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green forest—toward all, whether -a land of individualism cavorting much or little, that he was ever to
The admirably be.”
"sound" business of the elder Harri. The title of The Tree of Heaven son is menaced by strikes; the lad is also symbolic. That friendly shel- Nicky, scorning Victorian conven. tering presence in the garden of the tions, marries a self-confessed wanHarrisons at Hampstead represents ton; the girl Dorothy tries her hand the comfortable enclosed well-being at militancy; the boy Michael will of prosperous England in the years own allegiance to nothing but his before the war. It is to the Harri- right to be "himself.” Stone by stone sons much what
what Mr. Walpole's the foundations of the family happiGreen Mirror was to the Trench ness and security fall away. Then ards. There are points of close comes the war: and, in sweeping analogy between these two novels. away the last vestiges of the old cherBoth are stories of family; and in ished structure, miraculously reveals both instances this family life, self a deeper foundation in the love and absorbed and self-sufficient, typifies service of England. Even Michael, the existence and the point of view that stubborn individualist who as a of the British upper middle class schoolboy has pronounced "esprit de during the early years of the twen corps the putridest rot,” and has . tieth century. In both instances the grown up a rebel to the will and central figure is the mother of the manners of the crowd,-a scornful family: it is she, at least, who most non-conformist as Nicky is a genial strongly values and clings to the one-is to pay with joy the supreme family solidarity, and to those ideas tribute to his kind. This is a far of social and national stability, to stronger and sounder book than The that comfortable status quo, upon Belfry, which, with all its adroitness, which she feels that the safety of the was over-preoccupied with its satirifamily depends. Mrs. Harrison, like cal portrait of a certain prominent Mrs. Trenchard, pretends that change English writer, and which made a does not exist, because change is convenience of the war in order to what she dreads of all things. But effect a plausible but false solution she lacks Mrs. Trenchard's satanic of the hopeless matrimonial problem pride, and thereby in the end snatches that had been set. There is not a spiritual victory from her temporal trace of mere cleverness, much less defeat. The Trenchards, it will be of claptrap, in The Tree of Heaven. recalled, were disrupted by We know these people, their probdernity, the cleavage between new lems are real (and indeed have beideas and old, the pitting of the come largely our own). Out of the younger generation against the elder. personalities they are and the world The Harrisons are in peril of such they live in, their story grows steaddisruption; but they save the family ily and naturally, not toward an soul by losing its body for England. effect, but toward a completed inA more striking analogy, in some terpretation. That interpretation is ways, might be drawn between this based upon faith not only in the esbook and St. John Ervine's Shifting sential soundness of England, but in Winds. Here again is the Britain human nature and its destiny. that has been so long safe from for We cannot wish to have our storyeign enemies that it is no longer safe tellers treat the period of the war from itself, a Britain of feverish in. always upon this high and somewhat consequence, avid of meaningless severe plane. Between the anxious pleasures, heckled by, Woman, stum- seriousness of those who stay at home bling toward the verge of civil strife and the defensive buffoonery of the
trenches, romantic fancy still plies happy days spent among the kindly her healing trade. It is well for us and simple-hearted Saxons only add to understand the thing that is, and to the poignancy of my sorrow that it is also well for us to clothe it, they should have been deluded and now and then, with what glamour we driven into this awful holocaust by may,—to assure ourselves that the Prussian Junkerism, Militarism, and old dreams may still be dreamed. Kaiserism.” The scene opens in The author of Rose of Old St. Louis Dresden, is thence transferred to is primarily a romancer, and her Leipzig, Rome, Berlin, and America. Comrades has its central thread of The Dresden pension, where our "heart-interest” in the love-story of British younger son, “Mr. Hatfield of a young Briton and a girl from Ken- Hatfield Abbey,” is sojourning, is tucky who make each other's ac kept by a Prussian widow, who has quaintance on the Continent during two attractive but very German the days before the war, and are daughters. The guests are a polypresently caught in the mill and put glot assembly: Hatfield the Englishthrough. In her handling of all this, man, a Pole, a Swede, a Russian, in her machinery of plot and situa a Rumanian, a Frenchman, and a tion, Mrs. Dillon follows those con "Herr Geheimrath,” a type of Gerventions of romance of which the man officialdom. War seems far world, in its coming-on disposition, off, yet Hatfield is puzzled by never grows tired. Things happen some things--for one, the coldness very handily; coincidence accommo of the daughters of the house todates its long arm to our needs. On ward the Frenchman and himself. the other hand, the course of true To this happy family are presently love must not be too smooth, since added two Americans, whom he has its final goal (in romance) is mar. already rescued from the attentions riage. Hence fate and the chronicler of some German officers—Beatrice, interpose the familiar obstacles of the beautiful Kentuckian, and her untoward incident and misunder- quaint companion, the spinster Miss standing, to the end of a suitable
Martin. All the men succumb to postponement of that consummation the beauty and charm and intellect which we never seriously doubt from of the American girl excepting the the outset. Our hero is wounded and Frenchman, who is betrothed, and loses an arm in a German hospital, the German, whose bureaucratic soul but we know that the rest of him is is not responsive to an alien attracsafe enough. When the moment tion. But it is another sort of Gercomes for his desperate attempt at man that is presently to become Hatescape through the German lines, field's chief rival. Though a baron our fears are a pleasant pretence. and high in German official circles, Nor is our excitement intolerable he is capable of being both loyal when our heroine is discovered driv to his Fatherland and constant to ing her ambulance daily into the his friends of whatever race. The thick of the fighting at the front. We friendly German vow of Bruderschaft know that she is invulnerable, since sworn between him and Hatfield, al. she is ours. The villain of the piece ready open adversaries in love and is a German Secret Service agent of destined to be adversaries in war, is diabolic nature, who of course gets not an idle one. To the Baron the his deserts in the long end. But this English prisoner owes his chance of purely romantic plot is not the whole escape. It is the ideal of a wider of the book. The “Foreword” gives Bruderschaft, to embrace all nations, a hint of graver purpose which is not toward which Mrs. Dillon
Dillon sees unfulfilled in these pages: “Many the world blindly struggling. Who
may safely attach the stigma of sen which forbids an honest man to recog. timentalism to the declaration of nise the facts. His heart is with the faith with which she concludes? defenders of France, he exults openly “My faith does not falter. Some day when Joffre turns and the Hun is it will end and Right will prevail! driven back from Paris; he cannot And the God of nations, the God of forbear pluming himself a little on the Englishman, the German, and the the prowess of his kinsmen. On the Frenchman,-of all the warring other hand, when, at the first breath brothers,—will know how to bring of war, Switzerland's wonderful little some great good out of this holocaust army rushes to defend her borders, of evil to all his bruised and broken Schmid and his fellows of Teutonic children."
stock are in their places, not less Feminine sentiment, undeniably, resolute than the Vaudois. The heart gives this book its atmosphere. Pot of the nation is sound for defence. terat and the War is a book of mas But that is not enough to content the culine sentiment and humour. Pot. chivalrous soul of Potterat. Always terat is a kind of Swiss Tartarin; there weighs upon his consciousness this is the third and final instalment the tragic plight of that other little of his memoirs. It finds him a re country which has been denied neutired Police Inspector of sixty, with trality, which has been ravished, and an admirable second wife, and one trampled under foot before the eyes child of his old age; with a pleasant of the world. What right has Switzerold cottage facing the lake, on the land or any other country to be safe borders of the town of Lausanne;
and neutral in the presence of this with a fine garden, warm friends, a outrage? The presence and testi. perfect digestion, and an immense mony of the two old Belgian refugees enthusiasm for life. Potterat is of who are presently allotted to the the pure Vaudois stock, and has none Potterat household strengthens his too much affection for the other feeling. That Switzerland should strains in the composite Swiss na
not at least have filed a protest is tion. But he likes to be friendly more than he can bear. The thing with everybody, and as chosen orator becomes an obsession; he, at least, of his Choral Society speaks elo must put himself on record. In the quently of the Switzerland of three end, he writes three letters, one to languages and of three races that Joffre, expressing in the name of "dwell together in perfect harmony "thousands of citizens, neutral by nawithin her borders, bound together tional obligations outwardly” his by the ties of mutual respect and hope for France's success in driving mutual rights. ... Little quarrels the invaders out of Belgium; one to and differences we have, certainly, King Albert, to the same purport; and sometimes feeling runs high, but and one to the Supreme Council of the moment the red flag with the Switzerland, urging that in the name white cross is hoisted, the ranks close of true neutrality, Switzerland ought up, and the Swiss Confederation is to speak out for the rights of Belthe cement which unites all hearts gium. And so, having uttered itself, in one.” Privately, perhaps, he has
the stout heart of Potterat ceases to his reservations; there is a natural labour and, with a jest and a blessing friction of race, for example, be on his honest lips, he goes to sleep tween himself and his son-in-law forever. A neighbour speaks his fitSchmid. When the war breaks out, ting epitaph: “Poor Potterat! ... his French blood asserts itself, and We shall never see his like again. ... he chafes and blusters about the ab. It's this war that has killed him. He surd nature of that official neutrality felt it and lived it with all his heart.
... Ah, he was a splendid fellow! man does not at least equal the “temOne of the very best!” So much for peramental” young Briton of Mr. Potterat and the war. But the Aumonier's story. To take it on its human substance of him, his phi- own ground (and so I should have losophy, his delicious humour, can- done but for the writer's specific asnot be conveyed at second hand. If sumption that to “paint a man,” as there are still “Anglo-Saxon” read. Thackeray said that Fielding had ers who cling to the notion that the done for the first time with Tom Latins have a kind of wit, but that we Jones, is normally to paint a personothers have a monopoly of pure fun, I ality not only complex but vacillatshould like to turn them over to Pot- ing and inconclusive) this is a study terat, and see what he will do with of a human type with which British them. One more thing: it is strange novelists before the war were somethat the name of the author of this what monotonously preoccupied. Arremarkably skilful and idiomatic thur Gaffyn is a youth, and a man, translation should not be given on whose character is overlaid and the title-page of the book.
partly vitiated by "temperament." Compared with the hearty and He has high impulses and fine downright humanity of such a story, theories, but is harassed and stultithe Just Outside of Stacy Aumonier fied by his sense of the complexity seems a trifle niggling and inconse- of things. His spirit revolts against quential. You may say that this is the coarseness and hypocrisy of because one is sentimental and the modern "civilisation," he has a sinother “realistic”; and that human cere desire to get into "the big nature is not really such a simple game,” to do his part in making the matter as the builder of a Potterat world better; but his energy goes represents it to be. I am not at all into fumbling for some general spesure that this is true. Mr. Aumonier cific, and he is unable to move in a himself admits that the majority of straight line toward any single obhuman beings are consistent enough, jective. He remains “just outside" we can tell what they are from their the current of the active world, a looks, and what they will do from spectator who now and then casts an what they have done. But this type experimental brick into the flood does not interest him; his concern is and is grieved that it shows no sign frankly with the "others of whom we of turning aside. Meanwhile, of cannot take stock ... the wayward course, he is being nagged by the children whose impulses make the flesh, there is always some habit or history books uncertain records. desire twitching at his sleeve. He is Sometimes they live great lives ob- without grossness, but sex will scurely; at other times they lead neither let him alone nor satisfy him, mean lives, although they figure on a till divorce offers him escape from an great canvas. It is yet to be com unhappy marriage to the sanctuary pletely understood that there never (momentary, at least) of union with was a hero, except a stage hero." an American girl twenty years his Granted, if by hero we mean the Hat- junior, who blithely sets herself the fields of romantic tradition, the lead task of making a man of him. All ing juveniles who must comport this takes place before the war, of themselves to order or fail to satisfy which the book contains a hint in the us in our romantic mood. But if we forecast of Lefsbury, the old designer. are to be serious, let us compare Pot. The world, he says, is working to no terat with the Arthur Gaffyn of this purpose: “In the trouble that is comstory and feel whether, in substance ing—and there is very big trouble and in truth, the fat Swiss ex-police coming to humanity-it won't be the
young who are to blame, or even the of current novelists, especially in weak or the sensual! It will be the America. Men like Rupert Hughes, old, who have worked without love. Winston Churchill, and Henry ... Things to save time, to increase Kitchell Webster lift the refrain, comfort, to 'speed up' humanity, to the voices of story-telling women are create luxury! And what does it all a chorus nearly in unison as they reamount to? Work without love. Do peat the burden. Even the writers you remember the old punishment of the sweet-pretty stories, the rocknow abolished,—the punishment of ing-chair romancers, cannot afford to abortive labour? A man was made be mute. Witness A Daughter of to carry bricks across a yard, and the Morning, in which a country then carry them back again, and so lass begins by running away from the on all day. In time it drove him family drudgery (housework in this mad. What does this prove? That kind of fiction always involves even the vile have a soul, the instinct knotted fingers, soiled aprons, and for service. Man cannot work with. ugly tempers) and ends by nearly reout love. But these chartered liber fusing to marry the man she adores tines of righteousness, these old men because she does not want to take whispering in their secret chambers care of his house or his babies. She and pulling the wires, are simply is not, she admits complacently, a carrying bricks from one end of the "mother-woman." And she wants to yard to the other and back again. keep on helping him in his great One day they will go mad, and then work as a social reformer: “I care they will drive the young before now for the big issues—for life and them like cattle to the slaughter.” death and the workers-for the fu. Leffbury himself, who is strong ture more than for now. We are where Gaffyn is weak, who has seen working for them—you and I. I will his road of service, and pressed for not let myself care only for getting ward upon it, has yet been defeated your food and keeping the house of his end by these brutal forces. tidy.” And all the gentleman can do But his spirit is unconquered, and I is to look away over the fields and defy his creator's attempt to disprove murmur: “To think what we have him a hero by making him swear and done to love—all of us. I know that tell bawdy stories!
the possibility is exactly what you The day draws near when the po- say it is.” And when she goes on to litical equality of the sexes will be boast that she is not the "motherassured, but let no man flatter him woman," he says that is all right, too self that he is going to dispose of his -of course she does not want to mate by giving her the vote. To be bother with taking care of children: gin with, he cannot do better than besides, she is “the new factor we've divest the word mate of its biological got to deal with, the mother-to-themeaning: his mate is to be his part. race woman." This looks pretty ner, not his servant, in the affairs of unpromising for the kiss-curtain: the household; she is to be equally however, we only need another halffree to choose her own friends and page to get to it, for our modern to do her own work; she is to wooer stoops to conquer, and says he be "economically independent;" and knows what a horrible problem it all she is not to be a mother unless is, but he thinks perhaps they ought motherhood suits her own inclina to have a try at it, since it cannot be tion and convenience. All this is solved “by every woman funking it, made clear not only by the published and staying unmarried.” “Will you and listened-to utterances of feminis. come,” he cried, “will you come and tic propaganda, but by the testimony face it with me? And do your best,