them, and Philip soon 
shared his friend's passion for the tragedians of Louis XIV 
and the sonorous Alexandrine. In the Rue Taitbout were 
the Concerts Rouge, where for seventy-five centimes they 
could hear excellent music and get into the bargain some- 
thing which it was quite possible to drink : the seats were 
uncomfortable, the place was crowded, the air thick with 
caporal horrible to breathe, but in their young enthusiasm 
they were indifferent. Sometimes they went to the Bal 
Bullier. On these occasions Flanagan accompanied them. 
His excitability and his roisterous enthusiasm made them 
laugh. He was an excellent dancer, and before they had 
been ten minutes in the room he was prancing round with 
some little shop-girl whose acquaintance he had just made. 

The desire of all of them was to have a mistress. It was 
part of the paraphernalia of the art-student in Paris. It 
gave consideration in the eyes of one's fellows. It was 
something to boast about. But the difficulty was that they 
had scarcely enough money to keep themselves, and though 
they argued that Frenchwomen were so clever it cost no 
more to keep two than one, they found it difficult to meet 
young women who were willing to take that view of the 
circumstances. They had to content themselves for the 
most part with envying and abusing the ladies who received 
protection from painters of more settled respectability 
than their own. It was extraordinary how difficult these 
things were in Paris. Lawson would become acquainted 
with some young thing and make an appointment ; for 
twenty-four hours he would be all in a flutter and describe 
t.he charmer at length to everyone he met ; but she never 


by any chance turned up at the time fixed. He would come 
to Gravier's very late, ill-tempered, and exclaim : 

"Confound it, another rabbit! I don't know why it is 
they don't like me. I suppose it's because I don't speak 
French well, or my red hair. It's too sickening to have 
spent over a year in Paris without getting hold of any- 

"You don't go the right way to work," said Flanagan. 

He had a long and enviable list of triumphs to narrate, 
and though they took leave not to believe all he said, evi- 
dence forced them to acknowledge that he did not alto- 
gether lie. But he sought no permanent arrangement. He 
only had two years in Paris : he had persuaded his people 
to let him come and study art instead of going to college ; 
but at the end of that period he was to return to Seattle 
and go into his father's business. He had made up his 
mind to get as much fun as possible into the time, and de- 
manded variety rather than duration in his love affairs. 

"I don't know how you get hold of them," said Law- 
son furiously. 

"There's no difficulty about that, sonny," answered 
Flanagan. "You just go right in. The difficulty is to get 
rid of them. That's where you want tact." 

Philip was too much occupied with his work, the books 
he was reading, the plays he saw, the conversation he lis- 
tented to, to trouble himself with the desire for female 
society. He thought there would be plenty of time for that 
when he could speak French more glibly. 

It was more than a year now since he had seen Miss 
Wilkinson, and during his first weeks in Paris he had been 
too busy to answer a letter she had written to him jast 
before he left Blackstable. When another came, knowing 
it would be full of reproaches and not being just then in 
the mood for them, he put it aside, intending to open it 
later ; but he forgot and did not run across it till a month 
afterwards, when he was turning out a drawer to find some 
socks that had no holes in them. He looked at the un- 
opened letter with dismay. He was afraid that Miss Wil- 
kinson had suffered a good deal, and it made him feel a 
brute; but she had probably got over the suffering by 


now, at all events the worst of it. It suggested itself to 
him that women were often very emphatic in their expres- 
sions. These did not mean so much as when men used 
them. He had quite made up his mind that nothing would 
induce him ever to see her again. He had not written for 
so long that it seemed hardly worth while to write now. 
He made up his mind not to read the letter. 

"I daresay she won't write again," he said to himself. 
"She can't help seeing the thing's over. After all, she was 
old enough to be my mother ; she ought to have known bet- 

For an hour or two he felt a little uncomfortable. His 
attitude was obviously the right one, but he could not help 
a feeling of dissatisfaction with the whole business. Miss 
Wilkinson, however, did not write again; nor did she, 
as he absurdly feared, suddenly appear in Paris to make 
him ridiculous before his friends. In a little while he clean 
forgot her. 

Meanwhile he definitely forsook his old gods. The 
amazement with which at first he had looked upon the 
works of the impressionists, changed to admiration ; and 
presently he found himself talking as emphatically as the 
rest on the merits of Manet, Monet, and Degas. He 
bought a photograph of a drawing by Ingres of the 
Odalisque and a photograph of the Olympia. They were 
pinned side by side over his washing-stand so that he 
could contemplate their beauty while he shaved. He knew 
now quite positively that there had been no painting of 
landscape before Monet; and he felt a real thrill when 
he stood in front of Rembrandt's Disciples at E mutatis or 
Velasquez' Lady with the Flea-bitten Nose. That was not 
her real name, but by that she was distinguished at 
Gravier's to emphasise the picture's beauty notwithstand- 
ing the somewhat revolting peculiarity of the sitter's ap- 
pearance. With Ruskin, Burne-Jones, and Watts, he had 
put aside his bowler hat and the neat blue tie with white 
spots which he had worn on coming to Paris; and now 
disported himself in a soft, broad-brimmed hat, a flowing 
black cravat, and a cape of romantic cut. He walked along 
the Boulevard du Montparnasse as though he had known 


it all his life, and by virtuous perseverance he had learnt to 
drink absinthe without distaste. He was letting his hair 
grow, and it was only because Nature is unkind and has 
no regard for the immortal longings of youth that he did 
not attempt a beard. 


PHILIP soon realised that the spirit which informed his 
friends was Cronshaw's. It was from him that Lawson 
got his paradoxes; and even Glutton, who strained after 
individuality, expressed himself in the terms he had in- 
sensibly acquired from the older man. It was his ideas that 
they bandied about at table, and on his authority they 
formed their judgments. They made up for the respect 
with which unconsciously they treated him by laughing 
at his foibles and lamenting his vices. 

"Of course, poor old Cronshaw will never do any good," 
they said. "He's quite hopeless." 

They prided themselves on being alone in appreciating 
his genius; and though, with the contempt of youth for 
the follies of middle-age, they patronised him among them- 
selves, they did not fail to look upon it as a feather in 
their caps if he had chosen a time when only one was there 
to be particularly wonderful. Cronshaw never came to 
Gravier's. For the last four years he had lived in squalid 
conditions with a woman whom only Lawson had once 
seen, in a tiny apartment on the sixth floor of one of the 
most dilapidated houses on the Quai des Grands Augus- 
tins : Lawson described with gusto the filth, the untidiness, 
the litter. 

"And the stink nearly blew your head off." 

"Not at dinner, Lawson," expostulated one of the others. 

But he would not deny himself the pleasure of giving 
picturesque details of the odours which met his nostril. 
With a fierce delight in his own realism he described the 
woman who had opened the door for him. She was dark, 
small, and fat, quite young, with black hair that seemed 
always on the point of coming down. She wore a slatternly 
blouse and no corsets. With her red cheeks, large sensual 
mouth, and shining, lewd eyes, she reminded you of the 
Bohemienne in the Louvre by Franz Hals. She bad 3 



flaunting vulgarity which amused and yet horrified. A 
scrubby, unwashed baby was playing on the floor. It was 
known that the slut deceived Cronshaw with the most 
worthless ragamuffins of the Quarter, and it was a mystery 
to the ingenuous youths who absorbed his wisdom over a 
cafe table that Cronshaw with his keen intellect and his 
passion for beauty could ally himself to such a creature. 
But he seemed to revel in the coarseness of 'her language 
and would often report some phrase which reeked of the 
gutter. He referred to her ironically as la fille de mon con- 
cierge. Cronshaw was very poor. He earned a bare sub- 
sistence by writing on the exhibitions of pictures for one 
or two English papers, and he did a certain amount of 
translating. He had been on the staff of an English paper 
in Paris, but had been dismissed for drunkenness ; he still 
however did odd jobs for it, describing sales at the Hotel 
Drouot or the revues at music-halls. The life of Paris had 
got into his bones, and he would not change it, notwith- 
standing its squalor, drudgery, and hardship, for any other 
in the world. He remained there all through the year, even 
in summer when everyone he knew was away, and felt 
himself only at ease within a mile of the Boulevard St. 
Michel. But the curious thing was that he had never learnt 
to speak French passably, and he kept in his shabby clothes 
bought at La Belle Jardiniere an ineradicably English ap- 

He was a man who would have made a success of life a 
century and a half ago when conversation was a passport 
to good company and inebriety no bar. 

"I ought to have lived in the eighteen hundreds," he said 
himself. "What I want is a patron. I should have published 
my poems by subscription and dedicated them to a noble- 
man. I long to compose rhymed couplets upon the poodle 
of a countess. My soul yearns for the love of chamber- 
maids and the conversation of bishops." 

He quoted the romantic Rolla, 

"Je suis venu trap tard dans un monde trop vieux." 

He liked new faces, and he took a fancy to Philip, who 
seemed to achieve the difficult feat of talking just enough 
to suggest conversation and not too much to prevent mono- 


logue. Philip was captivated. He did not realise that little 
that Cronshaw said was new. His personality in conver- 
sation had a curious power. He had a beautiful and a son- 
orous voice, and a manner of putting things which was 
irresistible to youth. All he said seemed to excite thought, 
and often on the way home Lawson and Philip would walk 
to and from one another's hotels, discussing some point 
which a chance word of Cronshaw had suggested. It was 
disconcerting to Philip, who had a youthful eagerness for 
results, that Cronshaw's poetry hardly came up to expec- 
tation. It had never been published in a volume, but most 
of it had appeared in periodicals ; and after a good deal of 
persuasion Cronshaw brought down a bundle of pages torn 
out of The Yellow Book, The Saturday Review, and other 
journals, on each of which was a poem. Philip was taken 
aback to find that most of them reminded him either of 
Henley or of Swinburne. It needed the splendour of Cron- 
shaw's delivery to make them personal. He expressed his 
disappointment to Lawson, who carelessly repeated his 
words ; and next time Philip went to the Closerie des Lilas 
the poet turned to him with his sleek smile : 

"I hear you don't think much of my verses." 

Philip was embarrassed. 

"I don't know about that," he answered. "I enjoyed 
reading them very much." 

"Do not attempt to spare my feelings," returned Cron- 
shaw, with a wave of his fat hand. "I do not attach any 
exaggerated importance to my poetical works. Life is there 
to be lived rather than to be written about. My aim is to 
search out the manifold experience that it offers, wringing 
from each moment what of emotion it presents. I look 
upon my writing as a graceful accomplishment which does 
not absorb but rath(:r adds pleasure to existence. And as 
for posterity damn posterity." 

Philip smiled, for it leaped to one's eyes that the artist 
in life had produced no more than a wretched daub. Cron- 
shaw looked at him meditatively and filled his glass. He 
sent the waiter for a packet of cigarettes. 

"You are amused because I talk in this fashion and you 
know that I am poor and live in an attic with a vulgar trol- 


lop who deceives me with hair-dressers and gargons de 
cafe; I translate wretched books for the British public, and 
write articles upon contemptible* pictures which deserve 
not even to be abused. But pray tell me what is the mean- 
ing of life?" 

"I say, that's rather a difficult question. Won't you give 
the answer yourself ?" 

"No, because it's worthless unless you yourself discover 
it. But what do you suppose you are in the world for ?" 

Philip had never asked himself, and he thought for a 
moment before replying. 

"Oh, I don't know: I suppose to do one's duty, and 
make the best possible use of one's faculties, and avoid 
hurting other people." 

"In short, to do unto others as you would they should 
do unto you ?" 

"I suppose so." 


"No, it isn't," said Philip indignantly. "It has nothing to 
do with Christianity. It's just abstract morality." 

"But there's no such thing as abstract morality." 

"In that case, supposing under the influence of liquor 
you left your purse behind when you leave here and I 
picked it up, why do you imagine that I should return it to 
you? It's not the fear of the police." 

"It's the dread of hell if you sin and the hope of Heaven 
if you are virtuous." 

"But I believe in neither." 

"That may be. Neither did Kant when he devised the 
Categorical Imperative. You have thrown aside a creed, 
but you have preserved the ethic which was based upon it. 
To all intents you are a Christian still, and if there is a 
God in Heaven you will undoubtedly receive your reward. 
The Almighty can hardly be such a fool as the churches 
make out. If you keep His laws I don't think He can care 
a packet of pins whether you believe in Him or not." 

"But if I left my purse behind you would certainly 
return it to me," said Philip. 

"Not from motives of abstract morality, but only from 
fear of the police." 


"It's a thousand tc one *hat the police would never find 

"My ancestors have lived in a civilised state so long that 
the fear of the police has eaten into my bones. The daugh- 
ter of my concierge would not hesitate for a moment. You 
answer that she belongs to the criminal classes ; not at all, 
she is merely devoid of vulgar prejudice." 

"But then that does away with honour and virtue and 
goodness and decency and everything," said Philip. 

"Have you ever committed a sin?" 

"I don't know, I suppose so," answered Philip. 

"You speak with the lips of a dissenting minister. I have 
never committed a sin." 

Cronshaw in his shabby great-coat, with the collar 
turned up, and his hat well down on his head, with his red 
fat face and his little gleaming eyes, looked extraordinarily 
comic ; but Philip was too much in earnest to laugh. 

"Have you never done anything you regret?" 

"How can I regret when what I did was inevitable?" 
asked Cronshaw in return. 

"But that's fatalism." 

"The illusion which man has that his will is free is so 
deeply rooted that I am ready to accept it. I act as though 
I were a free agent. But when an action is performed it is 
clear that all the forces of the universe from all eternity 
conspired to cause it, and nothing I could do could have 
prevented it. It was inevitable. If it was good I can claim 
no merit ; if it was bad I can accept no censure." 

"My brain reels," said Philip. 

"Have some whiskey," returned Cronshaw, passing over 
the bottle. "There's nothing like it for clearing the head. 
You must expect to be thick-witted if you insist upon 
drinking beer." 

Philip shook his head, and Cronshaw proceeded : 

"You're not a bad fellow, but you won't drink. Sobriety 
disturbs conversation. But when I speak of good and bad 
. . ." Philip saw he was taking up the thread of his dis- 
course, "I speak conventionally. I attach no meaning to 
those words. I refuse to make a hierarchy of human 
actions and ascribe worthiness to some and ill-repute to 


others. The terms vice and virtue have no signification for 
me. I do not confer praise or blame : I accept. I am the 
measure of all things. I am the centre of the world." 

"But there are one or two other people in the world," 
objected Philip. 

"I speak only for myself. I know them only as they limit 
my activities. Round each of them too the world turns, 
and each one for himself is the centre of the universe. My 
right over them extends only as far as my power. What 
I can do is the only limit of what I may do. Because we 
are gregarious we live in society, and society holds to- 
gether by means of force, force of arms (that is the police- 
man) and force of public opinion (that is Mrs. Grundy). 
You have society on one hand and the individual on the 
other: each is an organism striving for self-preservation. 
It is might against might. I stand alone, bound to accept 
society and not unwilling, since in return for the taxes I 
pay it protects me, a weakling, against the tyranny of an- 
other stronger than I am ; but I submit to its laws because 
I must ; I do not acknowledge their justice : I do not know 
justice, I only know power. And when I have paid for the 
policeman who protects me and, if I live in a country 
where conscription is in force, served in the army which 
guards my house and land from the invader, I am quits 
with society : for the rest I counter its might with my wili- 
ness. It makes laws for its self-preservation, and if I break 
them it imprisons or kills me: it has the might to do so 
and therefore the right. If I break the laws I will accept 
the vengeance of the state, but I will not regard it as pun- 
ishment nor shall I feel myself convicted of wrong-doing. 
Society tempts me to its service by honours and riches 
and the good opinion of my fellows ; but I am indifferent 
to their good opinion, I despise honours and I can do very 
well without riches," 

"But if everyone thought like you things would go to 
pieces at once." 

"I have nothing to do with others, I am only concerned 
with myself. I take advantage of the fact that the ma- 
jority of mankind are led by certain rewards to do things 
which directly or indirectly tend to my convenience." 


"It seems to me an awfully selfish way of looking at 
things," said Philip. 

"But are you under the impression that men ever do 
anything except for selfish reasons ?" 


"It is impossible that they should. You will find as you 
grow older that the first thing needful to make the world 
a tolerable place to live in is to recognise the inevitable 
selfishness of humanity. You demand unselfishness from 
others, which is a preposterous claim that they should sac- 
rifice their desires to yours. Why should they ? When you 
are reconciled to the fact that each is for himself in the 
world you will ask less from your fellows. They will not 
disappoint you, and you will look upon them more charita- 
bly. Men seek but one thing in life their pleasure." 

"No, no, no !" cried Philip. 

Cronshaw chuckled. 

"You rear like a frightened colt, because I use a word 
to which your Christianity ascribes a deprecatory mean- 
ing. You have a hierarchy of values; pleasure is at the 
bottom of the ladder, and you speak with a little thrill of 
self-satisfaction, of duty, charity, and truthfulness. You 
think pleasure is only of the senses; the wretched slaves 
who manufactured your morality despised a satisfaction 
which they had small means of enjoying. You would not 
be so frightened if I had spoken of happiness instead of 
pleasure : it sounds less shocking, and your mind wanders 
from the sty of Epicurus to his garden. But I will speak 
of pleasure, for I see that men aim at that, and I do not 
know that they aim at happiness. It is pleasure that lurks 
in the practice of every one of your virtues. Man per- 
forms actions because they are good for him, and when 
they are good for other people as well they are thought 
virtuous : if he finds pleasure in giving alms he is charita- 
ble ; if he finds pleasure in helping others he is benevolent; 
if he finds pleasure in working for society he is public- 
spirited ; but it is for your private pleasure that you give 
twopence to a beggar as much as it is for my private 
pleasure that I drink another whiskey and soda. I, less of 


a humbug than you, neither applaud myself for my pleas- 
ure nor demand your admiration." 

"But have you never known people do things they didn't 
want to instead of things they did?" 

"No. You put your question foolishly. What you mean 
is that people accept an immediate pain rather than an im- 
mediate pleasure. The objection is as foolish as your man- 
ner of putting it. It is clear that men accept an immediate 
pain rather than an immediate pleasure, but only because 
they expect a greater pleasure in the future. Often the 
pleasure is illusory, but their error in calculation is no 
refutation of the rule. You are puzzled because you can- 
not get over the idea that pleasures are only of the senses ; 
but, child, a man who dies for his country dies because he 
likes it as surely as a man eats pickled cabbage because he 
likes it. It is a law of creation. If it were possible for men 
to prefer pain to pleasure the human race would have long 
since become extinct." 

"But if all that is true," cried Philip, "what is the use 
of anything? If you take away duty and goodness and 
beauty why are we brought into the world ?" 

"Here comes the gorgeous East to suggest an answer," 
smiled Cronshaw. 

He pointed to two persons who at that moment opened 
the door of the cafe, and, with a blast of cold air, entered. 
They were Levantines, itinerant vendors of cheap rugs, 
and each bore on his arm a bundle. It was Sunday evening, 
and the cafe was very full. They passed among the tables, 
and in that atmosphere heavy and discoloured with to- 
bacco smoke, rank with humanity, they seemed to bring 
an air of mystery. They were clad in European, shabby 
clothes, their thin great-coats were threadbare, but each 
wore a tarbouch. Their faces were gray with cold. One was 
of middle age, with a black beard, but the other was a 
youth of eighteen, with a face deeply scarred by small- 
pox and with one eye only. They passed by Cronshaw and 

"Allah is great, and Mahomet is his prophet," said Cron- 
shaw impressively. 

The elder advanced with a cringing smile, like a mongrel 


used to blows. With a sidelong glance at the door and a 
quick surreptitious movement he showed a pornographic 

"Are you Masr-ed-Deen, the merchant of Alexandria, 
or is it from far Bagdad that you bring your goods, O, my 
uncle ; and yonder one-eyed youth, do I see in him one of 
the three kings of whom Scheherazade told stories to her 

The pedlar's smile grew more ingratiating, though he 
understood no word of what Cronshaw said, and like a 
conjurer he produced a sandal -wood box. 

"Nay, show us the priceless web of Eastern looms," 
quoth Cronshaw. "For I would point a moral and adorn 
a tale." 

The Levantine unfolded a table-cloth, red and yellow, 
vulgar", hideous, and grotesque. 

"Thirty-five francs," he said. 

"O, my uncle, this cloth knew not the weavers of Samar- 
kand, and those colours were never made in the vats of 

"Twenty-five francs," smiled the pedlar obsequiously. 

"Ultima Thule was the place of its manufacture, even 
Birmingham the place of my birth." 

"Fifteen francs," cringed the bearded man. 

"Get thee gone, fellow," said Cronshaw. "May wild asses 
defile the grave of thy maternal grandmother." 

Imperturbably, but smiling no more, the Levantine 
passed with his wares to another table. Cronshaw turned 
to Philip. 

"Have 3 r ou ever been to the Cluny, the museum? There 
you will see Persian carpets of the most exquisite hue and 
of a pattern the beautiful intricacy of which delights and 
amazes the eye. In them you will see the mystery and the 
sensual beauty of the East, the roses of Hafiz and the 
wine-cup of Omar ; but presently you will see more. You 
were asking just now what was the meaning of life. Go 
and look at those Persian carpets, and one of these days 
the answer will come to you." 

"You are cryptic," said Philip. 

"I am drunk," answered Cronshaw. 


PHILIP did not find living in Paris as cheap as he had 
been led to believe and by February had spent most of the 
money with which he started. He was too proud to appeal 
to his guardian, nor did he wish Aunt Louisa to know that 
his circumstances were straitened, since he was certain she 
would make an effort to send him something from her own 
pocket, and he knew how little she could afford to. In three 
months he would attain his majority and come into pos- 
session of his small fortune. He tided over the interval by 
selling the few trinkets which he had inherited from his 

At about this time Lawson suggested that they should 
take a small studio which was vacant in one of the streets 
that led out of the Boulevard Raspail. It was very cheap. 
It had a room attached, which they could use as a bed- 
room ; and since Philip was at the school every morning 
Lawson could have the undisturbed use of the studio then ; 
Lawson, after wandering from school to school, had come 
to the conclusion that he could work best alone, and pro- 
posed to get a model in three or four days a week. At first 
Philip hesitated on account of the expense, but they reck- 
oned it out; and it seemed (they were so anxious to have 
a studio of their own that they calculated pragmatically) 
that the cost would not be much greater than that of living 
in a hotel. Though the rent and the^cleaning by thecon- 
cierge would come to a little more" they would save on The 
petit dejeuner, which they could make themselves. A year 
or two earlier Philip would have refused to share a room 
with anyone, since he was so sensitive about his deformed 
foot, but his morbid way of looking at it was growing less 
marked : in Paris it did not seem to matter so much, and, 
though he never by any chance forgot it himself, he ceased 
to feel that other people were constantly noticing it. 

They moved in, bought a couple of beds, a washing- 



stand, a few chairs, and felt for the first time the thrill 
of possession. They were so excited that the first night 
they went to bed in what they could call a home they lay 
awake talking till three in the morning; and next day 
found lighting the fire and making their own coffee, which 
they had in pyjamas, such a jolly business that Philip did 
not get to Amitrano's till nearly eleven. He was in excel- 
lent spirits. He nodded to Fanny Price. 

"How are you getting on?" he asked cheerily. 

"What does that matter to you ?" she asked in reply. 

Philip could not help laughing. 

"Don't jump down my throat. I was only trying to make 
myself polite." 

"I don't want your politeness." 

"D'you think it's worth while quarrelling with me too ?" 
asked Philip mildly. "There are so few people you're on 
speaking terms with, as it is." 

"That's my business, isn't it?" 


He began to work, vaguely wondering why Fanny Price 
made herself so disagreeable. He had come to the conclu- 
sion that he thoroughly disliked her. Everyone did. People 
were only civil to her at all from fear of the malice of her 
tongue ; for to their faces and behind their backs she said 
abominable things. But Philip was feeling so happy that 
he did not want even Miss Price to bear ill-feeling towards 
him. He used the artifice which had often before succeeded 
in banishing her ill-humour. 

"I say, I wish you'd come and look at my drawing. I've 
got in an awful mess." 

"Thank you very much, but I've got something better 
to do with my time." 

Philip stared at her in surprise, for the one thing she 
could be counted upon to do with alacrity was to give ad- 
vice. She went on quickly in a low voice, savage with fury. 

"Now that Lawson's gone you think you'll put up with 
me. Thank you very much. Go and find somebody else to 
help you I don't want anybody else's leavings." 

Lawson had the pedagogic instinct; whenever he found 
anything out he was eager to impart it; and because he 


taught with delight he talked with profit. Philip, without 
thinking anything about it, had got into the habit of sitting 
by his side ; it never occurred to him that Fanny Price was 
consumed with jealousy, and watched his acceptance of 
someone else's tuition with ever-increasing anger. 

"You were very glad to put up with me when you knew 
nobody here," she said bitterly, "and as soon as you made 
friends with other people you threw me aside, like an old 
glove" she repeated the stale metaphor with satisfaction 
"like an old glove. All right, I don't care, but I'm not 
going to be made a fool of another time." 

There was a suspicion of truth in what she said, and it 
made Philip angry enough to answer what first came into 
his head. 

"Hang it all, I only asked your advice because I saw it 
pleased you." 

She gave a gasp and threw him a sudden look of anguish. 
Then two tears rolled down her cheeks. She looked frowsy 
and grotesque. Philip, not knowing what on earth this 
new attitude implied, went back to his work. He was un- 
easy and conscience-stricken; but he would not go to her 
and say he was sorry if he had caused her pain, because he 
was afraid she would take the opportunity to snub him. 
For two or three weeks she did not speak to him, and, 
after Philip had got over the discomfort of being cut by 
her, he was somewhat relieved to be free from so difficult 
a friendship. He had been a little disconcerted by the air 
of proprietorship she assumed over him. She was an ex- 
traordinary woman. She came every day to the studio at 
eight o'clock, and was ready to start working when the 
model was in position; she worked steadily, talking to no 
one, struggling hour after hour with difficulties she could 
not overcome, and remained till the clock struck twelve. 
Her work was hopeless. There was not in it the smallest 
approach even to the mediocre achievement at which most 
of the young persons were able after some months to ar- 
rive. She wore every day the same ugly brown dress, with 
the mud of the last wet day still caked on the hem and 
with the raggedness, which Philip had noticed the first time 
he saw her, still unmended. 


But one day she came up to him, and with a scarlet face 
asked whether she might speak to him afterwards. 

"Of course, as much as you like," smiled Philip. "I'll 
wait behind at twelve." 

He went to her when the day's work was over. 

"Will you walk a little bit with me?*' she said, looking 
away from him with embarrassment. 


They walked for two or three minutes in silence. 

"D'you remember what you said to me the other day?" 
she asked then on a sudden. 

"Oh, I say, don't let's quarrel," said Philip. "It really 
isn't worth while." 

She gave a quick, painful inspiration. 

"I don't want to quarrel with you. You're the only friend 
I had in Paris. I thought you rather liked me. I felt there 
was something between us. I was drawn towards you 
you know what I mean, your club-foot," 

Philip reddened and instinctively tried to walk without 
a limp. He did not like anyone to mention the deformity. 
He knew what Fanny Price meant. She was ugly and un- 
couth, and because he was deformed there was between 
them a certain sympathy. He was very angry with her, 
but he forced himself not to speak. 

"You said you only asked my advice to please me. Don't 
you think my work's any good ?" 

"I've only seen your drawing at Amitrano's. It's aw- 
fully hard to judge from that." 

"I was wondering if you'd come and look at my other 
work. I've never asked anyone else to look at it. I should 
like to show it to you." 

"It's awfully kind of you. I'd like to see it very much." 

"I live quite near here," she said apologetically. "It'll 
only take you ten minutes." 

"Oh, that's all right," he said. 

They were walking along the boulevard, and she turned 
down a side street, then led him into another, poorer still, 
with cheap shops on the ground floor, and at last stopped. 
They climbed flight after flight of stairs. She unlocked a 
door, and they went into a tiny attic with a sloping roof 


and a small window. This was closed and the room had a 
musty smell. Though it was very cold there was no fire and 
no sign that there had been one. The bed was unmade. A 
chair, a chest of drawers which served also as a wash- 
stand, and a cheap easel, were all the furniture. The place 
would have been squalid enough in any case, but the litter, 
the untidiness, made the impression revolting. On the 
chimney-piece, scattered over with paints and brushes, 
were a cup, a dirty plate, and a tea-pol. 

"If you'll stand over there I'll put them on the chair so 
that you can see them better." 

She showed him twenty small canvases, about eighteen 
by twelve. She placed them on the chair, one after the 
other, watching his face; he nodded as he looked at each 

"You do like them, don't you ?" she said anxiously, after 
a bit. 

"I just want to look at them all first," he answered. "I'll 
talk afterwards." 

He was collecting himself. He was panic-stricken. He 
did not know what to say. It was not only that they were 
ill-drawn, or that the colour was put on amateurishly by 
someone who had no eye for it ; but there was no attempt 
at getting the values, and the perspective was grotesque. It 
looked like the work of a child of five, but a child would 
have had some naivete and might at least have made an 
attempt to put down what he saw ; but here was the work 
of a vulgar mind chock full of recollections of vulgar pic- 
tures. Philip remembered that she had talked enthusiasti- 
cally about Monet and the Impressionists, but here were 
only the worst traditions of the Royal Academy. 

"There," she said at last, "that's the lot." 

Philip was no more truthful than anybody else, but he 
had a great difficulty in telling a thundering, deliberate lie, 
and he blushed furiously when he answered : 

"I think they're most awfully good." 

A faint colour came into her unhealthy cheeks, and she 
smiled a little. 

"You needn't say so if you don't think so, you know. I 
want the truth." 


"But I do think so." 

"Haven't you got any criticism to offer? There must be 
some you don't like as well as others." 

Philip looked round helplessly. He saw a landscape, the 
typical picturesque 'bit' of the amateur, an old bridge, a 
creeper-clad cottage, and a leafy bank. 

"Of course I don't pretend to know anything about it," 
he said. "But I wasn't quite sure about the values of that." 

She flushed darkly and taking up the picture quickly 
turned its back to him. 

"I don't know why you should have chosen that one tr 
sneer at. It's the best thing I've ever done. I'm sure my 
values are all right. That's a thing you can't teach any- 
one, you either understand values or you don't." 

"I think they're all most awfully good," repeated Philip. 

She looked at them with an air of self-satisfaction. 

"I. don't think they're anything to be ashamed of." 

Philip looked at his watch. 

"I say, it's getting late. Won't you let me give you a lit- 
tle lunch?" 

"I've got my lunch waiting for me here." 

Philip saw no sign of it, but supposed perhaps the con- 
cierge would bring it up when he was gone. He was in a 
hurry to get away. The mustiness of the room made his 
head ache. 


IN March there was all the excitement of sending in to 
the Salon. Glutton, characteristically, had nothing ready, 
and he was very scornful of the two heads that Lawson 
sent ; they were obviously the work of a student, straight- 
forward portraits of models, but they had a certain force ; 
Glutton, aiming at perfection, had no patience with efforts 
which betrayed hesitancy, and with a shrug of the shoul- 
ders told Lawson it was an impertinence to exhibit stuff 
which should never have been allowed out of his studio ; 
he was not less contemptuous when the two heads were ac- 
cepted. Flanagan tried his luck too, but his picture was re- 
fused. Mrs. Otter sent a blameless Portrait de ma Mere, 
accomplished and second-rate; and was hung in a very 
good place. 

Hayward, whom Philip had not seen since he left Hei- 
delberg, arrived in Paris to spend a few days in time to 
come to the party which Lawson and Philip were giving 
in their studio to celebrate the hanging of Lawson's pic- 
tures. Philip had been eager to see Hayward again, but 
when at last they met, he experienced some disappoint- 
ment. Hayward had altered a little in appearance : his fine 
hair was thinner, and with the rapid wilting of the very 
fair, he was becoming wizened and colourless; his blue 
eyes were paler than they had been, and there was a muzzi- 
ness about his features. On the other hand, in mind he did 
not seem to have changed at all, and the culture which had 
impressed Philip at eighteen aroused somewhat the con- 
tempt of Philip at twenty-one. He had altered a good deal 
himself, and regarding with scorn all his old opinions of 
art, life, and letters, had no patience with anyone who still 
held them. He was scarcely conscious of the fact that he 
wanted to show off before Hayward, but when he took him 
round the galleries he poured out to him all the revolution- 
ary opinions which himself had so recently adopted. He 
took him to Manet's Olympia and said dramatically : 



"I would give all the old masters except Velasquez. 
Rembrandt, and Vermeer for that one picture." 

"Who was Vermeer?" asked Hayward. 

"Oh, my dear fellow, don't you know Vermeer ? You're 
not civilised. You mustn't live a moment longer without 
making his acquaintance. He's the one old master who 
painted like a modern." 

He dragged Hayward out of the Luxembourg and hur- 
ried him off to the Louvre. 

"But aren't there any more pictures here?" asked Hay- 
ward, with the tourist's passion for thoroughness. 

"Nothing of the least consequence. You can come and 
look at them by yourself with your Baedeker." 

When they arrived at the Louvre Philip led his friend 
down the Long Gallery. 

"I shoud like to see The Gioconda," said Hayward. 

"Oh, my dear fellow, it's only literature," answered 

At last, in a small room, Philip stopped before The 
Lacemaker of Vermeer van Delft. 

"There, that's the best picture in the Louvre. It's ex- 
actly like a Manet." 

With an expressive, eloquent thumb Philip expatiated 
on the charming work. He used the jargon of the studios 
with overpowering effect. 

"I don't know that I see anything so wonderful as all 
that in it," said Hayward. 

"Of course it's a painter's picture," said Philip. "I can 
quite believe the layman would see nothing much in it." 

"The what?" said Hayward. 

"The layman." 

Like most people who cultivate an interest in the arts, 
Hayward was extremely anxious to be right. He was dog- 
matic with those who did not venture to assert themselves, 
but with the self-assertive he was very modest. He was 
impressed by Philip's assurance, and accepted meekly 
Philip's implied suggestion that the painter's arrogant 
claim to be the sole possible judge of painting has any- 
thing but its impertinence to recommend it. 

A day or two later Philip and Lawson gave their party. 


Cronshaw, making an exception in their favour, agreed to 
eat their food ; and Miss Chalice offered to come and cook 
for them. She took no interest in her own sex and declined 
the suggestion that .other girls should be asked for her 
sake. Glutton, Flanagan, Potter, and two others made up 
the party. Furniture was scarce, so the model stand was 
used as a table, and the guests were to sit on portman- 
teaux if they liked, and if they didn't on the floor. The 
feast consisted of a pot-au-feu, which Miss Chalice had 
made, of a leg of mutton roasted round the corner and 
brought round hot and savoury (Miss Chalice had cooked 
the potatoes, and the studio was redolent of the carrots she 
had fried; fried carrots were her specialty) ; and this was 
to be followed by poires fiambees, pears with burning 
brandy, which Cronshaw had volunteered to make. The 
meal was to finish with an enormous frontage de Brie, 
which stood near the window and added fragrant odours 
to all the others which filled the studio. Cronshaw sat in 
the place of honour on a Gladstone bag, with his legs 
curled under him like a Turkish bashaw, beaming good- 
naturedly on the young people who surrounded him. From 
force of habit, though the small studio with the stove lit 
was very hot, he kept on his great-coat, with the collar 
turned up, and his bowler hat : he looked with satisfaction 
on the four large fiaschi of Chianti which stood in front 
of him in a row, two on each side of a bottle of whiskey ; 
he said it reminded him of a slim fair Circassian guarded 
by four corpulent eunuchs. Hayward in order to put the 
rest of them at their ease had clothed himself in a tweed 
suit and a Trinity Hall tie. He looked grotesquely British. 
The others were elaborately polite to him, and during the 
soup they talked of the weather and the political situation. 
There was a pause while they waited for the leg of mut- 
ton, and Miss Chalice lit a cigarette. 

"Rampunzel, Rampunzel, let down your hair," she said 

With an elegant gesture she untied a ribbon so that her 
tresses fell over her shoulders. She shook her head. 

"I always feel more comfortable with my hair down." 

With her large brown eyes, thin, ascetic face, her pale 


skin, and broad forehead, she might have stepped out of 
a picture by Burne-Jones. She had long, beautiful hands, 
with fingers deeply stained by nicotine. She wore sweeping 
draperies, mauve and green. There was about her the ro- 
mantic air of High Street, Kensington. She was wantonly 
aesthetic ; but she was an excellent creature, kind and good 
natured; and her affectations were but skin-deep. There 
was a knock at the door, and they all gave a shout of exul- 
tation. Miss Chalice rose and opened. She took the leg of 
mutton and held it high above her, as though it were the 
head of John the Baptist on a platter; and, the cigarette 
still in her mouth, advanced with solemn, hieratic steps. 

"Hail, daughter of Herodias," cried Cronshaw. 

The mutton was eaten with gusto, and it did one good to 
see what a hearty appetite the pale-faced lady had. Glut- 
ton and Potter sat on each side of her, and everyone knew 
that neither had found her unduly coy. She grew tired 
of most people in six weeks, but she knew exactly how to 
treat afterwards the gentlemen who had laid their young 
hearts at her feet. She bore them no ill-will, though hav- 
ing loved them she had ceased to do so, and treated them 
with friendliness but without familiarity. Now and then 
she looked at Lawson with melancholy eyes. The poires 
flambees were a great success, partly because of the brandy, 
and partly because Miss Chalice insisted that they should 
be eaten with the cheese. 

"I don't know whether it's perfectly delicious, or 
whether I'm just going to vomit," she said, after she had 
thoroughly tried the mixture. 

Coffee and cognac followed with sufficient speed to pre- 
vent any untoward consequence, and they settled down to 
smoke in comfort. Ruth Chalice, who could do nothing 
that was not deliberately artistic, arranged herself in a 
graceful attitude by Cronshaw and just rested her exqui- 
site head on his shoulder. She looked into the dark abyss 
of time with brooding eyes, and now and then with a long 
meditative glance at Lawson she sighed deeply. 

Then came the summer, and restlessness seized these 
young people. The blue skies lured them to the sea, and 


the pleasant breeze sighing through the leaves of the plane- 
trees on the boulevard drew them towards the country. 
Everyone made plans for leaving Paris ; they discussed 
what was the most suitable size for the canvases they 
meant to take ; they laid in stores of panels for sketching ; 
they argued about the merits of various places in Brittany. 
Flanagan and Potter went to Concarneau ; Mrs. Otter and 
her mother, with a natural instinct for the obvious, went 
to Pont-Aven; Philip and Lawson made up their minds 
to go to the forest of Fontainbleau, and Miss Chalice 
knew of a very good hotel at Moret where there was lots 
of stuff to paint; it was near Paris, and neither Philip 
nor Lawson was indifferent to the railway fare. Ruth 
Chalice would be there, and Lawson had an idea for a por- 
trait of her in the open air. Just then the Salon was full of 
portraits of people in gardens, in sunlight, with blinking 
eyes and green reflections of sunlit leaves on their faces. 
They asked Glutton to go with them, but he preferred 
spending the summer by himself. He had just discovered 
Cezanne, and was eager to go to Provence; he wanted 
heavy skies from which the hot blue seemed to drip like 
beads of sweat, and broad white dusty roads, and pale 
roofs out of which the sun had burnt the colour, and olive 
trees gray with heat. 

The day before they were to start, after the morning 
class, Philip, putting his things together, spoke to Fanny 

"I'm off tomorrow," he said cheerfully. 

"Off where?" she said quickly. "You're not going 
away?" Her face fell. 

"I'm going away for the summer. Aren't you?" 

"No, I'm staying in Paris. I thought you were going to 
stay too. I was looking forward. . . ." 

She stopped and shrugged her shoulders. 

"But won't it be frightfully hot here? It's awfully bad 
for you." 

"Much you care if it's bad for me. Where are you go- 


"Chalice is going there. You're not going with her?" 


"Lawson and I are going. And she's going there too. I 
don't know that we're actually going together." 

She gave a low guttural sound, and her large face grew 
dark and red. 

"How filthy ! I thought you were a decent fellow. You 
were about the only one here. She's been with Glutton and 
Potter and Flanagan, even with old Foinet that's why he 
takes so much trouble about her and now two of you, 
you and Lawson. It makes me sick." 

"Oh, what nonsense ! She's a very decent sort. One treats 
her just as if she were a man." 

"Oh, don't speak to me, don't speak to me." 

"But what can it matter to you?" asked Philip. "It's 
really no business of yours where I spend my summer." 

"I was looking forward to it so much," she gasped, 
speaking it seemed almost to herself. "I didn't think you 
had the money to go away, and there wouldn't have been 
anyone else here, and we could have worked together, and 
we'd have gone to see things." Then her thoughts flung 
back to Ruth Chalice. "The filthy beast," she cried. "She 
isn't fit to speak to." 

Philip looked at her with a sinking heart. He was not a 
man to think girls were in love with him ; he was too con- 
scious of his deformity, and he felt awkward and clumsy 
with women ; but he did not know what else this outburst 
could mean. Fanny Price, in the dirty brown dress, with 
her hair falling over her face, sloppy, untidy, stood before 
him ; and tears of anger rolled down her cheeks. She was 
repellent. Philip glanced at the door, instinctively hoping 
that someone would come in and put an end to the scene. 

"I'm awfuly sorry," he said. 

"You're just the same as all of them. You take all you 
can get, and you don't even say thank you. I've taught you 
everything you know. No one else would take any trou- 
ble with you. Has Foinet ever bothered about you? And 
I can tell you this you can work here for a thousand 
years and you'll never do any good. You haven't got any 
talent. You haven't got any originality. And it's not only 
me they all say it. You'll never be a painter as long as you 


"That is no business of yours either, is it ?" said Philip, 

"Oh, you think it's only my temper. Ask Glutton, ask 
Lawson, ask Chalice. Never, never, never. You haven't 
got it in you." 

Philip shrugged his shoulders and walked out. She 
shouted after him. 

"Never, never, never." 

Moret was in those days an old-fashioned town of one 
street at the edge of the forest of Fontainbleau, and the 
Ecu d'Or was a hotel which still had about it the decrepit 
air of the Ancien Regime. It faced the winding river, the 
Loing; and Miss Chalice had a room with a little terrace 
overlooking it, with a charming view of the old bridge and 
its fortified gateway. They sat here in the evenings after 
dinner, drinking coffee, smoking, and discussing art. There 
ran into the river, a little way off, a narrow canal bordered 
by poplars, and along the banks of this after their days' 
work they often wandered. They spent all day painting. 
Like most of their generation they were obsessed by the 
fear of the picturesque, and they turned their backs on the 
obvious beauty of the town to seek subjects which were 
devoid of a prettiness they despised. Sisley and Monet had 
painted the canal with its poplars, and they felt a desire to 
try their hands at what was so typical of France ; but they 
were frightened of its formal beauty, and set themselves 
deliberately to avoid it. Miss Chalice, who had a clever 
dexterity which impressed Lawson notwithstanding his 
contempt for feminine art, started a picture in which she 
tried to circumvent the commonplace by leaving out the 
tops of the trees ; and Lawson had the brilliant idea of put- 
ting in his foreground a large blue advertisement of choco- 
lat Menier in order to emphasise his abhorrence of the 
chocolate box. 

Philip began now to paint in oils. He experienced a thrill 
of delight when first he used that grateful medium. He 
went out with Lawson in the morning with his little box 
and sat by him painting a panel ; it gave him so much sat- 
isfaction that he did not realise he was doing no more than 


copy ; he was so much under his friend's influence that he 
saw only with his eyes. Lawson painted very low in tone, 
and they both saw the emerald of the grass like dark vel- 
vet, while the brilliance of the sky turned in their hands 
to a brooding ultramarine. Through July they had one fine 
day after another ; it was very hot ; and the heat, searing 
Philip's heart, filled him with languor ; he could not work ; 
his mind was eager with a thousand thoughts. Often he 
spent the mornings by the side of the canal in the shade of 
the poplars, reading a few lines and then dreaming for 
half an hour. Sometimes he hired a rickety bicycle and 
rode along the dusty road that led to the forest, and then 
lay down in a clearing. His head was full of romantic fan- 
cies. The ladies of Watteau, gay and insouciant, seemed to 
wander with their cavaliers among the great trees, whis- 
pering to one another careless, charming things, and yet 
somehow oppressed by a nameless fear. 

They were alone in the hotel but for a fat Frenchwoman 
of middle age, a Rabelaisian figure with a broad, obscene 
laugh. She spent the day by the river patiently fishing for 
fish she never caught, and Philip sometimes weat down 
and talked to her. He found out that she had belonged to 
a profession whose most notorious member for our gener- 
ation was Mrs. Warren, and having made a competence 
she now lived the quiet life of the bourgeoise. She told 
Philip lewd stories. 

"You must go to Seville," she said she spoke a little 
broken English. "The most beautiful women in the world." 

She leered and nodded her head. Her triple chin, her 
large belly, shook with inward laughter. 

It grew so hot that it was almost impossible to sleep at 
night. The heat seemed to linger under the trees as though 
it were a material thing. They did not wish to leave the 
starlit night, and the three of them would sit on the terrace 
of Ruth Chalice's room, silent, hour after hour, too tired 
to talk any more, but in voluptuous enjoyment of the still- 
ness. They listened to the murmur of the river. The church 
clock struck one and two and sometimes three before they 
could drag themselves to bed. Suddenly Philip became 
aware that Ruth Chalice and Lawson were lovers. He 


divined it in the way the girl looked at the young painter, 
and in his air of possession; and as Philip sat with them 
he felt a kind of effluence surrounding them, as though the 
air were heavy with something strange. The revelation was 
a shock. He had looked upon Miss Chalice as a very good 
fellow and he liked to talk to her, but it had never seemed 
to him possible to enter into a closer relationship. One Sun- 
day they had all gone with a tea-basket into the forest, 
and when they came to a glade which was suitably .sylvan, 
Miss Chalice, because it was idyllic, insisted on taking off 
her shoes and stockings. It would have been very charming 
only her feet were rather large and she had on both a large 
corn on the third toe. Philip felt it made her proceeding a 
little ridiculous. But now he looked upon her quite differ- 
ently; there was something softly feminine in her large 
eyes and her olive skin ; he felt himself a fool not to have 
seen that she was attractive. He thought he detected in her 
a touch of contempt for him, because he had not had the 
sense to see that she was there, in his way, and in Lawson 
a suspicion of superiority. He was envious of Lawson, and 
he was jealous, not of the individual concerned, but of his 
love. He wished that he was standing in his shoes and feel- 
ing with his heart. He was troubled, and the fear seized 
him that love would pass him by. He wanted a passion to 
seize him, he wanted to be swept off his feet and borne 
powerless in a mighty rush he cared not whither. Miss 
Chalice and Lawson seemed to him now somehow differ- 
ent, and the constant companionship with them made him 
restless. He was dissatisfied with himself. Life was not 
giving him what he wanted, and he had an uneasy feeling 
that he was losing his time. 

The stout Frenchwoman soon guessed what the relations 
were between the couple, and talked of the matter to Philip 
with the utmost frankness. 

"And you," she said, with the tolerant smile of one who 
had fattened on the lust of her fellows, "have you got a 
petite amic?" 

"No," said Philip, blushing. 

"And why not ? C'est de votre age." 

He shrugged his shoulders. He had a volume of Ver- 


laine in his hands, and he wandered off. He tried to read, 
but his passion was too strong. He thought of the stray 
amours to which he had been introduced by Flanagan, the 
sly visits to houses in a cul-de-sac, with the drawing-room 
in Utrecht velvet, and the mercenary graces of painted 
women. He shuddered. He threw himself on the grass, 
stretching his limbs like a young animal freshly awaked 
from sleep; and the rippling water, the poplars gently 
tremulous in the faint breeze, the blue sky, were almost 
more than he could bear. He was in love with love. In his 
fancy he felt the kiss of warm lips on his, and around his 
neck the touch of soft hands. He imagined himself in the 
arms of Ruth Chalice, he thought of her dark eyes and the 
wonderful texture of her skin ; he was mad to have let such 
a wonderful adventure slip through his fingers. And if 
Lawson had done it why should not he ? But this was only 
when he did not see her, when he lay awake at night or 
dreamed idly by the side of the canal ; when he saw her he 
felt suddenly quite different ; he had no desire to take her 
in his arms, and he could not imagine himself kissing her. 
It was very curious. Away from her he thought her beau- 
tiful, remembering only her magnificent eyes and the 
creamy pallor of her face ; but when he was with her he 
saw only that she was flat-chested and that her teeth were 
slightly decayed ; he could not forget the corns on her toes. 
He could not understand himself. Would he always love 
only in absence and be prevented from enjoying anything 
when he had the chance by that deformity of vision which 
seemed to exaggerate the revolting ? 

He was not sorry when a change in the weather, an- 
nouncing the definite end of the long summer, drove them 
all back to Paris. 


WHEN Philip returned to Amitrano's he found that 
Fanny Price was no longer working there. She had given 
up the key of her locker. He asked Mrs. Otter whether she 
knew what had become of her; and Mrs. Otter, with a 
shrug of the shoulders, answered that she had probably 
gone back to England. Philip was relieved. He was pro- 
foundly bored by her ill-temper. Moreover she insisted on 
advising him about his work, looked upon it as a slight 
when he did not follow her precepts, and would not under- 
stand that he felt himself no longer the duffer he had been 
at first. Soon he forgot all about her. He was working in 
oils now and he was full of enthusiasm. He hoped to have 
something done of sufficient importance to send to the fol- 
lowing year's Salon. Lawson was painting a portrait of 
Miss Chalice. She was very paintable, and all the young 
men who had fallen victims to her charm had made por- 
traits of her. A natural indolence, joined with a passion 
for picturesque attitude, made her an excellent sitter; and 
she had enough technical knowledge to offer useful criti- 
cisms. Since her passion for art was chiefly a passion to 
live the life of artists, she was quite content to neglect her 
own work. She liked the warmth of the studio, and the op- 
portunity to smoke innumerable cigarettes; and she spoke 
in a low, pleasant voice of the love of art and the art of 
love. She made no clear distinction between the two. 

Lawson was painting with infinite labour, working till 
he could hardly stand for days and then scraping out all he 
had done. He would have exhausted the patience of any- 
one but Ruth Chalice. At last he got into a hopeless mud- 

"The only thing is to take a new canvas and start fresh," 
he said. "I know exactly what I want now, and it won't 
take me long." 



Philip was present at the time, and Miss Chalice said to 
him : 

"Why don't you paint me too? You'll be able to learn a 
lot by watching Mr. Lawson." 

It was one of Miss Chalice's delicacies that she always 
addressed her lovers by their surnames. 

"I should like it awfully if Lawson wouldn't mind." 

"I don't care a damn," said Lawson. 

It was the first time that Philip set about a portrait, and 
he began with trepidation but also with pride. He sat by 
Lawson and painted as he saw him paint. He profited by 
the example and by the advice which both Lawson and 
Miss Chalice freely gave him. At last Lawson finished and 
invited Glutton in to criticise. Glutton had only just come 
back to Paris. From Provence he had drifted down to 
Spain, eager to see Valasquez at Madrid, and thence he 
had gone to Toledo. He stayed there three months, and 
he was returned with a name new to the young men : he 
had wonderful things to say of a painter called El Greco, 
who it appeared could only be studied in Toledo. 

"Oh yes, I know about him," said Lawson, "he's the old 
master whose distinction it is that he painted as badly as 
the moderns." 

Glutton, more taciturn than ever, did not answer, but he 
looked at Lawson with a sardonic air. 

"Are you going to show us the stuff you've brought back 
from Spain?" asked Philip. 

"I didn't paint in Spain, I was too busy." 

"What did you do then?" 

"I thought things out. I believe I'm through with the 
Impressionists : I've got an idea they'll seem very thin and 
superficial in a few years. I want to make a clean sweep of 
everything I've learnt and start fresh. When I came back 
I destroyed everything I'd painted. I've got nothing in my 
studio now but an easel, my paints, and some clean can- 

"What are you going to do?" 

"I don't know yet. I've only got an inkling of what I 

He spoke slowly, in a curious manner, as though he were 


straining to hear something which was only just audible. 
There seemed to be a mysterious force in him which he 
himself did not understand, but which was struggling 
obscurely to find an outlet. His strength impressed you. 
Lawson dreaded the criticism he asked for and had dis- 
counted the blame he thought he might get by affecting a 
contempt for any opinion of Glutton's; but Philip knew 
there was nothing which would give him more pleasure 
than Glutton's praise. Glutton looked at the portrait for 
some time in silence, then glanced at Philip's picture, which 
was standing on an easel. 

"What's that ?" he asked. 

"Oh, I had a shot at a portrait too." 

"The sedulous ape," he murmured. 

He turned away again to Lawson's canvas. Philip red- 
dened but did not speak. 

"Well, what d'you think of it?" asked Lawson at length. 

"The modelling's jolly good," said Glutton. "And I think 
it's very well drawn." 

"D'you think the values are all right ?" 


Lawson smiled with delight. He shook himself in his 
clothes like a wet dog. 

"I say, I'm jolly glad you like it." 

"I don't. I don't think it's of the smallest importance." 

Lawson's face fell, and he stared at Glutton with aston- 
ishment : he had no notion what he meant. Glutton had no 
gift of expression in words, and he spoke as though it 
were an effort. What he had to say was confused, halting, 
and verbose; but Philip knew the words which served as 
the text of his rambling discourse. Glutton, who never 
read, had heard them first from Cronshaw; and though 
they had made small impression, they had remained in his 
memory; and lately, emerging on a sudden, had acquired 
the character of a revelation : a good painter had two chief 
objects to paint, namely, man and the intention of his soul. 
The Impressionists had been occupied with other problems, 
they had painted man admirably, but they had troubled 
themselves as little as the English portrait painters of the 
eighteenth century with the intention of his soul. 


"But when you try to get that you become literary," said 
Lawson, interrupting. "Let me paint the man like Manet, 
and the intention of his soul can go to the devil." 

"That would be all very well if you could beat Manet 
at his own game, but you can't get anywhere near him. 
You can't feed yourself on the day before yesterday, it's 
ground which has been swept dry. You must go back. It's 
when I saw the Grecos that I felt one could get something 
more out of portraits than we knew before." 

"It's just going back to Ruskin," cried Lawson. 

"No you see, he went for morality: I don't care a 
damn for morality: teaching doesn't come in, ethics and 
all that, but passion and emotion. The greatest portrait 
painters have painted both, man and the intention of his 
soul ; Rembrandt and El Greco ; it's only the second-raters 
who've only painted man. A lily of the valley would be 
lovely even if it didn't smell, but it's more lovely because 
it has perfume. That picture" he pointed to Lawson's 
portrait "Well, the drawing's all right and so's the mod- 
elling all right, but just conventional ; it ought to be drawn 
and modelled so that you know the girl's a lousy slut. Cor- 
rectness is all very well: El Greco made his people eight 
feet high because he wanted to express something he 
couldn't get any other way." 

"Damn El Greco," said Lawson, "what's the good of 
jawing about a man when we haven't a chance of seeing 
any of his work ?" 

Glutton shrugged his shoulders, smoked a cigarette in 
silence, and went away. Philip and Lawson looked at one 

"There's something in what he says," said Philip. 

Lawson stared ill-temperedly at his picture. 

"How the devil is one to get the intention of the soul 
except by painting exactly what one sees ?" 

About this time Philip made a new friend. On Monday 
morning models assembled at the school in order that one 
might be chosen for the week, and one day a young man 
was taken who was plainly not a model by profession. 
Philip's attention was attracted by the manner in which 


he held himself : when he got on to the stand he stood 
firmly on both feet, square, with clenched hands, and with 
his head defiantly thrown forward; the attitude empha- 
sised his fine figure; there was no fat on him, and his 
muscles stood out as though they were of iron. His head, 
close-cropped, was well-shaped, and he wore a short beard ; 
he had large, dark eyes and heavy eyebrows. He held the 
pose hour after hour without appearance of fatigue. There 
was in his mien a mixture of shame and of determination. 
His air of passionate energy excited Philip's romantic 
imagination, and when, the sitting ended, he saw him in his 
clothes, it seemed to him that he wore them as though he 
were a king in rags. He was uncommunicative, but in a day 
or two Mrs. Otter told Philip that the model was a Span- 
iard and that he had never sat before. 

"I suppose he was starving," said Philip. 

"Have you noticed his clothes? They're quite neat and 
decent, aren't they?" 

It chanced that Potter, one of the Americans who 
worked at Amitrano's, was going to Italy for a couple of 
months, and offered his studio to Philip. Philip was 
pleased. He was growing a little impatient of Lawson's 
peremptory advice and wanted to be by himself. At the end 
of the week he went up to the model and on the pretence 
that his drawing was not finished asked whether he would 
come and sit to him one day. 

"I'm not a model," the Spaniard answered. "I have other 
things to do next week." 

"Come and have luncheon with me now, and we'll talk 
about it," said Philip, and as the other hesitated, he added 
with a smile : "It won't hurt you to lunch with me." 

With a shrug of the shoulders the model consented, and 
they went off to a cremerie. The Spaniard spoke broken 
French, fluent but difficult to follow, and Philip managed 
to get on well enough with him. He found out that he was 
a writer. He had come to Paris to write novels and kept 
himself meanwhile by all the expedients possible to a 
penniless man : he gave lessons, he did any translations he 
could get hold of, chiefly business documents, and at last 
had been driven to make money by his fine figure. Sitting 


was well paid, and what he had earned during the last week 
was enough to keep him for two more ; he told Philip, 
amazed, that he could live easily on two francs a day ; but 
it filled him with shame that he was obliged to show his 
body for money, and he looked upon sitting as a degrada- 
tion which only hunger could excuse. Philip explained that 
he did not want him to sit for the figure, but only for the 
head ; he wished to do a portrait of him which he might 
send to the next Salon. 

"But why should you want to paint me?" asked the 

Philip answered that the head interested him, he thought 
he could do a good portrait. 

"I can't afford the time. I grudge every minute that I 
have to rob from my writing." 

"But it would only be in the afternoon. I work at the 
school in the morning. After all, it's better to sit to me 
than to do translations of legal documents." 

There were legends in the Latin Quarter of a time when 
students of different countries lived together intimately, 
but this was long since passed, and now the various na- 
tions were almost as much separated as in an Oriental city. 
At Julian's and at the Beaux Arts a French student was 
looked upon with disfavour by his fellow-countrymen 
when he consorted with foreigners, and it was difficult 
for an Englishman to know more than quite superficially 
any native inhabitants of the city in which he dwelt. In- 
deed, many of the students after living in Paris for five 
years knew no more French than served them in shops 
and lived as English a life as though they were working in 
South Kensington. 

Philip, with his passion for the romantic, welcomed the 
opportunity to get in touch with a Spaniard ; he used all 
his persuasiveness to overcome the man's reluctance. 

"I'll tell you what I'll do," said the Spaniard at last. 
"I'll sit to you, but not for money, for my own pleasure." 
. Philip expostulated, but the other was firm, and at length 
they arranged that he should come on the following Mon- 
day at one o'clock. He gave Philip a card on which was 
printed his name : Miguel Ajuria. 


Miguel sat regularly, and though he refused to accept 
payment he borrowed fifty francs from Philip every now 
and then : it was a little more expensive than if Philip had 
paid for the sittings in the usual way ; but gave the Span- 
iard a satisfactory feeling that he was not earning his liv- 
ing in a degrading manner. His nationality made Philip 
regard him as a representative of romance, and he asked 
him about Seville and Granada, Velasquez and Calderon. 
But Miguel had no patience with the grandeur of his coun- 
try. For him, as for so many of his compatriots, France 
was the only country for a man of intelligence and Paris 
the centre of the world. 

"Spain is dead," he cried. "It has no writers, it has no 
art, it has nothing." 

Little by little, with the exuberant rhetoric of his race, 
he revealed his ambitions. He was writing a novel which 
he hoped would make his name. He was under the influ- 
ence of Zola, and he had set his scene in Paris. He told 
Philip the story at length. To Philip it seemed crude and 
stupid ; the naive obscenity c'est la vie, mon cher, c'est la 
vie, he cried the naive obscenity served only to empha- 
sise the conventionality of the anecdote. He had written 
for two years, amid incredible hardships, denying himself 
all the pleasures of life which had attracted him to Paris, 
fighting with starvation for art's sake, determined that 
nothing should hinder his great achievement. The effort 
was heroic. 

"But why don't you write about Spain?" cried Philip. 
"It would be so much more interesting. You know the 

"But Paris is the only place worth writing about. Paris 
is life." 

One day he brought part of the manuscript, and in his 
bad French, translating excitedly as he went along so that 
Philip could scarcely understand, he read passages. It was 
lamentable. Philip, puzzled, looked at the picture he was 
painting: the mind behind that broad brow was trivial; 
and the flashing, passionate eyes saw nothing in life but the 
obvious. Philip was not satisfied with his portrait, and at 
the end of a sitting he nearly always scraped out what he 


had done. It was all very well to aim at the intention of the 
soul : who could tell what that was when people seemed a 
mass of contradictions ? He liked Miguel, and it distressed 
him to realise that his magnificent struggle was futile : he 
had everything to make a good writer but talent. Philip 
looked at his own work. How could you tell whether there 
was anything in it or whether you were wasting your time ? 
It was clear that the will to achieve could not help you and 
confidence in yourself meant nothing. Philip thought of 
Fanny Price ; she had a vehement belief in her talent ; her 
strength of will was extraordinary. 

"If I thought I wasn't going to be really good, I'd rather 
give up painting," said Philip. "I don't see any use in being 
a, second-rate painter." 

Then one morning when he was going out, the concierge 
called out to him that there was a letter. Nobody wrote to 
him but his Aunt Louisa and sometimes Hayward, and this 
was a handwriting he did not know. The letter was as fol- 

Please come at once when you get this. I couldn't put up 
with it any more. Please come yourself. I can't bear the 
thought that anyone else should touch me. I want you to 
have everything. 

F. Price. 

I have not had anything to eat for three days. 

Philip felt on a sudden sick with fear. He hurried to the 
house in which she lived. He was astonished that she was 
in Paris at all. He had not seen her for months and 
imagined she had long since returned to England. When 
he arrived he asked the concierge whether she was in. 

"Yes, I've not seen her go out for two days." 

Philip ran upstairs and knocked at the door. There was 
no reply. He called her name. The door was locked, and 
on bending down he found the key was in the lock. 

"Oh, my God, I hope she hasn't done something awful," 
he cried aloud. 

He ran down and told the porter that she was certainly 
in the room. He had had a letter from her and feared a 


terrible accident. He suggested breaking open the door. 
The porter, who had been sullen and disinclined to listen, 
became alarmed; he could not take the responsibility of 
breaking into the room ; they must go for the commissaire 
de police. They walked together to the bureau, and then 
they fetched a locksmith. Philip found that Miss Price had 
not paid the last quarter's rent: on New Year's Day she 
had not given the concierge the present which old- 
established custom led him to regard as a right. The four 
of them went upstairs, and they knocked again at the door. 
There was no reply. The locksmith set to work, and at last 
they entered the room. Philip gave a cry and instinctively 
covered his eyes with his hands. The wretched woman was 
hanging with a rope round her neck, which she had tied 
to a hook in the ceiling fixed by some previous tenant to 
hold up the curtains of the bed. She had moved her own 
little bed out of the way and had stood on a chair, which 
had been kicked away. It was lying on its side on the floor. 
They cut her down. The body was quite cold. 


THE story which Philip made out in one way and an- 
other was terrible. One of the grievances of the women- 
students was that Fanny Price would never share their gay 
meals in restaurants, and the reason was obvious : she had 
been oppressed by dire poverty. He remembered the lunch- 
eon they had eaten together when first he came to Paris 
and the ghoulish appetite which had disgusted him : he 
realised now that she ate in that manner because she was 
ravenous. The concierge told him what her food had con- 
sisted of. A bottle of milk was left for her every day and 
she brought in her own loaf of bread ; she ate half the loaf 
and drank half the milk at mid-day when she came back 
from the school, and consumed the rest in the evening. It 
was the same day after day. Philip thought with anguish 
of what she must have endured. She had never given any- 
one to understand that she was poorer than the rest, but 
it was clear that her money had been coming to an end, and 
at last she could not afford to come any more to the studio. 
The little room was almost bare of furniture, and there 
were no other clothes than the shabby brown dress she 
had always worn. Philip searched among her things for 
the address of some friend with whom he could communi- 
cate. He found a piece of paper on which his own name 
was written a score of times. It gave him a peculiar shock. 
He supposed it was true that she had loved him; he 
thought of the emaciated body, in the brown dress, hang- 
ing from the nail in the ceiling ; and he shuddered. But if 
she had cared for him why did she not let him help her? 
He would so gladly have done all he could. He felt re- 
morseful because he had refused to see that she looked 
upon him with any particular feeling, and now these words 
in her letter were infinitely pathetic: I can't bear the 
thought that anyone else should touch me. She had died of 



Philip found at length a letter signed: your loving 
brother, Albert. It was two or three weeks old, dated from 
some road in Surbiton, and refused a loan of five pounds. 
The writer had his wife and family to think of, he didn't 
feel justified in lending money, and his advice was that 
Fanny should come back to London and try to get a situa- 
tion. Philip telegraphed to Albert Price, and in a little 
while an answer came : 

"Deeply distressed. Very awkward to leave my business. 
Is presence essential. Price." 

Philip wired a succinct affirmative, and next morning a 
stranger presented himself at the studio. 

"My name's Price," he said, when Philip opened the 

He was a commonish man in black with a band round 
his bowler hat ; he had something of Fanny's clumsy look ; 
he wore a stubbly moustache, and had a Cockney accent. 
Philip asked him to come in. He cast sidelong glances 
round the studio while Philip gave him details of the acci- 
dent and told him what he had done. 

"I needn't see her, need I?" asked Albert Price. "My 
nerves aren't very strong, and it takes very little to upset 

He began to talk freely. He was a rubber-merchant, 
and he had a wife and three children. Fanny was a gover- 
ness, and he couldn't make out why she hadn't stuck to 
that instead of coming to Paris. 

"Me and Mrs. Price told her Paris was no place for a 
girl. And there's no money in art never 'as been." 

It was plain enough that he had not been on friendly 
terms with his sister, and he resented her suicide as a last 
injury that she had done him. He did not like the idea that 
she had been forced to it by poverty ; that seemed to reflect 
on the family. The idea struck him that possibly there was 
a more respectable reason for her act. 

"I suppose she 'adn't any trouble with a man, 'ad she? 
You know what I mean, Paris and all that. She might 'ave 
done it so as not to disgrace herself." 

Philip felt himself reddening and cursed his weakness. 


Price's keen little eyes seemed to suspect him of an in- 

"I believe your sister to have been perfectly virtuous," 
he answered acidly. "She killed herself because she was 

"Well, it's very 'ard on her family, Mr. Carey. She only 
'ad to write to me. I wouldn't have let my sister want." 

Philip had found the brother's address only by reading 
the letter in which he refused a loan ; but he shrugged his 
shoulders: there was no use in recrimination. He hated 
the little man and wanted to have done with him as soon as 
possible. Albert Price also wished to get through the neces- 
sary business quickly so that he could get back to Lon- 
don. They went to the tiny room in which poor Fanny had 
lived. Albert Price looked at the pictures and the furni- 

"I don't pretend to know much about art," he said. "I 
suppose these pictures would fetch something, would 

"Nothing/; said Philip. 

"The furniture's not worth ten shillings." 

Albert Price knew no French and Philip had to do 
everything. It seemed that it was an interminable process 
to get the poor body safely hidden away under ground : 
papers had to be obtained in one place and signed in an- 
other; officials had to be seen. For three days Philip was 
occupied from morning till night. At last he and Albert 
Price followed the hearse to the cemetery at Montparnasse. 

"I want to do the thing decent," said Albert Price, "but 
there's no use wasting money." 

The short ceremony was infinitely dreadful in the cold 
gray morning. Half a dozen people who had worked with 
Fanny Price at the studio came to the funeral, Mrs. Otter 
because she was inassibre and thought it her duty, Ruth 
Chalice because she had a kind heart, Lawson, Glutton, 
and Flanagan. They had all disliked her during her life. 
Philip, looking across the cemetery crowded on all sides 
with monuments, some poor and simple, others vulgar, pre- 
tentious, and ugly, shuddered. It was horribly sordid. 
When they came out Albert Price asked Philip to lunch 


with him. Philip loathed him now and he was tired; he 
had not been sleeping well, for he dreamed constantly of 
Fanny Price in the torn brown dress, hanging from the 
nail in the ceiling ; but he could not think of an excuse. 

"You take me somewhere where we can get a regular 
slap-up lunch. All this is the very worst thing for my 

"Lavenue's is about the best place round here," ai .- 
swered Philip. 

Albert Price settled himself on a velvet seat with a sigh 
of relief. He ordered a substantial luncheon and a bottle 
of wine. 

"Well, I'm glad that's over," he said. 

He threw out a few artful questions, and Philip discov- 
ered that he was eager to hear about the painter's life in 
Paris. He represented it to himself as deplorable, but he 
was anxious for details of the orgies which his fancy sug- 
gested to him. With sly winks and discreet sniggering he 
conveyed that he knew very well that there was a great 
deal more than Philip confessed. He was a man of the 
world, and he knew a thing or two. He asked Philip 
whether he had ever been to any of those places in Mont- 
martre which are celebrated from Temple Bar to the Royal 
Exchange. He would like to say he had been to the Moulin 
Rouge. The luncheon was very good and the wine excel- 
lent. Albert Price expanded as the processes of digestion 
went satisfactorily forwards. 

"Let's 'ave a little brandy," he said when the coffee was 
brought, "and blow the expense." 

He rubbed his hands. 

"You know, I've got 'alf a mind to stay over tonight and 
go back tomorrow. What d'you say to spending the evening 
together ?" 

"If you mean you want me to take you round Mont- 
martre tonight, I'll see you damned," said Philip. 

"I suppose it wouldn't be quite the thing." 

The answer was made so seriously that Philip was 

"Besides it would be rotten for your nerves," he said 


.Albert Price concluded that he had better go back to 
London by the four o'clock train, and presently he took 
leave of Philip. 

"Well, good-bye, old man," he said. "I tell you what, I'll 
try and come over to Paris again one of these days and 
I'll look you up. And then we won't 'alf go on the razzle." 

Philip was too restless to work that afternoon, so he 
jumped on a bus and crossed the river to see whether there 
were any pictures on view at Durand-Ruel's. After that 
he strolled along the boulevard. It was cold and wind- 
swept. People hurried by wrapped up in their coats, shrunk 
together in an effort to keep out of the cold, and their faces 
were pinched and careworn. It was icy underground in the 
cemetery at Montparnasse among all those white tomb- 
stones. Philip felt lonely in the world and strangely home- 
sick. He wanted company. At that hour Cronshaw would 
be working, and Glutton never welcomed visitors ; Lawson 
was painting another portrait of Ruth Chalice and would 
not care to be disturbed. He made up his mind to go and 
see Flanagan. He found him painting, but delighted to 
throw up his work and talk. The studio was comfortable, 
for the American had more money than most of them, and 
warm ; Flanagan set about making tea. Philip looked at the 
two heads that he was sending to the Salon. 

"It's awful cheek my sending anything," said Flana- 
gan, "but I don't care, I'm going to send. D'you think 
they're rotten?" 

"Not so rotten as I should have expected," said Philip. 

They showed in fact an astounding cleverness. The diffi- 
culties had been avoided with skill, and there was a dash 
about the way in which the paint was put on which was 
surprising and even attractive. Flanagan, without knowl- 
edge or technique, painted with the loose brush of a man 
who has spent a lifetime in the practice of the art. 

"If one were forbidden to look at any picture for more 
than thirty seconds you'd be a great master, Flanagan," 
smiled Philip. 

These young people were not in the habit of spoiling one 
another with excessive flattery. 

"We haven't got time in America to spend more than 


thirty seconds in looking at any picture," laughed the 

Flanagan, though he was the most scatter-brained per- 
son in the world, had a tenderness of heart which was un- 
expected and charming. Whenever anyone was ill he 
installed himself as sick-nurse. His gaiety was better than 
any medicine. Like many of his countrymen he had not 
the English dread of sentimentality which keeps so tight 
a hold on emotion ; and, finding nothing absurd in the show 
of feeling, could offer an exuberant sympathy which was 
often grateful to his friends in distress. He saw that Philip 
was depressed by what he had gone through and with un- 
affected kindliness set himself boisterously to cheer him 
up. He exaggerated the Americanisms which he knew al- 
ways made the Englishmen laugh and poured out a breath- 
less stream of conversation, whimsical, high-spirited, and 
jolly. In due course they went out to dinner and after- 
wards to the Gaite Montparnasse, which was Flanagan's 
favourite place of amusement. By the end of the evening 
he was in his most extravagant humour. He had drunk a 
good deal, but any inebriety from which he suffered was 
due much more to his own vivacity than to alcohol. He 
proposed that they should go to the Bal Bullier, and Philip, 
feeling too tired to go to bed, willingly enough consented. 
They sat down at a table on the platform at the side, 
raised a little from the level of the floor so that they could 
watch the dancing, and drank a bock. Presently Flana- 
gan saw a friend and with a wild shout leaped over the 
barrier on to the space where they were dancing. Philip 
watched the people. Bullier was not the resort of fashion. 
It was Thursday night and the place was crowded. There 
were a number of students of the various faculties, but 
most of the men were clerks or assistants in shops ; they 
wore their every-day clothes, ready-made tweeds or queer 
tail-coats, and their hats, for they had brought them in 
with them, and when they danced there was no place to 
put them but their heads. Some of the women looked like 
servant-girls, and some were painted hussies, but for the 
most part they were shop-girls. They were poorly-dressed 
in cheap imitation of the fashions on the other side of the 


river. The hussies were got up to resemble the music-hall 
artiste or the dancer who enjoyed notoriety at the moment ; 
their eyes were heavy with black and their cheeks impu- 
dently scarlet. The hall was lit by great white lights, low 
down, which emphasised the shadows on the faces ; all the 
lines seemed to harden under it, and the colours were most 
crude. It was a sordid scene. Philip leaned over the rail, 
staring down, and he ceased to hear the music. They 
danced furiously. They danced round the room, slowly, 
talking very little, with all their attention given to the 
dance. The room was hot, and their faces shone with 
sweat. It seemed to Philip that they had thrown off the 
guard which people wear on their expression, the homage 
to convention, and he saw them now as they really were. 
In that moment of abandon they were strangely animal: 
some were foxy and some were wolflike ; and others had 
the long, foolish face of sheep. Their skins were sallow 
from the unhealthy life they led and the poor food they 
ate. Their features were blunted by mean interests, and 
their little eyes were shifty and cunning. There was noth- 
ing of nobility in their bearing, and you felt that for all of 
them life was a long succession of petty concerns and sor- 
did thoughts. The air was heavy with the musty smell of 
humanity. But they danced furiously as though impelled 
by some strange power within them, and it seemed to 
Philip that they were driven forward by a rage for en- 
joyment. They were seeking desperately to escape from a 
world of horror. The desire for pleasure which Cronshaw 
said was the only motive of human action urged them 
blindly on, and the very vehemence of the desire seemd 
to rob it of all pleasure. They were hurried on by a great 
wind, helplessly, they knew not why and they knew not 
whither. Fate seemed to tower above them, and they 
danced as though everlasting darkness were beneath their 
feet. Their silence was vaguely alarming. It was as if life 
terrified them and robbed them of power of speech so that 
the shriek which was in their hearts died at their throats. 
Their eyes were haggard and grim ; and notwithstanding 
the beastly lust that disfigured them, and the meanness of 
their faces, and the cruelty, notwithstanding the stupidness 


which was worst of all, the anguish of those fixed eyes 
made all that crowd terrible and pathetic. Philip loathed 
them, and yet his heart ached with the infinite pity which 
filled him. 

He took his coat from the cloak-room and went out into 
the bitter coldness of the night. 

PHILIP could not get the unhappy event out of his head. 
What troubled him most was the uselessness of Fanny's 
effort. No one could have worked harder than she, nor 
with more sincerity ; she believed in herself with all her 
heart; but it was plain that self-confidence meant very 
little, all his friends had it, Miguel Ajuria among the rest ; 
and Philip was shocked by the contrast between the Span- 
iard's heroic endeavour and the triviality of the thing he 
attempted. The unhappiness of Philip's life at school had 
called up in him the power of self-analysis ; and this vice, 
as subtle as drug-taking, had taken possession of him so 
that he had now a peculiar keenness in the dissection of 
his feelings. He could not help seeing that art affected him 
differently from others. A fine picture gave Lawson an im- 
mediate thrill. His appreciation was instinctive. Even 
Flanagan felt certain things which Philip was obliged to 
think out. His own appreciation was intellectual. He could 
not help thinking that if he had in him the artistic tem- 
perament (he hated the phrase, but could discover no 
other) he would feel beauty in the emotional, unreasoning 
way in which they did. He began to wonder whether he 
had anything more than a superficial cleverness of the 
hand which enabled him to copy objects with accuracy. 
That was nothing. He had learned to despise technical dex- 
terity. The important thing was to feel in terms of paint. 
Lawson painted in a certain way because it was his na- 
ture to, and through the imitativeness of a student 
sensitive to every influence, there pierced individuality. 
Philip looked at his own portrait of Ruth Qialice, and now 
that three months had passed he realised that it was no 
more than a servile copy of Lawson. He felt himself bar- 
ren. He painted with the brain, and he could not help 
knowing that the only painting worth anything was done 
with the heart. 


O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 295 

He had very little money, barely sixteen hundred 
pounds, and it would be necessary for him to practise the 
severest economy. He could not count on earning anything 
for ten years. The history of painting was full of artists 
who had earned nothing at all. He must resign himself to 
penury ; and it was worth while if he produced work which 
was immortal; but he had a terrible fear that he would 
never be more than second-rate. Was it worth while for 
that to give up one's youth, and the gaiety of life, and the 
manifold chances of being? He knew the existence of for- 
eign painters in Paris enough to see that the lives they 
led were narrowly provincial. He knew some who had 
dragged along for twenty years in the pursuit of a fame 
which always escaped them till they sunk into sordidness 
and alcoholism. Fanny's suicide had aroused memories, 
and Philip heard ghastly stories of the way in which one 
person or another had escaped from despair. He remem- 
bered the scornful advice which the master had given poor 
Fanny: it would have been well for her if she had taken it 
and given up an attempt which was hopeless. 

Philip finished his portrait of Miguel Ajuria and made 
up his mind to send it to the Salon. Flanagan was send- 
ing two pictures, and he thought he could paint as well as 
Flanagan. He had worked so hard on the portrait that he 
could not help feeling it must have merit. It was true that 
when he looked at it he felt that there was something 
wrong, though he could not tell what; but when he was 
away from it his spirits went up and he was not dissatis- 
fied. He sent it to the Salon and it was refused. He did 
not mind much, since he had done all he could to persuade 
himself that there was little chance that it would be taken, 
till Flanagan a few days later rushed in to tell Lawson and 
Philip that one of his pictures was accepted. With a blank 
face Philip offered his congratulations, and Flanagan was 
so busy congratulating himself that he did not catch the 
note of irony which Philip could not prevent from com- 
ing into his voice. Lawson, quicker-witted, observed it and 
looked at Philip curiously. His own picture was all right, 
he knew that a day or two before, and he was vaguely re- 
sentful of Philip's attitude. But he was surprised at the 


sudden question which Philip put him as soon as the Amer- 
ican was gone. 

"If you were in my place would you chuck the whole 

"What do you mean?" 

"I wonder if it's worth while being a second-rate painter. 
You see, in other things, if you're a doctor or if you're in 
business, it doesn't matter so much if you're mediocre. You 
make a living and you get along. But what is the good of 
turning out second-rate pictures?" 

Lawson was fond of Philip and, as soon as he thought 
he was seriously distressed by the refusal of his picture, 
he set himself to console him. It was notorious that the 
Salon had refused pictures which were afterwards fa- 
mous; it was the first time Philip had sent, and he must 
expect a rebuff; Flanagan's success was explicable, his 
picture was showy and superficial: it was just the sort of 
thing a languid jury would see merit in. Philip grew impa- 
tient; it was humiliating that Lawson should think him 
capable of being seriously disturbed by so trivial a calamity 
and would not realise that his dejection was due to a deep- 
seated distrust of his powers. 

Of late Glutton had withdrawn himself somewhat from 
the group who took their meals at Gravier's, and lived very 
much by himself. Flanagan said he was in love with a girl, 
but Glutton's austere countenance did not suggest pas- 
sion ; and Philip thought it more probable that he separated 
himself from his friends so that he might grow clear with 
the new ideas which were in him. But that evening, when 
the others had left the restaurant to go to a play and Philip 
was sitting alone, Glutton came in and ordered dinner. 
They began to talk, and finding Glutton more loquacious 
and less sardonic than usual, Philip determined to take 
advantage of his good humour. 

"I say I wish you'd come and look at my picture," he 
said. "I'd like to know what you think of it." 

"No, I won't do that." 
i "Why not?" asked Philip, reddening. 

The r^uest was one which they all made of uric an- 


other, and no one ever thought of refusing. Glutton 
shrugged his shoulders. 

"People ask you for criticism, but they only want praise. 
Besides, what's the good of criticism ? What does it matter 
if your picture is good or bad?" 

"It matters to me." 

"No. The only reason that one paints is that one can't 
help it. It's a function like any of the other functions of 
the body, only comparatively few people have got it. One 
paints for oneself : otherwise one would commit suicide. 
Just think of it, you spend God knows how long trying 
to get something on to canvas, putting the sweat of your 
soul into it, and what is the result? Ten to one it will be 
refused at the Salon; if it's accepted, people glance at it 
for ten seconds as they pass ; if you're lucky some ignor- 
ant fool will buy it and put it on his walls and look at it 
as little as he looks at his dining-room table. Criticism has 
nothing to do with the artist. It judges objectively, but 
the objective doesn't concern the artist." 

Glutton put his hands over his eyes so that he might 
concentrate his mind on what he wanted to say. 

"The artist gets a peculiar sensation from something 
he sees, and is impelled to express it and, he doesn't know 
why, he can only express his feeling by lines and colours. 
It's like a musician ; he'll read a line or two, and a certain 
combination of notes presents itself to him : he doesn't 
know why such and such words call forth in him such 
and such notes; they just do. And I'll tell you another 
reason why criticism is meaningless : a great painter forces 
the world to see nature as he sees it ; but in the next gen- 
eration another painter sees the world in another way, and 
then the public judges him not by himself but by his prede- 
cessor. So the Barbizon people taught our fathers to look 
at trees in a certain manner, and when Monet came along 
and painted differently, people said : But trees aren't like 
that. It never struck them that trees are exactly how a 
painter chooses to see them. We paint from within out- 
wards if we force our vision on the world it calls us 
great painters; if we don't it ignores us; but we are the 
sam'e. We don't attach any meaning to greatness or to 


smallness. What happens to our work afterwards is unim- 
portant ; we have got all we could out of it while we were 
doing it." 

There was a pause while Glutton with voracious appe- 
tite devoured the food that was set before him. Philip, 
smoking a cheap cigar, observed him closely. The rugged- 
ness of the head, which looked as though it were carved 
from a stone refractory to the sculptor's chisel, the rough 
mane of dark hair, the great nose, and the massive bones 
of the jaw, suggested a man of strength; and yet Philip 
wondered whether perhaps the mask concealed a strange 
weakness. Glutton's refusal to show his work might be 
sheer vanity: he could not bear the thought of anyone's 
criticism, and he would not expose himself to the chance 
of a refusal from the Salon ; he wanted to be received as 
a master and would not risk comparisons with other work 
which might force him to diminish his own opinion of him- 
self. During the eighteen months Philip had known him 
Glutton had grown more harsh and bitter; though he 
would not come out into the open and compete with his 
fellows, he was indignant with the facile success of those 
who did. He had no patience with Lawson, and the pair 
were no longer on the intimate terms upon which they had 
been when Philip first knew them. 

"Lawson's all right," he said contemptuously, "he'll go 
back to England, become a fashionable portrait painter, 
earn ten thousand a year and be an A. R. A. before he's 
forty. Portraits done by hand for the nobility and gentry !" 

Philip, too, looked into the future, and he saw Glutton 
in twenty years, bitter, lonely, savage, and unknown ; still 
in Paris, for the life there had got into his bones, ruling 
a small cenacle with a savage tongue, at war with himself 
and the world, producing little in his increasing passion for 
a perfection he could not reach: and perhaps sinking at 
last into drunkenness. Of late Philip had been captivated 
by an idea that since one had only one life it was important 
to make a success of it, but he did not count success by 
the acquiring of money or the achieving of fame; he did 
not quite know yet what he meant by it, perhaps variety 
of experience and the making the most of his abilities. It 


was plain anyway that the life which Glutton seemed 
destined to was failure. Its only justification would be 
the painting of imperishable masterpieces. He recollected 
Cronshaw's whimsical metaphor of the Persian carpet; 
he had thought of it often ; but Cronshaw with his faun- 
like humour had refused to make his meaning clear: he 
repeated that it had none unless one discovered it for one- 
self. It was this desire to make a success of life which was 
at the bottom of Philip's uncertainty about continuing his 
artistic career. But Glutton began to talk again. 

"D'you remember my telling you about that chap I met 
in Brittany? I saw him the other day here. He's just off to 
Tahiti. He was broke to the world. He was a bras- 
seur d'affaires, a stockbroker I suppose you call it in Eng- 
lish; and he had a wife and family, and he was earning 
a large income. He chucked it all to become a painter. He 
just went off and settled down in Brittany and began to 
paint. He hadn't got any money and did the next best 
thing to starving." 

"And what about his wife and family?" asked Philip. 

"Oh, he dropped them. He left them to starve on their 
own account." 

"It sounds a pretty low-down thing to do." 

"Oh, my dear fellow, if you want to be a gentleman you 
must give up being an artist. They've got nothing to do 
with one another. You hear of men painting pot-boilers 
to keep an aged mother well, it shows they're excellent 
sons, but it's no excuse for bad work. They're only trades- 
men. An artist would let his mother go to the workhouse. 
There's a writer I know over here who told me that his 
wife died in childbirth. He was in love with her and he was 
mad with grief, but as he sat at the bedside watching her 
die he found himself making mental notes of how she 
looked and what she said and the things he was feeling. 
Gentlemanly, wasn't it?" 

"But is your friend a good painter?" asked Philip. 

"No, not yet, he paints just like Pissarro. He hasn't 
found himself, but he's got a sense of colour and a sense 
of decoration. But that isn't the question. It's the feeling, 
and that he's got. He's behaved like a perfect cpd to his 


wife and children, he's always behaving like a perfect 
cad ; the way he treats the people who've helped him and 
sometimes he's been saved from starvation merely by the 
kindness of his friends is simply beastly. He just hap- 
pens to be a great artist." 

Philip pondered over the man who was willing to sacri- 
fice everything, comfort, home, money, love, honour, duty, 
for the sake of getting on to canvas with paint the emotion 
which the world gave him. It was magnificent, and yet his 
courage failed him. 

Thinking of Cronshaw recalled to him the fact that he 
had not seen him for a week, and so, when Glutton left 
him, he wandered along to the cafe in which he was certain 
to find the writer. During the first few months of his stay 
in Paris Philip had accepted as gospel all that Cronshaw 
said, but Philip had a practical outlook and he grew impa- 
tient with the theories which resulted in no action. Cron- 
shaw's slim bundle of poetry did not seem a substantial 
result for a life which was sordid. Philip could not wrench 
out of his nature the instincts of the middle-class from 
which he came; and the penury, the hack work which 
Cronshaw did to keep body and soul together, the mo- 
notony of existence between the slovenly attic and the cafe 
table, jarred with his respectability. Cronshaw was astute 
enough to know that the young man disapproved of him, 
and he attacked his philistinism with an irony which was 
sometimes playful but often very keen. 

"You're a tradesman," he told Philip, "you want to 
invest life in consols so that it shall bring you in a safe 
three per cent. I'm a spendthrift, I run through my capi- 
tal. I shall spend my last penny with my last heartbeat." 

The metaphor irritated Philip, because it assumed for 
the speaker a romantic attitude and cast a slur upon the 
position which Philip instinctively felt had more to say 
for it than he could think of at the moment. 

But this evening Philip, undecided, wanted to talk about 
himself. Fortunately it was late already and Cronshaw's 
pile of saucers on the table, each indicating a drink, sug- 
gested that he was prepared to take an independent view 
of things in general. 


"I wonder if you'd give me some advice," said Philip 

"You won't take it, will you?" 

Philip shrugged his shoulders impatiently. 

"I don't believe I shall ever do much good as a painter. 
I don't see any use in being second-rate. I'm thinking of 
chucking it." 

"Why shouldn't you?" 

Philip hesitated for an instant. 

"I suppose I like the life." 

A change came over Cronshaw's placid, round face. The 
corners of the mouth were suddenly depressed, the eyes 
sunk dully in their orbits ; he seemed to become strangely 
bowed and old. 

"This?" he cried, looking round the cafe in which they 
sat. His voice really trembled a little. 

"If you can get out of it, do while there's time." 

Philip stared at him with astonishment, but the sight 
of emotion always made him feel shy, and he dropped his 
eyes. He knew that he was looking upon the tragedy of 
failure. There was silence. Philip thought that Cronshaw 
was looking upon his own life ; and perhaps he considered 
his youth with its bright hopes and the disappointments 
which wore out the radiancy; the wretched monotony of 
pleasure, and the black future. Philip's eyes rested on the 
little pile of saucers, and he knew that Cronshaw's were 
on them too. 


Two months passed. 

It seemed to Philip, brooding over these matters, that 
in the true painters, writers, musicians, there was a power 
which drove them to such complete absorption in their 
work as to make it inevitable for them to subordinate life 
to art. Succumbing to an influence they never realised, 
they were merely dupes of the instinct that possessed them, 
and life slipped through their fingers unlived. But he had 
a feeling that life was to be lived rather than portrayed, 
and he wanted to search out the various experiences of it 
and wring from each moment all the emotion that it 
offered. He made up his mind at length to take a certain 
step and abide by the result, and, having made up his mind, 
he determined to take the step at once. Luckily enough 
the next morning was one of Foinet's days, and he resolved 
to ask him point-blank whether it was worth his while to 
go on with the study of art. He had never forgotten the 
master's brutal advice to Fanny Price. It had been sound. 
Philip could never get Fanny entirely out of his head. The 
studio seemed strange without her, and now and then the 
gesture of one of the women working there or the tone of 
a voice would give him a sudden start, reminding him of 
her: her presence was more noticeable now she was dead 
vhan it had ever been during her life; and he often 
dreamed of her at night, waking with a cry of terror. It 
was horrible to think of all the suffering she must have 

Philip knew that on the days Foinet came to the studio 
he lunched at a little restaurant in the Rue d'Odessa, and 
he hurried his own meal so that he could go and wait out- 
side till the painter came out. Philip walked up and down 
the crowded street and at last saw Monsieur Foinet walk- 
ing, with bent head, towards him ; Philip was very nervous, 
but he forced himself to go up to him. 

/ 302 


"Pardon, monsieur, I should like to speak to you for 
one moment." 

Foinet gave him a rapid glance, recognised him, but did 
not smile a greeting. 

"Speak," he said. 

"I've been working here nearly two years now under 
you. I wanted to ask you to tell me frankly if you think 
it worth while for me to continue." 

Philip's voice was trembling a little. Foinet walked on 
without looking up. Philip, watching his face, saw no trace 
of expression upon it. 

"I don't understand." 

"I'm very poor. If I have no talent I would sooner do 
something else." 

"Don't you know if you have talent?" 

"All my friends know they have talent, but I am aware 
some of them are mistaken." 

Foinet's bitter mouth outlined the shadow of a smile, 
and he asked: 

"Do you live near here?" 

Philip told him where his studio was. Foinet turned 

"Let us go there? You shall show me your work." 

"Now?" cried Philip. 

"Why not?" 

Philip had nothing to say. He walked silently by the 
master's side. He felt horribly sick. It had never struck 
him that Foinet would wish to see his things there and 
then; he meant, so that he might have time to prepare 
himself, to ask him if he would mind coming at some 
future date or whether he might bring them to Foinet's 
studio. He was trembling with anxiety. In his heart he 
hoped that Foinet would look at his picture, and that 
rare smile would come into his face, and he would shake 
Philip's hand and say: "Pas mal. Go on, my lad. You 
have talent, real talent." Philip's heart swelled at the 
thought. It was such a relief, such a joy! Now he could 
go on with courage ; and what did hardship matter, priva- 
tion, and disappointment, if he arrived at last? He had 
worked very hard, it would be too cruel if all that industry 


were futile. And then with a start he remembered that he 
had heard Fanny Price say just that. They arrived at the 
house, and Philip was seized with fear. If he had dared 
he would have asked Foinet to go away. He did not want 
to know the truth. They went in and the concierge handed 
him a letter as they passed. He glanced at the envelope and 
recognised his uncle's handwriting. Foinet followed him up 
the stairs. Philip could think of nothing to say ; Foinet was 
mute, and the silence got on his nerves. The professor 
sat down ; and Philip without a word placed before him 
the picture which the Salon had rejected; Foinet nodded 
but did not speak; then Philip showed him the two por- 
traits he had made of Ruth Chalice, two or three land- 
scapes which he had painted at Moret, and a number of 

"That's all," he said presently, with a nervous laugh. 

Monsieur Foinet rolled himself a cigarette and lit it. 

"You have very little private means?" he asked at last. 

"Very little," answered Philip, with a sudden feeling of 
cold at his heart. "Not enough to live on." 

"There is nothing so degrading as the constant anxiety 
about one's means of livelihood. I have nothing but con- 
tempt for the people who despise money. They are hypo- 
crites or fools. Money is like a sixth sense without which 
you cannot make a complete use of the other five. With- 
out an adequate income half the possibilities of life are 
shut off. The only thing to be careful about is that you 
do not pay more than a shilling for the shilling you earn. 
You will hear people say that poverty is the best spur tc 
the artist. They have never felt the iron of it in their 
flesh. They do not know how mean it makes you. It ex- 
poses you to endless humiliation, it cuts your wings, it eats 
into your soul like a cancer. It is not wealth one asks for, 
but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work un- 
hampered, to be generous, frank, and independent. I pity 
with all my heart the artist, whether he writes or paints, 
\vho is entirely dependent for subsistence upon his art." 

Philip quietly put away the various things which he had 


"I'm afraid that sounds as if you didn't think I had 
much chance." 

Monsieur Foinet slightly shrugged his shoulders. 

"You have a certain manual dexterity. With hard work 
and perseverance there is no reason why you should not 
become a careful, not incompetent painter. You would find 
hundreds who painted worse than you, hundreds who 
painted as well. I see no talent in anything you have shown 
me. I see industry and intelligence. You will never be 
anything but mediocre." 

Philip obliged himself to answer quite steadily. 

"I'm very grateful to you for having taken so much 
trouble. I can't thank you enough." 

Monsieur Foinet got up and made as if to go, but he 
changed his mind and, stopping, put his hand on Philip's 

"But if you were to ask me my advice, I should say: 
take your courage in both hands and try your luck at 
something else. It sounds very hard, but let me tell you 
this : I would give all I have in the world if someone had 
given me that advice when I was your age and I had 
taken it." 

Philip looked up at him with surprise. The master 
forced his lips into a smile, but his eyes remained grave 
and sad. 

"It is cruel to discover one's mediocrity only when it is 
too late. It does not improve the temper." 

He gave a little laugh as he said the last words and 
quickly walked out of the room. 

Philip mechanically took up the letter from his uncle. 
The sight of his handwriting made him anxious, for it 
was his aunt who always wrote to him. She had been ill 
for the last three months, and he had offered to go over to 
England and see her; but she, fearing it would interfere 
with his work, had refused. She did not want him to put 
himself to inconvenience; she said she would wait till 
August and then she hoped he would come and stay at the 
vicarage for two or three weeks. If by any chance she 
grew worse she would let him know, since she did not 
wish to die without seeing him again. If his uncle wrote 


to him it must be because she was too ill to hold a pen. 
Philip opened the letter. It ran as follows : 

My dear Philip, 

I regret to inform you that your dear Aunt departed 
this life early this morning. She died very suddenly, but 
quite peacefully. The change for the worse was so rapid 
that we had no time to send for you. She was fully pre- 
pared for the end and entered into rest with the complete 
assurance of a blessed resurrection and with resignation to 
the divine will of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ. Your 
Aunt would have liked you to be present at the funeral so 
I trust you will come as soon as you can. There is naturally 
a great deal of work thrown upon my shoulders and I am 
very much upset. I trust that you will be able to do every- 
thing for me. 

Your affectionate uncle, 

William Carey. 


NEXT day Philip arrived at Blackstable. Since the death 
of his mother he had never lost anyone closely connected 
with him ; his aunt's death shocked him and filled him also 
with a curious fear; he felt for the first time his own 
mortality. He cound not realise what life would be for his 
uncle without the constant companionship of the woman 
who had loved and tended him for forty years. He ex- 
pected to find him broken down with hopeless grief. He 
dreaded the first meeting ; he knew that he could say noth- 
ing which would be of use. He rehearsed to himself a num- 
ber of apposite speeches. 

He entered the vicarage by the side-door and went into 
the dining-room. Uncle William was reading the paper. 

"Your train was late," he said, looking up. 

Philip was prepared to give way to his emotion, but the 
matter-of-fact reception startled him. His uncle, subdued 
but calm, handed him the paper. 

"There's a very nice little paragraph about her in The 
Blackstable Times," he said. 

Philip read it mechanically. 

"Would you like to come up and see her?" 

Philip nodded and together they walked upstairs. Aunt 
Louisa was lying in the middle of the large bed, with 
flowers all round her. 

"Would you like to say a short prayer ?" said the Vicar. 

He sank on his knees, and because it was expected of 
him Philip followed his example. He looked at the little 
shrivelled face. He was only conscious of one emotion: 
what a wasted life ! In a minute Mr. Carey gave a cough, 
and stood up. He pointed to a wreath at the foot of the 

"That's from the Squire," he said. He spoke in a low 
voice as though he were in church, but one felt that, as a 



clergyman, he found himself quite at home. "I expect tea 
is ready." 

They went down again to the dining-room. The drawn 
blinds gave a lugubrious aspect. The Vicar sat at the end 
of the table at which his wife had always sat and poured 
out the tea with ceremony. Philip could not help feeling 
that neither of them should have been able to eat anything, 
but when he saw that his uncle's appetite was unimpaired 
he fell to with his usual heartiness. They did not speak 
for a while. Philip set himself to eat an excellent cake with 
the air of grief which he felt was decent. 

"Things have changed a great deal since I was a curate," 
said the Vicar presently. "In my young days the mourners 
used always to be given a pair of black gloves and a piece 
of black silk for their hats. Poor Louisa used to make the 
silk into dresses. She always said that twelve funerals 
gave her a new dress." 

Then he told Philip who had sent wreaths ; there were 
twenty-four of them already; when Mrs. Rawlingson, 
wife of the Vicar at Feme, had died she had had thirty- 
two ; but probably a good many more would come the next 
day; the funeral would start at eleven o'clock from the 
vicarage, and they should beat Mrs. Rawlingson easily. 
Louisa never liked Mrs. Rawlingson. 

"I shall take the funeral myself. I promised Louisa I 
would never let anyone else bury her." 

Philip looked at his uncle with disapproval when he 
took a second piece of cake. Under the circumstances he 
could not help thinking it greedy. 

"Mary Ann certainly makes capital cakes. I'm afraid no 
one else will make such good ones." 

"She's not going?" cried Philip, with astonishment. 

Mary Ann had been at the vicarage ever since he could 
remember. She never forgot his birthday, but made a point 
always of sending him a trifle, absurd but touching. He 
had a real affection for her. 

"Yes," answered Mr. Carey. "I didn't think it would do 
to have a single woman in the house." 

"But, good heavens, she must be over forty." 

"Yes, I think she is. But she's been rather troublesome 


lately, she's been inclined to take too much on herself, and 
I thought this was a very good ooportunity to give her 

"It's certainly one which isn't likely to recur," said 

He took out a cigarette, but his uncle prevented him 
from lighting it. 

"Not till after the funeral, Philip," he said gently. 

"All right," said Philip. 

"It wouldn't be quite respectful to smoke in the house 
so long as your poor Aunt Louisa is upstairs." 

Josiah Graves, churchwarden and manager of the bank, 
came back to dinner at the vicarage after the funeral. The 
blinds had been drawn up, and Philip, against his will, 
felt a curious sensation of relief. The body in the house 
had made him uncomfortable : in life the poor woman had 
been all that was kind and gentle; and yet, when she lay 
upstairs in her bed-room, cold and stark, it seemed as 
though she cast upon the survivors a baleful influence. 
The thought horrified Philip. 

He found himself alone for a minute or two in the 
dining-room with the churchwarden. 

"I hope you'll be able to stay with your uncle a while," 
he said. "I don't think he ought to be left alone just yet." 

"I haven't made any plans," answered Philip. "If he 
wants me I shall be very pleased to stay." 

By way of cheering the bereaved husband the church- 
warden during dinner talked of a recent fire at Blackstable 
which had partly destroyed the Wesleyan chapel. 

"I hear they weren't insured," he said, with a little 

"That won't make any difference," said the Vicar. 
"They'll get as much money as they want to rebuild. 
Chapel people are always ready to give money." 

"I see that Holden sent a wreath." 

Holden was the dissenting minister, and, though for 
Christ's sake who died for both of them, Mr. Carey nodded 
to him in the street, he did not speak to him. 


"I think it was very pushing," he remarked. "There 
were forty-one wreaths. Yours was beautiful. Philip and I 
admired it very much." 

"Don't mention it," said the banker. 

He had noticed with satisfaction that it was larger than 
any one's else. It had looked very well. They began to dis- 
cuss the people who attended the funeral. Shops had been 
closed for it, and the churchwarden took out of his pocket 
the notice which had been printed : Owing to the funeral 
of Mrs. Carey this establishment will not be opened till 
one o'clock. 

"It was my idea," he said. 

"I think it was very nice of them to close," said the 
Vicar. "Poor Louisa would have appreciated that." 

Philip ate his dinner. Mary Ann had treated the day 
as Sunday, and they had roast chicken and a gooseberry 

"I suppose you haven't thought about a tombstone yet ?" 
said the churchwarden. 

"Yes, I have. I thought of a plain stone cross. Louisa 
was always against ostentation." 

"I don't think one can do much better than a cross. If 
you're thinking of a text, what do you say to : With Christ, 
which is far better?" 

The Vicar pursed his lips. It was just like Bismarck to 
try and settle everything himself. He did not like that 
text ; it seemed to cast an aspersion on himself. 

"I don't think I should put that. I much prefer: The 
Lord has given and the Lord has taken away." 

"Oh, do you ? That always seems to me a lit :le indiffer- 

The Vicar answered with some acidity, and Mr. Graves 
replied in a tone which the widower thought too authori- 
tative for the occasion. Things were going rather far if he 
could not choose his own text for his own wife's tomb- 
stone. There was a pause, and then the conversation 
drifted to parish matters. Philip went into the garden to 
smoke his pipe. He sat on a bench, and suddenly began 
to laugh hysterically. 


A few days later his uncle expressed the hope that he 
would spend the next few weeks at Blackstable. 

"Yes, that will suit me very well," said Philip. 

"I suppose it'll do if you go back *j Paris in Septem- 

Philip did not reply. He had thought much of what 
Foinet said to him, but he was still so undecided that he 
did not wish to speak of the future. There would be some- 
thing fine in giving up art because he was convinced that 
he could not excel; but unfortunately it would seem so 
only to himself : to others it would be an admission of de- 
feat, and he did not want to confess that he was beaten. 
He was an obstinate fellow, and the suspicion that his 
talent did not lie in one. -direction made him inclined to 
force circumstances and aim notwithstanding precisely in 
that direction. He could not bear that his friends should 
laugh at him. This might have prevented him from ever 
taking the definite step of atandoning the study of paint- 
ing, but the different environment made him on a sudden 
see things differently. .Like many another he discovered 
that crossing the Channel makes things which had seemed 
important singularly futile. The life which had been so 
charming thatibe could not bear to leave it now seemed 
inept; he was seized with a distaste for the cafes, the 
restaurants, with their ill-cooked food, the shabby way in 
which they .all lived. He did not care any more what his 
friends thought about him: Cronshaw with his rhetoric, 
Mrs. Otter with her respectability, Ruth Chalice with her 
affectations, Lawson and Clutton with their quarrels; he 
felt a repulsion from them all. He wrote to Lawson and 
asked him to send over all his belongings. A week later 
they arrived. When he unpacked his canvases he found 
himself able to examine his work without emotion. He 
noticed the fact with interest. His uncle was anxious to see 
his pictures. Though he had so greatly disapproved of 
Philip's desire to go to Paris, he accepted the situation 
now with equanimity. He was interested in the life of 
students and constantly put Philip questions about it. He 
was hi fact a little proud of him because he was a painter, 
and when people were present made attempts to draw him 


out. He looked eagerly at the studies of models which 
Philip showed him. Philip set before him his portrait of 
Miguel Ajuria. 

"Why did you paint him ?" asked Mr. Carey. 

"Oh, I wanted a model, and his head interested me." 

"As you haven't got anything to do here I wonder you 
don't paint me." 

"It would bore you to sit." 

"I think I should like it." 
"We must see about it." 

Philip was amused at his uncle's vanity. It was clear 
that he was dying to have his portrait painted. To get 
something for nothing was a chance not to be missed. For 
two or three days he threw out httle hints. He reproached 
Philip for laziness, asked him wfoob he was going to start 

he met that Philip 
came a rainy day, 

portrait this 
reading and 

work, and finally began telling evt 
was going to paint him. At la 
and after breakfast Mr. Care> 

"Now, what d'you say to 
morning?" Philip put down the 
leaned back in his chair. 

"I've given up painting." he said. 

"Why?" asked his uncle in astonf 

"I don't think there's much object 
rate painter, and I came to the concluj 
never be anything else." 

"You surprise me. Before you went to 
quite certain that you \vere a genius." 

"I was mistaken," said Philip. 

"I should have thought now you'd taken uj 
sion you'd have the pride to stick to it. It seems 
what you lack is perseverance." 

Philip was a little annoyed that his uncle 
see how truly heroic his determination was. 

" 'A rolling stone gathers no moss,' " proceeded the 
clergyman. Philip hated that proverb above all. and it 
seemed to him perfectly meaningless. His uncle hall re- 
peated it often during the arguments which had preceded 
his departure from business. Apparently it recalled that 
occasion to his guardian. 

o F ii u .M A \ r. o \ i) A (; [; 

''You're no longer a hoy. you know; you must begin ; 
think of settling down, First you insist on becoming a 
chartered accountant, and then you get tired of that ar.d 
you want to become a painter. And now if you please 
you change your mind again. It points to . . ." 

He hesitated for a moment to consider what defects of 
character exactly it indicated, and Philip finished the sen- 

"Irresolution, incompetence, want of foresight, and 
lack of determination." 

The Vicar looked up at his nephew quickly to see 
whether he was laughing at him. Philip's face was serious, 
but there was a twinkle in his eyes which irritated him. 
Philip should really be getting more serious. He felt it 
right to give him a rap over the knuckles. 

"Your money matters have nothing to do with me now. 
You're your own master ; but I think you should remember 
that your money won't last for ever, and the unlucky 
deformity you have doesn't exactly make it easier for 
you to earn your living." 

Philip knew by now that whenever anyone was angry 
with him his first thought was to say something about his 
club-foot. His estimate of the human race was determined 
by the fact that scarcely anyone failed to resist the temp- 
tation. But b.Q had trained himself not to show any ^ign 
that the reminder wounded him. He had ?ven acquired 
control over the blushing which in his boyhood had been 
one of his torments. 

"As you justly remark," he answered, "my money mat- 
ters have nothing to do with you and I am my own mas- 

"At all events you will do me the justice to acknowledge 
that I was justified in my opposition when you made up 
you* mind to become an art-student." 

"FGon't know so much about that. I daresay one profits 
more by the mistakes one makes off one's own bat than 
by doing the right thing on somebody's else advice. I've 
had my fling, and I don't mind settling down now." 

"What at?" 

Philip was not prepared for the question, since in fact 

ii.j K II U M A N 15 X i> A (i 1C 

he had not made up his mind. Mo had thought of <i dozen 

"The most suitable tiling you rouM do is to enter your 
father's profession and become a doctor." 

"Oddly enough that is precisely what I intend." 

lie had thought of doctoring among oilier thir.g.i, chiefly 
because it was an occupation which seemed to give a good , 
deal of personal freedom, and his experience of life in an 
office had made him determine never to have anything more 
to do with one; his answer to the Vicar slipped out almost 
unawares, because it was in the nature of a repartee. It 
amused him to make up his mind in that accidental way, 
and he resolved then and there to enter his father's old 
hospital in the autumn. 

"Then your two years in Paris may be regarded as so 
much wasted time?" 

"I don't know about that. I had a very jolly two years, 
and I learned one or two useful things." 


Philip reflected for an instant, and his answer was not 
devoid of a gentle desire to annoy. 

"I learned to look at hands, which I'd never looked at I 
before. And instead of just looking at houses ur.d trees] 
I learned to look at houses and trees against ti;e sky. And 
I learned also that shadows are not black but coloured." 

"I suppose you think you're very clever. I think your 
flippancy is quite inane." 



TAKING the paper with him Mr. Carey retired to his 
study. Philip changed his chair for that in which his uncle 
had been sitting (it was the only comfortable one in the 
room), and looked out of the window at the pouring rain. 
Even in that sad weather there was something restful 
about the green fields that stretched to the horizon. There 
was an intimate charm in the landscape which he did not 
remember ever to have noticed before. Two years in 
France had opened his eyes to the beauty of his own coun 
try side. 

He thought with a smile of his uncle's remark. It was 
lucky that the turn of his mind tended to flippancy. He 
had begun to realise what a great loss he had sustained in 
the death of his father and mother. That was one of the 
differences in his life which prevented him from seeing 
things in the same way as other people. The love of parents 
for their children is the only emotion which is quite dis- 
interested. Among strangers he had grown up as best he 
could, but he had seldom been used with patience or for- 
bearance. He prided himself on his self-control. It had 
been whipped into him by the mockery of his fellows. 
Then they called him cynical and callous. He had acquired 
calmness of demeanour and under most circumstances an 
unruffled exterior, so that now he could not show his feel- 
ings. People told him he was unemotional ; but he knew 
that he was at the mercy of his emotions : an accidental 
kindness touched him so much that sometimes he did not 
venture to speak in order not to betray the unsteadiness of 
his voice. He remembered the bitterness of his life at 
school, the humiliation which he had endured, the banter 
which had made him morbidly afraid of making himself 
ridiculous ; and he remembered the loneliness he had felt 
since, faced with the world, the disillusion and the disap* 
pointment caused by the difference between what it prom- 


ised to his active imagination and what it gave. But not- 
withstanding he was able to look at himself from the out- 
side and smile with amusement. 

"By Jove, if I weren't flippant, I should hang myself," 
he thought cheerfully. 

His mind went back to the answer he had given his uncle 
when he asked him what he had learnt in Paris. He had 
learnt a good deal more than he told him. A conversation 
with Cronshaw had stuck in his memory, and one phrase 
he had used, a commonplace one enough, had set his brain 

"My dear fellow," Cronshaw said, "there's no such 
thing as abstract morality." 

When Philip ceased to believe in Christianity he felt 
that a great weight was taken from his shoulders ; casting 
off the responsibility which weighed down every action, 
when every action was infinitely important for -the wel- 
fare of his immortal soul, he experienced a vivid sense of 
liberty. But he knew now that this was an illusion. When 
he put away the religion in which he had been brought up, 
he had kept unimpaired the morality which was part and 
parcel of it. He made up his mind therefore to think things 
out for himself. He determined to be swayed by no preju- 
dices. He swept away the virtues and the vices, the estab- 
lished laws of good and evil, with the idea of finding out 
the rules of life for himself. He did not know whether 
rules were necessary at all. That was one of the things he 
wanted to discover. Clearly much that seemed valid seemed 
so only because he had been taught it from his earliest 
youth. He had read a number of books, but they did not 
help him much, for they were based on the morality of 
Christianity; and even the writers who emphasised the 
fact that they did not believe in it were never satisfied till 
they had framed a system of ethics in accordance with 
that of the Sermon on the Mount. It seemed hardly worth 
while to read a long volume in order to learn that you 
ought to behave exactly like everybody else. Philip wanted 
to find out how he ought to behave, and he thought he 
could prevent himself from being influenced by the opin- 
ions that surrounded him. But meanwhile he had to go on 


living, and, until he formed ?. theory of conduct, he made 
himself a provisional rule. 

"Follow your inclinations with due regard to the police- 
man round the corner." 

He thought the best thing he had gained in Paris was a 
complete liberty of spirit, and he felt himself at last abso- 
lutely free. -In a desultory way he had read a good deal of 
philosophy, and he looked forward with delight to the lei- 
sure of the next few months. He began to read at hap- 
hazard. He entered upon each system with a little thrill 
of excitement, expecting to find in each some guide by 
which he could rule his conduct ; he felt himself like a trav- 
eller in unknown countries and as he pushed forward the 
enterprise fascinated him; he read emotionally, as other 
men read pure literature, and his heart leaped as he dis- 
covered in noble words what himself had obscurely felt. 
His mind was concrete and moved with difficulty in regions 
of the abstract; but, even when he could not follow the 
reasoning, it gave him a curious pleasure to follow the 
tortuosities of thoughts that threaded their nimble way on 
the edge of the incomprehensible. Sometimes great philos- 
ophers seemed to have nothing to say to him, but at others 
he recognised a mind with which he felt himself at home. 
He was like the explorer in Central Africa who comes 
suddenly upon wide uplands, with great trees in them and 
stretches of meadow, so that he might fancy himself in 
an English park. He delighted in the robust common sense 
of Thomas Hobbes; Spinoza filled him with awe, he had 
never before come in contact with a mind so noble, so 
unapproachable and austere; it reminded him of that 
statue by Rodin, L'Age d'Airain, which he passionately ad- 
mired; and then there was Hume: the scepticism of that 
charming philosopher touched a kindred note in Philip; 
and, revelling in the lucid style which seemed able to put 
complicated thought into simple words, musical and meas- 
ured, he read as he might have read a novel, a smile of 
pleasure on his lips. But in none could he find exactly what 
he wanted. He had read somewhere that every man was 
born a Platonist, an Aristotelian, a Stoic, or an Epicurean ; 
and the history of George Henry Lewes (besides telling 


you that philosophy was all moonshine) was there to show 
that the thought of each philosopher was inseparably con- 
nected with the man he was. When you knew that you 
could guess to a great extent the philosophy he wrote. It 
looked as though you did not act in a certain way because 
you thought in a certain way, but rather that you thought 
. : n a certain way because you were made in a certain way. 
Truth had nothing to do with it. There was no such thing 
as truth. Each man was his own philosopher, and the 
elaborate systems which the great men of the past had 
composed were only valid for the writers. 

The thing then was to discover what one was and one's 
system of philosophy would devise itself. It seemed to 
Philip that there were three things to find out : man's rela- 
tion to the world he lives in, man's relation with the men 
among whom he lives, and finally man's relation to himself. 
He made an elaborate plan of study. 

The advantage of living abroad is that, coming in con- 
tact with the manners and customs of the people among 
whom you live, you observe them from the outside and see 
that they have not the necessity which those who practise 
them believe. You cannot fail to discover that the beliefs 
which to you are self-evident to the foreigner are absurd. 
The year in Germany, the long stay in Paris, had prepared 
Philip to receive the sceptical teaching which came to him 
now with such a feeling of relief. He saw that nothing was 
good and nothing was evil ; things were merely adapted to 
an end. He read The Origin of Species. It seemed to offer 
an explanation of much that troubled him. He was like 
an explorer now who has reasoned that certain natural 
features must present themselves, and, beating up a broad 
river, finds here the tributary that he expected, there the 
fertile, populated plains, and further on the mountains. 
When some great discovery is made the world is surprised 
afterwards that it was not accepted at once, and even on 
those who acknowledge its truth the effect is unimportant. 
The first readers of The Origin of Species accepted it with 
their reason ; but their emotions, which are the ground of 
conduct, were untouched. Philip was born a generation 
after this great book was published, and much that horri- 


fied its contemporaries had passed into the feeling of the 
time, so that he was able to accept it with a joyful heart. 
He was intensely moved by the grandeur of the struggle for 
life, and the ethical rule which it suggested seemed to fit in 
with his predispositions. He said to himself that might 
was right. Society stood on one side, an organism with its 
own laws of growth and self-preservation, while the indi 
vidual stood on the other. The actions which were to tht, 
advantage of society it termed virtuous and those which 
were not it called vicious. Good and evil meant nothing 
more than that. Sin was a prejudice from which the free 
man should rid himself. Society had three arms in its con- 
test with the individual, laws, public opinion, and con- 
science : the first two could be met by guile, guile is the 
only weapon of the weak against the strong : common opin- 
ion put the matter well when it stated that sin consisted in 
being found out ; but conscience was the traitor within the 
gates; it fought in each heart the battle of society, and 
caused the individual to throw himself, a wanton sacrifice, 
to the prosperity of his enemy. For it was clear that the 
two were irreconcilable, the state and the individual con- 
scious of himself. That uses the individual for its own 
ends, trampling upon him if he thwarts it, rewarding him 
with medals, pensions, honours, when he serves it faith- 
fully; this, strong only in his independence, threads his 
way through the state, for convenience' sake, paying in 
money or service for certain benefits, but with no sense, 
of obligation ; and, indifferent to the rewards, asks only to 
be left alone. He is the independent traveller, who uses 
Cook's tickets because they save trouble, but looks with 
good-humoured contempt on the personally conducted par- 
ties. The free man can do no wrong. He does everything 
he likes if he can. His power is the only measure of hif/ 
morality. He recognises the laws- of the state and he can 
break them without sense of sin, but if he is punished he 
accepts the punishment without rancour. Society has the 

But if for the individual there was no right and no 
wrong, then it seemed to Philip that conscience lost its 
power. It was with a cry of triumph that he seized the 


knave and flung him from his breast. But he was no nearer 
to the meaning of life than he had been before. Why the 
world was there and what men had come into existence for 
at all was as inexplicable as ever. Surely there must be 
some reason. He thought of Cronshaw's parable of the 
Persian Carpet. He offered it as a solution of the riddle, 
and mysteriously he stated that it was no answer at all un- 
less you found it out for yourself. 

"I wonder what the devil he meant," Philip smiled. 

And so, on the last day of September, eager to put into 
practice all these new theories of life, Philip, with sixteen 
hundred pounds and his club-foot, set out for the second 
time to London to make his third start in life. 


THE examination Philip had passed before he was arti- 
cled to a chartered accountant was sufficient qualification 
for him to enter a medical school. He chose St. Luke's 
because his father had been a student there, and before 
the end of the summer session had gone up to London for 
a day in order to see the secretary. He got a list of rooms 
from him, and took lodgings in a dingy house which had 
the advantage of being within two minutes' walk of the 

"You'll have to arrange about a part to dissect," the sec- 
retary told him. "You'd better start on a leg; they gener- 
ally do ; they seem to think it easier." 

Philip found that his first lecture was in anatomy, at 
eleven, and about half past ten he limped across the road, 
and a little nervously made his way to the Medical School. 
Just inside the door a number of notices were pinned up, 
lists of lectures, football fixtures, and the like ; and these 
he looked at idly, trying to seem at his ease. Young men 
and boys dribbled in and looked for letters in the rack, 
chatted with one another, and passed downstairs to the 
basement, in which was the students' reading-room. Philip 
saw several fellows with a desultory, timid look dawdling 
around, and surmised that, like himself, they were there 
for the first time. When he had exhausted the notices he 
saw a glass door which led into what was apparently a 
museum, and having still twenty minutes to spare he 
walked in. It was a collection of pathological specimens. 
Presently a boy of about eighteen came up to him. 

"I say, are you first year ?" he said. 

"Yes," answered Philip. 

"Where's the lecture room, d'you know ? It's getting on 
for eleven." 

"We'd better try to find it." 

They walked out of the museum into a long, dark cor- 



ridor, with the walls painted in two shades of red, and 
other youths walking along suggested the way to them 
They came to a door marked Anatomy Theatre. Philip 
found that there were a good many people already there. 
The seats were arranged in tiers, and just as Philip en- 
tered an attendant came in, put a glass of water on the 
table in the well of the lecture-room and then brought in a 
pelvis and two thigh-bones, right and left. More men en- 
tered and took their seats and by eleven the theatre was 
fairly full. There were about sixty students. For the most 
part they were a good deal younger than Philip, smooth- 
faced boys of eighteen, but there were a few who were 
older than he: he noticed one tall man, with a fierce red 
moustache, who might have been thirty ; another little fel- 
low with black hair, only a year or two younger ; and there 
was one man with spectacles and a beard which was quite 

The lecturer came in, Mr. Cameron, a handsome man 
with white hair and clean-cut features. He called out the 
long list of names. Then he made a little speech. He spoke 
in a pleasant voice, with well-chosen words, and he seemed 
to take a discreet pleasure in their careful arrangement. 
He suggested one or two books which they might buy and 
advised the purchase of a skeleton. He spoke of anatomy 
with enthusiasm: it was essential to the study of Sur- 
gery; a knowledge of it added to the appreciation of art. 
Philip pricked up his ears. He heard later that Mr. Cam- 
eron lectured also to the students at the Royal Academy. 
He had lived many years in Japan, with a post at the Uni- 
versity of Tokio. and he flattered himself on his apprecia- 
tion of the beautiful. 

"You will have to learn many tedious things," he fin- 
ished, with an indulgent smile, "which you will forget the 
moment you have passed your final examination, but in 
anatomy it is better to have learned and lost than never to 
have learned at all." 

He took up the pelvis which was lying on the table and 
began to describe it. He spoke well and clearly. 

At the end of the lecture the boy who had spoken to 
Philip in the pathological museum and sat next to him in 


the theatre suggested that they should go to the dissecting- 
room. Philip and he walked along the corridor again, and 
an attendant told them where it was. As soon as they 
entered Philip understood what the acrid smell was which 
he had noticed in the passage. He lit a pipe. The attendant 
gave a short laugh. 

"You'll soon get used to the smell. I don't notice it my- 

He asked Philip's name and looked at a list on the board. 

"You've got a leg number four." 

Philip saw that another name was bracketed with his 

"What's the meaning of that?" he asked. 

"We're very short of bodies just now. We've had to put 
two on each part." 

The dissecting-room was a large apartment painted like 
the corridors, the upper part a rich salmon and the dado 
a dark terra-cotta. At regular intervals down the long sides 
of the room, at right angles with the wall, were iron slabs, 
grooved like meat-dishes ; and on each lay a body. Most of 
them were men. They were very dark from the preserva- 
tive in which they had been kept, and the skin had almost 
the look of leather. They were extremely emaciated. The 
attendant took Philip up to one of the slabs. A youth was 
standing by it. 

"1$ your name Carey ?" he asked. 


"Oh, then we've got this leg together. It's lucky it's a 
man, isn't it?" 

"Why?" asked Philip. 

"They generally always like a male better," said the at- 
tendant. "A female's liable to have a lot of fat about her." 

Philip looked at the body. The arms and legs were so 
thin that there was no shape in them, and the ribs stood 
out so that the skin over them was tense. A man of about 
forty-five with a thin, gray beard, and on his skull scanty, 
colourless hair: the eyes were closed and the lower jaw 
sunken. Philip could not feel that this had ever been a man, 
and yet in the row of them there was something terrible 
and ghastly. 


"I thought I'd start at two," said the young man who 
was dissecting with Philip. 

"All right, I'll be here then." 

He had bought the day before the case of instruments 
which was needful, and now he was given a locker. He 
looked at the boy who had accompanied him into the 
'lissecting-room and saw that he was white. 

"Make you feel rotten?" Philip asked him. 

"I've never seen anyone dead before." 

They walked along the corridor till they came to the 
entrance of the school. Philip remembered Fanny Price. 
She was the first dead person he had ever seen, and he re- 
membered how strangely it had affected him. There was 
an immeasurable distance between the quick and the dead : 
they did not seem to belong to the same species ; and it was 
strange to think that but a little while before they had 
spoken and moved and eaten and laughed. There was some- 
thing horrible about the dead, and you could imagine that 
they might cast an evil influence on the living. 

"What d'you say to having something to eat ?" said his 
new friend to Philip. 

They went down into the basement, where there was a 
dark room fitted up as a restaurant, and here the students 
were able to get the same sort of fare as they might have 
at an aerated bread shop. While they ate (Philip had a 
scone and butter and a cup of chocolate), he discovered 
that his companion was called Dunsford. He was a fresh- 
complexioned lad, with pleasant blue eyes and curly, dark 
hair, large-limbed, slow of speech and movement. He had 
just come from Clifton. 

"Are you taking the Conjoint ?" he asked Philip. 

"Yes, I want to get qualified as soon as I can." 

"I'm taking it too, but I shall take the F. R. C. S. after- 
wards. I'm going in for surgery." 

Most of the students took the curriculum of the Con- 
joint Board of the College of Surgeons and the College of 
Physicians; but the more ambitious or the more industri- 
ous added to this the longer studies which led to a degree 
from the University of London. When Philip went to St. 
Luke's changes had recently been made in the regulations, 


and the course took five years instead of four as it had 
done for those who registered before the autumn of 1892. 
Duns ford was wel) up in his plans and told Philip the 
usual course of events. The "first conjoint" examination 
consisted of Biology, Anatomy, and Chemistry; but it 
could be taken in sections, and most fellows took their 
biology three months after entering the school. This sci- 
ence had been recently added to the list of subjects upon 
which the student was obliged to inform himself, but the 
amount of knowledge required was very small. 

When Philip went back to the dissecting-room, he was 
a few minutes late, since he had forgotten to buy the loose 
sleeves which they wore to protect their shirts, and he 
found a number of men already working. His partner had 
started on the minute and was busy dissecting out cutane- 
ous nerves. Two others were engaged on the second leg, 
and more were occupied with the arms. 

"You don't mind my having started ?" 

"That's all right, fire away," said Philip. 

He took the book, open at a diagram of the dissected 
part, and looked at what they had to find. 

"You're rather a dab at this," said Philip. 

"Oh, I've done a good deal of dissecting before, ani- 
mals, you know, for the Pre Sci." 

There was a certain amount of conversation over the 
dissecting-table, partly about the work, partly about the 
prospects of the football season, the demonstrators, and 
the lectures. Philip felt himself a great deal older than the 
others. They were raw schoolboys. But age is a matter of 
knowledge rather than of years ; and Newson, the active 
young man who was dissecting with him, was very much 
at home with his subject. He was perhaps not sorry to 
show off, and he explained very fully to Philip what he 
was about. Philip, notwithstanding his hidden stores of 
wisdom, listened meekly. Then Philip took up the scalpel 
and the tweezers and began working while the other looked 

"Ripping to have him so thin," said Newson, wiping his 
hands. "The blighter can't have had anything to eat for a 


"I wonder what he died of," murmured Philip. 

"Oh, I don't know, any old thing, starvation chiefly, I 
suppose. ... I say, look out, don't cut that artery." 

"It's all very fine to say, don't cut that artery," remarked 
one of the men working on the opposite leg. "Silly old 
fool's got an artery in the wrong place." 

"Arteries always are in the wrong place," said Newson. 
"The normal's the one thing you practically never get. 
That's why it's called the normal." 

"Don't say things like that," said Philip, "or I shall cut 

"If you cut yourself," answered Newson, full of infor- 
mation, "wash it at once with antiseptic. It's the one thing 
you've got to be careful about. There was a chap here last 
year who gave himself only a prick, and he didn't bother 
about it, and he got septicaemia." 

"Did he get all right?" 

"Oh, no, he died in a week. I went and had a look at him 
in the P. M. room." 

Philip's back ached by the time it was proper to have 
tea, and his luncheon had been so light that he was quite 
ready for it. His hands smelt of that peculiar odour which 
he had first noticed that morning in the corridor. He 
thought his muffin tasted of it too. 

"Oh, you'll get used to that," said Newson. "When you 
don't have the good old dissecting-room stink about, you 
feel quite lonely." 

"I'm not going to let it spoil my appetite," said Philip, 
as he followed up the muffin with a piece of cake. 


PHILIP'S ideas of the life of medical students, like those 
of the public at large, were founded on the pictures which 
Charles Dickens drew in the middle of the nineteenth cen- 
tury. He soon discovered that Bob Sawyer, if he ever ex- 
isted, was no longer at all like the medical student of the 

It is a mixed lot which enters upon the medical profes- 
sion, and naturally there are some who are lazy and reck- 
less. They think it is an easy life, idle away a couple of 
years ; and then, because their funds come to an end or 
because angry parents refuse any longer to support them, 
drift away from the hospital. Others find the examina- 
tions too hard for them; one failure after another robs 
them of their nerve; and, panic-stricken, they forget as 
soon as they come into the forbidding buildings of the 
Conjoint Board the knowledge which before they had so 
pat. They remain year after year, objects of good- 
humoured scorn to younger men: some of them crawl 
through the examination of the Apothecaries Hall ; others 
become non-qualified assistants, a precarious position in 
which they are at the mercy of their employer ; their lot is 
poverty, drunkenness, and Heaven only knows their end. 
But for the most part medical students are industrious 
young men of the middle-class with a sufficient allowance 
to live in the respectable fashion they have been used to; 
many are the sons of doctors who have already something 
of the professional manner; their career is mapped out: 
as soon as they are qualified they propose to apply for a 
hospital appointment, after holding which (and perhaps a 
trip to the Far East as a ship's doctor), they will join their 
father and spend the rest of their days in a country prac- 
tice. One or two are marked out as exceptionally brilliant : 
they will take the various prizes and scholarships which 
are open each year to the deserving, get one appointment 



after another at the hospital, go on the staff, take a 
consulting-room in Harley Street, and, specialising in one 
subject or another, become prosperous, eminent, and titled. 

The medical profession is the only one which a man may 
enter at any age with some chance of making a living. 
Among the men of Philip's year were three or four who 
were past their first youth: one had been in the Navy, 
from which according to report he had been dismissed for 
drunkenness; he was a man of thirty, with a red face, a 
brusque manner, and a loud voice. Another was a married 
man with two children, who had lost money through a de- 
faulting solicitor ; he had a bowed look as if the world were 
too much for him ; he went about his work silently, and it 
was plain that he found it difficult at his age to commit 
facts to memory. His mind worked slowly. His effort at 
application was painful to see. 

Philip made himself at home in his tiny rooms. He ar- 
ranged his books and hung on the walls such pictures and 
sketches as he possessed. Above him, on the drawing-room 
floor, lived a fifth-year man called Griffiths ; but Philip saw 
little of him, partly because he was occupied chiefly in' the 
wards and partly because he had been to Oxford. Such of 
the students as had been to a university kept a good deal 
together: they used a variety of means natural to the 
young in order to impress upon the less fortunate a proper 
sense of their inferiority; the rest of the students found 
their Olympian serenity rather hard to bear. Griffiths was 
a tall fellow, with a quantity of curly red hair and blue 
eyes, a white skin and a very red mouth ; he was one of 
those fortunate people whom everybody liked, for he had 
high spirits and a constant gaiety. He strummed a little on 
the piano and sang comic songs with gusto; and evening 
after evening, while Philip was reading in his solitary 
room, he heard the shouts and the uproarious laughter of 
Griffiths' friends above him. He thought of those delight- 
ful evenings in Paris when they would sit in the studio, 
Lawson and he, Flanagan and Glutton, and talk of art and 
morals, the love-affairs of the present, and the fame of 
the future. He felt sick at heart. He found that it was easy 
to make a heroic gesture, but hard to abide by its results. 


The worst of it was that the work seemed to him very te- 
dious. He had got out of the habit of being asked questions 
by demonstrators. His attention wandered at lectures. 
Anatomy was a dreary science, a mere matter of learning 
by heart an enormous number of facts; dissection bored 
him; he did not see the use of dissecting out laboriously 
nerves and arteries when with much less trouble you could 
see in the diagrams of a book or in the specimens of the 
pathological museum exactly where they were. 

He made friends by chance, but not intimate friends, for 
he seemed to have nothing in particular to say to his com- 
panions. When he tried to interest himself in their con- 
cerns, he felt that they found him patronising. He was not") 
of those who can talk of what moves them without caring 
whether it bores or not the people they talk to. One man, 
hearing that he had studied art in Paris, and fancying him- 
self on his taste, tried to discuss art with him; but Philip 
was impatient of views whjeh did not agree with his own ; 
and, rinding quickly that the other's ideas were conven- 
tional, grew monosyllabic. Philip desired popularity but 
could bring himself to make no advances to others. A fear 
of rebuff prevented him from affability, and he concealed 
his shyness, which was still intense, under a frigid tacitur- 
nity. He was going through the same experience as he 
had done at school, but here the freedom of the medical 
students' life made it possible for him to live a good deal 
by himself. 

It was through no effort of his that he became friendly 
with Dunsford, the fresh-complexioned, heavy lad whose 
acquaintance he had made at the beginning of the session. 
Dunsford attached himself to Philip merely because he 
was the first person he had known at St. Luke's. He had 
no friends in London, and on Saturday nights he and 
Philip got into the habit of going together to the pit of a 
music-hall or the gallery of a theatre. He was stupid, but 
he was good-humoured and never took offence ; he always 
said the obvious thing, but when Philip laughed at him 
merely smiled. He had a very sweet smile. Though Philip 
made him his butt, he liked him; he was amused by his 
candour and delighted with his agreeable nature: Duns- 


ford had the charm which himself was acutely conscious 
of not possessing. 

They often went to have tea at a shop in Parliament 
Street, because Dunsf ord admired one of the young women 
who waited. Philip did not find anything attractive in her. 
She was tall and thin, with narrow hips and the chest of a 

"No one would look at her in Paris," said Philip scorn- 

"She's got a ripping face," said Dunsford. 

"What does the face matter?" 

She had the small regular features, the blue eyes, and 
the broad low brow, which the Victorian painters, Lord 
Leighton, Alma Tadema, and a hundred others, induced 
the world they lived in to accept as a type of Greek beauty. 
She seemed to have a great deal of hair : it was arranged 
with peculiar elaboration and done over the forehead in 
what she called an Alexandra fringe. She was very anae- 
mic. Her thin lips were pale, and her skin was deli- 
cate, of a faint green colour, without a touch of red even 
in the cheeks. She had very good teeth. She took great 
pains to prevent her work from spoiling her hands, and 
they were small, thin, and white. She went about her du- 
ties with a bored look. 

Dunsford, very shy with women, had never succeeded 
in getting into conversation with her ; and he urged Philip 
to help him. 

"All I want is a lead," he said, "r.nd then I can manage 
for myself." 

Philip, to please him, made one or two remarks, but she 
answered with monosyllables. She had taken their measure. 
They were boys, and she surmised they were students. She 
had no use for them. Dunsford noticed that a man with 
sandy hair and a bristly moustache, who looked like a Ger- 
man, was favoured with her attention whenever he came 
into the shop ; and then it was only by calling her two or 
three times that they could induce her to take their order. 
She used the clients whom she did not know with frigid 
insolence, and when she was talking to a friend was per- 


fectly indifferent to the calls of the hurried. She had the 
art of treating women who desired refreshment with just 
that degree of impertinence which irritated them without 
affording them an opportunity of complaining to the man- 
agement. One day Dunsford told him her name was Mil- 
dred. He had heard one of the other girls in the shop 
address her. 

"What an odious name," said Philip. 

"Why?" asked Dunsford. "I like it." 

"It's so pretentious." 

It chanced that on this day the German was not there, 
and, when she brought the tea, Philip, smiling, remarked : 

"Your friend's not here today." 

"I don't know what you mean," she said coldly. 

"I was referring to the nobleman with the sandy mous- 
tache. Has he left you for another?" 

"Some people would do better to mind their own busi- 
ness," she retorted. 

She left them, and, since for a minute or two there was 
no one to attend to, sat down and looked at the evening 
paper which a customer had left behind him. 

"You are a fool to put her back up," said Dunsford. 

"I'm really quite indifferent to the attitude of her ver- 
tebrae," replied Philip. 

But he was piqued. It irritated him that when he tried to 
be agreeable with a woman she should take offence. Wher, 
he asked for the bill, he hazarded a remark which he meant 
to lead further. 

"Are we no longer on speaking terms ?" he smiled. 

"I'm here to take orders and to wait on customers. I've 
got nothing to say to them, and I don't want them to say 
anything to me." 

She put down the slip of paper on which she had marked 
the sum they had to pay, and walked back to the table at 
which she had been sitting. Philip flushed with anger. 

"That's one in the eye for you, Carey," said Dunsford, 
when they got outside. 

"Ill-mannered slut," said Philip. "I shan't go there 

3^2 O F H U M A X B O N D A G E 

His influence with Duns ford was strong enough to get 
him to take their tea elsewhere, and Dunsford soon found 
another young woman to flirt with. But the snub which 
the waitress had inflicted on him rankled. If she had 
treated him with civility he would have been perfectly in- 
different to her; but it was obvious that she disliked him 
rather than otherwise, and his pride was wounded. He 
could not suppress a desire to be even with her. He was 
impatient with himself because he had so petty a feeling, 
but three or four days' firmness, during which he would 
not go to the shop, did not help him to surmount it ; and 
he came to the conclusion that it would be least trouble to 
see her. Having done so he would certainly cease to think 
of her. Pretexting an appointment one afternoon, for he 
was not a little ashamed of his weakness, he left Dunsford 
and went straight to the shop which he had vowed never 
again to enter. He saw the waitress the moment he came in 
and sat down at one of her tables. He expected her to 
make some reference to the fact that he had not been 
there for a week, but when she came up for his order she 
said nothing. He had heard her say to other customers : 

"You're quite a stranger." 

She gave no sign that she had ever seen him before. 
In order to see whether she had really forgotten him, 
when she brought his tea, he asked : 

"Have you seen my friend tonight ?" 

"No, he's not been in here for some days." 

He wanted to use this as the beginning of a conversa- 
tion, but he was strangely nervous and could think of noth- 
ing to say. She gave him no opportunity, but at once went 
away. He had no chance of saying anything till he asked 
for his bill. 

"Filthy weather, isn't it?" he said. 

It was mortfying that he had been forced to prepare 
such a phrase as that. He could not make out why she 
filled him with such embarrassment. 

"It don't make much difference to me what the weather 
is, having to be in here all day." 

There was an insolence in her tone that peculiarly irri- 



tated him. A sarcasm rose to his lips, but he forced him- 
self to be silent. 

"I wish to God she'd say something really cheeky," he 
raged to himself, "so that 1 cculd report her and get her 
sacked. It would serve her damned well right." 


HE could not get her out of his mind. He laughed an- 
grily at his own foolishness : it was absurd to care what 
an anaemic little waitress said to him ; but he was strangely 
humiliated. Though no one knew of the humiliation but 
Duns ford, and he had certainly forgotten, Philip felt that 
he could have no peace till he had wiped it out. He thought 
over what he had better do. He made up his mind that he 
would go to the shop every day; it was obvious that he 
had made a disagreeable impression on her, but he thought 
he had the wits to eradicate it ; he would take care not to 
say anything at which the most susceptible person could be 
offended. All this he did, but it had no effect. When he 
went in and said good-evening she answered with the same 
words, but when once he omitted to say it in order to see 
whether she would say it first, she said nothing at all. He 
murmured in his heart an expression which though fre- 
quently applicable to members of the female sex is not 
often used of them in polite society; but with an un- 
moved face he ordered his tea. He made up his mind not 
to speak a word, and left the shop without his usual good- 
night. He promised himself that he would not go any more, 
but the next day at tea-time he grew restless. He tried to 
think of other things, but he had no command over his 
thoughts. At last he said desperately : 

"After all there's no reason why I shouldn't go if I 
want to." 

The struggle with himself had taken a long time, and it 
was getting on for seven when he entered the shop. 

"I thought you weren't coming," the girl said to him, 
when he sat down. 

His heart leaped in his bosom and he felt himself red- 
dening. "I was detained. I couldn't come before." 

"Cutting up people, I suppose?" 

"Not so bad as that." 



"You are a stoodent, aren't you?" 


But that seemed to satisfy her curiosity. She went away 
and, since at that late hour there was nobody else at her 
tables, she immersed herself in a novelette. This was be- 
fore the time of the sixpenny reprints. There was a regular"! 
supply of inexpensive fiction written to order by poor 
hacks for the consumption of the illiterate. Philip was 
elated ; she had addressed him of her own accord ; he saw 
the time approaching when his turn would come and he 
would tell her exactly what he thought of her. It would be 
a great comfort to express the immensity of his contempt. 
He looked at her. It was true that her profile was beauti- 
ful; it was extraordinary how English girls of that class 
had so often a perfection of outline which took your 
breath away, but it was as cold as marble; and the faint 
green of her delicate skin gave an impression of unhealthi- 
ness. All the waitresses were dressed alike, in plain black 
dresses, with a white apron, cuffs, and a small cap. On a 
half sheet of paper that he had in his pocket Philip made 
a sketch of her as she sat leaning over her book (she out- 
lined the words with her lips as she read), and left it on 
the table when he went away. It was an inspiration, for 
next day, when he came in, she smiled at him. 

"I didn't know you could draw," she said. 

"I was an art-student in Paris for two years." 

"I showed that drawing you left be'ind you last night to 
the manageress and she was struck with it. Was it meant 
to be me ?" 

"It was," said Philip. 

When she went for his tea, one of the other girls came 
up to him. 

"I saw that picture you done of Miss Rogers. It was the 
very image of her," she said. 

That was the first time he had heard her name, and 
when he wanted his bill he called her by it. 

"I see you know my name," she said, when she came. 

"Your friend mentioned it when she said something to 
rne about that drawing." 

"She wants you to do one of her. Don't you do it. If you 


once begin you'll have to go on, and they'll all be wanting 
you to do them." Then without a pause, with peculiar in- 
consequence, she said: "Where's that young fellow that 
used to come with you ? Has he gone away ?" 

"Fancy your remembering him," said Philip. 

"He was a nice-looking young fellow." 

Philip felt quite a peculiar sensation in his heart. He did 
not know what it was. Dunsford had jolly curling hair, 
a fresh complexion, and a beautiful smile. Philip thought 
of these advantages with envy. 

"Oh, he's in love," said he, with a little laugh. 

Philip repeated every word of the conversation to him- 
self as he limped home. She was quite friendly with him 
now. When opportunity arose he would offer to make a 
more finished sketch of her, he was sure she would like 
that ; her face was interesting, the profile was lovely, and 
there was something curiously fascinating about the chlo- 
rotic colour. He tried to think what it was like; at first 
he thought of pea soup; but, driving away that idea an- 
grily, he thought of the petals of a yellow rosebud when 
you tore it to pieces before it had burst. He had no ill- 
feeling towards her now. 

"She's not a bad sort," he murmured. 

It was silly of him to take offence at what she had said ; 
it was doubtless his own fault ; she had not meant to make 
herself disagreeable : he ought to be accustomed by now to 
making at first sight a bad impression on people. He was 
flattered at the success of his drawing; she looked upon 
him with more interest now that she was aware of this 
small talent. He was restless next day. He thought of go- 
ing to lunch at the tea-shop, but he was certain there would 
be many people there then, and Mildred would not be able 
to talk to him. He had managed before this to get out of 
having tea with Dunsford, and, punctually at half past 
four (he had looked at his watch a dozen times), he went 
into the shop. 

Mildred had her back turned to him. She was sitting 
down, talking to the German whom Philip had seen there 
every day till a fortnight ago and since then had not seen 
At all. She was laughing at what he said. Philio thought she 


had a common laugh, and it made him shudder. He called 
her, but she took no notice; he called her again; then, 
growing angry, for he was impatient, he rapped the table 
loudly with his stick. She approached sulkily. 

"How d'ycm do?" he said. 

"You seem to be in a great hurry." 

She looked down at him with the insolent manner which 
he knew so well. 

"I say, what's the matter with you ?" he asked. 

"If you'll kindly give your order I'll get what you want. 
I can't stand talking all night." 

" Tea and toasted bun, please," Philip answered briefly. 

He was furious with her. He had The Star with him and 
read it elaborately when she brought the tea. 

"If you'll give me my bill now I needn't trouble you 
again," he said icily. 

She wrote out the slip, placed it on the table, and went 
back to the German. Soon she was talking to him with ani- 
mation. He was a man of middle height, with the round 
head of his nation and a sallow face; his moustache was 
large and bristling ; he had on a tail-coat and gray trousers, 
and he wore a massive gold watch-chain. Philip thought 
the other girls looked from him to the pair at the table and 
exchanged significant glances. He felt certain they were 
laughing at him, and his blood boiled. He detested Mildred 
now with all his heart. He knew that the best thing he 
could do was to cease coming to the tea-shop, but he could 
not bear to think that he had been worsted in the affair, 
and he devised a plan to show her that he despised her. 
Next day he sat down at another table and ordered his tea 
from another waitress. Mildred's friend was there again 
and she was talking to him. She paid no attention to Philip, 
and so when he went out he chose a moment when she had 
to cross his path : as he passed he looked at her as though 
he had never seen her before. He repeated this for three 
or four days. He expected that presently she would take the 
opportunity to say something to him ; he thought she would 
ask why he never came to one of her tables now, and he 
had prepared an answer charged with all the loathing he 
felt for her. He knew it was absurd to trouble, but he 


could not help himself. She had beaten him again. The 
German suddenly disappeared, but Philip still sat at other 
tables. She paid no attention to him. Suddenly he realised 
that what he did was a matter of complete indifference to 
her ; he could go on in that way till doomsday, and it would 
have no effect. 

"I've not finished yet," he said to himself. 

The day after he sat down in his old seat, and when she 
came up said good-evening as though he had not ignored 
her for a week. His face was placid, but he could not pre- 
vent the mad beating of his heart. At that time the musical 
comedy had lately leaped into public favour, and he was 
sure that Mildred would be delighted to go to one. 

"I say," he said suddenly, "I wonder if you'd dine with 
me one night and come to The Belle of New York. I'll get 
a couple of stalls." 

He added the last sentence in order to tempt her. He 
knew that when the girls went to the play it was either in 
the pit, or, if some man took them, seldom to more expen- 
sive seats than the upper circle. Mildred's pale face showed 
no change of expression. 

"I don't mind," she said. 

" Wheri will you come ?" 

"I get off early on Thursdays." 

They made arrangements. Mildred lived with an aunt at 
Herne Hill. The play began at eight so they must dine at 
seven. She proposed that he should meet her in the second- 
class waiting-room at Victoria Station. She showed no 
pleasure, but accepted the invitation as though she con- 
ferred a favour. Philip was vaguely irritated. 


PHILIP arrived at Victoria Station nearly half an hour 
before the time which Mildred had appointed, and sat 
down in the second-class waiting-room. He waited and she 
did not come. He began to grow anxious, and walked into 
the station watching the incoming suburban trains ; the 
hour which she had fixed passed, and still there was no 
sign of her. Philip was impatient. He went into the other 
waiting-rooms and looked at the people sitting in them. 
Suddenly his heart gave a great thud. 

"There you are. I thought you were never coming." 

"I like that after keeping me waiting all this time. I had 
half a mind to go back home again." 

"But you said you'd come to the second-class waiting- 

"I didn't say any such thing. It isn't exactly likely I'd 
sit in the second-class room when I could sit in the firsl, 
is it?" 

Though Philip was sure he had not made a mistake, h* 
said nothing, and they got into a cab. 

"Where are we dining?" she asked. 

"I thought of the Adelphi Restaurant. Will that suH 
you ?" 

"I don't mind where we dine." 

She spoke ungraciously. She was put out by being kept 
waiting and answered Philip's attempt at conversation with 
monosyllables. She wore a long cloak of some rough, dark 
material and a crochet shawl over her head. They reached 
the restaurant and sat down at a table. She looked round 
with satisfaction. The red shades to the candles on the ta- 
bles, the gold of the decorations, the looking-glasses, lent 
the room a sumptuous air. 

"I've never been here before." 

She gave Philip a smile. She had taken off her cloak ; and 



he saw that she wore a pale blue dress, cut square at the 
neck; and her hair as more elaborately arranged than 
ever. He had ordered champagne and when it came her 
eyes sparkled. 

"You are going it," she said. 

"Because I've ordered fiz?" he asked carelessly, as 
though he never drank anything else. 

"I was surprised when you asked me to do a theatre with 

Conversation did not go very easily, for she did not seem 
to have much to say; and Philip was nervously conscious 
that he was not amusing her. She listened carelessly to his 
remarks, with her eyes on other diners, and made no pre- 
tence that she was interested in him. He made one or two 
little jokes, but she took them quite seriously. The only 
sign of vivacity he got was when he spoke of the other 
girls in the shop; she could not bear the manageress and 
told him all her misdeeds at length. 

"I can't stick her at any price and all the air she gives 
herself. Sometimes I've got more than half a mind to tell 
her something she doesn't think I know anything about." 

"What is that ?" asked Philip. 

"Well, I happen to know that she's not above going to 
Eastbourne with a man for the week-end now and again. 
One of the girls has a married sister who goes there with 
her husband, and she's seen her. She was staying at the 
same boarding-house, and she 'ad a wedding-ring on, and 
I know for one she's not married." 

Philip filled her glass, hoping that champagne would 
make her more affable ; he was anxious that his little jaunt 
should be a success. He noticed that she held her knife as 
though it were a pen-holder, and when she drank pro- 
truded her little finger. He started several topics of con- 
versation, but he could get little out of her, and he remem- 
bered with irritation that he had seen her talking nineteen 
to the dozen and laughing with the German. They finished 
dinner and went to the play. Philip was a very cultured 
young man, and he looked upon musical comedy with 
scorn. He thought the jokes vulgar and the melodies obvi- 


ous; it seemed to him that they did these things much 
better in France ; but Mildred enjoyed herself thoroughly ; 
she laughed till her sides ached, looking at Philip now and 
then when something tickled her to exchange a glance of 
pleasure ; and she applauded rapturously. 

"This is the seventh time I've been," she said, after the 
first act, "and I don't mind if I come seven times more." 

She was much interested in the women who surrounded 
them in the stalls. She pointed out to Philip those who 
were painted and those who wore false hair. 

"It is horrible, these West-end people," she said. "I don't 
know how they can do it." She put her hand to her hair. 
"Mine's all my own, every bit of it." 

She found no one to admire, and whenever she spoke of 
anyone it was to say something disagreeable. It made Philip 
uneasy. He supposed that next day she would tell the girls 
in the shop that he had taken her out and that he had bored 
her to death. He disliked her, and yet, he knew not why, 
he wanted to be with her. On the way home he asked : 

"I hope you've enjoyed yourself ?" 


"Will you come out with me again one evening?" 

"I don't mind." 

He could never get beyond such expressions as that. Her 
indifference maddened him. 

"That sounds as if you didn't much care if you came or 

"Oh, if you don't take me out some other fellow will. I 
need never want for men who'll take me to the theatre." 

Philip was silent. They came to the station, and he went 
to the booking-office. 

"I've got my season," she said. 

"I thought I'd take you home as it's rather late, if you 
don't mind." 

"Oh, I don't mind if it gives you any pleasure." 

He took a single first for her and a return for himself. 

"Well, you're not mean, I will say that for you," she 
said, when he opened the carriage-door. 

Philip did not know whether he was pleased or sorry; 


when other people entered and it was impossible to speak. 
They got out at Herne Hill, and he accompanied her to 
the corner of the road in which she lived. 

"I'll say good-night to you here," she said, holding out 
her hand. "You'd better not come up to the door. I know 
what people are, and I don't want to have anybody talk- 

She said good-night and walked quickly away. He could 
see the white shawl in the darkness. He thought she might 
turn round, but she did not. Philip saw which house she 
went into, and in a moment he walked along to look at it. 
It was a trim, common little house of yellow brick, exactly 
like all the other little houses in the street. He stood out- 
side for a few minutes, and presently the window on the 
top floor was darkened. Philip strolled slowly back to the 
station. The evening had been unsatisfactory. He felt irri- 
tated, restless, and miserable. 

When he lay in bed he seemed still to see her sitting in 
the corner of the railway carriage, with the white crochet 
shawl over her head. He did not know how he was to get 
through the hours that must pass before his eyes rested on 
her again. He thought drowsily of her thin face, with its 
delicate features, and the greenish pallor of her skin. He 
was not happy with her, but he was unhappy away from 
her. He wanted to sit by her side and look at her, he 
wanted to touch her, he wanted . . . the thought came to 
him and he did not finish it, suddenly he grew wide awake 
... he wanted to kiss the thin, pale mouth with its nar- 
row lips. The truth came to him at last. He was in love 
with her. It was incredible. 

He had often thought of falling in love, and there was 
one scene which he had pictured to himself over and over 
again. He saw himself coming into a ball-room ; his eyes 
fell on a little group of men and women talking ; and one 
of the women turned round. Her eyes fell upon him, and 
he knew that the gasp in his throat was in her throat too. 
He stood quite still. She was tall and dark and beautiful 
with eyes like the night ; she was dressed in white, and in 
her black hair shone diamonds ; they stared at one another, 
forgetting that people surrounded them. He went straight 


up to her, and she moved a little towards him. Both felt 
that the formality of introduction was out of place. He 
spoke to her. 

"I've been looking for you all my life," he said. 

"You've come at last," she murmured. 

"Will you dance with me ?" 

She surrendered herself to his outstretched hands and 
they danced. (Philip always pretended that he was not 
lame.) She danced divinely. 

"I've never danced with anyone who danced like you," 
she said. 

She tore up her programme, and they danced together 
the whole evening. 

"I'm so thankful that I waited for you," he said to her. 
"I knew that in the end I must meet you." 

People in the ball-room stared. They did not care. The} 
did not wish to hide their passion. At last they went into 
the garden. He flung a light cloak over her shoulders and 
put her in a waiting cab. They caught the midnight train 
to Paris; and they sped through the silent, star-lit night 
into the unknown. 

He thought of this old fancy of his, and it seemed im- 
possible that he should be in love with Mildred Rogers. 
Her name was grotesque. He did not think her pretty; he 
hated the thinness of her, only that evening he had noticed 
how the bones of her chest stood out in evening-dress ; he 
went over her features one by one; he did not like her 
mouth, and the unhealthiness of her colour vaguely re- 
pelled him. She was common. Her phrases, so bald and 
few, constantly repeated, showed the emptiness of her 
mind ; he recalled her vulgar little laugh at the jokes of the 
musical comedy ; and he remembered the little finger care- 
fully extended when she held her glass to her mouth ; her 
manners, like her conversation, were odiously genteel. He 
remembered her insolence ; sometimes he had felt inclined 
to box her ears ; and suddenly, he knew not why, perhaps it 
was the thought of hitting her or the recollection of her 
tiny, beautiful ears, he was seized by an uprush of emotion. 
He yearned for her. He thought of taking her in his arms, 
the thin, fragile body, and kissing her pale mouth: he 


wanted to pass his fingers down the slightly greenish 
cheeks. He wanted her. 

He had thought of love as a rapture which seized one so 
that all the world seemed spring-like, he had looked for- 
ward to an ecstatic happiness ; but this was not happiness ; 
it was a hunger of the soul, it was a painful yearning, it 
was a bitter anguish, he had never known before. He tried 
to think when it had first come to him. He did not know. 
He only remembered that each time he had gone into the 
shop, after the first two or three times, it had been with 
a little feeling in the heart that was pain ; and he remem- 
bered that when she spoke to him he felt curiously breath- 
less. When she left him it was wretchedness, and when she 
came to him again it was despair. 

He stretched himself in his bed as a dog stretches him- 
self. He wondered how he was going to endure that cease- 
less aching of his soul. 


PHILIP woke early next morning, and his first thought 
was of Mildred. It struck him that he might meet her at 
Victoria Station and walk with her to the shop. He shaved 
quickly, scrambled into his clothes, and took a bus to the 
station. He was there by twenty to eight and watched the 
incoming trains. Crowds poured out of them, clerks and 
shop-people at that early hour, and thronged up the plat- 
form : they hurried along, sometimes in pairs, here and 
there a group of girls, but more often alone. They were 
white, most of them, ugly in the early morning, and they 
had an abstracted look; the younger ones walked lightly, 
as though the cement of the platform were pleasant ta 
tread, but the others went as though impelled by a ma- 
chine : their faces were set in an anxious frown. 

At last Philip saw Mildred, and he went up to her 

"Good-morning," he said. "I thought I'd come and see 
how you were after last night." 

She wore an old brown ulster and a sailor hat. It was 
very clear that she was not pleased to see him. 

"Oh, I'm all right. I haven't got much time to waste." 

"D'you mind if I walk down Victoria Street with you ?" 

"I'm none too early. I shall have to walk fast," she an- 
swered, looking down at Philip's club-foot. 

He turned scarlet. 

"I beg your pardon. I won't detain you." 

"You can please yourself." 

She went on, and he with a sinking heart made his way 
home to breakfast. He hated her. He knew he was a fool 
to bother about her ; she was not the sort of woman who 
would ever care two straws for him, and she must look 
upon his deformity with distaste. He made up his mind 
that he would not go in to tea that afternoon, but, hating 



himself, he went. She nodded to him as he came in and 

"I expect I was rather short with you this morning," 
she said. "You see, I didn't expect you, and it came like a 

"Oh, it doesn't matter at all." 

He felt that a great weight had suddenly been lifted 
from him. He was infinitely grateful for one word of 

"Why don't you sit down?" he asked. "Nobody's want- 
ing you just now." 

"I don't mind if I do." 

He looked at her, but could think of nothing to say ; he 
racked his brains anxiously, seeking for a remark which 
should keep her by him ; he wanted to tell her how much 
she meant to him ; but he did not know how to make love 
now that he loved in earnest. 

"Where's your friend with the fair moustache ? I haven't 
seen him lately." 

"Oh, he's gone back to Birmingham. He's in business 
there. He only comes up to London every now and again." 

"Is he in love with you?" 

"You'd better ask him," she said, with a laugh. "I don't 
know what it's got to do with you if he is." 

A bitter answer leaped to his tongue, but he was learn- 
. ing self-restraint. 

"I wonder why you say things like that," was all he per- 
mitted himself to say. 

She looked at him with those indifferent eyes of hers. 

"It looks as if you didn't set much store on me," he 

"Why should I?" 

"Xo reason at all." 

He reached over for his paper. 

"You are quick-tempered," she said, when she saw the 
gesture. "You do take offence easily." 

He smiled and looked at her appealingly. 

"Will you do something for me ?" he asked. 

"That depends what it is." 

"Let me walk back to the station with you tonight." 


"I don't mind." 

He went out after tea and went back to his rooms, but 
at eight o'clock, when the shop closed, he was waiting out- 

"You are a caution," she said, when she came out. "I 
don't understand you." 

"I shouldn't have thought it was very difficult," he an- 
swered bitterly. 

"Did any of the girls see you waiting for me ?" 

"I don't know and I don't care." 

"They all laugh at you, you know. They say you're 
spoony on me." 

"Much you care," he muttered. 

"Now then, quarrelsome." 

At the station he took a ticket and said he was going to 
accompany her home. 

"You don't seem to have much to do with your time," 
she said. 

"I suppose I can waste it in my own way." 

They seemed to be always on the verge of a quarrel. The 
fact was that he hated himself for loving her. She seemed 
to be constantly humiliating him, and for each snub that 
he endured he owed her a grudge. But she was in a friendly 
mood that evening, and talkative: she told him that her 
parents were dead ; she gave him to understand that she 
did not have to earn her living, but worked for amuse- 

"My aunt doesn't like my going to business. I can have 
the best of everything at home. I don't want you to think 
I work because I need to." 

Philip knew that she was not speaking the truth. The 
gentility of her class made her use this pretence to avoid 
the stigma attached to earning her living. 

"My family's very well-connected," she said. 

Philip smiled faintly, and she noticed it. 

"What are you laughing at?" she said quickly. "Don't 
you believe I'm telling you the truth?" 

"Of course I do," he answered. 

She looked at him suspiciously, but in a moment could 

348 O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 

not resist the temptation to impress him with the splendour 
of her early days. 

"My father always kept a dog-cart, and we had three 
servants. We had a cook and a housemaid and an odd man. 
We used to grow beautiful roses. People used to stop at 
the gate and ask who the house belonged to, the roses were 
so beautiful. Of course it isn't very nice for me having to 
mix with them girls in the shop, it's not the class of person 
I've been used to, and sometimes I really think I'll give 
up business on that account. It's not the work I mind, don't 
think that ; but it's the class of people I have to mix with." 

They were sitting opposite one another in the train, and 
Philip, listening sympathetically to what she said, was quite 
happy. He was amused at her naivete and slightly touched. 
There was a very faint colour in her cheeks. He was think- 
ing that it would be delightful to kiss the tip of her chin. 

"The moment you come into the shop I saw you was a 
gentleman in every sense of the word. Was your father a 
professional man?" 

"He was a doctor." 

"You can always tell a professional man. There's some- 
thing about them, I don't know what it is, but I know at 

They walked along from the station together. 

"I say, I want you to come and see another play with 
me," he said. 

"I don't mind," she said. 

"You might go so far as to say you'd like to." 


"It doesn't matter. Let's fix a day. Would Saturday 
night suit vou?" 

"Yes, that'll do." 

They made further arrangements, and then found them- 
selves at the corner of the road in which she lived. She 
gave him her hand, and he held it. 

"I say, I do so awfully want to call you Mildred." 

"You may if you like, I don't care." 

"And you'll call me Philip, won't you ?" 

"I will if I can think of it. It seems more natural to call 
you Mr. Carey." 

O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 349 

He drew her slightly towards him, but she leaned back. 
"What are you doing?" 

"Won't you kiss me good-night ?" he whispered. 
"Impudence !" she said. 

She snatched away her hand and hurried towards her 

Philip bought tickets for Saturday night. It was not one 
of the days on which she got off early and therefore she 
would have no time to go home and change ; but she meant 
to bring a frock up with her in the morning and hurry into 
her clothes at the shop. If the manageress was in a good 
temper she would let her go at seven. Philip had agreed to 
wait outside from a quarter past seven onwards. He looked 
forward to the occasion with painful eagerness, for in the 
cab on the way from the theatre to the station he thought 
she would let him kiss her. The vehicle gave every facility 
for a man to put his arm round a girl's waist, (an advan- 
tage which the hansom had over the taxi of the present 
day,) and the delight of that was worth the cost of the eve- 
ning's entertainment. 

But on Saturday afternoon when he went in to have tea, 
in order to confirm the arrangements, he met the man with 
the fair moustache coming out of the shop. He knew by 
now that he was called Miller. He was a naturalized Ger- 
man, who had anglicised his name, and he had lived many 
years in England. Philip had heard him speak, and, though 
his English was fluent and natural, it had not quite the in- 
tonation of the native. Philip knew that he was flirting with 
Mildred, and he was horribly jealous of him ; but he took 
comfort in the coldness of her temperament, which other- 
wise distressed him; and, thinking her incapable of pas- 
sion, he looked upon his rival as no better off than himself. 
But his heart sank now, for his first thought was that 
Miller's sudden appearance might interfere with the jaunt 
which he had so looked forward to. He entered, sick with 
apprehension. The waitress came up to him, took his order 
for tea, and presently brought it. 

"I'm awfully sorry," she said, with an expression on 


her face of real distress. "I shan't be able to come tonight 
after all." 

"Why?" said Philip. 

"Don't look so stern about it," she laughed. "It's not my 
fault. My aunt was taken ill last night, and it's the girl's 
night out so I must go and sit with her. She can't be teft 
alone, can she?" 

"It doesn't matter. I'll see you home instead." 

"But you've got the tickets. It would be a pity to waste 

He took them out of his pocket and deliberately tore 
them up. 

"What are you doing that for?" 

"You don't suppose I want to go and see a rotten musical 
comedy by myself, do you? I only took seats there for 
your sake." 

"You can't see me home if that's what you mean?" 

"You've made other arrangements." 

"I don't know what you mean by that. You're just as 
selfish as all the rest of them. You only think of your- 
self. It's not my fault if my aunt's queer." 

She quickly wrote out his bill and left him. Philip knew 
very little about women, or he would have been aware that 
one should accept their most transparent lies. He made up 
his mind that he would watch the shop and see for cer- 
tain whether Mildred went out with the German. He had 
an unhappy passion for certainty. At seven he stationed 
himself on the opposite pavement. He looked about for 
Miller, but did not see him. In ten minutes she came out, 
she had on the cloak and shawl which she had worn when 
he took her to the Shaftesbury Theatre. It was obvious 
that she was not going home. She saw him before he had 
time to move away, started a little, and then came straight 
up to him. 

"What are you doing here ?" she said. 

"Taking the air," he answered. 

"You're spying on me, you dirty little cad. I thought 
you was a gentleman." 

"Did you think a gentleman would be likely to take any 
interest in you?" he murmured. 


There was a devil within him which forced him to make 
matters worse. He wanted to hurt her as much as she was 
hurting him. 

"I suppose I can change my mind if I like. I'm not 
obliged to come out with you. I tell you I'm going home, 
and I won't be followed or spied upon." 

"Have you seen Miller today ?" 

"That's no business of yours. In point of fact I haven't, 
so you're wrong again." 

"I saw him this afternoon. He'd just come out of the 
shop when I went in." 

"Well, what if he did? I can go out with him if I want 
to, can't I ? I don't know what you've got to say to it." 

"He's keeping you waiting, isn't he ?" 

"Well, I'd rather wait for him than have you wait for 
me. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. And now p'raps 
you'll go off home and mind your own business in future." 

His mood changed suddenly from anger to despair, and 
his voice trembled when he spoke. 

"I say, don't be beastly with me, Mildred. You know 
I'm awfully fond of you. I think I love you with all my 
heart. Won't you change your mind? I was looking for- 
ward to this evening so awfully. You see, he hasn't come, 
and he can't care twopence about you really. Won't you 
dine with me ? I'll get some more tickets, and we'll go any- 
where you like." 

"I tell you I won't. It's no good you talking. I've made 
up my mind, and when I make up my mind I keep to it." 

He looked at her for a moment. His heart was torn with 
anguish. People were hurrying past them on the pavement, 
and cabs and omnibuses rolled by noisily. He saw that Mil- 
dred's eyes were wandering. She was afraid of missing 
Miller in the crowd. 

"I can't go on like this," groaned Philip. "It's too de- 
grading. If I go now I go for good. Unless you'll come 
with me tonight you'll never see me again." 

"You seem to think that'll be an awful thing for me. All 
I say is, good riddance to bad rubbish." 

"Then good-bye." 

He nodded and limped away slowly, for he hoped with 


all his heart that she would call him back. At the next 
lamp-post he stopped and looked over his shoulder. He 
thought she might beckon to him he was willing to for- 
get everything, he was ready for any humiliation but she 
had turned away, and apparently had ceased to trouble 
*bout him. He realised that she was glad to be quit of him. 


PHILIP passed the evening wretchedly. He had told his 
landlady that he would not be in, so there was nothing for 
him to eat, and he had to go to Gatti's for dinner. After- 
wards he went back to his rooms, but Griffiths on the floor 
above him was having a party, and the noisy merriment 
made his own misery more hard to bear. He went to a 
music-hall, but it was Saturday night and there was 
standing-room only: after half an hour of boredom his 
legs gew tired and he went home. He tried to read, but. 
ne could not fix his attention ; and yet it was necessary that 
he should work hard. His examination in biology was in 
little more than a fortnight, and, though it was easy, he 
had neglected his lectures of late and was conscious that 
he knew nothing. It was only a viva, however, and he felt 
sure that in a fortnight he could find out enough about the 
subject to scrape through. He had confidence in his intel- 
ligence. He threw aside his book and gave himself up to 
thinking deliberately of the matter which was in his mind 
all the time. 

He reproached himself bitterly for his behaviour that 
evening. Why had he given her the alternative that she 
must dine with him or else never see him again? Of 
course she refused. He should have allowed for her pride. 
He had burnt his ships behind him. It would not be so 
hard to bear if he thought that she was suffering now, but 
he knew her too well : she was perfectly indifferent to him. 
If he hadn't been a fool he would have pretended to believe 
her story ; he ought to have had the strength to conceal his 
disappointment and the self-control to master his temper. 
He could not tell why he loved her. He had read of the 
idealisation that takes place in love, but he saw her exactly 
as she was. She was not amusing or clever, her mind was 
common ; she had a vulgar shrewdness which revolted him, 
she had no gentleness nor softness. As she would have put 



it herself, she was on the make. What aroused her admira- 
tion was a clever trick played on an unsuspecting person ; 
to 'do' somebody always gave her satisfaction. Philip 
laughed savagely as he thought of her gentility and the 
refinement with which she ate her food ; she could not bear 
a coarse word, so far as her limited vocabulary reached she 
had a passion for euphemisms, and she scented indecency 
everywhere; she never spoke of trousers but referred to 
them as nether garments ; she thought it slightly indelicate 
to blow her nose and did it in a deprecating way. She was 
dreadfully anaemic and suffered from the dyspepsia which 
accompanies that ailing. Philip was repelled by her flat 
breast and narrow hips, and he hated the vulgar way in 
which she did her hair. He loathed and despised himself 
for loving her. 

The fact remained that he was helpless. He felt just as 
he had felt sometimes in the hands of a bigger boy at 
school. He had struggled against the superior strength till 
his own strength was gone, and he was rendered quite 
powerless he remembered the peculiar languor he had felt 
in his limbs, almost as though he were paralysed so that 
he could not help himself at all. He might have been dead. 
He felt just that same weakness now. He loved the woman 
so that he knew he had never loved before. He did not 
mind her faults of person or of character, he thought he 
loved them too: at all events they meant nothing to him. 
It did not seem himself that was concerned; he felt that 
he had been seized by some strange force that moved him 
against his will, contrary to his interests; and because he 
had a passion for freedom he hated the chains which bound 
him. He laughed at himself when he thought how often 
he had longed to experience the overwhelming passion. He 
cursed himself because he had given way to it. He thought 
of tlie beginnings; nothing of all this would have hap- 
pened if he had not gone into the shop with Dunsford. The 
whole thing was his own fault. Except for his ridiculous 
vanity he would never have troubled himself with the ill- 
mannered slut. 

At all events the occurrences of that evening had fin- 
ished the whole affair. Unless he was lost to all sense of 


shame he could not go back. He wanted passionately to 
get rid of the love that obsessed him ; it was degrading and 
hateful. He must prevent himself from thinking of her. In 
a little while the anguish he suffered must grow less. His 
mind went back to the past. He wondered whether Emily 
Wilkinson and Fanny Price had endured on his account 
anything like the torment that he suffered now. He felt 
a pang of remorse. 

"I didn't know then what it was like," he said to him- 

He slept very badly. The next day was Sunday, and he 
worked at his biology. He sat with the book in front of 
him, forming the words with his lips in order to fix his 
attention, but he could remember nothing. He found his 
thoughts going back to Mildred every minute, and he re- 
peated to himself the exact words of the quarrel they had 
had. He had to force himself back to his book. He went 
out for a walk. The streets on the South side of the river 
were dingy enough on week-days, but there was an energy, 
a coming and going, which gave them a sordid vivacity; 
but on Sundays, with no shops open, no carts in the road- 
way, silent and depressed, they were indescribably dreary. 
Philip thought that day would never end. But he was so 
tired that he slept heavily, and when Monday came he 
entered upon life with determination. Christmas was ap- 
proaching, and a good many of the students had gone into 
the country for the short holiday between the two parts 
of the winter session; but Philip had refused his uncle's 
invitation to go down to Blackstable. He had given the 
approaching examination as his excuse, but in point of fact 
he had been unwilling to leave London and Mildred. He 
had neglected his work so much that now he had only a 
fortnight to learn what the curriculum allowed three 
months for. He set to work seriously. He found it easier 
each day not to think of Mildred. He congratulated him- 
self on his force of character. The pain he suffered was 
no longer anguish, but a sort of soreness, like what one 
might be expected to feel if one had been thrown off a 
horse and, though no bones were broken, were bruised 
all over and shaken. Philip found that he was able to ob- 

356 O F H U M A N B O X D A G E 

serve with curiosity the condition he had been in during 
the last few weeks. He analysed his feelings with interest. 
He was a little amused at himself. One thing that struck 
him was how little under those circumstances it mattered 
what one thought ; the system of personal philosophy, 
which had given him great satisfaction to devise, had not 
served him. He was puzzled by this. 

But sometimes in the street he would see a girl who 
looked so like Mildred that his heart seemed to stop beat- 
ing. Then he could not help himself, he hurried on to 
catch her up, eager and anxious, only to find that it was 
a total stranger. Men came back from the country, and 
he went with Dunsford to have tea at an A. B. C. shop. 
The well-known uniform made him so miserable that he 
could not speak. The thought came to him that perhaps she 
had been transferred to another establishment of the firm 
for which she worked, and he might suddenly find himself 
face to face with her. The idea filled him with panic, so 
that he feared Dunsford would see that something was 
the matter with him : he could not think of anything to say ; 
he pretended to listen to what Dunsford was talking about ; 
the conversation maddened him ; and it was all he could 
do to prevent himself from crying out to Dunsford for 
Heaven's sake to hold his tongue. 

Then came the day of his examination. Philip, when 
his turn arrived, went forward to the examiner's table 
with the utmost confidence. He answered three or four 
questions. Then they showed him various specimens; he 
had been to very few lectures and, as soon as he was 
asked about things which he could not learn from books, 
he was floored. He did what he could to hide his ignorance, 
the examiner did not insist, and soon his ten minutes were 
over. He felt certain he had passed; but next day, when 
he went up to the examination buildings to see the result 
posted on the door, he was astounded not to find his num- 
ber among those who had satisfied the examiners. In 
amazement he read the list three times. Dunsford was 
with him. 

"I say, I'm awfully sorry you're ploughed," he said. 


He had just inquired Philip's number. Philip turned 
and saw by his radiant face that Dunsford had passed. 

"Oh, it doesn't matter a bit," said Philip. "I'm jolly 
glad you're all right. I shall go up again in July." 

He was very anxious to pretend he did not mind, and 
on their way back along The Embankment insisted on talk- 
ing of indifferent things. Dunsford good-naturedly wanted 
to discuss the causes of Philip's failure, but Philip was 
obstinately casual. He was horribly mortified ; and the fact 
that Dunsford, whom he looked upon as a very pleasant 
but quite stupid fellow, had passed made his own rebuff 
harder to bear. He had always been proud of his intelli- 
gence, and now he asked himself desperately whether he 
was not mistaken in the opinion he held of himself. In 
the three months of the winter session the students who 
had joined in October had already shaken down into 
groups, and it was clear which were brilliant, which were 
clever or industrious, and which were 'rotters.' Philip was 
conscious that his failure was a surprise to no one but 
himself. It was tea-time, and he knew that a lot of men 
would be having tea in the basement of the Medical 
School: those who had passed the examination would be 
exultant, those who disliked him would look at him with 
satisfaction, and the poor devils who had failed would 
sympathise with him in order to receive sympathy. His 
instinct was not to go near the hospital for a week, when 
the affair would be no more thought of, but, because he 
hated so much to go just then, he went: he wanted to 
inflict suffering upon himself. He forgot for the moment 
his maxim of life to follow his inclinations with due re- 
gard for the policeman round the corner; or, if he acted 
in accordance with it, there must have been some strange 
morbidity in his nature which made him take a grim pleas- 
ure in self-torture. 

But later on, when he had endured the ordeal to which 
he forced himself, going out into the night after the noisy 
conversation in the smoking-room, he was seized with a 
feeling of utter loneliness. He seemed to himself absurd 
and futile. He had an urgent need of consolation, and the 


temptation to see Mildred was irresistible. He thought 
bitterly that there was small chance of consolation from 
her; but he wanted to see her even if he did not speak to 
her ; after all, she was a waitress and would be obliged to 
serve him. She was the only person in the world he cared 
for. There was no use in hiding that fact from himself. 
Of course it would be humiliating to go back to the shop 
as though nothing had happened, but he had not much self- 
respect left. Though he would not confess it to himself, 
he had hoped each day that she would write to him ; she 
knew that a letter addressed to the hospital would find 
him ; but she had not written : it was evident that she cared 
nothing if she saw him again or not. And he kept on 
repeating to himself : 

"I must see her. I must see her." 

The desire was so great that he could not give the time 
necessary to walk, but jumped in a cab. He was too thrifty 
to use one when it could possibly be avoided. He stood 
outside the shop for a minute or two. The thought came to 
him that perhaps she had left, and in terror he walked 
in quickly. He saw her at once. He sat down and she came 
up to him. 

"A cup of tea and a muffin, please," he ordered. 

He could hardly speak. He was afraid for a moment 
that he was going to cry. 

"I almost thought you was dead," she said. 

She was smiling. Smiling! She seemed to have forgot- 
ten completely that last scene which Philip had repeated 
to himself a hundred times. 

"I thought if you'd wanted to see me you'd write," he 

"I've got too much to do to think about writing letters." 

It seemed impossible for her to say a gracious thing. 
Philip cursed the fate which chained him to such a woman. 
She went away to fetch his tea. 

"Would you like me to sit down for a minute or two?" 
she said, when she brought it. 


"Where have you been all this time?" 

"I've been in London." 


"I thought you'd gone away for the holidays. Why 
haven't you been in then?" 

Philip looked at her with haggard, passionate eyes. 

"Don't you remember that I said I'd never sec you 
again ?" 

"What are you doing now then ?" 

She seemed anxious to make him drink up the cup of his 
humiliation; but he knew her well enough to know that 
she spoke at random ; she hurt him frightfully, and never 
even tried to. He did not answer. 

"It was a nasty trick you played on me, spying on me 
like that. I always thought you was a gentleman in every 
sense of the word." 

"Don't be beastly to me, Mildred. I can't bear it." 

"You are a funny feller. I can't make you out." 

"It's very simple. I'm such a blasted fool as to love you 
with all my heart and soul, and I know that you don't 
care twopence for me." 

"If you had been a gentleman I think you'd have come 
next day and begged my pardon." 

She had no mercy. He looked at her neck and thought 
how he would like to jab it with the knife he had for his 
muffin. He knew enough anatomy to make pretty certain 
of getting the carotid artery. And at the same time he 
wanted to cover her pale, thin face with kisses. 

"If I could only make you understand how frightfully 
I'm in love with you." 

"You haven't begged my pardon yet." 

He grew very white. She felt that she had done nothing 
wrong on that occasion. She wanted him now to humble 
himself. He was very proud. For one instant he felt 
inclined to tell her to go to hell, but he dared not. His pas- 
sion made him abject. He was willing to submit to any- 
thing rather than not see her. 

"I'm very sorry, Mildred. I beg your pardon." 

He had to force the words out. It was a horrible effort. 

"Now you've said that I don't mind telling you that I 
wish I had come out with you that evening. I thought 
Miller was a gentleman, but I've discovered my mistake 
now. I soon sent him about his business." 


Philip gave a little gasp. 

"Mildred, won't you come out with me tonight? Let's 
go and dine somewhere." 

"Oh, I can't. My aunt'll be expecting me home." 

"I'll send her a wire. You can say you've been detained 
ri the shop ; she won't know any better. Oh, do come, for 
God's sake. I haven't seen you for so long, and I want to 
talk to you." 

She looked down at her clothes. 

"Never mind about that. We'll go somewhere where it 
doesn't matter how you're dressed. And we'll go to a 
music-hall afterwards. Please say yes. It would give me so 
much pleasure." 

She hesitated a moment ; he looked at her with pitifully 
appealing eyes. 

"Well, I don't mind if I do. I haven't been out anywhere 
since I don't know how long." 

It was with the greatest difficulty he could prevent him- 
self from seizing her hand there and then to cover it with 


THEY dined in Soho. Philip was tremulous with joy. It 
was not one of the more crowded of those cheap restau- 
rants where the respectable and needy dine in the belief 
that it is bohemian and the assurance that it is economical. 
It was a humble establishment, kept by a good man from 
Rouen and his wife, that Philip had discovered by acci- 
dent. He had been attracted by the Gallic look of the win- 
dow, in which was generally an uncooked steak on one 
plate and on each side two dishes of raw vegetables. There 
was one seedy French waiter, who was attempting to learn 
English in a house where he never heard anything but 
French; and the customers were a few ladies of easy 
virtue, a menage or two, who had their own napkins re- 
served for them, and a few queer men who came in for 
hurried, scanty meals. 

Here Mildred and Philip were able to get a table to 
themselves. Philip sent the waiter for a bottle of Burgundy 
from the neighbouring tavern, and they had a potage aux 
herbes, a steak from the window aux pommes, and an 
omelette au kirsch. There was really an air of romance in 
the meal and in the place. Mildred, at first a little reserved 
in her appreciation "I never quite trust these foreign 
places, you never know what there is in these messed up 
dishes" was insensibly moved by it. 

"I like this place, Philip," she said. "You feel you can 
put your elbows on the table, don't you?" 

A tall fellow came in, with a mane of gray hair and a 
ragged thin beard. He wore a dilapidated cloak and a 
wide-awake hat. He nodded to Philip, who had met him 
there before. 

"He looks like an anarchist," said Mildred. 

"He is, one of the most dangerous in Europe. He's been 
in every prison on the Continent aiid has assassinated more 
persons than any gentleman unhung. He always goes about 



with a bomb in his pocket, and of course it makes conver- 
sation a little difficult because if you don't agree with him 
he lays it on the table in a marked manner." 

She looked at the man with horror and surprise, and 
then glanced suspiciously at Philip. She saw that his eyes 
were laughing. She frowned a little. 

"You're getting at me." 

He gave a little shout of joy. He was so happy. But 
Mildred didn't like being laughed at. 

"I don't see anything funny in telling lies." 

"Don't be cross." 

He took her hand, which was lying on the table, and 
pressed it gently. 

"You are lovely, and I could kiss the ground you walk 
on," he said. 

The greenish pallor of her skin intoxicated him, and her 
thin white lips had an extraordinary fascination. Her 
anaemia made her rather short of breath, and she held her 
mouth slightly open. It seemed to add somehow to the 
attractiveness of her face. 

"You do like me a bit, don't you?" he asked. 

"Well, if I didn't I suppose I shouldn't be here, should 
I? You're a gentleman in every sense of the word, I will 
say that for you." 

They had finished their dinner and were drinking coffee. 
Philip, throwing economy to the winds, smoked a three- 
penny cigar. 

"You can't imafine what a pleasure it is to me just to sit 
opposite and look at you. I've yearned for you. I was sick 
for a sight of you." 

Mildred sinilea a little and faintly flushed. She was not 
then suffering from the dyspepsia which generally attacked 
her immediately after a meal. She felt more kindly dis- 
posed to Philip than ever before, and the unaccustomed 
tenderness in her eyes filled him with joy. He knew in- 
stinctively that it was madness to give himself into her 
hands ; his only chance was to treat her casually and never 
allow her to see the untamed passions that seethed in his 
breast ; she would only take advantage of his weakness ; 
but he could not be prudent now : he told her all the agony 


he had endured during the separation from her; he told 
her of his struggles with himself, how he had tried to get 
over his passion, thought he had succeeded, and how he 
found out that it was as strong as ever. He knew that he 
had never really wanted to get over it. He loved her so 
much that he did not mind suffering. He bared his heart to 
her. He showed her proudly all his weakness. 

Nothing would have pleased him more than to sit on in 
the cosy, shabby restaurant, but he knew that Mildred 
wanted entertainment. She was restless and, wherever she 
was, wanted after a while to go somewhere else. He dared 
not bore her. 

"I say, how about going to a music-hall?" he said. 

He thought rapidly that if she cared for him at all she 
would say she preferred to stay there. 

"I was just thinking we ought to be going if we are 
going," she answered. 

"Come on then." 

Philip waited impatiently for the end of the perform- 
ance. He had made up his mind exactly what to do, and 
when they got into the cab he passed his arm, as though 
almost by accident, round her waist. But he drew it back 
quickly with a little cry. He had pricked himself. She 

"There, that comes of putting your arm where it's got 
no business to be," she said. "I always know when men 
try and put their arm round my waist. That pin always 
catches them." 

"I'll be more careful." 

He put his arm round again. She made no objection. 

"I'm so comfortable," he sighed blissfully. 

"So long as you're happy," she retorted. 

They drove down St. James' Street into the Park, and 
Philip quickly kissed her. He was strangely afraid of her, 
and it required all his courage. She turned her lips to him 
without speaking. She neither seemed to mind nor to like 

"If you only knew how long I've wanted to do that," 
he murmured. 


He tried to kiss her again, but she turned her head away. 

"Once is enough." she said. 

On the chance of kissing her a second time he travelled 
down to Herne Hill with her, and at the end of the road 
in which she lived he asked her: 

"Won't you give me another kiss?" 

She looked at him indifferently and then glanced up the 
road to see that no one was in sight. 

"I don't mind." 

He seized her in his arms and kissed her passionately, 
tmt she pushed him away. 

"Mind my hat, silly. You are clumsy," she said. 


HE saw her then every day. He began going to lunch 
at the shop, but Mildred stopped him: she said it made 
the girls talk ; so he had to content himself with tea ; but 
he always waited about to walk with her to the station ; 
and once or twice a week they dined together. He gave 
her little presents, a gold bangle, gloves, handkerchiefs, 
and the like. He was spending more than he could afford, 
but he could not help it: it was only when he gave her 
anything that she showed any affection. She knew the price 
of everything, and her gratitude was in exact proportion 
with the value of his gift. He did not care. He was too 
happy when she volunteered to kiss him to mind by what 
means he got her demonstrativeness. He discovered that 
she fourfd Sundays at home tedious, so he went down to 
Herne Hill in the morning, met her at the end of the 
road, and went to church with her. 

"I always like to go to church once," she said. "It looks 
well, doesn't it?" 

Then she went back to dinner, he got a scrappy meal 
at a hotel, and in the afternoon they took a walk in Brock- 
well Park. They had nothing much to say to one another, 
and Philip, desperately afraid she was bored, (she was 
very easily bored,) racked his brain for topics of conver- 
sation. He realised that these walks amused neither of 
them, but he could not bear to leave her, and did all he 
could to lengthen them till she became tired and out of 
temper. He knew that she did not care for him, and he 
tried to force a love which his reason told him was not in 
her nature : she was cold. He had no claim on her, but he 
could not help being exacting. Now that they were more 
intimate he found it less easy to control his temper; he 
was often irritable and could not help saying bitter things. 
Often they quarrelled, and she would not speak to him for 
a while ; but this always reduced him to subjection, and 



he crawled before her. He was angry with himself for 
showing so little dignity. He grew furiously jealous if he 
saw her speaking to any other man in the shop, and when 
he was jealous he seemed to be beside himself. He would 
deliberately insult her, leave the shop and spend after- 
wards a sleepless night tossing on his bed, by turns angry 
and remorseful. Next day he would go to the shop and 
appeal for forgiveness. 

"Don't be angry with me," he said. "I'm so awfully 
fond of you that I can't help myself." 

"One of these days you'll go too far," she answered. 

He was anxious to come to her home in order that the 
greater intimacy should give him an advantage over the 
stray acquaintances she made during her working-hours; 
but she would not let him. 

"My aunt would think it so funny," she said. 

He suspected that her refusal was due only to a dis- 
inclination to let him see her aunt. Mildred had repre- 
sented her as the widow of a professional man, (that was 
her formula of distinction,) and was uneasily conscious 
that the good woman could hardly be called distinguished. 
Philip imagined that she was in point of fact the widow 
of a small tradesman.. He knew that Mildred was a snob. 
But he found no means by which he could indicate to her 
that he did not mind how common the aunt was. \ 

Their worst quarrel took place one evening at dinner 
when she told him that a man had asked her to go to a 
play with him. Philip turned pale, and his face grew hard 
and stern. 

"You're not going?" he said. 

"Why shouldn't I? He's a very nice gentlemanly fel- 

"I'll take you anywhere you like." 

"But that isn't the same thing. I can't always go about 
with you. Besides he's asked me to fix my own day, and 
I'll just go one evening when I'm not going out with you. 
It won't make any difference to you." 

"If you had any sense of decency, if you had any grati- 
tude, you wouldn't dream of going." 

"I don't know what you mean by gratitude. If you're 


referring to the things you've given me you can have them 
back. I don't want them." 

Her voice had the shrewish tone it sometimes got. 

"It's not very lively, always going about with you. It's 
always do you love me, do you love me, till I just get 
about sick of it." 

(He knew it was madness to go on asking her that, but 
he could not help himself. 

"Oh, I like you all right," she would answer. 

"Is that all ? I love you with all my heart." 

"I'm not that sort, I'm not one to say much." 

"If you knew how happy just one word would make 

"Well, what I always say is, people must take me as 
they find me, and if they don't like it they can lump it." 

But sometimes she expressed herself more plainly still, 
and, when he asked the question, answered : 

"Oh, don't go on at that again." 

Then he became sulky and silent. He hated her.) 

And now he said : 

"Oh, well, if you feel like that about it I wonder you 
condescend to come out with me at all." 

"It's not my seeking, you can be very sure of that, you 
just force me to." 

His pride was bitterly hurt, and he answered madly. 

"You think I'm just good enough to stand you dinners 
and theatres when there's no one else to do it, and when 
someone else turns up I can go to hell. Thank you, I'm 
about sick of being made a convenience." 
* "I'm not going to be talked to like that by anyone. I'll 
just show you how much I want your dirty dinner." 

She got up, put on her jacket, and walked quickly out 
of the restaurant. Philip sat on. He determined he would 
not move, bub ten minutes afterwards he jumped in a cab 
and followed her. He guessed that she would take a 'bus 
to Victoria, so that they would arrive about the same time. 
He saw her on the platform, escaped her notice, and went 
down to Herne Hill in the same train. He did not want to 
speak to her till she was on the way home and could not 
escape him. 

$68 O F H U M A X B O N D A G E 

As soon as she had turned out of the main street, 
brightly lit and noisy with traffic, he caught her up. 

"Mildred," he called. 

She walked on and would neither look at him nor an- 
swer. He repeated her name. Then she stopped and faced 

"What d'you want? I saw you hanging about Victoria. 
Why don't you leave me alone ?" 

"I'm awfully sorry. Won't you make it up?" 

"No. I'm sick of your temper and your jealousy. I don't 
care for you, I never have cared for you, and I never shall 
care for you. I don't want to have anything more to do 
with you." 

She walked on quickly, and he had to hurry to keep 
up with her. 

"You never make allowances for me," he said. "It's all 
very well to be jolly and amiable when you're indifferent 
to anyone. It's very hard when you're as much in love as I 
am. Have mercy on me. I don't mind that you don't care 
for me. After all you can't help it. I only want you to let 
me love you." 

She walked on, refusing to speak, and Philip saw with 
agony that they had only a few hundred yards to go before 
they reached her house. He abased himself. He poured out 
an incoherent story of love and penitence. 

"If you'll only forgive me this time I promise you you'll 
never have to complain of me in future. You can go out 
with whoever you choose. I'll be only too glad if you'll 
come with me when you've got nothing better to do." 

She stopped again, for they had reached the corner at 
which he always left her. 

"Now you can take yourself off I won't have you com- 
ing up to the door." 

"I won't go till you say you'll forgive me." 

"I'm sick and tired of the whole thing." 

He hesitated a moment, for he had an instinct that he 
irould say something that would move her. It made him 
leel almost sick to utter the words. 

"It is cruel, I have so much to put up with. You don't 


know what it is to be a cripple. Of course you don't like 
me. I can't expect you to." 

"Philip, I didn't mean that," she answered quickly, with 
a sudden break of pity in her voice. "You know it's not 

He was beginning to act now, and his voice was husk) 
and low. 

"Oh, I've felt it," he said. 

She took his hand and looked at him, and her own eyes 
were filled with tears. 

"I promise you it never made any difference to me. I 
never thought about it after the first day or two." 

He kept a gloomy, tragic silence. He wanted her to 
think he was overcome with emotion. 

"You know I like you awfully, Philip. Only you are 
so trying sometimes. Let's make it up." 

She put up her lips to his, and with a sigh of relief he 
kissed her. 

"Now are you happy again?" she asked. 


She bade him good-night and hurried down the road. 
Next day he took her in a little watch with a brooch to pin 
on her dress. She had been hankering for it. 

But three or four days later, when she brought him his 
tea, Mildred said to him : 

''You remember what you promised the other night? 
You mean to keep that, don't you ?" 


He knew exactly what she meant and was prepared 
for her next words. 

"Because I'm going out with that gentleman I told you 
about tonight." 

"All right. I hope you'll enjoy yourself." 

"You don't mind, do you?" 

He had himself now under excellent control. 

"I don't like it," he smiled, "but I'm not going to make 
myself more disagreeable than I can help." 

She was excited over the outing and talked about it 
willingly. Philip wondered whether she did so in order to 
pain him or merely because she was callous. He was in the 


habit of condoning her cruelty by tbe thought of her 
stupidity. She had not the brains to see when she was 
wounding him. 

"It's not much fun to be in love with a girl who has no 
imagination and no sense of humour," he thought, as he 

But the want of these things excused her. He felt that if 
he had not realised this he could never forgive her for the 
pain she caused him. 

"He's got seats for the Tivoli," she said. "He gave me 
my choice and I chose that. And we're going to dine at the 
Cafe Royal. He says it's the most expensive place in Lon- 

"He's a gentleman in every sense of the word," thought 
Philip, but he clenched his teeth to prevent himself from 
uttering a syllable. 

Philip went to the Tivoli and saw Mildred with her 
companion, a smooth-faced young man with sleek hair and 
the spruce look of a commercial traveller, sitting in the 
second row of the stalls. Mildred wore a black picture 
hat with ostrich feathers in it, which became her well. She 
was listening to her host with that quiet smile which Philip 
knew ; she had no vivacity of expression, and it required 
broad farce to excite her laughter; but Philip could see 
that she was interested and amused. He thought to himself 
bitterly that her companion, flashy and jovial, exactly 
suited her. Her sluggish temperament made her appreciate 
noisy people. Philip had a passion for discussion, but no 
talent for small-talk. He admired the easy drollery of 
which some of his friends were masters, Lawson for in- 
stance, and his sense of inferiority made him shy and 
awkward. The things which interested him bored Mildred. 
She expected men to talk about football and racing, and 
he knew nothing of either. He did not know the catch- 
words which only need be said to excite a laugh. 

Printed matter had always been a fetish to Philip, and 
now, in order to make himself more interesting, he read 
industriously The Sporting Times. 


PHILIP did not surrender himself willingly to the pas- 
sion that consumed him. He knew that all things human 
are transitory and therefore that it must cease one day or 
another. He looked forward to that day with eager long- 
ing. Love was like a parasite in his heart, nourishing a 
hateful existence on his life's blood ; it absorbed his exis- 
tence so intensely that he could take pleasure in nothing 
else. He had been used to delight in the grace of St. James' 
Park, and often he sat and looked at the branches of a 
tree silhouetted against the sky, it was like a Japanese 
print; and he found a continual magic in the beautiful 
Thames with its barges and its wharfs; the changing sky 
of London had filled his soul with pleasant fancies. But 
now beauty meant nothing to him. He was bored and rest- 
less when he was not with Mildred. Sometimes he thought 
he would console his sorrow by looking at pictures, but 
he walked through the National Gallery like a sight-seer; 
and no picture called up in him a thrill of emotion. He 
wondered if he could ever care again for all the things 
he had Icved. He had been devoted to reading, but now 
books were meaningless; and he spent his spare hours in 
the smoking-room of the hospital club, turning over in- 
numerable periodicals. This love was a torment, and he 
resented bitterly the subjugation in which it held him ; he 
was a prisoner and he longed for freedom. 

Sometimes he awoke in the morning and felt nothing; 
his soul leaped, for he thought he was free ; he loved no 
longer; but in a little while, as he grew wide awake, the 
pain settled in his heart, and he knew that he was not 
cured yet. Though he yearned for Mildred so madly he 
despised her. He thought to himself that there could be no 
greater torture in the world than at the same time to love 
and to contemn. 

Philip, burrowing as was his habit into the state of his 



feelings, discussing with himself continually his condition, 
came to the conclusion that he could only cure himself of 
his degrading passion by making Mildred his mistress. It 
was sexual hunger that he suffered from, and if he could 
satisfy this he might free himself from the intolerable 
chains that bound him. He knew that Mildred did not care 
for him at all in that way. When he kissed her passionately 
she withdrew herself from him with instinctive distaste. 
She had no sensuality. Sometimes he had tried to make 
her jealous by talking of adventures in Paris, but they did 
not interest her ; once or twice he had sat at other tables 
in the tea-shop and affected to flirt with the waitress who 
attended them, but she was entirely indifferent. He could 
see that it was no pretence on her part. 

"You didn't mind my not sitting at one of your tables 
this afternoon?" he asked once, when he was walking to 
the station with her. "Yours seemed to be all full." 

This was not a fact, but she did not contradict him. 
Even if his desertion meant nothing to her he would have 
been grateful if she had pretended it did. A reproach 
would have been balm to his soul. 

"I think it's silly of you to sit at the same table every 
day. You ought to give the other girls a turn now and 

But the more he thought of it the more he was con- 
vinced that complete surrender on her part was his only 
way to freedom. He was like a knight of old, meta- 
morphosed by magic spells, who sought the potions which 
should restore him to his fair and proper form. Philip had 
only one hope. Mildred greatly desired to go to Paris. To 
her, as to most English people, it was the centre of gaiety 
and fashion : she had heard of the Magasin du Louvre, 
where you could get the very latest thing for about half 
the price you had to pay in London ; a friend of hers had 
passed her honeymoon in Paris and had spent all day at the 
Louvre; and she and her husband, my dear, they never 
went to bed till six in the morning all the time they were 
there ; the Moulin Rouge and I don't know what all. Philip 
did not care that if she yielded to his desires it would only 
be the unwilling price she paid for the gratification of her 


wish. He did not care upon what terms he satisfied his 
passion. He had even had a mad, melodramatic idea to 
drug her. He had plied her with liquor in the hope of ex- 
citing her, but she had no taste for wine ; and though she 
liked him to order champagne because it looked well, she 
never drank more than half a glass. She liked to leave 
untouched a large glass filled to the brim. 

"It shows the waiters who you are," she said. 

Philip chose an opportunity when she seemed more 
than usually friendly. He had an examination in anatomy 
at the end of March. Easter, which came a week later, 
would give Mildred three whole days holiday. 

"I say, why don't you come over to Paris then?" he 
suggested. "We'd have such a ripping time." 

"How could you ? It would cost no end of money." 

Philip had thought of that. It would cost at least five- 
and-twenty pounds. It was a large sum to him. He was 
willing to spend his last penny on her. 

"What does that matter? Say you'll come, darling." 

"What next, I should like to know. I can't see myself 
going away with a man that I wasn't married to. You 
oughtn't to suggest such a thing." 

"What does it matter?" 

He enlarged on the glories of the Rue de la Paix and the 
garish splendour of the Folies Bergeres. He described the 
Louvre and the Bon Marche. He told her about the Caba- 
ret du Neant, the Abbaye, and the various haunts to which 
foreigners go. He painted in glowing colours the side of 
Paris which he despised. He pressed her to come with him. 

"You know, you say you love me, but if you really loved 
me you'd want to marry me. You've never asked me to 
marry you." 

"You know I can't afford it. After all, I'm in my first 
year, I shan't earn a penny for six years." 

"Oh, I'm not blaming you. I wouldn't marry you if you 
went down on your bended knees to me." 

He had thought of marriage more than once, but it was 
a step from which he shrank. In Paris he had come by the 
opinion that marriage was a ridiculous institution of tbs 
philistines. He knew also that a permanent tie would ruin 


him. He had middle-class instincts, and it seemed a dread- 
ful thing to him to marry a waitress. A common wife 
would prevent him from getting a decent practice. Besides, 
he had only just enough money to last him till he was 
qualified; he could not keep a wife even if they arranged 
not to have children. He thought of Cronshaw bound to 
a vulgar slattern, and he shuddered with dismay. He fore- 
saw what Mildred, with her genteel ideas and her mean 
mind, would become : it was impossible for htm to marry 
her. But he decided only with his reason ; he felt that he 
must have her whatever happened ; and if he could not get 
her without marrying her he would do that; the future 
could look after itself. It might end in disaster; he did 
not care. When he got hold of an idea it obsessed him, he 
could think of nothing else, and he had a more than com- 
mon power to persuade himself of the reasonableness of 
what he wished to do. He found himself overthrowing all 
the sensible arguments which had occurred to him against 
marriage. Each day he found that he was more passion- 
ately devoted to her ; and his unsatisfied love became angry 
and resentful. 

"By George, if I marry her I'll make her pay for all 
the suffering I've endured," he said to himself. 

At last he could bear the agony no longer. After din- 
ner one evening in the little restaurant in Soho, to which 
now they often went, he spoke to her. 

"I say, did you mean it the other day that you wouldn't 
marry me if I asked you?" 

"Yes, why not?" 

"Because I can't live without you. I want you with me 
always. I've tried to get over it and I can't. I never shall 
now. I want you to marry me." 

She had read too many novelettes not to know how to 
take such an offer. 

"I'm sure I'm very grateful to you, Philip. I'm very 
much flattered at your proposal." 

"Oh, don't talk rot. You will marry me, won't you?" 

"D'you think we should be happy?" 

"No. But what does that matter?" 


The words were wrung out of him almost against his 
will. They surprised her. 

"Well, you are a funny chap. Why d'you want to marry 
me then? The other day you said you couldn't afford it." 

"I think I've got about fourteen hundred pounds left. 
Two can live just as cheaply as one. That'll keep us till 
I'm qualified and have got through with my hospital ap- 
pointments, and then I can get an assistantship." 

"It means you wouldn't be able to earn anything for 
six years. We should have about four pounds a week to 
live on till then, shouldn't we?" 

"Not much more than three. There are all my fees to 

"And what would you get as an assistant?" 

"Three pounds a week." 

"D'you mean to say you have to work all that time ana 
spend a small fortune just to earn three pounds a week 
at the end of it? I don't see that I should be any better 
off than I am now." 

He was silent for a moment. 

"D'you mean to say you won't marry me?" he asked 
hoarsely. "Does my great love mean nothing to you at all ?" 

"One has to think of oneself in those things, don't one ? 
I shouldn't mind marrying, but I don't want to marry if 
I'm going to be no better off than what I am now. I don't 
see the use of it." 

"If you cared for me you wouldn't think of all that." 

"P'raps not." 

He was silent. He drank a glass of wine in order to get 
rid of the choking in his throat. 

"Look at that girl who's just going out," said Mildred. 
"She got them furs at the Bon Marche at Brixton. I saw 
them in the window last time I went down there." 

Philip smiled grimly. 

"What are you laughing at?" she asked. "It's true. And 
I said to my aunt at the time, I wouldn't buy anything 
that had been in the window like that, for everyone to 
know how much you paid for it." 

"I can't understand you. You make me frightfully un- 


happy, and in the next breath you talk rot that has noth- 
ing to do with what we're speaking about." 

"You are nasty to me," she answered, aggrieved. "I 
can't help noticing those furs, because I said to my 
aunt . . ." 

"I don't care a damn what you said to your aunt," he 
interrupted impatiently. 

"I wish you wouldn't use bad language when you speak 
to me Philip. You know I don't like it." 

Philip smiled a little, but his eyes were wild. He was 
silent for a while. He looked at her sullenly. He hated, 
despised, and loved her. 

"If I had an ounce of sense I'd never see you again," he 
said at last. "If you only knew how heartily I despise my- 
self for loving you!" 

"That's not a very nice thing to say to me," she replied 

"It isn't," he laughed. "Let's go to the Pavilion." 

"That's what's so funny in you, you start laughing just 
when one doesn't expect you to. And if I make you that 
unhappy why d'you want to take me to the Pavilion? I'm 
quite ready to go home." 

"Merely because I'm less unhappy with you than away 
from you." 

"I should like to know what you really think of me." 

He laughed outright. 

"My dear, if you did you'd never speak to me again." 


PHILIP did not pass the examination in anatomy at the 
end of March. He and Dunsford had worked at the sub- 
ject together on Philip's skeleton, asking each other ques- 
tions till both knew by heart every attachment and the 
meaning of every nodule and groove on the human bones ; 
but in the examination room Philip was seized with panic, 
and failed to give right answers to questions from a sud- 
den fear that they might be wrong. He knew he was 
ploughed and did not even trouble to go up to the building 
next day to see whether his number was up. The second 
failure put him definitely among the incompetent and idle 
men of his year. 

He did not care much. He had other things to think of. 
He told himself that Mildred must have senses like any- 
body else, it was only a question of awakening them; he 
had theories about woman, the rip at heart, and thought 
that there must come a time with everyone when she 
would yield to persistence. It was a question of watching 
for the opportunity, keeping his temper, wearing her down 
with small attentions, taking advantage of the physical 
exhaustion which opened the heart to tenderness, making 
himself a refuge from the petty vexations of her work. He 
talked to her of the relations between his friends in Paris 
and the fair ladies they admired. The life he described had 
a charm, an easy gaiety, in which was no grossness. Weav- 
ing into his own recollections the adventures of Mimi and 
Rodolphe, of Musette and the rest of them, he poured into 
Mildred's ears a story of poverty made picturesque by 
song and laughter, of lawless love made romantic by 
beauty and youth. He never attacked her prejudices di- 
rectly, but sought to combat them by the suggestion that 
they were suburban. He never let himself be disturbed by 
her inattention, nor irritated by her indifference. He 
thought he had bored her. By an effort he made himself 



affable and entertaining; he never let himself be angry, he 
never asked for anything, he never complained, he never 
scolded. When she made engagements and broke them, he 
met her next day with a smiling face; when she excused 
herself, he said it did not matter. He never let her see 
that she pained him. He understood that his passionate 
grief had wearied her, and he took care to hide every 
sentiment which could be in the least degree troublesome. 
He was heroic. 

Though she never mentioned the change, for she did not 
take any conscious notice of it, it affected her neverthe- 
less : she became more confidential with him ; she took her 
little grievances to him, and she always had some grievance 
against the manageress of the shop, one of her fellow- 
waitresses, or her aunt ; she was talkative enough now, and 
though she never said anything that was not trivial Philip 
was never tired of listening to her. 

"I like you when you don't want to make love to me," 
she told him once. 

"That's flattering for me," he laughed. 

She did not realise how her words made his heart sink 
nor what an effort it needed for him to answer so lightly. 

"Oh, I don't mind your kissing me now and then. It 
doesn't hurt me and it gives you pleasure." 

Occasionally she went so far as to ask him to take her 
out to dinner, and the offer, coming from her, filled hiir 
with rapture. 

"I wouldn't do it to anyone else," she said, by way of 
apology. "But I know I can with you." 

"You couldn't give me greater pleasure," he smiled. 

She asked him to give her something to eat one eve- 
ning towards the end of April. 

"All right," he said. "Where would you like to go after- 

"Oh, don't let's go anywhere. Let's just sit and talk. 
You don't mind, do you ?" 

"Rather not." 

He thought she must be beginning to care for him. 
Three months before the thought of an evening spent in 
conversation would have bored her to death. It was a fine 


day, and the spring added to Philip's hieh spirits. He was 
content with very little now. 

"I say, won't it be ripping when the summer comes 
along," he said, as they drove along on the top of a 'bus 
to Soho she had herself suggested that they should not 
be so extravagant as to go by cab. "We shall be able to 
spend every Sunday on the River. We'll take our luncheon 
in a basket." 

She smiled slightly, and he was encouraged to take her 
hand. She did not withdraw it. 

"I really think you're beginning to like me a bit," he 

"You are silly, you know I like you, or else I shouldn't 
be here, should I ?" 

They were old customers at the little restaurant in Soho 
by now, and the patronne gave them a smile as they came 
in. The waiter was obsequious. 

"Let me order the dinner tonight," said Mildred. 

Philip, thinking her more enchanting than ever, gave 
her the menu, and she chose her favourite dishes. The 
range was small, and they had eaten many times all that 
the restaurant could provide. Philip was gay. He looked 
into her eyes, and he dwelt on every perfection of her 
pale cheek. When they had finished Mildred by way of 
exception took a cigarette. She smoked very seldom. 

"I don't like to see a lady smoking," she said. 

She hesitated a moment and then spoke. 

"Were you surprised, my asking you to take me out 
and give me a bit of dinner tonight ?" 

"I was delighted." 

"I've got something to say to you, Philip." 

He looked at her quickly, his heart sank, but he had 
trained himself well. 

"Well, fire away," he said, smiling. 

"You're not going to be silly about it, are you? The 
fact is I'm going to get married." 

"Are you?" said Philip. 

He could think of nothing else to say. He had con- 
sidered the possibility often and had imagined to himself 
what he would do and say. He had suffered agonies when 


he thought of the despair he would suffer, he had thought 
of suicide, of the mad passion of anger that would seize 
him ; but perhaps he had too completely anticipated the 
emotion he would experience, so that now he felt merely 
exhausted. He felt as one does in a serious illness when 
the vitality is so low that one is indifferent to the issue 
and wants only to be left alone. 

"You see, I'm getting on," she said. "I'm twenty-four 
and it's time I settled down." 

He was silent. He looked at the patronne sitting behind 
the counter, and his eye dwelt on a red feather one of the 
diners wore in her hat. Mildred was nettled. 

"You might congratulate me," she said. 

"I might, mightn't I ? I can hardly believe it's true. I've 
dreamt it so often. It rather tickles me that I should have 
been so jolly glad that you asked me to take you out to 
dinner. Whom are you going to marry ?" 
"Miller," she answered, with a slight blush. 

"Miller ?" cried Philip, astounded. "But you've not seen 
him for months." 

"He came in to lunch one day last week and asked me 
then. He's earning very good money. He makes seven 
pounds a week now and he's got prospects." 

Philip was silent again. He remembered that she had 
always liked Miller; he amused her; there was in his 
foreign birth an exotic charm which she felt uncon- 

"I suppose it was inevitable," he said at last. "You were 
bound to accept the highest bidder. When are you going to 
marry ?" 

"On Saturday next. I have given notice." 

Philip felt a sudden pang. 

"As soon as that?" 

"We're going to be married at a registry office. Emil 
prefers it." 

Philip felt dreadfully tired. He wanted to get away from 
her. He thought he would go straight to bed. He called 
for the bill. 

"I'll put you in a cab and send you down to Victoria. 
1 daresay you won't have to wait long for a train." 


''Won't you come with me?" 
"I think I'd rather not if you don't mind." 
"It's just as you please," she answered haughtily. "1 
suppose I shall see you at tea-time tomorrow ?" 

"No, I think we'd better make a full stop now. I don't 
see why I should go on making myself unhappy. I've paid 
the cab." 

He nodded to her and forced a .imile on his lips, then 
jumped on a 'bus and made his way home. He smoked a 
pipe before he went to bed, but he could hardly keep his 
eyes open. He suffered no pain. He fell into a heavy sleep 
almost as soon as his head touched the pillow. 


Bur about three in the morning Philip awoke and could 
not sleep again. He began to think of Mildred. He tried 
not to, but could not help himself. He repeated to himself 
the same thing time after time till his brain reeled. It was 
inevitable that she should marry: life was hard for a girl 
who had to earn her own living; and if she found some- 
one who could give her a comfortable home she should not 
be blamed if she accepted. Philip acknowledged that from 
her point of view it would have been madness to marry 
him : only love could have made such poverty bearable, 
and she did not love him. It was no fault of hers ; it was a 
fact that must be accepted like any other. Philip tried to 
reason with himself. He told himself" fliat deep down in 
his heart was mortified pride ; his passion had begun in 
wounded vanity, and it was this at bottom which caused 
now great part of his wretchedness. He despised himself 
as much as he despised her. Then he made plans for the 
future, the same plans over and over again, interrupted 
by recollections of kisses on her soft pale cheek and by 
the sound of her voice with its trailing accent ; he had a 
great deal of work to do, since in the summer he was 
taking Chemistry as well as the two examinations he had 
failed in. He had separated himself from his friends at the 
hospital, but now he wanted companionship. There was 
one happy occurrence : Hay ward a fortnight before had 
written to say that he was passing through London and 
had asked him to dinner ; but Philip, unwilling to be 
bothered, had refused. He was coming back for the season, 
and Philip made up his mind to write to him. 

He was thankful when eight o'clock struck and he could 
get up. He was pale and weary. But when he had bathed, 
dressed, and had breakfast, he felt himself joined up again 
with the world at large ; and his pain was a little easier to 
bear. He did not feel like going to lectures that morning, 



but went instead to the Army and Navy Stores to buy Mil- 
dred a vi, edding-present. After much wavering he settled 
on a dressing-bag. It cost twenty pounds, which was much 
more than he could afford, but it was showy and vulgar: 
he knew she would be aware exactly how much it cost ; he 
got a melancholy satisfaction in choosing a gift which 
would give her pleasure and at the same time indicate for 
himself the contempt he had for her. 

Philip had looked forward with apprehension to the day 
on which Mildred was to be married ; he was expecting an 
intolerable anguish; and it was with relief that he got a 
letter from Hay ward on Saturday morning to say that he 
was coming up early on that very day and would fetch 
Philip to help him to find rooms. Philip, anxious to be dis- 
tracted, looked up a time-table and discovered the only 
train Hay ward was likely to come by; he went to meet 
him, and the reunion of the friends was enthusiastic. They 
left the luggage at the station, and set off gaily. Hayward 
characteristically proposed that first of all they should 
go for an hour to the National Gallery; he had not seen 
pictures for some time, and he stated that it needed a 
glimpse to set him in tune with life. Philip for months had 
had no one with whom he could talk of art and books. 
Since the Paris days Hayward had immersed himself in 
the modern French versifiers, and, such a plethora of poets 
is there in France, he had several new geniuses to tell 
Philip about. They walked through the gallery pointing out 
to one another their favourite pictures ; one subject led to 
another; they talked excitedly. The sun was shining and 
the air was warm. 

"Let's go and sit in the Park," said Hayward. "We'll 
look for rooms after luncheon." 

The spring was pleasant there. It was a day upon which 
one felt it good merely to live. The young green of the 
trees was exquisite against the sky ; and the sky, pale and 
blue, was dappled with little white clouds. At the end of 
the ornamental water was the gray mass of the Horse 
Guards. The ordered elegance of the scene had the charm 
of an eighteenth-century picture. It reminded you not of 
Watteau, whose landscapes are so idyllic that they recall 


only the woodland glens seen in dreams, but of the more 
prosaic Jean-Baptiste Pater. Philip's heart was filled with 
lightness. He realised, what he had only read before, that 
art (for there was art in the manner in which he looked 
upon nature) might liberate the soul from pain. 

They went to an Italian restaurant for luncheon and 
ordered themselves a fiaschctto of Chianti. Lingering over 
the meal they talked on. They reminded one another of the 
people they had known at Heidelberg, they spoke of 
Philip's friends in Paris, they talked of books, pictures, 
morals, life; and suddenly Philip heard a clock strike 
three. He remembered that by this time Mildred was mar- 
ried. He felt a sort of stitch in his heart, and for a min- 
ute or two he could not hear what Hayward was saying. 
But he filled his glass with Chianti. He was unaccustomed 
to alcohol and it had gone to his head. Ifor the time at 
all events he was free from care. His quick brain had lain 
idle for so many months that he was intoxicated now with 
conversation. He was thankful to have someone to talk to 
who would interest himself in the things that interested 

"I say don't let's waste this beautiful day in looking 
for rooms. I'll put you up to-night. You can look for 
rooms tomorrow or Monday." 

"All right. What shall we do?" answered Hayward. 

"Let's get on a pennv steamboat and go down to Green- 

The idea appealed to Hayward, and they jumped into a 
cab which took them to Westminster Bridge. They got on 
the steamboat just as she was starting. Presently Philip, a 
smile on his lips, spoke. 

"I remember when first I went to Paris, Glutton, I think 
it was, gave a long discourse on the subject that beauty is 
put into things by painters and poets. They create beauty. 
In themselves there is nothing to choose between the Cam- 
panile of Giotto and a factory chimney. And then beauti- 
ful things grow rich with the emotion that they have 
aroused in succeeding generations. That is why old things 
are more beautiful than modern. The Ode on a Grecian 
Urn is more lovely now than when it was written, because 


for a hundred years lovers have read it and the sick at 
heart taken comfort in its lines." 

Philip left Hayward to infer what in the passing scene 
had suggested these words to him, and it was a delight to 
know that he could safely leave the inference. It was in 
sudden reaction from the life he had been leading for so 
long that he was now deeply affected. The delicate irides- 
cence of the London air gave the softness of a pastel 
to the gray stone of the buildings ; and in the wharves and 
storehouses there was the severity of grace of a Japanese 
print. They went further down ; and the splendid channel, 
a symbol of the great empire, broadened, and it was 
crowded with traffic; Philip thought of the painters and 
the poets who had made all these things so beautiful, and 
his heart was filled with gratitude. They came to the Pool 
of London, and who can describe its majesty? The im- 
agination thrills, and Heaven knows what figures people 
still its broad stream, Doctor Johnson with Boswell by his 
side, an old Pepys going on board a man-'o-war : the pag- 
eant of English history, and romance, and high adventure. 
Philip turned to Hayward with shining eyes. 

"Dear Charles Dickens," he murmured, smiling a little 
at his own emotion. 

"Aren't you rather sorry you chucked painting?" asked 


"I suppose you like doctoring?" 

"No, I hate it, but there was nothing else to do. The 
drudgery of the first two years is awful, and unfortunately 
I haven't got the scientific temperament." 

"Well, you can't go on changing professions." 

"Oh, no. I'm going to stick to this. I think I shall like 
it better when I get into the wards. I have an idea that I'm 
more interested in people than in anything else in the 
world. And as far as I can see, it's the only profession in 
which you have your freedom. You carry your knowledge 
in your head ; with a box of instruments and a few drugs 
you can make your living anywhere." 

"Aren't you going to take a practice then?" 

"Not for a good long time at any rate," Philip answered. 


"As soon as I've got through my hospital appointments 
I shall get a ship; I want to go to the East the Malay 
Archipelago, Siam, Giina, and all that sort of thing 
and then I shall take odd jobs. Something always comes 
along, cholera duty in India and things like that. I want 
to go from place to place. I want to see the world. The 
only way a poor man can do that is by going in for the 

They came to Greenwich then. The noble building of 
Inigo Jones faced the river grandly. 

"I say, look, that must be the place where Poor Jack 
dived into the mud for pennies," said Philip. 

They wandered in the park. Ragged children were play- 
ing in it, and it was noisy with their cries : here and there 
old seamen were basking in the sun. There was an air 
of a hundred years ago. 

"It seems a pity you wasted two years in Paris," said 

"Waste? Look at the movement of that child, look at 
the pattern which the sun makes on the ground, shining 
through the trees, look at that sky why, I should never 
have seen that sky if I hadn't been to Paris." 

Hayward thought that Philip choked a sob, and he 
looked at him with astonishment. 

"What's the matter with you ?" 

"Nothing. I'm sorry to be so damned emotional, but for 
six months I've been starved for beauty." 

"You used to be so matter of fact. It's very interesting 
to hear you say that." 

"Damn it all, I don't want to be interesting," laughed 
Philip. "Let's go and have a stodgy tea." 


HAYWARD'S visit did Philip a great deal of good. Each 
day his thoughts dwelt less on Mildred. He looked back 
upon the past with disgust. He could not understand how 
he had submitted to the dishonour of such a love ; and 
when he thought of Mildred it was with angry hatred, be- 
cause she had submitted him to so much humiliation. His 
imagination presented her to him now with her defects of 
person and manner exaggerated, so that he shuddered at 
the thought of having been connected with her. 

"It just shows how damned weak I am," he said to him- 
self. The adventure was like a blunder that one had com- 
mitted at a party so horrible that one felt nothing could be 
done to excuse it: the only remedy was to forget. His 
horror at the degradation he had suffered helped him. He 
was like a snake casting its skin and he looked upon the 
old covering with nausea. He exulted in the possession of 
himself once more; he realised how much of the delight 
of the world he had lost when he was absorbed in that 
madness which they called love ; he had had enough of it ; 
he did not want to be in love any more if love was that. 
Philip told Hayward something of what he had gone 

"Wasn't it Sophocles," he asked, "who prayed for the 
time when he would be delivered from the wild beast of 
passion that devoured his heart-strings?" 

Philip seemed really to be born again. He breathed the 
circumambient air as though he had never breathed it be- 
fore, and he took a child's pleasure in all the facts of the 
world. He called his period of insanity six months' hard 

Hayward had only been settled in London a few days 
when Philip received from Blackstable, where it had been 
sent, a card for a private view at some picture gallery. He 



took Hayvvard, and, on looking at the catalogue, saw that 
Lawson had a picture in it. 

"I suppose he sent the card," said Philip. "Let's go and 
find him, he's sure to be in front of his picture." 

This, a profile of Ruth Chalice, was tucked away in a 
corner, and Lawson was not far from it. He looked a little 
lost, in his large soft hat and loose, pale clothes, amongst 
the fashionable throng that had gathered for the private 
view. He greeted Philip with enthusiasm, and with his 
usual volubility told him that he had come to live in Lon- 
don, Ruth Chalice was a hussy, he had taken a studio, 
Paris was played out, he had a commission for a portrait, 
and they'd better dine together and have a good old talk. 
Philip reminded him of his acquaintance with Hayward, 
and was entertained to see that Lawson was slightly awed 
by Hayward's elegant clothes and grand manner. They 
sat upon him better than they had done in the shabby 
little studio which Lawson and Philip had shared. 

At dinner Lawson went on with his news. Flanagan had 
gone back to America. Clutton had disappeared. He had 
come to the conclusion that a man had no chance of doing 
anything so long as he was in contact with art and artists : 
the only thing was to get right away. To make the step 
easier he had quarrelled with all his friends in Paris. He 
developed a talent for telling them home truths, which 
made them bear with fortitude his declaration that he 
had done with that city and was settling in Gerona, a little 
town in the north of Spain which had attracted him when 
he saw it from the train on his way to Barcelona. He was 
living there now alone. 

"I wonder if he'll ever do any good," said Philip. 

He was interested in the human side of that struggle to 
express something which was so obscure in the man's mind 
that he was become morbid and querulous. Philip felt 
vaguely that he was himself in the same case, but with him 
it was the conduct of his life as a whole that perplexed 
him. That was his means of self-expression, and what he 
must do with it was not clear. But he had no time to con- 
tinue with this train of thought, for Lawson poured out a 
frank recital of his affair with Ruth Chalice. She had left 

him for a young student who had just come from Eng- 
land, and was behaving in a scandalous fashion. Lawson 
really thought someone ought to step in and save the young 
man. She would ruin him. Philip gathered that Lawson's 
chief grievance was that the rupture had come in the mid- 
dle of a portrait he was painting. 

"Women have no real feeling for art," he said. "They 
only pretend they have." But he finished philosophically 
enough: "However, I got four portraits out of her, and 
I'm not sure if the last I was working on would ever have 
been a success." 

Philip envied the easy way in which the painter managed 
his love-affairs. He had passed eighteen months pleasantly 
enough, had got an excellent model for nothing, and had 
parted from her at the end with no great pang. 

"And what about Cronshaw?" asked Philip. 

"Oh, he's done for," answered Lawson, with the cheer- 
ful callousness of his youth. "He'll be dead in six months. 
He got pneumonia last winter. He was in the English hos- 
pital for seven weeks, and when he came out they told him 
his only chance was to give up liquor." 

"Poor devil," smiled the abstemious Philip. 

"He kept off for a bit. He used to go to the Lilas all the 
same, he couldn't keep away from that, but he used tc 
drink hot milk, avec de la fleur d'oranger, and he was 
damned dull." 

"I take it you did not conceal the fact from him." 

"Oh, he knew it himself. A little while ago he started 
on whiskey again. He said he was too old to turn over any 
new leaves. He would rather be happy for six months and 
die at the end of it than linger on for five years. And then 
I think he's been awfully hard up lately. You see, he didn't 
earn anything while he was ill, and the slut he lives with 
has been giving him a rotten time." 

"I remember, the first time I saw him I admired him 
awfully," said Philip. "I thought he was wonderful. It is 
sickening that vulgar, middle-class virtue should pay." 

"Of course he was s. rotter. He was bound to end in the 
gutter sooner or later," said Lawson. 

Philip was hurt because Lawson would not see the pity 


of it. Of course it was cause and effect, but in the neces- 
sity with which one follows the other lay all tragedy of 

"Oh, I'd forgotten," said Lawson. "Just after you left 
he sent round a present for you. I thought you'd be com- 
ing back and I didn't bother about it, and then I didn't 
think it worth sending on; but it'll come over to London 
with the rest of my things, and you can come to my studio 
one day and fetch it away if you want it." 

"You haven't told me what it is yet." 

"Oh, it's only a ragged little bit of carpet. I shouldn't 
think it's worth anything. I asked him one day what the 
devil he'd sent the filthy thing for. He told me he'd seen it 
in a shop in the Rue de Rennes and bought it for fifteen 
francs. It appears to be a Persian rug. He said you'd asked 
him the meaning of life and that was the answer. But he 
was very drunk." 

Philip laughed. 

"Oh yes, I know. I'll take it. It was a favourite wheeze 
of his. He said I must find out for myself, or else the an- 
swer meant nothing." 


PHILIP worked well and easily; he had a good deal to 
do, since he was taking in July the three parti of the First 
Conjoint examination, two of which he had failed in be- 
fore; but he found life pleasant. He made a new friend. 
Lawson, on the look out for models, had discovered a girl 
who was understudying at one of the theatres, and in order 
to induce her to sit to him arranged a little luncheon-party 
one Sunday. She brought a chaperon with her ; and to her 
Philip, asked to make a fourth, was instructed to confine 
his attentions. He found this easy, since she turned out to 
be an agreeable chatterbox with an amusing tongue. She 
asked Philip to go and see her ; she had rooms in Vincent 
Square, and was always in to tea at five o'clock ; he went, 
was delighted with his welcome, and went again. Mrs. Nes- 
bit was not more than twenty-five, very small, with a pleas- 
ant, ugly face ; she had very bright eyes, high cheek bones, 
and a large mouth: the excessive contrasts of her colour- 
ing reminded one of a portrait by one of the modern 
French painters ; her skin was very white, her cheeks were 
very red, her thick eyebrows, her hair, were very black. 
The effect was odd, a little unnatural, but far from un- 
pleasing. She was separated from her husband and earned 
her living and her child's by writing penny novelettes. 
There were one or two publishers who made a specialty of 
that sort of thing, and she had as much work as she could 
do. It was ill-paid, she received fifteen pounds for a story 
of thirty thousand words ; but she was satisfied. 

"After all, it only costs the reader twopence," she said, 
"and they like the same thing over and over again. I just 
change the names and that's all. When I'm bored I think 
of the washing and the rent and clothes for baby, and I go 
on again." 

Besides, she walked on at various theatres where they 
wanted supers and earned by this when in work from six- 


teen shillings to a guinea a week. At the end of her day 
she was so tired that she slept like a top. She made the best 
of her difficult lot. Her keen sense of humour enabled her 
to get amusement out of every vexatious circumstance. 
Sometimes things went wrong, and she found herself with 
no money at all ; then her trifling possessions found their 
way to a pawnshop in the Vauxhall Bridge Road, and she 
ate bread and butter till things grew brighter. She never 
lost her cheerfulness. 

Philip was interested in her shiftless life, and she made 
him laugh with the fantastic narration of her struggles. 
He asked her why she did not try her hand at literary work 
of a better sort, but she knew that she had no talent, and 
the abominable stuff she turned out by the thousand words 
was not only tolerably paid, but was the best she could do. 
She had nothing to look forward to but a continuation of 
the life she led. She seemed to have no relations, and her 
friends were as poor as herself. 

"I don't think of the future," she said. "As long as I 
have enough money for three weeks' rent and a pound or 
two over for food I never bother. Life wouldn't be worth 
living if I worried over the future as well as the present. 
When things are at their worst I find something always 

Soon Philip grew in the habit of going in to tea with 
her every day, and so that his visits might not embarrass 
her he took in a cake or a pound of butter or some tea. 
They started to call one another by their Christian names. 
Feminine sympathy was new to him, and he delighted in 
someone who gave a willing ear to all his troubles. The 
hours went quickly. He did not hide his admiration for 
her. She was a delightful companion. He could not help 
comparing her with Mildred ; and he contrasted with the 
one's obstinate stupidity, which refused interest to every- 
thing she did not know, the other's quick appreciation and 
ready intelligence. His heart sank when he thought that he 
might have been tied for life to such a woman as Mildred. 
One evening he told Norah the whole story of his love. It 
was not one to give him much reason for self-esteem, and 
it was very pleasant to receive such charming sympathy. 


"I think you're well out of it," she said, when he had 

She had a funny way at times of holding her head on 
one side like an Aberdeen puppy. She was sitting in an 
upright chair, sewing, for she had no time to do nothing, 
and Philip had made himself comfortable at her feet. 

"I can't tell you how heartily thankful I am it's all over," 
he sighed. 

"Poor thing, you must have had a rotten time," she mur- 
mured, and by way of showing her sympathy put her 
hand on his shoulder. 

He took it and kissed it, but she withdrew it quickly. 

"Why did you do that?" she asked, with a blush. 

"Have you any objection ?" 

She looked at him for a moment with twinkling eyes, 
and she smiled. 

"No," she said. 

He got up on his knees and faced her. She looked into 
his eyes steadily, and her large mouth trembled with a 

"Well?" she said. 

"You know, you are a ripper. I'm so grateful to you for 
being nice to me. I like you so much." 

"Don't be idiotic," she said. 

Philip took hold of her elbows and drew her towards 
him. She made no resistance, but bent forward a little, 
and he kissed her red lips. 

"Why did you do that?" she asked again. 

"Because it's comfortable." 

She did not answer, but a tender look came into her 
eyes, and she passed her hand softly over his hair. 

"You know, it's awfully silly of you to behave like this. 
We were such good friends. It would be so jolly to leave 
it at that." 

"If you really want to appeal to my better nature," re- 
plied Philip, "you'll do well not to stroke my cheek while 
you're doing it." 

She gave a little chuckle, but she did not stop. 

"It's very wrong of me, isn't it ?" she said. 

Philip, surprised and a little amused, looked into her 


eyes, and as he looked he saw them soften and grow 
liquid, and there was an expression in them that enchanted 
him. His heart was suddenly stirred, and tears came to his 

"Norah, you're not fond of me, are you?" he asked, in- 

"You clever boy, you ask such stupid questions." 

"Oh, my dear, it never struck me that you could be." 

He flung his arms round her and kissed her, while she, 
laughing, blushing, and crying, surrendered herself will- 
ingly to his embrace. 

Presently he released her and sitting back on his heels 
looked at her curiously. 

"Well, I'm blowed!" he said. 


"I'm so surprised." 

"And pleased?" 

"Delighted," he cried with all his heart, "and so proud 
and so happy and so grateful." 

He took her hands and covered them with kisses. This 
was the beginning for Philip of a happiness which seemed 
both solid and durable. They became lovers but remained 
friends. There was in Norah a maternal instinct which re- 
ceived satisfaction in her love for Philip; she wanted 
someone to pet, and scold, and make a fuss of ; she had a 
domestic temperament and found pleasure in looking after 
his health and his linen. She pitied his deformity, over 
which he was so sensitive, and her pity expressed itself 
instinctively in tenderness. She was young, strong, and 
healthy, and it seemed quite natural to her to give her love. 
She had high spirits and a merry soul. She liked Philip 
because he laughed with her at all the amusing things in 
life that caught her fancy, and above all she liked him be- 
cause he was he. 

When she told him this he answered gaily : 

"Nonsense. You like me because I'm a silent person and 
never want to get a word in." 

Philip did not love her at all. He was extremely fond of 
her, glad to be with her, amused and interested by her 


conversation. She restored his belief in himself and put 
healing ointments, as it were, on all the bruises of his soul. 
He was immensely flattered that she cared for him. He 
admired her courage, her optimism, her impudent defiance 
of fate ; she had a little philosophy of her own, ingenuous 
and practical. 

"You know, I don't believe in churches and parsons and 
all that," she said, "but I believe in God, and I don't be- 
lieve He minds much about what you do as long as you 
keep your end up and help a lame dog over a stile when 
you can. And I think people on the whole are very nice, 
and I'm sorry for those who aren't." 

"And what about afterwards ?" asked Philip. 

"Oh, well, I don't know for certain, you know," she 
smiled, "but I hope for the best. And anyhow there'll be 
no rent to pay and no novelettes to write." 

She had a feminine gift for delicate flattery. She thought 
that Philip did a brave thing when he left Paris because 
he was conscious he could not be a great artist ; and he was 
enchanted when she expressed enthusiastic admiration for 
him. He had never been quite certain whether this action 
indicated courage or infirmity of purpose. It was delightful 
to realise that she considered it heroic. She ventured to 
tackle him on a subject which his friends instinctively 

"It's very silly of you to be so sensitive about your club- 
foot," she said. She saw him flush darkly, but went on. 
"You know, people don't think about it nearly as much as 
you do. They notice it the first time they see you, and then 
they forget about it." 

He would not answer. 

"You're not angry with me, are you?" 


She put her arm round his neck. 

"You know, I only speak about it because I love you. I 
don't want it to make you unhappy." 

"I think you can say anything you choose to me," he an- 
swered, smiling. "I wish I could do something to show you 
how grateful I am to you." 


She took him in hand in other ways. She would not let 
him be bearish and laughed at him when he was out of 
u-mper. She made him more urbane. 

"You can make me do anything you like," he said to 
her once. 

"D'you mind ?" 

"Xo. I want to do what you like." 

He had the sense to realise his happiness. It seemed to 
him that she gave him all that a wife could, and he pre- 
served his freedom ; she was the most charming friend he 
had ever had, with a sympathy that he had never found in 
a man. The sexual relationship was no more than the 
strongest link in their friendship. It completed it, but was 
not essential. And because Philip's appetites were satis- 
fied, he became more equable and easier to live with. He 
felt in complete possession of himself. He thought some- 
times of the winter, during which he had been obsessed 
by a hideous passion, and he was filled with loathing for 
Mildred and with horror of himself. 

His examinations were approaching, and Norah was as 
interested in them as he. He was flattered and touched by 
her eagerness. She made him promise to come at once and 
tell her the results. He passed the three parts this time 
without mishap, and when he went to tell her she burst into 

"Oh, I'm so glad, I was so anxious." 

"You silly little thing," he laughed, but he was choking. 

No one could help being pleased with the way she took 

"And what are you going to do now?" she asked. 

"I can take a holiday with a clear conscience. I have no 
work to do till the winter session begins in October." 

"I suppose you'll go down to your uncle's at Black- 

"You suppose quite wrong. I'm going to stay in London 
and play with you." 

"I'd rather you went away." 

"\Yhy ? Are you tired of me?" 

She laughed and put her hands on his shoulders. 

"Because you've been working hard, and you look ut- 


terly washed out. You want some fresh air and a vest. 
Please go." 

He did not answer for a moment. He looked at her with 
loving eyes. 

"You know, I'd never believe it of anyone but you. 
You're only thinking of my good. I wonder what you see 
in me." 

"Will you give me a good character with my month's 
notice?" she laughed gaily. 

"I'll say that you're thoughtful and kind, and you're not 
exacting; you never worry, you're not troublesome, and 
you're easy to please." 

"All that's nonsense," she said, "but I'll tell you one 
thing : I'm one of the few persons I ever met who are able 
to learn from experience.'' 


PHILIP looked forward to his return to London with im- 
patience. During the two months he spent at Blackstable 
Norah wrote to him frequently, long letters in a bold, 
large hand, in which with cheerful humour she described 
the little events of the daily round, the domestic troubles 
of her landlady, rich food for laughter, the comic vexa- 
tions of her rehearsals she was walking on in an impor- 
tant spectacle at one of the London theatres and her odd 
adventures with the publishers of novelettes. Philip read 
a great deal, bathed, played tennis, and sailed. At the be- 
ginning of October he settled down in London to work for 
the Second Conjoint examination. He was eager to pass 
it, since that ended the drudgery of the curriculum ; after 
it was done with the student became an out-patients' clerk, 
and was brought in contact with men and women as well as 
with text-books. Philip saw Norah every day. 

Lawson had been spending the summer at Poole, and 
had a number of sketches to show of the harbour and of 
the beach. He had a couple of commissions for portraits 
and proposed to stay in London till the bad light drove him 
away. Hayward, in London too, intended to spend the 
winter abroad, but remained week after week from sheer 
inability to make up his mind to go. Hayward had run 
to fat during the last two or three years it was five years 
since Philip first met him in Heidelberg and he was 
prematurely bald. He was very sensitive about it and wore 
his hair long to conceal the unsightly patch on the crown 
of his head. His only consolation was that his brow was 
now very noble. His blue eyes had lost their colour; they 
had a listless droop; and his mouth, losing the fulness of 
youth, was weak and pale. He still talked vaguely of the 
things he was going to do in the future, but with less con- 
viction ; and he was conscious that his friends no longer 
believed in him : when he had drunk two or three glasses 
of whiskey he was inclined to be elegiac. 



"I'm a failure," he murmured, "I'm unfit for the bru- 
tality of the struggle of life. All I can do is to stand aside 
and let the vulgar throng hustle by in their pursuit of the 
good things." 

He gave you the impression that to fail was a more deli- 
cate, a more exquisite thing, than to succeed. He insinu- 
ated that his aloofness was due to distaste for all that was 
common and low. He talked beautifully of Plato. 

"I should have thought you'd got through with Plato by 
now," said Philip impatiently. 

"Would you ?" he asked, raising his eyebrows. 

He was not inclined to pursue the subject. He had dis- 
covered of late the effective dignity of silence. 

"I don't see the use of reading the same thing over and 
over again," said Philip. "That's only a laborious form of 

"But are you under the impression that you have so 
great a mind that you can understand the most profound 
writer at a first reading?" 

"I don't want to understand him, I'm not a critic. I'm 
not interested in him for his sake but for mine." 

"Why d'you read then?" 

"Partly for pleasure, because it's a habit and I'm just as 
uncomfortable if I don't read as if I don't smoke, and 
partly to know myself. When I read a book I seem to read 
it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a 
passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for 
me, and it becomes part of me; I've got out of the book 
all that's any use to me, and I can't get anything more if 
I read it a dozen times. You see, it seems to me, one's like 
a closed bud, and most of what one reads and does has no 
effect at all ; but there are certain things that have a pe- 
culiar significance for one, and they open a petal ; and the 
petals open one by one ; and at last the flower is there." 

Philip was not satisfied with his metaphor, but he did 
not know how else to explain a thing which he felt and 
yet was not clear about. 

"You want to do things, you want to become things," 
said Hayward, with a shrug of the shoulders. "It's so vul- 


Philip knew Hayward very well by now. He was weak 
and vain, so vain that you had to be on the watch con- 
stantly not to hurt his feelings ; he mingled idleness and 
i'dealism so that he could not separate them. At Lawson's 
studio one day he met a journalist, who was charmed by 
his conversation, and a week later the editor of a paper 
wrote to suggest that he should do some criticism for him. 
For forty-eight hours Hayward lived in an agony of inde- 
cision. He had talked of getting occupation of this sort so 
long that he had not the face to refuse outright, but the 
thought of doing anything filled him with panic. At last he 
declined the offer and breathed freely. 

"It would have interfered with my work," he told Philip. 

"What work?" asked Philip brutally. 

"My inner life," he answered. 

Then he went on to say beautiful things about Amiel, 
the professor of Geneva, whose brilliancy promised 
achievement which was never fulfilled ; till at his death the 
reason of his failure and the excuse were at once mani- 
fest in the minute, wonderful journal which was found 
among his papers. Hayward smiled enigmatically. 

But Hayward could still talk delightfully about books ; 
his taste was exquisite and his discrimination elegant ; and 
he had a constant interest in ideas, which made him an en- 
tertaining companion. They meant nothing to him really, 
since they never had any effect on him ; but he treated 
them as he might have pieces of china in an auction-room, 
handling them with pleasure in their shape and their glaze, 
pricing them in his mind ; and then, putting them back 
into their case, thought of them no more. 

And it was Hayward who made a momentous discov- 
ery. One evening, after due preparation, he took Philip 
and Lawson to a tavern situated in Beak Street, remark- 
able not only in itself and for its history it had memories 
of eighteenth-century glories which excited the romantic 
imagination but for its snuff, which was the best in Lon- 
don, and above all for its punch. Hayward led them into a 
large, long room, dingily magnificent, with huge pictures 
on the walls of nude women: they were vast allegories of 
the school of Haydon: but smoke, gas, and the London 


atmosphere had given them a richness which made them 
look like old masters. The dark panelling, the massive, 
tarnished gold of the cornice, the mahogany tables, gave 
the room an air of sumptuous comfort, and the leather- 
covered seats along the wall were soft and easy. There was 
a ram's head on a table opposite the door, and this con- 
tained the celebrated snuff. They ordered punch. They 
drank it. It was hot rum punch. The pen falters when it 
attempts to treat of the excellence thereof ; the sober vo- 
cabulary, the sparse epithet of this narrative, are inade- 
quate to the task; and pompous terms, jewelled, exotic 
phrases rise to the excited fancy. It warmed the blood and 
cleared the head; it filled the soul with well-being; it dis- 
posed the mind at once to utter wit and to appreciate the 
wit of others ; it had the vagueness of music and the pre- 
cision of mathematics. Only one of its qualities was com- 
parable to anything else: it had the warmth of a good 
heart; but its taste, its smell, its feel, were not to be de- 
scribed in words. Charles Lamb, with his infinite tact, at- 
tempting to, might have .drawn charming pictures of the 
life of his day ; Lord Byron in a stanza of Don Juan, aim- 
ing at the impossible, might have achieved the sublime ; 
Oscar Wilde, heaping jewels of Ispahan upon brocades 
of Byzantium, might have created a troubling beauty. 
Considering it, the mind reeled under visions of the feasts 
of Elagabalus ; and the subtle harmonies of Debussy min- 
gled with the musty, fragrant romance of chests in which 
have been kept old clothes, ruffs, hose, doublets, of a for- 
gotten generation, and the wan odour of lilies of the valley 
and the savour of Cheddar cheese. 

Hayward discovered the tavern at which this priceless 
beverage was to be obtained by meeting in the street a man 
called Macalister who had been at Cambridge with him. 
He was a stockbroker and a philosopher. He was accus- 
tomed to go to the tavern once a week; and soon Philip, 
Lawson, and Hayward got into the habit of meeting there 
every Tuesday evening : change of manners made it now 
little frequented, which was an advantage to persons who 
took pleasure in conversation. Macalister was a big-boned 
fellow, much too short for his width, with a large, fleshy 

402 O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 

face and a soft voice. He was a student of Kant and 
judged everything from the standpoint of pure reason. He 
was fond of expounding his doctrines. Philip listened with 
excited interest. He had long come to the conclusion that 
nothing amused him more than metaphysics, but he was 
not so sure of their efficacy in the affairs of life. The neat 
little system which he had formed as the result of his 
meditations at Blackstable had not been of conspicuous use 
during his infatuation for Mildred. He could not be posi- 
tive that reason was much help in the conduct of life. Ii 
seemed to him that life lived itself. He remembered very 
vividly the violence of the emotion which had possessed 
him and his inability, as if he were tied down to the grounu 
with ropes, to react against it. He read many wise things 
in books, but he could only judge from his own experi- 
ence; (he did not know whether he was different from 
other people;) he did not calculate the pros and cons of 
an action, the benefits which must befall him if he did it, 
the harm which might result from the omission; but his 
whole being was urged on irresistibly. He did not act with 
a part of himself but altogether. The power that possessed 
him seemed to have nothing to do with reason : all that 
reason did was to point out the methods of obtaining what 
his whole soul was striving for. 

Macalister reminded him of the Categorical Imperative. 

"Act so that every action of yours should be capable of 
becoming a universal rule of action for all men." 

"That seems to me perfect nonsense," said Philip. 
. "You're a bold man to say that of anything stated by 
Emanuel Kant," retorted Macalister. 

"Why? Reverence for what somebody said is a stultify- 
ing quality : there's a damned sight too much reverence in 
the world. Kant thought things not because they were true, 
but because he was Kant." 

"Well, what is your objection to the Categorical Im- 
perative ?" 

(They talked as though the fate of empires were in the 
balance. ) 

"It suggests that one can choose one's course by an ef- 
fort of will. And it suggests that reason is the surest guide. 


Why should its dictates be any better than those of pas- 
sion ? They're different. That's all." 

"You seem to be a contented slave of your passions." 

"A slave because I can't help myself, but not a con- 
tented one," laughed Philip. 

While he spoke he thought of that hot madness which 
had driven him in pursuit of Mildred. He remembered 
how he had chafed against it and how he had felt the deg- 
radation of it. 

"Thank God, I'm free from all that now," he thought. 

And yet even as he said it he was not quite sure whether 
he spoke sincerely. When he was under the influence of 
passion he had felt a singular vigour, and his mind had 
worked with unwonted force. He was more alive, there was 
an excitement in sheer being, an eager vehemence of soul, 
which made life now a trifle dull. For all the misery he 
had endured there was a compensation in that sense of 
rushing, overwhelming existence. 

But Philip's unlucky words engaged him in a discussion 
on the freedom of the will, and Macalister, with his well- 
stored memory, brought out argument after argument. He 
had a mind that delighted in dialectics, and he forced Philip 
to contradict himself ; he pushed him into corners from 
which he could only escape by damaging concessions; he 
tripped him up with logic and battered him with authori- 

At last Philip said : 

"Well, I can't say anything about other people. I can 
only speak for myself. The illusion of free will is so strong 
in my mind that I can't get away from it, but I believe it 
is only an illusion. But it is an illusion which is one of the 
strongest motives of my actions. Before I do anything I 
feel that I have choice, and that influences what I do ; but 
afterwards, when the thing is done, I believe that it was 
inevitable from all eternity." 

"What do you deduce from that?" asked Hayward. 

"Why, merely the futility of regret. It's no good crying 
over spilt milk, because all the forces of the universe were 
bent on spilling it." 


ONE morning Philip on getting up felt his head swim, 
and going back to bed suddenly discovered he was ill. All 
his limbs ached and he shivered with cold. When the land- 
lady brought in his breakfast he called to her through the 
open door that he was not well, and asked for a cup of tea 
and a piece of toast. A few minutes later there was a 
knock at his door, and Griffiths came in. They had lived in 
che same house for over a year, but had never done more 
than nod to one another in the passage. 

"I say, I hear you're seedy," said Griffiths. "I thought 
I'd come in and see what was the matter with you." 

Philip, blushing he knew not why, made light of the 
whole thing. He would be all right in an hour or two. 

"Well, you'd better let me take your temperature," said 

"It's quite unnecessary," answered Philip irritably. 

"Come on." 

Philip put the thermometer in his mouth. Griffiths sat on 
the side of the bed and chatted brightly for a moment, 
then he took it out and looked at it. 

"Now, look here, old man, you must stay in bed, and I'll 
bring old Deacon in to have a look at you." 

"Nonsense," said Philip. "There's nothing the matter. 
I wish you wouldn't bother about me." 

"But it isn't any bother. You've got a temperature and 
you must stay in bed. You will, won't you ?" 

There was a peculiar charm in his manner, a mingling 
of gravity and kindliness, which was infinitely attractive. 

"You've got a wonderful bed-side manner," Philip mur- 
mured, closing his eyes with a smile. 

Griffiths shook out his pillow for him, deftly smoothed 
down the bed-clothes, and tucked him up. He went into 
Philip's sitting-room to look for a siphon, could not find 
one, and fetched it from his own room. He drew down the 



"Now, go to sleep and I'll bring the old man round as 
soon as he's done the wards." 

It seemed hours before anyone came to Philip. His head 
felt as if it would split, anguish rent his limbs, and he was 
afraid he was going to cry. Then there was a knock at the 
door and Griffiths, healthy, strong, and cheerful, came in. 

"Here's Doctor Deacon," he said. 

The physician stepped forward, an elderly man with a 
bland manner, whom Philip knew only by sight. A few 
questions, a brief examination, and the diagnosis. 

"What d'you make it?" he asked Griffiths, smiling. 


"Quite right." 

Doctor Deacon looked round the dingy lodging-house 

"Wouldn't you like to go to the hospital? They'll put 
you in a private ward, and you can be better looked after 
than you can here." 

"I'd rather stay where I am," said Philip. 

He did not want to be disturbed, and he was always shy 
of new surroundings. He did not fancy nurses fussing 
about him, and the dreary cleanliness of the hospital. 

"I can look after him, sir," said Griffiths at once. 

"Oh, very well." 

He wrote a prescription, gave instructions, and left. 

"Now you've got to do exactly as I tell you," said Grif- 
fiths. "I'm day-nurse and night-nurse all in one." 

"It's very kind of you, but I shan't want anvthing," said 

Griffiths put his hand on Philip's forehead, a large cool, 
dry hand, and the touch seemed to him good. 

"I'm just going to take this round to the dispensary to 
have it made up, and then I'll come back." 

In a little while he brought the medicine and gave Philip 
a dose. Then he went upstairs to fetch his books. 

"You won't mind my working in your room this after- 
noon, will you?" he said, when he came down. "I'll leave 
the door open so that you can give me a shout if you want 

Later in the day Philip, awaking from an uneasy doze, 


heard voices in his sitting-room. A friend had come in to 
see Griffiths. 

"I say, you'd better not come in tonight/' he heard Grif- 
fiths saying. 

And then a minute or two afterwards someone else en- 
tered the room and expressed his surprise at finding Grif- 
fiths there. Philip heard him explain. 

"I'm looking after a second year's man who's got these 
rooms. The wretched blighter's down with influenza. No 
whist tonight, old man." 

Presently Griffiths was left alone and Philip, called him. 

"I say, you're not putting off a party tonight, are you ?" 
he asked. 

"Not on your account. I must work at my surgery." 

"Don't put it off. I shall be all right. You needn't bother 
about me." 

"That's all right." 

Philip grew worse. As the night came on he became 
slightly delirious, but towards morning he awoke from a 
restless sleep. He saw Griffiths get out of an arm-chair, go 
down on his knees, and with his fingers put piece after 
piece of coal on the fire. He was in pyjamas and a dressing- 

"What are you doing here ?" he asked. 

"Did I wake you up? I tried to make up the fire with- 
out making a row." 

"Why aren't you in bed? What's the time?" 

"About five. I thought I'd better sit up with you tonight. 
I brought an arm-chair in as I thought if I put a mattress 
down I should sleep so soundly that I shouldn't hear you 
if you wanted anything." 

"I wish you wouldn't be so good to me," groaned Philip. 
"Suppose you catch it ?" 

"Then you shall nurse me, old man," said Griffiths, with 
a laugh. 

In the morning Griffiths drew up the blind. He looked 
pale and tired after his night's watch, but was full of 

"Now, I'm going to wash you," he said to Philip cheer- 


"I can wash myself," said Philip, ashamed. 

"Nonsense. If you were in the small ward a nurse would 
wash you, and I can do it just as well as a nurse." 

Philip, too weak and wretched to resist, allowed Grif- 
fiths to wash his hands and face, his feet, his chest and 
back. He did it with charming tenderness, carrying on 
meanwhile a stream of friendly chatter; then he changed 
the sheet just as they did at the hospital, shook out the pil- 
low, and arranged the bed-clothes. 

"I should like Sister Arthur to see me. It would make 
her sit up. Deacon's coming in to see you early." 

"I can't imagine why you should be so good to me," said 

"It's good practice for me. It's rather a lark having a pa- 

Griffiths gave him his breakfast and went off to get 
dressed and have something to eat. A few minutes before 
ten he came back with a bunch of grapes and a few flowers. 

"You are awfully kind," said Philip. 

He was in bed for five days. 

Norah and Griffiths nursed him between them. Though 
Griffiths was the same age as Philip he adopted towards 
him a humorous, motherly attitude. He was a thoughtful 
fellow, gentle and encouraging; but his greatest quality 
was a vitality which seemed to give health to everyone 
with whom he came in contact. Philip was unused to the 
petting which most people enjoy from mothers or sisters 
and he was deeply touched by the feminine tenderness of 
this strong young man. Philip grew better. Then Griffiths, 
sitting idly in Philip's room, amused him with gay stories 
of amorous adventure. He was a flirtatious creature, capa- 
ble of carrying on three or four affairs at a time ; and his 
account of the devices he was forced to in order to keep 
out of difficulties made excellent hearing. He had a gift 
for throwing a romantic glamour over everything that 
happened to him. He was crippled with debts, everything 
he had of any value was pawned, but he managed always 
to be cheerful, extravagant, and generous. He was the ad- 
venturer by nature. He loved people of doubtful occupa- 
tions and shifty purposes ; and his acquaintance among the 


riff-raff that frequents the bars of London was enormous. 
Loose women, treating him as a friend, told him the trou- 
bles, difficulties, and successes of their lives ; and card- 
sharpers, respecting his impecuniosity, stood him dinners 
and lent him five-pound notes. He was ploughed in his 
examinations time after time ; but he bore this cheerfully, 
and submitted with such a charming grace to the parental 
expostulations that his father, a doctor in practice at Leeds, 
had not the heart to be seriously angry with him. 

"I'm an awful fool at books," he said cheerfully, "but 
I can't work." 

Life was much too jolly. But it was clear that when he 
had got through the exuberance of his youth, and was at 
last qualified, he would be a tremendous success in prac- 
tice. He would cure people by the sheer charm of his man- 

Philip worshipped him as at school he had worshipped 
boys who were tall and straight and high of spirits. By the 
time he was well they were fast friends, and it was a pe- 
culiar satisfaction to Philip that Griffiths seemed to enjoy 
sitting in his little parlour, wasting Philip's time with his 
amusing chatter and smoking innumerable cigarettes. 
Philip took him sometimes to the tavern off Regent Street. 
Hayward found him stupid, but Lawson recognised his 
charm and was eager to paint him; he was a picturesque 
figure with his blue eyes, white skin, and curly hair. Often 
they discussed things he knew nothing about, and then he 
sat quietly, with a good-natured smile on his handsome 
face, feeling quite rightly that his presence was sufficient 
contribution to the entertainment of the company. When 
he discovered that Macalister was a stockbroker he was 
eager for tips; and Macalister, with his grave smile, told 
him what fortunes he could have made if he had bought 
certain stock at certain times. It made Philip's mouth 
water, for in one way and another he was spending more 
than he had expected, and it would have suited him very 
well to make a little money by the easy method Macalister 

"Next time I hear of a really good thing I'll let you 


know," said the stockbroker. "They do come along some- 
times. It's only a matter of biding one's time." 

Philip could not help thinking how delightful it would 
be to make fifty pounds, so that he could give Norah the 
iurs she so badly needed for the winter. He looked at the 
shops in Regent Street and picked out the articles he could 
buy tor the money. She deserved everything. She made his 
life very happy. 


ONE afternoon, when he went back to his rooms froiri 
the hospital to wash and tidy himself before going to tea 
as usual with Norah, as he let himself in with his latch- 
key, his landlady opened the door for him. 

"There's a lady waiting to see you," she said. 

"Me?" exclaimed Philip. 

He was surprised. It would only be Norah, and he had 
no idea what had brought her. 

"I shouldn't 'ave let her in, only she's been three times, 
and she seemed that upset at not finding you, so I told her 
she could wait." 

He pushed past the explaining landlady and burst into 
the room. His heart turned sick. It was Mildred. She was 
sitting down, but got up hurriedly as he came in. She did 
not move towards him nor speak. He was so surprised 
that he did not know what he was saying. 

"What the hell d'you want ?" he asked. 

She did not answer, but began to cry. She did not put 
her hands to her eyes, but kept them hanging by the side 
of her body. She looked like a housemaid applying for a 
situation. There was a dreadful humility m her bearing. 
Philip did not know what feelings came over him. He had 
a sudden impulse to turn round and escape from the room. 

"I didn't think I'd ever see you again," he said at last. 

"I wish I was dead," she moaned. 

Philip left her standing where she was. He could only 
think at the moment of steadying himself. His knees were 
shaking. He looked at her, and he groaned in despair. 

"What's the matter?" he said. 

"He's left me Emil." 

Philip's heart bounded. He knew then that he loved her 
as passionately as ever. He had never ceased to love her. 
She was standing before him humble and unresisting. He 
wished to take her in his arms and cover her tear-stained 



face with kisses. Oh, how long the separation had been! 
He did not know how he could have endured it. 

"You'd better sit down. Let me give you a drink." 

He drew the chair near the fire and she sat in it. He 
mixed her whiskey and soda, and, sobbing still, she drank 
it. She looked at him with great, mournful eyes. There 
were large black lines under them. She was thinner and 
whiter than when last he had seen her. 

"I wish I'd married you when you asked me," she said. 

Philip did not know why the remark seemed to swell his 
heart. He could not keep the distance from her which he 
had forced upon himself. He put his hand on her shoulder. 

"I'm awfully sorry you're in trouble." 

She leaned her head against his bosom and burst into 
hysterical crying. Her hat was in the way and she took it 
off. He had never dreamt that she was capable of crying 
like that. He kissed her again and again. It seemed to ease 
her a little. 

"You were always good to me, Philip," she said. "That's 
why I knew I could come to you." 

"Tell me what's happened." 

"Oh, I can't, I can't," she cried out, breaking away from 

He sank down on his knees beside her and put his cheek 
against hers. 

"Don't you know that there's nothing you can't tell me ? 
I can never blame you for anything." 

She told him the story little by little, and sometimes 
she sobbed so much that he could hardly understand. 

"Last Monday week he went up to Birmingham, and he 
promised to be back on Thursday, and he never came, and 
he didn't come on the Friday, so I wrote to ask what was 
the matter, and he never answered the letter. And I wrote 
and said that if I didn't hear from him by return I'd go 
up to Birmingham, and this morning I got a solicitor's 
letter to say I had no claim on him, and if I molested him 
he'd seek the protection of the law." 

"But it's absurd," cried Philip. "A man can't treat his 
wife like that. Had you had a row ?" 

"Oh, yes, we'd had a quarrel on the Sunday, and he said 


he was sick of me, but he'd said it before, and he'd come 
back all right. I didn't think he meant it. He was fright- 
ened, because I told him a baby was coming. I kept it from 
him as long as I could. Then I had to tell him. He said it 
was my fault, and I ought to have known better. If you'd 
only heard the things he said to me! But I found out 
precious quick that he wasn't a gentleman. He left me 
without a penny. He hadn't paid the rent, and I hadn't got 
the money to pay it, and the woman who kept the house 
said such things to me well, I might have been a thief 
the way she talked." 

"I thought you were going to take a flat." 

"That's what he said, but we just took furnished apart- 
ments in Highbury. He was that mean. He said I was ex- 
travagant, he didn't give me anything to be extravagant 

She had an extraordinary way of mixing the trivial with 
the important. Philip was puzzled. The whole thing was 

"No man could be such a blackguard." 

"You don't know him. I wouldn't go back to him now 
not if he was to come and ask me on his bended knees. I 
was a fool ever to think of him. And he wasn't earning the 
money he said he was. The lies he told me !" 

Philip thought for a minute or two. He was so deeply 
moved by her distress that he could not think of himself. 

"Would you like me to go to Birmingham? I could see 
him and try to make things up." 

"Oh, there's no chance of that. He'll never come back 
now, I know him." 

"But he must provide for you. He can't get out of that. 
I don't know anything about these things, you'd better go 
and see a solicitor." 

"How can I ? I haven't got the money." 

"I'll pay all that. I'll write a note to my own solicitor, 
the sportsman who was my father's executor. Would you 
like me to come with you now ? I expect he'll still be at his 

"No, give me a letter to him. I'll go alone." 

She was a little calmer now. He sat down and wrote a 


note. Then he remembered that she had no money. He had 
fortunately changed a cheque the day before and was able 
to give her five pounds. 

"You are good to me, Philip," she said. 

"I'm so happy to be able to do something for you." 

"Are you fond of me still ?" 

"Just as fond as ever." 

She put up her lips and he kissed her. There was a sur- 
render in the action which he had never seen in her be- 
fore. It was worth all the agony he had suffered. 

She went away and he found that she had been there 
for two hours. He was extraordinarily happy. 

"Poor thing, poor thing," he murmured to himself, his 
heart glowing with a greater love than he had ever felt 

He never thought of Norah at all till about eight o'clock 
a telegram came. He knew before opening it that it was 
from her. 

Is anything the matter? Norah. 

He did not know what to do nor what to answer. He 
could fetch her after the play, in which she was walking- 
on, was over and stroll home with her as he sometimes 
did ; but his whole soul revolted against the idea of seeing 
her that evening. He thought of writing to her, but he 
could not bring himself to address her as usual, dearest 
Norah. He made up his mind to telegraph. 

Sorry. Could not get away, Philip. 

He visualised her. He was slightly repelled by the ugly 
little face, with its high cheek-bones and the crude colour. 
There was a coarseness in her skin which gave him goose- 
flesh. He knew that his telegram must be followed by some 
action on his part, but at all events it postponed it. 

Next day he wired again. 

Regret, unable to come. Will write. 

Mildred had suggested coming at four in the afternoon, 
and he would not tell her that the hour was inconvenient. 


After all she came first. He waited for her impatiently. He 
watched for her at the window and opened the front-door 

"Well ? Did you see Nixon ?" 

"Yes," she answered. "He said it wasn't any good. Noth- 
ing's to be done. I must just grin and bear it." 

"But that's impossible," cried Philip. 

She sat down wearily. 

"Did he give any reasons?" he asked. 

She gave him a crumpled letter. 

"There's your letter, Philip. I never took it. I couldn't 
tell you yesterday, I really couldn't. Emil didn't marry me. 
He couldn't. He had a wife already and three children." 

Philip felt a sudden pang of jealousy and anguish. It 
was almost more than he could bear. 

"That's why I couldn't go back to my aunt. There's no 
one I can go to but you." 

"What made you go away with him?" Philip asked, in 
a low voice which he struggled to make firm. 

"I don't know. I didn't know he was a married man at 
first, and when he told me I gave him a piece of my mind. 
And then I didn't see him for months, and when he came 
to the shop again and asked me I don't know what came 
over me. I felt as if I couldn't help it. I had to go with 

"Were you in love with him ?" 

"I don't know. I couldn't hardly help laughing at the 
things he said. And there was something about him he 
said I'd never regret it, he promised to give me seven 
pounds a week he said he was earning fifteen, and it was 
all a lie, he wasn't. And then I was sick of going to the 
shop every morning, and I wasn't getting on very well with 
my aunt ; she wanted to treat me as a servant instead of a 
relation, said I ought to do my own room, and if I didn't 
do it nobody was going to do it for me. Oh, I wish I 
hadn't. But when he came to the shop and asked me I felt 
I couldn't help it." 

Philip moved away from her. He sat down at the table 
.and buried his face in his hands. He felt dreadfully hu- 


"You're not angry with me, Philip?" she asked pite- 

"No," he answered, looking up but away from her, 
"only I'm awfully hurt." 


"You see, I was so dreadfully in love with you. I did 
everything I could to make you care for me. I thought you 
were incapable of loving anyone. It's so horrible to know 
that you were willing to sacrifice everything for that boun- 
der. I wonder what you saw in. him." 

"I'm awfully sorry, Philip. I regretted it bitterly after- 
wards, I promise you that." 

He thought of Emil Miller, with his pasty, unhealthy 
look, his shifty blue eyes, and the vulgar smartness of his 
appearance ; he always wore bright red knitted waistcoats. 
Philip sighed. She got up and went to him. She put her 
arm round his neck. 

"I shall never forget that you offered to marry me, 

He took her hand and looked up at her. She bent down 
and kissed him. 

"Philip, if you want me still I'll do anything you like 
now. I know you're a gentleman in every sense of the 

His heart stood still. Her words made him feel slightly 

"It's awfully good of you, but I couldn't." 

"Don't you care for me any more ?" 

"Yes, I love you with all my heart." 

"Then why shouldn't we have a good time while we've 
got the chance ? You see, it can't matter now." 

He released himself from her. 

"You don't understand. I've been sick with love for you 
ever since I saw you, but now that man. I've unfortun- 
ately got a vivid imagination. The thought of it simply dis- 
gusts me." 

"You are funny," she said. 

He took her hand again and smiled at her. 

"You mustn't think I'm not grateful. I can never thank 
you enough, but you see, it's just stronger than I am." 


"You are a good friend, Philip." 

They went on talking, and soon they had returned to the 
familiar companionship of old days. It grew late. Philip 
suggested that they should dine together and go to a music- 
hall. She wanted some persuasion, for she had an idea of 
acting up to her situation, and felt instinctively that it did 
not accord with her distressed condition to go to a place of 
entertainment. At last Philip asked her to go simply to 
please him, and when she could look upon it as an act of 
self-sacrifice she accepted. She had a new thought fulness 
which delighted Philip. She asked him to take her to the 
little restaurant in Soho to which they had so often been ; 
he was infinitely grateful to her, because her suggestion 
showed that happy memories were attached to it. She grew 
much more cheerful as dinner proceeded. The Burgundy 
from the public house at the corner warmed her heart, and 
she forgot that she ought to preserve a dolorous counte- 
nance. Philip thought it safe to speak to her of the future. 

"I suppose you haven't got a brass farthing, have you ?" 
he asked, when an opportunity presented itself. 

"Only what you gave me yesterday, and I had to give the 
landlady three pounds of that." 

"Well, I'd better give you a tenner to go on with. I'll go 
and see my solicitor and get him to write to Miller. We can 
make him pay up something, I'm sure. If we can get a 
hundred pounds out of him it'll carry you on till after the 
baby comes." 

"I wouldn't take a penny from him. I'd rather starve." 

"But it's monstrous that he should leave you in the lurch 
like this." 

"I've got my pride to consider." 

It was a little awkward for Philip. He needed rigid 
economy to make his own money last till he was qualified, 
and he must have something over to keep him during the 
year he intended to spend as house physician and hquse 
surgeon either at his own or at some other hospital. But 
Mildred had told him various stories of Emil's meanness, 
and he was afraid to remonstrate with her in case she ac- 
cused him too of want of generosity. 

"I wouldn't take a penny piece from him. I'd sooner beg 


my bread. I'd have seen about getting some work to do 
long before now, only it wouldn't be good for me in the 
state I'm in. You have to think of your health, don't you ?" 

"You needn't bother about the present," said Philip. "I 
can let you have all you want till you're fit to work again." 

"I knew I could depend on you. I told Emil he needn't 
think I hadn't got somebody to go to. I told him you was 
a gentleman in every sense of the word." 

By degrees Philip learned how the separation had come 
about. It appeared that the fellow's wife had discovered 
the adventure he was engaged in during his periodical vis- 
its to London, and had gone to the head of the firm that 
employed him. She threatened to divorce him, and they 
announced that they would dismiss him if she did. He was 
passionately devoted to his children and could not bear the 
thought of being separated from them. When he had to 
choose between his wife and his mistress he chose his wife. 
He had been always anxious that there should be no child 
to make the entanglement more complicated; and when 
Mildred, unable longer to conceal its approach, informed 
him of the fact, he was seized with panic. He picked a 
quarrel and left her without more ado. 

"When d'you expect to be confined ?" asked Philip. 

"At the beginning of March." 

"Three months." 

It was necessary to discuss plans. Mildred declared she 
would not remain in the rooms at Highbury, and Philip 
thought it more convenient too that she should be nearer 
to him. He promised to look for something next day. She 
suggested the Vauxhall Bridge Road as a likely neigh- 

"And it would be near for afterwards," she said. 

"What do you mean ?" 

"Well, I should only be able to stay there about two 
months or a little more, and then I should have to go into 
a house. I know a very respectable place, where they have 
a most superior class of people, and they take jou for four 
guineas a week and no extras. Of course the doctor's extra, 
but that's all. A friend of mine went there, and the lady 
who keeps it is a thorough lady. I mean to tell her that my 


husband's an officer in India and I've come to London for 
my baby, because it's better for my health." 

It seemed extraordinary to Philip to hear her talking in 
this way. With her delicate little features and her pale face 
she looked cold and maidenly. When he thought of the pas- 
sions that burnt within her, so unexpected, his heart was 
strangely troubled. His pulse beat quickly. 


PHILIP expected to find a letter from Norah when he 
got back to his rooms, but there was nothing; nor did he 
receive one the following morning. The silence irritated 
and at the same time alarmed him. They had seen one an- 
other every day he had been in London since the previous 
June ; and it must seem odd to her that he should let two 
days go by without visiting her or offering a reason for 
his absence; he wondered whether by an unlucky chance 
she had seen him with Mildred. He could not bear to think 
that she was hurt or unhappy, and he made up his mind 
to call on her that afternoon. He was almost inclined to 
reproach her because he had allowed himself to get on 
such intimate terms with her. The thought of continuing 
them filled him with disgust. 

He found two rooms for Mildred on the second floor of 
a house in the Vauxhall Bridge Road. They were noisy, 
but he knew that she liked the rattle of traffic under her 

"I don't like a dead and alive street where you don't 
see a soul pass all day," she said. "Give me a bit of life." 

Then he forced himself to go to Vincent Square. He was 
sick with apprehension when he rang the bell. He had an 
uneasy sense that he was treating Norah badly ; he dreaded 
reproaches ; he knew she had a quick temper, and he hated 
scenes : perhaps the best way would be to tell her frankly 
that Mildred had come back to him and his love for her 
was as violent as it had ever been ; he was very sorry, but 
he had nothing to offer Norah any more. Then he thought 
of her anguish, for he knew she loved him; it had flat- 
tered him before, and he was immensely grateful ; but now 
it was horrible. She had not deserved that he should inflict 
pain upon her. He asked himself how she would greet him 
now, and as he walked up the stairs all possible forms of 
her behaviour flashed across his mind. He knocked at the 



door. He felt that he was pale, and wondered how to con- 
ceal his nervousness. 

She was writing away industriously, but she sprang to 
her feet as he entered. 

"I recognised your step," she cried. "Where have you 
been hiding yourself, you naughty boy?" 

She came towards him joyfully and put her arms round 
his neck. She was delighted to see him. He kissed her, and 
then, to give himself countenance, said he was dying for 
tea. She bustled the fire to make the kettle boil. 

"I've been awfully busy," he said lamely. 

She began to chatter in her bright way, telling him of a 
new commission she had to provide a novelette for a firm 
which had not hitherto employed her. She was to get fif- 
teen guineas for it. 

"It's money from the clouds. I'll tell you what we'll do, 
we'll stand ourselves a little jaunt. Let's go and spend a 
day at Oxford, shall we ? I'd love to see the colleges." 

He looked at her to see whether there was any shadow 
of reproach in her eyes ; but they were as frank and merry 
as ever: she was overjoyed to see him. His heart sank. 
He could not tell her the brutal truth. She made some toast 
for him, and cut it into little pieces, and gave it him as 
though he were a child. 

"Is the brute fed ?" she asked. 

He nodded, smiling; and she lit a cigarette for him. 
Then, as she loved to do, she came and sat on his knees. 
She was very light. She leaned back in his arms with a 
sigh of delicious happiness. 

"Say something nice to me," she murmured. 

"What shall I say?" 

"You might by an effort of imagination say that you 
rather liked me." 

"You know I do that." 

He had not the heart to tell her then. He would give her 
peace at all events for that day, and perhaps he might 
write to her. That would be easier. He could not bear to 
think of her crying. She made him kiss her, and as he 
kissed her he thought of Mildred and Mildred's pale, thin 
lips. The recollection of Mildred remained with him all 


the time, like an incorporated form, but more substantial 
than a shadow ; and the sight continually distracted his at- 

"You're very quiet today," Norah said. 

Her loquacity was a standing joke between them, and 
he answered : 

"You never let me get a word in, and I've got out of the 
habit of talking." 

"But you're not listening, and that's bad manners." 

He reddened a little, wondering whether she had some 
inkling of his secret; he turned away his eyes uneasily. 
The weight of her irked him this afternoon, and he did not 
want her to touch him. 

"My foot's gone to sleep," he said. 

"I'm so sorry," she cried, jumping up. "I shall have to 
bant if I can't break myself of this habit of sitting on gen- 
tlemen's knees." 

He went through an elaborate form of stamping his foot 
and walking about. Then he stood in front of the fire so 
that she should not resume her position. While she talked 
he thought that she was worth ten of Mildred ; she amused 
him much more and was jollier to talk to; she was clev- 
erer, and she had a much nicer nature. She was a good, 
brave, honest little woman; and Mildred, he thought bit- 
terly, deserved none of these epithets. If he had any sense 
he would stick to Norah, she would make him much hap- 
pier than he would ever be with Mildred : after all she 
loved him, and Mildred was only grateful for his help. 
But when all was said the important thing was to love 
rather than to be loved ; and he yearned for Mildred with 
his whole soul. He would sooner have ten minutes with her 
than a whole afternoon with Norah, he prized one kiss of 
her cold lips more than all Norah could give him. 

"I can't help myself," he thought. "I've just got her it* 
my bones." 

He did not care if she was heartless, vicious and vulgar, 
stupid and grasping, he loved her. He would rather have 
misery with the one than happiness with the other. 

When he got up to go Norah said casually : 

"Well, I shall see you tomorrow, shan't I?" 


"Yes," he answered. 

He knew that he would not be able to come, since he 
was going to help Mildred with her moving, but he had 
not the courage to say so. He made up his mind that he 
would send a wire. Mildred saw the rooms in the morning, 
was satisfied with them, and after luncheon Philip went 
up with her to Highbury. She had a trunk for her clothes 
and another for the various odds and ends, cushions, lamp- 
shades, photograph frames, with which she had tried to 
give the apartments a home-like air ; she had two or three 
large cardboard boxes besides, but in all there was no 
more than could be put on the roof of a four-wheeler. 
As they drove through Victoria Street Philip sat well 
back in the cab in case Norah should happen to be passing. 
He had not had an opportunity to telegraph and could not 
do so from the post-office in the Vauxhall Bridge Road, 
since she would wonder what he was doing in that neigh- 
bourhood; and if he was there he could have no excuse 
for not going into the neighbouring square where she 
lived. He made up his mind that he had better go in and 
see her for half an hour ; but the necessity irritated him : 
he was angry with Norah, because she forced him to vul- 
gar and degrading shifts. But he was happy to be with 
Mildred. It amused him to help her with the unpacking; 
and he experienced a charming sense of possession in 
installing her in these lodgings which he had found and 
was paying for. He would not let her exert herself. It was 
a pleasure to do things for her, and she had no desire to 
do what somebody else seemed desirous to do for her. 
He unpacked her clothes and put them away. She was not 
proposing to go out again, so he got her slippers and took 
off her boots. It delighted him to perform menial offices. 

"You do spoil me," she said, running her fingers affec- 
tionately through his hair, while he was on his knees un- 
buttoning her boots. 

He took her hands and kissed them. 

"It is nipping to have you here." 

He arranged the cushions and the photograph frames. 
She had several jars of green earthenware. 

"I'll get you some flowers for them," he said. 


He looked round at his work proudly. 

"As I'm not going out any more I think I'll get into a 
tea-gown," she said. "Undo me behind, will you?" 

She turned round as unconcernedly as though he were 
a woman. His sex meant nothing to her. But his heart was 
rilled with gratitude for the intimacy her request showed. 
He undid the hooks and eyes with clumsy fingers. 

"That first day I came into the shop I never thought 
I'd be doing this for you now," he said, with a laugh which 
he forced." 

"Somebody must do it," she answered. 

She went into the bed-room and slipped into a pale blue 
tea-gown decorated with a great deal of cheap lace. Then 
Philip settled her on a sofa and made tea for her. 

"I'm afraid I can't stay and have it with you," he said 
regretfully. "I've got a beastly appointment. But I shall be 
back in half an hour." 

He wondered what he should say if she asked him what 
the appointment was, but she showed no curiosity. He had 
ordered dinner for the two of them when he took the 
rooms, and proposed to spend the evening with her quietly. 
He was in such a hurry to get back that he took a tram 
along the Vauxhall Bridge Road. He thought he had bet- 
ter break the fact to Norah at once that he could not stay 
more than a few minutes. 

"I say, I've got only just time to say how d'you do," he 
said, as soon as he got into her rooms. "I'm frightfully 

Her face fell. 

"Why, what's the matter?" 

It exasperated him that she should force him to tell lies, 
and he knew that he reddened when he answered that there 
was a demonstration at the hospital which he was bound to 
go to. He fancied that she looked as though she did not 
believe him, and this irritated him all the more. 

"Oh, well, it doesn't matter," she said. "I shall have you 
all tomorrow." 

He looked at her blankly. It was Sunday, and he had 
been looking forward to spending the day with Mildred. 


He told himself that he must do that in common decency; 
he could not leave her by herself in a strange house. 

"I'm awfully sorry, I'm engaged tomorrow." 

He knew this was the beginning of a scene which he 
would have given anything to avoid. The colour on Norah's 
cheeks grew brighter. 

"But I've asked the Gordons to lunch" they were an 
actor and his wife who were touring the provinces and in 
London for Sunday "I told you about it a week ago." 

"I'm awfully sorry, I forgot." He hesitated. "I'm afraid 
I can't possibly come. Isn't there somebody else you can 

"What are you doing tomorrow then ?" 

"I wish you wouldn't cross-examine me." 

"Don't you want to tell me ?" 

"I don't in the least mind telling you, but it's rather an- 
noying to be forced to account for all one's movements." 

Norah suddenly changed. With an effort of self-control 
she got the better of her temper, and going up to him took 
his hands. 

"Don't disappoint me tomorrow, Philip, I've been look- 
ing forward so much to spending the day with you. The 
Gordons want to see you, and we'll have such a jolly time." 

"I'd love to if I could." 

"I'm not very exacting, am I ? I don't often ask you to 
do anything that's a bother. Won't you get out of your 
horrid engagement just this once ?" 

"I'm awfully sorry, I don't see how I can," he replied 

"Tell me what it is," she said coaxingly. 

He had had time to invent something. 

"Griffiths' two sisters are up for the week-end and we're 
taking them out." 

"Is that all?" she said joyfully. "Griffiths can so easily 
get another man." 

He wished he had thought of something more urgent 
than that. It was a clumsy lie. 

"No, I'm awfully sorry, I can't I've promised and I 
mean to keep my promise." 

"But you promised me too. Surely I come first." 


"I wish you wouldn't persist," he said. 

She flared up. 

"You won't come because you don't want to. I don't 
know what you've been doing the last few days, you've 
been quite different." 

He looked at his watch. 

"I'm afraid I'll have to be going," he said. 

"You won't come tomorrow ?" 


"In that case you needn't trouble to come again," she 
cried, losing her temper for good. 

"That's just as you like," he answered. 

"Don't let me detain you any longer," she added ironi- 

He shrugged his shoulders and walked out. He was re- 
lieved that it had gone no worse. There had been no tears. 
As he walked along he congratulated himself on getting 
out of the affair so easily. He went into Victoria Street and 
bought a few flowers to take in to Mildred. 

The little dinner was a great success. Philip had sent in 
a small pot of caviare, which he knew she was very fond 
of, and the landlady brought them up some cutlets with 
vegetables and a sweet. Philip had ordered Burgundy, 
which was her favourite wine. With the curtains drawn, a 
bright fire, and one of Mildred's shades on the lamp, the 
room was cosy. 

"It's really just like home," smiled Philip. 

"I might be worse off, mightn't I ?" she answered. 

When they finished, Philip drew two arm-chairs in front 
of the fire, and they sat down. He smoked his pipe com- 
fortably. He felt happy and generous. 

"What would you like to do tomorrow ?" he asked. 

"Oh, I'm going to Tulse Hill. You remember the man- 
ageress at the shop, well, she's married now, and she's 
asked me to go and spend the day with her. Of course she 
thinks I'm married too." 

Philip's heart sank. 

"But I refused an invitation so that I might spend Sun 
day with you." 

He thought that if she loved him she would say that in 


that case she would stay with him. He knew very well that 
Norah would not have hesitated. 

"Well, you were a silly to do that. I've promised to go 
for three weeks and more." 

"But how can you go alone?" 

"Oh, I shall say that Emil's away on business. Her hus- 
band's in the glove trade, and he's a very superior fel- 

Philip was silent, and bitter feelings passed through his 
heart. She gave him a sidelong glance. 

"You don't grudge me a little pleasure, Philip ? You see, 
it's the last time I shall be able to go anywhere for I don't 
know how long, and I had promised." 

He took her hand and smiled. 

"No, darling, I want you to have the best time you can. 
I only want you to be happy." 

There was a little book bound in blue paper lying open, 
face downwards, on the sofa, and Philip idly took it up. It 
was a twopenny novelette, and the author was Courtenay 
Paget. That was the name under which Norah wrote. 

"I do like his books," said Mildred. "I read them all. 
They're so refined." 

He remembered what Norah had said of herself. 

"I have an immense popularity among kitchen-maids. 
They think me so genteel." 


PHILIP, in return for Griffiths' confidences, had told him 
the details of his own complicated amours, and on Sunday 
morning, after breakfast when they sat by the fire in their 
dressing-gowns and smoked, he recounted the scene of the 
previous day. Griffiths congratulated him because he had 
got out of his difficulties so easily. 

"It's the simplest thing in the world to, have an affair 
with a woman," he remarked sententiously, "but it's a devil 
of a nuisance to get out of it." 

Philip felt a little inclined to pat himself on the back for 
his skill in managing the business. At all events he was 
immensely relieved. He thought of Mildred enjoying her- 
self in Tulse Hill, and he found in himself a real satisfac- 
tion because she was happy. It was an act of self-sacrifice 
on his part that he did not grudge her pleasure even though 
paid for by his own disappointment, and it filled his heart 
with a comfortable glow. 

But on Monday morning he found on his table a letter 
from Norah. She wrote : 


I'm sorry I was cross on Saturday. Forgive me and come 
to tea in the afternoon as usual. I love you. 

Your Norah. 

His heart sank, and he did not know what to do. He 
took the note to Griffiths and showed it to him. 

"You'd better leave it unanswered," said he. 

"Oh, I can't," cried Philip. "I should be miserable if I 
thought of her waiting and waiting. You don't know what 
it is to be sick for the postman's knock. I do, and I can't 
expose anybody else to that torture." 

"My dear fellow, one can't break that sort of affair off 
without somebody suffering. You must just set your teeth 
to that. One thing is, it doesn't last very long." 



Philip felt that Norah had not deserved that he should 
make her suffer; and what did Griffiths know about the 
degrees of anguish she was capable of? He remembered 
his own pain when Mildred had told him she was going to 
be married. He did not want anyone to experience what he 
had experienced then. 

"If you're so anxious not to give her pain, go back to 
her," said Griffiths. 

"I can't do that." 

He got up and walked up and down the room nervously. 
He was angry with Norah because she had not let the mat- 
ter rest. She must have seen that he had no more love to 
give her. They said women were so quick at seeing those 

"You might help me," he said to Griffiths. 

"My dear fellow, don't make such a fuss about it. People 
do get over these things, you know. She probably isn't so 
wrapped up in you as you think, either. One's always 
rather apt to exaggerate the passion one's inspired other 
people with." 

He paused and looked at Philip with amusement. 

"Look here, there's only one thing you can do. Write to 
her, and tell her the thing's over. Put it so that there cais 
be no mistake about it. It'll hurt her, but it'll hurt her less 
if you do the thing brutally than if you try half-hearted 

Philip sat down and wrote the following letter : 

My dear Norah, 

I am sorry to make yon unhappy, but I think we had bet- 
ter let things remain where we left them on Saturday. I 
don't think there's any use in letting these things drag on 
when they've ceased to be amusing. You told me to go and 
I went. I do not propose to come back. Good-bye. 

Philip Carey. 

He showed the letter to Griffiths and asked him what he 
thought of it. Griffiths read it and looked at Philip with 
twinkling eyes. He did not say what he felt. 

"I think that'll do the trick," he said. 


Philip went out and posted it. He passed an uncomfor- 
table morning, for he imagined with great detail what 
Norah would feel when she received his letter. He tor- 
tured himself with the thought of her tears. But at the 
same time he was relieved. Imagined grief was more easy 
to bear than grief seen, and he was free now to love Mil- 
dred with all his soul. His heart leaped at the thought of 
going to see her that afternoon, when his day's work at the 
hospital was over. 

When as usual he went back to his rooms to tidy him- 
self, he had no sooner put the latch-key in his door than he 
heard a voice behind him. 

"May I come in? I've been waiting for you for half an 

It was Norah. He felt himself blush to the roots of his 
hair. She spoke gaily. There was no trace of resentment 
in her voice and nothing to indicate that there was a rup- 
ture between them. He felt himself cornered. He was sick 
with fear, but he did his best to smile. 

"Yes, do," he said. 

He opened the door, and she preceded him into his 
sitting-room. He was nervous and, to give himself counte- 
nance, offered her a cigarette and lit one for himself. She 
looked at him brightly. 

"Why did you write me such a horrid letter, you 
naughty boy? If I'd taken it seriously it would have made 
me perfectly wretched." 

"It was meant seriously," he answered gravely. 

"Don't be so silly. I lost my temper the other day, and 
I wrote and apologised. You weren't satisfied, so I've come 
here to apologise again. After all, you're your own master 
and I have no claims upon you. I don't want you to do 
anything you don't want to." 

She got up from the chair in which she was sitting and 
went towards him impulsively, with outstretched hands. 

"Let's make friends again, Philip. I'm so sorry if I 
offended you." 

He could not prevent her from taking his hands, but he 
could not look at her. 

"I'm afraid it's too late," he said. 


She let herself down on the floor by his side and clasped 
his knees. 

"Philip, don't be silly. I'm quick-tempered too and I can 
understand that I hurt you, but it's so stupid to sulk over 
it. What's the good of making us both unhappy ? It's been 
so jolly, our friendship." She passed her fingers slowly 
over his hand. "I love you, Philip." 

He got up, disengaging himself from her, and went to 
the other side of the room. 

"I'm awfully sorry, I can't do anything. The whole 
thing's over." 

"D'you mean to say you don't love me any more ?" 

"I'm afraid so." 

"You were just looking for an opportunity to throw me 
over and you took that one ?" 

He did not answer. She looked at him steadily for a time 
which seemed intolerable. She was sitting on the floor 
where he had left her, leaning against the arm-chair. She 
began to cry quite silently, without trying to hide her face, 
and the large tears rolled down her cheeks one after the 
other. She did not sob. It was horribly painful to see her. 
Philip turned away. 

"I'm awfully sorry to hurt you. It's not my fault if I 
don't love you." 

She did not answer. She merely sat there, as though she 
were overwhelmed, and the tears flowed down her cheeks. 
It would have been easier to bear if she had reproached 
him. He had thought her temper would get the better of 
her, and he was prepared for that. At the back of his mind 
was a feeling that a real quarrel, in which each said to 
the other cruel things, would in some way be a justification 
of his behaviour. The time passed. At last he grew fright- 
ened by her silent crying; he went into his bed-room and 
got a glass of water ; he leaned over her. 

"Won't you drink a little ? It'll relieve you." 

She put her lips listlessly to the glass and drank two or 
three mouthfuls. Then in an exhausted whisper she asked 
him for a handkerchief. She dried her eyes. 

"Of course I knew you never loved me as much as I 
loved you," she moaned. 


"I'm afraid that's always the case," he said. "There's 
always one who loves and one who lets himself be loved." 

He thought of Mildred, and a bitter pain traversed his 
heart. Norah did not answer for a long time. 

"I'd been so miserably unhappy, and my life was so 
hateful," she said at last. 

She did not speak to him, but to herself. He had never 
heard her before complain of the life she had led with her 
husband or of her poverty. He had always admired the 
bold front she displayed to the world. 

"And then you came along and you were so good to me. 
And I admired you because you were clever and it was so 
heavenly to have someone I could put my trust in. I loved 
you. I never thought it could come to an end. And with- 
out any fault of mine at all." 

Her tears began to flow again, but now she was more 
mistress of herself, and she hid her face in Philip's hand- 
kerchief. She tried hard to control herself. 

"Give me some more water," she said. 

She wiped her eyes. 

"I'm sorry to make such a fool of myself. I was so un- 

"I'm awfully sorry, Norah. I want you to know that 
I'm very grateful for all you've done for me." 

He wondered what it was she saw in him. 

"Oh, it's always the same," she sighed, "if you want men 
to behave well to you, you must be beastly to them ; if you 
treat them decently they make you suffer for it." 

She got up from the floor and said she must go. She 
gave Philip a long, steady look. Then she sighed. 

"It's so inexplicable. What does it all mean?" 

Philip took a sudden determination. 

"I think I'd better tell you, I don't want you to think 
too badly ot me, I want you to see that I can't help my- 
self. Mildred's come back." 

The colour came to her face. 

"Why didn't you tell me at once? I deserved that 

"I was afiaid to." 


She looked at herself in the glass and set her hat 

"Will you call me a cab," she said. "I don't feel I can 

He went to the door and stopped a passing hansom ; but 
when she followed him into the street he was startled to 
see how white she was. There was a heaviness in her move- 
ments as though she had suddenly grown older. She looked 
so ill that he had not the heart to let her go alone. 

"I'll drive back with you if you don't mind." 

She did not answer, and he got into the cab. They drove 
along in silence over the bridge, through shabby streets 
in which children, with shrill cries, played in the road. 
When they arrived at her door she did not immediately get 
out. It seemed as though she could not summon enough 
strength to her legs to move. 

"I hope you'll forgive me, Norah," he said. 

She turned her eyes towards him, and he saw that they 
were bright again with tears, but she forced a smile to her 

"Poor fellow, you're quite worried about me. You 
mustn't bother. I don't blame you. I shall get over it all 

Lightly and quickly she stroked his face to show him 
that she bore no ill-feeling, the gesture was scarcely more 
than suggested ; then she jumped out of the cab and let her- 
self into her house. 

Philip paid the hansom and walked to Mildred's lodg- 
ings. There was a curious heaviness in his heart. He was 
inclined to reproach himself. But why? He did not know 
what else he could have done. Passing a fruiterer's, he re- 
membered that Mildred was fond of grapes. He was so 
grateful that he could show his love for her by recollecting 
every whim she had. 


FOR the next three months Philip went every day to see 
Mildred. He took his books with him and after tea 
worked, while Mildred lay on the sofa reading novels. 
Sometimes he would look up and watch her for a minute. 
A happy smile crossed his lips. She would feel his eyes 
upon her. 

"Don't waste your time looking at me, silly. Go on with 
your work," she said. 

"Tyrant," he answered gaily. 

He put aside his book when the landlady came in to lay 
the cloth for dinner, and in his high spirits he exchanged 
chaff with her. She was a little cockney, of middle-age, 
with an amusing humour and a quick tongue. Mildred had 
become great friends with her and had given her an elabo- 
rate but mendacious account of the circumstances which 
had brought her to the pass she was in. The good-hearted 
little woman was touched and found no trouble too gresft 
to make Mildred comfortable. Mildred's sense of pro- 
priety had suggested that Philip should pass himself off 
as her brother. They dined together, and Philip was de- 
lighted when he had ordered something which tempted 
Mildred's capricious appetite. It enchanted him to see her 
sitting opposite him, and every now and then from sheer 
joy he took her hand and pressed it. After dinner she sat 
in the arm-chair by the fire, and he settled himself down 
on the floor beside her, leaning against her knees, and 
smoked. Often they did not talk at all, and sometimes 
Philip noticed that she had fallen into a doze. He dared 
not move then in case he woke her, and he sat very quietly, 
looking lazily into the fire and enjoying his happiness. 

"Had a nice little nap?" he smiled, when she woke. 

"I've not been sleeping," she answered. "I only just 
closed my eyes." 

She would never acknowledge that she had been asleep. 



She had a phlegmatic temperament, and her condition did 
not seriously inconvenience her. She took a lot of trouble 
about her health and accepted the advice of anyone who 
chose to offer it. She went for a 'constitutional' every 
morning that it was fine and remained out a definite time. 
When it was not too cold she sat in St. James' Park. But 
the rest of the day she spent quite happily on her sofa, 
reading one novel after another or chatting with the land- 
lady ; she had an inexhaustible interest in gossip, and told 
Philip with abundant detail the history of the landlady, of 
the lodgers on the drawing-room floor, and of the people 
who lived in the next house on either side. Now and then 
she was seized with panic; she poured out her fears to 
Philip about the pain of the confinement and was in terror 
lest she should die ; she gave him a full account of the con- 
finements of the landlady and of the lady on the drawing- 
room floor (Mildred did not know her; "I'm one to keep 
myself to myself," she said, "I'm not one to go about with 
anybody.") and she narrated details with a queer mix- 
ture of horror and gusto ; but for the most part she looked 
forward to the occurrence "with equanimity. 

"After all, I'm not the first one to have a baby, am I ? 
And the doctor says I shan't have any trouble. You see, 
it isn't as if I wasn't well made." 

Mrs. Owen, the owner of the house she was going to 
when her time came, had recommended a doctor, and Mil- 
dred saw him once a week. He was to charge fifteen 

"Of course I could have got it done cheaper, but Mrs. 
Owen strongly recommended him, and I thought it wasn't 
worth while to spoil the ship for a coat of tar." 

"If you feel happy and comfortable I don't mind a bit 
about the expense," said Philip. 

She accepted all that Philip did for her as if it were the 
most natural thing in the world, and on his side he loved 
to spend money on her : each five-pound note he gave her 
caused him a little thrill of happiness and pride; he gave 
her a good many, for she was not economical. 

"I don't know where the money goes to," she said her- 
self, "it seems to slip through my fingers like water." 


"It doesn't matter," said Philip. "I'm so glad to be able 
to do anything I can for you." 

She could not sew well and so did not make the neces- 
sary things for the baby; she told Philip it was much 
cheaper in the end to buy them. Philip had lately sold one 
of the mortgages in which his money had been put ; and 
now, with five hundred pounds in the 'tank waiting to be 
invested in something that could be more easily realised, 
he felt himself uncommonly well-to-do. They talked often 
of the future. Philip was anxious that Mildred should keep 
the child with her, but she refused : she had her living to 
earn, and it would be more easy to do this if she had not 
also to look after a baby. Her plan was to get back into 
one of the shops of the company for which she had worked 
before, and the child could be put with some decent woman 
in the country. 

"I can find someone who'll look after it well for seven 
and sixpence a week. It'll be better for the baby and better 
for me." 

It seemed callous to Philip, but when he tried to reason 
with her she pretended to think he was concerned with 
the expense. 

"You needn't worry about that," she said. "I shan't ask 
you to pay for it." 

"You know I don't care how much I pay." 

At the bottom of her heart was the hope that the child 
would be still-born. She did no more than hint it, but 
Philip saw that the thought was there. He was shocked at 
first ; and then, reasoning with himself, he was obliged to 
confess that for all concerned such an event was to be de- 

"It's all very fine to say this and that," Mildred re- 
marked querulously, "but it's jolly difficult for a girl to 
earn her living by herself ; it doesn't make it any easier 
when she's got a baby." 

"Fortunately you've got me to fall back on," smiled 
Philip, taking her hand. 

"You've been good to me, Philip." 

"Oh, what rot !" 


"You can't say I didn't offer anything in return for 
what you've done." 

"Good heavens, I don't want a return. If I've done any- 
thing for you, I've done it because I love you. You owe me 
nothing. I don't want you to do anything unless you love 

He was a little horrified by her feeling that her body 
was a commodity which she could deliver indifferently as 
an acknowledgment for services rendered. 

"But I do want to, Philip. You've been so good to me." 

"Well, it won't hurt for waiting. When you're all right 
again we'll go for our little honeymoon." 

"You are naughty," she said, smiling. 

Mildred expected to be confined early in March, and as 
soon as she was well enough she was to go to the seaside 
for a fortnight: that would give Philip a chance to work 
without interruption for his examination ; after that came 
the Easter holidays, and they had arranged to go to Paris 
together. Philip talked endlessly of the things they would 
do. Paris was delightful then. They would take a room in 
a little hotel he knew in the Latin Quarter, and they would 
eat in all sorts of charming little restaurants ; they would 
go to the play, and he would take her to music-halls. It 
would amuse her to meet his friends. He had talked to 
her about Cronshaw, she would see him; and there was 
Lawson, he had gone to Paris for a couple of months ; and 
they would go to the Bai Bullier ; there were excursions ; 
they would make trips to Versailles, Charthes, Fontaine- 

"It'll cost a lot of money," she said. 

"Oh, damn the expense. Think how I've been looking 
forward to it. Don't you know what it means to me? I've 
never loved anyone but you. I never shall." 

She listened to his enthusiasm with smiling eyes. He 
thought he saw in them a new tenderness, and he was 
grateful to her. She was much gentler than she used to 
be. There was in her no longer the superciliousness which 
had irritated him. She was so accustomed to him now that 
she took no pains to keep up before him any pretences. 
She no longer troubled to do her hair with the old elabora- 


tion, but just tied it in a knot; and she left off the vast 
fringe which she generally wore: the more careless style 
suited her. Her face was so thin that it made her eyes 
seem very large; there were heavy lines under them, and 
the pallor of her cheeks made their colour more profound. 
She had a wistful look which was infinitely pathetic. There 
seemed to Philip to be in her something of the Madonna. 
He wished they could continue in that same way always. 
He was happier than he had ever been in his life. 

He used to leave her at ten o'clock every night, for she 
liked to go to bed early, and he was obliged to put in an- 
other couple of hours' work to make up for the lost eve- 
ning. He generally brushed her hair for her before he 
went. He had made a ritual of the kisses he gave her when 
he bade her good-night; first he kissed the paflms of her 
hands, (how thin the fingers were, the nails were beauti- 
ful, for she spent much time in manicuring them,) then 
he kissed her closed eyes, first the right one and then the 
left, and at last he kissed her lips. He went home with ?. 
hart overflowing with love. He longed for an opportunity 
to gratify ^he 4esire for self-sacrifice which consumed 

Presently the time came for her to move to the nursing- 
home where she was to be confined. Philip was then able 
to visit her only in the afternoons. Mildred changed her 
story and represented herself as the wife of a soldier who 
had gone to India to join his regiment, and Philip was in- 
troduced to the mistress of the establishment as her 

"I have to be rather careful what I say," she told him, 
"as there's another lady here whose husband's in the Indian 

"I wouldn't let that disturb me if I were you," said 
Philip. "I'm convinced that her husband and yours went 
out on the same boat." 

"What boat?" she asked innocently. 

"The Flying Dutchman." 

Mildred was safely delivered of a daughter, and when 
Philip was allowed to see her the child was lying by her 
side. Mildred was very weak, but relieved that everything 


was over. She showed him the baby, and herself looked 
at it curiously. 

"It's a funny-looking little thing, isn't it? I can't believe 
it's mine." 

It was red and wrinkled and odd. Philip smiled when 
he looked at it. He did not quite know what to say ; and it 
embarrassed him because the nurse who owned the house 
was standing by his side ; and he felt by the way she was 
looking at him that, disbelieving Mildred's complicated 
story, she thought he was the father. 

"What are you going to call her?" asked Philip. 

"I can't make up my mind if I shall call her Madeleine 
or Cecilia." 

The nurse left them alone for a few minutes, and Philip 
bent down and kissed Mildred on the mouth. 

"I'm so glad it's all over happily, darling." 

She put her thin arms round his neck. 

"You have been a brick to me, Phil dear." 

"Now I feel that you're mine at last. I've waited so long 
for you, my dear." 

They heard the nurse at the door, and Philip hurriedly 
got up. The nurse entered. There was a slight smile on 
her lips. 


THREE weeks later Philip saw Mildred and her baby oiF 
to Brighton. She had made a quick recovery and looked 
better than he had ever seen her. She was going to a 
boarding-house where she had spent a couple of week- 
ends with Emil Miller, and had written to say that her 
husband was obliged to go to Germany on business and she 
was coming down with her baby. She got pleasure out of 
the stories she invented, and she showed a certain fertility 
of invention in the working out of the details. Mildred pro- 
posed to find in Brighton some woman who would be 
willing to take charge of the baby. Philip was startled at 
the callousness with which she insisted on getting rid of it 
so soon, but she argued with common sense that the poor 
child had much better be put somewhere before it grew 
used to her. Philip had expected the maternal instinct to 
make itself felt when she had had the baby two or three 
weeks and had counted on this to help him persuade her 
to keep it ; but nothing of the sort occurred. Mildred was 
not unkind to her baby ; she did all that was necessary ; it 
amused her sometimes, and she talked about it a good 
deal ; but at heart she was indifferent to it. She could not 
look upon it as part of herself. She fancied it resembled 
its father already. She was continually wondering how she 
would manage when it grew older ; and she was exasper- 
ated with herself for being such a fool as to have it at all. 

"If I'd only known then all I do now," she said. 

She laughed at Philip, because he was anxious about 
its welfare. 

"You couldn't make more fuss if you was the father," 
she said. "I'd like to see Emil getting into such a stew 
about it." 

Philip's mind was full of the stories he had heard of 
baby-farming and the ghouls who ill-treat the wretched 



children that selfish, cruel parents have put in their 

"Don't be so silly," said Mildred. "That's when you give 
a woman a sum down to look after a baby. But when 
you're going to pay so much a week it's to their interest to 
look after it well." 

Philip insisted that Mildred should place the child with 
people who had no children of their own and would prom- 
ise to take no other. 

"Don't haggle about the price," he said. "I'd rather pay 
half a guinea a week than run any risk of the kid being 
starved or beaten." 

"You're a funny old thing, Philip," she laughed. 

To him there was something very touching in the child's 
helplessness. It was small, ugly, and querulous. Its birth 
had been looked forward to with shame and anguish. No- 
body wanted it. It was dependent on him, a stranger, for 
food, shelter, and clothes to cover its nakedness. 

As the train started he kissed Mildred. He would have 
kissed the baby too, but he was afraid she would laugh at 

"You will write to me, darling, won't you? And I shall 
look forward to your coming back with oh! such impa- 

"Mind you get through your exam." 

He had been working for it industriously, and now with 
only ten days before him he made a final effort. He was 
very anxious to pass, first to save himself time and ex- 
pense, for money had been slipping through his fingers 
during the last four months with incredible speed; and 
then because this examination marked the end of the 
drudgery : after that the student had to do with medicine, 
midwifery, and surgery, the interest of which was more 
vivid than the anatomy and physiology with which he had 
been hitherto concerned. Philip looked forward with in- 
terest to the rest of the curriculum. Nor did he want to 
have to confess to Mildred that he had failed : though the 
examination was difficult and the majority of candidates 
were ploughed at the first attempt, he knew that she would 


think less well of him if he did not succeed ; she had a pe- 
culiarly humiliating way of showing what she thought. 

Mildred sent him a postcard to announce her safe ar- 
rival, and he snatched half an hour every day to write a 
long letter to her. He had always a certain shyness in ex- 
pressing himself by word of mouth, but he found he could 
tell her, pen in hand, all sorts of things which it would 
have made him feel ridiculous to say. Profiting by the 
discovery he poured out to her his whole heart. He had 
never been able to tell her before how his adoration filled 
every part of him so that all his actions, all his thoughts, 
were touched with it. He wrote to her of the future, the 
happiness that lay before him, and the gratitude which he 
owed her. He asked himself (he had often asked himself 
before but had never put it into words) what it was in her 
that filled him with such extravagant delight; he did not 
know ; he knew only that when she was with him he was 
happy, and when she was away from him the world was 
on a sudden cold and gray; he knew only that when he 
thought of her his heart seemed to grow big in his body 
so that it was difficult to breathe (as if it pressed against 
his lungs) and it throbbed, so that the delight of her pres- 
ence was almost pain; his knees shook, and he felt 
strangely weak as though, not having eaten, he were tremu- 
lous from want of food. He looked forward eagerly to her 
answers. He did not expect her to write often, for he 
knew that letter-writing came difficultly to her ; and he was 
quite content with the clumsy little note that arrived in 
reply to four of his. She spoke of the boarding-house in 
which she had taken a room, of the weather and the baby, 
told him she had been for a walk on the front with a lady- 
friend whom she had met in the boarding-house and who 
had taken such a fancy to baby, she was going to the the- 
atre on Saturday night, and Brighton was filling up. It 
touched Philip because it was so matter-of-fact. "The 
crabbed style, the formality of the matter, gave him a 
queer desire to laugh and to take her in his arms and kiss 

He went into the examination with happy confidence. 
There -was nothing in either of the papers that gave him 


trouble. He knew that he had done well, and though the 
second part of the examination was viva voce and he was 
more nervous, he managed to answer the questions ade- 
quately. He sent a triumphant telegram to Mildred when 
the result was announced. 

When he got back to his rooms Philip found a letter 
from her, saying that she thought it would be better for 
her to stay another week in Brighton. She had found a 
woman who would be glad to take the baby for seven shil- 
lings a week, but she wanted to make inquiries about her, 
and she was herself benefiting so much by the sea-air that 
she was sure a few days more would do her no end of 
good. She hated asking Philip for money, but would he 
send some by return, as she had had so buy herself a new 
hat, she couldn't go about with her lady-friend always in 
the same hat, and her lady-friend was so dressy. Philip 
had a moment of bitter disappointment. It took away all 
his pleasure at getting through his examination. 

"If she loved me one quarter as much as I love her she 
couldn't bear to stay away a day longer than necessary.*" 

He put the thought away from him quickly ; it was pure 
selfishness ; of course her health was more important than 
anything else. But he had nothing to do now; he might 
spend the week with her in Brighton, and they could be 
together all day. His heart leaped at the thought. It would 
be amusing to appear before Mildred suddenly with the 
information that he had taken a room in the boarding- 
house. He looked out trains. But he paused. He was not 
certain that she would be pleased to see him ; she had made 
friends in Brighton ; he was quiet, and she liked boisterous 
joviality; he realised that she amused herself more with 
other people than with him. It would torture him if he 
felt for an instant that he was in the way. He was afraid 
to risk it. He dared not even write and suggest that, with 
nothing to keep him in town, he would like to spend the 
week where he could see her every day. She knew he had 
nothing to do; if she wanted him to come she would have 
asked him to. He dared not risk the anguish he would suf- 
fer if he proposed to come and she made excuses to pre- 
vent him. 


He wrote to her next day, sent her a five-pound note, 
and at the end of his letter said that if she were very nice 
and cared to see him for the week-end he would be glad 
to run down ; but she was by no means to alter any plans 
she had made. He awaited her answer with impatience. In 
it she said that if she had only known before she could 
have arranged it, but she had promised to go to a music- 
hall on the Saturday night; besides, it would make the 
people at the boarding-house talk if he stayed there. Why 
did he not come on Sunday morning and spend the day? 
They could lunch at the Metropole, and she would take 
him afterwards to see the very superior lady-like person 
who was going to take the baby. 

Sunday. He blessed the day because it was fine. As the 
train approached Brighton the sun poured through the 
carriage window. Mildred was waiting for him on the 

"How jolly of you to come and meet me !" he cried, as 
he seized her hands. 

"You expected me, didn't you ?" 

"I hoped you would. I say, how well you're looking." 

"It's done me a rare lot of good, but I think I'm wise to 
stay here as long as I can. And there are a very nice class 
of people at the boarding-house. I wanted cheering up 
after seeing nobody all these months. It was dull some- 

She looked very smart in her new hat, a large black 
straw with a great many inexpensive flowers on it; and 
round her neck floated a long boa of imitation swans- 
down She was still very thin, and she stooped a little 
when she walked, (she had always done that,) but her eyes 
did not seem so large ; and though she never had any col- 
our, her skin had lost the earthy look it had. They walked 
down to the sea. Philip, remembering he had not walked 
with her for months, grew suddenly conscious of his limp 
and walked stiffly in the attempt to conceal it. 

"Are you glad to see me ?" he asked, love dancing- madly 
in his heart. 

"Of course I am. You needn't ask that." 

"By the way, Griffiths sends you his love." 


"What cheek!" 

He had talked to her a great deal of Griffiths. He had 
told her how flirtatious he was and had amused her often 
with the narration of some adventure which Griffiths un- 
der the seal of secrecy had imparted to him. Mildred had 
listened, with some pretence of disgust sometimes, but gen- 
erally with curiosity ; and Philip, admiringly, had enlarged 
upon his friend's good looks and charm. 

"I'm sure you'll like him just as much as I do. He's so 
jolly and amusing, and he's such an awfully good sort." 

Philip told her how, when they were perfect strangers, 
Griffiths had nursed him through an illness; and in the 
telling Griffiths' self-sacrifice lost nothing. 

"You can't help liking him," said Philip. 

"I don't like good-looking men," said Mildred. "They're 
too conceited for me." 

"He wants to know you. I've talked to him about you 
an awful lot." 

"What have you said ?" asked Mildred. 

Philip had no one but Griffiths to talk to of his love for 
Mildred, and little by little had told him the whole story 
of his connection with her. He described her to him fifty 
times. He dwelt amorously on every detail of her appear- 
ance, and Griffiths knew exactly how her thin hands were 
shaped and how white her face was, and he laughed at 
Philip when he talked of the charm of her pale, thin lips. 

"By Jove, I'm glad I don't take things so badly as that," 
he said. "Life wouldn't be worth living." 

Philip smiled. Griffiths did not know the delight of being 
so madly in love that it was like meat and wine and the 
air one breathed and whatever else was essential to exis- 
tence. Griffiths knew that Philip had looked after the girl 
while she was having her baby and was now going away 
with her. 

"Well, I must say you've deserved to get something," 
he remarked. "It must have cost you a pretty penny. It's 
lucky you can afford it." 

"I can't," said Philip. "But what do I care!" 

Since it was early for luncheon, Philip and Mildred sat 
in one of the shelters on the parade, sunning themselves, 


and watched the people pass. There were the Brighton 
-shop-boys who walked in twos and threes, swinging their 
canes, and there were the Brighton shop-girls who tripped 
along in giggling bunches. They could tell the people who 
had come down from London for the day; the keen air 
gave a fillip to their weariness. There were many Jews, 
stout ladies in tight satin dresses and diamonds, little 
corpulent men with a gesticulative manner. There were 
middle-aged gentlemen spending a week-end in one of the 
large hotels, carefully dressed ; and they walked indus- 
triously after too substantial a breakfast to give themselves 
an appetite for too substantial a luncheon : they exchanged 
the time of day with friends and talked of Dr. Brighton 
or London-by-the-Sea. Here and there a well-known actor 
passed, elaborately unconscious of the attention he excited : 
sometimes he wore patent leather boots, a coat with an 
astrakhan collar, and carried a silver-knobbed stick; and 
sometimes, looking as though he had come from a day's 
shooting, he strolled in knickerbockers, and ulster of Har- 
ris tweed, and a tweed hat on the back of his head. The sun 
shone on the blue sea, and the blue sea was trim and neat. 

After luncheon they went to Hove to see the woman 
who was to take charge of the baby. She lived in a small 
house in a back street, but it was clean and tidy. Her 
name was Mrs. Harding. She was an elderly, stout person, 
with gray hair and a red, fleshy face. She looked motherly 
in her cap, and Philip thought she seemed kind. 

"Won't you find it an awful nuisance to look after a 
baby ?" he asked her. 

She explained that her husband was a curate, a good 
deal older than herself, who had difficulty in getting 
permanent work, since vicars wanted young men to assist 
them; he earned a little now and then by doing locums 
when someone took a holiday or fell ill, and a charitable 
institution gave them a small pension; but her life was 
lonely, it would be something to do to look after a child, 
and the few shillings a week paid for it would help her 
to keep things going. She promised that it should be well 


"Quite the lady, isn't she?" said Mildred, when they 
went away. 

They went back to have tea at the Metropole. Mildred 
liked the crowd and the band. Philip was tired of talking, 
and he watched her face as she looked with keen eyes 
at the dresses of the women who came in. She had a pecu- 
liar sharpness for reckoning up what things cost, and now 
and then she leaned over to him and whispered the result 
ot her meditations. 

"D'you see that aigrette there? That cost every bit of 
seven guineas." 

Or : "Look at that ermine, Philip. That's rabbit, that is 
that's not ermine." She laughed triumphantly. "I'd know 
it a mile off." 

Philip smiled happily. He was glad to see her pleasure, 
and the ingenuousness of her conversation amused and 
touched him. The band played sentimental music. 

After dinner they walked down to the station, and 
Philip took her arm. He told her what arrangements he 
had made for their journey to France. She was to come 
up to London at the end of the week, but she told him 
that she could not go away till the Saturday of the week 
after that. He had already engaged a room in a hotel 
in Paris. He was looking forward eagerly to taking the 

"You won't mind going second-class, will you? We 
mustn't be extravagant, and it'll be all the better if we 
can do ourselves pretty well when we get there." 

He had talked to her a hundred times of the Quarter. 
They would wander through its pleasant old streets, and 
they would sit idly in the charming gardens of the Luxem- 
bourg. If the weather was fine perhaps, when they had had 
enough of Paris, they might go to Fontainebleau. The 
trees would be just bursting into leaf. The green of the 
forest in spring was more beautiful than anything he 
knew ; it was like a song, and it was like the happy pain 
of love. Mildred listened quietly. He turned to her and 
tried to look deep into her eyes. 

"You do want to come, don't you?" he said. 

"Of course I do," she smiled. 


"You don't know how I'm looking forward to it. I don't 
know how I shall get through the next days. I'm so afraid 
something will happen to prevent it. It maddens me some- 
times that I can't tell you how much I love you. And at 
last, at last . . ." 

He broke off. They reached the station, but they had 
dawdled on the way, and Philip had barely time to say 
good-night. He kissed her quickly and ran towards the 
wicket as fast as he could. She stood where he left her. 
He was strangely grotesque when he ran. 


THE following Saturday Mildred returned, and that 
evening Philip kept her to himself. He took seats for the 
play, and they drank dinner. It was her first 
gaiety in London for so long that she enjoyed everything 
ingenuously. She cuddled up to Philip when they drove 
from the theatre to the room he had taken for her in 

"I really believe you're quite glad to see me," he said. 

She did not answer, but gently pressed his hand. Dem- 
onstrations of affection were so rare with her that Philip 
was enchanted. 

"I've asked Griffiths to dine with us tomorrow," he told 

"Oh, I'm glad you've done that. I wanted to meet him." 

There was no place of entertainment to take her to on 
Sunday night, and Philip was afraid she would be bored 
if she were alone with him all day. Griffiths was amusing; 
he would help them to get through the evening ; and Philip 
was so fond of them both that he wanted them to know 
and to like one another. He left Mildred with the words : 

"Only six days more." 

They had arranged to dine in the gallery at Romano's 
on Sunday, because the dinner was excellent and looked 
as though it cost a good deal more than it did. Philip and 
Mildred arrived first and had to wait some time for 

"He's an unpunctual devil," said Philip. "He's probably 
making love to one of his numerous flames." 

But presently he appeared. He was a handsome creature, 
tall and thin ; his head was placed well on the body, it gave 
him a conquering air which was attractive : and his curly 
hair, his bold, friendly blue eyes, his red mouth, were 
charming. Philip saw Mildred look at him with apprecia- 



tion, and he felt a curious satisfaction. Griffiths greeted 
them with a smile. 

"I've heard a great deal about you/' he said to Mildred, 
as he took her hand. 

"Not so much as I've heard about you," she answered. 

"Nor so bad," said Philip. 

"Has he been blackening my character?" 

Griffiths laughed, and Philip saw that Mildred noticed 
how white and regular his teeth were and how pleasant his 

"You ought to feel like old friends," said Philip. "I've 
talked so much about you to one another." 

Griffiths was in the best possible humour, for, having at 
length passed his final examination, he was qualified, and 
he had just been appointed house-surgeon at a hospital in 
the North of London. He was taking up his duties at the 
beginning of May and meanwhile was going home for a 
holiday ; this was his last week in town, and he was deter- 
mined to get as much enjoyment into it as he could. He 
began to talk the gay nonsense which Philip admired be- 
cause he could not copy it. There was nothing much in 
what he said, but his vivacity gave it point. There flowed 
from him a force of life which affected everyone who 
knew him; it was almost as sensible as bodily warmth. 
Mildred was more lively than Philip had ever known her, 
and he was delighted to see that his little party was a suc- 
cess. She was amusing herself enormously. She laughed 
louder and louder. She quite forgot the genteel reserve 
which had become second nature to her. 

Presently Griffiths said : 

"I say, it's dreadfully difficult for me to call you Mrs. 
Milter. Philip never calls you anything but Mildred." 

"I daresay she won't scratch your eyes out if you call 
her that too," laughed Philip. 

"Then she must call me Harry." 

Philip sat silent while they chattered away and thought 
how good it was to see people happy. Now and then 
Griffiths teased him a little, kindly, because he was always 
so serious. 


"I believe he's quite fond of you, Philip," smiled Mil- 

"He isn't a bad old thing," answered Griffiths, and 
taking Philip's hand he shook it gaily. 

It seemed an added charm in Griffiths that he liked 
Philip. They were all sober people, and the wine they had 
drunk went to their heads. Griffiths became more talkative 
and so boisterous that Philip, amused, had to beg him to 
be quiet. He had a gift for story-telling, and his adven- 
tures lost nothing of their romance and their laughter in 
his narration. He played in all of them a gallant, humorous 
part. Mildred, her eyes shining with excitement, urged him 
on. He poured out anecdote after anecdote. When the 
lights began to be turned out she was astonished. 

"My word, the evening has gone quickly. I thought it 
wasn't more than half past nine." 

They got up to go and when she said good-bye, she 
added : 

"I'm coming to have tea at Philip's room tomorrow. 
You might look in if you can." 

"All right," he smiled. 

On the way back to Pimlico Mildred talked of nothing 
but Griffiths. She was taken with his good looks, his well- 
cut clothes, his voice, his gaiety. 

"I am glad you like him," said Philip. "D'you remem- 
ber you were rather sniffy about meeting him?" 

"I think it's so nice of him to be so fond of you, Philip. 
He is a nice friend for you to have." 

She put up her face to Philip for him to kiss her. It was 
a thing she did rarely. 

"I have enjoyed myself this evening, Philip. Thank you 
so much." 

"Don't be so absurd," he laughed, touched by her appre- 
ciation so that he felt the moisture come to his eyes. 

She opened her door and just before she went in, turned 
again to Philip. 

"Tell Harry I'm madly in love with him," she said. 

"All right," he laughed. "Good-night." 

Next day, when they were having tea, Griffiths came 
in. He sank lazily into an arm-chair. There was something 


strangely sensual in the slow movements of his large 
limbs. Philip remained silent, while the others chattered 
away, but he was enjoying himself. He admired them both 
so much that it seemed natural enough for them to admire 
one another. He did not care if Griffiths absorbed Mil- 
dred's attention, he would have her to himself during the 
evening: he had something the attitude of a loving hus- 
band, confident in his wife's affection, who looks on witb 
amusement while she flirts harmlessly with a stranger. 
But at half past seven he looked at his watch and said : 

"It's about time we went out to dinner, Mildred." 

There was a moment's pause, and Griffiths seemed to 
be considering. 

"Well, I'll be getting along," he said at last. "I didn't 
know it was so late." 

"Are you doing anything tonight?" asked Mildred. 


There was another silence. Philip felt slightly irritated. 

"I'll just go and have a wash," he said, and to Mildred 
he added: "Would you like to wash your hands?" 

She did not answer him. 

"Why don't you come and dine with us?" she said to 

He looked at Philip and saw him staring at him som- 

"I dined with you last night," he laughed. "I should be 
in the way." 

"Oh, that doesn't matter," insisted Mildred. "Make him 
come, Philip. He won't be in the way, will he ?" 

"Let him come by all means if he'd like to." 

"All right, then," said Griffiths promptly. "I'll just go 
upstairs and tidy myself." 

The moment he left the room Philip turned to Mildred 

"Why on earth did you ask him to dine with us?" 

"I couldn't help myself. It would have looked so funny 
to say nothing when he said he wasn't doing anything." 

"Oh, what rot ! And why the hell did you ask him if he 
was doing anything?" 

Mildred's pale lips tightened a little. 


"I want a little amusement sometimes. I get tired always 
being alone with you." 

They heard Griffiths coming heavily down the stairs, 
and Philip went into his bed-room to wash. They dined 
in the neighbourhood in an Italian restaurant. Philip was 
cross and silent, but he quickly realised that he was show- 
ing to disadvantage in comparison with Griffiths, and he 
forced himself to hide his annoyance. He drank a good 
deal of wine to destroy the pain that was gnawing at his 
heart, and he set himself to talk. Mildred, as though re- 
morseful for what she had said, did all she could to make 
herself pleasant to him. She was kindly and affectionate. 
Presently Philip began to think he had been a fool to sur- 
render to a feeling of jealousy. After dinner when they 
got into a hansom to drive to a music-hall Mildred, sitting 
between the two men, of her own accord gave him her 
hand. His anger vanished. Suddenly, he knew not how, he 
grew conscious that Griffiths was holding her other hand. 
The pain seized him again violently, it was a real physical 
pain, and he asked himself, panic-stricken, what he might 
have asked himself before, whether Mildred and Griffiths 
were in love with one another. He could not see anything 
of the performance on account of the mist of suspicion, 
anger, dismay, and wretchedness which seemed to be 
before his eyes ; but he forced himself to conceal the fact 
that anything was the matter; he went on talking and 
laughing. Then a strange desire to torture himself seized 
him, and he got up, saying he wanted to go and drink 
something. Mildred and Griffiths had never been alone 
together for a moment. He wanted to leave them by them- 

"I'll come too," said Griffiths. "I've got rather a thirst 

"Oh, nonsense, you stay and talk to Mildred." 

Philip did not know why he said that. He was throw- 
ing them together now to make the pain he suffered more 
intolerable. He did not go to the bar, but up into the bal- 
cony, from where he could watch them and not be seen. 
They had ceased to look at the stage and were smiling into 
one another's eyes. Griffiths was talking with his usual 

O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 453 

happy fluency and Mildred seemed to hang- on his lips. 
Philip's head began to ache frightfully. He stood there 
motionless. He knew he would be in the way if he went 
back. They were enjoying themselves without him, and he 
was suffering, suffering. Time passed, and now he had an 
extraordinary shyness about rejoining them. He knew they 
had not thought of him at all, and he reflected bitterly that 
he had paid for the dinner and their seats in the music- 
hall. What a fool they were making of him! He was hot 
with shame. He could see how happy they were without 
him. His instinct was to leave them to themselves and go 
home, but he had not his hat and coat, and it would neces- 
sitate endless explanations. He went back. He felt a 
shadow of annoyance in Mildred's eyes when she saw him, 
and his heart sank. 

"You've been a devil of a time," said Griffiths, with a 
smile of welcome. 

"I met some men I knew. I've been talking to them, and 
I couldn't get away. I thought you'd be all right together." 

"I've been enjoying myself thoroughly," said Griffiths. 
"I don't know about Mildred." 

She gave a little laugh of happy complacency. There 
was a vulgar sound in the ring of it that horrified Philip. 
He suggested that they should go. 

"Come on," said Griffiths, "we'll both drive you home." 

Philip suspected that she had suggested that arrange- 
ment so that she might not be left alone with him. In the 
cab he did not take her hand nor did she offer it, and he 
kne*w all the time that she was holding Griffiths'. His chief 
thought was that it was all so horribly vulgar. As they 
drove along he asked himself what plans they had made 
to meet without his knowledge, he cursed himself for hav- 
ing left them alone, he had actually gone out of his way 
to enable them to arrange things. 

"Let's keep the cab," said Philip, when they reached the 
house in which Mildred was lodging. "I'm too tired to 
walk home." 

On the way back Griffiths talked gaily and seemed indif- 
ferent to the fact that Philip answered in monosyllables. 
Philip felt he must notice that something was the matter. 


Philip's silence at last grew too significant to struggle 
against, and Griffiths, suddenly nervous, ceased talking. 
Philip wanted to say something, but he was so shy he 
could hardly bring himself to, and yet the time was passing 
and the opportunity would be lost. It was best to get at 
the truth at once. He forced himself to speak. 

"Are you in love with Mildred?" he asked suddenly. 

"I?" Griffiths laughed. "Is that what you've been so 
funny about this evening? Of course not, my dear old 

He tried to slip his hand through Philip's arm, but 
Philip drew himself away. He knew Griffiths was lying. 
He could not bring himself to force Griffiths to tell him 
that he had not been holding the girl's hand. He suddenly 
felt very weak and broken. 

"It doesn't matter to you, Harry," he said. "You've got 
so many women don't take her away from me. It means 
my whole life. I've been so awfully wretched." 

His voice broke, and he could not prevent the sob that 
was torn from him. He was horribly ashamed of himself. 

"My dear old boy, you know I wouldn't do anything to 
hurt you. I'm far too fond of you for that. I was only 
playing the fool. If I'd known you were going to take it 
like that I'd have been more careful." 

"Is that true ?" asked Philip. 

"I don't care a twopenny damn for her. I give you my 
word of honour." 

Philip gave a sigh of relief. The cab stopped at their 


NEXT day Philip was in a good temper. He was very 
anxious not to bore Mildred with too much of his society, 
and so had arranged that he should not see her till dinner" 
time. She was ready when he fetched her, and he chaffed 
her for her unwonted punctuality. She was wearing a new 
dress he had given her. He remarked on its smartness. 

"It'll have to go back and be altered," she said. "The 
skirt hangs all wrong." 

"You'll have to make the dressmaker hurry up if you 
want to take it to Paris with you." 

"It'll be ready in time for that." 

"Only three more whole days. We'll go over by the 
eleven o'clock, shall we ?" 

"If you like." 

He would have her for nearly a month entirely to him- 
self. His eyes- rested on her with hungry adoration. He was 
able to laugh a little at his own passion. 

"I wonder what it is I see in you," he smiled. 

"That's a nice thing to say," she answered. 

Her body was so thin that one could almost see her 
skeleton. Her chest was as flat as a boy's. Her mouth, 
with its narrow pale lips, was ugly, and her skin was 
faintly green. 

"I shall give you Blaud's Pills in quantities when we're 
away," said Philip, laughing. "I'm going to bring you back 
fat and rosy." 

"I don't want to get fat," she said. 

She did not speak of Griffiths, and presently while they 
were dining Philip half in malice, for he felt sure of him- 
self and his power over her, said : 

"It seems to me you were having a great flirtation with 
Harry last night ?" " 

"I told you I was in love with him," she laughed. 

"I'm glad to know that he's not in love with you." 


456 O F H U M A N B O u A G 

"How d'you know ?" 

"I asked him." 

She hesitated a moment, looking at Philip, and a curi- 
ous gleam came into her eyes. 

"Would you like to read a letter I had from him this 

She handed him an envelope and Philip recognised 
Griffiths' bold, legible writing. There were eight pages. It 
was well written, frank and charming; it was the letter 
of a man who was used to making love to women. He told 
Mildred that he loved her passionately, he had fallen in 
love with her the first moment he saw her ; he did not 
want to love her, for he knew how fond Philip was of her, 
but he could not help himself. Philip was such a dear, and 
he was very much ashamed of himself, but it was not his 
fault, he was just carried away. He paid her delightful 
compliments. Finally he thanked her for consenting to 
lunch with him next day and said he was dreadfully im- 
patient to see her. Philip noticed that the letter was dated 
the night before ; Griffiths must have written it after leav- 
ing Philip, and had taken the trouble to go out and post 
it when Philip thought he was in bed. 

He read it with a sickening palpitation of his heart, but 
gave no outward sign of surprise. He handed it back to 
Mildred with a smile, calmly. 

"Did you enjoy your lunch?" 

"Rather," she said emphatically. 

He felt that his hands were trembling, so he put them 
under the table. 

"You mustn't take Griffiths too seriously. He's just a 
butterfly, you know." 

She took the letter and looked at it again. 

"I can't help it either," she said, in a voice which she 
tried to make nonchalant. "I don't know what's come over 

"It's a little awkward for me, isn't it?" said Philip. 

She gave him a quick look. 

"You're taking it pretty calmly, I must say." 

"What do you expect me to do ? Do you want me to tear 
out my hair in handfuls?" 


"I knew you'd be angry with me." 

"The funny thing is, I'm not at all. I ought to have 
known this would happen. I was a fool to bring you to- 
gether. I know perfectly well that he's got every advan- 
tage over me; he's much jollier, and he's very handsome, 
he's more amusing, he can talk to you about the things 
that interest you." 

"I don't know what you mean by that. If I'm not clever 
I can't help it, but I'm not the fool you think I am, not 
by a long way, I can tell you. You're a bit too superior for 
me, my young friend." 

"D'you want to quarrel with me?" he asked mildly. 

"No, but I don't see why you should treat me as if I was 
I don't know what." 

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you. I just wanted 
to talk things over quietly. We don't want to make a mess 
of them if we can help it. I saw you were attracted by 
him and it seemed to me very natural. The only thing that 
really hurts me is that he should have encouraged you. He 
knew how awfully keen I was on you. I think it's rather 
shabby of him to have written that letter to you five min- 
utes after he told me he didn't care twopence about you." 

"If you think you're going to make me like him any the 
less by saying nasty things about him, you're mistaken." 

Philip was silent for a moment. He did not know what 
w6rds he could use to make her see his point of view. He 
wanted to speak coolly and deliberately, but he was in such 
a turmoil of emotion that he could not clear his thoughts. 

"It's not worth while sacrificing everything for an in- 
fatuation that you know can't last. After all, he doesn't 
care for anyone more than ten days, and you're rather 
cold ; that sort of thing doesn't mean very much to you." 

"That's what you think." 

She made it more difficult for him by adopting a can- 
tankerous tone. 

"If you're in love with him you can't help it. I'll just 
bear it as best I can. We get on very well together, you 
and I, and I've not behaved badly to you, have I? I've 
always known that you're not in love with me, but you 
like me all right, and when we get over to Paris you'll 


forget about Griffiths. If you make up your mind to put 
him out of your thoughts you won't find it so hard as all 
that, end I've deserved that you should do something for 

She did not answer, and they went on eating their din- 
ner. When the silence grew oppressive Philip began to talk 
of indifferent things. He pretended not to notice that Mil- 
dred was inattentive. Her answers were perfunctory, and 
she volunteered no remarks of her own. At last she inter- 
rupted abruptly what he was saying : 

"Philip, I'm afraid I shan't be able to go away on Satur- 
day. The doctor says I oughtn't to." 

He knew this was not true, but he answered : 

''When will you be able to come away?" 

She glanced at him, saw that his face was white and 
rigid, and looked nervously away. She was at that moment 
a little afraid of him. 

"I may as well tell you and have done with it, I can't 
come away with you at all." 

"I thought you were driving at that. It's too late to 
change your mind now. I've got the tickets and every- 

"You said you didn't wish me to go unless I wanted it 
too, and I don't." 

"I've changed my mind. I'm not going to have any more 
tricks played with me. You must come." 

"I like you very much, Philip, as a friend. But I can't 
bear to think of anything else. I don't like you that way. 
I couldn't, Philip." 

"You were quite willing to a week ago." 

"It was different then." 

"You hadn't met Griffiths?" 

"You said yourself I couldn't help it if I'm in love with 

Her face was set into a sulky look, and she kept her 
eyes fixed on her plate. Philip was white with rage. He 
would have liked to hit her in the face with his clenched 
fist, and in fancy he saw how she would look with a black 
eye. There were two lads of eighteen dining at a table near 
them, and now and then they looked at Mildred ; he won- 


dered if they envied him dining with a pretty girl; per- 
haps they were wishing they stood in his shoes. It was 
Mildred who broke the silence. 

"What's the good of our going away together? I'd be 
thinking of him all the time. It wouldn't be much fun for 

"That's my business," he answered. 

She thought over all his reply implicated, and she red- 

"But that's just beastly." 

"What of it?" 

"I thought you were a gentleman in every sense of the 

"You were mistaken." 

His reply entertained him, and he laughed as he said it. 

"For God's sake don't laugh," she cried. "I can't come 
away with you, Philip. I'm awfully sorry. I know I haven't 
behaved well to you, but one can't force themselves." 

"Have you forgotten that when you were in trouble I 
did everything for you ? I planked out the money to keep 
you till your baby was born, I paid for your doctor and 
everything, I paid for you to go to Brighton, and I'm pay 
ing for the keep of your baby, I'm paying for your clothes, 
I'm paying for every stitch you've got on now." 

"If you was a gentleman you wouldn't throw what 
you've done for me in my face." 

"Oh, for goodness' sake, shut up. What d'you suppose 
I care if I'm a gentleman or not? If I were a gentleman 
I shouldn't waste my time with a vulgar slut like you. J. 
don't care a damn if you like me or not. I'm sick of being 
made a blasted fool of. You're jolly well coming to Parin 
with me on Saturday or you can take the consequences." 

Her cheeks were red with anger, and when she answered 
her voice had the hard commonness which she concealed 
generally by a genteel enunciation. 

"I never liked you, not from the beginning, but you 
forced yourself on me, I always hated it when you kissed 
me. I wouldn't let you touch me now not if I was starv- 

Philip tried to swallow the food on his plate, but the 


muscles of his throat refused to act. He gulped down 
something to drink and lit a cigarette. He was trembling 
i? every part. He did not speak. He waited for her to 
move, but she sat in silence, staring at the white table- 
cloth. If they had been alone he would have flung his 
arms round her and kissed her passionately ; he fancied the 
throwing back of her long white throat as he pressed upon 
her mouth with his lips. They passed an hour without 
speaking, and at last Philip thought the waiter began to 
stare at them curiously. He called for the bill. 

"Shall we go?" he said then, in an even tone. 

She did not reply, but gathered together her bag and 
her gloves. She put on her coat. 

"When are you seeing Griffiths again?" 

"Tomorrow," she answered indifferently. 

"You'd better talk it over with him." 

She opened her bag mechanically and saw a piece of 
paper in it. She took it out. 

"Here's the bill for this dress," she said hesitatingly. 

"What of it?" 

"I promised I'd give her the money tomorrow." 

"Did you?" 

"Does that mean you won't pay for it after having told 
me I could get it?" 

"It does." 

"I'll ask Harry," she said, flushing quickly. 

"He'll be glad to help you. He owes me seven pounds 
at the moment, and he pawned his microscope last week, 
because he was so broke." 

"You needn't think you can frighten me by that. I'm 
quite capable of earning my own living." 

"It's the best thing you can do. I don't propose to give 
you a farthing more." 

She thought of her rent due on Saturday and the baby's 
keep, but did not say anything. They left the restaurant, 
and in the street Philip asked her : 

"Shall I call a cab for you? I'm going to take a little 

"I haven't got any money. I had to pay a bill this after- 


"It won't hurt you to walk. If you want to see me to- 
morrow I shall be in about tea-time." 

He took oft his hat and sauntered away. He looked 
round in a moment and saw that she was standing help- 
lessly where he had left her, looking at the traffic. He went 
back and with a laugh pressed a coin into her hand. 

"Here's two bob for you to get home with." 

Before she could speak he hurried away. 


NEXT day, in the afternoon, Philip sat in his room and 
wondered whether Mildred would come. He had slept 
badly. He had spent the morning in the club of the Medi- 
cal School, reading one newspaper after another. It was 
the vacation and few students he knew were in London, 
but he found one or two people to talk to, he played a 
game of chess, and so wore out the tedious hours. After 
luncheon he felt so tired, his head was aching so, that 
he went back to his lodgings and lay down; he tried to 
read a novel. He had not seen Griffiths. He was not in 
when Philip returned the night before; he heard him 
come back, but he did not as usual look into Philip's room 
to see if he was asleep ; and in the morning Philip heard 
him go out early. It was clear that he wanted to avoid 
him. Suddenly there was a light tap at his door. Philip 
sprang to his feet and opened it. Mildred stood on the 
threshold. She did not move. 

"Come in," said Philip. 

He closed the door after her. She sat down. She hesi- 
tated to begin. 

"Thank you for giving me that two shillings last night," 
she said. 

"Oh, that's all right." 

She gave him a faint smile. It reminded Philip of the 
timid, ingratiating look of a puppy that has been beaten 
for naughtiness and wants to reconcile himself with his 

"I've been lunching with Harry," she said. 

"Have you?" 

"If you still want me to go away with you on Saturday, 
Philip, I'll come." 

A quick thrill of triumph shot through his heart, but it 
was a sensation that only lasted an instant; it was fol- 
lowed by a suspicion. 

O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 463 

"Because of the money?" he asked. 

"Partly," she answered simply. "Harry can't do any- 
thing. He owes five weeks here, and he owes you seven 
pounds, and his tailor's pressing him for money. He'd 
pawn anything he could, but he's pawned everything al- 
ready. I had a job to put the woman off about my new 
dress, and on Saturday there's the book at my lodgings, 
and I can't get work in five minutes. It always means wait- 
ing some little time till there's a vacancy." 

She said all this in an even, querulous tone, as though 
she were recounting the injustices of fate, which had to 
be borne as part of the natural order of things. Philip 
did not answer. He knew what she told him well enough. 

"You said partly," he observed at last. 

"Well, Harry says you've been a brick to both of us. 
You've been a real good friend to him, he says, and you've 
done for me what p'raps no other man would have done. 
We must do the straight thing, he says. And he said what 
y6u said about him, that he's fickle by nature, he's not 
like you, and I should be a fool to throw you away for 
him. He won't last and you will, he says so himself." 

"D'you want to come away with me ?" asked Philip. 

"I don't mind." 

He looked at her, and the corners of his mouth turned 
down in an expression of misery. He had triumphed in- 
deed, and he was going to have his way. He gave a little 
laugh of derision at his own humiliation. She looked at 
him quickly, but did not speak. 

"I've looked forward with all my soul to going away 
with you, and I thought at last, after all that wretched- 
ness, I was going to be happy . . ." 

He did not finish what he was going to say. And then 
on a sudden, without warning, Mildred broke into a storm 
of tears. She was sitting in the chair in which Norah had 
sat and wept, and like her she hid her face on the back of 
it, towards the side where there was a little bump formed 
by the sagging in the middle, where the head had rested. 

"I'm not lucky with women," thought Philip. 

Her thin body was shaken with sobs. Philip had never 
seen a woman cry with such an utter abandonment. It was 

*64 O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 

horribly painful, and his heart was torn. Without realis- 
ing what he did, he went up to her and put his arms round 
her; she did not resist, but in her wretchedness surren- 
dered herself to his comforting. He whispered to her little 
words of solace. He scarcely knew what he was saying, he 
bent over her and kissed her repeatedly. 

"Are you awfully unhappy?" he said at last. 

"I wish I was dead," she moaned. "I wish I'd died when 
the baby come." 

Her hat was in her way, and Philip took it off for her. 
He placed her head more comfortably in the chair, and 
then he went and sat down at the table and looked at her. 

"It is awful, love, isn't it?" he said. "Fancy anyone 
"wanting to be in love." 

Presently the violence of her sobbing diminished and she 
sat in the chair, exhausted, with her head thrown back 
and her arms hanging by her side. She had the grotesque 
look of one of those painters' dummies used to hang drap- 
eries on. 

"I didn't know you loved him so much as all that," said 

He understood Griffiths' love well enough, for he put 
himself in Griffiths' place and saw with his eyes, touched 
with his hands ; he was able to think himself in Griffiths' 
body, and he kissed her with his lips, smiled at her with his 
smiling blue eyes. It was her emotion that surprised him. 
He had never thought her capable of passion, and this was 
passion: there was no mistaking it. Something seemed to 
give way in his heart ; it really felt to him as though some- 
thing were breaking, and he felt strangely weak. 

"I don't want to make you unhappy. You needn't come 
away with me if you don't want to. I'll give you the money 
all the same." 

She shook her head. 

"No, I said I'd come, and I'll come." 

"What's the good, if you're sick with love for him?" 

"Yes, that's the word. I'm sick with love. I know it 
won't last, just as well as he does, but just now . . ." 

She paused and shut her eyes as though she were going 


to faint. A strange idea came to Philip, and he spoke it as 
it came, without stopping to think it out. 

"Why don't you go away with him ?" 

"How can I ? You know we haven't got the money." 

"I'll give you the money." 


She sat up and looked at him. Her eyes began to shine, 
and the colour came into her cheeks. 

"Perhaps the best thing would be to get it over, and then 
you'd come back to me." 

Now that he had made the suggestion he was sick with 
anguish, and yet the torture of it gave him a strange, 
subtle sensation. She stared at him with open eyes. 

"Oh, how could we, on your money? Harry wouldn't 
think of it." 
, "Oh yes, he would, if you persuaded him." 

Her objections made him insist, and yet he wanted her 
with all his heart to refuse vehemently. 

"I'll give you a fiver, and you can go away from Satur- 
day to Monday. You could easily do that. On Monday he's 
going home till he takes up his appointment at the North 

"Oh, Philip, do you mean that?" she cried, clasping 
her hands. "If you could only let us go I would love 
you so much afterwards, I'd do anything for you. I'm sure 
I shall get over it if you'll only do that. Would you really 
give us the money?" 

"Yes," he said. 

She was entirely changed now. She began to laugh. He 
could see that she was insanely happy. She got up and 
knelt down by Philip's side, taking his hands. 

"You are a brick, Philip. You're the best fellow I've 
ever known. Won't you be angry with me afterwards ?" 

He shook his head, smiling, but with what agony in his 
heart ! 

"May I go and tell Harry now? And can I say to him 
that you don't mind ? He won't consent unless you promise 
it doesn't matter. Oh, you don't know how I love him! 
And afterwards I'll do anything you like. I'll come over to 
Paris with you or anywhere on Monday." 


She got up and put on her hat. 

"Where are you going?" 

"I'm going to ask him if he'll take me." 


"D'you want me to stay? I'll stay if you like." 

She sat down, but he gave a little laugh. 

"No, it doesn't matter, you'd better go at once. There's 
only one thing: I can't bear to see Griffiths just now. it 
would hurt me too awfully. Say I have no ill-feeling to- 
wards him or anything like that, but ask him to keep out 
of my way." 

"All right." She sprang up and put on her gloves. "I'll 
let you know what he says." 

"You'd better dine with me tonight." 

"Very well." 

She put up her face for him to kiss her, and when he 
pressed his lips to hers she threw her arms round his 

"You are a darling. Philip." 

She sent him a note a couple of hours later to say that 
she had a headache and could not dine with him. Philip had 
almost expected it. He knew that she was dining with 
Griffiths. He was horribly jealous, but the sudden passion 
which had seized the pair of them seemed like something 
that had come from the outside, as though a god had 
visited them with it, and he felt himself helpless. It seemed 
so natural that they should love one another. He saw 
all the advantages that Griffiths had over himself and 
confessed that in Mildred's place he would have done as 
Mildred did. What hurt him most was Griffiths' treachery ; 
they had been such good friends, and Griffiths knew how 
passionately devoted he was to Mildred : he might have 
spared him. 

He did not see Mildred again till Friday ; he was sick for 
a sight of her by then ; but when she came and he realised 
that he had gone out of her thoughts entirely, for they 
were engrossed in Griffiths, he suddenly hated her. He 
saw now why she and Griffiths loved one another, Grif- 
fiths was stupid, oh so stupid ! he had known that all along, 
but had shut his eyes to it, stupid and empty-headed : that 


charm of his concealed an utter selfishness ; he was willing 
to sacrifice anyone to his appetites. And how inane was the 
life he led, lounging about bars and drinking in music- 
halls, wandering from one light amour to another ! He 
never read a book, he was blind to everything that was not 
frivolous and vulgar; he had never a thought that was 
fine : the word most common on his lips was smart ; tha* 
was his highest praise for man or woman. Smart ! It war 
no wonder he pleased Mildred. They suited one another. 

Philip talked to Mildred of things that mattered to 
neither of them. He knew she wanted to speak of Griffiths, 
but he gave her no opportunity. He did not refer to the 
fact that two evenings before she had put off dining with 
him on a trivial excuse. He was casual with her, trying to 
make her think he was suddenly grown indifferent ; and he 
exercised peculiar skill in saying little things which he 
knew would wound her ; but which were so indefinite, so 
delicately cruel, that she could not take exception to them. 
At last she got up. 

"I think I must be going off now," she said. 

"I daresay you've got a lot to do," he answered. 

She held out her hand, he took it, said good-bye, and 
opened the door for her. He knew what she wanted to 
speak about, and he knew also that his cold, ironical air 
intimidated her. Often his shyness made him seem so 
frigid that unintentionally he frightened people, and, hav- 
ing discovered this, he was able when occasion arose to 
assume the same manner. 

"You haven't forgotten what you promised?" she said 
at last, as he held open the door. 

"What is that?" 

"About the money." 

"How much d'you want?" 

He spoke with an icy deliberation which made his words 
peculiarly offensive. Mildred flushed. He knew she hated 
him at that moment, and he wondered at the self-control 
by which she prevented herself from flying out at him. 
He wanted to make her suffer. 

"There's the dress and the book tomorrow. That's all. 
Harry won't come, so we shan't want money for that." 


Philip's heart gave a great thud against his ribs, and he 
let the door-handle go. The door swung to. 

"Why not?" 

"He says we couldn't, not on your money." 

A devil seized Philip, a devil of self-torture which was 
always lurking within him, and, though with all his soul 
he wished that Griffiths and Mildred should not go away 
together, he could not help himself ; he set himself to per- 
suade Griffiths through her. 

"I don't see why not, if I'm willing," he said. 

"That's what I told him." 

"I should have thought if he really wanted to go he 
wouldn't hesitate." 

"Oh, it's not that, he wants to all right. He'd go at once 
if he had the money." 

"If he's squeamish about it I'll give you the money." 

"I said you'd lend it if he liked, and we'd pay it back 
as soon as we could." 

"It's rather a change for you going on your knees to get 
a man to take you away for a week-end." 

"It is rather, isn't it?" she said, with a shameless little 

It sent a cold shudder down Philip's spine. 

"What are you going to do then ?" he asked. 

"Nothing. He's going home tomorrow. He must." 

That would be Philip's salvation. With Griffiths out of 
the way he could get Mildred back. She knew no one in 
London, she would be thrown on to his society, and when 
they were alone together he could soon make her forget 
this infatuation. If he said nothing more he was safe. 
But he had a fiendish desire to break down their scruples, 
he wanted to know how abominably they could behave to- 
wards him ; if he tempted them a little more they would 
yield, and he took a fierce joy at the thought of their dis- 
honour. Though every word he spoke tortured him, he 
found in the torture a horrible delight. 

"It looks as if it were now or never." 

"That's what I told him," she said. 

There was a passionate note in her voice which struck 
Philip. He was biting his nails in his nervousness. 


"Where were you thinking of going?" 

"Oh, to Oxford. He was at the 'Varsity there, you 
know. He said he'd show me the colleges." 

Philip remembered that once he had suggested going to 
Oxford for the day, and she had expressed firmly the 
boredom she felt at the thought of sights. 

"And it looks as if you'd have fine weather. It ought to 
be very jolly there just now." 

"I've done all I could to persuade him." 

"Why don't you have another try?" 

"Shall I say you want us to go?" 

"L don't think you must go as far as that," said Philip. 

She paused for a minute or two, looking at him. Philip 
forced himself to look at her in a friendly way. He hated 
her, he despised her, he loved her with all his heart. 

"I'll tell you what I'll do, I'll go and see if he can't ar- 
range it. And then, if he says yes, I'll come and fetch the 
money tomorrow. When shall you be in?" 

"I'll come back here after luncheon and wait." 

"All right." 

"I'll give you the money for your dress and your room 

He went to his desk and took out what money he had. 
The dress was six guineas ; there was besides her rent and 
her iood, and /he baby's keep for a week. He gave her 
ight pounds ten. 

"Thanks very much," she said. 

She left him. 


AFTER lunching in the basement of the Medical School 
Philip went back to his rooms. It was Saturday after- 
noon, and the landlady was cleaning the stairs. 

"Is Mr. Griffiths in?" he asked. 

"No, sir. He went away this morning, soon after you 
went out." 

"Isn't he coming back?" 

"I don't think so, sir. He's taken his luggage." 

Philip wondered what this could mean. He took a book 
and began to read. It was Burton's Journey to Meccah. 
which he had just got out of the Westminster Public Li- 
brary ; and he read the first page, but could make no sense 
of it, for his mind was elsewhere ; he was listening all the 
time for a ring at the bell. He dared not hope that Grif- 
fiths had gone away already, without Mildred, to his home 
in Cumberland. Mildred would be coming presently for 
the money. He set his teeth and read on ; he tried desper- 
ately to concentrate his attention; the sentences etched 
themselves in his brain by the force of his effort, but 
they were distorted by the agony he "" ic ^nduring. He 
wished with all his heart that he had not made the horrible 
proposition to give them money ; but now that he had made 
it he lacked the strength to go back on it, not on Mildred's 
account, but on his own. There was a morbid obstinacy in 
him which forced him to do the thing he had determined. 
He discovered that the three pages he had read had made 
no impression on him at all ; and he went back and started 
from the beginning: he found himself reading one sen- 
tence over and over again; and now it weaved itself in 
with his thoughts, horribly, like some formula in a night- 
mare. One thing he could do was to go out and keep away 
till midnight ; they could not go then ; and he saw them 
calling at the house every hour to ask if he was in. He 


O F H U M A N B O N D A G E 4'/i 

joyed the thought of their disappointment. He repeated 
Kt sentence to himself mechanically. But he could not do 
|Hit. Let them come and take the money, and he would 
IjHow then to what depths of infamy it was possible for 
^Bn to descend. He could not read any more now. He 
simply could not see the words. He leaned back in his 
dlair," closing his eyes, and, numb with misery, waited 
{Or Mildred. 
The landlady came in. 
r Will you see Mrs. Miller, sir ?" 
*Show her in." 

Ithilip pulled himself together to receive her without any 

kVki of what he was feeling. He had an impulse to throw 

himself on his knees and seize her hands and beg her not. 

go ; but he knew there was no way of moving her ; she 

anbuld tell Griffiths what he had said and how he acted. He 

wtts ashamed. 

"Well, how about the little jaunt?" he said gaily. 
"We're going. Harry's outside. I told him you didn't 
want to see him, so he's kept out of your way. But he 
wants to know if he can come in just for a minute to say 
good-bye to you." 

"No, I won't see him," said Philip. 
He could see she did not care if he saw Griffiths or not. 
Now that she was there he wanted her to go quickly. 
"Look here, here's the fiver. I'd like you to go now." 
She took it and thanked him. She turned to leave the 

"When are you coming back?" he asked. 
"Oh, on Monday. Harry must go home then." 
He knew what he was going to say was humiliating, but 
he was broken down with jealousy and desire. 
"Then I shall see you, shan't I ?" 
He could not help the note of appeal in his voice. 
"Of course. I'll let you know the moment I'm back." 
He shook hands with her. Through the curtains he 
watched her jump into a four-wheeler that stood at the 
door. It rolled away. Then he threw himself on his bed and 
hid his face in his hands. He felt tears coming to his eyes, 
and he was angry with himself ; he clenched his hands and 

+7 3 F H U M A X B O N D A G F. 

screwed up his body to prevent them; but he could no 


t. U 

and great painful sobs were forced from him. 

He got up at last, exhausted and ashamed, and was! 
his face. He mixed himself a strong whiskey and soda, 
made him feel a little better. Then he caught sight of tbe 
tickets to Paris, which were on the chimney-piece, ai, 
seizing them, with an impulse of rage he flung them in the 
fire. He knew he could have got the money hack on them, 
but it relieved him to destroy them. Then he went out ii 
search of someone to be with. The club was empty, 
felt he would go mad unless he found someone to ts 
to; but Lawson was abroad; he went on to HaywaH 
rooms : the maid who opened the door told him that 
had gone down to Brighton for the week-end. Then Phij 
went to a gallery and found it was just closing. He 
not know what to do. He was distracted. And he thought 
of Griffiths and Mildred going to Oxford, sitting opposite 
one another in the train, happy. He went back to his 
rooms, but they filled him with horror, he had been so 
wretched in them; he tried once more to read Burton's 
book, but, as he read, he told himself again and again what 
a fool he had been ; it was he who had made the suggestion 
that they should go away, he had offered the money, he 
had forced it upon them; he might have known what 
would happen when he introduced Griffiths to Mildred ; 
his own vehement passion was enough to arouse the 
other's desire. By this time they had reached Oxford, j 
They would put up in one of the lodging-houses in John 
Street ; Philip had never been to Oxford, but Griffiths had ] 
talked to him about it so much that he knew exactly where 
they would go; and they would dine at the Qarendon: 
Griffiths had been in the habit of dining 1 there when he j 
went on the spree. Philip got himself something to eat 
in a restaurant near Charing Cross ; he had made up his 
mind to go to a play, and afterwards he fought his way 
into the pit of a theatre at which one of Oscar Wilde's 
pieces was being performed. He wondered if Mildred and 
Griffiths would go to a play that evening: they must kill 
the evening somehow ; they were too stupid, both of them 
to content themselves with conversation : he cot a fierce de- 


<ight in reminding himself of the vulgarity of their minds 
which suited them so exactly to one another. He watched 
the play with an abstracted mind, trying to give himself 
gaiety by drinking whiskey in each interval ; he was un- 
used to alcohol, and it affected him quickly, but his drunk- 
enness was savage and morose. When the play was over 
he had another drink. He could not go to bed, he knew he 
would not sleep, and he dreaded the pictures which his 
vivid imagination would place before him. He tried not to 
think of them. He knew he had drunk too much. Now he 
was seized with a desire to do horrible, sordid things; 
he wanted to roll himself in gutters ; his whole being 
.yearned for beastliness ; he wanted to grovel. 

He walked up Piccadilly, dragging his club-foot, som- 
brely drunk, with rage and misery clawing at his heart. 
He was stopped by a painted harlot, who put her hand on 
his arm ; he pushed her violently away with brutal words. 
He walked on a few steps and then stopped. She would 
do as well as another. He was sorry he had spoken so 
roughly to her. He went up to her. 

"I say," he began. 

"Go to hell," she said. 

Philip laughed. 

"I merely wanted to ask if you'd do me the honour of 
supping with me tonight." 

She looked at him with amazement, and hesitated for a 
while. She saw he was drunk. 

"I don't mind." 

He was amused that she should use a phrase he had 
heard so often on Mildred's lips. He took her to one of the 
restaurants he had been in the habit of going to with Mil- 
dred. He noticed as they walked along that she looked 
down at his limb. 

"I've got a club-foot," he said. "Have you any objec- 
tion ?" 

"You are a cure," she laughed. 

When he got home his bones were aching, and in his 
head there was a hammering that made him nearly scream. 
He took another whiskey and soda to steady himself, and 
going to bed sank into a dreamless sleep till mid-day. 


AT last Monday came, and Philip thought his long tor- 
ture was over. Looking out the trains he found that the 
latest by which Griffiths could reach home that night left 
Oxford soon after one, and he supposed that Mildred 
would take one which started a few minutes later to bring 
her to London. His desire was to go and meet it, but he 
thought Mildred would like to be left alone for a day; 
perhaps she would drop him a line in the evening to say 
she was back, and if not he would call at her lodgings 
next morning: his spirit was cowed. He felt a bitter 
hatred for Griffiths, but for Mildred, notwithstanding all 
that had passed, only a heart-rending desire. He was glad 
now that Hayward was not in London on Saturday after- 
noon when, distraught, he went in search of human com- 
fort : he could not have prevented himself from telling him 
everything, and Hayward would have been astonished at 
his weakness. He would despise him, and perhaps be 
shocked or disgusted that he could envisage the possibility 
of making Mildred his mistress after she had given herself 
to another man. What did he care if it was shocking or dis- 
gusting? He was ready for any compromise, prepared for 
more degrading humiliations still, if he could only gratify 
his desire. 

Towards the evening his steps took him against his will 
to the house in which she lived, and he looked up at her 
window. It was dark. He did not venture to ask if she was 
back. He was confident in her promise. But there was no 
letter from her in the morning, and, when about mid-day 
he called, the maid told him she had not arrived. He could 
not understand it. He knew that Griffiths would have been 
obliged to go home the day before, for he was to be best 
man at a wedding, and Mildred had no money. He turned 
over in his mind every possible thing that might have 
happened. He went again in the afternoon and left a note, 



asking her to dine with him that evening as calmly as 
though the events of the last fortnight had not happened. 
He mentioned the place and time at which they were to 
meet, and hoping against hope kept the appointment : 
though he waited for an hour she did not come. On Wed- 
nesday morning he was ashamed to ask at the house and 
sent a messenger-boy with a letter and instructions to 
bring back a reply ; but in an hour the boy came back with 
Philip's letter unopened and the answer that the lady had 
not returned from the country. Philip was beside himself. 
The last deception was more than he could bear. He re- 
peated to himself over and over again that he loathed 
Mildred, and, ascribing to Griffiths this new disappoint- 
ment, he hated him so much that he knew what was the 
delight of murder : he walked about considering what a joy 
it would be to come upon him on a dark night and stick 
a knife into his throat, just about the carotid artery, and 
leave him to die in the street like a dog. Philip was out of 
his senses with grief and rage. He did not like whiskey, 
but he drank to stupefy himself. He went to bed drunk 
on the Tuesday and on the Wednesday night. 

On Thursday morning he got up very late and dragged 
himself, blear-eyed and sallow, into his sitting-room to 
see if there were any letters. A curious feeling shot 
through his heart when he recognised the handwriting of 

Dear old man: 

I hardly know how to write to you and yet I feel I must 
write. I hope you're not awfully angry with me. I know I 
oughtn't to have gone away with Milly, but I simply 
couldn't help myself. She simply carried me off my feet 
and I would have done anything to get her. When she told 
me you had offered us the money to go I simply couldn't 
resist. And now it's all over I'm awfully ashamed of my- 
self and I wish I hadn't been such a fool. I wish you'd 
write and say you're not angry with me, and I want you to 
let me come and see you. I was awfully hurt at your tell- 
ing Milly you didn't want to see me. Do write me a line, 
there's a good chap, and tell me you forgive me. It'll cas? 


tny conscience. I thought you wouldn't mind or you 
wouldn't have offered the money. But I know I oughtn't 
to have taken it. I came home on Monday and Milly 
wanted to stay a couple of days at Oxford by herself. 
She's going back to London on Wednesday, so by the time 
you receive this letter you will have seen her and I hope 
everything will go off all right. Do write and say you for- 
give me. Please write at once. Yours ever, 


Philip tore up the letter furiously. He did not mean to 
answer it. He despised Griffiths for his apologies, he had 
no patience with his prickings of conscience: one could 
do a dastardly thing if one chose, but it was contemptible 
to regret it afterwards. He thought the letter cowardly 
and hypocritical. He was disgusted at its sentimentality. 

"It would be very easy if you could do a beastly thing," 
he muttered to himself, "and then say you were sorry, and 
that put it all right again." 

He hoped with all his heart he would have the chance 
one day to do Griffiths a bad turn. 

But at all events he knew that Mildred was in town. 
He dressed hurriedly, not waiting to shave, drank a cup 
of tea, and took a cab to her rooms. The cab seemed to 
crawl. He was painfully anxious to see her, and uncon- 
sciously he uttered a prayer to the God he did not believe 
in to make her receive him kindly. He only wanted to for- 
get. With beating heart he rang the bell. He forgot all his 
suffering in the passionate desire to enfold her once more 
in his arms. 

"Is Mrs. Miller in?" he asked joyously. 

"She's gone," the maid answered. 

He looked at her blankly. 

"She came about an hour ago and took away her things." 

For a moment he did not know what to say. 

"Did you give her my letter? Did she say where she 
was going?" 

Then he understood that Mildred had deceived him 
again. She was not coming back to him. He made an effort 
t"> save his face. 


"Oh, well, I daresay I shall hear from her. She may 
have sent a letter to another address." 

He turned away and went back hopeless to his rooms. 
He might have known that she would do this ; she had 
never cared for him, she had made a fool of him from the 
beginning; she had no pity, she had no kindness, she had 
no charity. The only thing was to accept the inevitable. 
The. pain he was suffering was horrible, he would sooner 
be dead than endure it ; and the thought came to him that 
it would be better to finish with the whole thing : he might 
throw himself in the river or put his neck on a railway 
line; but he had no sooner set the thought into words 
than he rebelled against it. His reason told him that he 
would get over his unhappiness in time; if he tried with 
all his might he could forget her; and it would be gro- 
tesque to kill himself on account of a vulgar slut. He had 
only one life, and it was madness to fling it away. He felt 
that he would never overcome his passion, but he knew 
that after all it was only a matter of time. 

He would not stay in London. There everything re- 
minded him of his unhappiness. He telegraphed to his 
uncle that he was coming to Blackstable, and, hurrying to 
pack, took the first train he could. He wanted to get away 
from the sordid rooms in which he had endured so much 
suffering. He wanted to breathe clean air. He was dis- 
gusted with himself. He felt that he was a little mad. 

Since he was grown up Philip had been given the best 
spare room at the vicarage. It was a corner-room and in 
front of one window was an old tree which blocked the 
view, but from the other you saw, beyond the garden and 
the vicarage field, broad meadows. Philip remembered the 
wall-paper from his earliest years. On the walls were 
quaint water colours of the early Victorian period by a 
friend of the Vicar's youth. They had a faded charm. The 
dressing-table was surrounded by stiff muslin. There was 
an old tall-boy to put your clothes in. Philip gave a sigh 
of pleasure; he had never realised that all those things 
meant anything to him at all. At the vicarage life went 
on as it had always done. No piece of furniture had been 


moved from one place to another; the Vicar ate the same 
things, said the same things, went for the same walk every 
day ; he had grown a little fatter, a little more silent, a lit- 
tle more narrow. He had become accustomed to living 
without his wife and missed her very little. He bickered 
still with Josiah Graves. Philip went to see the church- 
warden. He was a little thinner, a little whiter, a little more 
austere; he was autocratic still and still disapproved of 
candles on the altar. The shops had still a pleasant quaint- 
ness ; and Philip stood in front of that in which things use- 
ful to seamen were sold, sea-boots and tarpaulins and 
tackle, and remembered that he had felt there in his child- 
hood the thrill of the sea and the adventurous magic of the 

He could not help his heart beating at each double knock 
of the postman in case there might be a letter from Mil- 
dred sent on by his landlady in London ; but he knew that 
there would be none. Now that he could think it out more 
calmly he understood that in trying to force Mildred to 
love him he had been attempting the impossible. He did 
not know what it was that passed from a man to a woman, 
from a woman to a man, and made one of them a slave : it 
was convenient to call it the sexual instinct ; but if it was 
no more than that, he did not understand why it should 
occasion so vehement an attraction to one person rather 
than another. It was irresistible : the mind could not battle 
with it; friendship, gratitude, interest, had no power be- 
side it. Because he had not attracted Mildred sexually, 
nothing that he did had any effect upon her. The idea re- 
volted him ; it made human nature beastly ; and he felt 
suddenly that the hearts of men were full of dark places. 
Because Mildred was indifferent to him he had thought 
her sexless ; her anaemic appearance and thin lips, the body 
with its narrow hips and flat chest, the languor of her man- 
ner, carried out his supposition; and yet she was capable 
of sudden passions which made her willing to risk every- 
thing to gratify them. He had never understood her ad- 
venture with Emil Miller: it had seemed so unlike her, 
and she had never been able to explain it ; but now that he 
had seen her with Griffiths he knew that just the same 


thing had happened then : she had been carried off her feet 
by 'an ungovernable desire. He tried to think out what 
those two men had which so strangely attracted her. They 
both had a vulgar facetiousness which tickled her simple 
sense of humour, and a certain coarseness of nature ; but 
what took her perhaps was the blatant sexuality which was 
their most marked characteristic. She had a genteel refine- 
ment which shuddered at the facts of life, she looked upon 
the bodily functions as indecent, she had all sorts of eu- 
phemisms for common objects, she always chose an elabor- 
ate word as more becoming than a simple one: the 
brutality of these men was like a whip on her thin white 
shoulders, and she shuddered with voluptuous pain. 

One thing Philip had made up his mind about. He would 
not go back to the lodgings in which he had suffered. He 
wrote to his landlady and gave her notice. He wanted to 
have his own things about him. He determined to take un- 
furnished rooms: it would be pleasant and cheaper; and 
this was an urgent consideration, for during the last year 
and a half he had spent nearly seven hundred pounds. He 
must make up for it now by the most rigid economy. Now 
and then he thought of the future with panic ; he had been 
a fool to spend so much money on Mildred ; but he knew 
that if it were to come again he would act in the same way. 
It amused him sometimes to consider that his friends, 
because he had a face which did not express his feelings 
very vividly and a rather slow way of moving, looked 
upon him as strong-minded, deliberate, and cool. They 
thought him reasonable and praised his common sense ; 
but he knew that his placid expression was no more than 
a mask, assumed unconsciously, which acted like the pro- 
tective colouring of butterflies ; and himself was astonished 
at the weakness of his will. It seemed to him that he was 
swayed by every light emotion, as though he were a leaf 
in the wind, and when passion seized him he was power- 
less. He had no self-control. He merely seemed to possess 
it because he was indifferent to many of the things which 
moved other people. 

He considered with some irony the philosophy which he 
had developed for himself, for it had not been of much 


use to him in the conjuncture he had passed through ; and 
he wondered whether thought really helped a man in any 
of the critical affairs of life: it seemed to him rather that 
he was swayed by some power alien to and yet within him- 
self, which urged him like that great wind of Hell which 
drove Paolo and Francesca ceaselessly on. He thought of 
what he was going to do and, when the time came to act, 
he was powerless in the grasp of instincts, emotions, he 
knew not what. He acted as though he were a machine 
driven by the two forces of his environment and his per- 
sonality ; his reason was someone looking on, observing the 
facts but powerless to interfere : it was like those gods of 
Epicurus, who saw the doings of men from their empyrean 
heights and had no might to alter one smallest particle of 
what occurred. 


PHILIP went up to London a couple of days before the 
session began in order to find himself rooms. He hunted 
about the streets that led out of the Westminster Bridge 
Road, but their dinginess was distasteful to him; and at 
last he found one in Kennington which had a quiet and 
old-world air. It reminded one a little of the London which 
Thackeray knew on that side of the river, and in the Ken- 
nington Road, through which the great barouche of the 
Newcomes must have passed as it drove the family to the 
West of London, the plane-trees were bursting into leaf. 
The houses in the street which Philip fixed upon were two- 
storied, and in most of the windows was a notice to state 
that lodgings were to let. He knocked at one which an- 
nounced that the lodgings were unfurnished, and was 
shown by an austere, silent woman four very small rooms, 
in one of which there was a kitchen range and a sink. The 
rent was nine shillings a week. Philip did not want so many 
rooms, but the rent was low and he wished to settle down 
at once. He asked the landlady if she could keep the place 
clean for him and cook his breakfast, but she replied that 
she had enough work to do without that; and he was 
pleased rather than otherwise because she intimated that 
she wished to have nothing more to do with him than to re- 
ceive his rent. She told him that, if he inquired at the gro- 
cer's round the corner, which was also a post-office, he 
might hear of a woman who would 'do' for him. 

Philip had a little furniture which he had gathered as 
he went along, an arm-chair that he had bought in Paris, 
and a table, a few drawings, and the small Persian rug 
which Cronshaw had given him. His uncle had offered a 
fold-up bed for which, now that he no longer let his house 
in August, he had no further use; and by spending an- 
other ten pounds Philip bought himself whatever else was 
essential. He spent ten shillings on putting a corn-coloured 



paper in the room he was making his parlour ; and he hung 
on the walls a sketch which Lawson had given him of the 
Quai des Grands Augustins, and the photograph of the 
Odalisque by Ingres and Manet's Olympia which in Paris 
had been the objects of his contemplation while he shaved. 
To remind himself that he too had once been engaged in 
the practice of art, he put up a charcoal drawing of the 
young Spaniard Miguel Ajuria: it was the bes*. thing he 
had ever done, a nude standing with clenched hands, his 
feet gripping the floor with a peculiar force, and on his 
face that air of determination which had been so impres- 
sive ; and though Philip after the long interval saw very 
well the defects of his work its associations made him look 
upon it with tolerance. He wondered what had happened to 
Miguel. There is nothing so terrible as the pursuit of art 
by those who have no talent. Perhaps, worn out by ex- 
posure, starvation, disease, he had found an end in some 
hospital, or in an access of despair had sought death in the 
turbid Seine ; but perhaps with his Southern instability he 
had given up the struggle of his own accord, and now, a 
clerk in some office in Madrid, turned his fervent rhetoric 
to politics and bull-fighting. 

Philip asked Lawson and Hayward to come and see his 
new rooms, and they came, one with a bottle of whiskey, 
the other with a pate de foie gras; and he was delighted 
when they praised his taste. He would have invited the 
Scotch stockbroker too, but he had only three chairs, and 
thus could entertain only a definite number of guests. 
Lawson was aware that through him Philip had become 
very friendly with Norah Nesbit and now remarked that 
he had run across her a few days before. 

"She was asking how you were." 

Philip flushed at the mention of her name, (he could not 
get himself out of the awkward habit of reddening when 
he was embarrassed,) and Lawson looked at him quizzi- 
cally. Lawson, who now spent most of the year in London, 
had so far surrendered to his environment as to wear his 
hair short and to dress himself in a neat serge suit and a 
bowler hat. 

"I gather that all is over between you," he said. 


"I've not seen her for months." 

"She was looking rather nice. She had a very smart hat 
on with a lot of white ostrich feathers on it. She must be 
doing pretty well." 

Philip changed the conversation, but he kept thinking of 
her, and after an interval, when the three of them were 
talking of something else, he asked suddenly : 

"Did you gather that Norah was angry with me ?" 

"Not a bit. She talked very nicely of you." 

"I've got half a mind to go and see her." 

"She won't eat you." 

Philip had thought of Norah often. When Mildred left 
him his first thought was of her, and he told himself bit- 
terly that she would never have treated him so. His im- 
pulse was to go to her ; he could depend on her pity ; but 
he was ashamed : she had been good to him always, and he 
had treated her abominably. 

"If I'd only had the sense to stick to her!" he said to 
himself, afterwards, when Lawson and Hayward had gone 
and he was smoking a last pipe before going to bed. 

He remembered the pleasant hours they had spent to- 
gether in the cosy sitting-room in Vincent Square, their 
visits to galleries and to the play, and the charming eve- 
nings of intimate conversation. He recollected her solici- 
tude for his welfare and her interest in all that concerned 
him. She had loved him with a love that was kind and last- 
ing, there was more than sensuality in it, it was almost 
maternal; he had always known that it was a precious 
thing for which with all his soul he should thank the gods. 
He made up his mind to throw himself on her mercy. She 
must have suffered horribly, but he felt she had the great- 
ness of heart to forgive him : she was incapable of malice. 
Should he write to her? No. He would break in on her 
suddenly and cast himself at her feet he knew that when 
the time came he would feel too shy to perform such a 
dramatic gesture, but that was how he liked to think of it 
and tell her that if she would take him back she might 
rely on him for ever. He was cured of the hateful disease 
from which he had suffered, he knew her worth and now 
she might trust him. His imagination leaped forward TO 


the future. He pictured himself rowing with her on the 
river on Sundays ; he would take her to Greenwich, he had 
never forgotten that delightful excursion with. Hayward, 
and the beauty of the Port of London remained a perma- 
nent treasure in his recollection; and on the warm sum- 
mer afternoons they would sit in the Park together and 
talk: he laughed to himself as he remembered her gay 
chatter, which poured out like a brook bubbling over little 
stones, amusing, flippant, and full of character. The agony 
he had suffered would pass from his mind like a bad 

But when next day, about tea-time, an hour at which he 
was pretty certain to find Norah at home, he knocked at 
her door his courage suddenly failed him. Was it possible 
for her to forgive him ? It would be abominable of him to 
force himself on her presence. The door was opened by a 
maid new since he had been in the habit of calling every 
day, and he inquired if Mrs. Nesbit was in. 

"Will you ask her if she could see Mr. Carey?" he said. 
"I'll wait here." 

The maid ran upstairs and in a moment clattered down 

"Will you step up, please, sir. Second floor front." 

"I know," said Philip, with a slight smile. 

He went with a fluttering heart. He knocked at the door. 

"Come in," said the well-known, cheerful voice. 

It seemed to say come in to a new life of peace and hap- 
piness. When he entered Norah stepped forward to greet 
him. She shook hands with him as if they had parted the 
day before. A man stood up. 

"Mr. Carey Mr. Kingsford." 

Philip, bitterly disappointed at not finding her alone, sat 
down and took stock of the stranger. He had never heard 
her mention his name, but he seemed to Philip to occupy 
his chair as though he were very much at home. He was a 
man of forty, clean-shaven, with long fair hair very neatly 
plastered down, and the reddish skin and pale, tired eyes 
which fair men get when their youth is passed. He had a 
large ncse, a large mouth; the bones of his face were 


prominent, and he was heavily made; he was a man of 
more than average height, and broad-shouldered. 

"I was wondering what had become of you," said Norah, 
in her sprightly manner. "I met Mr. Lawson the other day 
did he tell you? and I informed him that it was really 
high time you came to see me again." 

Philip could see no shadow of embarrassment in her 
countenance, and he admired the ease with which she car- 
ried off an encounter of which himself felt the intense 
awkwardness. She gave him tea. She was about to put 
sugar in it when he stopped her. 

"How stupid of me !" she cried. "I forgot." 

He did not believe that. She must remember quite well 
that he never took sugar in his tea. He accepted the inci- 
dent as a sign that her nonchalance was affected. 

The conversation which Philip had interrupted went on, 
and presently he began to feel a little in the way. Kings- 
ford took no particular notice of him. He talked fluently 
and well, not without humour, but with a slightly dog- 
matic manner: he was a journalist, it appeared, and had 
something amusing to say on every topic that was touched 
upon; but it exasperated Philip to find himself edged out 
of the conversation. He was determined to stay the visitor 
out. He wondered if he admired Norah. In the old days 
they had often talked of the men who wanted to flirt with 
her and had laughed at them together. Philip tried to bring 
back the conversation to matters which only he and Norah 
knew about, but each time the journalist broke~in and suc- 
ceeded in drawing it away to a subject upon which Philip 
was forced to be silent. He grew faintly angry with Norah, 
for she must see he was being made ridiculous; but per- 
haps she was inflicting this upon him as a punishment, and 
with this thought he regained his good humour. At last, 
however, the clock struck six, and Kings ford got up. 

"I must go," he said. 

Norah shook hands with him, and accompanied him to 
the landing. She shut the door behind her and stood out- 
side for a couple of minutes. Philip wondered what they 
were talking about. 


"Who is Mr. Kingsford?" he asked cheerfully, when 
she returned. 

"Oh, he's the editor of one of Harmsworth's Magazines. 
He's been taking a good deal of my work lately." 

"I thought he was never going." 

"I'm glad you stayed. I wanted to have a talk with you." 
She curled herself into the large arm-chair, feet and all, in 
a way her small size made possible, and lit a cigarette. He 
smiled when he saw her assume the attitude which had al- 
ways amused him. 

"You look just like a cat." 

She gave him a flash of her dark, fine eyes. 

"I really ought to break myself of the habit. It's absurd 
to behave like a child when you're my age, but I'm com- 
fortable with my legs under me." 

"It's awfully jolly to be sitting in this room again," said 
Philip happily. "You don't know how I've missed it." 

"Why on earth didn't you come before?" she asked 

"I was afraid to," he said, reddening. 

She gave him a look full of kindness. Her lips outlined a 
charming smile. 

"You needn't have been." 

He hesitated for a moment. His heart beat quickly. 

"D'you remember the last time we met? I treated you 
awfully badly I'm dreadfully ashamed of myself." 

She looked at him steadily. She did not answer. He was 
losing his head ; he seemed to have come on an errand of 
which he was only now realising the outrageousness. She 
did not help him, and he could only blurt out bluntly : 

"Can you ever forgive me ?" 

Then impetuously he told her that Mildred had left him 
and that his unhappiness had been so great that he almost 
killed himself. He told her of all that had happened be- 
tween them, of the birth of the child, and of the meeting 
with Griffiths, of his folly and his trust and his immense 
deception. He told her how often he had thought of her 
kindness and of her love, and how bitterly he had regretted 
throwing it away: he had only been happy when he was 
with her, and he knew now how great was her worth. His 


voice was hoarse with emotion. Sometimes he was so 
ashamed of what he was saying that he spoke with his eyes 
fixed on the ground. His face was distorted with pain, and 
yet he felt it a strange relief to speak. At last he finished. 
He flung himself back in his chair, exhausted, and waited. 
He had concealed nothing, and even, in his self-abasement, 
he had striven to make himself more despicable than he 
had really been. He was surprised that she did not speak, 
and at last he raised his eyes. She was not looking at him. 
Her face was quite white, and she seemed to be lost in 

"Haven't you got anything to say to me?" 

She started and reddened. 

"I'm afraid you've had a rotten time," she said. "I'm 
dreadfully sorry." 

She seemed about to go on, but she stopped, and again 
he waited. At length she seemed to force herself to speak. 

"I'm engaged to be married to Mr. Kingsford." 

"Why didn't you tell me at once?" he cried. "You 
needn't have allowed me to humiliate myself before you." 

"I'm sorry, I couldn't stop you. ... I met him soon 
after you" she seemed to search for an expression that 
should not wound him "told me your friend had come 
back. I was very wretched for a bit, he was extremely kind 
to me. He knew someone had made me suffer, of course he 
doesn't know it was you, and I don't know what I should 
have done without him. And suddenly I felt I couldn't go 
on working, working, working ; I was so tired, I felt so ill. 
I told him about my husband. He offered to give me the 
money, to get my divorce if I would marry him as soon as 
I could. He had a very good job, and it wouldn't be neces- 
sary for me to do anything unless I wanted to. He was so 
fond of me and so anxious to take care of me. I was 
awfully touched. And now I'm very, very fond of him." 

"Have you got your divorce then?" asked Philip. 

"I've got the decree nisi. It'll be made absolute in July, 
and then we are going to be married at once." 

For some time Philip did not say anything. 

"I wish I hadn't made such a fool of myself," he mut- 
tered at length. 


He was thinking of his long, humiliating confession. She 
looked at him curiously. 

"You were never really in love with me," she said. 

"It's not very pleasant being in love." 

But he was always able to recover himself quickly, and, 
getting up now and holding out his hand, he said : 

"I hope you'll be very happy. After all, it's the best thing 
that could have happened to you." 

She looked a little wistfully at him as she took his hand 
and held it. 

"You'll come and see me again, won't you ?" she asked. 

"No," he said, shaking his head. "It would make me too 
envious to see you happy." 

He walked slowly away from her house. After all she 
was right when she said he had never loved her. He was 
disappointed, irritated even, but his vanity was more af- 
fected than his heart. He knew that himself. And presently 
he grew conscious that the gods had played a very good 
practical joke on him, and he laughed at himself mirth- 
lessly. It is not very comfortable to have the gift of being 
amused at one's own absurdity. 


FOR the next three months Philip worked on subject* 
which were new to him. The unwieldy crowd which had 
entered the Medical School nearly two years before had 
thinned out: some had left the hospital, finding the ex- 
aminations more difficult to pass than they expected, some 
had been taken away by parents who had not foreseen the 
expense of life in London, and some had drifted away to 
other callings. One youth whom Philip knew had devised 
an ingenious plan to make money; he had bought things 
at sales and pawned them, but presently found it more 
profitable to pawn goods bought on credit; and it had 
caused a little excitement at the hospital when someone 
pointed out his name in police-court proceedings. There 
had been a remand, then assurances on the part of a har- 
assed father, and the young man had gone out to bear 
the White Man's Burden overseas. The imagination of 
another, a lad who had never before been in a town at all, 
fell to the glamour of music-halls and bar parlours; he 
spent his time among racing-men, tipsters, and trainers, 
and now was become a book-maker's clerk. Philip had seen 
him once in a bar near Piccadilly Circus in a tight-waisted 
coat and a brown hat with a broad, flat brim. A third, with 
a gift for singing and mimicry, who had achieved success 
at the smoking concerts of the Medical School by his imi- 
tation of notorious comedians, had abandoned the hospital 
for the chorus of a musical comedy. Still another, and he 
interested Philip because his uncouth manner and inter- 
jectional speech did not suggest that he was capable of any 
deep emotion, had felt himself stifle among the houses of 
London. He grew haggard in shut-in spaces, and the soul 
he knew not he possessed struggled like a sparrow held in 
the hand, with little frightened gasps and a quick palpita- 
tion of the heart: he yearned for the broad skies and the 
open, desolate places among which his childhood had been 



spent ; and he walked off one day, without a word to any- 
body, between one lecture and another ; and the next thing 
his friends heard was that he had thrown up medicine and 
was working on a farm. 

Philip attended now lectures on medicine and on sur- 
gery. On certain mornings in the week he practised ban- 
daging on out-patients glad to earn a little money, and he 
was taught auscultation and how to use the stethoscope. He 
learned dispensing. He was taking the examination in 
Materia Medica in July, and it amused him to play with va- 
rious drugs, concocting mixtures, rolling pills, and making 
ointments. He seized avidly upon anything from which he 
could extract a suggestion of human interest. 

He saw Griffiths once in the distance, but, not to have 
the pain of cutting him dead, avoided him. Philip had felt 
a certain self-consciousness with Griffiths' friends, some of 
whom were now friends of his, when he realised they knew 
of his quarrel with Griffiths and surmised they were aware 
of the reason. One of them, a very tall fellow, with a small 
head and a languid air, a youth called Ramsden, who was 
one of Griffiths' most faithful admirers, copied his ties, 
his boots, his manner of talking and his gestures, told 
Philip that Griffiths was very much hurt because Philip 
had not answered his letter. He wanted to be reconciled 
with him. 

"Has he asked you to give me the message?" asked 

"Oh, no, I'm saying this entirely on my own," said 
Ramsden. "He's awfully sorry for what he did, and he 
says you always behaved like a perfect brick to him. I 
know he'd be glad to make it up. He doesn't come to the 
hospital because he's afraid of meeting you, and he thinks 
you'd cut him." 

"I should." 

"It makes him feel rather wretched, you know." 

"I can bear the trifling inconvenience that he feels with 
a good deal of fortitude," said Philip. 

"He'll do anything he can to make it up." 

"How childish and hysterical ! Why should he care ? I'm 


a very insignificant person, and he can do very well with- 
out my company. I'm not interested in him any more." 

Ramsden thought Philip hard and cold. He paused for a 
moment or two, looking about him in a perplexed way. 

"Harry wishes to God he'd never had anything to do 
with the woman." 

"Does he?" asked Philip. 

He spoke with an indifference which he was satisfied 
with. No one could have guessed how violently his heart 
was beating. He waited impatiently for Ramsden to go on, 

"I suppose you've quite got over it now, haven't you?" 

"I?" said Philip. "Quite." 

Little by little he discovered the history of Mildred's re- 
lations with Griffiths. He listened with a smile on his lips, 
feigning an equanimity which quite deceived the dull- 
witted boy who talked to him. The week-end she spent 
with Griffiths at Oxford inflamed rather than extinguished 
her sudden passion ; and when Griffiths went home, with a 
feeling that was unexpected in her she determined to stay 
in Oxford by herself for a couple of days, because she 
had been so happy in it. She felt that nothing could in- 
duce her to go back to Philip. He revolted her. Griffiths 
was taken aback at the fire he had aroused, for he had 
found his two days with her in the country somewhat 
tedious ; and he had no desire to turn an amusing episode 
into a tiresome affair. She made him promise to write to 
her, and, being an honest, decent fellow, with natural po- 
liteness and a desire to make himself pleasant to every- 
body, when he got home he wrote her a long and charming 
letter. She answered it with reams of passion, clumsy, for 
she had no gift of expression, ill-written, and vulgar ; the 
letter bored him, and when it was followed next day by 
another, and the day after by a third, he began to think her 
love no longer flattering but alarming. He did not answer ; 
and she bombarded him with telegrams, asking him if he 
were ill and had received her letters ; she said his silence 
made her dreadfully anxious. He was forced to write, but 
he sought to make his reply as casual as was possible 
without being offensive : he begged her not to wire, since 


it was difficult to explain telegrams to his mother, an old- 
fashioned person for whom a telegram was still an event 
to excite tremor. She answered by return of post that she 
must see him and announced her intention to pawn things 
(she had the dressing-case which Philip had given her as 
a wedding-present and could raise eight pounds on that) 
in order to come up and stay at the market town four 
miles from which was the village in which his father prac- 
tised. This frightened Griffiths ; and he, this time, made use 
of the telegraph wires to tell her that she must do noth- 
ing of the kind. He promised to let her know the moment 
he came up to London, and, when he did, found that she 
had already been asking for him at the hospital at which he 
had an appointment. He did not like this, and, on seeing 
her, told Mildred that she was not to come there on any 
pretext; and now, after an absence of three weeks, he 
found that she bored him quite decidedly; he wondered 
why he had ever troubled about her, and made up his 
mind to break with her as soon as he could. He was a per- 
son who dreaded quarrels, nor did he want to give pain; 
but at the same time he had other things to do, and he was 
quite determined not to let Mildred bother him. When he 
met her he was pleasant, cheerful, amusing, affectionate; 
he invented convincing excuses for the interval since last 
he had seen her ; but he did everything he could to avoid 
her. When she forced him to make appointments he sent 
telegrams to her at the last moment to put himself off ; and 
his landlady (the first three months of his appointment he 
was spending in rooms) had orders to say he was out when 
Mildred called. She would waylay him in the street and, 
knowing she had been waiting about for him to come out 
of the hospital for a couple of hours, he would give her a 
few charming, friendly words and bolt off with the ex- 
cuse that he had a business engagement. He grew very 
skilful in slipping out of the hospital unseen. Once, when 
he went back to his lodgings at midnight, he saw a woman 
standing at the area railings and suspecting who it was 
went to beg a shake-down in Ramsden's rooms ; next day 
the landlady told him that Mildred had sat crying on the 
doorstep for hours, and she had been obliged to tell her at 



last that if she did not go away she would send for 
a policeman. 

"I tell you, my boy," said Ramsden, "you're jolly well 
out of it. Harry says that if he'd suspected for half a sec- 
ond she was going to make such a blooming nuisance of 
herself he'd have seen himself damned before he had any- 
thing to do with her." 

Philip thought of her sitting on that doorstep through 
the long hours of the night. He saw her face as she looked 
up dully at the landlady who sent her away. 

"I wonder what she's doing now." 

"Oh, she's got a job somewhere, thank God. That keeps 
her busy all day." 

The last thing he heard, just before the end of the sum- 
mer session, was that Griffiths' urbanity had given way at 
length under the exasperation of the constant persecution. 
He had told Mildred that he was sick of being pestered, 
and she had better take herself off and not bother him 

"It was the only thing he could do," said Ramsden. "It 
was getting a bit too thick." 

"Is it all over then ?" asked Philip. 

"Oh, he hasn't seen her for ten days. You know, Har- 
ry's wonderful at dropping people. This is about the tough- 
est nut he's ever had to crack, but he's cracked it all right." 

Then Philip heard nothing more of her at all. She van- 
ished into the vast anonymous mass of the population of 


AT the beginning of the winter session Philip became an 
out-patients' clerk. There were three assistant-physicians 
who took out-patients, two days a week each, and Philip 
put his name down for Dr. Tyrell. He was popular with 
the students, and there was some competition to be his 
clerk. Dr. Tyrell was a tall, thin man of thirty-five, with 
a very small head, red hair cut short, and prominent blue 
eyes : his face was bright scarlet. He talked well in a pleas- 
ant voice, was fond of a little joke, and treated the world 
lightly. He was a successful man, with a large consulting 
practice and a knighthood in prospect. From commerce 
with students and poor people he had the patronising air, 
and from dealing always with the sick he had the healthy 
man's jovial condescension, which some consultants achieve 
as the professional manner. He made the patient feel like 
a boy confronted by a jolly schoolmaster; his illness was 
an absurd piece of naughtiness which amused rather than 

The student was supposed to attend in the out-patients' 
room every day, see cases, and pick up what information 
he could ; but on the days on which he clerked his duties 
were a little more definite. At that time the out-patients' 
department at St. Luke's consised of three rooms, leading 
into one another, and a large, dark waiting-room with mas- 
sive pillars of masonry and long benches. Here the patients 
waited after having been given their 'letters' at mid-day ; 
and the long rows of them, bottles and gallipots in hand, 
some tattered and dirty, others decent .enough, sitting in 
the dimness, men and women of all ages, children, gave 
one an impression which was weird and horrible. They 
suggested the grim drawings of Daumier. All the rooms 
were painted alike, in salmon-colour with a high dado of 
maroon ; and there was in them an odour of disinfectants, 
mingling as the afternoon wore on with the crude stench 



of humanity. The first room was the largest and in the 
middle of it were a table and an office chair for the physi- 
cian ; on each side of this were two smaller tables, a little 
lower : at one of these sat the house-physician and at the 
other the clerk who took the 'book' for the day. This was 
a large volume in which were written down the name, age, 
sex, profession, of the patient and the diagnosis of his 

At half past one the house-physician came in, rang the 
bell, and told the porter to send in the old patients. There 
were always a good many of these, and it was necessary 
to get through as many of them as possible before Dr. 
Tyrell came at two. The H.P. with whom Philip came in 
contact was a dapper little man, excessively conscious of 
his importance : he treated the clerks with condescension 
and patently resented the familiarity of older students 
who had been his contemporaries and did not use him with 
the respect he felt his present position demanded. He set 
about the cases. A clerk helped him. The patients streamed 
in. The men came first. Chronic bronchitis, "a nasty 'ack- 
ing cough," was what they chiefly suffered from ; one went 
to the H.P. and the other to the clerk, handing in their 
letters : if they were going on well the words Rep 14 were 
written on them, and they went to the dispensary with 
their bottles or gallipots in order to have medicine given 
them for fourteen days more. Some old stagers held back 
so that they might be seen by the physician himself, but 
they seldom succeeded in this; and only three or four, 
whose condition seemed to demand his attention, were 

Dr. Tyrell came in with quick movements and a breezy 
manner. He reminded one slightly of a clown leaping into 
the arena of a circus with the cry : Here we are again. His 
air seemed to indicate : What's all this nonsense about be- 
ing ill? I'll soon put that right. He took his seat, asked 
if there were any old patients for him to see, rapidly passed 
them in review, looking at them with shrewd eyes as he 
discussed their symptoms, cracked a joke (at which all 
the clerks laughed heartily) with the H.P., who laughed 
heartily too but with an air as if he thought it was rather 


impudent for the clerks to laugh, remarked that it was a 
fine day or a hot one, and rang the bell for the porter to 
show in the new patients. 

They came in one by one and walked up to the table at 
which sat Dr. Tyrell. They were old men and young men 
and middle-aged men, mostly of the labouring class, dock 
labourers, draymen, factory hands, barmen ; but some, 
neatly dressed, were of a station which was obviously su- 
perior, shop-assistants, clerks, and the like. Dr. Tyrell 
looked at these with suspicion. Sometimes they put on 
shabby clothes in order to pretend they were poor ; but he 
had a keen eye to prevent what he regarded^as fraud and 
sometimes refused to see people who, he thought, could 
well pay for medical attendance. Women were the worst 
offenders and they managed the thing more clumsily. They 
would wear a cloak and a skirt which were almost in rags, 
and neglect to take the rings off their fingers. 

"If you can afford to wear jewellery you can afford a 
doctor. A hospital is a charitable institution," said Dr. 

He handed back the letter and called for the next case. 

"But I've got my letter." 

"I don't care a hang about your letter; you get out. 
You've got no business to come and steal the time which is 
wanted by the really poor." 

The patient retired sulkily, with an angry scowl. 

"She'll probably write a letter to the papers on the gross 
mismanagement of the London hospitals," said Dr. Tyrell, 
with a smile, as he took the next paper and gave the patient 
one of his shrewd glances. 

Most of them were under the impression that the hos- 
pital was an institution of the state, for which they paid 
out of the rates, and took the attendance they received as 
a right they could claim. They imagined the physician who 
gave them his time was heavily paid. 

Dr. Tyrell gave each of his clerks a case to examine. 
The clerk took the patient into one of the inner rooms; 
they were smaller, and each had a couch in it covered with 
black horse-hair: he asked his patient a variety of ques- 
tions, examined his lungs, his heart, and his liver, made 


notes of fact on the hospital letter, formed in his own 
mind some idea of the diagnosis, and then waited for Dr. 
Tyrell to come in. This he did, followed by a small crowd 
of students, when he had finished the men, and the clerk 
read out what he had learned. The physician asked him 
one or two questions, and examined the patient himself. If 
there was anything interesting to hear students applied 
their stethoscope : you would see a man with two or three 
to the chest, and two perhaps to his back, while others 
waited impatiently to listen. The patient stood among them 
a little embarrassed, but. not altogether displeased to find 
himself the centre of attention : he listened confusedly 
while Dr. Tyrell discoursed glibly on the case. Two or 
three students listened again to recognise the murmur or 
the crepitation which the physician described, and then the 
man was told to put on his clothes. 

When the various cases had been examined Dr. Tyrell 
went back into the large room and sat down again at his 
desk. He asked any student who happened to be standing 
near him what he would prescribe for a patient he had just 
seen. The student mentioned one or two drugs. 

"Would you ?" said Dr. Tyrell. "Well, that's original at 
all events. I don't think we'll be rash." 

This always made the students laugh, and with a twin- 
kle of amusement at his own bright humour the physician 
prescribed some other drug than that which the student 
had suggested. When there were two cases of exactly the 
same sort and the student proposed the treatment which 
the physician had ordered for the first, Dr. Tyrell exer- 
cised considerable ingenuity in thinking of something else. 
Sometimes, knowing that in the dispensary they were 
worked off their legs and preferred to give the medicines 
which f hey had all ready, the good hospital mixtures which 
had been found by the experience of years to answer their 
purpose so well, he amused himself by writing an elaborate 

''We'll give the dispenser something to do. If we go on 
prescribing mist: alb: he'll lose his cunning." 

The students laughed, and the doctor gave them a cir- 


cular glance of enjoyment in his joke. Then he touched the 
bell and, when the porter poked his head in, said : 

"Old women, please." 

He leaned back in his chair, chatting with the H.P. while 
the porter herded along the old patients. They came in, 
strings of anaemic girls, with large fringes and pallid lips, 
who could not digest their bad, insufficient food ; old ladies, 
fat and thin, aged prematurely by frequent confinements, 
with winter coughs ; women with this, that, and the other, 
the matter with them. Dr. Tyrell and his house-physician 
got through them quickly. Time was getting on, and the 
air in the small room was growing more sickly. The physi- 
cian looked at his watch. 

"Are there many new women to-day?" he asked. 

"A good few, I think," said the H.P. 

"We'd better have them in. You can go on with the old 

They entered. With the men the most common ailments 
were due to the excessive use of alcohol, but with the 
women they were due to defective nourishment. By about 
six o'clock they were finished. Philip, exhausted by stand- 
ing all the time, by the bad air, and by the attention he had 
given, strolled over with his fellow-clerks to the Medical 
School to have tea. He found the work of absorbing in- 
terest. There was humanity there in the rough, the ma- 
terials the artist worked on; and Philip felt a curious 
thrill when it occurred to him that he was in the position 
of the artist and the patients were like clay in his hands. 
He remembered with an amused shrug of the shoulders 
his life in Paris, absorbed in colour, tone, values, Heaven 
knows what, with the aim of producing beautiful things: 
the directness of contact with men and women gave a thrill 
of power which he had never known. He found an end- 
less excitement in looking at their faces and hearing them 
speak ; they came in each with his peculiarity, some shuf- 
fling uncouthly, some with a little trip, others with heavy, 
slow tread, some shyly. Often you could guess their trades 
by the look of them. You learnt in what way to put your 
questions so that they should be understood, you discov- 
ered on what subjects nearly all lied, and by what inquiries 


you could extort the truth notwithstanding. You saw the 
different way people took the same things. The diagnosis 
of dangerous illness would be accepted by one with a laugh 
and a joke, by another with dumb despair. Philip found 
that he was less shy with these people than he had ever 
been with others ; he felt not exactly sympathy, for sympa- 
thy suggests condescension ; but he felt at home with them. 
He found that he was able to put them at their ease, and, 
when he had been given a case to find out what he could 
about it, it seemed to him that the patient delivered himself 
into his hands with a peculiar confidence. 

"Perhaps," he thought to himself, with a smile, "perhaps 
I'm cut out to be a doctor. It would be rather a lark if I'd 
hit upon the one thing I'm fit for." 

It seemed to Philip that he alone of the clerks saw the 
dramatic interest of those afternoons. To the others men 
and women were only cases, good if they were complicated, 
tiresome if obvious ; they heard murmurs and were aston- 
ished at abnormal livers ; an unexpected sound in the lungs 
gave them something to talk about. But to Philip there was 
much more. He found an interest in just looking at them, 
in the shape of their heads and their hands, in the look of 
their eyes and the length of their noses. You saw in tha*. 
room human nature taken by surprise, and often the mask 
of custom was torn off rudely, showing you the soul aU 
raw. Sometimes you saw an untaught stoicism which waft 
profoundly moving. Once Philip saw a man, rough and 
illiterate, told his case was hopeless; and, self-controlled 
himself, he wondered at the splendid instinct which forced 
the fellow to keep a stiff upper-lip before strangers. But 
was it possible for him to be brave when he was by him- 
self, face to face with his soul, or would he then surren- 
der to despair? Sometimes there was tragedy. Once a 
young woman brought her sister to be examined, a girl of 
eighteen, with delicate features and large blue eyes, fair 
hair that sparkled with gold when a ray of autumn sun- 
shine touched it for a moment, and a skin of amazing 
beauty. The students' eyes went to her with little smiles. 
They did not often see a pretty girl in these dingy rooms. 
The elder woman gave the family history, father and 


mother had died of phthisis, a brother and a sister, these 
two were the only ones left. The girl had been coughing 
lately and losing weight. She took off her blouse and the 
skin of her neck was like milk. Dr. Tyrell examined her 
quietly, with his usual rapid method ; he told two or three 
of his clerks to apply their stethoscopes to a place he indi- 
cated with his finger; and then she was allowed to dress. 
The sister was standing a little apart and she spoke to 
him in a low voice, so that the girl should not hear. Her 
voice trembled with fear. 

"She hasnt' got it, doctor, has she?" 

"I'm afraid there's no doubt about it." 

"She was the last one. When she goes I shan't have any- 

She began to cry, while the doctor looked at her gravely ; 
he thought she too had the type ; she would not make old 
bones either. The girl turned round and saw her sister's 
tears. She understood what they meant. The colour fled 
from her lovely face and tears fell down her cheeks. The 
two stood for a minute or two, crying silently, and then 
the older, forgetting the indifferent crowd that watched 
them, went up to her, took her in her arms, and rocked 
her gently to and fro as if she were a baby. 

When they were gone a student asked : 

"How long d'you think she'll last, sir?" 

Dr. Tyrell shrugged his shoulders. 

"Her brother and sister died within three months of the 
first symptoms. She'll do the same. If they were rich one 
might do something. You can't tell these people to go to St. 
Moritz. Nothing can be done for them." 

Once a man who was strong and in all the power of his 
manhood came because a persistent aching troubled him 
and his club-doctor did not seem to do him any good ; and 
the verdict for him too was death, not the inevitable death 
that horrified and yet was tolerable because science was 
helpless before it, but the death which was inevitable be- 
cause the man was a little wheel in the great machine of 
a complex civilisation, and had as little power of changing 
the circumstances as an automaton!. Complete rest was his 
only chance. The physician did not ask impossibilities. 


"You ought to get some very much lighter job." 

"There ain't no light jobs in my business." 

"Well, if you go on like this you'll kill yourself. You're 
very ill." 

"D'you mean to say I'm going to die ?" 

"I shouldn't like to say that, but you're certainly unfit 
for hard work." 

"If I don't work who's to keep the wife and the kids?" 

Dr. Tyrell shrugged his shoulders. The dilemma had 
been presented to him a hundred times. Time was pressing 
and there were many patients to be seen. 

"Well, I'll give you some medicine and you can come 
back in a week and tell me how you're getting on." 

The man took his letter with the useless prescription 
written upon it and walked out. The doctor might say what 
he liked. He did not feel so bad that he could not go on 
working. He had a good job and he could not afford to 
throw it away. 

"I give him a year," said Dr. Tyrell. 

Sometimes there was comedy. Now and then came a 
flash of cockney humour, now and then some old lady, a 
character such as Charles Dickens might have drawn, 
would amuse them by her garrulous oddities. Once a 
woman came who was a member of the ballet at a famous 
music-hall. She looked fifty, but gave her age as twenty- 
eight. She was outrageously painted and ogled the students 
impudently with large black eyes ; her smiles were grossly 
alluring. She had abundant self-confidence and treated Dr. 
Tyrell, vastly amused, with the easy familiarity with which 
she might have used an intoxicated admirer. She had 
chronic bronchitis, and told him it hindered her in the ex- 
ercise of her profession. 

"I don't know why I should 'ave such a thing, upon my 
word I don't. I've never 'ad a day's illness in my life. 
You've only got to look at me to know that." 

She rolled her eyes round the young men, with a long 
sweep of her painted eyelashes, and flashed her yellow teeth 
at them. She spoke with a cockney accent, but with an 
affectation of refinement which made every word a feast 
of fun. 


"It's what they call a winter cough," answered Dr. Ty- 
rell gravely. "A great many middle-aged women have it." 

"Well, I never! That is a nice thing to say to a lady. 
No one ever called me middle-aged before." 

She opened her eyes very wide and cocked her head on 
one side, looking at him with indescribable archness. 

"That is the disadvantage of our profession," said he. 
"It forces us sometimes to be ungallant." 

She took the prescription and gave him one last, luscious 

"You will come and see me dance, dearie, won't you?" 

"I will indeed." 

He rang the bell for the next case. 

"I am glad you gentlemen were here to protect me." 

But on the whole the impression was neither of tragedy 
nor of comedy. There was no describing it. It was mani- 
fold and various ; there were tears and laughter, happiness 
and woe ; it was tedious and interesting and indifferent ; it 
was as you saw it: it was tumultuous and passionate; it 
was grave ; it was sad and comic ; it was trivial ; it was sim- 
ple and complex ; joy was there and despair ; the love of 
mothers for their children, and of men for women; lust 
trailed itself through the rooms with leaden feet, punishing 
the guilty and the innocent, helpless wives and wretched 
children ; drink seized men and women and cost its in- 
evitable price ; death sighed in these rooms ; and the be- 
ginning of life, rilling some poor girl with terror and 
shame, was diagnosed there. There was neither good nor 
bad there. There were just facts. It was life. 


TOWARDS the end of the year, when Philip was bringing 
to a close his three months as clerk in the out-patients' de- 
partment, he received a letter from Lawson, who was in 

Dear Philip, 

Cronshaw is in London and would be glad to see you. 
He is living at 43 Hyde Street, Soho. I don't know ^vhere 
it is, but I daresay you zuill be able to find out. Be a brick 
and look after him a bit. He is very dozvn on his luck. He 
will tell you what he is doing. Things are going on here 
very much as usual. Nothing seems to have changed since 
you were here. Clutton is back, but he has become quite 
impossible. He has quarrelled with everybody. As far as 
I can make out he hasn't got a cent,he lives in a little stu- 
dio right away beyond the Jardin des Plantes, but he won't 
let anybody see his work. He doesn't show anywhere, so 
one doesn't know what he is doing. He may be a genius, 
but on the other hand he may be off his head. By the way, 
I ran against Flanagan the other day. He was showing 
Mrs. Flanagan round the Quarter. He has chucked art and 
is now in popper's business. He seems to be rolling. Mrs. 
Flanagan is very pretty and I'm trying to work a portrait. 
How much would you ask if you were me? I don't want 
to frighten them, and then on the other hand I don't want 
to be such an ass as to ask 150 if they're quite willing to 
give 300. 

Yours ever, 
Frederick Lawson. 

Philip wrote to Cronshaw and received in reply the fol- 
lowing letter. It was written on a half-sheet of common 


note-paper, and the flimsy envelope was dirtier than was 
justified by its passage through the post. 

Dear Carey, 

Of course I remember you very well. I have an idea that 
I had some part in rescuing you from the Slough of De- 
spond in which myself am hopelessly immersed. I shall 
be glad to sec you. I am a stranger in a strange city and I 
am buffeted by the Philistines. It will be pleasant to talk 
of Paris. I do not ask you to come and see me, since my 
lodging is not of a magnificence fit for the reception of an 
eminent member of Monsieur Purgon's profession, but 
you will find me eating modestly any evening between 
seven and eight at a restaurant yclept Au Bon Plaisir in 
Dean Street. 

Your sincere 

J. Cronshaw. 

Philip went the day he received this letter. The restau- 
rant, consisting of one small room, was of the poorest class, 
and Cronshaw seemed to be its only customer. He was 
sitting in the corner, well away from draughts, wearing the 
same shabby great-coat which Philip had never seen him 
without, with his old bowler on his head. 

"I eat here because I can be alone," he said. "They are 
not doing well ; the only people who come are a few trol- 
lops and one or two waiters out of a job ; they are giving 
up business, and the food is execrable. But the ruin of their 
fortunes is my advantage." 

Cronshaw had before him a glass of absinthe. It was 
nearly three years since they had met, and Philip was 
shocked by the change in his appearance. He had been 
rather corpulent, but now he had a dried-up, yellow 
look : the skin of his neck was loose and wrinkled ; his 
clothes hung about him as though they had been bought 
for someone else ; and his collar, three or four sizes too 
large, added to the slatternliness of his appearance. His 
hands trembled continually. Philip remembered the hand- 
writing which scrawled over the page with shapeless, hap- 
hazard letters. Cronshaw was evidently very ill. 


"I eat little these days," he said. "I'm very sick in the 
morning. I'm just having some soup for my dinner, and 
then I shall have a bit of cheese." 

Philip's glance unconsciously went to the absinthe, and 
Cronshaw, seeing it, gave him the quizzical look with which 
he reproved the admonitions of common sense. 

"You have diagnosed my case, and you think it's very 
wrong of me to drink absinthe." 

"You've evidently got cirrhosis of the liver," said Philip. 


He looked at Philip in the way which had formerly had 
the power of making him feel incredibly narrow. It seemed 
to point out that what he was thinking was distressingly 
obvious ; and when you have agreed with the obvious what 
more is there to say ? Philip changed the topic. 

"When are you going back to Paris?" 

"I'm not going back to Paris. I'm going to die." 

The very naturalness with which he said this startled 
Philip. He thought of half a dozen things to say, but they 
seemed futile. He knew that Cronshaw was a dying man. 

"Are you going to settle in London then?" he asked 

"What is London to me ? I am a fish out of water. I walk 
through the crowded streets, men jostle me, and I seem 
to walk in a dead city. I felt that I couldn't die in Paris. I 
wanted to die among my own people. I don't know what 
hidden instinct drew me back at the last." 

Philip knew of the woman Cronshaw had lived with and 
the two draggle-tailed children, but Cronshaw had never 
mentioned them to him, and he did not like to speak of 
them. He wondered what had happened to them. 

"I don't know why you talk of dying," he said. 

"I had pneumonia a couple of winters ago, and they 
told me then it was a miracle that I came through. It ap- 
pears I'm extremely liable to it, and another bout will kill 

"Oh, what nonsense! You're not so bad as all that. 
You've only got to take precautions. Why don't you give 
up drinking?" 

"Because I don't choose. It doesn't matter what a man 

506 O F H U M A N B N D A G E 

does if he's ready to take the consequences. Well, I'm 
ready to take the consequences. You talk glibly of giving 
up drinking, but it's the only thing I've got left now. What 
do you think life would be to me without it? Can you 
understand the happiness I get out of my absinthe? I yearn 
for it ; and when I drink it I savour every drop, and after- 
wards I feel my soul swimming in ineffable happiness. It 
disgusts you. You are a puritan and in your heart you 
despise sensual pleasures. Sensual pleasures are the most 
violent and the most exquisite. I am a man blessed with 
vivid senses, and I have indulged them with all my soul. I 
have to pay the penalty now, and I am ready to pay." 

Philip looked at him for a while steadily. 

"Aren't you afraid ?" 

For a moment Cronshaw did not answer. He seemed to 
consider his reply. 

"Sometimes, when I'm alone." He looked at Philip. 
"You think that's a condemnation? You're wrong. I'm not 
afraid of my fear. It's folly, the Christian argument that 
you should live always in view of your death. The only 
way to live is to forget that you're going to die. Death is 
unimportant. The fear of it should never influence a sin- 
gle action of the wise man. I know that I shall die strug- 
gling for breath, and I know that I shall be horribly afraid. 
I know that I shall not be able to keep myself from regret- 
ting bitterly the life that has brought me to such a pass ; 
but I disown that regret. I now, weak, old, diseased, poor, 
dying, hold still mv soul in my hands, and I regret noth- 

"D'you remember that Persian carpet you gave me?" 
asked Philip. 

Cronshaw smiled his old, slow smile of past days. 

"I told you that it would give you an answer to your 
question when you asked me what was the meaning of life. 
Well, have you discovered the answer ?" 

"No," smiled Philip. "Won't you tell it me?" 

"No, no, I can't do that. The answer is meaningless un- 
less you discover it frr yourself." 


CRONSHAW was publishing his poems. His friends had 
been urging him to do this for years, but his laziness made 
it impossible for him to take the necessary steps. He had 
always answered their exhortations by telling them that 
the love of poetry was dead in England. You brought out 
a book which had cost you years of thought and labour ; it 
was given two or three contemptuous lines among a batch 
of similar volumes, twenty or thirty copies were sold, and 
the rest of the edition was pulped. He had long since worn 
out the desire for fame. That was an illusion like all else. 
But one of his friends had taken the matter into his own 
hands. This was a man of letters, named Leonard Upjohn, 
whom Philip had met once or twice with Cronshaw in the 
cafes of the Quarter. He had a considerable reputation in 
England as a critic and was the accredited exponent in this 
country of modern French literature. He had lived a good 
deal in France among the men who made the Mercure de 
France the liveliest review of the day, and by the simple 
process of expressing in English their point of view he 
had acquired in England a reputation for originality. 
Philip had read some of his articles. He had formed a style 
for himself by a close imitation of Sir Thomas Browne ; 
he used elaborate sentences, carefully balanced, and obso- 
lete, resplendent words : it gave his writing an appearance 
of individuality. Leonard Upjohn had induced Cronshaw 
to give him all his poems and found that there were enough 
to make a volume of reasonable size. He promised to use 
his influence with publishers. Cronshaw was in want of 
money. Since his illness he had found it more difficult than 
ever to work steadily ; he made barely enough to keep him- 
self in liquor; and when Upjohn wrote to him that this 
publisher and the other, though admiring the poems, 
thought it not worth while to publish them, Cronshaw be- 


gan to grow interested. He wrote impressing upon Upjohn 
his great need and urging him to make more strenuous 
efforts. Now that he was going to die he wanted to leave 
behind him a published book, and at the back of his mind 
was the feeling that he had produced great poetry. He ex- 
pected to burst upon the world like a new star. There was 
something fine in keeping to himself these treasures of 
beauty all his life and giving them to the world disdain- 
fully when, he and the world parting company, he had no 
further use for them. 

His decision to come to England was caused directly by 
an announcement from Leonard Upjohn that a publisher 
had consented to print the poems. By a miracle of persua- 
sion Upjohn had persuaded him to give ten pounds in ad- 
vance of royalties. 

"In advance of royalties, mind you," said Cronshaw t<> 
Philip. "Milton only got ten pounds down." 

Upjohn had promised to write a signed article about 
them, and he would ask his friends who reviewed to do 
their best. Cronshaw pretended to treat the matter with 
detachment, but it was easy to see that he was delighted 
with the thought of the stir he would make. 

One day Philip went to dine by arrangement at the 
wretched eating-house at which Cronshaw insisted on tak- 
ing his meals, but Cronshaw did not appear. Philip learned 
that he had not been there for three days. He got himself 
something to eat and went round to the address from 
which Cronshaw had first written to him. He had some 
difficulty in finding Hyde Street. It was a street of dingy 
houses huddled together; many of the windows had been 
broken and were clumsily repaired with strips of French 
newspaper; the doors had not been painted for years; 
there were shabby little shops on the ground floor, laun- 
dries, cobblers, stationers. Ragged children played in the 
road, and an old barrel-organ was grinding out a vulgar 
tune. Philip knocked at the door of Cronshaw's house, 
(there was a shop of cheap sweetstuffs at the bottom,) and 
it was opened by an elderly Frenchwoman in a dirty apron. 
Philip asked her if Cronshaw was in. 

"Ah, yes, there is an Englishman who lives at the top, 


at the back. I don't know if he's in. If you want him you 
had better go up and see." 

The staircase was lit by one jet of gas. There was a re- 
volting odour in the house. When Philip was passing up 
a woman came out of a room on the first floor, looked at 
him suspiciously, but made no remark. There were three 
doors on the top landing. Philip knocked at one, and 
knocked again; there was no reply; he tried the handle, 
but the door was locked. He knocked at another door, got 
no answer, and tried the door again. It opened. The room 
was dark. 

"Who's that?" 

He recognised Cronshaw's voice. 

"Carey. Can I come in ?" 

He received no answer. He walked in. The window was 
closed and the stink was overpowering. There was a cer- 
tain amount of light from the arc-lamp in the street, and 
he saw that it was a small room with two beds in it, end to 
end ; there was a washing-stand and one chair, but they left 
little space for anyone to move in. Cronshaw was in the 
bed nearest the window. He made no movement, but gave 
a low chuckle. 

"Why don't you light the candle?" he said then. 

Philip struck a match and discovered that there was a 
candlestick on the floor beside the bed. He lit it and put it 
on the washing-stand. Cronshaw was lying on his back im- 
moble; he looked very odd in his nightshirt; and his 
baldness was disconcerting. His face was earthy and death- 

"I say, old man, you look awfully ill. Is there anyone to 
look after you here ?" 

"George brings me in a bottle of milk in the morning 
before he goes to his work." 

"Who's George?" 

"I call him George because his name is Adolphe. He 
shares this palatial apartment with me." 

Philip noticed then that the second bed had not been 
made since it was slept in. The pillow was black where the 
head had rested. 


"You don't mean to say you're sharing this room with 
somebody else?" he cried. 

"Why not? Lodging costs money in Soho. George is a 
waiter, he goes out at eight in the morning and does not 
come in till closing time, so he isn't in my way at all. We 
neither of us sleep well, and he helps to pass away the 
hours of the night by telling me stories of his life. He's a 
Swiss, and I've always had a taste for waiters. They see 
life from an entertaining angle." 

"How long have you been in bed?" 

"Three days." 

"D'you mean to say you've had nothing but a bottle of 
milk for the last three days ? Why on earth didn't you send 
me a line ? I can't bear to think of you lying here all day 
.long without a soul to attend to you." 

Cronshaw gave a little laugh. 

"Look at your face. Why, dear boy, I really believe 
you're distressed. You nice fellow." 

Philip blushed. He had not suspected that his face 
showed the dismay he felt at the sight of that horrible 
room and the wretched circumstances of the poor poet. 
Cronshaw, watching Philip, went on with a gentle smile. 

"I've been quite happy. Look, here are my proofs. Re- 
member that I am indifferent to discomforts which would 
harass other folk. What do the circumstances of life mat- 
ter if your dreams make you lord paramount of time and 
space ?" 

The proofs were lying on his bed, and as he lay in the 
darkness he had been able to place his hands on them. He 
showed them to Philip and his eyes glowed. He turned over 
the pages, rejoicing in the clear type ; he read out a stanza. 

"They don't look bad, do they ?" 

Philip had an idea. It would involve him in a little ex- 
pense and he could not afford even the smallest increase of 
expenditure ; but on the other hand this was a case where 
it revolted him to think of economy. 

"I say, I can't bear the thought of your remaining here. 
I've got an extra room, it's empty at present, but I can 
easily get someone to lend me a bed. Won't you come and 
uve with me for a while? It'll save you the rent of this." 


"Oh, my dear boy, you'd insist on my keeping my win- 
dow open." 

"You shall have every window in the place sealed if 
you like." 

"I shall be all right tomorrow. I could have got up today, 
only I felt lazy." 

"Then you can very easily make the move. And then if 
you don't feel well at any time you can just go to bed, and 
I shall be there to look after you." 

"If it'll please you I'll come," said Cronshaw, with his 
torpid not unpleasant smile. 

"That'll be ripping." 

They settled that Philip should fetch Cronshaw next 
day, and Philip snatched an hour from his busy morning 
to arrange the change. He found Cronshaw dressed, sit- 
ting in his hat and great-coat on the bed, with a small, 
shabby portmanteau, containing his clothes and books, 
already packed: it was on the floor by his feet, and he 
looked as if he were sitting in the waiting-room of a sta- 
tion. Philip laughed at the sight of him. They went over to 
Kennington in a four-wheeler, of which the windows were 
carefully closed, and Philip installed his guest in his own 
room. He had gone out early in the morning and bought 
for himself a second-hand bedstead, a cheap chest of draw- 
ers, and a looking-glass. Cronshaw settled down at once to 
correct his proofs. He was much better. 

Philip found him, except for the irritability which was a 
symptom of his disease, an easy guest. He had a lecture at 
nine in the morning, so did not see Cronshaw till the night. 
Once or twice Philip persuaded him to share the scrappy 
meal he prepared for himself in the evening, but Cron- 
shaw was too restless to stay in, and preferred generally 
to get himself something to eat in one or other of the 
cheapest restaurants in Soho. Philip asked him to see Dr. 
Tyrell, but he stoutly refused ; he knew a doctor would tell 
him to stop drinking, and this he was resolved not to do. 
He always felt horribly ill in the morning, but his absinthe 
at mid-day put him on his feet again, and by the time he 
came home, at midnight, he was able to talk with the bril- 


liancy which had astonished Philip when first he made his 
acquaintance. His proofs were corrected ; and the volume 
was to come out among the publications of the early spring, 
when the public might be supposed to have recovered from 
the avalanche of Christmas books. 


AT the new year Philip became dresser in the surgical 
out-patients' department. The work was of the same char- 
acter as that which he had just been engaged on, but with 
the greater directness which surgery has than medicine; 
and a larger proportion of the patients suffered from those 
two diseases which a supine public allows, in its prudish- 
ness, to be spread broadcast. The assistant-surgeon for 
whom Philip dressed was called Jacobs. He was a short, 
fat man, with an exuberant joviality, a bald head, and a 
loud voice; he had a cockney accent, and was generally 
described by the students as an 'awful bounder' ; but his 
cleverness, both as a surgeon and as a teacher, caused some 
of them to overlook this. He had also a considerable 
facetiousness, which he exercised impartially on the pa- 
tients and on the students. He took a great pleasure in 
making his dressers look foolish. Since they were ignorant, 
nervous, and could not answer as if he were their equal, 
this was not very difficult. He enjoyed his afternoons, with 
the home truths he permitted himself, much more than the 
students who had to put up with them with a smile. One 
day a case came up of a boy with a club-foot. His parents 
wanted to know whether anything could be done. Mr. 
Jacobs turned to Philip. 

"You'd better take this case, Carey. It's a subject you 
ought to know something about." 

Philip flushed, all the more because the surgeon spoke 
obviously with a humorous intention, and his brow-beaten 
dressers laughed obsequiously. It was in point of fact a 
subject which Philip, since coming to the hospital, had 
studied with anxious attention. He had read everything in 
the library which treated of talipes in its various forms. 
He made the boy take off his boot and stocking. He was 
fourteen, with a snub nose, blue eyes, and a freckled face. 
His father explained that they wanted something done if 



possible, it was such a hindrance to the kid in earning his 
living. Philip looked at him curiously. He was a jolly boy, 
not at all shy, but talkative and with a cheekiness which 
his father reproved. He was much interested in his foot. 

"It's only for the looks of the thing, you know," he said 
to Philip. "I don't find it no trouble." 

"Be quiet, Ernie," said his father. "There's too much 
gas about you." 

Philip examined the foot and passed his hand slowly 
over the shapelessness of it. He could not understand why 
the boy felt none of the humiliation which always op- 
pressed himself. He wondered why he could not take his 
deformity with that philosophic indifference. Presently 
Mr. Jacobs came up to him. The boy was sitting on the 
edge of a couch, the surgeon and Philip stood on each side 
of him; and in a semi-circle, crowding round, were stu- 
dents. With accustomed brilliancy Jacobs gave a graphic 
little discourse upon the club-foot : he spoke of its varieties 
and of the forms which followed upon different anatomical 

"I suppose you've got talipes equinus ?" he said, turning 
suddenly to Philip. 


Philip felt the eyes of his fellow-students rest on him, 
and he cursed himself because he could not help blush- 
ing. He felt the sweat start up in the palms of his hands. 
The surgeon spoke with the fluency due to long practice 
and with the admirable perspicacity which distinguished 
him. He was tremendously interested in his profession. 
But Philip did not listen. He was only wishing that the 
fellow would get done quickly. Suddenly he realised that 
Jacobs was addressing him. 

"You don't mind taking off your sock for a moment, 
Carey ?" 

Philip felt a shudder pass through him. He had an im- 
pulse to tell the surgeon to go to hell, but he had not the 
courage to make a scene. He feared his brutal ridicule. He 
forced himself to appear indifferent. 

"Not a bit/' he said. 

He sat down and unlaced his boot. His fingers were 


trembling, and he thought he should never untie the knot. 
He remembered how they had forced him at school to 
show his foot, and the misery which had eaten into his 

"He keeps his feet nice and clean, doesn't he?" said 
Jacobs, in his rasping, cockney voice. 

The attendant students giggled. Philip noticed that the 
boy whom they were examining looked down at his foot 
with eager curiosity. Jacobs took the foot in his hands and 

"Yes, that's what I thought. I see you've had an opera- 
tion. When you were a child, I suppose ?" 

He went on with his fluent explanations. The students 
leaned over and looked at the foot. Two or three examined 
it minutely when Jacobs let it go. 

"When you've quite done," said Philip, with a smile, 

He could have killed them all. He thought how jolly it 
would be to jab a chisel (he didn't know why that par- 
ticular instrument came into his mind) into their necks. 
What beasts men were ! He wished he could believe in hell 
so as to comfort himself with the thought of the horrible 
tortures which would be theirs. Mr. Jacobs turned his at- 
tention to treatment. He talked partly to the boy's father 
and partly to the students. Philip put on his sock and laced 
his boot. At last the surgeon finished. But he seemed to 
have an afterthought and turned to Philip. 

"You know, I think it might be worth your while to 
have an operation. Of course I couldn't give you a normal 
foot, but I think I can do something. You might think 
about it, and when you want a holiday you can just come 
into the hospital for a bit." 

Philip had often asked himself whether anything could 
be done, but his distaste for any reference to the subject 
had prevented him from consulting any of the surgeons 
at the hospital. His reading told him that whatever might 
have been done when he was a small boy, and then treat- 
ment of talipes was not as skilful as in the present day, 
there was small chance now of any great benefit. Still 'it 
would be worth while if an operation made it possible for 


him to wear a more ordinary boot and to limp less. He re- 
membered how passionately he had prayed for the miracle 
which his uncle had assured him was possible to omnipo- 
tence. He smiled ruefully. 

"I was rather a simple soul in those days," he thought. 

Towards the end of February it was clear that Cron- 
shaw was growing much worse. He was no longer able to 
get up. He lay in bed, insisting that the window should 
be closed always, and refused to see a doctor; he would 
take little nourishment, but demanded whiskey and ciga- 
rettes : Philip knew that he should have neither, but Cron- 
shaw's argument was unanswerable. 

"I daresay they are killing me. I don't care. You've 
warned me, you've done all that was necessary: I ignore 
your warning. Give me something to drink and be damned 
to you." 

Leonard Upjohn blew in two or three times a week, and 
there was something of the dead leaf in his appearance 
which made that word exactly descriptive of the manner 
of his appearance. He was a weedy-looking fellow of five 
and-thirty, with long pale hair and a white face ; he had the 
look of a man who lived too little in the open air. He wore 
a hat like a dissenting minister's. Philip disliked him for 
his patronising manner and was bored by his fluent con- 
versation. Leonard Upjohn liked to hear himself talk. He 
was not sensitive to the interest of his listeners, which is 
the first requisite of the good talker; and he never real- 
ised that he was tel'ing people what they knew already. 
With measured words he told Philip what to think of 
Rodin, Albert Samain, and Caesar Franck. Philip's char- 
woman only came in for an hour in the morning, and since 
Philip was obliged to be at the hospital all day Cronshavv 
was left much alone. Upjohn told Philip that he thought 
someone should remain with him, but did not offer to 
make it possible. 

"It's dreadful to think of that great poet alone. Why, he 
might die without a soul at hand." 

"I think he very probably will," said Philip. 

"How can you be so callous !" 


"Why don't you come and do your work here every day, 
and then you'd be near if he wanted anything?" asked 
Philip drily. 

"I? My dear fellow, I can only work in the surround 
ings I'm used to, and besides I go out so much." 

Upjohn was also a little put out because Philip had 
brought Cronshaw to his own rooms. 

"I wish you had left him in Soho," he said, with a wave 
of his long, thin hands. "There was a touch of romance in 
that sordid attic. I could even bear it if it were Wapping 
or Shoreditch, but the respectability of Kennington ! What 
a place for a poet to die !" 

Cronshaw was often so ill-humoured that Philip could 
only keep his temper by remembering all the time that 
this irritability was a symptom of the disease. Upjohn 
came sometimes before Philip was in, and then Cronshaw 
would complain of him bitterly. Upjohn listened with com- 

"The fact is that Carey has no sense of beauty," he 
smiled. "He has a middle-class mind." 

He was very sarcastic to Philip, and Philip exercised a 
good deal of self-control in his dealings with him. But one 
evening he could not contain himself. He had had a hard 
day at the hospital and was tired out. Leonard Upjohn 
came to him, while he was making himself a cup of tea in 
the kitchen, and said that Cronshaw was complaining of 
Philip's insistence that he should have a doctor. 

"Don't you realise that you're enjoying a very rare, a 
very exquisite privilege? You ought to do everything in 
your power, surely, to show your sense of the greatness 
of your trust." 

"It's a rare and exquisite privilege which I can ill af< 
ford," said Philip. 

Whenever there was any question of money, Leonard 
Upjohn assumed a slightly disdainful expression. His sen- 
sitive temperament was offended by the reference. 

"There's something fine in Cronshaw's attitude, and you 
disturb it by your importunity. You should make allow- 
ances for the delicate imaginings which you cannot feel." 

Philip's face darkened. 


"Let us go in to Cronshaw," he said frigidly. 

The poet was lying on his back, reading a book, with a 
pipe in his mouth. The air was musty ; and the room, not- 
withstanding Philip's tidying up, had the bedraggled look 
*vhich seemed to accompany Cronshaw wherever he went. 
He took off his spectacles as they came in. Philip was in a 
towering rage. 

"Upjohn tells me you've been complaining to him be- 
cause I've urged you to have a doctor," he said. "I want 
you to have a doctor, because you may die any day, and if 
you hadn't been seen by anyone I shouldn't be able to get 
a certificate. There'd have to be an inquest and I should 
be blamed for not calling a doctor in." 

"I hadn't thought of that. I thought you wanted me to 
see a doctor for my sake and not for your own. I'll see a 
doctor whenever you like." 

Philip did not answer, but gave an almost imperceptible 
shrug of the shoulders. Cronshaw, watching him, gave a 
little chuckle. 

"Don't look so angry, my dear. I know very well you 
want to do everything you can for me. Let's see your doc- 
tor, perhaps he can do something for me, and at any rate 
it'll comfort you." He turned his eyes to Upjohn. "You're 
a damned fool, Leonard. Why d'you want to worry the 
boy ? He has quite enough to do to put up with me. You'll 
do nothing more for me than write a pretty article about 
me after my death. I know you." 

Next day Philip went to Dr. Tyrell. He felt that he was 
the sort of man to be interested by the story, and as soon 
as Tyrell was free of his day's work he accompanied 
Philip to Kennington. He could only agree with what 
Philip had told him. The case was hopeless. 

"I'll take him into the hospital if you like," he said. "He 
can have a small ward." 

"Nothing would induce him to come." 

"You know, he may die any minute, or else he may get 
another attack of pneumonia." 

Philip nodded. Dr. Tyrell made one or two suggestions, 
and promised to come again whenever Philip wanted him 
to. He left his address. When Philip went back to Cron- 


shaw he found him quietly reading. He did not trouble to 
enquire what the doctor had said. 

"Are you satisfied now, dear boy ?" he asked. 

"I suppose nothing will induce you to do any of tht 
things Tyrell advised?' 

"Nothing," smiled Cronshaw. 


ABOUT a fortnight after this Philip, going home one 
evening after his day's work at the hospital, knocked at the 
door of Cronshaw's room. He got no answser and walked 
in. Cronshaw was lying huddled up on one side, and Philip 
went up to the bed. He did not know whether Cronshaw 
was asleep or merely lay there in one of his uncontrollable 
fits of irritability. He was surprised to see that his mouth 
was open. He touched his shoulder. Philip gave a cry of 
dismay. He slipped his hand under Cronshaw's shirt and 
felt his heart ; he did not know what to do ; helplessly, be- 
cause he had heard of this being done, he held a looking- 
glass in front of his mouth. It startled him to be alone with 
Cronshaw. He had his hat and coat still on, and he ran 
down the stairs into the street ; he hailed a cab and drove 
to Harley Street. Dr. Tyrell was in. 

"I say, would you mind coming at once? I think Cron- 
shaw's dead." 

"If he is it's not much good my coming, is it?" 

"I should be awfully grateful if you would. I've got a 
cab at the door. It'll only take half an hour." 

Tyrell put on his hat. In the cab he asked him one or two 

"He seemed no worse than usual when I left this morn- 
ing," said Philip. "It gave me an awful shock when I went 
in just now. And the thought of his dying all alone. . . . 
D'you think he knew he was going to die ?" 

Philip remembered what Cronshaw had said. He won- 
dered whether at that last moment he had been seized with 
the terror of death. Philip imagined himself in such a 
plight, knowing it was inevitable and with no one, not a 
soul, to give an encouraging word when the fear seized 

"You're rather upset," said Dr. Tyrell. 



He looked at him with his bright blue eyes. They were not 
unsympathetic. When he saw Cronshaw, he said : 

"He must have been dead for some hours. I should think 
he died in his sleep. They do sometimes." 

The body looked shrunk and ignoble. It was not like 
anything human. Dr. Tyrell looked at it dispassionately. 
With a mechanical gesture he took out his watch. 

"Well, I must be getting along. I'll send the certificate 
round. I suppose you'll communicate with the relatives." 

"I don't think there are any," said Philip. 

"How about the funeral ?" 

"Oh, I'll see to that." 

Dr. Tyrell gave Philip a glance. He wondered whether 
he ought to offer a couple of sovereigns towards it. He 
knew nothing of Philip's circumstances ; perhaps he could 
well afford the expense ; Philip might think it impertinent 
if he made any suggestion. 

"Well, jet me know if there's anything I can do," he said. 

Philip and he went out together, parting on the doorstep, 
and Philip went to a telegraph office in order to send a 
message to Leonard Upjohn. Then he went to an under- 
taker whose shop he passed every day on his way to the 
hospital. His attention had been drawn to it often by the 
three words in silver lettering on a black cloth, which, with 
two model coffins, adorned the window: Economy, Celer- 
ity, Propriety. They had always diverted him. The 
undertaker was a little fat Jew with curly black hair, long 
and greasy, in black, with a large diamond ring on a podgy 
finger. He received Philip with a peculiar manner formed 
by the mingling of his natural blatancy with the subdued 
air proper to his calling. He quickly saw that Philip was 
very helpless and promised to send round a woman at once 
to perform the needful offices. His suggestions for the 
funeral were very magnificent ; and Philip felt ashamed of 
himself when the undertaker seemed to think his objections 
mean. It was horrible to haggle on such a matter, and fi- 
nally Philip consented to an expensiveness which he could 
ill afford. 

"I quite understand, sir," said the undertaker, "you don't 
want any show and that I'm not a believer in ostentation 


myself, mind you but you want it done gentlemanly -like. 
You leave it to me, I'll do it as cheap as it can be done, 'av- 
ing regard to what's right and proper. I can't say more 
than that, can I ?" 

Philip went home to eat his supper, and while he ate the 
woman came along to lay out the corpse. Presently a tele- 
gram arrived from Leonard Upjohn. 

Shocked and grieved beyond measure. Regret cannot 
conic tonight. Dining out. With you early tomorrow. Deep- 
est sympathy. Upjohn. 

In a little while the woman knocked at the door of the 

"I've done now, sir. Will you come and look at 'im and 
see it's all right ?" 

Philip followed her. Cronshaw was lying on his back, 
with his eyes closed and his hands folded piously across his 

"You ought by rights to 'ave a few flowers, sir." 

"I'll get some tomorrow." 

She gave the body a glance of satisfaction. She had per- 
formed her job, and now she rolled down her sleeves, took 
off her apron, and put on her bonnet. Philip asked her how 
much he owed her. 

"Well, sir, some give me two and sixpence and some 
give me five shillings." 

Philip was ashamed to give her less than the larger sum. 
She thanked him with just so much effusiveness as was 
seemly in presence of the grief he might be supposed to 
feel, and left him. Philip went back into his sitting-room, 
cleared away the remains of his supper, and sat down to 
read Walsham's Surgery. He found it difficult. He felt sin- 
gularly nervous. When there was a sound on the stairs he 
jumped, and his heart beat violently. That thing in the 
adjoining room, which had been a man and now was noth- 
ing, frightened him. The silence seemed alive, as if some 
mysterious movement were taking place within it ; the pres- 
ence of death weighed upon these rooms, unearthly and 
terrifying: Philip felt a sudden horror for what had once 


been his friend. He tried to force himself to read, but pres- 
ently pushed away his book in despair. What troubled him 
was the absolute futility of the life which had just ended. 
It did not matter if Cronshaw was alive or dead. It would 
have been just as well if he had never lived. Philip thought 
of Cronshaw young; and it needed an effort of imagina- 
tion to picture him slender, with a springing step, and with 
hair on his head, buoyant and hopeful, Philip's rule of life, 
to follow one's instincts with due regard to the policeman 
round the corner, had not acted very well there : it was be- 
cause Cronshaw had done this that he had made such a 
lamentable failure of existence. It seemed that the instincts 
could not be trusted. Philip was puzzled, and he asked 
himself what rule of life was there, if that one was useless, 
and why people acted in one way rather than in another. 
They acted according to their emotions, but their emotions 
might be good or bad; it seemed just a chance whether 
they led to triumph or disaster. Life seemed an inextrica- 
ble confusion. Men hurried hither and thither, urged by 
forces they knew not; and the purpose of it all escaped 
them ; they seemed to hurry just for hurrying's sake. 

Next morning Leonard Upjohn appeared with a small 
wreath of laurel. He was pleased with his idea of crowning 
'he dead poet with this; and attempted, notwithstanding 
Philip's disapproving silence, to fix it on the bald head ; but 
the wreath fitted grotesquely. It looked like the brim of a 
hat worn by a low comedian in a music-hall. 

"I'll put it over his heart instead," said Upjohn. 

"You've put it on his stomach," remarked Philip. 

Upjohn give a thin smile. 

"Only a poet knows where lies a poet's heart," he an- 

They went back into the sitting-room, and Philip told 
him what arrangements he had made for the funeral. 

"I hope you've spared no expense. I should like the 
hearse to be followed by a long string of empty coaches, 
and I should like the horses to wear tall nodding plumes, 
and there should be a vast number of mutes with long 
streamers on their hats. I like the thought of all those 
empty coaches." 


"As the cost of the funeral will apparently fall on ma 
and I'm not over flush just now, I've tried to make it as 
moderate as possible." 

"But, my dear fellow, in that case, why didn't you get 
him a pauper's funeral ? There would have been something 
poetic in that. You have an unerring instinct for medioc- 

Philip flushed a little, but did not answer ; and next day 
he and Upjohn followed the hearse in the one carriage 
which Philip had ordered. Lawson, unable to come, had 
sent a wreath; and Philip, so that the coffin should not 
seem too neglected, had bought a couple. On the way back 
the coachman whipped up his horses. Philip was dog-tired 
and presently went to sleep. He was awakened by Upjohn's 

"It's rather lucky the poems haven't come out yet. I 
think we'd better hold them back a bit and I'll write a pref- 
ace. I began thinking of it during the drive to the ceme- 
tery. I believe I can do something rather good. Anyhow I'll 
start with an article in The Saturday." 

Philip did not reply, and there was silence between them. 
At last Upjohn said: 

"I daresay I'd be wiser not to whittle away my copy. I 
think I'll do an article for one of the reviews, and then I 
can just print it afterwards as a preface." 

Philip kept his eye on the monthlies, and a few weeks 
later it appeared. The article made something of a stir, and 
extracts from it were printed in many of the papers. It 
was a very good article, vaguely biographical, for no one 
knew much of Cronshaw's early life, but delicate, tender, 
and picturesque. Leonard Upjohn in his intricate style 
drew graceful little pictures of Cronshaw in the Latin 
Quarter, talking, writing poetry : Cronshaw became a pic- 
turesque figure, an English Verlaine ; and Leonard Up- 
john's coloured phrases took on a tremulous dignity, a 
more pathetic grandiloquence, as he described the sordid 
end, the shabby little room in Soho ; and, with a reticence 
which was wholly charming and suggested a much greater 
generosity than modesty allowed him to state, the efforts 
he made to transport the poet to some cottage embowered 


with honeysuckle amid a flowering orchard. And the lack 
of sympathy, well-meaning but so tactless, which had 
taken the poet instead to the vulgar respectability of Ken- 
nington ! Leonard Upjohn described Kennington with that 
restrained humour which a strict adherence to the vocabu- 
lary of Sir Thomas Browne necessitated. With delicate 
sarcasm he narrated the last weeks, the patience with 
which Cronshaw bore the well-meaning clumsiness of the 
young student who had appointed himself his nurse, and 
the pitifulness of that divine vagabond in those hopelessly 
middle-class surroundings. Beauty from ashes, he quoted 
from Isaiah. It was a triumph of irony for that out- 
cast poet to die amid the trappings of vulgar respecta- 
bility ; it reminded Leonard Upjohn of Christ among the 
Pharisees, and the analogy gave him opportunity for an 
exquisite passage. And then he told how a friend his 
good taste did not suffer him more than to hint subtly who 
the friend was with such gracious fancies had laid a lau- 
rel wreath on the dead poet's heart ; and the beautiful dead 
hands had seemed to rest with a voluptuous passion upon 
Apollo's leaves, fragrant with the fragrance of art, and 
more green than jade brought by swart mariners from the 
manifold, inexplicable China. And, an admirable contrast, 
the article ended with a description of the middle-class, 
ordinary, prosaic funeral of him who should have been 
buried like a prince or like a pauper. It was the crowning 
buffet, the final victory of Philistia over art, beauty, and 
immaterial things. 

Leonard Upjohn had never written anything better. It 
was a miracle of charm, grace, and pity. He printed all 
Cronshaw's best poems in the course of the article, so that 
when the volume appeared much of its point was gone: 
but he advanced his own position a good deal. He was 
thenceforth a critic to be reckoned with. He had seemed 
before a little aloof ; but there was a warm humanity about 
this article which was infinitely attractive. 


IN the spring Philip, having finished his dressing in the 
out-patients' department, became an in-patients' clerk. 
This appointment lasted six months. The clerk spent every 
morning in the wards, first in the men's, then in the 
women's, with the house-physician; he wrote up cases, 
made tests, and passed the time of day with the nurses. 
On two afternoons a week the physician in charge went 
round with a little knot of students, examined the cases, 
and dispensed information. The work had not the excite- 
ment, the constant change, the intimate contact with 
reality, of the work in the out-patients' department; but 
Philip picked up a good deal of knowledge. He got on 
very well with the patients, and he was a little flattered at 
the pleasure they showed in his attendance on them. He 
was not conscious of any deep sympathy in their suffer- 
ings, but he liked them ; and because he put on no airs he 
was more popular with them than others of the clerks. He 
was pleasant, encouraging, and friendly. Like everyone 
connected with hospitals he found that male patients were 
more easy to get on with than female. The women were 
often querulous and ill-tempered. They complained bit- 
terly of the hard-worked nurses, who did not show them 
the attention they thought their right; and they were 
troublesome, ungrateful, and rude. 

Presently Philip was fortunate enough to make a friend. 
One morning the house-physician gave him a new case, a 
man ; and, seating himself at the bedside, Philip proceeded 
to write down particulars on the 'letter.' He noticed on 
looking at this that the patient was described as a journal- 
ist: his name was Thorpe Athelny, an unusual one for a 
hospital patient, and his age was forty-eight. He was 
suffering from a sharp attack of jaundice, and had been 
taken into the ward on account of obscure symptoms 



which it seemed necessary to watch. He answered the 
various questions which it was Philip's duty to ask him 
in a pleasant, educated voice. Since he was lying in bed it 
was difficult to tell if he was short or tall, but his small 
head and small hands suggested that he was a man of less 
than average height. Philip had the habit of looking at 
people's hands, and Athelny's astonished him: they were 
very small, with long, tapering fingers and beautiful, rosy 
finger-nails ; they were very smooth and except for the 
jaundice would have been of a surprising whiteness. The 
patient kept them outside the bed-clothes, one of them 
slightly spread out, the second and third fingers together, 
and, while he spoke to Philip, seemed to contemplate them 
with satisfaction. With a twinkle in his eyes Philip glanced 
at the man's face. Notwithstanding the yellowness it was 
distinguished; he had blue eyes, a nose of an imposing 
boldness, hooked, aggressive but not clumsy, and a small 
beard, pointed and gray : he was rather bald, but his hair 
had evidently been quite fine, curling prettily, and he still 
wore it long. 

"I see you're a journalist," said Philip. "What papers 
d'you write for?" 

"I write for all the papers. You cannot open a paper 
without seeing some of my writing." 

There was one by the side of the bed and reaching for 
it he pointed out an advertisement. In large letters was 
the name of a firm well-known to Philip, Lynn and Sed- 
ley, Regent Street, London; and below, in type smaller 
but still of some magnitude, was the dogmatic statement: 
Procrastination is the Thief of Time. Then a question, 
startling because of its reasonableness: Why not order 
today? There was a repetition, in large letters, like the 
hammering of conscience on a murderer's heart : Why not ? 
Then, boldly : Thousands of pairs of gloves from the lead- 
ing markets of the world at astounding prices. Thousands 
of pairs of stockings from the most reliable manufacturers 
of the universe at sensational reductions. Finally the ques- 
tion recurred, but flung now like a challenging gauntlet in 
the lists: Why not order today? 

"I'm the press representative of Lynn and Sedley." He 


sjave a lit