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Title: The Life of Mrs. Humphry Ward
Author: Trevelyan, Janet Penrose
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Life of Mrs. Humphry Ward" ***

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Author of
"A Short History of the Italian People"


_Printed in Great Britain by_ Butler & Tanner Ltd., _Frome and London_



My warmest thanks are due to the many friends who have helped me,
directly or indirectly, in the writing of this book, but especially to
all those who have sent me the letters they possessed from Mrs. Ward, or
who have given me leave to publish their own. Mr. Henry Gladstone kindly
looked out for me the letters written by Mrs. Ward to Mr. Gladstone
during the _Robert Elsmere_ period; Mrs. Creighton did the same for the
long period covered by Mrs. Ward's correspondence with the Bishop and
with herself; Miss Arnold of Fox How sent me many valuable letters
belonging to the later years. So with Mrs. A. H. Johnson, Mrs.
Conybeare, Mrs. R. Vere O'Brien, Sir Robert Blair, Mr. Leonard Huxley,
Mrs. Reginald Smith, Lord Buxton, M. Chevrillon, Miss McKee, Mrs.
Turner, Miss Gertrude Wood, and many others, and although the letters
may not in all cases have been suitable for publication, they have given
me many valuable side-lights on Mrs. Ward's life and work.

To Mrs. A. H. Johnson my special thanks are due for permission to
reproduce her water-colour portrait of Mrs. Ward, and to Mrs. T. H.
Green for much help in connexion with the Oxford portion of the book.

No book at all, however, could have been produced, even from the
material so generously placed at my disposal, had it not been for the
constant collaboration of my father and sister, whose help in sifting
great masses of papers and in advising me in all difficulties has been
my greatest support throughout this task.

J. P. T.

   _July, 1923_.





Mary Arnold's Parentage--The Sorells--Thomas Arnold the
Younger--Marriage in Tasmania with Julia Sorell--Conversion
to Roman Catholicism--Return to England--The
Arnold Family--Mary Arnold's Childhood--Schools--Her
Father's Re-conversion--Removal to Oxford                          1-16


LIFE AT OXFORD, 1867-1881

Oxford in the 'Sixties--Mark Pattison and Canon Liddon--Mary
Arnold and the Bodleian--First Attempts at Writing--Marriage
with Mr. T. Humphry Ward--Thomas Arnold's
Second Conversion--Oxford Friends--The Education of
Women--Foundation of Somerville Hall--_The Dictionary
of Christian Biography_--Pamphlet on "Unbelief and Sin"           17-34


ELSMERE_, 1881-1888

Mr. Ward takes work on _The Times_--Removal to London--The
House in Russell Square--London Life and Friends--Work
for John Morley--Letters--Writer's Cramp--_Miss
Bretherton_--Borough Farm--Amiel's _Journal Intime_--Beginnings
of _Robert Elsmere_--Long Struggle with the
Writing--Its Appearance, February 24, 1888--Death of
Mrs. Arnold                                                       35-54



Reviews--Mr. Gladstone's Interest--His Interview with Mrs.
Ward at Oxford--Their Correspondence--Article in the
_Nineteenth Century_--Circulation of _Robert Elsmere_--Letters--Visit
to Hawarden--_Quarterly_ Article--The Book
in America--"Pirate" Publishers--Letters--Mrs. Ward
at Hampden House--Schemes for a _New Brotherhood_                 55-80



Foundation of University Hall--Mr. Wicksteed as Warden--The
Opening--Lectures--Social Work at Marchmont Hall--Growing
Importance of the Latter--Mr. Passmore
Edwards Promises Help--Our House on Grayswood Hill--Sunday
Readings--The Writing of _David Grieve_--Visit
to Italy--Reception of the Book--Letters--Removal to
"Stocks"                                                         81-103



Mrs. Ward much Crippled by Illness--The Writing of _Marcella_--Stocks
Cottage--Reception of the Book--Quarrel with
the Libraries--_The Story of Bessie Costrell_--Friends at
Stocks--Letter from John Morley--_Sir George Tressady_--Letters
from Mrs. Sidney Webb and Mr. Rudyard Kipling--Renewed
attacks of Illness--The Building and Opening
of the Passmore Edwards Settlement                               104-122


SCHOOL, 1897-1899

Beginnings of the Work for Children--The Recreation School--The
Work for Adults--Finance--Mrs. Ward's interest
in Crippled Children--Plans for Organizing a School--She
obtains the help of the London School Board--Opening
of the Settlement School--The Children's Dinners--Extension
of the Work--Mrs. Ward's Inquiry and Report--Further
Schools opened by the School Board--After-care--Mrs.
Ward and the Children                                            123-142



Origins of _Helbeck_--Mrs. Ward at Levens Hall--Her Views on
Roman Catholicism--Creighton and Henry James--Reception
of _Helbeck_--Letter to Creighton--Mrs. Ward
and the Unitarians--Origins of _Eleanor_--Mrs. Ward takes
the Villa Barberini--Life at the Villa--Nemi--Her Feeling
for Italy                                                        143-164



Mrs. Ward and the Brontës--George Smith and Charlotte--The
Prefaces to the Brontë Novels--André Chevrillon--M.
Jusserand--Mrs. Ward in Italy and Paris--The Translation
of Jülicher--Death of Thomas Arnold--The South
African War--Death of Bishop Creighton and George
Smith--Dramatization of _Eleanor_--William Arnold--Mrs.
Ward and George Meredith--The Marriage of her
Daughter--The Vacation School at the Passmore Edwards
Settlement                                                       165-186



Mrs. Ward's Social Life--Her Physical Delicacy--Power of
Work--American Friends--F. W. Whitridge--Plans for
Extending Recreation Schools for Children to other Districts--Opening
of the first "Evening Play Centres"--The
"Mary Ward Clause"--Negotiations with the London
County Council--Efforts to raise Funds--No help from the
Government till 1917--Two more Vacation Schools--Organized
Playgrounds--_Fenwick's Career_--"Robin
Ghyll"                                                           187-206



Invitations to visit America--Mr. and Mrs. Ward and Dorothy
sail in March, 1908--New York--Philadelphia--Washington--Mr.
Roosevelt--Boston--Canada--Lord Grey and
Sir William van Horne--Mrs. Ward at Ottawa--Toronto--Her
Journey West--Vancouver--The Rockies--Lord
Grey and Wolfe--_Canadian Born_ and _Daphne_                     207-223



Early Feeling against Women's Suffrage--The "Protest" in
the _Nineteenth Century_--Advent of the Suffragettes--Foundation
of the Anti-Suffrage League--Women in Local
Government--Speeches against the Suffrage--Debate with
Mrs. Fawcett--Deputations to Mr. Asquith--The "Conciliation
Bill"--The Government Franchise Bill--Withdrawal
of the Latter--_Delia Blanchflower_--The
"Joint Advisory Committee"--Women's Suffrage passed
by the House of Commons, 1917--Struggle in the House of
Lords--Lord Curzon's Speech             224-245



Rebuilding of Stocks--Mrs. Ward's Love for the Place--Her
Way of Life and Work--Greek Literature--Politics--The
General Elections of 1910--Visitors--Nephews and Nieces--Grandchildren--Death
of Theodore Trevelyan--The
"Westmorland Edition"--Sense of Humour--_The Case
of Richard Meynell_--Letters--Last Visit to Italy--_The
Coryston Family_--The Outbreak of War                            246-263



Mrs. Ward's feeling about Germany--Letter to André
Chevrillon--Re-organization of the Passmore Edwards
Settlement--President Roosevelt's Letter--Talk with Sir
Edward Grey--Visits to Munition Centres--To the Fleet--To
France--Mrs. Ward near Neuve Chapelle and on the
Scherpenberg Hill--Return Home--_England's Effort_--Death
of F. W. Whitridge and of Reginald Smith--Second
Journey to France, 1917--The Bois de Bouvigny--The
Battle-field of the Ourcq--Lorraine--_Towards the Goal_          264-287


LAST YEARS: 1917-1920

Mrs. Ward at Stocks--Her _Recollections_--The Government
Grant for Play Centres--The Cripples Clause in Mr. Fisher's
Education Act--The War in 1918--Italy--The Armistice--Mrs.
Ward's third journey to France--Visit to British
Headquarters--Strasburg, Verdun and Rheims--Paris--Ill-health--The
Writing of _Fields of Victory_--The last
Summer at Stocks--Mrs. Ward and the "Enabling Bill"--Breakdown
in Health--Removal to London--Mr.
Ward's Operation--Her Death                                      288-309


                                                                 TO FACE

Mary Ward at Twenty-five. From a water-colour painting by
Mrs. A. H. Johnson                                         _Frontispiece_

Borough Farm. From a water-colour painting by Mrs.
Humphry Ward                                                          45

Mrs. Ward in 1889. From a photograph by Bassano                       82

Mrs. Ward in 1898. From a photograph by Miss Ethel M.
Arnold                                                               149

Mrs. Ward and Henry James at Stocks. From a photograph
by Miss Dorothy Ward                                                 252

Mrs. Ward beside the Lake of Lucerne. From a photograph
by Miss Dorothy Ward                                                 262




Is the study of heredity a science or a pure romance? For the unlearned
at least I like to think it is the latter, since no law that the
Professors ever formulated can explain the caprices of each little human
soul, bobbing up like a coracle over life's horizon and bringing with it
things gathered at random from an infinitely remote and varying
ancestry. It is, I believe, generally known that the subject of this
biography was a granddaughter of Arnold of Rugby, and therewith her
intellectual ability and the force of her character are thought to be
sufficiently explained. But what of her mother, the beautiful Julia
Sorell, of whom her sad husband said at her death that she had "the
nature of a queen," ever thwarted and rebuffed by circumstance? What of
the strain of Spanish Protestant blood that ran in the veins of the
Sorells: for although they were refugees from France after the Edict of
Nantes, it is most probable that they came of Spanish origin? What of
the strain brought in by the wild and forcible Kemps of Mount Vernon in
Tasmania? A daughter of Anthony Fenn Kemp (himself a "character" of a
remarkable kind) married William Sorell and so became the mother of
Julia and the grandmother of Mary Arnold; but the principal fact that is
known of her is that she deserted her three daughters after bringing
them to England for their education, went off with an army officer and
was hardly heard of more. An ungovernable temper seems to have marked
most of this family, and the recollections of her childhood were so
terrible to Julia Sorell that she wrote in after years to her husband,
"Few families have been blessed with such a home training as yours, and
certainly very few in our rank of life have been cursed with such as
mine." Yet although Julia inherited much of this violence and passion,
to her own constant misery, she had also "the nature of a queen," and
transmitted it in no small degree to her daughter Mary.

The Sorells were descended from Colonel William Sorell, one of the early
Governors of Tasmania, who had been appointed to the post in 1816. Nine
years before, on his appointment as Adjutant-General at the Cape of Good
Hope, this Colonel Sorell had left behind him in England a woman to whom
he was legally married and by whom he had had several children, but whom
he never saw again after leaving these shores. He occupied himself,
indeed, with another lady, while the unfortunate wife at home struggled
to maintain his children on the very inadequate allowance which he had
granted her. Twice the allowance lapsed, with calamitous results for the
wife and children, and it was only on the active intervention of Lord
Bathurst, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, that the payment
of her quarterly instalments was resumed in 1818. Meanwhile, her eldest
son William, a steady, hard-working lad, had been trying to support the
family from his own earnings of 12s. a week, and when he grew to man's
estate he applied to Lord Bathurst for permission to join his father in
Van Diemen's Land, hoping that so he might help to reconcile his
parents. Lord Bathurst gave him his passage out, but had in fact already
decided to recall Governor Sorell, so that when young Sorell arrived at
Hobart Town early in 1824 he found his father only awaiting the arrival
of his successor (the well-known Colonel Arthur), before quitting the
Colony for good. William, however, decided to remain there, accepted the
position of Registrar of Deeds from Colonel Arthur, and made his
permanent home in the island. He married the head-strong Miss Kemp, and
in his sad after-life suffered a reversal of the parts played by his own
father and mother. Long after his wife had deserted him he lived on in
Hobart Town, much respected and beloved, and remembered by his
granddaughter as a "gentle, affectionate, upright being, a gentleman of
an old, punctilious school, content with a small sphere and much loved
within it."

His daughter Julia grew up as the favourite and pet of Hobart Town
society, much admired by the subalterns of the solitary battalion of
British troops that maintained our prestige among the convicts and the
"blacks" of that remote settlement. But for her Fate held other things
in store. Early in 1850 there appeared at Hobart Town a young man of
twenty-six, tall and romantic-looking, who bore a name well known even
in the southern seas--the name of Thomas Arnold. He was the second son
of Dr. Arnold of Rugby. He had left the Old World for the Newest three
years before on a genuine quest for the ideal life; had tried farming in
New Zealand, but in vain, and had then, after some adventures in
schoolmastering, come to Tasmania at the invitation of the Governor, Sir
William Denison, to organize the public education of the Colony. Fortune
seemed to smile upon the young Inspector of Schools, who as a
first-classman and an Arnold found a kind and ready welcome from those
who reigned in Tasmania, and when he met Julia Sorell a few weeks after
he landed and fell in love with her at first sight, no obstacles were
placed in his way. They were married on June 12, 1850--a love-match if
ever there was one, but a match that was too soon to be subjected to
that most fiery test of all, a religious struggle of the deepest and
most formidable kind.

Thomas Arnold came of a family to whom religion was always a "concern,"
as the Quakers call it; whether it was the great Doctor, with his making
of "Christian gentlemen" at Rugby and his fierce polemics against the
"Oxford malignants," or Matt, with his "Power, not ourselves, that makes
for righteousness," or William (a younger brother), with his religious
novel, _Oakfield_, about the temptations of Indian Army life; and Thomas
was by no means exempt from the tradition. A sentimental idealist by
nature, he was a friend of Clough and had already been immortalized as
"Philip" in the _Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich_.[1] He came now to the
Antipodes in rationalistic mood and in search of the nobler, freer life;
but soon the old beliefs reasserted themselves, yet brought no peace.
His mind was "hot for certainties in this our life," and he had not been
five years in Tasmania before he was seeing much of a certain Catholic
priest and feeling himself strongly drawn towards the ancient fold. His
poor wife, in whom her Huguenot ancestry had bred an instinctive and
invincible loathing for Catholicism, felt herself overtaken by a kind of
black doom; she made wild threats of leaving him, she shuddered at the
thought of what might happen to the children. Yet nothing that she or
any of his friends could say might avert the fatal step. Tom Arnold was
received into the Roman Catholic Church at Hobart Town on January 12,

His prospects immediately darkened, for feeling ran high in the Colony
against Popery, and it soon became clear that he must give up his
appointment and return to England. Already three children had been born
to him and Julia, but the young wife was now plunged in preparations for
the uprooting of her household and the transport of the whole family
across the globe, to an unknown future and a world of unknown faces. The
voyage was accomplished in a sailing-ship of 400 tons, the _William
Brown_, so overrun by rats that the mother and nurse had to take turns
to watch over the children at night, lest their faces should be bitten;
but after more than three months of this existence the ship did finally
reach English waters and cast anchor in the Thames on October 17, 1856.
It was wet autumn weather and the little family huddled forlornly in a
small inn in Thames Street, but the next day a deliverer appeared in the
person of William Forster (the future Education Minister), who had
married Tom's eldest sister Jane a few years before and who now carried
off the whole family to better quarters in London, helped them in the
kindest way and finally saw off the mother and children to the friendly
shelter of Fox How--that beloved home among the Westmorland hills which
"the Doctor" had built to house his growing family and which was now to
play so great a part in the development of his latest descendant, the
little Mary Arnold.

Mary Augusta had been born at Hobart Town on June 11, 1851. She was, of
course, the apple of her parents' eyes, and the descriptions which her
father wrote of her, in the long letters that went home to his mother at
Fox How by every available boat, give a curiously vivid picture of a
little creature richly endowed with fairy gifts, but above all with the
crowning gift of _life_. At first she is a "pretty little creature, with
a compact little face, good features and an uncommonly large forehead";
then at eight months, "If you could but see our darling Mary! The vigour
of life, the animation, the activity of eye and hand that she displays
are astonishing. Her brown hair in its abundance is the admiration of
everybody." At a year old she is "passionate but not peevish, sensitive
to the least harshness in word or gesture, but usually full of merriment
and gladsomeness. She is like a sparkling fountain or a gay flower in
the house, filling it with light and freshness." She has many childish
ailments, but conquers them all in a manner strangely prophetic of her
later power of resisting illness. "I fear you will think she must be a
very sickly child," writes her father, "and she certainly is delicate
and easily put out of order; but I have much faith in the strength of
her constitution, for in all her ailments she has seemed to have a power
of battling against them, a vitality that pulls her through." As a
little thing of under two her feelings are terribly easily worked upon:
"The other evening it was raining very hard and I began to talk to her
about the poor people out in the rain who were getting wet and had no
warm fire to sit by and no nice dry clothes to put on. You cannot
imagine how this touched her. She kept on repeating over and over again,
'Poor people! Poor people! Out in the rain! Get warm! get warm!'" But as
she grows bigger she develops a will of her own that sorely troubles her
father, beset with all the ideas of his generation about "prompt
obedience"; at three and a half he writes: "Little Polly is as imitative
as a monkey and as mischievous; self-willed and resolute to take the
lead and have her own way, whenever her companions are anything
approaching to her own age. Not a very easy character to manage as you
will see, yet often to be led through her feelings, when it would be
difficult to drive her in defiance of her will." Soon he is having "a
regular pitched battle with her about once a day," and writes ruefully
home--as though he were having the worst of it--that Polly is "kind
enough where she can patronize, but her domineering spirit makes even
her kindness partake of oppression." Two little brothers, Willie and
Theodore, had already been added to the family by the time they made the
voyage home--playthings whom Mary alternately slapped and cuddled and in
whom she took an immense pride of possession. They were the first of a
long series of brothers and sisters to whom her kindness, in after
years, was certainly not of the kind that "partakes of oppression."

Thus, at the age of five, this little spirit, passionate, self-willed
and tender-hearted, came within the direct orbit of the Arnold family.
During most of the four years that followed their arrival she was either
staying with her grandmother, the Doctor's widow, at Fox How, or else
living as a boarder at Miss Clough's little school at Eller How, near
Ambleside, and spending her Saturdays at Fox How. Her father meanwhile
took work under Newman in Dublin and earned a precarious subsistence for
his wife and family by teaching at the Catholic University there. They
were times of hardship and privation for Julia, who never ceased to be
in love with Tom and never ceased to curse the day of his conversion;
and as the babies increased and the income did not she was fain to allow
her eldest daughter to live more and more with the kind grandmother, who
asked no better than to have the child about the house. And, indeed, to
have this particular child about the house was not always a light
undertaking! She was wonderfully quick, clever and affectionate, but her
tempers sometimes shook her to pieces in storms of passion, and the
devoted "Aunt Fan," the Doctor's youngest daughter, who lived with her
mother at Fox How, was often sorely puzzled how to deal with her. Still,
by a judicious mixture of severity and tenderness she won the child's
affection, so that Mary was wont to say, looking slyly at her aunt, "I
like Aunt Fan--she's the master of me!"

The Arnold atmosphere made indeed a very remarkable influence for any
impressionable child of Mary's age to live in; it supplied a deep-rooted
sense of calm and balance, an unalterable family affection and a sad
disapproval of tempers and excesses of all kinds which, as time went on,
had a marked effect on the Tasmanian child. From a Sorell by birth and
temperament, as I believe she was, she gradually became an Arnold by
environment. If she inherited from her mother those wilder springs of
energy and courage which impelled her, like some dæmon within, to be up
and doing in life's race, it was from the Arnolds that she learnt the
art of living, the art of harnessing the dæmon. They certainly made a
memorable group, the nine sons and daughters of Arnold of Rugby: all of
whom, except Fan, the youngest daughter, were scattered from the nest by
the time that "little Polly" came to Fox How, but all of whom maintained
for each other and for their mother the tenderest affection, so that
life at the Westmorland home was continually crossed and re-crossed by
their visits and their letters. In looking through these faded letters
the reader of to-day is struck by their seriousness and simplicity of
tone, by the intense family affection they display and by the very real
relation in which the writers stood towards the "indwelling presence of
God." Hardly a member of the family can be mentioned without the prefix
"dear" or "dearest," nor can anyone who is acquainted with the Arnold
temperament doubt that this was genuine. Birthdays are made the occasion
for rather solemn words of love or exhortation, and if any sorrow
strikes the family one may expect without fail to find a complete
reliance on the accustomed sources of consolation. Yet they are not
prigs, these brothers and sisters; their roots strike deep down to the
bed-rock of life, and though they are all (except poor Tom) in fairly
prosperous circumstances, they can be generous and open-handed to those
who are less so. Tom was, I think, the special darling of the family,
and his lapse to Catholicism a terrible trial to them, but none the less
did they labour for Tom's children in all simplicity of heart.

The daughter who, next to "Aunt Fan," had most to do with little Mary
was Jane, the wife of William Forster; Mary was her godchild, and soon
conceived a kind of passion for this sweet-faced woman of thirty-five,
who, childless herself, returned the little girl's affection in no
ordinary degree. Mary would sometimes go to stay with her at
Burley-in-Wharfedale, where she looked with awe at the "great wheels" in
Uncle Forster's woollen mill and saw the children working
there--children untouched as yet by their master's schemes for their
welfare, or by the still remoter visions of their small observer. Then
there was Matt--Matt the sad poet and gay man of the world, who brought
with him on his rarer visits to Fox How the breath of London and of
great affairs, for was he not, in his sisters' eyes at least, the spoilt
darling of society, the diner-out, the frequenter of great houses? He
looked, we know, with unusual interest upon Tom's Polly, and in later
years was wont to say, with his whimsical smile, that she "got her
ability from her mother." Another aunt to whom the Tasmanian child
became much devoted was her namesake Mary, at that time Mrs. Hiley, a
woman whose rich, responsive nature and keen sense of humour endeared
her greatly to the few friends who knew her well, and whose early
rebellions and idealisms had given her a most human personality. It was
she among all the group who understood and sympathized most keenly with
Tom's wife, so that between Julia and Mary Hiley a bond was forged that
ended only with the former's death. Poor Julia! The Arnold atmosphere
was indeed sometimes a formidable one, and had little sympathy to give
to her own undisciplined and tempestuous nature, with its strange deeps
of feeling. Julia's temptations--to extravagance in money matters and to
passionate outbursts of temper--were not Arnold temptations, and she
often felt herself disapproved of in spite of much outward affection and
kindness. And then she would have morbid reactions in which the old
Calvinistic hell-fire of her forefathers seemed very near. Once when she
was staying at Fox How, ill and depressed, she wrote to her husband:
"The feeling grows upon me that I am one of those unhappy people whom
_God has abandoned_, and it is the effect of this feeling I am sure
which causes me to behave as I often do. Oh! it is an awful thing to
_despair_ about one's future state...." Probably she felt that in spite
of their undoubted humility, her in-laws never quite despaired about

       *       *       *       *       *

By the time that Mary was seven years old, that is in the autumn of
1858, it was decided that she should go as a boarder to Miss Anne
Clough's school at Ambleside, or rather at Eller How on the slopes of
Wansfell behind the town. Here she spent two years and more--happy on
the whole, often naughty and wilful, but usually held in awe by Miss
Clough's stately presence and power of commanding her small flock.
There was only one other boarder besides Mary, a girl named Sophie
Bellasis, whose recollections of those days were preserved and given to
the world long afterwards by her husband, the late Mr. T. C. Down, in an
article published by the _Cornhill Magazine_.[2] Miss Bellasis'
impressions of the queer little girl, Mary Arnold, who was her
fellow-boarder, make so vivid a picture that I may perhaps be forgiven
for reproducing them here:

     "Mary had a very decided character of her own, as well as a pretty
     vivid imagination, for the odd things she used to say, merely on
     the spur of the moment, would quite stagger me sometimes. Once when
     we were going along the passage upstairs leading to the schoolroom,
     she stopped at one of the gratings where the hot air came up from
     the furnace, with holes in the pattern about the size of a
     shilling, and told me that she knew a little boy whose head was so
     small that he could put it through one of those holes: and after we
     had gone to bed she would tell me the oddest stories in a whisper,
     because it was against the rules to talk. I think now that her
     fancy used to run riot with her, and, of course, she had to give
     vent to it in any way that suggested itself. But I implicitly
     believed whatever she chose to tell me, so that you see we both
     enjoyed ourselves. Her energy and high spirits were something
     wonderful; out of doors she was never still, but always running or
     jumping or playing, and she invariably tired me out at this sort of
     thing. Still, nothing came amiss to her in the way of amusement;
     anything that entered her head would answer the purpose, and she
     was never at a loss. I recollect she had a lovely doll, which her
     aunt, Mrs. Forster, had given her, all made of wax. Once she was
     annoyed with this doll for some reason or other and broke it up
     into little bits. We put the bits into little saucepans, and melted
     them over one of the gratings I told you of. Sometimes Willy Dolly
     (that was the name we had for the general factotum) would let the
     fire go down, and then the gratings were cold, and at other times
     he would have a roaring fire, and then they would be so hot that
     you couldn't touch them. So we melted the wax and moulded it into
     dolls' puddings, and that was the last of her wax doll!

     "One day we were over at Fox How, which was a pretty house, with a
     wide lawn and garden. One side of it was covered with a handsome
     Virginia creeper, which was thought a great deal of, and, of
     course, was not intended to be meddled with. Suddenly it occurred
     to Mary that it would be first-rate fun to pick 'all those red
     leaves,' and I obediently went and helped her. We cleared a great
     bare space all along the wall as high as we could reach, but from
     what Miss Arnold said when she came out and discovered what was
     done, I gathered that she was not so pleased with our work as we
     were ourselves."

It was during these years, from six to nine, that the foundation was
laid of that passionate adoration for the fells, with their streams,
bogs and stone walls, which became one of Mary's most intimate
possessions and never deserted her in after years. In her
_Recollections_ she describes a walk up the valley to Sweden Bridge with
her father and Arthur Clough, the two men safely engaged in grown-up
talk while she, happy and alone, danced on in front or lingered behind,
all eyes and ears for the stream, the birds and the wind. It was a walk
of which she soon knew every inch, just as she knew every inch of the
Fox How garden, and I believe that the sights and sounds of that rough
northern valley came to be woven in with the very texture of her soul.
They appealed to something primitive and deep-down in her little heart,
some power that remained with her through life and that, as she once
said to me, "stands more rubs than anything else in our equipment."

Then, when she was only nine and a half, she was transferred to a school
at Shiffnal in Shropshire, kept by a certain Miss Davies, whose sister
happened to be an old friend of Tom Arnold's and offered now to
undertake little Mary's maintenance if she were sent to this "Rock
Terrace School for Young Ladies." But the change seemed to call out all
the demon in Mary's composition; she fought blindly against the
restrictions and rules of this new community, felt herself at enmity
with all the world and broke out ever and anon in storms of passion. In
the first chapter of _Marcella_ it is all described--the "sulks,
quarrels and revolts" of Marcie Boyce (_alias_ Mary Arnold), the
getting up at half-past six on dark winter mornings, the cold ablutions
and dreary meals, and the occasional days in bed with senna-tea and
gruel when Miss Davies (at her wits' end, poor lady!) would try the
method of seclusion as a cure for Mary's tantrums. The poor little thing
suffered cruelly from headaches and bad colds, and laboured too under a
sore sense of poverty and disadvantage as compared with the other girls;
she was, in fact, paid for at a lower rate than most of the other
boarders, and was not allowed to forget it. Often she writes home to beg
for stamps, and once she says to her father: "Do send me some more
money. It was so tantalizing this morning, a woman came to the door with
twopenny baskets, so nice, and many of the other girls got them and I
couldn't." Another time she begs him to send her the threepence that she
has "earned," by writing out some lists of names for him. But on
Saturdays she had one joy, fiercely looked forward to all the week; a
"cake-woman" came to the school, and by hoarding up her tiny weekly
allowance she was able--usually--to buy a three-cornered jam puff. To a
rather starved and very lonely little girl of nine or ten this was--she
often said to us afterwards--the purest consolation of the week.

But there were some compensations even in these unlovely surroundings.
The nice old German governess, Fräulein Gerecke, was always kind to her,
and tried in little unobtrusive ways to ease the lot which Mary found so
hard to bear. Once she made for her, surreptitiously, a white muslin
frock with blue ribbons and laid it on her bed in time for some little
function of the school for which Mary had received no "party frock" from
home. A gush of hot tears was the response, tears partly of gratitude,
partly of soreness at the need for it; but the muslin frock was worn
nevertheless, and entered from that moment into the substance of the
day-dreams and stories that she was for ever telling herself. Any child
who has a faculty for it will understand how great a consolation were
these self-told stories, in which she rioted especially on days of
senna-tea and gruel. Tales of the Princess of Wales and how she, Mary,
herself succeeded in stopping her runaway horses, with the divinity's
pale agitation and gratitude, filled the long hours, and the muslin
frock usually came into the story when Mary made her trembling
appearance "by command" at the palace afterwards. Gradually, too, these
tales came to weave themselves round more accessible mortals, for Mary's
heart and affections were waking up and she did not escape, any more
than the modern schoolgirl, her share of "adorations." At twelve years
old she fell headlong in love with the Vicar of Shiffnal and his wife,
Mr. and Mrs. Cunliffe; going to church--especially in the evenings, when
the Vicar preached--became a romance; seeing Mrs. Cunliffe pass by in
her pony-carriage lent a radiance to the day. The Vicar's wife, a gentle
Evangelical, felt genuinely drawn towards the untamed little being and
did her best to guide the wayward footsteps, while Mary on her side
wrote poems to her idol, keeping them fortunately locked within her
desk, and let her fancy run from ecstasy to ecstasy in the dreams that
she wove around her. What "dauntless child" among us does not know these
splendours, and the transforming effect that they have upon the prickly
hide of youth? Little Mary Arnold was destined to leave her mark upon
the world, partly by power of brain, but more by sheer power of love,
and the first human beings to unlock the unguessed stores of it within
her were these two kindly Evangelicals.

Still, the demon was not quite exorcised, and "Aunt Fan" still found
Mary something of a handful when she stayed at Fox How, though now in a
different way.

     "She seems to me very much wanting in _humility_," she writes in
     January, 1864, "which, with the knowledge she must have of her own
     abilities, is not perhaps wonderful, but it is ungraceful to hear
     her expressing strong opinions and holding her own, against elder
     people, without certainly much sense of reverence. One thing,
     however I will mention to show her desire to conquer herself. She
     had no gloves to go to Ellergreen, and I objected to buying her
     kid, but got her such as I wear myself, very nice cloth. She vowed
     and protested she couldn't and shouldn't wear them, so I said I
     should not make her, but if she wanted kid, she must buy them with
     her own money. I talked quietly to her about it and said how
     pleased I should be if she conquered this whim, and when she came
     to say good-bye to me before starting for Ellergreen her last words
     were--'I am going to put on the gloves, Auntie!'--and she has worn
     them ever since, though I must say with some grumblings!"

She stayed for four years at Miss Davies's, during which time her
parents moved (in 1862) from Dublin to Birmingham, where Tom Arnold was
offered work under Newman at the Oratory School. The change brought a
small increase in salary, but not enough to cover the needs of the still
growing family, and if it had not been for the help freely given during
these years by W. E. Forster, the struggling pair must almost have gone
down under their difficulties. One result of the change was that the
elder boys, Willie and Theodore, were themselves sent to the Oratory
School, and the thought of Arnold of Rugby's grandsons being pupils of
Newman gave rise to bitter reflections at Fox How. "I was very glad to
hear of Willy's having done so well in the examination of his class,"
wrote Julia to her husband from the family home, "although I must
confess the thought of _our son_ being examined by Dr. Newman had
carried a pang to my heart. Your mother I found felt it in the same way;
she said (when I read out to her that part of your letter) with her eyes
full of tears, 'Oh! to think of _his_ grandson, _dearest Tom's son_,
being examined by Dr. Newman!'" Still, Julia was emphatically of opinion
that if priests were to have a hand in their education at all, she would
rather it were English than Irish priests.[3]

Meanwhile, the shortcomings of the school at Shiffnal were becoming
evident to Mary's mother, and in the winter of 1864-5 she succeeded in
arranging that the child should be sent instead to another near Clifton,
kept by a certain Miss May, which was smaller and also more expensive
than Miss Davies's. Heaven knows how the payments were managed, but the
change answered extremely well, for after the first term Mary settled
down in complete happiness and soon developed such a devotion to Miss
May as made short work of her remaining tendencies to temper and
"contrariness." Miss May must have been exactly the type of
schoolmistress that Mary needed at this stage--kind and large-hearted,
with the understanding necessary to win the confidence of such an
uncommon little creature--so that it was not long before the child's
mind began to expand in every direction. Long afterwards she was wont to
say that the actual knowledge she acquired at school was worth next to
nothing--that she learnt no subject thoroughly and left school without
any "edged tools." But certainly by the time she was twelve she could
write a French letter such as not many of us could produce with all our
advantages, while the drawing and music that she learnt at school
encouraged certain natural talents in her that were to give her some of
the purest joys of her after-life. Still, no doubt her mind received no
systematic training, and at Miss Davies's I believe that _Mangnall's
Questions_ were still the common textbook! Though she learnt a little
German and Latin she always said that she had them to do all over again
when she needed them later for her work, while Greek, which became the
joy and consolation of her later years, was entirely a "grown-up"
acquisition. But whatever the imperfections of her nine years of school,
better times were at hand both for Mary and her mother.

Whether it was that after two or three years of the Birmingham Oratory,
Tom Arnold's political radicalism (always a sturdy growth) began to make
him uneasy at the proceedings of Pio Nono--for 1864 was the year of the
Encyclical--or whether it was more particularly the Mortara case, as he
says in his autobiography,[4] at any rate his feeling towards the
Catholic Church had grown distinctly cool by the end of that year, and
he was meditating leaving the Oratory. Gradually the rumour spread among
his friends that Tom Arnold was turning against Rome, and in June, 1865,
a paragraph to this effect appeared in the papers. Little Mary, now a
girl of fourteen, heard the news while she was at Miss May's, and wrote
in ecstasy to her mother:

     "My precious Mother, I have indeed seen the paragraphs about Papa.
     The L's showed them me on Saturday. You can imagine the excitement
     I was in on Saturday night, not knowing whether it was true or not.
     Your letter confirmed it this morning and Miss May, seeing I
     suppose that I looked rather faint, sent me on a pretended errand
     for her notebook to escape the breakfast-table. My darling Mother,
     how thankful you must be! One feels as if one could do nothing but
     thank Him."

Her father's change opened indeed a new and happier chapter in their
lives, for it opened the road to Oxford. He had been seriously facing
the possibility of a second emigration, this time to Queensland, and had
been making inquiries about official work there, but his own
inclinations--and, of course, Julia's too--were in favour of trying to
make a living at Oxford by the taking of pupils. His old friends there
encouraged him, and by the autumn of 1865 they were established in a
house in St. Giles's and the venture had begun. Mary wrote in delight
that winter to her dear Mrs. Cunliffe:

     "Do you know that we are now living at Oxford? My father takes
     pupils and has a history lectureship. We are happier there than we
     have ever been before, I think. My father revels in the libraries,
     and so do I when I am at home."

A fragment of diary written in the Christmas holidays of 1865-6 reveals
how much she enjoyed being taken for a grown-up young lady by Oxford
friends. "Went to St. Mary Magdalen's in the morning and heard a droll
sermon on Convictional Sin. Met Sir Benjamin [Brodie] coming home. Miss
Arnold at home supposed to be seventeen, and Mary Arnold at school known
to be fourteen are two very different things." She is absorbed in
_Essays in Criticism_, but can still criticize the critic. "Read Uncle
Matt's Essay on Pagan and Mediaeval Religious Sentiment. Compares the
religious feeling of Pompeii and Theocritus with the religious feeling
of St. Francis and the German Reformation. Contrasts the religion of
sorrow as he is pleased to call Christianity with the religion of sense,
giving to the former for the sake of propriety a slight pre-eminence
over the latter." She does not like the famous _Preface_ at all. "The
_Preface_ is rich and has the fault which the author professes to avoid,
that of being amusing. As for the seductiveness of Oxford, its moonlight
charms and Romeo and Juliet character, I think Uncle Matt is slightly
inclined to ride the high horse whenever he approaches the subject."

As the eldest of eight children she led a very strenuous life at home,
helping to teach the little ones and ever striving to avoid a clash
between her mother's temper and her own. The entries in the diary are
often sadly self-accusing: "These last three days I have not served
Christ at all. It has been nothing but self from beginning to end.
Prayer seems a task and it seems as if God would not receive me."

But after another year and a half at Miss May's school these
difficulties vanished, and by the time that she came to live at home
altogether, in the summer of 1867, the rough edges had smoothed
themselves away in marvellous fashion. She was sixteen, and the world
was before her--the world of Oxford, which in spite of her criticisms of
the _Preface_ was indeed _her_ world. Her father seemed content with his
teaching work, and was planning the building of a larger house. She set
to work to be happy, and so indeed did her mother--happy in a great
reprieve, and in the reviving hopes of prosperity. But now and then
Julia would stop suddenly in her household tasks, hearing ominous sounds
from Tom's study. Was it the chanting of a Latin prayer? She put the
fear behind her and passed on.




When Tom Arnold settled with his family at Oxford, in 1865, the old
University was still labouring under the repercussions, the thrills and
counter-thrills, of the famous Movement set on foot in 1833 by Keble's
sermon on _National Apostasy_. Keble, indeed, was withdrawn from the
scene, but Newman's conversion to Rome (1845) had made so prodigious a
stir that even twenty years later the religious world of England still
took its colour from that event. In the words of Mark Pattison, "whereas
other reactions accomplished themselves by imperceptible degrees, in
1845 the darkness was dissipated and the light was let in in an instant,
as by the opening of the shutters in the chamber of a sick man who has
slept till mid-day." So at least the crisis appeared to the Liberal
world; the mask had been torn from the Tractarians and their Romanizing
tendencies stood revealed to all beholders. In the opposite camp the
consternation was proportionate, but the formidable figure of Pusey
rallied the doubters and brought them back in good order to the _Via
Media_ of the Anglican communion; while the tender poetry of Keble and
the far-famed eloquence of Liddon fortified and adorned the High Church
cause. But the sudden ending of the Tractarian controversy opened the
way for another movement, slower and less sensational than that of
Newman, yet destined to have an even deeper effect upon the religious
life of England. The freedom of the human mind began to be insisted
upon, not only in the realm of science, or where science clashed with
the Book of Genesis, but in the whole field of the Interpretation of
Scripture. Slowly the results of fifty years of patient study of the
Bible by German scholars and historians began to penetrate here, and
even Oxford, stronghold and citadel of the Laudian establishment, felt
the stir of a new interest, a new challenge to accepted forms. A Liberal
school of theologians arose, led by Jowett, Mark Pattison and other
writers in _Essays and Reviews_ (1860), for whom the old letter of
"inspiration" no longer existed, though they stoutly maintained their
orthodoxy as members and ministers of the Church of England. The Church,
they said, must broaden her base so as to make room for the results of
science and of historical criticism, or else she would be left high and
dry while the forces of democracy passed on their way without her.
Jowett, in his famous essay "On the Interpretation of Scripture," boldly
summed up his argument in the precept, "Interpret the Scripture like any
other book." "The first step is to know the meaning, and this can only
be done in the same careful and impartial way that we ascertain the
meaning of Sophocles or Plato." "Educated persons are beginning to ask,
not what Scripture may be made to mean, but what it does mean."

The hubbub raised by these and similar expressions continued during the
three years of proceedings before the Court of Arches, the Judicial
Committee of the Privy Council, and finally Convocation, against two of
the contributors to _Essays and Reviews_, and had hardly died away when
the Arnolds came to take up their life in Oxford. And side by side with
the theoretical discussion went the insistent demand of the reforming
party, both at Oxford and in Parliament, for the abolition of the
disabilities that still weighed so heavily against Dissenters. For,
although the "Oxford University Act" of 1854 had admitted them to
matriculation and the B.A. degree, neither Fellowships nor the M.A. were
yet open to any save subscribers to the Thirty-nine Articles. All
through the 'sixties the battle raged, with an annual attempt in
Parliament to break down the defence of the guardians of tradition, and
not till 1871 was the "citadel taken."[5] Jowett and Arthur Stanley
stood forth among the Liberal champions at Oxford--the latter reckoning
himself always as carrying on the tradition of Arnold of Rugby, whose
pamphlet urging the inclusion of Dissenters in the National Church had
made so great a sensation in 1833. It was hardly possible, therefore,
for a little Arnold of Mary's temperament and traditions to escape the
atmosphere that surrounded her so closely, though we need not imagine
that at the age of sixteen she did more than imbibe it passively. But
there were certain things that were not passive in her memory--visions
of Dr. Newman in the streets of Edgbaston, passing gravely by upon his
business--business which the child so passionately resented because she
understood it to be responsible in some vague way for all the hardships
and misfortunes of her family. We may safely assume that if she was ever
taken into Oriel College and saw the many rows of portraits looking down
at her there, in Common-room and Hall, she would feel an instinctive
rallying to the standard of her grandfather rather than to that of his
mighty opponent.

Two other remarkable figures who dominated the Oxford world of that day,
though from opposite camps, were the silver-tongued Dr. Liddon, "Select
Preacher" at the University Church, and Mark Pattison, Rector of
Lincoln, whom his contemporaries looked on with awe as one of the most
learned scholars in Europe in matters of pure erudition, but in religion
a sad sceptic, though twenty years before, they knew, he had been a
brand only barely plucked from Newman's burning. Both were to have their
influence upon Mary Arnold, the former superficial, the latter deep and
lasting, and it is curious to find a letter from her father, written in
1865, before he had definitely left the Catholic communion, in which he
describes hearing both men preach on the same day in the University

     "Pattison's sermon was certainly a most remarkable one," he writes;
     "I could have sat another half-hour under him with pleasure. But he
     has much more of the philosopher than the divine about him, and the
     discourse had the effect of an able article in the _National_ or
     _Edinburgh Review_, read to a cultivated audience in the academical
     theatre, much more than of a sermon. In fact, the name either of
     Jesus Christ or of one of the Apostles was not once mentioned
     throughout. The subject was, the higher education; and the felicity
     of the language accorded well with the clearness and beauty of the
     thoughts. He condemned the Catholic system, and also the Positivist
     system, and in speaking of the former he said, 'I cannot do better
     than describe it in the words of one whose voice was once wont to
     sound within these walls with thrilling power, but now, alas! can
     never more be heard by us, who in his Treatise on University
     Education--' and then he proceeded to quote at some length from Dr.
     Newman. It was an extremely powerful sermon, but scandalized, I
     think, the High Church and orthodox party. 'Do you often now,' I
     asked Edwin Palmer with a smile, meeting him outside after it was
     over, 'have University sermons in that style?' 'Oh dear no,' he
     said, 'scarcely ever, except indeed from Pattison himself'; this
     with some acidity of tone. I dined early; then thought I, in for a
     penny, in for a pound, I'll go and hear the other University
     sermon. I was punctual, but there was not a seat to be had, the
     ladies mustered in overwhelming force. It was strange, but sermon
     and preacher were now everything most opposite to those of the
     morning. Liddon is a dark, black-haired little man--short,
     straight, stubby hair--and with that shiny, glistening appearance
     about his sallow complexion which one so often sees in Dissenting
     ministers, and which the devotees no doubt consider a mark of
     election. Liddon's whole sermon was an impassioned strain of
     apologetic argument for the truth of the Resurrection, and of the
     church doctrine generally. It was very clever certainly, but rather
     too long, it extended to about an hour and twenty minutes. The tone
     was earnest and devout; yet there were several sarcastic, one might
     almost say irritable, flings at the liberal and rationalizing
     party; and it was evident that he was thinking of the Oxford
     congregation when he spoke pointedly of the 'educated sceptics who
     at that time composed, or at any rate controlled, the Sanhedrin.'
     These two," he continues, "were certainly sermons of more than
     ordinary interest--each worthily representing a great stream of
     thought and tendency, influential for good or evil at the present
     moment upon millions of human beings."

It was under such influences as these that Mary Arnold passed the four
impressionable years of her girlhood, from sixteen to twenty, that
elapsed between her leaving school and her engagement to Mr. Humphry
Ward, of Brasenose. She plunged with zest into the Oxford life, making
friends, helping her father at the Bodleian in his researches into
early English literature and studying music to very good purpose under
James Taylor, the future organist of New College. But she had no further
regular education, and was free to roam and devour at will in that city
of books, guided only by the advice of a few friends and by her own
innate literary instincts. The Mark Pattisons early befriended her,
frequently asking her to supper with them on Sunday evenings--suppers at
which she sat, shy and silent, in a high woollen dress, with her black,
wavy hair brushed very smoothly back, listening to every word of the
eager talk around her and drinking in, no doubt, the Rector's caustic
remarks about Oxford scholarship. These were the years of battle between
the champions of research and the champions of the Balliol ideal of
turning out good men for the public service, and in her ardent
admiration for the Rector Mary Arnold threw herself whole-heartedly into
the former camp. "Get to the bottom of something," he used to say to
her; "choose a subject and know _everything_ about it!" And so she
plunged into early Spanish literature and history, working at it in the
Bodleian with the fervour that comes from knowing that your subject is
your very own, or at least that it has only been traversed before by
dear, musty German scholars. There was hard practice here in the reading
of German and Latin, let alone the Spanish poems and chronicles
themselves, but after a couple of years of it there was little she did
not know about the _Poema del Cid_, or the Visigothic invasion, or the
reign of _Alfonso el Sabio_. Her friend, J. R. Green, the historian, was
so much impressed with her work that he recommended her when she was
only twenty to Edward Freeman as the best person he could suggest for
writing a volume on Spain in an historical series that the latter was
editing. Mr. Freeman duly invited her, but by that time she was already
deep in the preparations for her marriage and was obliged to decline the
offer. She maintained her allegiance to the subject, however, through
all the years that followed, until, as will be seen hereafter, Dean Wace
made her the momentous proposition that she should undertake the lives
of the early Spanish kings and ecclesiastics for the _Dictionary of
Christian Biography_. And there, in the four volumes of the
_Dictionary_, her articles stand to this day, a monument to an early
enthusiasm lightly kindled by a word from a great man, but pursued with
all the patience and intensity of the true historian.

In the course of this work on the early Spaniards she developed an
extraordinary attachment to the Bodleian, with all the most secret
corners of which she soon became familiar, under the benevolent guidance
of the Librarian, Mr. Coxe. The charm of the noble building, with its
mellow lights and shades, its silences, its deep spaces of book-lined
walls, sank into her very soul and gave her that background of the love
of books and reading which became perhaps--next to her love of
nature--the strongest solace of her after-life. At the age of twenty she
wrote a little essay, called "A Morning in the Bodleian,"[6] which
reflects all the joy--nay, the pride--of her own long days of work among
the calf-bound volumes.

     "As you slip into the chair set ready for you," she writes, "a deep
     repose steals over you--the repose, not of indolence but of
     possession; the product of time, work and patient thought only.
     Literature has no guerdon for 'bread-students,' to quote the
     expressive German phrase; let not the young man reading for his
     pass, the London copyist or the British Museum illuminator, hope to
     enter within the enchanted ring of her benignest influences; only
     to the silent ardour, the thirst, the disinterestedness of the true
     learner, is she prodigal of all good gifts. To him she beckons, in
     him she confides, till she has produced in him that wonderful
     many-sidedness, that universal human sympathy which stamps the true
     literary man, and which is more religious than any form of creed."

A touch about the German students to be found there has its note of
prophecy: "In a small inner room are the Hebrew manuscripts; a German is
working there, another in shirt-sleeves is here--strange people of
innumerable tentacles, stretching all ways, from Genesis to the latest
form of the needle-gun." And in the last page we come upon her most
intimate reflections, the thoughts pressed together from her many months
of comradeship with those silent tomes, which show, better than any
letters, the quality of a mind but just emerging--as the years are
reckoned--from its teens:--

     "Who can pass out of such a building without a feeling of profound
     melancholy? The thought is almost too obvious to be dwelt upon; but
     it is overpowering and inevitable. These shelves of mighty folios,
     these cases of laboured manuscripts, these illuminated volumes of
     which each may represent a life--the first, dominant impression
     which they make cannot fail to be like that which a burial-ground
     leaves--a Hamlet-like sense of 'the pity of it.' Which is the
     sadder image, the dust of Alexander stopping a bung-hole, or the
     brain and life-blood of a hundred monks cumbering the shelves of
     the Bodleian? Not the former, for Alexander's dust matters little
     where his work is considered, but these monks' work is in their
     books; to their books they sacrificed their lives, and gave
     themselves up as an offering to posterity. And posterity,
     overburdened by its own concerns, passes them by without a look or
     a word! Here and there, of course, is a volume which has made a
     mark upon the world; but the mass are silent for ever, and zeal,
     industry, talent, for once that they have had permanent results,
     have a thousand times been sealed by failure. And yet men go on
     writing, writing; and books are born under the shadow of the great
     libraries just as children are born within sight of the tombs. It
     seems as though Nature's law were universal as well as rigid in its
     sphere--wide wastes of sand shut in the green oasis, many a seed
     falls among thorns or by the wayside, many a bud must be sacrificed
     before there comes the perfect flower, many a little life must
     exhaust itself in a useless book before the great book is made
     which is to remain a force for ever. And so we might as profitably
     murmur at the withered buds, at the seed that takes no root, at the
     stretch of desert, as at the unread folios. They are waste, it is
     true; but it is the waste that is thrown off by Humanity in its
     ceaseless process towards the fulfilment of its law."

No doubt her life was not all books during these four years, though
books gave it its tone and background; she took her part in the gaieties
of Oxford, in Eights Week and Commem. and in river parties to the
Nuneham woods, and it is to be feared that her stout resistance to the
"seductiveness of Oxford, its moonlight charms and Romeo and Juliet
character" was not of long duration. In one select Oxford pastime, the
game of croquet, she attained to real pre-eminence, becoming, after her
marriage, one of the moving spirits of the Oxford Croquet Club. But her
shyness made social events no special joy to her, and she was far
happier sitting at the feet of "Mark Pat" or helping "Mrs. Pat" with her
etching in the sitting-room upstairs than in making conversation with
the youth of Oxford.

One charming glimpse of her, however, at a social function remains to us
in the letters of M. Taine. The great Frenchman had come over in the
very spring of the _Commune_ (1871) to give a course of lectures at
Oxford; he met her one evening at the Master of Balliol's, being
introduced to her by Jowett himself. "'A very clever girl,' said
Professor Jowett, as he was taking me towards her. She is about twenty,
very nice-looking and dressed with taste (rather a rare thing here: I
saw one lady imprisoned in a most curious sort of pink silk sheath).
Miss Arnold was born out in Australia, where she was brought up till the
age of five. She knows French, German and Italian, and during this last
year has been studying old Spanish of the time of the Cid; also Latin,
in order to be able to understand the mediæval chronicles. All her
mornings she spends at the Bodleian Library--a most intellectual lady,
but yet a simple, charming girl. By exercise of great tact, I finally
led her on to telling me of an article--her first--that she was writing
for _Macmillan's Magazine_ upon the oldest romances. In extenuation of
it she said, 'Everybody writes or lectures here, and one must follow the
fashion. Besides, it passes the time, and the library is so fine and so
convenient.' Not in the least pedantic!"[7]

Mary's efforts at writing fiction, which had been many from her
school-days onwards, were far less successful at this stage than her
more serious essays; but she persisted in the attempt, for the pressure
on the family budget was always so great that she longed to make herself
independent of it by earning something with her pen. She sent one story,
at the age of eighteen, to Messrs. Smith & Elder, her future
publishers, but when it was politely declined by them she showed her
philosophy in the following note--

_October 1, 1869._


     I beg to thank you for your courteous letter. "Ailie" is a juvenile
     production and I am not sorry you decline to publish it. Had it
     appeared in print I should probably have been ashamed of it by and

I remain,
Yours obediently,

But at length no less a veteran than Miss Charlotte Yonge, who was then
editing a blameless magazine named the _Churchman's Companion_, accepted
a tale from her called "A Westmorland Story," and Mary's joy and pride
were unbounded. But the tale shows no glimpse, I think, of her future
power, and is as far removed from "A Morning in the Bodleian" as water
is from wine.

Sometimes the Forsters would invite her to stay with them in London, and
so it occurred that at the age of eighteen she was actually there, in
the Ladies' Gallery of the House of Commons, when her uncle brought in
his famous Education Bill. In after life she was always glad to recall
that day, and when in the fullness of time her own path led her among
the stunted lives of London's children she liked to think that she was
in a sense continuing her uncle's work.

In the winter of 1870-71 she first met Mr. T. Humphry Ward, Fellow and
Tutor of Brasenose College, between whom and herself an instant
attraction became manifest. Mr. Ward was the son of the Rev. Henry Ward,
Vicar of St. Barnabas, King Square, E.C., while his mother was Jane
Sandwith, sister of the well-known Army surgeon at the siege of Kars,
Humphry Sandwith, and herself a woman of remarkable charm and beauty of
character. By an odd chance, J. R. Green, the historian, had been curate
to Mr. Henry Ward in London for two years, had made himself the devoted
friend of all his numerous children and has left in his published
Letters a striking tribute to the great qualities of Mrs. Ward.[8] But
she died at the age of forty-two, and Mary Arnold never knew her. The
course of true love ran smoothly through the spring of 1871, and on June
16, five days after Mary's twentieth birthday, they became engaged.
Never was happiness more golden, and when the pair of lovers went to
stay at Fox How and the young man was introduced to all the well-beloved
places--Sweden Bridge and Loughrigg, Rydal Water and the
stepping-stones--she was quite puzzled, as she wrote to him afterwards,
by the change that had come over the mountains, by the "new relations
between Westmorland and me!" It was simply, as she said, that the
mountains had become the frame, instead of being, as hitherto, the

They were engaged for ten months, and then, on April 6, 1872, Dean
Stanley married them and they settled, a little later, in a house in
Bradmore Road (then No. 5, now 17), where they lived and worked for the
next nine years.

       *       *       *       *       *

Strenuous and delightful years! In looking back over them her old
friends recall with amazement her intense vitality and energy, in spite
of many lapses of health; how she was always at work, writing articles
or reviewing books to eke out the family income, and how she seemed
besides to bear on her shoulders the cares of two families, her own and
her husband's. She was the eldest and he the third of a long string of
brothers and sisters, the younger of whom were still quite children and
much in need of shepherding. The house in Bradmore Road was always a
second home to them. Her own parents lived close by and she was much in
and out of their house, sharing in their anxieties and struggles and
helping whenever it was possible to help. For she was linked to her
father by a deep and instinctive devotion, much strengthened by these
years of companionship at Oxford, and to her mother by a more aching
sense of pity and longing. Tom Arnold was growing restless again in the
mid-'seventies, and when he went with his younger children to church at
St. Philip's they would nudge each other to hear him muttering under his
breath the Latin prayers of long ago--little thinking, poor babes, how
their very bread and butter might hang upon these mutterings! But in
1876 there came a day when his election to the Professorship of Early
English was almost a foregone conclusion; as the author of the standard
edition of Wycliffe's English Works he was by far the strongest
candidate in the field, and Julia looked forward eagerly to a time of
deliverance from their perpetual money troubles. For some months,
however, he had secretly made up his mind that he must re-enter the
Roman fold, and now that once more his worldly promotion depended on his
remaining outside it he decided that this was the moment to make his
re-conversion public. He announced it on the very eve of the election,
with the result that the majority of the electors decided against him.
Poor Mary heard the news early next morning and ran round in great
distress to her true friends, the T. H. Greens, pouring it out to them
with uncontrollable tears. And, indeed, it was the death-knell of the
Arnolds' prosperity at Oxford. Pupils came no longer to be taught by a
professing Catholic, and Julia was reduced to taking "boarders" in a
smaller house in Church Walk, while Tom earned what he could by
incessant writing and eventually took work again at the Catholic
University in Dublin. And then a still more terrible blow fell upon
Julia; she was discovered to have cancer, and an operation in the autumn
of 1877 left her a maimed and suffering invalid. All this could not fail
to leave a profound mark on the anxious and tender heart of her
daughter, in whom the capacity for human affection seemed to grow and
treble with the years; it made a dark background to her Oxford life,
otherwise so full to overflowing with the happiness of friends and home.

In her _Recollections_ she has given us once and for all a picture of
the Oxford of her day which in its brilliance and charm is not to be
matched by any later comer. All that can be attempted here is to fill in
to some extent the only gap that she has left in it--the portrait of
herself. How did she move among that small but gifted community, where
Walter Pater revolutionized the taste of Oxford with his Morris papers
and blue china, shocked the Oxford world with his paganizing tendencies
and would, besides, keep his sisters laughing the whole evening, when
they were quite alone, with his spontaneous fun; where Mandell
Creighton was leading and stimulating the teaching of history, with J.
R. Green to help him as Examiner in the Modern History Schools; where T.
H. Green was inspiring the younger generation with his own robust
idealism and the doctrine of the "duty of work," and the more venerable
figures of Jowett and Mark Pattison, Ruskin and Matthew Arnold, Stubbs
and Freeman dominated the intellectual scene? The impression that she
made upon this circle of friends seems first of all to have been one of
extraordinary energy and power of work, of great personal charm veiled
by a crust of shyness, of intellectual powers for which they had the
respect of equals and co-workers, and of a warm and generous sympathy
which was yet free from "gush." One of her closest friends in these
early years, Mrs. Arthur Johnson, has allowed me to use certain extracts
from her journal, in which the figure of "Mary Ward" stands out with the
clearness of absolute simplicity. Mrs. Johnson, besides having the
public spirit which has since made her the President of the Oxford Home
Students' Society, was also a charming artist, and in 1876 painted
Mary's portrait in water-colour, using the opportunities which the
sittings gave her to explore her friend's mind to the uttermost:

"July 22. Began her portrait. I was so excited that my head ached all
day afterwards. She talked of deep, most interesting subjects, and
attention to the arguments and drawing too was too much for one's head!
I was surprised at the full extent of her vague religion. Jowett is her
great admiration and Matt Arnold her guide for some things. She is great
on the rising Dutch and French and German school of religious thought,
very free criticism of the Bible, entire denial of miracle, our Lord
only a great teacher. I felt as if I had been beaten about, as I always
do after the excitement of such talks. And yet it is all a striving
after righteousness, sincerity, truth." Or, again: "Mary W. came to tea.
My visitor was charmed with her and truly she is a sweet, charming
person, full of gentleness and sympathy, with all her talent and
intelligence too. She had dined at the Pattisons' last night and had
felt appalled at the learning of Mrs. P. and Miss ----,' more in their
little fingers than I in my whole body!' But I felt that no one would
wish to change her for either of them."

Her music was a constant joy to her friends, and Mrs. Johnson makes
frequent mention of her playing of Bach and of her wonderful reading. It
was a possession that remained with her, to a certain extent, all her
life, in spite of writer's cramp and of a total inability to find time
to "keep it up." But even twenty and thirty years later than this date,
her playing of Beethoven or Brahms--on the rare occasions when she would
allow herself such indulgence--would astonish the few friends who heard

Meanwhile the portrait prospered, and was at length presented to its
subject when she lay recovering from the birth of her second babe--a boy
whom they named Arnold--in November, 1876. "Humphry and I are full of
delight over the picture," writes Mary to Mrs. Johnson, "and of wonder
at the amount of true and delicate work you have put into it. It will be
a possession not only for us but for our children--see how easily the
new style comes!" These were prophetic words, for it is indeed the
portrait of her that still gives most pleasure to the beholder, though
in later years she was painted or drawn by many skilful hands.

Her two babies, Dorothy and Arnold, naturally absorbed a great deal of
her time and thoughts in these years, although it was possible in those
spacious days to live comfortably and to keep as many little
nursery-maids as one required on £800 or £900 a year, which was about
the income that husband and wife jointly earned. Her natural talent for
"doctoring" showed itself very early in the skill with which she fed her
babies or cured them of their ills when they were sick. Nor was she
content with her domestic success, but in days before "Infant Welfare"
had ever been thought of she wrote a leaflet entitled "Plain Facts on
Infant Feeding" and circulated it in the slums of Oxford. We will not,
however, rescue it from oblivion, lest it should be found to contain
heretical matter! But there was still time for other pursuits, and since
both she and her husband did their writing mainly at night, from nine to
twelve, Mary began to show her practical powers in other directions, and
to take a leading part in the movement for the higher education of women
which was then absorbing some of the best minds of Oxford. As early as
the winter of 1873-4 a committee was formed among this group of friends,
with Mrs. Ward and Mrs. Creighton (followed, on the latter's departure,
by Mrs. T. H. Green) as joint secretaries, for organizing regular
"Lectures for Women"--not in any connection with the University, for
this was as yet impossible, but in order to satisfy the growing demand
among the women residents of Oxford for more serious instruction in
history, or modern languages, or Latin. The first series of lectures was
held in the early spring of 1874, in the Clarendon Buildings, with Mr.
A. H. Johnson as lecturer; it was an immediate success, and the large
sum of 5_s._ which each member of the Committee had put down as a
guarantee could be triumphantly refunded. Further courses were arranged
in each succeeding winter, till in 1877 the same committee expanded into
an "Association for the Education of Women" (again with Mrs. Ward as
secretary[9]), which undertook still more important work. The idea of
the founding of Women's Colleges was already in the air, for Girton and
Newnham had led the way at Cambridge, and all through 1878 plans were
being discussed to this end. In the next year a special committee was
formed for the raising of funds towards the foundation of a "Hall of
Residence"; Mrs. Ward and Mrs. Augustus Vernon Harcourt were joint
secretaries, but since the latter soon fell ill the whole burden of
correspondence fell upon Mary's shoulders. "There seems no end to the
things I have to do just now," she writes to her father in June, 1879.
"All the secretary's work for Somerville Hall falls on me now as my
colleague, Mrs. Harcourt, is laid up, and yesterday and the day before I
have had the house full of girls being examined for scholarship at the
Hall, and have had to copy out examination papers and look after them
generally. Our Lady Principal, Miss Shaw-Lefevre, is here and she came
to dinner to-night to talk business about furnishing, etc. I think we
are getting on. Did you see in _The Times_ that the Clothworkers'
Company have given us 100 guineas?"

And thus the work went on, week after week, all through the year 1879. I
have before me a common-looking engagement-diary in which it is all
recorded, from the month of March to late in the month of October: all
the committee-meetings, all the letters written to newspapers, to
prospective students or to possible heads; the decision to purchase the
lease of "Walton House," "to be assigned to the President (Dr. Percival)
on August 1"; the builder's estimate for alterations ("£540 for raising
the roof and making twelve bedrooms"), the letters about drainage, or
cretonne, or armchairs and fenders, no less than the resolution passed
at Balliol on October 24 to "form a Company for the management of the
Hall under the Limited Liability Act of 1862, with a nominal capital of
£25,000." But by that time the Hall was already opened and the long
labour crowned; and a fortnight afterwards, on November 6, her youngest
child was born. It may be hoped that after this Mrs. Ward took a brief
holiday from the cares of Somerville.

Mrs. Ward remained a member of the original Council of Somerville Hall
long after her departure from Oxford, and during her last two years
there continued to be largely responsible, as one of the most active
members of the Association for the Education of Women, for the
organization of the teaching. All the lectures were arranged by the
Association--in consultation, of course, with the Principal--for it was
not until 1884 that women students were admitted to the smallest of the
University examinations, or to lectures at a few of the Colleges.

Thus had Mrs. Ward learnt her first lesson and won her first laurels in
the carrying out of a big piece of public work. It was an experience
that was to stand her in good stead in after years. But at this time her
ambitions were still largely historical, weaving themselves in dreams
and plans for the writing of that big book on the origins of modern
Spain of which she afterwards sketched the counterpart in Elsmere's
projected book on the origins of modern France. Very likely she would
have settled down to write it before the opening of Somerville, but as
early as October, 1877, she had received a very flattering offer from
Dean Wace, the general editor of the _Dictionary of Christian
Biography_, to take a large share in writing the lives of the early
Spanish ecclesiastics for that monumental work. It was an offer that she
could not refuse, and she always spoke with gratitude of the years of
hard and exacting work that followed, although once or twice she almost
broke down under the strain of it. "Sheer, hard, brain-stretching work,"
she calls it in her _Recollections_, and if anyone will look up her
articles on Joannes Biclarensis, or Idatius, or the Histories of Isidore
of Seville, they will see how triply justified she was in using the
term. "You have gone over the ground so thoroughly that there is no
gleaning left," wrote Mr. C. W. Boase, in those days one of the
best-known of Oxford history tutors, while Dean Wace himself, in the
many letters he wrote to her, showed by his kindness and consideration
how much he valued her contributions. Oxford began to think that she was
definitely committed to an historical career, when to its astonishment
she came out as the author of a children's story. "Milly and Olly" was
the record of her own "Holiday among the Mountains" with her children in
the summer of 1879, but the very simplicity of the tale has endeared it
to many generations of children and child-lovers, while the stories it
contains of Beowulf and the Spanish Queen give it a note of romance that
differentiates it from other nursery tales. She wrote it almost as a
relaxation in the summer of 1880; in the midst of her historical work it
showed that the story-telling instinct was already stirring within her.

And indeed the Oxford historical school was to be disappointed in her
after all, for her labours on the early Spaniards were in reality to
lead her into far other fields. Her interest in the problems of
Christianity had only gathered strength with the years, and were now
greatly stimulated by these researches into the early history of the
Spanish Church. She began to feel the enormous importance to the
believer of the _historical testimony_ on which the whole fabric rested,
while her keen historical imagination enabled her to grasp the mentality
of those distant ages which produced for us the literature of the New
Testament. A feeling of revolt against the arrogance of the orthodox
party, as it was represented in Oxford by Christchurch and Dr. Pusey,
grew and increased in her mind, while at the same time she became more
and more attracted by the romance and mystery of Christianity when
stripped of the coating of legend which pious hands had given it. As
early as 1871 she had written to Mr. Ward (à propos of a somewhat
fatuous sermon to which she had been listening): "How will you make
Christianity into a _motive_?--that is the puzzle. Traditional and
conventional Christianity is worked out--certainly as far as the great
artisan and intelligent working-class in England is concerned, and all
those who are young and touched, ever so vaguely and uncertainly, with
the thought-atmosphere, thought-currents of the day. Is there a
substitute which shall still be Christianity? Yes surely, but it is not
to be arrived at by mere arbitrary remoulding and petulant upsetting as
Mr. Voysey seems to think." And two years later she writes to her
father: "Just now it seems to me that one cannot make one's belief too
simple or hold what one does believe too strongly. Of dogmatic
Christianity I can make nothing. Nothing is clear except the personal
character of Christ and that view of Him as the founder and lawgiver of
a new society which struck me years ago in _Ecce Homo_. And the more I
read and think over the New Testament the more impossible it seems to me
to accept what is ordinarily called the scheme of Christianity."

But these reflections need never have led her in the direction of
writing _Robert Elsmere_ if it had not been for a personal incident. On
Sunday, March 6, 1881, she attended the first Bampton Lecture of the
Rev. John Wordsworth, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury. It was on "the
present unsettlement in religion," and the speaker castigated the
holders of unorthodox views as being very definitely guilty of sin.
Something in the tone of the sermon set Mary's heart on fire within her.
She walked home in a tumult of feeling. That this man with his confident
phrases should dare thus to arraign the leaders of the Liberal host--men
of such noble lives as T. H. Green, thinkers like Jowett and Matt
Arnold! She sat down and wrote, within a very few days, a reply to Dr.
Wordsworth entitled "Unbelief and Sin: a Protest addressed to those who
attended the Bampton Lecture of Sunday, March 6." A little pamphlet cast
in the form of a dialogue between two Oxford men, it was put up for sale
in Slatter & Rose's window and attracted considerable attention. But
before it had been selling for many hours a certain ecclesiastic took
the bookseller aside and pointed out that the pamphlet bore no printer's
name, which made the sale illegal. He politely threatened proceedings,
and the bookseller in alarm withdrew it from circulation and sent the
unsold copies up to Bradmore Road with an apology, but a firm intimation
that no further copies could be sold. Mary laughed and submitted, and
sent her anonymous offspring round to various friends, among them the
redoubtable Rector of Lincoln. He replied to her as follows:--

     "No, I did not guess your secret. It was whispered to me in the
     street, and I fancy was no secret within the first week of

     "I admire your courage in attacking one of their strong places. The
     doctrine of disbelief in Church principles being due to a
     propensity to secret sins is one of the oldest tenets of the
     Anglican party. It is also a fundamental principle of popular
     Catholicism. I have heard it from the catholic pulpit so often that
     it must have among them the character of a commonplace.

     "There is, as you admit, a certain basis of fact for it--just as
     'Patriotism' is often enough the trade of the egoist. 'Licence they
     mean when they cry liberty.'

     "More interesting even than your argument against the psychological
     dogma, was your constructive hint as to the 'Church of the future.'
     I wish I could follow you there! But that is an 'argumentum non
     unius horæ.'

     "Believe me, dear Mrs. Ward, to be

"Yr. attached friend,

It was indeed an argument, not of a single hour, but of many long years.
But the spark had been set to a complex train of thought which was now
to work itself out through toil and stress towards its appointed end.




It was in the early summer of 1880 that Mr. Ward was first approached by
Mr. Chenery, the editor, with a suggestion that he should join the staff
of _The Times_. The proposal was in many ways an attractive one, in
spite of the love of both husband and wife for Oxford, for Mr. Ward was
becoming known to a wider world than that of Oxford by his _English
Poets_, which had appeared in this year, nor was he a novice in
journalism. His wife, too, had many links with London through her visits
to the Forsters and her journalistic work. The experiment began in a
tentative way in the winter of 1880-81, she remaining in Oxford with the
children, and he being "tried" for leader-writing while staying in
Bloomsbury lodgings. Within a very few months it proved itself a
success, and, after some pleasant interviews with Mr. John Walter, he
was retained on the permanent staff of the paper. They began seriously
to plan their removal and to look for a house, and found one at length
in that comfortable Bloomsbury region, which was then innocent of big
hotels and offices, and where the houses in Russell Square had not yet
suffered embellishment in the form of pink terra-cotta facings to their
windows. They found that the oldest house in the Square, No. 61, was to
let, and in spite of the dirt of years with which it was encrusted,
perceived its possibilities at once, and came to an agreement with its
owner. A charming old house, built in 1745, its prettiest feature was a
small square entrance-hall, with eighteenth-century stucco-work on the
walls, from which a wide staircase ascended to the drawing-room, giving
an impression of space rare in a _bourgeois_ London house. At the back
was a good-sized strip of garden shaded by tall old plane-trees and
running down to meet the gardens of Queen Square, for No. 61 stood on
the east side of the square and adjoined the first house of Southampton
Row. Little powder-closets jutted out at the back, one of which Mrs.
Ward used as her writing-room, and upstairs the bedroom floors seemed to
expand as you ascended, reaching only to a third story, but giving us
rooms enough even so for ourselves, our maids, and a German governess,
besides the various relations who were constantly coming to stay. Wholly
pleasant are the memories connected with that benign old house, to us
children as well as to our elders, save only that to the youngest of us
there were always two lurking horrors, one on the second floor landing,
where a dark alcove gave harbourage to a little old man in Scotch kilts,
who might, if your legs were not swift enough, come after you as you
toiled up the last flight, and one--still more disquieting--on the top
landing itself, where the taps dripped in a dreadful little boxroom, and
if the taps dripped you knew that the water-bogy, _who lives in taps_,
might at any moment escape and overwhelm you. Since no self-respecting
child ever imparts its terrors to its elders, these nightmares went
unknown until one night, when all the maids were downstairs at supper,
the child in question could not make up its mind to cross the landing,
past the dark mouth of that box-room, from the room where it undressed
to the room where it slept, and was found an hour later, fast asleep in
a chair, with towels pinned over every inch of its small body lest the
bogy should come out and catch hold. After this crisis I think the
terrors declined, and now, alas! taps and box-room and dark alcove have
all disappeared together, with the pleasant rooms downstairs and the
gravelled garden where one made so many persevering expeditions with the
salt-cellar, after the tails of London's sparrows--all swept away and
vanished, and the air that they enclosed parcelled out once more into
the rectangles of the Imperial Hotel! Peace be to the ghost of that poor
house, for it gave happiness in its latter days for nine long years to
the human folk who inhabited it, and it watched the unfolding of a human
heart and mind which were to have no mean influence upon the generation
that encompassed them.

The house at Oxford was disposed of to the Henry Nettleships, at
Michaelmas, 1881, and in the following November the family moved in to
Russell Square. It was not without searchings of heart, I think, that
Mr. and Mrs. Ward embarked upon the larger venture, where all depended
on their retaining health and strength for their work; but they fondly
hoped that with the larger regular income from _The Times_ the burden on
both pairs of shoulders would be lessened.

     "All will be well with us yet," wrote Mrs. Ward to her husband
     three months before their move, "and if God is good to us there are
     coming years of work indeed, but of less burden and strain. All
     depends on you and me, and though I know the very thought depresses
     us sometimes, it ought not to, for we have many good gifts within
     and without, and a fair field, if not the fairest possible field to
     use them in. It seems to me that all I want to be happy is to keep
     my own heart and conscience clear, and to feel my way open into the
     presence of God and the unseen. And surely to seek is to find."

Years of less burden and strain! She had, indeed, forgotten the spirit
within, which was to drive her on to ever new and greater efforts in the
more stimulating atmosphere of London. Though her work for the
_Dictionary of Christian Biography_ was almost over, she had by this
time made the acquaintance of Mr. Morley, then editor of the _Pall Mall
Gazette_, and was doing much reviewing of French and Spanish books for
him, while she continued to write weekly articles for the Church
_Guardian_ and the _Oxford Chronicle_. Nor were the authorities of _The
Times_ long in finding out that she too could write, and by the autumn
of 1882 many foreign books reached her for review from Printing House
Square. She complains in her letters that she cannot get through them
quickly enough. "Three or four volumes of these books a week is about
all I can do, and that seems to go no way." The inevitable expenses of
London life did in fact weigh upon her heavily within a year of their
migration, and the sense of "burden and strain" was never long absent.
But she could not have lived otherwise. It was her fundamental instinct
to work herself to the bone and then to share her good times with others
less fortunate, and since this process made away with her earnings she
would work herself to the bone again. In this atmosphere of unremitting
toil interruptions were of course discouraged, but when they occurred in
spite of all defences she never showed the irritation which so
frequently accompanies overwork. And in the many interruptions caused by
the childish illnesses of her small family her tenderness and devotion
were beyond all words. How she dosed us with aconite and belladonna,
watching over us and compelling us to throw off our fevers and colds!
Nor was anything allowed to interfere with the befriending of all
members of the family who wished to come to Russell Square. Her brother
Willie, who had by this time been appointed to the staff of the
_Manchester Guardian_, was a frequent visitor, renewing with each
appearance his literary _camaraderie_ with her and delighting in the
friends whom she would ask to meet him. Matthew Arnold, too, was
sometimes to be caught for an evening--great occasions, those, for Mrs.
Ward's relations with him were already of the most affectionate. He
influenced her profoundly in literary and critical matters, for she
imbibed from him both her respect for German thoroughness and her
passion for French perfection. These, indeed, were the years when she
saw most of "Uncle Matt," for Pains' Hill Cottage, at Cobham, was not
too far away for a Sunday visit, so that she and Mr. Ward would
sometimes fly down there for an afternoon of talk. Usually, however, she
would return full of blasphemies about his precious dogs, who had
diverted their master's attention all through the walk and prevented the
flow of his wit and wisdom. Therefore she preferred to get him safely to
herself at Russell Square!

Her two younger sisters, Julia and Ethel, were constantly in the house,
the elder of whom married in 1885 Mr. Leonard Huxley, and so brought
about a happy connection with the Professor and his wife, which gave
Mrs. Ward much joy for many years. Nor were her neighbours neglected.
When Christmas came round there was always a wonderful _Weihnachtsbaum_,
dressed with loving care by the good German governess, and by any uncles
and aunts who were within reach, and attended not only by all possible
relations and friends (including especially and always Mr. and Mrs. J.
R. Thursfield and their children), but also by the choirboys of St.
John's Church and by many of _their_ relations too. But behind all this
eager hospitality lay a far deeper longing. Her mother had, early in
1881, undergone a second operation for cancer, and though this gave her
a year's immunity from pain the malady returned. In March, 1882, she
wrote to her daughter with stoical courage that she foresaw what was in
store for her--"a hard ending to a hard life." Though she was devotedly
nursed by her youngest daughter, Ethel, her suffering overshadowed the
next six years of Mary's life like a cloud, but it became also Mrs.
Ward's keenest joy to be able to help her and to ease her path. Once
when she herself had been ill and suffering, she wrote her a few lines
which reveal her own inmost thoughts on the relation between pain and

     "I am _so_ sorry, dearest, for your own suffering. This is a weary
     world,--but there is good behind it, 'a holy will,' as Amiel says,
     'at the root of nature and destiny,' and submission brings peace
     because in submission the heart finds God and in God its rest.
     There is no truth I believe in more profoundly."

Yet in spite of the unceasing round of work, what compensations there
were in the London life! The making of new friends can never fail to be
a delightful process, and it very soon became apparent that Mrs. Ward
was to be adopted to the heart of that London world which thought about
books and politics and which incidentally was making history. London was
smaller then than now, and if a new-comer had brains and modesty, and
above all a gift of sympathy that won all hearts, there were few doors
that did not open to her or him in time. Her connection with the
Forsters and with "Uncle Matt" brought her many friends to start with,
while Mr. Ward's work on _The Times_ took them naturally both into the
world of painters (for after 1884 he joined art criticism to his
political and other writing) and into the world of affairs. A letter
written to Mrs. A. H. Johnson in May, 1885, gives a typical picture of
the social side of her life three years after the move to London. The
occasion is the marriage of Alfred Lyttelton and Laura Tennant:

     "The wedding function yesterday was very interesting. I am glad not
     to have missed Gladstone's speech at the breakfast. What a wondrous
     man it is! The intensity, the feeling of the speech were
     extraordinary.... Life has been rather exciting lately in the way
     of new friends, the latest acquisition being Mr. Goschen, to whom
     I have quite lost my heart! There is a pliancy and a brilliancy
     about him which make him one of the most delightful companions. We
     dined there last Saturday and I have seldom had so much interesting
     talk. Lord Arthur Russell, who sat next me, told me stories of how,
     as a child at Geneva, he had met folk who in their youth had seen
     Rousseau and known Voltaire, and had been intimate friends of Mme.
     de Stael in middle life. And then, coming a little further down the
     stream of time, he could describe to me having stayed at
     Lamartine's château in the poet's old age, and so on. Mr. Goschen
     is busy on a life of his grandfather, who was the publisher of
     Goethe, Schiller and Wieland, and whose correspondence, which he is
     now going through, covers the whole almost of the German literary
     period,--so that after dinner the scene shifted to Germany, and we
     talked away with an occasional raid into politics, till, to my
     great regret, the evening was over."

Her own little dinner-parties very soon began to make their mark, while
not long after their establishment in London, she began the practice of
being at home on Thursday afternoons, and though at first her natural
shyness and lack of small talk made her openings somewhat formidable,
she soon warmed to the task, till within a very few months her Thursdays
became a much-appreciated institution. Men, as well as women, came to
them, for they always liked to make her talk and to hear her eager views
on all the topics of the day, from Irish coercion to the literary
personalities of France, or the need for prodding the Universities to
open their examinations to women. She still called herself a good
Radical in these days, but her devotion to Mr. Forster--whom she had
visited in Dublin during his Chief Secretaryship--gave the first
reservations to her Liberal faith, for she took his part in the matter
of his resignation, and felt that he had not been sufficiently supported
by the Cabinet. It was a great grief to her that Mr. Morley, in the
_Pall Mall Gazette_, found it necessary to attack Mr. Forster's Irish
administration with such persistent energy, and once, towards the end of
1882, she summoned up the courage to write him a remonstrance in good
set terms. Mr. Morley's reply is characteristic:

_Dec. 13, 82._


     I have got your letter at last, and carefully read and digested it.
     Need I say that its frank and direct vigour only increases my
     respect for the writer? To answer it, as it deserves, is hardly
     possible for me. It would take a day for me to set forth, with
     proper reference to chapter and verse, all the reasons why I could
     not follow Mr. Forster in his Irish administration. They were set
     forth from time to time with almost tiresome iteration as events
     moved forward.

     In all that you say about Mr. Forster's unselfishness, his
     industry, his strenuous desire to do what was right and best,
     nobody agrees more cordially than I do. Personally I have always
     had--if it is not impertinent in me to say so--a great liking for
     him. He was always very kind and obliging to me, and nothing has
     been more painful to me than to know that I was writing what would
     wound a family for whom I have such sincere respect as I have for
     his. But the occasion was grave. I have been thinking about Ireland
     all my life, and that fashion of governing it is odious and
     intolerable. If Sir Charles Dilke or Mr. Chamberlain had been Chief
     Secretary, and carried out the Coercion Act as Mr. Forster carried
     it out, I could not have attacked either of them, but I should have
     resigned my editorship rather than have connived by silence or
     otherwise at such mischief.

     I may at times have seemed bitter and personal in my language about
     Mr. Forster. One falls into this tone too readily, when fighting a
     battle day after day, and writing without time for calm revision.
     For that I am sorry, if it has been so, or seemed so. Mr. Forster's
     friends--some of them--have been extremely unscrupulous in their
     personalities against me, their charges of intrigue, conspiracy.
     All that I do not care for one jot; my real regret, and it is a
     very sincere one, is that I should seem unjust or vindictive to
     people like you, who think honestly and calmly about politics, and
     other things.

     I hope that it is over, and that I shall never have to say a word
     about Mr. Forster's Irish policy again.

Yours very sincerely,

Such a letter only served to strengthen friendship. Mrs. Ward's literary
comradeship with Mr. Morley remained unbroken in spite of widening
differences in politics, and when, a few months later, he assumed the
editorship of _Macmillan's Magazine_ he proposed to her that she should
virtually take over its literary criticism:--

_March 22, 83._


     My reign over "Macmillan" will begin in May. I want to know whether
     you can help me to a literary article once a month--in the shape of
     a _compte rendu_ of some new books, English or French. It is highly
     desirable that the subject should be as lively and readable as
     possible--not erudite and academic, but literary, or
     socio-literary, as Ste Beuve was.

     I don't see why a "causerie" from you once a month should not
     become as marked a feature in our world, as Ste Beuve was to
     France. In time, the articles would make matter for a volume, and
     so you would strike the stars with your sublime head.

     I hope my suggestion will commend itself to you. I have been
     counting upon you, and shall be horribly discouraged if you say No.

Yours sincerely,

Flattered as she was by the suggestion, she was never able to carry out
his whole behest, yet between February, 1883, and June, 1885, she wrote
no less than twelve articles for _Macmillan's_, on subjects ranging from
the young Spanish Romanticist, Gustavo Becquer, to Keats, Jane Austen,
Renan and the "Literature of Introspection" (à propos of Amiel's
_Journal Intime_), while the series was ended by a full-dress review of
Pater's _Marius the Epicurean_. These articles did much to assure her
position in the world of pure literature, as her Dictionary articles had
assured it in the world of scholarship, and she never ceased to be
grateful to Mr. Morley for the opportunities he had given her in
inviting them, for the encouragement of his praise and the bracing of
his occasional criticism.

But these articles were all written under the heaviest physical
disabilities. Early in 1883 she began to suffer from a violent form of
writer's cramp, which made her right hand almost useless at times, and
recurred at intervals all through her life, so that writing was usually
a far more arduous and painful process to her than it is to most of us.
Through the years 1883 and 1884 she was frequently reduced to writing
with her left hand, but she also dictated much to her young
sister-in-law, Gertrude Ward, who came to live with us at this time, and
became for the next eight years the prop and support of our household.
Many remedies were tried for the ailment, but nothing was really
effective until after two years a German "writing-master" came on the
scene, one Dr. Julius Wolff, who completely transformed her method of
writing by making her sit much higher than before, rest the whole
fore-arm on the table, and use an altogether different set of muscles.
Many curious exercises he gave her also, which she practised at
intervals for years afterwards, and by these means he succeeded in
giving her comparative immunity, though whenever she was specially
pressed with work the pain and weakness would recur. During the year
1884, however, before Dr. Wolff had appeared, her arm was practically
disabled, and she wore it much in a sling.

Yet it was during this year that she began her translation of Amiel's
_Journal_ and wrote her first novel, _Miss Bretherton_. The idea of it
was suggested by her first sight of the beautiful actress, Mary
Anderson, though she always maintained that, once created, Isabel
Bretherton became to her an absolutely distinct personality. The manner
of its writing is told in a fragment of Miss Gertrude Ward's journal:

     "The book was written in about six weeks. She used to lie or sit
     out of doors at Borough Farm, with a notebook and pencil, and
     scrawl down what she could with her left hand; then she would come
     in about twelve and dictate to me at a great rate for an hour or
     more. In the afternoon and evening she would look over and correct
     what was done, and I copied out the whole. The scene of Marie and
     Kendal in his rooms was dictated in her bedroom; she lay on her
     bed, and I sat by the window behind a screen."

The book was published by Messrs. Macmillan and appeared in December,
1884. It attracted a good deal of attention. The general verdict was
that it was a fine and delicate piece of work, but on too limited, too
intellectual a scale. This view was admirably put by her old friend, Mr.
Creighton (then Emmanuel Professor at Cambridge):


     I have read _Miss Bretherton_ with much interest. It was hardly
     fair on the book to know the plot beforehand, but I found myself
     carried away by the delicate feeling with which the development of
     character was traced. The Nuneham scene, the death-bed and the
     final reconciliation were really touching and powerfully worked

     [Illustration: Borough Farm.]

     At the same time it is not a novel of my sort. I demand that I
     should have given me an entire slice of life, and that I should see
     the mutual interaction of a number of characters. Your interest
     centres entirely on one character: your characters all move in the
     same region of ideas, and that a narrow one. Your book is dainty,
     but it does not touch the great springs of life. Of course you
     didn't mean it to do so: but I am putting before you what I
     conceive to be the novelist's ideal. It seems to me that a novelist
     must have seen much, must lay himself out to be conversant with
     many sides of life, must have no line of his own, but must lend
     himself to the life of those around him. This is the direct
     opposite of the critic. I wonder if the two trades can be combined.
     Have you ever read Sainte Beuve's solitary novel, _Volupté_? It is
     instructive reading. You are a critic in your novel. Your object is
     really to show how criticism can affect a nature capable of
     receiving it. Now is this properly a subject of art? Is it not too
     didactic? It is not so for me, for I am an old-fashioned moralist:
     but the mass of people do not care for intellectual teaching in
     novels. They want an emotional thrill. Remember that you have
     deliberately put this aside. Kendal's love is not made to affect
     his life, his character, his work. Miss Bretherton only feels so
     far attracted to him as to listen to what he says.... I only say
     this to show you what the book made me think, that you wrote as a
     critic not as a creator. You threw into the form of a story many
     critical judgments, and gave an excellent sketch of the possible
     worth of criticism in an unregenerate world. This was worth doing
     once: but if you are going on with novels you must throw criticism
     to the winds and let yourself go as a partner of common joys,
     common sorrows and common perplexities. There, I have told you what
     I think just as I think it. I would not have done so to anyone else
     save you, to whom I am always,

Your most affectionate,

No doubt Mrs. Ward stored up this criticism for future use, for when she
next embarked upon a novel the canvas was indeed broad enough.

They had not been settled in London for much more than a year before
Mrs. Ward began to feel the need for some quiet and remote country place
to which she might fly for peace and work when the strain of London
became too great. Fortune favoured the quest, for in the summer of 1882
they took the rectory at Peper Harow, near Godalming (the "Murewell
Rectory" of _Robert Elsmere_), for a few weeks, and during that time
were taken by Lord Midleton, the owner of Peper Harow, to see a
delightful old farm in the heart of the lonely stretch of country that
lies between the Portsmouth Road and Elstead. They fell in love with it
at once, and during the following winter made an arrangement to take its
six or seven front rooms by the year. So from the summer of 1883 onwards
they possessed Borough Farm as a refuge and solace in the wilds, a
paradise for elders and children alike, where London and its turmoil
could be cast off and forgotten. It lay in a country of heather commons,
woods, rough meadows, streams and lakes--those "Hammer Ponds" which
remain as a relic of the iron-smelting days of Surrey, and in which we
children amused ourselves by the hour in fishing for perch with a bent
pin and a worm. Here Mrs. Ward would lie out whenever the sun shone in
the old sand-pit up the lane, where we had constructed a sort of terrace
for her long chair, or else under the ash-tree on the little hill,
writing or reading, while no sound came save the murmur of wind in the
gorse, or in the dry bells of the heather. If her physique had been
stronger she would, perhaps, have been too much tempted by the beauty of
the country ever to have lain still and worked for so many hours as she
did in that long chair; but she was never robust, she was extremely
susceptible to bad weather, cold winds and every form of chill, and her
longest expeditions were those which she took in a little pony-carriage
over Ryal or Bagmoor Commons to Peper Harow, or up the Portsmouth Road
to Thursley and Hindhead.

Here a few friends came at intervals to share the solitude with us:
Laura Tennant, on a wonderful day in May, 1884, when she seemed to her
dazzled hostess the very incarnation of the spring; M. Edmond Scherer,
her earliest French friend, who, in 1884, was helping her with her
translation of Amiel's _Journal_; Henry James, whose visit laid the
foundation of a friendship that was to ripen into one of the most
precious of all Mrs. Ward's possessions; Mlle. Souvestre, foundress of
the well-known girls' school at Wimbledon, and one of the keenest
intellects of her time; and once, for a whole fortnight, Miss Eugénie
Sellers,[10] who had for many months been teaching the family their
classics, and who now came down to superintend their Greek a little and
to roam the commons with them much. It was in 1886, just before this
visit, that Mrs. Ward began seriously to read Greek, usually with her
ten-year-old son; she bought a Thucydides in Godalming one day and was
delighted to find it easier than she expected. It was a passion that
grew upon her with the years, as any reader of her later books will
clearly perceive.

Then, though the solitude of the farm itself was profound, there were a
few, a very few, neighbours in the more eligible districts round about
who made it their pleasure sometimes to call upon us; there were the
Frederic Harrisons at Elstead, whose four boys dared us children to
horrid feats of jumping and climbing in the sand-pit, while our elders
were safely engaged elsewhere; John Morley also, for a few weeks in
1886, and in the other direction Lord and Lady Wolseley, who took a
house near Milford, and thence made their way occasionally down our
sandy track. But the neighbours who meant most to us were, after all,
our landlords, the Brodricks of Peper Harow; they were not only
endlessly kind, giving us leave to disport ourselves in all their
ponds, but took a sort of pride of possession, I believe, in their
pocket authoress, watching her struggles and her achievement with
paternal eyes. And when _Robert Elsmere_ at length appeared, old Lord
Midleton, pillar of Church and State as he was, came riding over to the
farm, sitting his horse squarely in spite of his white hairs and his
semi-blindness, and sent in word that the "Wicked Squire" was at the

Two letters written to her father from Borough Farm during these years,
give glimpses of her browsings in many books, and of her thoughts on
Shakespeare, evolution and kindred matters:

     "I have been reading Joubert's _Pensées_ and _Correspondance_
     lately, with a view to the Amiel introduction. You would be charmed
     with the letters, and some of the _pensées_ are extraordinarily
     acute. Now I am deep in Sénancour, and for miscellaneous reading I
     have been getting through Horace's Epistles and dawdling a good
     deal over Shakespeare. My feeling as to him gets stronger and
     stronger, that he was, strictly speaking, a great poet, but not a
     great dramatist! There's a remark over which I trust you will draw
     a fatherly veil! But one can only say what one feels, and I am more
     oppressed than I used to be by his faults of construction, his
     carelessness, his excrescences, while at the same time much more
     sensitive to his preternatural power as a poet and as a
     psychological analyst. He gets at the root of his characters in a
     marvellous way, he envisages them separately as no one else can,
     but it is when he comes to bring them into action to represent the
     play of outward circumstance and the interaction of character on
     character that he seems to me comparatively--only comparatively, of
     course--to fail. I have always felt it most strongly in Othello,
     and of course in the last act of Hamlet, which, in spite of the
     magnificent poetry in it, is surely a piece of dramatic

     "As to Renan it would be too long to argue it, but I think he very
     much saves himself in the passage you quote by the qualifying word
     'comme.' The Church is 'as it were' _un débris de l'Empire_. It is
     only another way of putting what Harnack said in that article you
     and I read at Sea View. 'The Empire built up the Church out of its
     own substance, and destroyed itself in so doing,' or words to that
     effect. I cannot help feeling that as far as organization and
     institutions go it is very true, though I would never deny that God
     was in the Church, as I believe He is in all human society,
     moulding it to His will. Everything, from the critical and
     scientific standpoint, seems to me so continuous and natural--no
     sharp lines anywhere--one thing leading to another, event leading
     to event, belief to belief--and God enwrapping and enfolding all.
     But this is one general principle, and yours is quite another. I
     quite agree that from your standpoint no explanation that Renan
     could give of the Church can appear other than meagre or

Her translation of Amiel's _Journal Intime_ was a long and exacting
piece of work, but she enjoyed the struggle with the precise meaning of
the French phrases and always maintained that she owed much to it, both
in her knowledge of French and of English. She had begun it, with the
benevolent approval of its French editor, M. Scherer, early in 1884, and
took it up again after _Miss Bretherton_ came out; found it indeed a far
more troublesome task than she had foreseen, and was still wrestling
with the Introduction in the summer of 1885, when her head was already
full of her new novel, and she was fretting to begin upon it. But the
book appeared at length in December, 1885, and very soon made its mark.
The wonderful language of the Swiss mystic appealed to a generation more
occupied than ours with the things of the soul, while Mrs. Ward's
introduction gave a masterly sketch of the writer's strange personality
and the development of his mind. As Jowett wrote to her, "Shall I tell
you the simple truth? It is wonderful to me how you could have thought
and known so much about so many things." Mr. Talbot, the Warden of Keble
(now Bishop of Winchester), wrote of the "almost breathless admiration
of the truth and penetration of his thought" with which he had read the
book, while Lord Arthur Russell reported that he had "met Mr. Gladstone,
who spoke with great interest of Amiel, asked me whether I had compared
the translation with the original, and said that a most interesting
small volume might be extracted, of _Pensées_, quite equal to Pascal."

But it was, inevitably, "caviar to the general." Mrs. Ward's brother,
Willie Arnold, her close comrade and friend in all things literary,
wrote to her from Manchester a few months after its appearance: "I
served on a jury at the Assizes last week--two murder cases and general
horrors. I sat next to a Mr. Amiel--pronounced 'Aymiell'--a worthy
Manchester tradesman; no doubt his ancestor was a Huguenot refugee. I
had one of your vols. in my pocket, and showed him the passage about the
family. He was greatly interested, and borrowed it. Returned it next day
with the remark that it was 'too religious for him.' Alas, divine

       *       *       *       *       *

Ever since the previous winter the idea of a novel in which the clash
between the older and the younger types of Christianity should be worked
out in terms of human life, had been growing and fermenting in her mind.
_Miss Bretherton_ and Amiel's _Journal_ had given her a valuable
apprenticeship in the art of writing, while Amiel's luminous reflections
on the decadence and formalism of the churches had tended to confirm her
own passionate conviction that all was not well with the established
forms of religion. But the determining factor in the writing of _Robert
Elsmere_ was the close and continuous study which she had given ever
since her work for the _Dictionary of Christian Biography_ to the
problem of "Christian origins." She was fascinated by the intricacy and
difficulty of the whole subject, but more especially by such branches of
it as the Synoptic Problem, or the relation of the Fourth Gospel to the
rest; while the questions raised by the realization that the Books of
the New Testament were the products of an age steeped in miracle and
wholly uncritical of the records of it, struck her as vital to the whole
orthodox position. At the same time her immense tenderness for
Christianity, her belief that the life and teaching of the Founder were
still the "master-light of all our seeing," made her yearn for a
simplification of the creeds, so that the Message itself should once
more appeal to the masses without the intervention of formulæ that
perpetually challenged their reason. The argument of "Literature and
Dogma" culminates in the picture of mankind waiting for the lifting of
the burden of "Aberglaube" and dogmatism, with which the spirit of
Christianity had been crushed down for centuries, waiting for the
renewal that would come when the old coil was cast off. It was in that
spirit also that Mrs. Ward attacked the problem; her Robert was to her a
link in the chain of the liberators of all ages. Was her outlook too
intellectual? Did she overestimate the repugnance to obsolete forms that
possessed her generation? So it was said by many who rose up in startled
defence of those forms, many who had never felt the uttermost clash
between the things which they wished to believe and the things which
Truth allowed them to believe. Yet still the response of her generation
was to be greater than she ever dreamt. No doubt the renewal did not
come in the precise form in which she looked for it; creeds were to
prove tougher, the worship of the Risen Lord more vital than she
thought; yet still, in a hundred ways, the influence of the fermentation
caused by the ideas of _Robert Elsmere_ may be traced in the Church
to-day. "Biblical criticism" may now be out of fashion; but it is
because its victory has in reality been won. All this lay hidden from
the mind of the writer as she sat toiling over her task in the solitude
of Borough Farm, or in the little "powder-closet" overlooking the back
gardens of Russell Square; she wrote because she "could no other," and
only rarely did she allow herself to feel, with trembling, that the
_Zeitgeist_ might indeed be with her.

The book was begun in the autumn of 1885, with every hope that it would
be finished in less than a year. It was offered, when a few chapters had
been written, to the Macmillans for publication, since they had
published both _Miss Bretherton_ and the _English Poets_, but to the sad
disappointment of its author they rejected it on the ground that the
subject was not likely to appeal to the British public. In this dilemma
Mrs. Ward bethought herself of Mr. George Murray Smith, the publisher of
Charlotte Brontë, and in some trepidation offered the book to him. Mr.
Smith had greater faith than the Macmillans and accepted it at once,
sealing the bargain by making an advance of £200 upon it in May, 1886.
So began Mrs. Ward's connection with "George Smith," as she always
familiarly spoke of him: a friend and counsellor indeed, to whom she
owed incalculable things in the years that followed.

In the Preface to the "Westmorland Edition" of _Robert Elsmere_, issued
twenty-three years later, Mrs. Ward herself confessed to her models for
some of the principal characters--to the friend of her youth, Mark
Pattison, for the figure of the Squire (though not in his landowning
capacity!); to Thomas Hill Green, "the noblest and most persuasive
master of philosophic thought in modern Oxford," for that of Henry Grey;
and to Amiel himself, the hapless intellectual tortured by the paralysis
of will, for that of Langham. Both the Rector of Lincoln and Professor
Green had recently died, the latter in the prime of his life and work,
and Mrs. Ward sought both in the dedication and in her sketch of the
strong and lovable tutor of St. Anselm's, to express her lasting
admiration for this lost friend. But she claimed in each case the
artist's freedom to treat her creatures as her own, once they had
entered the little world of the novel: a thesis which she was to
maintain and develop in later years, when she occasionally went to the
past for her characters. Catherine was a more composite picture, drawn
from the "strong souls" she had known among her own kinswomen from
childhood up, and therefore, perhaps, more tenderly treated by the
author than the rules of artistic detachment would allow. She was a type
far more possible in the 'eighties than now, but it is perhaps
comforting to know that no single human being inspired her. As to the
scene in which these figures moved, it was on a sunny day at the end of
May, 1885, that Mrs. Ward's old friend, Mr. James Cropper, of
Ellergreen, took her for a drive up the valley of Long Sleddale, in a
lonely part of Westmorland. There she saw the farm at the head of the
dale, the vicarage, the Leyburns' house. Already her thoughts were busy
with her story, and from that day onwards she peopled the quiet valley
with her folk.

At first she was full of hope that the book would be finished before the
summer of 1886, although she admits to her mother that "it is very
difficult to write and the further I get the harder it is." In March of
that year she writes to her sister-in-law: "I have made up my mind to
come here [Borough Farm] for the whole of April, so as to get _Robert
Elsmere done_! It must and shall be done by the end of April, if I
expire in the attempt." In April she did indeed work herself nearly to
death, writing sixteen, eighteen and even twenty pages of manuscript in
the day, and a sort of confidence began to grow up in her mind that the
book would not speak its message in vain. "I think this book _must_
interest a certain number of people," she writes to her mother; "I
certainly feel as if I were writing parts of it with my heart's blood."
But the difficulties only increased, and actually it was the end of
October before even the first two volumes were finished. And then "the
more satisfied I become with the second volume the more discontented I
am with the first. It must be re-cast, alas!" Her arm was often
troublesome, especially in the autumn of this year, when she was staying
at the Forsters' house near Fox How, working very hard. "I am dreadfully
low about myself," she writes; "my arm has not been so bad since April,
when it took me practically a month's rest to get it right again. I have
been literally physically incapable of finishing my last chapter. And to
think of all the things I promised myself to do this week! And here I
have time, ideas, inclination, and I can do nothing. I will dictate if I
can to Gertrude, but I am so discouraged just at present I seem to have
no heart for it." Then a few days later it has taken a turn for the
better, and she is overjoyed: "The second volume was _finished_ last
night! The arm is _decidedly_ better, though still shaky. I sleep badly,
and rheumatism keeps flying about me, now here, now there, but I am not
at all doleful--indeed in excellent spirits now that the arm is better!"

So, in spite of the distractions of London, she struggled on with the
third volume all through that winter (1886-7), flying for a week in
December to Borough Farm in order to get complete isolation for her
task. "Oh, the quiet, the blissful quiet of it! It helps me most in
thinking out the book. I can _write_ in London; I seem to be unable to
think." Sometimes, however, her head was utterly exhausted. Returning to
London, she wrote to her mother: "I did a splendid day's work yesterday,
but it was fighting against headache all day, and this morning I felt
quite incapable of writing and have been lying down, reading, though my
wretched head is hardly fit for reading. It is not exactly pain, but a
horrid feeling of tension and exhaustion, as if one hadn't slept for
ever so long, which I don't at all approve of."

Often, when these fits of exhaustion came on, a small person would be
sent for from the schoolroom, in whose finger-tips a quaint form of
magic was believed to reside, and there she would sit for an hour,
stroking her mother's head, or her hands, or her feet, while the
"Jabberwock" on the Chinese cabinet curled his long tail at the pair in
silence. "Chatter to me," she used to say; but this was not always easy,
and a golden and friendly silence, peopled by many thoughts, usually lay
between the two.

At length, on March 9, 1887, the last words of the third volume were
written, there in the little powder-closet behind the back drawing-room.
But this did not mean the end. She was already painfully aware that the
book was too long, and Mr. George Smith, best and truest of advisers,
firmly indicated to her that the limits even of a three-volume novel had
been overstepped. She herself had already admitted to her brother Willie
that it was "not a novel at all," and she now plunged bravely into the
task of cutting and revision, fondly hoping that it would take her no
more than a fortnight's hard work. Instead it took her the best part of
a year. Publication first in the summer season, then in the autumn, had
to be given up, while her own fatigue increased so that sometimes for
days together she could not touch the book. The few friends to whom she
showed it were indeed encouraging, and her brother Willie was the first
to prophesy that it would "make a great mark." After reading the first
volume he wrote to Mrs. Arnold, "You may look forward to finding
yourself the mother of a famous woman!" But the mood of this year was
one of depression, while Mrs. Arnold's illness became an ever-increasing
sorrow. In the Long Vacation Mrs. Ward took the empty Lady Margaret
Hall, at Oxford, for a few weeks, in order to be near her mother--a step
which brought her unexpectedly another pleasure. On the very day after
they arrived she wrote: "I have had a great pleasure to-day, for at
three o'clock arrived a note from Jowett saying that he was in Oxford
for a day and would I come to tea? So I went down at five, stayed an
hour, then he insisted on walking up here, and sat in the garden
watching the children play tennis till about seven. Dear old man! I have
the most lively and filial affection for him. We talked about all sorts
of things--Cornwall, politics, St. Paul--and when I wanted to go he
would not let me. I think he liked it, and certainly I did."

Through the autumn and into the month of January, 1888, she struggled
with mountains of proofs, while Mr. Smith, though without much faith in
the popular prospects of the book, was always "kind and indulgent," as
she gratefully testifies in the _Recollections_. At length, towards the
end of January, she sent in the last batch, and on February 24 the book

Six weeks later, in the little house in Bradmore Road, which had
witnessed so many years of suffering indomitably borne, Julia Arnold lay
dying. Through pain and exhaustion unspeakable she had yet kept her
intense interest in the human scene, and now the last pleasure which she
enjoyed on earth was the news that reached her of the growing success of
her daughter's book. With a hand so weak that the pen kept falling from
her fingers, she wrote her an account of the Oxford gossip on it; she
asked her, with a flash of the old malice, to let her know at once
should she hear what any of her aunts were saying. Alas, Julia knew
better than anyone else on earth what the religious temperament of the
Arnolds might mean; but before the answer came her poor tormented spirit
was at rest for ever.




Three volumes, printed as closely as were those of _Robert Elsmere_,
penetrated somewhat slowly among the fraternity of reviewers. The
_Scotsman_ and the _Morning Post_ were the first to notice it on March
5, nine days after its appearance; the _British Weekly_ wept over it on
March 9; the _Academy_ compared it to _Adam Bede_ on the 17th; the
_Manchester Guardian_ gave it two columns on the 21st; the _Saturday_
"slated" it on the 24th; while Walter Pater's article in the Church
_Guardian_ on the 28th, calling it a "_chef d'œuvre_ of that kind of
quiet evolution of character through circumstance, introduced into
English literature by Miss Austen and carried to perfection in France by
George Sand," gave perhaps greater happiness to its author than any
other review. _The Times_ waited till April 7, being in no hurry to show
favour to one connected with its staff, but when it came the review duly
spoke of _Robert_ as "a clever attack upon revealed religion," and all
was well. By the end of March, however, the public interest in the book
had begun in earnest; the first edition of 500 copies was exhausted and
a second had appeared; this was sold out by the middle of April; a third
appeared on April 19 and was gone within a week; a fourth followed in
the same way. Matthew Arnold wrote from Wilton, the Pembrokes' house, a
week before his death (which occurred on April 15), that he found all
the guests there reading or intending to read it, and added, "George
Russell, who was staying at Aston Clinton with Gladstone, says it is all
true about his interest in the book. He talked of it incessantly and
said he thought he should review it for Knowles."

As a matter of fact, Mr. Gladstone had already written the first draft
of his article and was corresponding with Lord Acton on the various
points which he wished to raise or to drive home. His biographer hints
that Acton's replies were not too encouraging. But the old giant was not
to be deterred. The book had moved him profoundly and he felt impelled
to combat the all too dangerous conclusions to which it pointed. "Mamma
and I," he wrote to his daughter in March, "are each of us still
separately engaged in a death-grapple with _Robert Elsmere_. I
complained of some of the novels you gave me to read as too stiff, but
they are nothing to this. It is wholly out of the common order. At
present I regard with doubt and dread the idea of doing anything on it,
but cannot yet be sure whether your observations will be verified or
not. In any case it is a tremendous book." And to Lord Acton he wrote:
"It is not far from twice the length of an ordinary novel; and the
labour and effort of reading it all, I should say, sixfold; while one
could no more stop in it than in reading Thucydides." Early in April he
came to Oxford to stay with the Edward Talbots at Keble College, and
hearing that Mrs. Ward was also there, watching over her dying mother,
he expressed a desire to see her, and, if possible, to talk the book
over with her. She came on the day after her mother's death--April
8--towards evening, and waited for him alone in the Talbots'
drawing-room. That night she wrote down the following account of their

     "I arrived at Keble at 7.10. Gladstone was not in the drawing-room.
     I waited for about three minutes when I heard his slow step coming
     downstairs. He came in with a candle in his hand which he put out,
     then he came up most cordially and quickly. 'Mrs. Ward--this is
     most good of you to come and see me! If you had not come, I should
     myself have ventured to call and ask after yourself and Mr.

     "Then he sat down, he on a small uncomfortable chair, where he
     fidgeted greatly! He began to ask about Mamma. Had there been much
     suffering? Was death peaceful? I told him. He said that though he
     had seen many deaths, he had never seen any really peaceful. In all
     there had been much struggle. So much so that 'I myself have
     conceived what I will not call a terror of death, but a repugnance
     from the idea of death. It is the rending asunder of body and soul,
     the tearing apart of the two elements of our nature--for I hold the
     body to be an essential element as well as the soul, not a mere
     sheath or envelope.' He instanced the death of Sidney Herbert as an
     exception. _He_ had said 'can this indeed be dying?'--death had
     come so gently.

     "Then after a pause he began to speak of the knowledge of Oxford
     shown by _Robert Elsmere_, and we went on to discuss the past and
     present state of Oxford. He mentioned it 'as one of the few points
     on which, outside Home Rule, I disagree with Hutton,'[11] that
     Hutton had given it as his opinion that Cardinal Newman and Matthew
     Arnold had had more influence than any other men on modern Oxford.
     Newman's influence had been supreme up to 1845--nothing since, and
     he gathered from Oxford men that Professor Jowett and Mr. Green had
     counted for much more than Matthew Arnold. M.A.'s had been an
     influence on the general public, not on the Universities. How
     Oxford had been torn and rent, what a 'long agony of thought' she
     had gone through! How different from Cambridge!

     "Then we talked again of Newman, how he had possessed the place,
     his influence comparable only to that of Abelard on Paris--the
     flatness after he left. I quoted Burne-Jones on the subject. Then I
     spoke of Pattison's autobiography as illustrating Newman's hold. He
     agreed, but said that Pattison's religious phase was so
     disagreeable and unattractive that it did small credit to Newman.
     He would much like to have seen more of the autobiography, but he
     understood that the personalities were too strong. I asked him if
     he had seen Pattison's last 'Confession of Faith,' which Mrs.
     Pattison decided not to print, in MS. He said no. Then he asked me
     whether I had pleasant remembrances of Pattison. I warmly said yes,
     and described how kind he had been to me as a girl. 'Ah!' he
     said--'Church would never cast him off; and Church is almost the
     only person of whom he really speaks kindly in the Memoirs.'

     "Then, from the state of Oxford, we passed to the state of the
     country during the last half-century. 'It has been a _wonderful_
     half-century! I often tell the young men who are coming on that we
     have had a better time than they can have, in the next
     half-century. Take one thing only--the abolition of slavery in the
     world (outside Africa I suppose he meant). You are too young to
     realize what that means. But I draw a distinction between the first
     twenty-five years of the period and the second; during the first,
     steady advance throughout all classes, during the second, distinct
     recession, and retrogression, in the highest class of all. That
     testing point, _marriage_, very disquieting. The scandals about
     marriage in the last twenty years unparallelled in the first half
     of the period. I don't trust my own opinion, but I asked two of the
     keenest social observers, and two of the coolest heads I ever
     knew--Lord Granville and the late Lord Clanwilliam--to tell me what
     they thought and they strongly confirmed my impression.' (Here one
     of the Talbot boys came in and stood by the fire, and Gladstone
     glanced at him once or twice, as though conversation on these
     points was difficult while he was there.) I suggested that more was
     made of scandals nowadays by the newspapers. But he would not have
     it--'When I was a boy--I left Eton in 1827--there were two papers,
     the _Age_ and the _Satirist_, worse than anything which exists now.
     But they died out about 1830, and for about forty years there was
     _nothing of the kind_. Then sprang up this odious and deplorable
     crop of Society papers.' He thought the fact significant.

     "He talked of the modern girl. 'They tell me she is not what she
     was--that she loves to be fast. I don't know. All I can bear
     testimony to is the girl of my youth. _She_ was excellent!'

     "'But,' I asked him, 'in spite of all drawbacks, do you not see a
     gradual growth and diffusion of earnestness, of the social passion
     during the whole period?' He assented, and added, 'With the decline
     of the Church and State spirit, with the slackening of State
     religion, there has unquestionably come about a quickening of the
     State conscience, of the _social_ conscience. I will not say what
     inference should be drawn.'

     "Then we spoke of charity in London, and of the way in which the
     rich districts had elbowed out their poor. And thereupon--perhaps
     through talk of the _motives_ for charitable work--we came to
     religion. 'I don't believe in any new system,' he said, smiling,
     and with reference to _Robert Elsmere_; 'I cling to the old. The
     great traditions are what attract me. I believe in a degeneracy of
     man, in the Fall--in _sin_--in the intensity and virulence of sin.
     No other religion but Christianity meets the sense of sin, and sin
     is the great fact in the world to me.'

     "I suggested that though I did not wish for a moment to deny the
     existence of moral evil, the more one thought of it the more plain
     became its connection with physical and social and therefore
     _removable_ conditions. He disagreed, saying that the worst forms
     of evil seemed to him to belong to the highest and most favoured
     class 'of _educated_ people'--with some emphasis.

     "I asked him whether it did not give him any confidence in 'a new
     system'--i.e. a new construction of Christianity--to watch its
     effect on such a life as T. H. Green's. He replied individuals were
     no test; one must take the broad mass. Some men were born 'so that
     sin never came near them. Such men never felt the need of
     Christianity. They would be better if they were worse!'

     "And as to difficulties, the great difficulties of all lay in the
     way of Theism. 'I am surprised at men who don't feel this--I am
     surprised at you!' he said, smiling. Newman had put these
     difficulties so powerfully in the _Apologia_. The Christian system
     satisfied all the demands of the conscience; and as to the
     intellectual difficulties--well there we came to the question of

     "Here he restated the old argument against an _a priori_
     impossibility of miracles. Granted a God, it is absurd to limit the
     scope and range of the _will_ of such a being. I agreed; then I
     asked him to let me tell him how I had approached the
     question--through a long immersion in documents of the early
     Church, in critical and historical questions connected with
     miracles. I had come to see how miracles arise, and to feel it
     impossible to draw the line with any rigidity between one
     miraculous story and another.

     "'The difficulty is'--he said slowly, 'if you sweep away miracles,
     you sweep away _the Resurrection_! With regard to the other
     miracles, I no longer feel as I once did that they are the most
     essential evidence for Christianity. The evidence which now comes
     _nearest_ to me is the evidence of Christian history, of the type
     of character Christianity has produced----'

     "Here the Talbots' supper bell rang, and the clock struck eight. He
     said in the most cordial way it was impossible it could be so late,
     that he must not put the Warden's household out, but that our
     conversation could not end there, and would I come again? We
     settled 9.30 in the morning. He thanked me, came with me to the
     hall and bade me a most courteous and friendly good-bye."[12]

The next morning she duly presented herself after breakfast, and this
time they got to grips far more thoroughly than before with the question
of miracles and of New Testament criticism generally. In a letter to her
husband (published in the _Recollections_) she calls it "a battle royal
over the book and Christian evidences," and describes how "at times he
looked stern and angry and white to a degree, so that I wondered
sometimes how I had the courage to go on--the drawn brows were so
formidable!" But she stuck to her points and found, as she thought, that
for all his versatility he was not really familiar with the literature
of the subject, but took refuge instead in attacking her own Theistic
position, divested as it was of supernatural Christianity. "I do not say
or think you 'attack' Christianity," he wrote to her two days later,
"but in proposing a substitute for it, reached by reduction and
negation, I think (forgive me) you are dreaming the most visionary of
all human dreams."

He enclosed a volume of his _Gleanings_, marking the article on "The
Courses of Religious Thought." Mrs. Ward replied to him as follows:--

_April 15, 1888._


     Thank you very much for the volume of _Gleanings_ with its gracious
     inscription. I have read the article you point out to me with the
     greatest interest, and shall do the same with the others. Does not
     the difference between us on the question of sin come very much to
     this--that to you the great fact in the world and in the history of
     man, is _sin_--to me, _progress_? I remember Amiel somewhere speaks
     of the distinction as marking off two classes of thought, two
     orders of temperament. In myself I see a perpetual struggle, in the
     world also, but through it all I feel the "Power that makes for
     righteousness." In the life of conscience, in the play of physical
     and moral law, I see the ordained means by which sin is gradually
     scourged and weakened both in the individual and in the human
     society. And as to that sense of _irreparableness_, that awful
     burden of evil both on the self and outside it, for which all
     religions have sought an anodyne in the ceremonies of propitiation
     and sacrifice, I think the modern who believes in God and cherishes
     the dear memory of a human Christ will learn humbly, as Amiel says,
     even "to accept himself," and life, as they are, at God's hands.
     Constant and recurrent experience teaches him that the baser self
     can only be killed by constant and recurrent effort towards good;
     the action of the higher self is governed by an even stronger and
     more prevailing law of self-preservation than that of the lower;
     evil finds its appointed punishment and deterrent in pain and
     restlessness; and as the old certainty of the Christian heaven
     fades it will become clear to him that his only hope of an
     immortality worth having lies in the developing and maturing of
     that diviner part in him which can conceive and share the divine
     life--of the soul. And for the rest, he will trust in the
     indulgence and pity of the power which brought forth this strangely
     mingled world.

     So much for the minds capable of such ideas. For the masses, in the
     future, it seems to me that charitable and social organization will
     be all-important. If the simpler Christian ideas can clothe
     themselves in such organization--and I believe they can and are
     even now beginning to do it--their effect on the democracy may be
     incalculable. If not, then God will fulfil Himself in other ways.
     But "dream" as it may be, it seems to many of us, a dream worth
     trying to realize in a world which contains your seven millions of
     persons in France, who will have nothing to say to religious
     beliefs, or the 200,000 persons in South London alone, amongst
     whom, according to the _Record_, Christianity has practically no

And the letter ends with a plea that the faith which animated T. H.
Green might fitly be described by the words of the Psalm, "my soul is
athirst for God, for the living God."

To this Mr. Gladstone replied immediately:

_April 16, 1888._


     I do not at all doubt that your conception of _Robert Elsmere_
     includes much of what is expressed in the opening verses of Psalm
     42. I am more than doubtful whether he could impart it to Elgood
     St., and I wholly disbelieve that Elgood St. could hand it on from
     generation to generation. You have much courage, but I doubt
     whether even you are brave enough to think that, fourteen centuries
     after its foundation, Elgood St. could have written the _Imitation
     of Christ_.

     And my meaning about Mr. Green was to hint at what seems to me the
     unutterable strangeness of his passionately beseeching philosophy
     to open to him the communion for which he thirsted, when he had a
     better source nearer hand.

     It is like a farmer under the agricultural difficulty who has to
     migrate from England and plants himself in the middle of the

     But I must abstain from stimulating you. At Oxford I sought to
     avoid pricking you and rather laid myself open--because I thought
     it not fair to ask you for statements which might give me points
     for reply.

Mr. Gladstone evidently believed he had been as mild as milk--he knew
not the terror of his own "drawn brows!"

_Mrs. Ward to Mr. Gladstone._

_April 17, 1888._

     I think I must write a few words in answer to your letter of
     yesterday, in view of your approaching article which fills me with
     so much interest and anxiety. If I put what I have to say badly or
     abruptly, please forgive me. My thoughts are so full of this
     terrible loss of my dear uncle Matthew Arnold, to whom I was deeply
     attached, that it seems difficult to turn to anything else.

     And yet I feel a sort of responsibility laid upon me with regard to
     Mr. Green, whom you may possibly mention in your article. There are
     many people living who can explain his thought much better than I
     can. But may I say with regard to your letter of yesterday, that in
     turning to philosophy, that is to the labour of reason and thought,
     for light on the question of man's whence and whither, Mr. Green as
     I conceive it, only obeyed an urgent and painful necessity. "The
     parting with the Christian mythology is the rending asunder of
     bones and marrow"--words which I have put into Grey's mouth--were
     words of Mr. Green's to me. It was the only thing of the sort I
     ever heard him say--he was a man who never spoke of his
     feelings--but it was said with a penetrating force and sincerity
     which I still remember keenly. A long intellectual travail had
     convinced him that the miraculous Christian story was untenable;
     but speculatively he gave it up with grief and difficulty, and
     practically, to his last hour, he clung to all the forms and
     associations of the old belief with a wonderful affection. With
     regard to conformity to Church usage and repression of individual
     opinion he and I disagreed a good deal.

     If you do speak of him, will you look at his two Lay Sermons, of
     which I enclose my copy?--particularly the second one, which was
     written eight years after the first, and to my mind expresses his
     thought more clearly.

     Some of the letters which have reached me lately about the book
     have been curious and interesting. A vicar of a church in the East
     End, who seems to have been working among the poor for forty years,
     says, "I could not help writing; in your book you seemed to grasp
     me by the hand and follow me right on through my own life
     experiences." And an Owens College Professor, who appears to have
     thought and read much of these things, writes to a third person, à
     propos of Elsmere, that the book has grasped "the real force at
     work in driving so many to give up the Christian creed. It is not
     the scientific (in the loose modern sense of the word), still less
     the philosophical difficulties, which influence them, but it is the
     education of the historic sense which is disintegrating
     faith."--Only the older forms of faith, as I hold, that the new may
     rise! But I did not mean to speak of myself.

When the famous article--entitled "Robert Elsmere and the Battle of
Belief"--appeared in the May _Nineteenth Century_, there was nothing but
courtesy between the two opponents. Mrs. Ward sent the G.O.M. a copy of
the book, with a picture of Catherine's valley bound into it, and he
replied that the volumes would "form a very pleasant recollection of
what I trust has been a 'tearless battle.'" Many of the papers now
reviewed both book and article together, and the _Pall Mall_ ironically
congratulated the Liberal Party on "Mr. Gladstone's new preoccupation."
"For two and a half years," it declared, the G.O.M. had been able to
think of nothing but Home Rule and Ireland. "But Mrs. Ward has changed
all that." The excitement among the reading public was very great. It
penetrated even to the streets, for one of us overheard a panting lady,
hugging a copy of the _Nineteenth Century_, saying to her companion as
she fought her way into an omnibus, "Oh, my dear, _have_ you read Weg on
Bobbie?" Naturally the sale received a fresh stimulus. Two more
three-volume editions disappeared during May, and a seventh and last
during June. Then there was a pause before the appearance of the Popular
or 6s. edition, which came out at the end of July with an impression of
5,000. It was immediately bought up; 7,000 more were disposed of during
August, and the sale went on till the end of the year at the rate of
about 4,000 a month. Even during 1889 it continued steadily, until by
January, 1890, 44,000 copies of the 6_s._ edition had been sold. But as
the sale had then slackened Mr. Smith decided to try the experiment of a
half-crown edition. 20,000 of this were sold by the following November,
but the drop had already set in and during 1891 the total only rose to
23,000. But even so, the sale of these three editions in the United
Kingdom alone had amounted to 70,500.

All through the spring and summer of 1888 letters poured in upon Mrs.
Ward by the score and the hundred, both from known and unknown
correspondents, so that her husband and sister-in-law had almost to
build a hedge around her and to insist that she should not answer them
all herself. Those which the book provoked from her old friends,
however, especially those of more orthodox views than her own, were
often of poignant interest. The Warden of Keble wrote her six sheets of
friendly argument and remonstrance. Mr. Creighton wrote her a letter
full of closely reasoned criticism of Elsmere's position, to which she
made the following reply:

_March 13, 1888._


     I have been deeply interested by your letter, and am very grateful
     to you for the fairness and candour of it. Perhaps it is an
     affectation to say always that one likes candour!--but I certainly
     like it from you, and should be aggrieved if you did not give it

     I think you only evade the whole issue raised by the book when you
     say that Elsmere was never a Christian. Of course in the case of
     every one who goes through such a change, it is easy to say this;
     it is extremely difficult to prove it; and all probability is
     against its being true in every case. What do you really fall back
     upon when you say that if Elsmere had been a Christian he could not
     have been influenced as he was? Surely on the "inward witness." But
     the "inward witness," or as you call it "the supernatural life,"
     belongs to every religion that exists. The Andaman islander even
     believes himself filled by his God, the devout Buddhist and
     Mahommedan certainly believe themselves under divine and
     supernatural direction, and have been inspired by the belief to
     heroic efforts and sufferings. What is, in essence and
     fundamentally, to distinguish your "inner witness" from theirs? And
     if the critical observer maintains that this "supernatural life" is
     in all cases really an intense life of the imagination, differently
     peopled and conditioned, what answer have you?

     None, unless you appeal to the facts and _fruits_ of Christianity.
     The Church has always done so. Only the Quaker or the Quietist can
     stand mainly on the "inward witness."

     The fruits we are not concerned with. But it is as to the _facts_
     that Elsmere and, as I conceive, our whole modern time is really
     troubled. An acute Scotch economist was talking to Humphry the
     other day about the religious change in the Scotch lowlands. "It is
     so pathetic," he said: "when I was young religion was the main
     interest, the passionate occupation of the whole people. Now when I
     go back there, as I constantly do, I find everything changed. The
     old keenness is gone, the people's minds are turning to other
     things; there is a restless consciousness, coming they know not
     whence, but invading every stratum of life, that _the evidence is
     not enough_." There, on another scale, is Elsmere's experience writ
     large. Why is he to be called "very ill-trained," and his
     impressions "accidental" because he undergoes it?... What convinced
     _me_ finally and irrevocably was two years of close and constant
     occupation with the materials of history in those centuries which
     lie near to the birth of Christianity, and were the critical
     centuries of its development. I then saw that to adopt the witness
     of those centuries to matters of fact, without translating it at
     every step into the historical language of our own day--a language
     which the long education of time has brought closer to the
     realities of things--would be to end by knowing nothing, actually
     and truly, about their life. And if one is so to translate
     Augustine and Jerome, nay even Suetonius and Tacitus, when they
     talk to you of raisings from the dead, and making blind men to see,
     why not St. Paul and the Synoptics?

     I don't think you have ever felt this pressure, though within the
     limits of your own work I notice that you are always so translating
     the language of the past. But those who have, cannot escape it by
     any appeal to the "inward witness." They too, or many of them,
     still cling to a religious life of the imagination, nay perhaps
     they live for it, but it must be one where the expansive energies
     of life and reason cannot be always disturbing and tormenting,
     which is less vulnerable and offers less prey to the plunderer than
     that which depends on the orthodox Christian story.

Another old friend, Mrs. Edward Conybeare, wrote to contend that the
"mere life and death of the carpenter's son of Nazareth could never have
proved the vast historical influence for good which you allow it to be,"
had that life ended in

    "nothing but a Syrian grave."

Mrs. Ward replied to her as follows:--

_May 16, 1888._


     It was very interesting to me to get your letter about _Robert
     Elsmere_. I wish we could have a good talk about it. Writing is
     very difficult to me, for the letters about it are overwhelming,
     and I am always as you know more or less hampered by writer's

     I am thinking of "A Conversation" for one of the summer numbers of
     the _Nineteenth Century_, in which some of the questions which are
     only suggested in the book may be carried a good deal further. For
     the more I think and read the more plain the great lines of that
     distant past become to me, the more clearly I see God at work
     there, through the forms of thought, the beliefs, the capacities of
     the first three centuries, as I see Him at work now, through the
     forms of thought, the beliefs and capacities of our own.
     Christianity was the result of many converging lines of thought and
     development. The time was ripe for a moral revolution, and a great
     personality, and the great personality came. That a life of
     importance and far-reaching influence could have been lived within
     the sphere of religion at that moment, or for centuries afterwards,
     without undergoing a process of miraculous amplification, would, I
     think, have been impossible. The generations before and the
     generations after supply illustration after illustration of it.
     That Jesus, our dear Master, partly shared this tendency of his
     time and was partly bewildered and repelled by it, is very plain to

     As to the belief in the Resurrection, I have many things to say
     about it, and shall hope to say them in public when I have pondered
     them long enough. But I long to say them not negatively, for
     purposes of attack, but positively, for purposes of
     reconstruction. It is about the new forms of faith and the new
     grounds of combined action that I really care intensely. I want to
     challenge those who live in doubt and indecision from year's end to
     year's end, to think out the matter, and for their children's sake
     to count up what remains to them, and to join frankly for purposes
     of life and conduct with those who are their spiritual fellows. It
     is the levity or the cowardice that will not think, or the
     indolence and self-indulgence that is only too glad to throw off
     restraints, which we have to fear. But in truth for religion, or
     for the future, I have no fear at all. God is his own vindication
     in human life.

But apart from the religious argument, the characters in _Robert
Elsmere_ aroused the greatest possible interest, especially perhaps that
of Catherine.

     "As an observer of the human ant-hill, quite impartial by this
     time," wrote Prof. Huxley, "I think your picture of one of the
     deeper aspects of our troubled times admirable. You are very hard
     on the philosophers: I do not know whether Langham or the Squire is
     the more unpleasant--but I have a great deal of sympathy with the
     latter, so I hope he is not the worse.

     "If I may say so, I think the picture of Catherine is the gem of
     the book. She reminds me of her namesake of Siena--and would as
     little have failed in any duty, however gruesome. You remember
     Sodoma's picture?"

The appreciation of her French friends was always very dear to Mrs.
Ward, and amongst them too the book was eagerly read by a small circle,
though, as Scherer warned her, the subject could never become a popular
one in France. But both he and M. Taine were greatly excited by it,
while M. André Michel of the Louvre, to whom she had entrusted the copy
which she desired to present to M. Taine, wrote her a delightful account
of his embassy:

_ce 31 janvier, 1889._


     Votre lettre m'a été une bien agréable surprise et une bien
     intéressante lecture. Je l'ai immédiatement communiquée à M.
     Taine, en lui remettant l'exemplaire que vous lui destiniez de
     _Robert Elsmere_ et je vous avoue qu'en me rendant chez lui à cet
     effet, je me _rengorgeais_ un peu, très-fier de servir
     d'intermédiaire entre l'auteur de _Robert Elsmere_ et celui de la
     _Littérature Anglaise_. L'âne portant des reliques chez son évêque
     ne marchait pas plus solennellement!

     M. Taine a été très-touché de cet hommage venant de vous, et je
     pense qu'il vous en a déjà remercié lui-même. J'aurais voulu que
     vous eussiez pu entendre--incognito--avec quelle vivacité de
     sympathie et d'admiration il parlait de votre livre. Pendant
     plusieurs jours, il n'a pas été question d'autre chose chez lui.

The cumulative effect of all these letters, both approving and
disapproving; of the preachings on Robert's opinions that began with Mr.
Haweis in May, and continued at intervals throughout the summer; of the
general atmosphere of celebrity that began to surround her, was
extremely upsetting to so sensitive a nature as Mrs. Ward's, and much of
it was and remained distasteful to her. But fame had its lighter sides.
There were the inevitable sonnets, beginning

    "I thank you, Lady, for your book so pure,"


    "Hail to thee, gentle leader, puissant knight!"--

there were inquiries as to the address of the "New Brotherhood of
Christ," "so that next time we are in London we may attend some of its
meetings," and there was a gentleman who demanded to know "the opus no.
of the Andante and Scherzo of Beethoven mentioned on p. 239, and of Hans
Sachs's Immortal Song quoted on p. 177. I am in want of a little fresh
music for one of my daughters and shall esteem your kind reply." And
finally there was the following letter, which must be transcribed in


     Trusting to your Clemency, in seeking your advice, knowing my
     sphere in life, to be so far below your's. My Mother, who is a
     Cook-Housekeeper, but very fond of Literature, Poetry
     ("unfortunately"), in her younger days brought out a small volume,
     upon her own account, a copy of which Her Majesty graciously
     accepted. Tennyson considered it most "meritorious," Caryle most
     "creditable." But what I am asking your advice upon is her
     "Autography," her Cook's Career, which has been a checquered one.
     She feels quite sure, that if it were brought out by an abler hand,
     it would be widely sought and read, at least by two classes "my
     Ladies" and Cooks. The matter would be truth, names and places
     strictously ficticious. With much admiration and respect,

I am, Madam,
Yours Obediently,
A. A.

History does not record what reply Mrs. Ward made to this interesting
proposal, but no doubt she took it all as part of the great and amusing
game that Fate was playing with her. As to that game--"I have still
constant letters and reviews," she wrote to her father on July 17, "and
have been more lionized this last month than ever.--But a little
lionizing goes a long way! One's sense of humour protests, not to speak
of anything more serious, and I shall be _very_ glad to get to Borough
next week. As to my work, it is all in uncertainty. For the present Miss
Sellers is coming to me in the country, and I shall work hard at Latin
and Greek, especially the Greek of the New Testament."

And to her old friend, Mrs. Johnson, she wrote: "Being lionized, dear
Bertha, is the foolishest business on earth; I have just had five weeks
of it, and if I don't use it up in a novel some day it's a pity. The
book has been strangely, wonderfully successful and has made me many new
friends. But I love my old ones so much best!" This latter sentiment is
expressed again in a letter to Mr. Ward: "Strange how tenacious are
one's first friendships! No other friends can ever be to me quite like
Charlotte or Louise or Bertha or Clara.[13] They know all there is to
know, bad and good--and with them one is always at ease."

That autumn they went off on a round of visits, staying first at
Merevale with Mrs. Dugdale, whose husband had been killed three years
before in his own mine near by--a story of simple heroism which moved
Mrs. Ward profoundly, so that years afterwards she used it in her own
tale of _George Tressady_. Then to Sir Robert and Lady Cunliffe, with
whom they went over to see the "old wizard" of Hawarden, and spent a
wonderful hour in his company.

To her old friend, J. R. Thursfield (a staunch Home Ruler), she wrote
the following account of it:

_September 14, 1888._

     "Where do you think we spent the afternoon of the day before
     yesterday? You would have been _so_ much worthier of it than we!
     The Cunliffes took us over to tea at Hawarden and the G.O.M. was
     delightful. First of all he showed us the old Norman keep, skipping
     up the steps in a way to make a Tory positively ill to see, talking
     of every subject under the sun--Sir Edward Watkin and their new
     line of railway, border castles, executions in the sixteenth
     century, Villari's _Savonarola_, Damiens and his tortures--'all for
     sticking half-an-inch of penknife into that beast Louis
     XV!'--modern poetry, Tupper, Lewis Morris, Lord Houghton and Heaven
     knows what besides, and all with a charm, a courtesy, an _élan_, an
     eagle glance of eye that sent regretful shivers down one's Unionist
     backbone. He showed us all his library--his literary table, and his
     political table, and his new toy, the strong fire-proof room he has
     just built to hold his 60,000 letters, the papers which will some
     day be handed over to his biographer. His vigour both of mind and
     body was astonishing--he may well talk, as he did, of 'the foolish
     dogmatism which refuses to believe in centenarians.'"

À propos of this last remark, Mrs. Ward filled in the tale on her return
by telling us how he turned upon her with flashing eye and demanded:
"Did it ever occur to you, Mrs. Ward, that Lord Palmerston was Prime
Minister at 81?" He himself was to surpass that record by returning to
power at 82.

From the Cunliffes' they also made an expedition to the Peak country,
which Mrs. Ward wished to explore for purposes of her next book (_David
Grieve_), now already taking shape in her mind--and then travelled up to
Scotland to stay at a great house to whose mistress, Lady Wemyss, she
was devoted. From one who was afterwards to be known as the portrayer of
English country-house life the following impressions may be of interest:

_To Mrs. A. H. Johnson_

_October 21, 1888_.

...Yes, we had many visits and on the whole very pleasant ones. In
     Derbyshire I saw a farm and a moorland which I shall try to make
     the British public see some day. Then on we went to the Lyulph
     Stanleys', saw them, and Castle Howard and Rivaulx, and journeyed
     on by the coast to Redcar and the Hugh Bells. There we found Alice
     Green, and had a merry time. Afterwards came a week at Gosford,
     whereof the pleasure was mixed. Lady Wemyss I love more than ever,
     but the party in the house was large and very smart, and with the
     best will in the world on both sides it is difficult for plain
     literary folk who don't belong to it to get much entertainment out
     of a circle where everybody is cousin of everybody else, and on
     Christian name terms, and where the women at any rate, though
     pleasant enough, are taken up with "places," jewels and Society
     with a big S. I don't mean to be unfair. Most of them are good and
     kindly, and have often unsuspected "interests," but naturally the
     paraphernalia of their position plays a large part in their lives,
     and makes a sort of hedge round them through which it is hard to
     get at the genuine human being.

     Perhaps our most delightful visit was a Saturday to Monday with Mr.
     Balfour, at Whittinghame. There life is lived, intellectually, on
     the widest and freest of all possible planes, and the master of it
     all is one to whom nature has given a peculiar charm and magnetism,
     in addition to all that he has made for himself by toil and

...I am a little disturbed by the announcement of a _Quarterly_
     article on _R.E._ It must be hostile--perhaps an attack in the old
     _Quarterly_ fashion: well, if so I shall be in good company! But I
     don't want to have to answer--I want to be free to think new
     thoughts and imagine fresh things.

When the _Quarterly_ article appeared a few days later she found it
courteous enough in tone, but its attitude of complacent superiority
towards the whole critical process, which it described as "a phase of
thought long ago lived through and practically dead," stung her to
action and made her feel that some reply--to this and Gladstone
together--was now unavoidable. She owed it to her own position--not as a
scholar, for she never claimed that title, but as an interpreter of
scholars and their work to the modern public. But "If I do reply," she
wrote to her husband, "I shall make it as substantive and constructive
as possible. All the attacking, destructive part is so distasteful to
me. I can only go through with it as a necessary element in a whole
which is not negative but positive." But she could not be induced even
by Mr. Knowles's persuasions to make it a regular "reply" to Mr.
Gladstone, whose name is not once mentioned throughout the article[14];
she threw her argument instead into dialogue form, so keeping the
artistic ground which she had used in the novel, and replying to the
_Quarterly_ or to the G.O.M. rather by allusion than by direct argument.
The article was very widely read and certainly carried her cause a stage
further; it was felt that here was something that had come to stay, that
must be reckoned with, and her skilful use of the admissions made in the
Church Congress that year as to the date and authorship of certain books
of the Old Testament filled her readers with a vague feeling that
perhaps after all these things must be faced for the New Testament also.

       *       *       *       *       *

Meanwhile in America the hubbub produced by _Robert Elsmere_ had far
exceeded anything that occurred on this side of the Atlantic. Those were
the days before International Copyright, when any American publisher was
free to issue the works of British authors without their consent and
without payment, and when if an "authorized edition" was issued by some
reputable firm which had paid the author for his rights, it could be
undersold the next day by some adventurous "pirate." Messrs. Macmillan
had bought the American rights of _Robert Elsmere_ for a small sum and
had issued it at $1.50 in April, but as soon as it began to excite
attention, and especially after the appearance of Gladstone's article,
the pirate firms rushed in and raged furiously with each other and with
Macmillan's to get the book out at the lowest possible price. One
firm--Messrs. Lowell & Co.--which had sold tens of thousands of copies,
magnanimously sent the author a cheque for £100, but this was the only
payment which Mrs. Ward ever received for _Robert Elsmere_ from an
American publisher. Some of the incidents of the internecine war between
the pirates themselves for control of the _Robert Elsmere_ market are
still worth recording. They were summed up in a well-informed article in
the _Manchester Guardian_ in March, 1889, entitled _The "Book-Rats" of
the United States_:

     "In America the publisher's lot is not a happy one. If he is
     honest, he pays his author, and upon the first assurance of success
     sees nine-tenths of his lawful profits swept away by the incursions
     of pirates. If he is dishonest, he does not pay his author, but in
     hot haste reprints in cheap and nasty material, with one object
     alone--to undersell the legitimate publisher. A host more follow
     suit with new reprints in still cheaper and nastier material, till,
     under the pretence of giving cheap literature to the million, the
     culminating point is reached in the man who sells at a quarter of
     cost price to drive his rivals out of the field. This is what
     happened the other day in Boston over the sale of _Robert Elsmere_,
     a book which has there achieved an unparalleled success, and
     abundantly illustrates the inequality of the present system of no
     copyright. In England between thirty and forty thousand copies have
     already been sold in the nine months since it was published, and
     the book is selling steadily at the rate of some 700 a week. In
     America the sale is estimated at 200,000 copies, of which 150,000
     are in pirated editions. One honest pirate purges his conscience by
     the magnificent gift of £100, which is likely to be the first and
     last instalment of that 'handsome competence which the American
     reading public,' says a Rhode Island newspaper, 'owes to Mrs.
     Ward.' A hundred pounds, representing just one shilling and
     fourpence per hundred copies upon all the pirated editions! And the
     author must be thankful for such mercies; rights she has none over
     her own creation, which pervades the States from end to end, and
     is not only a library in itself, but has called into existence so
     much polemical literature that a leading New York paper gives
     solemn warning to contributors that for the future sermons on
     _Robert Elsmere_ will only be published at the ordinary
     advertisement rates. A Buffalo advertisement cries, 'Who has yet
     touched _Robert Elsmere_ at ten cents?' only to be taken down by
     Jordan Marsh and Co., the 'Whiteleys' of Boston, who offered the
     book at four cents. Twopence for a book which extends over 400
     pages in close-printed octavo! The stroke told, almost too
     successfully for its contrivers. It is said that next day the shop
     doors were besieged by a crowd like the surging throng at the
     entrance to the Lyceum pit on a first night. A queue extended
     across the street. For three days the enterprising pirate had the
     field to himself; then he raised his price again; he had lost some
     ten cents on every copy, but he had crushed his rivals."

The achievement of one still more enterprising firm, however, escaped
the notice of this correspondent. The Balsam Fir Soap Co., being anxious
to launch their new soap upon the market, made the following


     We beg to announce that we have purchased an edition of the Hyde
     Park Company's _Robert Elsmere_, and also their edition of _Robert
     Elsmere and the Battle of Belief_--a criticism by the Right Hon. W.
     E. Gladstone, M.P.

     These two books will be presented to each purchaser of a single
     cake of Balsam Fir Soap.


Thus was poor Robert, with his doubts and dreams, his labours and his
faith, given away with a cake of soap!

But this was not all, nor even the worst. When the boom was still at its
height, in the spring of 1889, Mrs. Ward was horrified to hear that a
full-blown dramatized version of the book, by William Gillette, had
actually been produced in Boston, with a "comedy element," as the
newspaper report described it, "involving an English exquisite and a
horsey husband," thrown in, the Squire and Grey eliminated, and Langham
"endowed with such nobility of character as ultimately to marry Rose."
She at once cabled her protest with some energy and succeeded in getting
the further performance of the play stopped; but hardly was this episode
ended than another followed on its heels.

     "A writer in the New York _Tribune_," wrote the _Glasgow Herald_ in
     April, 1889, "exposes a most barefaced trick of trading upon Mrs.
     Humphry Ward's name. A continuation, he says, of _Robert Elsmere_
     has already been begun by an American publisher, and advance
     sheets, containing thrilling instalments of the romantic adventures
     of _Robert Elsmere's Daughter_, are being scattered broadcast over
     the length and breadth of the United States. The industrious agents
     of the publisher of this sheet have been busily engaged in
     inserting sample chapters of this new novel under the doors of
     houses all over New York. This, however, is not the worst feature
     of the trick. From the title of the story the impression sought to
     be conveyed is that Mrs. Humphry Ward, the authoress of _Robert
     Elsmere_, is responsible, too, for _Robert Elsmere's Daughter_, the
     headings of the story being arranged in this specious shape:
     '_Robert Elsmere's Daughter_--a companion story to _Robert
     Elsmere_--by Mrs. Humphry Ward.'"

It was no wonder that the scandal of these events was used by the
promoters of the International Copyright Bill then before Congress as
one of their most powerful arguments; for there were many honourable
publishing firms in America which abhorred these proceedings and were
only anxious to regularize their relations with British authors. Mr.
George Haven Putnam, head of the firm of G. P. Putnam's Sons, and the
International Copyright Committee which he formed, had already been
working in this direction for some years; but the opposition was
strenuous, and it was only in March, 1891, that the Copyright Bill which
was to have so great an effect on Mrs. Ward's fortunes actually became
law in the United States. Even before that, however, very flattering
offers were made to her by American publishers--especially by Mr. S. S.
McClure, founder of the then youthful _McClure's Magazine_--for the
right of publishing the "authorized version" of her next book. Mr.
McClure tried to beguile her into writing him a "novelette," or a
"romance of Bible times," but Mrs. Ward was not to be moved. She had
already begun work upon her next book (_David Grieve_), and all she said
in writing to her sister (Mrs. Huxley) was: "This American, Mr. McClure,
is a wonderful man. He has offered me £1,000 for the serial rights of a
story as long as _Milly and Olly_! Naturally I am not going to do it,
but it is amusing." To her father she wrote in more serious mood about
the American boom:

     "It is a great moral strain, this extraordinary success. I feel
     often as though it were a struggle to preserve one's full
     individuality, and one's sense of truth and proportion in the teeth
     of it. There is no help but to look away from oneself and
     everything that pertains to self, to the Eternal and Divine things,
     to live penetrated with the feebleness and poverty of self and the
     greatness of God."

Yet naturally she enjoyed the many letters from Americans of all ranks
and classes which reached her during the autumn and winter of 1888. The
veteran Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote to her in his most charming vein,
speaking of the book as a "medicated novel, which will do much to
improve the secretions and clear the obstructed channels of the decrepit
theological system." W. R. Thayer, afterwards the biographer of Cavour,

     "The extraordinary popularity of _Robert Elsmere_ is a most
     significant symptom of the spiritual conditions of this country. No
     book since _Uncle Tom's Cabin_ has had so sudden and wide a
     diffusion among all classes of readers; and I believe that no other
     book of equal seriousness ever had so quick a hearing. I have seen
     it in the hands of nursery-maids, and of shop-girls behind the
     counter; of frivolous young women, who read every novel that is
     talked about; of business men, professors, students, and even
     schoolboys. The newspapers and periodicals are still discussing it,
     and, perhaps the best sign of all, it has been preached against by
     the foremost clergymen of all denominations."

And a sturdy rationalist, Mr. W. D. Childs, thus recorded his protest:

     "I regret the popularity of _Robert Elsmere_ in this country. Our
     western people are like sheep in such matters. They will not see
     that the book was written for a people with a State Church on its
     hands, that a gross exaggeration of the importance of religion was
     necessary. It will revive interest in theology and retard the
     progress of rationalism.

     "Am I not right in this? You surely cannot think it good for
     individuals or for societies to take religion seriously, when there
     is so much economic disorder in the world, when the mass of
     physical and mental suffering is so obviously reducible only by
     material means."

It was very delightful, of course, to be making a little money from the
book, after so many years of strenuous work, and though the sum she had
earned was still a modest one (about £3,200 by January, 1889), it
enabled her and her husband to make plans for the future and to embark
on the purchase of some land for building in the still unspoilt country
to the east of Haslemere. Here, on Grayswood Hill, overlooking the vast
tangle of the Weald as far as Chanctonbury Ring and the South Downs, a
red-brick house of moderate size, cunningly designed by Mr. Robson,
gradually arose during 1889 and the first part of 1890; but while it was
still building a fortunate accident placed in our way the chance of
living for three months in a far different habitation--John Hampden's
wonderful old house near Great Missenden, which was then in a state of
interregnum, and might be rented for a small sum.

     "It will be quite an adventure," wrote Mrs. Ward to her publisher
     in July, 1889, "for in spite of the beauty and romance of the place
     there is hardly enough furniture of a ramshackle kind in it to
     enable us to camp for three months in tolerable comfort! But by
     dint of sending down a truck load of baths, carpets and saucepans
     from home we shall get on, and our expenses will be less than if we
     took a villa at Westgate."

And to Mrs. Johnson, of Oxford, who was coming with her whole family to
stay there, Mrs. Ward wrote three days after her arrival:

     "The furniture of the house is decrepit, scanty and decayed, but it
     has breeding and refinement, and is a thousand times preferable to
     any luxurious modern stuff. I am _perfectly_ happy here, and bless
     the lucky chance which drew our attention to the advertisement. I
     will not spoil the old house and gardens and park for you by
     describing them--but they are a dream, and the out-at-elbowness of
     everything is an additional charm."

So for three months we stayed at Hampden, revelling in its beauty and
its spaciousness, learning to know the Chiltern country with its
chalk-downs and beech-woods, entertaining many visitors, including the
much-loved Professor Huxley, and watching anxiously for the ghost that
walked in the passage outside the tapestry-room on moonlight nights. It
never walked for us, though Mrs. Ward sat up many times to woo it, but
there were plenty of ghosts of another sort in a house that had
sheltered Queen Elizabeth on one of her "progresses," that still
possessed the chair in which John Hampden had sat when they came to
arrest him for ship-money, and that had guarded his body at the last,
when his Greencoats bore it thither from Thame to lie in the great hall
for one more night before its burial in the little church across the
garden. At first there were no lamps, and we groped about with stumps of
candles after dark, but gradually all the more glaring deficiencies were
remedied and Mrs. Ward settled down to a happy three months of work on
her new novel, _David Grieve_. But as she wrote of her two wild children
on the Derbyshire moors, or of young David and his books in Manchester,
the very different scene around her formed itself in her mind into a new
setting, from which arose in course of time _Marcella_.

Meanwhile it was not Hampden's ghost but Elsmere's that still haunted
her, in the sense that the "New Brotherhood" with which the novel ended
would not die with it, but struggled dumbly in the author's mind for
expression in some living form. Some time before she had been deeply
impressed by a visit she had paid to Toynbee Hall with "Max Creighton,"
as she wrote to her father, when she found that "in the library there
_R.E._ had been read to pieces, and in a workmen's club which had just
been started several ideas had been taken from the "New Brotherhood."
The experience had remained with her; she had brooded and dreamt over
it, and now when she returned to London in the autumn of 1889 she began
for the first time to try to work out the idea in consultation with
certain chosen friends. "Lord Carlisle came and had a long talk with M.
about a proposed Unitarian Toynbee somewhere in South London"--so wrote
the little sister-in-law (herself an orthodox Christian) in her journal
on November 11, 1889. And a little later: "Mr. Stopford Brooke came and
had a long talk with her about a 'New Brotherhood' they hope to start
with Lord Carlisle and a few others to help."

Was it to be a new religion, or a re-vivifying of the old? The impulse
to build up, to re-create, was hot within her; could she not appeal to
her generation to help her in following out this impulse towards some
practical goal? Was there not room for another Toynbee, inspired still
more definitely than the first with the ideals of a simpler
Christianity? The dæmon drove; surely the very success of her book
showed that this was the need of the new age in which she lived. She
plunged into the task, and only time and Fate were to reveal that the
"new religion" was doomed to take no outward form, but to work itself
out in ways undreamt of as yet by the author of _Robert Elsmere_.




The conversations with Stopford Brooke and Lord Carlisle mentioned in
the last chapter contained the germ of all that public work which was to
claim henceforth so large a share of Mrs. Ward's life. Up to this point
she had hardly taken any part in London committees; indeed, those
spacious days were still comparatively free from them, and it is
remembered that when the first meeting of the group with whom she was
discussing her new scheme took place at Russell Square,[15] one
irreverent child in the schoolroom next door said to its fellow, "What's
a committee?" "Oh," said the elder, in the manner of one who imparts
information, "it's when the grown-ups get together, and first they
think, and then they talk, and then they think again." At the moment no
sound was audible through the wall. "They must be thinking now," said
the instructor carelessly, leaving his junior to the solemn belief, held
for many years, that a committee was a sort of prayer-meeting.

That first group, who discussed and finally approved Mrs. Ward's draft
circular announcing the foundation of a "Hall for Residents" in London,
consisted of the following men and women besides herself: Dr. Martineau,
Dr. James Drummond, of Manchester College, Oxford, Mr. Stopford Brooke,
Lord Carlisle, Rev. W. Copeland Bowie, Dr. Estlin Carpenter, Mr.
Frederick Nettlefold, the Dowager Countess Russell, Miss Frances Power
Cobbe, and lastly, Dr. Blake Odgers, Q.C., who acted as Hon. Treasurer.
Mr. Copeland Bowie, who helped Mrs. Ward for several months as a "kind
of assistant secretary," has recorded his impressions of those crowded
days in an article which he wrote for the _Inquirer_ on April 3, 1920:

     "We met in the dining-room at Russell Square. Mrs. Ward was the
     moving and executive force; the rest of us were simply admiring and
     sympathetic spectators of her enterprise and zeal. It is delightful
     to recall her abounding activity and enthusiasm. Difficulties were
     overcome, criticisms were answered, work was carried on with
     extraordinary devotion and skill. Several meetings were devoted to
     the consideration of how to proceed, for the pathway was beset by
     many difficulties. At last, early in March, 1890, a scheme for the
     establishment of a Settlement at University Hall, Gordon Square, in
     a part of the old building belonging to Dr. Williams's Trustees,
     was agreed upon. The religious note is very prominent. University
     Hall would encourage 'an improved popular teaching of the Bible and
     the history of religion, in order to show the adaptability of the
     faith of the past to the needs of the present.'"

The aims of the new movement were, in fact, set forth in the original
circular in these words:

     "It has been determined to establish a Hall for residents in
     London, somewhat on the lines of Toynbee Hall, with the following
     objects in view:

     "1. To provide a fresh rallying point and enlarged means of common
     religious action for all those to whom Christianity, whether by
     inheritance or process of thought, has become a system of practical
     conduct, based on faith in God, and on the inspiring memory of a
     great teacher, rather than a system of dogma based on a unique
     revelation. Such persons especially, who, while holding this point
     of view, have not yet been gathered into any existing religious
     organization, are often greatly in want of those helps towards the
     religious life, whether in thought or action, which are so readily
     afforded by the orthodox bodies to their own members. The first aim
     of the new Hall will be a religious aim.

     [Illustration: MRS. WARD IN 1889 (Bassano, photo.)]

     "2. The Hall will endeavour to promote an improved popular teaching
     of the Bible and of the history of religion. To this end
     continuous teaching will be attempted under its roof on such
     subjects as Old and New Testament criticism, the history of
     Christianity, and that of non-Christian religions. A special effort
     will be made to establish Sunday teaching both at the Hall and, by
     the help of the Hall residents, in other parts of London, for
     children of all classes. The children of well-to-do parents are
     often worse off in this matter of careful religious teaching than
     those of their poorer neighbours. There can be little doubt that
     many persons are deeply dissatisfied with the whole state of
     popular religious teaching in England. Either it is purely
     dogmatic, taking no account of the developments of modern thought
     and criticism, or it is colourless and perfunctory, the result of a
     compromise which satisfies and inspires nobody. Yet that a simpler
     Christianity can be frankly and effectively taught, so as both to
     touch the heart and direct the will, is the conviction and familiar
     experience of many persons in England, America, France and Holland.
     But the new teaching wants organizing, deepening and extending. It
     should be the aim of the proposed Hall to work towards such an

It was natural that such ideals as these should appeal in a peculiar way
to the Unitarian community, and we find in fact that the first
subscription list, which guaranteed an income of about £700 to
University Hall for three years, contains a preponderance of Unitarian
names. Lord Carlisle and Mr. Stopford Brooke were in favour of calling
it frankly a Unitarian Settlement. "There is a life and spirit about the
things which are done by Dissenters," wrote Lord Carlisle, "which I
believe can never be got out of people who have a lingering feeling for
the Church of England." But the majority on the Committee, including
Mrs. Ward and Dr. Martineau, thought that this would be setting
unnecessary limits to the movement, which they rather intended to be a
leaven permeating the lump both of orthodoxy and of indifferentism. It
was therefore agreed not to use the word in the preliminary circular,
though all the world could see from the names on the Committee that the
tone of the new Settlement would be largely that of the younger and
freer Unitarianism which had founded Manchester College, Oxford. It was
one of Mrs. Ward's most characteristic achievements that while she
herself never sympathized with Unitarianism as an organization, she was
yet able to work closely with Unitarians in this her first great
enterprise, sharing with them their enthusiasm for the Christian message
and their austere devotion to truth, while herself cherishing that
"lingering feeling for the Church of England" which forbade her to
identify herself with any outside body while there was still hope of
influencing and widening the national Church. Yet for all practical
purposes the breach between the "new religion," as its critics
contemptuously dubbed it, and the Establishment was complete enough, and
the foundation of University Hall only confirmed the orthodox in their
disapproval of Mrs. Ward and all her works.

Besides its definitely religious aim, the new Settlement was to have a
well-marked social side as well. This is set forth in another paragraph
of the circular:

     "It is intended that the Hall shall do its utmost to secure for its
     residents opportunities for religious and social work, and for the
     study of social problems, such as are possessed by the residents at
     Toynbee Hall or those at Oxford House. There will be a certain
     number of rooms in the Hall which can be used for social purposes,
     for lectures, for recreative and continuation classes and so on.
     Though the Hall itself is in one of the West Central Squares, it is
     surrounded on three sides by districts crowded with poor. A room
     could be taken for workers from the Hall in any of these districts
     or in the Drury Lane neighbourhood. In addition, the Hall is close
     to Gower Street Station, so that it would be comparatively easy for
     the residents to take part in any of the organizations already
     existing in the East or South of London, for the help of the poor
     and the study of social problems."

And in spite of the religious ardour of its founders, it was in this
aspect of the work of University Hall that the germ of future
developments really lay. But the future lay hidden as yet from Mrs. Ward
and her gifted band of associates and fellow-workers.

Many difficulties were encountered in the appointment of a suitable
Warden, for a combination of qualities was required which was not easy
to find, especially in the limited circle of those whose views in
matters of faith agreed broadly with those of the Committee. Month after
month went by while Mrs. Ward and Dr. Martineau interviewed many
candidates, often assisted by Canon Barnett, of Toynbee, whose interest
in the new venture was as sincere as it was generous. Applications from
possible residents came in fast, showing that the work would not lack
support in that direction, but even in August the Warden was still to
seek. At length, however, in September, the ideal choice was made in Mr.
Philip Wicksteed, who was then holding the office of minister at the
Unitarian chapel in Little Portland Street. He was already beginning to
be widely known outside his regular work as a lecturer on Biblical
subjects and on Dante, and Mrs. Ward had already sounded him once or
twice in this matter of the Wardenship. But he had hitherto evaded it on
the ground that his election would identify the Hall with Unitarianism.
At last, however, Mrs. Ward won his acceptance at an interview she had
with him at Russell Square, in which she greeted him with the words "I
want to _wrestle_ with you!" He dealt frankly with her on the subject of
the religious aims of the Hall, and in a letter written to her a few
days after his acceptance said:

     "You remember when first you spoke to me on this matter how I told
     you that I had never been clear as to the exact thing contemplated
     in the Hall, and had never felt that it had any programme. Under
     those circumstances I felt that it would be false to myself and in
     reality false to you to allow myself to be overcome by your
     splendid faith and enthusiasm and take it up without any true
     inspiration in pity that so noble a 'quest' should find no
     knight-errant to try it.

     "My work with you has considerably cleared my vision, and has
     inspired me with growing _hopes_ for the institution, but I cannot
     honestly say that it has given me any deep _faith_ in its success.
     You know how anxious I have been throughout about our audience for
     lectures, and how doubtful about the existence of any large public
     seriously interested in Biblical studies. My fears are not allayed;
     though I hope the result may put them to shame."

With Mr. Wicksteed's acceptance of the Wardenship, the arrangements for
lectures and the preparations for the reception of Residents were
pushed on apace, while the Committee decided that a formal opening
ceremony must be held in order to plant the flag of the new Settlement's
faith and ideals. The Portman Rooms were taken for the purpose; the
venerable Dr. Martineau consented to be in the chair, and Mrs. Ward was
to make the principal speech. She had never spoken in public before, and
was genuinely terrified at the prospect (three years later she put into
_Marcella's_ experience in the East End her own horror of extempore
speaking); but she prepared her address with great care, and was
afterwards told that her voice carried to the farthest limits of the
room, packed as it was with a keenly expectant audience. Her plea was
that the time had come for a reconstruction of the basis of Christian
belief; that the results both of Darwinian inquiry and of historical
criticism must be faced, especially in the teaching of children, but
that when the "search for an exacter truth, which is the fate and
mission of humanity" had been met, a possibility of faith remained which
would be the future hope of the world. To the elucidation of this faith
the efforts of the Hall, on its teaching and lecturing side, would be
devoted. And in speaking of the "social and practical effort which is an
_essential_ part of our scheme," she pleaded that it was "yet not its
most distinctive nor its most vital part. The need of urging it on
public attention is recognized in all camps. Yet, meanwhile, there are
hundreds of men and women who spend themselves in these works of charity
and mercy who are all the time inwardly starved, crying for something
else, something more, if they could but get it. What matters to them,
first and foremost--what would give fresh life to all their
efforts--would be the provision of a new motive power, a new hope for
the individual life in God, a new respect for man's destiny. Let me
recall you for a moment from the gospel of works to the great Pauline
gospel of faith, and the inner life! It is in the bringing back of
_faith_--not the faith which confuses legend with history, or puts
authority in the place of knowledge, but the faith which springs from
moral and spiritual fact, and may be day after day, and hour after hour,
again verified by fact--that the great task of our generation lies."

Thus was the new venture launched, amid a mingled chorus of admiration
and criticism from that section of the world which was affected by the
movement of ideas. The lecturing at University Hall was soon in full
swing, and was maintained at a very high level during the years 1891 and
1892, so that when Mrs. Ward went on a speaking tour to some of the
northern towns in the autumn of the latter year in order to appeal for
funds for a further period of three years (an appeal in which she was
completely successful), she was able to give a very remarkable account
of it. Many courses on both Old and New Testament criticism had been
given, by Mr. Wicksteed, by Dr. Estlin Carpenter, by M. Chavannes, of
Leyden; on the Fourth Gospel by that fine scholar, Mr. Charles Hargrove;
on Theism by Prof. Knight, and on the Gospel of St. Luke by Dr.
Martineau himself. These latter took place on Sunday afternoons during
the spring of 1891. "Sunday after Sunday," said Mrs. Ward, "the Hall of
Dr. Williams's Library was crowded to the doors, and, I believe by many
to whom the line of thought followed in the lectures was of quite fresh
help and service; and it will be long indeed before many of us forget
the last Sunday--the venerable form, the beautiful voice, the note of
unconquerable hope as to the future of faith, and yet of unconquerable
courage as to the rights of the mind! I at least shall always look back
to that hour as to a moment of consecration for our young Institution,
disclosing to us at once its opportunities and its responsibilities." In
the non-Biblical sphere Mrs. J. R. Green had given a series of lectures
on the development of the English towns[16]; Miss Beatrice Potter (soon
to become Mrs. Sidney Webb) a course on the Co-operative Movement, which
became the foundation of her great book on that subject; Mr. Graham
Wallas on "The English Citizen"; Mr. Stopford Brooke on "The English
Poets of the Nineteenth Century"; while the Warden lectured to large
audiences on Dante, and "ground away" (in his own words) at political
economy, thinking aloud before his band of students and "forging forward
on new lines." It was all very stimulating, very much alive; but
whether, as the months passed on, it was exactly carrying out the aims
and intentions of that opening day, some sympathetic observers began to

     "I was uneasy all the time," wrote Mr. Wicksteed afterwards to J.
     P. T., "because though I thought I was working honestly and in a
     way usefully, yet I could never quite feel that the Settlement was
     doing the work it set out to do, or that it was quite justifying
     its subscription list. But I don't believe your mother, in spite of
     a great measure of personal disappointment, ever had the smallest
     doubt or misgiving in this matter. She thoroughly believed in the
     significance and value of what _was_ being done, and cared for it
     with a vivid faith and affection, and supported it with an
     inventive enthusiasm, that have always seemed to me the expression
     of a generosity and magnanimity of a type and quality that were
     quite distinctive."

An energetic attempt was made to interest the young men employed in the
big shops of Tottenham Court Road in the Hall's activities; but the
times were premature; not until the Great War had loosed the foundations
of our society did the young men of Tottenham Court Road find their way
into the Y.M.C.A. "The young men of Tottenham Court Road," wrote Mr.
Copeland Bowie, "gave no sign that they wished to partake of the food
provided for them at University Hall." Then, somewhat apart from the
lecturing scheme of the Hall, there grew up the body of Residents, young
men of divers attainments and tastes who were hard to mould into the
original scheme, some of whom were even greatly concerned to show that
they depended in no way for their ideas on the author of _Robert
Elsmere_. Occasionally there were difficult moments at the Council
meetings, when the Residents' views clashed with those of the older
members, but it was at those moments, and generally in her gift for
bowing to the inevitable when it came, that Mrs. Ward endeared herself
most to her fellow-workers by her rare great-heartedness. During their
first winter's work at the Hall the Residents had discovered, in the
squalid neighbourhood to the east of Tavistock Square, a dingy building
that went by the name of Marchmont Hall, which they decided to take as
the scene of their regular social activities. They raised a special fund
for its expenses, and under the leadership of a young solicitor, who
combined much shrewdness and ability with a glowing enthusiasm for the
service of his fellow-men, the late Mr. Alfred Robinson, the suspicions
of the neighbourhood were overcome and a fruitful programme of boys'
clubs, men's clubs, concerts and lectures launched by the autumn of
1891. Mrs. Ward was deeply interested in the experiment, and hoped
against hope that it might lead to those opportunities for Christian
teaching which still lay very near her heart. A year later she was able
to give the following account of their first attempts in that direction:

     "The Sunday evening lectures are preceded by half an hour's music,
     and have been from the first more definitely ethical and religious
     in tone than those given on Thursday. But it is only quite recently
     we have felt that we could speak freely, without danger of
     misunderstanding, upon those subjects which are generally
     identified by the working-classes with sectarian and ecclesiastical
     propaganda. Now that we are known we need have no fear; and on
     November 12 the Warden, who had already spoken on the prophets of
     Israel and other kindred topics, gave an address on the life and
     character of Jesus. It was received with warm feeling, and more
     lectures of the same kind have already been arranged for. Next term
     we hope a class in the Gospels, already begun, may take larger
     proportions. Among the boys and young men of the Hall, often
     intelligent and well-educated as they are, there is an
     extraordinary amount of sheer ignorance and indifference as to the
     Christian story and literature, even when they have had their full
     share of the usual Sunday School training. To some of us there
     could be no more welcome task, to be undertaken at once with
     eagerness and with trembling, than that of making old things new to
     eyes and hearts still capable of that 'admiration, hope, and love'
     by which alone we truly live."

But the movement never developed, for in truth there was no Elsmere to
lead it; Mrs. Ward herself went three times to take a boy's class on
Sunday afternoons, but could not, in the midst of her other work,
maintain the effort; the Warden, versatile as he was, did not regard it
as his _first_ interest, while from the body of Residents came a dumb
sense of antagonism, not amounting to direct opposition, but just as
effective, which in the end prevailed. The "School" of Biblical studies
at University Hall continued as before, appealing to a definite class of
students and educated persons of the middle-class, but the attempt to
fuse it with the social work at Marchmont Hall was doomed to succeed as
little as the attempt to attract to it the half-educated shopmen of
Tottenham Court Road. Gradually the human interest of the experiment,
the sense of romance and adventure, went over from the lecturing side to
the work at Marchmont Hall, where the popular lectures and discussions,
the Saturday evening concerts and the Saturday morning "play-rooms" for
children were making a real mark on the life of the district. But Mrs.
Ward was fully able to recognize this, and accepted in an ungrudging
spirit the different direction which circumstances had given to her own
cherished dreams.

     "It will be seen readily enough," wrote Mr. Wicksteed in the
     memorial pamphlet issued by the Passmore Edwards Settlement, "that
     it was on the side of the School rather than on that of the
     Residence that Mrs. Ward's ideals seemed to have the best chance of
     fulfilling themselves. Yet in truth it was in the Residence that
     the germ of future development lay. The greatness of Mrs. Ward's
     character was shown in her recognition--painful and unwilling
     sometimes, but always brave and loyal--of this fact. She could not
     and did not relinquish her "Elsmerean" ideals. The romance of
     _Richard Meynell_, published twenty-three years after _Robert
     Elsmere_, shows them in unabated ardour. The failure of the
     Residence to amalgamate with the School was the source of deep
     distress to her. She sometimes suggested measures for overcoming it
     that did not approve themselves to her colleagues, but throughout
     she never suspected their loyalty, and never failed in her own. It
     needed rare magnanimity. Patience seems too passive a word to apply
     to so ardent a spirit, but something that did the work of patience
     was very truly there. And as she came to recognize that with the
     available material the Settlement could not be the embodiment of
     her full ideal, she withdrew her vital energies from the attempt to
     force a passage where none was possible, she steadily refused to
     let blood flow through a wound that could be and should be healed,
     and she threw all the strength of her inventive and resourceful
     mind--and what is more the full stream of her affection and joy in
     accomplished good--into the development of such branches of her
     purpose as by that agency could be furthered."

By the year 1893 the situation as between University Hall and Marchmont
Hall had become a curious one, since the former was too large and
expensive for its purpose and the latter not nearly large enough. Mrs.
Ward and her friends came to the conclusion that some scheme must be
devised for combining the activities of both institutions under one
roof; but since no suitable building existed anywhere in the
neighbourhood of Marchmont Hall, where deep roots had been struck in the
affections of the working population, it became obvious that the only
solution was to build. Through the early spring of 1894 Mrs. Ward
laboured to interest the old friends of University Hall in an appeal for
a Building Fund of £5,000; but it was uphill work; her health had
suffered greatly from the long strain, and there were moments when hope
sank very low. Then, one evening in May of that year, the postman's
knock sounded below, and one of us went down as usual to fetch the
letters. There was but a single dull-looking letter in an ordinary
"commercial envelope." "Only a bill," announced the bearer, as it was
placed in Mrs. Ward's hands. She opened it, glanced at the signature,
read it rapidly through, and then, with a little cry, exclaimed: "Mr.
Passmore Edwards is going to build us a Settlement!"

She had written to him at last, knowing of him--as all that generation
knew--mainly as the generous founder of Free Libraries, but without much
hope that he would seriously take up the Marchmont Hall building scheme.
At that time the Committee were in favour of a site in Somers Town,
north of the Euston Road, the advantages of which Mrs. Ward had set
forth in her letter to Mr. Edwards. His answer ran as follows:

_May 30, 1894._


     Since I received your letter in Italy I have considered your
     suggestion in reference to the extension in ampler premises of
     University Hall Settlement, and thereby planting as you say a
     Toynbee Hall in the Somers Town district. I have also visited the
     district in and around Clarendon Sq., and am convinced that such an
     Institution is as much wanted in North London as it was wanted in
     East London. I therefore cheerfully respond to your appeal, and
     undertake to provide the necessary building within the limits of
     the sum you indicate, if somebody will provide a suitable site. The
     vacant place in Clarendon Sq. would, I consider, be a convenient
     spot for the Settlement. As a matter of course, provision must be
     made that the building shall be permanently devoted to the purpose
     now intended. In my opinion we have the two things most necessary
     in the Somers Town district for a Toynbee Hall: we have a numerous
     working population requiring educational assistance and advantages;
     and we have in the neighbourhood many able and willing workers
     ready to assist in works of intellectual, moral and social culture.

I remain,
Yours faithfully,

This was her first great victory on the road to the building of the
Passmore Edwards Settlement. That road was still to be a long and
difficult one, but she was not to be discouraged, and where many lesser
souls would have fallen out by the wayside, wearied by ill-health and by
the multiplication of obstacles, she persisted, and won in the end a
vantage-ground in the fine buildings of the Settlement, whence, in the
course of time, she could pass on to new and various achievements.

Heavy and exacting as the work of University Hall was during the first
three years of its existence, and glum as the face of our coachman was
wont to look at the reiterated orders to drive there (for he disapproved
of his horse being kept waiting in the street while people were just
talking), Mrs. Ward never allowed it to absorb her mind completely.
Indeed, these years saw the writing of her second three-volume novel,
_The History of David Grieve_, as well as many important developments in
our domestic affairs. The house on Grayswood Hill, near Haslemere, was
rising fast during the early months of 1890, while the principles of the
new Settlement were being thrashed out in the study at Russell Square,
and at length Mrs. Ward tore herself away from London, stipulating for a
six weeks' break from the affairs of University Hall, buried herself in
a neighbouring house named "Grayswood Beeches," wrote _David_ hard, and
kept a watchful eye on the plasterers and painters at work on "Lower
Grayswood" below. She took the keenest interest in every detail of the
new house, planning it out in daily letters to her husband, and yet as
it drew near completion she could not help rebelling at its very
newness, at the half-made garden and the plantations of birch and larch
and pine which covered much of the nine acres of ground, while of real
trees there was hardly one. Waves of longing would assail her for
Hampden House, with its silence and its spaciousness, its old lawns and
trees, and its complete absence of neighbours. "How I have been
hankering after Hampden lately!" she writes to her father in June, 1890,
and to her husband she confesses that she has been to the agent's to
inquire whether Hampden could be let for a term of years. "They don't
think so. I told them to inquire without mentioning our names at all."
Hampden, however, was not to be had, and when once she was established
in Lower Grayswood, Mrs. Ward took more kindly to the house, which had
from its windows one of the most astonishing views in all the South of
England. Yet still she wrote to her father: "I doubt whether I shall be
content ultimately without an old house and old trees! If one may covet
anything, I think one may covet this kind of inheritance from the past
to shelter one's own later life in. Life seems so short to make anything
quite fresh. Meanwhile, Lower Grayswood is very nice, and more than we

The verdict of children and friends was indeed unanimous in praise of
the poor new house, whence endless fishing expeditions were made to
muddy little brooks in the plain below, almost compensating for the loss
of Forked Pond and the other barbarian delights of Borough Farm. But
even the children realized that there were "too many people about" for
the health of their mother's work. The pile of cards on the hall table
grew ominously thick. Americans walked in, taking no denial, and once in
mid-August, when the youngest child tactlessly won a junior race at the
Lythe Hill Sports, with all Haslemere looking on, there were paragraphs
in the evening papers. It would not do, and I think the house at
Haslemere was doomed from that day onwards. Still, for two years it
played its part delightfully in the web of Mrs. Ward's life, giving her
quiet, especially in the autumn and winter, for the writing of _David
Grieve_, giving her deep draughts of beauty which were not forgotten in
after years. The lodge was made a home for tired Londoners, whether boys
or mothers or factory-girls, and the house itself was never long empty
of guests.

There, too, in the book-lined room which she had made her study, she
would on Sunday evenings carry out in practice those ideas on the
teaching of the Bible which she had striven to inculcate at University
Hall. The audience sat on low stools or lay on the floor, while she read
to them usually a part of the Gospels, making the scene live again, as
only she could make it, not only by her intimate knowledge of the times,
but by her gift of presentation. Systematically, making us use our minds
to follow her, she would work through a section of St. Mark or St.
Matthew, comparing each with the other, showing the touches of the
"later hand," taking us deep into the fascinating intricacies of the
Synoptic Problem. But all the time the central figure would grow clearer
and clearer, in simple majesty of parable or act of healing, while at
the greatest moments commentary fell away and only the old words broke
the stillness. She was immensely interested in the problem of the
Master's own view of himself and his mission, following him step by step
to the declaration at Cæsarea Philippi, then tracing the gathering
conviction that in himself was to be fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy of the
Suffering Servant. She was inclined to reject the prophecies of the
Second Coming as showing too obviously the feeling of the second
generation, as being unworthy of him who said, "The Kingdom of God is
within you." But in later years she came to regard them as probably
based on utterances of his own, for was he not, after all, the child of
his time and country? With an episode like the Transfiguration she would
show us the elements of popular legend from which it was put together,
fitting piece into piece till the whole stood out with a new freshness,
throwing its light backwards over the age-long Jewish expectations of
the return of Moses and Elijah. So with the Resurrection stories; she
bade us always remember the teeming soil from which they sprang, in that
long-past childhood of the world; how none of them were written down
till forty years, most of them not till sixty and seventy years, had
passed since the Crucifixion; how the return from Hades on the third day
is at least as old as Alcestis. These things, she said, forbade us to
accept them as literal fact; but it was impossible to listen to her
reading of the Walk to Emmaus, or the finding of the empty tomb, without
coming under the spell of an emotion as deep as it was austere. For the
fact that we in these latter days had outgrown our childhood and must
distinguish truth from phantasy was no reason in her mind, why we should
renounce the poetic value of scenes and pictures woven into the very
fabric of our being. And so, Sunday after Sunday, our little minds drank
in a teaching which she would fain believe could have been spread
broadcast among our generation, could the ideals of University Hall but
reach the masses. She did not realize how unique her teaching was, nor
how few among her generation combined such knowledge as hers with such a
power of instilling it into other minds and hearts.

       *       *       *       *       *

The writing of _David Grieve_ was a long-sustained effort, extending
over the best part of three years, and too often performed under the
handicap of writer's cramp and sleeplessness. But Mrs. Ward was at the
prime of her powers, and felt herself more thoroughly master of her
material in this book than she had done in the case of _Robert Elsmere_,
so that the revision, when it came, was a matter of weeks and not of
months. Her visits to Manchester and Derbyshire for the local colour of
the book had inspired her with a vivid faith in the working population
of the north, which finds expression in a letter written to her father
in September, 1890, in reply to criticisms which he, with his Catholic
prepossessions, had made on the unloveliness of their lives:

     "You and I would not agree about New Mills, I am afraid! At least,
     if New Mills is like Bacup and the towns along the Irwell, as I
     suppose it is. After seeing those mill-colonies among the moors, I
     came home cheered and comforted in my mind for the future of
     England--so differently may the same things affect different
     people. Beatrice Potter told me that she had stayed for some time
     incog. as one of themselves with a family of mill-hands at Bacup,
     and that to her mind they were 'the salt of the earth,' so good and
     kind to each other, so diligent, so God-fearing, so truly
     unworldly. She attributed it to their religion, to those hideous
     chapels, which develop in them the keenest individual sense of
     responsibility to God and man, to their habit of combination for a
     common end as in their Co-op. Societies and Unions, and to their
     real sensitiveness to education and the things of the mind, up to a
     certain point, of course. And certainly all that I saw last autumn
     bore her out. I imagine that if you were to compare Lancashire with
     any other manufacturing district in Europe, with Belgium, with
     Lyons, with Catalonia, it would show favourably as regards the type
     of human character developed. All the better men and women are
     interested in the things that interested St. Paul--grace and
     salvation, and the struggle of the spirit against the flesh, and
     for the rest they work for their wives and children, and learn
     gradually to respect those laws of health which are, after all, as
     much 'set in the world,' to use Uncle Matt's phrase, as beauty and
     charm, and in their own way as much a will and purpose of God. Read
     the books about Lancashire life a hundred years ago, and see if
     they have not improved--if they are not less brutal, less earthy,
     nearer altogether to the intelligent type of life. That they have
     far to go yet one cannot deny. But altogether, when London fills me
     with despair, I often think of Lancashire and am comforted for the
     future. I think of the people I had tea with at Bacup, all
     mill-hands, but so refined, gentle and good; and I think of the
     wonderful development of the civic sense in a town like Oldham,
     with all its public institutions, its combinations of workpeople
     for every possible object, and its generally happy and healthy
     tone. I wish the streets were less ugly, but after all, our climate
     is hard and drives people indoors three-parts of the year, and the
     race has very little artistic gift."

Meanwhile, the Copyright Committee was again hard at work in the United
States, arousing much anxious speculation in Mrs. Ward's mind as to
whether their Bill would be through Congress in time for her new book;
but in the end the victory came more easily and swiftly than was
expected. Congress passed it in November, 1890, and it became law in the
following March. The effect on Mrs. Ward's fortunes was not long in
making itself felt. Mr. George Smith had been negotiating for her with
an American firm that offered good but not magnificent terms for _David
Grieve_; he was dissatisfied, and in his wise heart bethought him of her
old friends the Macmillans, who had an "American house." The sequel must
be told in his own words:

_June 13, 1891._


     I met Frederick Macmillan in the Park this morning. It flashed on
     my mind that I would sell him the American copyright of your book,
     and after a long talk (which made me late for breakfast) I promised
     him that if he made me a firm offer of seven thousand pounds for
     the American copyright, including Canada, before one o'clock
     to-day, I would accept it on your behalf. He has just called here
     and written the enclosed note. I am rather pleased with myself, and
     I hope that you will not reproach me. I write in haste, for I shall
     feel rather anxious until I have a line from you on the subject.

Believe me,
Yours sincerely,

Needless to say, the "line" was forthcoming, and Mrs. Ward was left to
contemplate, with some emotion, the fact that she was mistress of a
little fortune. Whether the Macmillans remained as contented with their
bargain as she was is, however, a point of some obscurity. Certainly
they desired her next book (_Marcella_), which amply made up to them for
any shortcomings on _David Grieve_, but during the negotiations for it
some uncomfortable tales leaked out. "Mr. Brett told me," wrote Mrs.
Ward to George Smith, eighteen months after the appearance of _David_,
"that owing to the description of profit-sharing in _David Grieve_ and
the interest roused by it in America, their American branch adopted it
last year for all their employés. Then in consequence of _David_ there
were no profits to divide! I don't know whether to laugh or cry over the
situation, and I am quite determined that if there are losses this time
I will share them."

But as yet the prospect was unclouded, and the summer of 1891 was spent
in a hard wrestle with the remaining chapters of the book--with the
tragedy of Lucy and the sombre fate of Louie Grieve--but at length, on
September 24, the last words of _David Grieve_ were written, and on
October 16 she and Mr. Ward fled for nine weeks to Italy.

It was not their first visit, for in the spring of 1889 they had spent
eight days in Rome, making their first Italian friendships and learning
something of the spell of that city of old magic. "In eight days one can
but scratch the surface of Rome," she had written to her father on that
occasion. "Still, I think Lord Acton was quite right when he said to us
at Cannes, 'If you have only three days, go!' To have walked into St.
Peter's, to have driven up on to the Janiculan and seen the view of
Rome, the Alban Hills, the Campagna and Soracte which you get from
there, to have wandered about the Forum and Colosseum and to have
climbed the Palatine and the Capitol, is something after all, even if
one never saw this marvellous place again."

Now this second time she was so tired that they passed Rome by on the
outward journey and went instead to Naples, Amalfi and Ravello, where
the good Signora Palumbo, landlady of the famous little inn, tended her
as she lay quite fallow, browsing in books or gazing at sea and sky and
sunny coast. But a visit to Pompeii could still arouse all her
historical instincts:

     "To sit in the Forum there," she writes to her sister, Mrs. Leonard
     Huxley, "or in one of the bright gaily painted houses, or
     restaurants with the wine-jars still perfect in the marble
     counters, and to think that people were chatting and laughing in
     those very courts and under those very pictures while Jesus was
     before Pilate, or Paul was landing at Puteoli, on the same coast
     some twenty miles north, made an electric moment in life. It is so
     seldom one actually _feels_ and _touches_ the past. After seeing
     those temples with their sacrificial altars and _cellæ_, their
     priests' sleeping-rooms and dining-rooms, I read this morning St.
     Paul's directions to the Corinthians about meat offered to
     idols--in fact, the whole first letter--with quite different eyes."

To the same beloved sister she was indebted for the inimitable tales of
her small boy, Julian, which enliven the later pages of _David Grieve_;
for Sandy Grieve was taken direct from this little grandson of the
Professor--an "impet" indeed, in his mother's expressive phrase. "Your
stories of Julian have been killing," wrote Mrs. Ward from Naples; "I
was sorry one of them arrived too late for _David_. By the way, I have
not yet written to Willie to say that Sandy is merely an imperfect copy
of Julian. He writes 'We both _love_ Sandy.' And I am sure when the book
comes out that Sandy will be the making of some of the last part."

A month after Mrs. Ward's return to England, that is on January 22,
1892, _David Grieve_ appeared, and was at once greeted with a chorus of
praise, criticism and general talk. "Were there ever such contradictory
judgments!" wrote Mrs. Ward to her publisher when the book had been out
a week. "The Master of Balliol writes to me that it is 'the best novel
since George Eliot'--'extraordinarily pathetic and interesting'--and
that Louie is a sketch that Victor Hugo might have drawn. A sledgehammer
article in the _British Weekly_ to-night says 'it is an almost absolute
failure.' Mr. Henry Grenfell and Mr. Haldane have been glued to it till
they finished it. According to other people it is 'ordinary and
tedious.' Well, one must possess one's soul a little, I suppose, till
the real verdict emerges." The reviews were by no means all laudatory,
much criticism being bestowed on the "Paris episode" of David's
entanglement with Elise Delaunay, but the general verdict certainly was
that it showed a marked advance on _Robert Elsmere_ in artistic
treatment, as well as a power of character-drawing that had not been
seen since _Middlemarch_. This feeling was summed up in Walter Pater's
sentence: "It seems to me to have all the forces of its predecessor at
work in it, with perhaps a mellower kind of art--a more matured power of
blending disparate literary gifts in one." Letters poured in upon her
again, both from old friends and strangers. "Max Creighton," now Bishop
of Peterborough, who was never tired of poking fun at Mrs. Ward about
the "higher criticism," found time to dash off ten closely written
sheets of pseudo-solemn investigation into the authenticity of David's
life-story, beginning: "Though I am prepared to believe that David
Grieve was a real personage, it is clear that many mythical elements
have been incorporated into his history, and it is the function of
criticism to disentangle the real man from the legendary accretions
which have gathered round him." Mrs. Ward replied in suitable vein, and
confided to her friend that a few of the reviews had made her very sore.
"I am very sorry to hear," he replied, "that some criticism has been
ungenerous.... But I think that we all have to learn the responsibility
attached to undertaking the function of a teacher, and the inevitable
antagonism which the claim arouses. It has been so always. No amount of
rectitude or good intentions avail."

But the warm admiration expressed by those for whose opinion she cared
amply made up for the hostility of these reviews. As she said of it in
her _Recollections_: "It has brought me correspondence from all parts
and all classes, more intimate and striking perhaps than in the case of
any other of my books." Many pages might be filled with these letters,
but at a distance of thirty years two only shall be saved from oblivion,
for the sake of that mere quality of delight which pervades them both
and which endeared their writers beyond other men to the company in
which they moved. The first is from Professor Huxley; the second from
Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

_February 1, 1892._


     You will think I have taken my time about thanking you for _David
     Grieve_; but a virtuous resolution to stick to a piece of work I
     have had on hand for a long time interfered with my finishing it
     before last night. The temptation was severe, and as I do not often
     stick to virtuous resolutions under these circumstances, I parade
     the fact.

     I think the account of the Parisian episode of David's life the
     strongest thing you have done yet. It is alive--every word of
     it--and without note or comment produces its ethical effect after
     the manner of that "gifted authoress," Dame Nature, who never

     Being "nobbut a heathen," I should have liked the rest to be in the
     same vein--the picture of a man hoping nothing, rejecting all
     speculative corks and bladders--strong only in the will "im Ganzen,
     Guten, Wahren resolut zu leben," and accepting himself for more or
     less a failure--yet battling to the end. But you are on the side of
     the angels.

     We are very proud of Julian's apotheosis. He is a most delightful
     imp, and the way in which he used to defy me, on occasion, when he
     was here, was quite refreshing. The strength of his conviction that
     people who interfere with his freedom are certainly foolish,
     probably wicked, is quite Gladstonian.

My wife joins in love.
Ever yours affectionately,

       *       *       *       *       *

         _Saturday morning._


     The book has just come--and to my pride and delight with such a
     pretty autograph: so that to-day I am mightily set up. I cannot
     tell you how comforting the words read to me--and how sunny they
     have made this grey day. By the messenger who takes this I send a
     little drawing, done in gold, which for a whole year past I have
     meant for you--it was to reach you by your last birthday, but I was
     ill then with this vile plague that is devastating us, and after
     that there seemed no reason for sending it one day more than
     another, and as I looked at it again it didn't seem good enough,
     and I thought one day you would come and choose a little souvenir
     of friendship--one perhaps more to your liking--but this day has
     never come, and all the year through illnesses big or little have
     pursued me and nipped all plans. But will you take it with my
     love--real grateful love; it's a kind of Urania sort of person, and
     will be proud to live in your bower in the country.

     We are a poor lot--my wife kept to her room for about a month; Phil
     imprisoned in a room with carbolic curtains round him as if he were
     a leper, and I--too ignominious at present to be spoken
     about--longing to go out and see an omnibus--I _should_ like to
     see an omnibus again!

My love to you all,
Yours, E. B. J.

     P.S.--The first day I can get out I shall call and take my chance
     of seeing you. Don't dream of writing about the poor little
     drawing; I should be ashamed, and you are full of work.

The "kind of Urania sort of person" shed a radiance all her own over our
house from that day onwards, and was removed before long to a "country
bower" after Mrs. Ward's own heart.

For early in 1892 her attention was drawn by her old friend, Mr. (now
Sir James) Thursfield, who lived near Berkhamsted, to the fact that some
five miles farther from London, in the heart of a district as rural and
unspoilt as any that could be found in England, stood a comfortable
eighteenth-century house of medium size which happened recently to have
come into the market. Sir Edward Grey had just inherited it through his
mother under the will of old James Adam Gordon, its possessor in the
'forties and 'fifties; but since the place was far from any trout-stream
he did not propose to live in it, but wished instead to find a tenant to
take it for a term of years. Its name was simply "Stocks," and though
the house itself was only 120 years old, a far older manor-house had
been pulled down to make way for it; while the little estate--"the
stokkes of the parish of Aldbury"--is mentioned in a fifteenth-century
charter as forming an outlying part of the huge diocese of Lincoln. Mr.
Thursfield persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Ward to come and see it, winter though
it was. They fell in love with it there and then, and within a few weeks
it was decided that Grayswood should be sold and Stocks taken for seven
years. Mrs. Ward felt that she had found at last the home she had been

     "You know how we have always hankered after an old place with old
     trees," she wrote to her brother Willie, "and when the Thursfields
     made us come down and see the place and declared we must and should
     take it we couldn't in the end resist! It has such an old walled
     garden, such a beautiful lime avenue, such delicious old hollies
     and oaks, such woods behind it and about it! The house is bigger in
     the way of bedrooms than Haslemere, but otherwise not more
     formidable, and though the inside has no particular features (the
     outside is charming) we shall manage I think to make it habitable
     and pretty. One great attraction to me is that it is so near Euston
     and therefore to the Hall and all its works. I don't mean to say
     that we are taking it on any but the most ordinary selfish
     principles!--but still, I like to think that I can make Marchmont
     Hall, and the people who congregate about it, free of it as I
     cannot do of Haslemere, and that there is a hungry demand in that
     part of London for the fruit and flowers with which the place must
     overflow in the summer. I believe also that the change will help me
     a good deal in my work, and that at Stocks I shall be able to see
     something of the genuine English country life which I never could
     at Haslemere. But we had got to love Haslemere all the same, and it
     is an up-rooting."

The little house on Grayswood Hill was indeed loath to let her go. She
went there alone at the end of February, when plain and hill lay steeped
in a flood of spring sunshine. "If only the place had not looked so
lovely yesterday and to-day!" she wrote. "We have been hung in infinite
air over the most ethereal of plains." But when Stocks finally received
her, at midsummer, 1892, she knew in her heart that all was well; that
"something" deep down in her nature "that stands more rubs than anything
else in our equipment" was satisfied--satisfied with the quiet lines of
the chalk hills, with the beechwoods that clothed their sides, and
stretched away, she knew, for miles beyond the horizon; with the
neighbourhood of that ancient life of the soil that surrounded her in
village and scattered farm. She had found her home; she was to live in
it and love it for eight-and-twenty years.




The acquisition of Stocks in the summer of 1892 was a landmark in Mrs.
Ward's life for more reasons than one, for it coincided with the advent
of a mysterious ailment, or disability, from which she was never to be
wholly free for the rest of her life. She had hardly been in the new
house a fortnight before she succumbed to a violent attack of internal
pain, showing symptoms of gastric catarrh, but also affecting the nerves
of the right leg. It crippled her for many weeks and exercised the minds
of both the local and the London doctors. Some believed that the cause
of it must be a "floating kidney," others that the pain was merely
neuralgic, while Mrs. Ward herself, with that keen interest in the human
organism and that instinct for self-doctoring which made her so
embarrassing a patient, watched the effect of each remedy and suggested
others with pathetic ingenuity. She had her better days, when she was
able to go down to the old walled kitchen-garden--about 300 yards from
the house--in a bath-chair, but whenever she tried to walk, even a
little, the pain returned in aggravated form. Only those who watched her
through those two summer months knew what heroic efforts she made to
master it and to throw herself into the writing of her new book,
_Marcella_, or how her "spirit grew" as the days of comparative relief
were followed ever and again by days of collapse. While she was still in
the thick of the struggle she received a visit from her American friend,
Miss Sarah Orne Jewett, whose impressions of the day were written
immediately to Mrs. Whitman, in Boston, and give a vivid picture of
Mrs. Ward as she appeared at that time to so shrewd and sympathetic an
observer.[17] (Aug. 20, 1892).

     "Yesterday we spent the day with Mrs. Humphry Ward, who has been
     ill for a while and is just getting better. Somehow, she seemed so
     much younger and more girlish than I expected. I long to have you
     know Mrs. Ward. She is very clear and shining in her young mind,
     brilliant and full of charm, and with a lovely simplicity and
     sincerity of manner. I think of her with warmest affection, and a
     sacred expectation of what she is sure to do if she keeps strong,
     and sorrow does not break her eager young heart too soon. Her life
     burns with a very fierce flame, and she has not in the least done
     all that she can do, but just now it seems to me that her vigour is
     a good deal spent."

The "spent vigour" was only another word for bodily illness, but some
weeks after Miss Jewett's visit the first signs of relief appeared. Her
London doctor introduced her to a new drug, phenacetin, which worked
wonders with the sore side and leg. Phenacetin and all its kindred
"tabloids" came into common use at Stocks from that time onwards, in
spite of the mockery of her friends. Mrs. Ward developed an
extraordinary skill in the use of these "little drugs," and would often
baffle her doctors by her theories of their effects. At any rate, they
bore a remarkable part in the complicated struggle between her work and
her health, which was to occupy the next few years, and Mrs. Ward always
staunchly believed in them.

The improvement continued steadily, so that she was able, that autumn,
to undertake a speaking-tour in Lancashire and Yorkshire on behalf of
University Hall, finding wherever she went the most astonishing welcome.
At Manchester she went, after her own meetings were over, to a great
Unitarian gathering in the Free Trade Hall, stipulating that she was not
to speak; but at the end she was entrapped, nevertheless. Her husband
received the following account of it.

     "Then at the very end, to my sorrow, the chairman announced that
     Mrs. Humphry Ward was present, and had been asked to speak, but
     was not well enough to do so! Whereupon there were such groans from
     the audience, and I felt it so absurd to be sitting there pleading
     illness that I could only move up to the desk, wondering whether I
     could possibly make myself heard in such a place. Then they all
     rose, and such applause as you never heard! It was a good thing
     that a certain number of people had left to catch early trains, or
     it would have been still more overwhelming to me. I just managed to
     say half a dozen words, and I think I said them with sufficient
     ease, but whether they carried to the back of the hall I don't
     know. It certainly must be very exciting to be able to speak easily
     to such a responsive multitude."

At Leeds the same kind of experience awaited her, though on a smaller
scale. "I should not have been mortal if I had not been deeply touched
by their feeling towards me and towards the books," she wrote. "And what
a strong independent world of its own all this north-country
Nonconformity is! I feel as though these experiences were invaluable to
me as a novelist. One never dreamt of all this at Oxford."

The improvement in health, which had enabled her to face the strain of
this tour, was not of long duration. Many letters in the winter complain
of the "dragging pain" in the right leg, which prevents her from walking
more than fifty yards without being "brought up sharp till the pain and
stiffness have gone off again--which they do with resting." By the
following June (1893) she was as ill as ever she had been in the
preceding summer. The London doctor adopted the theory of the "shifting
kidney," but encouraged her to allow herself to be carried up and
downstairs at Stocks, so as to lie in the summer garden. "I am afraid
this tendency may mean times of pain for me in the future," she writes,
"but it is not dangerous, and need not prevent my working just as usual.
I _am_ so enjoying the sight of the flowers again, and this afternoon I
shall somehow get to the lime on the lawn. It had given me quite a pang
at my heart to think the lime-blossom would go and I not see it! One has
fewer years to waste now."

She was hard at work on the writing of _Marcella_ throughout this year,
but the fact that she could not sit up at a table without bringing on a
"wild fit of pain," as she described it once, meant that she had to
cultivate the art of writing in bed or in her garden chair, a proceeding
which was very apt to produce attacks of writer's cramp. Elaborate
erections of writing-boards had to be built up around her, so as to
enable as many as possible of Dr. Wolff's precepts to be carried out,
but it was a weary business, and often the hand would drop lame for a
while, in spite of the author's longing to be "at" her characters. This
joy of creation was, however, her principal stay during these months of
pain and weakness.

_To Mr. George Murray Smith_.

_September 8, 1893._

     "I, alas! cannot get well, though I am no doubt somewhat better
     than when you were here. The horrid ailment, whatever it is, will
     not go away, and work is rather a struggle. Still it is also my
     great stand-by and consolation,--by the help of it I manage to
     avoid the depression which otherwise this long _malaise_ and
     weakness must have brought with it. A walk to the kitchen-garden
     and back yesterday gave me a bad night and fresh pain to-day, and I
     cannot travel with any comfort. But I can get along, and soon we
     shall be in London and I must try some fresh doctoring. Meanwhile I
     have written nearly a volume since we came down, which is not so

All through the autumn of this year she grew more and more absorbed in
her story, while her health improved slightly, though walking was still
an unattainable joy. The life of the little village of Aldbury, half a
mile from the house, which she wove into so many scenes of _Marcella_,
had an immense fascination for her. She would drive down in her
pony-carriage, whenever she could find time, to spend an hour with old
Mrs. Swabey or Mrs. Bradsell, or with Johnny Dolt, the postmaster,
gleaning from their old-world gossip the elemental life-story of the
country-side, or hearing the echoes of the bloody tragedy which had
convulsed the village just before we came to it, in December, 1891. For
while the old lady of Stocks (Mrs. Bright) lay dying, a murderous affray
had occurred in the wood, not a mile from the house, between the
gamekeeper and his lad on the one side, and a band of poachers on the
other. The keeper was shot dead, and the lad, who fled for his life into
the open, down towards a spreading beech in the hollow below, was
followed and beaten to death with the butt-end of a gun. No wonder that
Mrs. Ward took the tale and made it the dominating theme of her story,
weaving into it new threads that the sordid tragedy itself did not
possess--of the poacher Hurd, the dying child, the piteous little wife.
The village itself was somewhat agape, we used to think, over the
proceedings of the new mistress of Stocks, who would have "grand folks"
down from London to spend their Sundays with her, but who had also taken
a cottage on purpose for the reception of tired people from the back
streets, and who was constantly having parties down from "some place in
London" to enjoy the garden and the shady trees. The place in question
was Marchmont Hall, for whose cricket team we children preserved a
private but invincible contempt; but the elderly Associates became real
friends, and soon learnt to know Stocks and its environs with more than
a passing knowledge. Sometimes they would come down just for a day's
outing, but more often they, or the club-girls, or some ailing mother
and baby would stay for a fortnight at the Convalescent Cottage under
the care of the loquacious Mrs. Dell, whose memory must still be green
in many London hearts. A natural philosopher, reared on the Bible and
her own shrewd observation of life, Mrs. Dell was the ideal matron for
the London folk who were sent down to her; she took them all in under
her large embrace, though her opinion of their "draggled" faces when
they arrived was anything but complimentary. She was wont to express
herself, in fact, with considerable freedom about London life. Once one
of her guests--a working-man--had gone back to town for the week-end,
feeling bored in the country. "And pray what can 'e do in London?" she
asked with magnificent scorn. "Nothin' but titter-totter on the paves!"

And besides the Convalescent Cottage, there stood on the same steep
slope of hill, just under the hanging wood, with its mixture of beech,
ash and wild cherry, another little house, known simply as Stocks
Cottage, which Mr. Ward acquired to round off the miniature estate early
in 1895. It became a source of unmixed joy to Mrs. Ward, for she could
lend or let it to many different friends, from Graham Wallas and Bernard
Shaw, who came to it during one of her absences abroad, and thence
roamed the downs with the daughter she had left behind, preaching
collectivism and Jaeger clothes--to the Neville Lytteltons, who spent
seven consecutive summers in the little place, from 1895 to 1901. The
Cottage, indeed, became a very intimate part of Mrs. Ward's life at
Stocks, and its mistress, Mrs. Lyttelton, one of her closest friends.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Marcella_ was finished, after a long struggle against sleeplessness,
headache and a bad bout of writer's cramp, on January 31, 1894. A
characteristic passage occurred between the author and her publisher
immediately afterwards. Mr. Smith had sent her, according to promise, a
considerable sum in advance of royalty, setting forth at the same time,
with his habitual candour, the exact sum which his firm expected to make
from the same number of copies. Mrs. Ward thought it not enough, and
wrote at once to propose a decrease of royalty on the first 2,000
copies. "I hardly know what to say," replied Mr. Smith. "It is not often
that a publisher receives such a letter from an author." But after
mutual bargainings--all of an inverted character--they arrived at a
satisfactory agreement.

Mrs. Ward fled to Italy with husband and daughter to escape the
appearance of the book, and saw herself flaunted on the posters of the
English papers in the Piazza di Spagna early in April. It was indeed an
exhilarating time for her, for there were few harsh voices among the
reviewers on this occasion, while the many letters from her friends were
as kind as ever. A typical opinion was that of Sir Francis Jeune: "I was
charmed with sentence after sentence of perfect finish and point, such
as no other writer of fiction in the present day ever attempts and
certainly could not sustain. They are a delight in themselves, and the
care bestowed on them is the highest compliment to a reader. May I add
that I think the dramatic force of some scenes--I single out the morning
of Hurd's execution, and the death of Hallin, but there are several
more--is greatly in advance of anything even you have done, and touches
a very high point in comparison with any scenes in English fiction. I
think George Eliot never surpassed them." In her _Recollections_ Mrs.
Ward describes the coming out of _Marcella_ as "perhaps the happiest
date in my literary life," for it not only gave her unalloyed joy in
itself, but it coincided also with a comparative return to
health--though always with ups and downs. Yet the immense publicity
which the success of the book brought her was also a grievous burden,
and she gives vent to this feeling in a letter to Mr. Gladstone, written
in reply to his own words of thanks for the gift of the book:

_May 6, 1894._


     It was charming of you to write to me,--one of those kindnesses
     which, apart from all your greatness, win to you the hearts of so
     many. I am so glad that the eyes are better for a time, and that
     you have shaken off your influenza.

     We have just come back from a delightful seven weeks in Italy, at
     Rome, Siena and Florence, and I am much rested, though still, I am
     vexed to say, very lame and something of an invalid. The success of
     _Marcella_, however, has been a most pleasant tonic, though I
     always find the first few weeks after the appearance of a book an
     agitating and trying time, however smoothly things go! The great
     publicity which our modern conditions involve seems to wear one's
     nerves; and I suppose it is inevitable that women should feel such
     things more than men, who so often, through the training of school
     and college and public life, get used to them from their childhood.

     Your phrase about "prospective work" gave me real delight. I have
     been enjoying and pondering over the translations of Horace in the
     _Nineteenth Century_. Horace is the one Latin poet whom I know
     fairly well, and often read, though this year, in Italy, I think I
     realized the spell of Virgil more than ever before. Will you go on,
     I wonder, from the love-poems to a gathering from the others? I
     wanted to claim of you three or four in particular, but as I turn
     over the pages I see in two or three minutes at least twenty that
     jostle each other to be named, so it is no good!

Believe me,
Yours most sincerely,

_Marcella_, like her two predecessors, first appeared in three-volume
form, but Mrs. Ward's quarrel with the big libraries for starving their
subscribers, which had been simmering ever since _David Grieve_, became
far more acute over the new book. She reported to George Smith on May 24
that "Sir Henry Cunningham told us last night that he had made a
tremendous protest to Mudie's against their behaviour in the matter of
_Marcella_--which he seems to have told them he regarded as a fraud on
the public, or rather on their subscribers, whom they were _bound_ to
supply with new books!" This feud, together with the desire of the
American _Century Magazine_ to publish her next novel in serial form,
provided it were only half the length of _Marcella_, induced her to
consider seriously the question of writing shorter books. "It would be
difficult for me, with my tendency to interminableness," she admitted to
George Smith, "to promise to keep within such limits. However, it might
be good for me!" Soon afterwards the decision was made, and with it the
knell of the three-volume novel sounded, for other novelists soon
followed Mrs. Ward's example. The resulting brevity of modern novels
(always excepting Mr. William de Morgan and Mr. Conrad) is thus largely
due to the flaming up of an old quarrel between librarians on the one
side and publishers and authors on the other, as it occurred in the case
of Mrs. Ward's _Marcella_.

The summer of 1894 was a period of comparative physical ease, during
which Mrs. Ward found that although she was still unable to walk more
than a very little, she could ride an old pony we possessed with much
profit and pleasure, of course at a foot pace. Thus she was enabled to
explore some of the woods and hill-sides around Stocks which she had
never yet visited, a pastime which gave her exquisite delight. But by
the following winter both her persistent plagues had reappeared in
aggravated form. "My hand is extremely troublesome, alas!" she wrote to
her father, "and the internal worry has been worse again lately. It is
so trying week after week never to feel well, or like other people! One
lives one's life, but it makes it all more of a struggle. And as there
is this organic cause for it, one can only look forward to being
sometimes better and less conscious of it than at others, but never to
being quite well. However, one needn't grumble, for I manage to enjoy my
life greatly in spite of it, and to fill the days pretty full." And to
her husband, who was away on a lecturing-tour in America, she wrote in
February, 1895: "Alas! for my hand. It is more seriously disabled than
it has been for months and months, and I really ought to give it a
month's complete rest. If it were not for the _Century_ I would!"

This unusual disablement was due no doubt to the extraordinary
concentration of effort which she had just put forth in the writing of
her village tale of _Bessie Costrell_--a tale based on an actual
occurrence in the village of Aldbury, the tragic details of which
absorbed her so much as to amount almost to possession. She finished it
in fifteen days, and gave it to George Smith, who always cherished a
special affection for this "grimy little tale," as Mrs. Ward called it.

When he had brought it out, the world devoured it with enthusiasm--so
much so that her true friend and mentor, Henry James, whose opinion she
valued more highly than any other, thought fit to address a friendly
admonition to her:

     "May 8, 1895. I think the tale very straight-forward and
     powerful--very direct and vivid, full of the real and the _juste_.
     I like your unalembicated rustics--they are a tremendous rest after
     Hardy's--and the infallibility of your feeling for village life.
     Likewise I heartily hope you will labour in this field and farm
     again. _But_ I won't pretend to agree with one or two declarations
     that have been wafted to me to the effect that this little tale is
     "the best thing you've done." It has even been murmured to me that
     _you_ think so. This I don't believe, and at any rate I find, for
     myself, your best in your dealings with _data_ less simple, on a
     plan less simple. This means, however, mainly, that I hope you
     won't abandon _anything_ that you have shewn you can do, but only
     go on with this _and_ that--and the other--especially the other!

Yours, dear Mrs. Ward,
most truly,

Meanwhile, in spite of the drawback of her continued ill-health, she
derived throughout these years an ever-increasing pleasure from the
friendships with which she was surrounded. Both in the London house,
which they had acquired early in 1891 (25 Grosvenor Place), and at
Stocks, she loved to gather many friends about her, though the effort of
entertaining them was often a sore tax upon her slender strength. Her
Sunday parties at Stocks brought together men and women from many
different worlds--political, literary and philanthropic--with whom the
talk ranged over all the questions and persons of the day from breakfast
till lunch, from lunch till tea, and from tea till dinner; but after
dinner, in sheer exhaustion, the party would usually take refuge in what
were known, derisively, as "intellectual games." Mrs. Ward herself was
not particularly good at these diversions, but she loved to watch the
efforts of others, and they did give a rest, after all, from the endless
talk! On one such occasion the game selected was the variety known as
"riddle game," in which a name and a thing are written down at random by
different players, and the next tries to give a reason why the person
should be like the thing. Lord Acton, who had that day devoured ten
books of Biblical criticism that Mrs. Ward had placed in his room, and
would infinitely have preferred to go on talking about them, found
himself confronted by the question: "Why is Lord Rothschild like a
poker?" For a long time he sat contemplating the paper, then scribbled
down in desperation: "Because he is upright," and retired impenetrably
behind an eleventh book. But Mr. Asquith made up for all deficiencies by
his ingenuity in this form of nonsense. "Why is Irving like a
wheelbarrow?" demanded one of the little papers that came round to him,
and while the rest of us floundered in heavy jokes Mr. Asquith found the
exact answer: "Because he serves to fill up the pit and carry away the

Politics were of absorbing interest to Mrs. Ward, and though her own
views remained decidedly Unionist on the Irish question, in home affairs
they were sufficiently mixed to make free discussion not only possible,
but delightful to her. She still retained her old friendship for Mr.
Morley, and probably the majority of her Parliamentary friends at this
time were of the Liberal persuasion. 1895 was the year of the "cordite
division" and the fall of Lord Rosebery's Government, involving many of
these friends in the catastrophe. Mr. Morley was defeated at Newcastle
and went to recover his serenity in the Highlands, whither Mrs. Ward
sent him a copy of _Bessie Costrell_, provoking the following letter
from her old friend and master:

_August 6, 1895._


     It was most pleasant to me to receive the little volume, in its
     pretty dress, and with the friendly dedication. It will take its
     place among my personal treasures, and I am truly grateful to you
     for thinking of me.

     The story is full of interest to me, and in the vein of a true
     realism, humanising instead of brutalising. The "severity" of the
     poor dead woman's look, and the whole of that page, redeems with a
     note of just pity all the sordid elements.... We are quartered in
     one of the most glorious of highland glens, five and twenty miles
     from a railway, and nearly as many hours from London. Now and then
     my thoughts wander to Westminster, passing round by way of
     Newcastle, but I quickly cast Satan behind me--and try to cultivate
     a steady-eyed equanimity, which shall not be a stupid insensibility
     to either one's personal catastrophe or to the detriment which the
     commonwealth has just suffered. If life were not so short--I
     sometimes think it is far too long--I should see some compensations
     in the deluge that has come upon the Liberal party. It will do them
     good to be sent to adjust their compasses. The steering had been
     very blind in these latter days. Perhaps some will tell you that my
     own bit of steering was the very blindest of all. I know that you
     are disposed to agree with such folk, and I know that Irish
     character (for which English government, by the way, is wholly
     responsible), is difficult stuff to work with. But the policy was
     right, and I beg you not to think--as I once told the H. of
     C.--that the Irish sphinx is going to gather up her rags, and
     depart from your gates in meekness.

During these months another Liberal friend, Mr. Sydney Buxton, was
taking infinite pains to pilot Mrs. Ward through the intricacies of the
Parliamentary situation required for the book she was now writing, _Sir
George Tressady_--drawing her a coloured plan of the House and the
division-lobbies for the scene of Tressady's "ratting," and generally
supervising the details of Marcella Maxwell's Factory Bill. "I am sure
it is owing to you," wrote Mrs. Ward to him afterwards, "that the
political framework has not at any rate stood in the way of the book's
success, as I feared at one time it might." She herself had regularly
put herself to school to learn every detail of the system of sweated
homework prevalent in the East End of London at that time; wading
through piles of Blue-books, visiting the actual scenes under the care
of a Factory Inspector, or of Lord Rothschild's Jewish secretary;
learning much from her Fabian friends, Mrs. Sidney Webb and Mr. Graham

     "As to Maxwell's Bill itself," she wrote to Mr. Buxton, "after my
     talk with you and Mr. Gerald Balfour, I took the final idea of it
     from some evidence of Sidney Webb's before the Royal Commission.
     There he says that he can perfectly well imagine, and would like to
     see tried, a special Factory Act for East London, and I find the
     same thing foreshadowed in various other things on Factory Law I
     have been reading. And some weeks ago I talked over the idea with
     Mr. Haldane, who thought it quite conceivable, and added that
     'London would bear quietly what would make Nottingham or Leeds
     revolt.' If such a Bill is possible or plausible, that I think is
     all a novelist wants. For of course one cannot describe _the real_,
     and yet one wants something which is not merely fanciful, but might
     be, under certain circumstances. The whole situation lies as it
     were some ten years ahead, and I have made use of a remark of
     Gerald Balfour's to me on the Terrace, when we had been talking
     over the new Factory Bill. 'There is not much difference between
     Parties,' he said, agreeing with you--'but I should not wonder if,
     within the next few years, we saw some reaction in these matters,'
     by which I suppose he meant if the Home Office power were
     over-driven, or the Acts administered too vexatiously.

     "Do you see that they have lately been repealing some Factory
     legislation concerning women's labour in France? We are not France,
     but we might conceivably, don't you think, have a period of

When the book at length appeared, in September, 1896, Mrs. Ward was
afraid that it would hardly float under the weight of its politics, but
this was not so, for it sold 15,000 copies within a week, and never,
perhaps, were the reviews more cordial. The relation between the two
women, Letty and Marcella, was universally felt to be one of the best
things she had ever attempted, while the greater compression of the book
was accepted with a sigh of relief.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Mrs. Ward is wisely content," said the _Leeds Mercury_, "to take more
for granted, and with true artistic instinct to leave room for the play
of her readers' imagination; we are saved, consequently, tedious
details, and that over-elaboration of incident, if not of plot, which
was one of the most conspicuous blemishes in her previous works. She is
beginning also to believe that brevity is the soul of art, as well as of
wit, and therefore, without any sacrifice of the essential points in her
narrative, she has found it possible--by discarding padding--to state
all that she has to tell about 'Sir George Tressady' in considerably
less than six hundred pages, instead of making her old, unconscionable
demand for at least a thousand. It would not be true to say that Mrs.
Ward has lost all her literary mannerisms, or even affectations, but
they are falling rapidly into the background--one proof amongst many,
that she is mastering at length the secret of that blended strength and
simplicity of style which all writers envy, but to which few attain."

       *       *       *       *       *

Two opinions, expressed by such opposite critics as Mrs. Sidney Webb and
Mr. Rudyard Kipling, may be of interest to this day:

     "The story is very touching," wrote Mrs. Webb, "and you have an
     indescribable power of making your readers sympathize with all your
     characters, even with Letty and her unlovely mother-in-law. Of
     course, as a strict utilitarian, I am inclined to estimate the
     book more in its character of treatise than as a novel. From this
     point of view it is the most useful bit of work that has been done
     for many a long day. You have managed to give the arguments for and
     against factory legislation and a fixed standard of life with
     admirable lucidity and picturesqueness--in a way that will make
     them comprehensible to the ordinary person without any technical
     knowledge. I especially admire your real intellectual impartiality
     and capacity to give the best arguments on both sides, though
     naturally I am glad to see that your sympathy is on the whole with
     us on those questions.

     "Pray accept my thanks from a public as well as a personal point of
     view for the gift of the book to the world and to myself."

And Mr. Kipling wrote:


     I am delighted to have _Sir George Tressady_ from your hand. I have
     followed him from month to month with the liveliest wonder as to
     how the inevitable smash in his affairs was to fall, and now that I
     have read the tale as a whole I see that of course there was but
     one way. Like all human books it has the unpleasant power of making
     you think and bother as one only bothers over real folk: but how
     splendidly you have done the lighter relief-work! 'Fifteen out of a
     possible twelve' has already been adopted as a household word by
     us, who have two babies.

     "It will always be one of the darkest mysteries to me that any
     human being can make a beginning, end _and_ middle to a really
     truly long story. I can think them by scores, but I have not the
     hand to work out the full frieze. It is just the difference between
     the deep-sea steamer with twelve hundred people aboard, besides the
     poor beggars sweating and scorching in the stoke-hold, and the
     coastwise boat with a mixed cargo of 'notions.' And so, when the
     liner sees fit to salute the coaster in passing, that small boat is
     mightily encouraged."

But the writing of _Sir George Tressady_ had been carried out against
greater handicaps of physical suffering and nervous strain than perhaps
any of Mrs. Ward's previous books. She had agreed to let the _Century
Magazine_ publish it serially from November 1, 1895, and had fully
intended to have it finished, at any rate in provisional form, by that
date. But ill-health and her absorption in the affairs of University
Hall retarded its progress, so that when November came there were still
eight or nine chapters to write, and those the most difficult and
critical of the book. The _Century_ cabled for more copy, but at the
same time Mrs. Ward fell a victim to "a new ailment," as she wrote to
her father, "and what with that and the perpetual struggle with the
hand, which will not let me write lying down, I hardly know how to get
through sometimes." She was advised to have what the surgeons assured
her would be a "slight" operation, but put it off until after a
Christmas month at Stocks, during which she devoted herself, crippled as
she was, to the writing of _Tressady_. Hardly would she have "got
through" these weeks at all--for by now the demands on her time, the
letters and requests to speak were endless--had she not discovered
during this winter a secretary, Miss Bessie Churcher, whose wonderful
qualities made her not only Mrs. Ward's closest helper and friend during
the whole remainder of her life, but have impressed themselves for good,
through many years' devotion, on the public work of London.

When Mrs. Ward at last found time to put herself in the surgeons' hands,
the operation which ensued was clumsily performed, and left her with yet
another burden to carry through all her later life. After it she lay for
days in such pain as the doctors had neither foreseen nor prophesied,
while the nervous shock of the operation itself was aggravated, one
night, by the antics of a drunken nurse, who came into her room with a
lighted lamp in her hand and deposited it, swaying and lurching, upon
the floor. Fortunately help was at hand and the nurse removed, but the
terror of the moment did not forward Mrs. Ward's recovery. It was many
weeks before sleep came back to her, many weeks before she could sit up
with any comfort or move with ease. But the book must be finished, in
spite of aches and pains, and finished it was within ten weeks of the
operation (March 22, 1896). George Tressady's death in the dark
galleries of the mine "possessed" her as she had only been possessed by
the tale of Bessie Costrell, and helped her no doubt to master the host
of her physical ills. But when the strain was over she was fit for
nothing but to be taken out to Italy, there to recover, if she could,
under the stimulus of that magic light and air which appealed--so at
least we used to imagine--to something in her own far-off southern
blood. At Cadenabbia, on Lake Como, health began to return to her; at
Padua she was "doing more walking than she had dreamed of for four
years," and with the revival of her strength she wrote home in sheer joy
of spirit, "All Italy to me is enchanted ground!" But alas, it was too
early to rejoice. She came again to the Lake of Como to have a
fortnight's complete rest before returning home--staying at the Villa
Serbelloni, above Bellagio--and there unduly overtaxed her new-found
powers. She must make her way to the ruined tower of San Giovanni that
looks at you from its hill-top beyond the little town, and since the
path was _non-carrozzabile_ she would make the ascent on foot. The
adventure was pure joy to her, the views of the lake all the more
intoxicating for having been won by her own strength of limb. But the
next day a violent attack of her old and still unexplained trouble
declared itself. The journey homewards, via Lucerne, was performed under
conditions of crisis which still leave a haunting memory, and though a
clever Swiss doctor at Lucerne appeared to diagnose the disease more
surely than any previous medicine-man, he could suggest no practicable
remedy. Mrs. Ward continued to suffer from her obscure ailment to a
greater or less degree for the rest of her life, as well as from the
results of the operation; but on the whole the attacks became less
frequent, or less severe, as the years went on. She developed an
extraordinary skill in fighting them, by the aid of the thousand and one
little drugs before-mentioned, and often derived a keen pleasure from
the sense of having met and routed an old enemy. But the enemy was
always there, lying in wait for her if she walked more, say, than half a
mile at a time. It is well to remember that her life from 1892 onwards
was conducted under that constant handicap.

       *       *       *       *       *

Yet it was during the years in which her illness was most acute that she
carried to a successful conclusion her labours for the foundation of the
Passmore Edwards Settlement.

When Mr. Edwards, in May, 1894, offered to provide £4,000 towards the
Building Fund of University Hall,[18] it was only the beginning of a
long struggle towards the accomplishment of this design. The next step
was to interest the Duke of Bedford--as the ground-landlord of that part
of London--in the scheme. This Mrs. Ward succeeded in doing during the
summer of 1894, thus laying the foundation of a co-operation that was to
ripen into a strong mutual regard. The Duke took a keen personal
interest in the finding of a suitable site for the new building, and
when such a site became available in Tavistock Place, offered it to the
Committee at less than its market value, and contributed £800 towards
the building fund. Oddly enough, however, this site--for which the
contract was actually signed in February, 1895--was not that on which
the Settlement stands to-day, but lay on the opposite side of the
street; the disadvantage to it being that there would have been a delay
of two years in obtaining possession, owing to existing tenants' rights.
When, therefore, an equally good site actually fell vacant in the same
street a few months later, the Duke willingly released the Committee
from their contract and made over to them the ground on which the
Settlement now stands on a 999 years' lease. In the meantime Mr.
Passmore Edwards had raised his original offer from £4,000 to £7,000,
and then to £10,000; the total fund stood at over £12,000, and Mr.
Norman Shaw agreed to preside over an architects' competition and to
judge between the various designs submitted. All connected with
University Hall rejoiced greatly when the award fell to two young
residents of the Hall, Messrs. Dunbar Smith and Cecil Brewer, whose
simple yet beautiful design far surpassed those of the other
competitors. But according to the instructions of the Committee itself
the building was to cost up to £12,000, while the price of the site was
£5,000, and a further sum would be required for furnishing. Mrs. Ward
set herself to the task of raising further funds with her accustomed
energy, but her illness during the winter of 1895-6 greatly hampered
her, and the fund rose all too slowly for her eager spirit. Meanwhile
the builders' tenders soared in the opposite direction. When she
returned from Italy and Lucerne in May, 1896, she found the situation
critical; either fresh plans of a far less ambitious nature must be
asked for, or a further sum of £3,500 must be raised at once. Mr. R. G.
Tatton, already one of the most active members of the Council, and soon
to be appointed Warden, believed that the only hope lay in Mr. Passmore
Edwards, but told Mrs. Ward plainly that the benefactor had said he
could do no more unless others showed a corresponding interest. Mr.
Tatton boldly asked Mrs. Ward herself to lay down £1,000. This she did;
a fortunate legacy of £500 came in at the same moment, and Mr. Edwards
gave an additional £2,000 with the best grace in the world. Yet once
more, on the night of the formal opening, nearly two years later, did he
come forward with a similar donation, making £14,000 in all. He showed
throughout a steadfast faith in the working ideals of the Settlement
that triumphed over all minor difficulties; Mrs. Ward described him once
as possessed by "the very passion of giving." No wonder that the
Committee decided, long before the new building was completed, to call
it by his name.

Thus Mrs. Ward could have the happiness, during the years 1896 and 1897,
of seeing the beautiful building for which she had toiled so hard rise
and take bodily shape before her eyes. She became fast friends with the
two young architects, who had so decisively won the competition, and who
now devoted themselves indefatigably to the supervision of the work. She
formed, early in 1897, a General Committee for the new Settlement, the
wide and representative character of which showed how warm was the
sympathy entertained for the new venture not only in London, but also in
Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester. And she devoted herself to the
formation of a Lectureship Committee, named after Benjamin Jowett, which
was to carry on, within the new organization, the religious ideals of
University Hall. The Settlement itself rested on a purely secular basis,
but the Council fully agreed to the inclusion of the following clause as
one of the "Objects" in the Memorandum of Association: "To promote the
study of the Bible and of the history of religion in the light of the
best available results of criticism and research." The Jowett
Lectureship Committee was established in order to carry out this clause,
and a sum of £100 per annum was placed at its disposal from the general
revenue of the Settlement--a small result, it may be argued, of all the
missionary effort put forth in the founding of University Hall seven
years before. But the Settlement itself stood there as the result of
that effort, and as Mrs. Ward looked down, on October 10, 1897, on the
packed audience that assembled in the new hall to hear her opening
address, she might well feel that her dreams had come to a more solid
fruition than she could ever have dared to hope. But even then she did
not know the whole. There sat the mothers and the fathers, with faces
eager and expectant, ready to throw themselves into this big experiment
that was opening out before them. Mrs. Ward welcomed them with her whole
heart; yet this was not all: the children were at the gates.




For some two or three years before the opening of the new Settlement, a
Saturday morning "playroom" for children had been held at Marchmont
Hall, mainly under the direction of Miss Mary Neal, who, as the founder
of the Esperance Club for factory girls, and one of the "Sisters"
working under Rev. Hugh Price Hughes, had already made her name beloved
in the slums of St. Pancras. In that shabby little room she had taught
them Old English games and dances, till even the street outside grew
merry with the sound of their music, and many were the groups of
children seen playing "Old Roger is dead" or "Looby Loo" at street
corners during the other days of the week. Mrs. Ward had been much
attracted by the experiment, which was hampered, like everything else at
Marchmont Hall, by lack of space; and now that the fine new buildings
were available she was eager to transplant it and to carry it further.
My diary for Saturday, October 16, 1897, duly records that "D. and Miss
Churcher and I went to the Settlement at ten to superintend the
children's play-hour, which we are now going to have every Saturday in
the big hall. It was a perfect pandemonium this time, as we hadn't
prepared any sort of organization, and there were at least 120 children
to deal with. We also had to give each child a pair of list slippers to
put on over its own boots, and this was a tremendous business and took
over half an hour. Miss Neal made them a little speech before we began
the games, and then we all formed rings and played Looby Loo and others
of that stamp for nearly an hour more."

From these unpromising beginnings sprang the whole of the "organized
recreation" for children which gradually arose at the new Settlement,
with the object of attracting the child population of the district away
from the streets after school hours. Mrs. Ward guided and inspired the
movement, though she left the actual carrying on of the classes to
younger and more robust members of her group; but she formed a special
committee (the Women's Work Committee), of which she was chairman, to
watch over it all, and generally supplied the motive force, the sense of
its being worth while, which inspired the ever-growing band of our
helpers. One class, too, she kept as her very own--a weekly reading
aloud for boys between eleven and fourteen, in the course of which she
read them a great deal of Stevenson and Kipling, or brought them
photographs of her travels in Italy, or talked to them sometimes of the
events of the day. About thirty boys came regularly to these readings,
and always behaved well with her, while she on her side came to know
them individually and felt a strong affection for many of them. Where
are they now, those thirty boys? How many have left their bones in the
mud of Flanders, or on the heights that look towards Troas, across the
narrow sea? Mrs. Ward herself was often possessed with that thought
through the years of the Great War, but never, so far as I know, heard
any direct news of them. All were of that fatal age that Death reaped
with the least pity.

After the Saturday morning play-rooms--which fortunately improved in
discipline after that first "pandemonium," and increased so much in
popularity that we had to divide them into two, taking in close upon 400
children in a morning--we launched out into musical drill-classes for
bigger and smaller children, story-telling for the little ones,
gymnastic classes for girls and boys, a children's hour in the library,
dancing and acting classes, and finally history lectures with lantern
slides, designed to supplement the very meagre teaching of history that
the children received in the elementary schools around. How much one
learnt by hard experience, in the course of it all, of the art of
keeping the children's attention--whether in teaching them a new
singing-game on Saturdays, or in the story-telling to the "under
elevens," or in the exciting task of going over Oliver's battles with
the young ladies and gentlemen of the fifth to seventh standards! For
even these, if one lost their attention for a moment, were not above
calling out "Ole Krujer!" at a somewhat forbidding slide of Sir Thomas
Fairfax, while the "under elevens" would often be swept by gusts of
coughing and talk that fairly drowned the voice of the story-teller, if
she suffered them to lose the thread of the Princess's adventures by too
gorgeous a description of the dragon. But usually they were as good as
gold, sitting there packed tight on the rows of chairs (136 children on
seventy-six chairs was one of our records), while the "little mothers"
hugged their babies and no sound was to be heard save the sucking of
toffee or liquorice-sticks.

All these occupations took place in the late afternoon, from 5.30 to 7,
during the hours when the children of London, discharged from school and
tea, drift aimlessly about the streets, often actually locked out from
home (in those days at least) owing to the long hours worked by mother
as well as father at "charing" or at the local factory. The instant
response made by the child-population of St. Pancras to Mrs. Ward's
piping showed that she had, as it were, stumbled upon a real and vital
need of our great cities, and as a larger and larger band of helpers was
drawn into our circle and more and more of the cheerful Settlement rooms
came into use, the attendances of the children went up by leaps and
bounds. One year after the opening they had grown to some 650 per week;
by October, 1899, to 900, and in the next three or four years they
touched the utmost capacity of the building by reaching 1,200. The
schools in the immediate neighbourhood co-operated eagerly in the new
effort, though the selection of children for our special classes often
involved extra labour for the teachers; but they rose to it with
enthusiasm, and would sometimes steal in to watch their children
enjoying the story-telling or the library, removed from the restraint of
day-school discipline, and yet "giving no trouble," as they wonderingly
recognized. Mrs. Ward made friends with many of these teachers,
especially with those from Manchester Street and Prospect Terrace
Schools, for it was her way to establish natural human relations with
every one with whom she came in contact, and the hard-working London
teacher always appealed to her in a peculiar way. An incident that gave
her special pleasure was the passing of a vote of thanks to the
Settlement by a neighbouring Board of Managers, "for the work done among
the children of this school." How she was loved and looked up to by
every one concerned--by helpers, teachers and, more dimly, by the
children themselves--is not, perhaps, for me to say; but this was the
note that underlay all the busy hum of the Settlement building in the
children's hour, as indeed in all the other hours of its day.

Occasionally, however, some critic would observe, "Well, this is all
very fine for the children, but what do the parents say about it? What
becomes of _home influence_ when you encourage the children to come out
in this way at an hour when they ought to be at home?" The answer, of
course, was that the parents themselves, and especially the more anxious
and hard-working among them, were the foremost in blessing the
Settlement (or the "Passmore," as it was affectionately dubbed in the
neighbourhood) for the good care that it took of Sidney or Alf or Elsie;
that they knew, better than anyone else, how little they could do in the
miserable rooms that served them for a home for the growing boys and
girls, and yet that "the streets" were full of dangers from which they
longed to preserve their little ones. One or two of them became
voluntary helpers at the "Recreation School," as it came to be called;
many joined the "Parents' Guild" that Mrs. Ward formed from among them,
and that met periodically at the Settlement for music and rest, or for a
quiet talk with her about the children's doings; while all were to be
seen at the summer and winter "Displays" in the big hall or in the
garden, their tired faces beaming with pride at the performance of their
offspring. Perhaps indeed it is the bitterest reproach of all against
our civilization that in the homes of the poor, "where every process of
life and death," as Mrs. Ward once put it, "has to be carried on within
the same few cubic feet of space," there is no room for the growing
children, who, as baby follows baby in the crowded tenement, get pushed
out into the world almost before they can stand upon their feet. Mrs.
Ward knew only too well the conditions of life in the mean streets of
St. Pancras or the East End; her sister-in-law, Miss Gertrude Ward, who
had become a District Nurse after the eight years of her life with us,
had frequently taken her to certain typical dens where such "processes
of life and death" were going on, and her own researches for _Sir George
Tressady_ had done the rest. Add to this her intense power of
imagination and of realization acting like a fire within her, and the
children's work at the Passmore Edwards Settlement is all explained. She
yearned to them and longed to make them happy: that was all.

Mr. Tatton, the Warden, would often say that the Recreation School was
growing to be the most important side of the Settlement work, and
himself, bachelor as he was, delighted to watch it; but Mrs. Ward would
not willingly have admitted this, even if it were true, for the many
developments of the normal work for adults were always immensely
interesting to her. Whenever she was in London (and often from Stocks
too!) she contrived, in spite of ill-health and the many claims upon her
time, to be at the Settlement three or four times a week, attending
Council meetings and committees, showing the building to friends,
talking to "Associates," old and new, or listening with delight to the
wonderful concerts that took place in the big hall on Saturday evenings.
For it had always been intended that music should play a very special
part in the life of the Settlement, and the Council had been fortunate
in securing as Musical Director Mr. Charles Williams, who, in
partnership with Miss Audrey Chapman's Ladies' Orchestra, gave concerts
of quite extraordinary merit there during the first year or two of the
Settlement's existence. He would take his audience into his confidence,
explaining, before the music began, the part of each instrument in the
whole symphony, and all with so happy a touch that even untrained
listeners felt transported into a world where they understood--for the
moment--what Beethoven or Mozart would be at. Those evenings remain in
memory as occasions of pure joy, and did much to reconcile the older
Associates of Marchmont Hall to the magnificence of the new building--a
magnificence which otherwise weighed rather sadly upon their spirits!
Some of them, amid the growing activity of the new life around them,
confessed that they could not help regretting the old shabby days of
pipe-sucking at Marchmont Hall, where the dingy premises were "a poor
thing, but mine own." Mrs. Ward was distressed by this feeling, and
sought to draw them in in every way to the life and government of the
place; but one of the unforeseen features of the work was that the new
Associates who joined the Settlement in considerable numbers were for
the most part young people, rather than the contemporaries and friends
of the Marchmont Hall Associates. Shop assistants and clerks were also
on the increase, desiring to take advantage of the many facilities,
social and educational, offered by the new building; and though the
new-comers were looked on with distrust by the older members, no
definite rule could be laid down excluding them. Admission to the
Associate body might be strictly reserved to "workmen and working women"
from a definite area, but it was difficult to prove that a shopman or a
clerk did not work. One thing, however, was insisted upon--that the new
candidates should read over and digest the confession of faith which
Mrs. Ward had drawn up in the early days of Marchmont Hall, a creed
which put in simple form the aspirations of the Settlement:

     "We believe that many changes in the conditions of life and labour
     are needed, and are coming to pass; but we believe also that men,
     without any change except in themselves and in their feelings
     towards one another, might make this world a better and happier

     "Therefore, with the same sympathies but different experiences of
     life, we meet to exchange ideas and to discuss social questions, in
     the hope that as we learn to know one another better, a feeling of
     fellowship may arise among us."

And though some of the younger candidates seemed to have joined the
Settlement rather to dance at the Social Evenings than to "exchange
ideas and to discuss social questions," let alone to attend the lectures
and classes, still the leaven worked, so that at the end of three years
the Warden could report that "an increasing number of Associates use the
opportunities of the Settlement to the utmost, and are always to the
front when service and help are needed. Such Associates, both men and
women, are a chief source of whatever power for good the Settlement may

And indeed, with what life and movement the whole building hummed on any
evening of the week, in those first exciting years! Apart altogether
from the children's work, the attendances of adults during the busy
winter terms reached some 1,400 a week, and must surely have
represented, when translated into terms of human aspiration or
enjoyment, much lightening of the burdens and monotonies of life in the
dull streets that surrounded the Settlement. Mrs. Ward herself, in an
appeal in favour of the work issued in 1901, summed up in these words
her feeling on the place that Settlements might fill in the life of
London's workers:

     "Stand in the street now and look back at the 'Community
     House'--the Settlement building and its surroundings. The high
     windows shine; in and out pass men and women, boys and girls, going
     to class, or concert, or drill, to play a game of chess or
     billiards, or merely to sit in a pleasant and quiet room, well lit
     and warmed, to read a book or listen to music. To your right
     stretches the densely peopled district of King's Cross and Gray's
     Inn Road, Clerkenwell. Behind the Settlement runs the busy Euston
     Road, and the wilderness of Somers Town. Immediately beside you, if
     you turn your head, you may see the opening of a narrow street and
     the outline of a large block of model dwellings, whence many
     frequenters of the Settlement have been drawn. Carry your minds
     into the rooms of these old tenement houses which fill the streets
     east of Marchmont Street, the streets, say, lying between you and
     Prospect Terrace Board School. No doubt the aspect of these rooms
     varies with the character of the occupants. But even at their best,
     how cramped they are, how lacking in space, air, beauty, judged by
     those standards which a richer class applies to its own dwellings
     as a matter of course! and though we may hope that a reforming
     legislation may yet do something for the dwellings of the London
     working-class in the essential matters of air and sanitation, it is
     not easy to foresee a time when the workman's house shall do more
     than supply him with the simplest necessaries--with shelter, with
     breathing-room, sleeping-room, food-room. Yet, as we fully realize,
     the self-respecting and industrious artisan has instincts towards
     the beauties and dignities of life. He likes spacious rooms, and
     soft colour, and pictures to look at, as much as anyone else; he
     wants society, art, music, a quiet chair after hard work, stimulus
     for the brain after manual labour, amusement after effort, just
     like his neighbour in Mayfair or Kensington. The young men and
     maidens want decent places other than the streets and the
     public-house in which to meet and dance and amuse each other. They
     need--as we all need--contact with higher education and gentler
     manners. They want--as we all ought to want--to set up a social
     standard independent of money or occupation, determined by manners
     in the best sense, by kindness, intelligence, mutual sympathy, work
     for the commonweal. They want surroundings for their children after
     school hours which, without loosening the home-tie, shall yet
     supplement their own narrow and much-taxed accommodation; which
     shall humanize, and soften, and discipline. They want more physical
     exercise, more access to the country, more organization of
     holidays. All these things are to be had in or through the House
     Beautiful--through the Settlement, the 'Community' or 'Combination'
     house of the future. The Socialist dreams of attaining them through
     the Collectivist organization of the State. But at any rate he will
     admit that his goal is far, far distant; probably he feels it more
     distant now than he and his fellows thought it thirty years ago.
     Let him, let all of us work meanwhile for something near our hands,
     for the deepening and extension of the Settlement movement, for the
     spread, that is, of knowledge of the higher pleasures, and of a
     true social power among the English working-class."

How instinct are these words with the idealisms of a bygone generation,
a generation that knew not Communism or Proletarian Schools! No doubt,
nowadays, we have gone beyond all that; we may not speak of the
"self-respecting and industrious artisan"; class-war is the word of
power instead of class-appeasement. So far on the onward road have we
travelled since 1901!

For the rest, Mrs. Ward's main task during these early years was to use
her gifts of understanding, of patience and of human sympathy in keeping
all the workers at the Settlement together, in straightening out the
differences that would arise among so varied a crew of energetic people,
and in pushing forward the work in ever new directions. All difficulties
were referred to her by Residents, by Associates, by Warden and
Treasurer. On her also rested the responsibility for raising the
necessary money. Much helped by the Duke of Bedford, who remitted the
ground-rent, and also gave a considerable subscription, she prospered
beyond all rational probability in the latter task. Her many friends
were touched by her infectious enthusiasm, and gladly helped her to the
best of their ability, so that the deficits on each year's working
turned out to be far less than the prudent had expected. Such a letter
as the following was not uncommon--though the amount enclosed did not
always reach so round a figure:--

_May 25, 1898._


     I shall be very happy to dine with you on the 14th of June.

     You once said that the P. Edwards Settlement would not be
     disdainful of subscriptions, and I had not anything to give at the
     time. I can now send you with pleasure a cheque for £100. I am sure
     you will find some good use for it.

Yours very truly,

The use found for Lord Northbrook's gift was in tidying and beautifying
the garden at the back of the Settlement--a piece of land, shaded by
fine old plane trees, which the Duke kept in his own hands, but allowed
the Settlement to use for a nominal fee. It was now laid down in grass,
and became a vital element in the carrying out of Mrs. Ward's further
schemes for the welfare of her London children. It was there that she
opened her first "Vacation School" in 1902 for children left to play and
quarrel in the streets during the August holiday, and there too that she
could see health returning to the faces of her cripples, after the
opening of the "Invalid Children's School" in February, 1899.

       *       *       *       *       *

In looking back over the origin of Mrs. Ward's interest in crippled and
invalid children, the vision of our old house in Russell Square rises
once more before me, with its gravelled garden at the rear running back
to meet the Queen Square gardens to the east of us, for there, across
those old plane-shaded spaces, rose the modest buildings of the
"Alexandra Hospital for Diseases of the Hip"--or, as we used to call it
for short, the "Hip Hospital." What "Diseases of the Hip" exactly were
was an obscure point to our childish minds, but we knew that our mother
cared very much for the children lying there, that all our old toys went
to amuse them, and that sometimes a lame boy or girl would appear at the
cottage down the lane past Borough Farm, which was Mrs. Ward's earliest
attempt at a convalescent home for ailing Londoners. No doubt many
another Bloomsbury family did just as much as we for these helpless
little ones, but the sight of them kindled in her the spark of
imagination, of creative force or what you will, that would not accept
their condition passively, but after many years forged from time and
circumstance the opportunity for a fundamental improvement of their

The opportunity presented itself in the tempting emptiness of the
Settlement rooms during the day-time. From five o'clock onwards they
were used to the uttermost, but all the morning and early afternoon they
stood tenantless, asking for occupation. Mrs. Ward had heard of a little
class for crippled children carried on at the Women's University
Settlement, Southwark, by Miss Sparkes, and of another in Stepney
organized by Mr. and Mrs. G. T. Pilcher, and before the new Settlement
was a year old she was already making inquiries from her friends on the
London School Board as to whether it might be possible to obtain the
Board's assistance in opening a small school for Crippled Children at
the Passmore Edwards Settlement. Already London possessed a few Special
Schools for the "mentally defective"; the Progressive party was in the
ascendant on the School Board, and among its chiefs were certain old
friends of Mrs. Ward's--Mr. Lyulph Stanley (now Lord Sheffield) and Mr.
Graham Wallas, who knew something of her powers and of the probability
that anything to which she set her hand in earnest would be carried
through. Mrs. Ward on her side believed that the number of crippled but
educable children scattered through London was far greater than anyone
supposed, and moreover that the policy of drafting them into the new
schools for the mentally defective (as was being done in some cases) was
fundamentally unsound. In the summer of 1898, therefore, she formed a
sub-committee of the Settlement Council, which undertook to carry out a
thorough inquiry in the neighbourhood of Tavistock Place into the
numbers of invalid children living at home and not attending ordinary
school, whose infirmities would yet permit them to attend a special
centre of the type that she had in mind. The help of all the
neighbouring hospitals was asked for and most ungrudgingly given, in the
supplying of lists of suitable children, while the Invalid Children's
Aid Association actively helped in the work of visiting, and the School
Board directed their Attendance Officers to assist Mrs. Ward by
providing the names of children exempted on the ground of ill-health
from attending school. Sad indeed were the secrets revealed by this
inquiry--of helpless children left at home all day, perhaps with a
little food within reach, while mother and father were out at work, with
_nothing on earth to do_, and only the irregular and occasional visits
of some kind-hearted neighbour to look forward to.

     "I have a vivid recollection," writes one of the most devoted
     workers of the I.C.A.A., Mrs. Townsend, "of being asked by a
     neighbour to visit two small boys in a particularly dirty and
     unsavoury street. I found the door open, felt my way along a
     pitch-dark passage, and found at the end of it a small dark room,
     very barely furnished: in one corner was a bed, on which lay a boy
     of ten with spinal trouble; in the other corner were two kitchen
     chairs, on one of which sat a boy of seven, with hip disease, his
     leg propped on the other. Between them stood a small table, and on
     it a tumbler of water and a plate with slices of bread and jam. The
     mother of these two was at work all day: at 6 a.m. she put their
     food for the day on the table and went off, leaving them all alone
     until she got home from work dead tired at 8 p.m. At least there
     were two of them, which made it a little less dreary for them than
     for another spinal case in the next street, who was left in the
     same way and was dependent on a kindly but very busy neighbour for
     any sight of human beings for fourteen hours of each day. I could
     quote case after case of these types--the children untaught and
     undisciplined, without hope or prospect in life, sometimes
     neglected because mother's whole time was spent in trying to earn
     enough to support them, more often spoilt and petted just because
     they were cripples, with their disability continually before them,
     and made the excuse for averting all the ordinary troubles of
     life. The attempts to place such children when they grew up were
     despairing--they were unused to using their hands and brains,
     unused to looking after themselves, supremely conscious that they
     were different from other people. The days before Special Schools
     seem almost too bad to look back upon even!"

From the reports on such cases which Mrs. Ward received from her helpers
throughout the summer of 1898 she formed the opinion that no school
could be successful unless it maintained a nurse to look after the
children's ailments, and an ambulance to convey them to and from their
homes. But she felt confident of being able to raise the money
(£200-£220 a year) for these purposes, if the School Board would provide
furniture and pay a teacher. Accordingly, by October, 1898, her
committee forwarded to the School Board a carefully-sifted schedule of
twenty-five names, together with a formal application that the Board
should take up the proposed class, provide it with a teacher, and supply
suitable furniture for the class-rooms, while the Settlement undertook
to provide rooms free of charge, to pay a nurse-superintendent, and to
maintain a special ambulance for the use of the school. Some
correspondence followed with the School Management Committee, of which
Mr. Graham Wallas was Chairman, and which was besieged at the same time
by those who thought such schools totally unnecessary, since all invalid
children whom it was possible to educate at all could attend the
Infants' (i.e. ground floor) departments of ordinary schools, where the
teachers would look after them. But Mrs. Ward collected much evidence to
show that this course could not possibly be pursued with any but the
slighter cases. "We have heard very pitiful things of the risks run by
these spinal and hip-disease cases in the ordinary schools," she wrote
to Mr. Stanley, "and of such children's terror of the hustling and
bustling of the playgrounds," and early in December she summed up the
arguments on this head in another memorandum to the Board. The
atmosphere was favourable, and indeed Mrs. Ward had marshalled her
evidence and put the case for the school so convincingly that no serious
opposition was possible. The School Board gave its consent early in
January, 1899; the approval of the Board of Education followed promptly,
and nothing remained but to provide the ambulance, and the set of
special furniture which was to fill the two rooms set aside for the
children at the Settlement.

The ambulance was presented by no less a well-wisher than Sir Thomas
Barlow, the great physician, while Mrs. Burgwin, the Board's
Superintendent of Special Schools, and Miss McKee, a member of the
Board, busied themselves in procuring and ordering a set of ingenious
invalid furniture--little cane arm-chairs with sliding foot-rests,
couches for the spinal cases, a go-cart for the play-ground, and so
forth--such as no Public Education Authority had ever occupied itself
with before. Preparations were made at the Settlement for serving the
daily dinner, which was to be an integral part of the arrangements, and
which, in those happy days, was to cost the children no more than
three-halfpence a head. At last, on February 28, 1899, all was
ready--save indeed the ambulance, for which an omnibus with an
improvised couch had to be substituted during the first few weeks. The
nurse, too, had been taken ill, so that on this first day the children
were fetched and safely delivered at the Settlement by Mrs. Ward's
secretary, Miss Churcher. It was pitiful to see their excitement and
delight at the new adventure, their joy in the "ride" and their wonder
at the pretty, unfamiliar rooms, each with its open fire, its flowers
from Stocks, and its set of Caldecott pictures on the walls, which
greeted them at the end of their journey. Mrs. Ward was, of course,
among the small group of those who welcomed them. Two medical officers
from the Board were there to admit them officially, and after this
ceremony they were handed over to the care of Miss Milligan, their
teacher--a woman whose special gifts in the handling of these delicate
children were to be devoted to the service of this school for nearly
twenty years. It is to be feared that little in the way of direct
instruction was imparted to them on that first day. But there they now
were, safe within the benevolent shelter of that most human of
institutions, the London School Board, and in a fair way to
become--though few of us realized it fully then--useful members of a
community from which they had received little till then but capricious
petting or heart-rending neglect.

The arrangements for the children's dinners and for the hour of
play-time afterwards were a subject of constant interest and delight to
Mrs. Ward. The housekeeper at the Settlement put all her ingenuity into
making the children's pence go as far as they could possibly be
stretched in covering the cost of a wholesome meal, and for a long time
the sum of 3_s._ 6_d._ a day was sufficient to pay for dinners of meat,
potatoes and pudding for twenty-five to thirty children. Their health
visibly improved, and the gratitude of their parents was touching to see
and hear. Nevertheless, Mrs. Ward was not satisfied. Some of the
children were very capricious in their appetites, and although most of
them did learn to eat milk puddings (at least when washed down with
treacle!), there were some who could hardly manage the plain wholesome
food, and others who could have eaten more than we had to give. It was
tempting to try the experiment of a larger and more varied dietary upon
them, and in days when the C.O.S. still reigned supreme, and the policy
of "free meals for necessitous children" was hardly breathed by the most
advanced, Mrs. Ward had the courage to carry it out. She described the
results in a letter to _The Times_, in September, 1901:

     "It was pointed out to the managers that a more liberal and varied
     dietary might have marked effects upon the children's health. The
     experiment was tried. More hot meat, more eggs, milk, cream,
     vegetables and fruit were given. In consequence the children's
     appetites largely increased, and the expenses naturally increased
     with them. The children's pence in May amounted to £3 13_s._ 6_d._,
     and the cost of food was £4 7_s._ 2_d._; in June, after the more
     liberal scale had been adopted, the children's payments were still
     £3 13_s._ 10_d._, but the expenses had risen to £5 7_s._ 8_d._
     Meanwhile, the physical and mental results of the increased
     expenditure are already unmistakable. Partially paralysed children
     have been recovering strength in hands and limbs with greater
     rapidity than before. A child who last year often could not walk at
     all, from rickets and extreme delicacy, and seemed to be fading
     away--who in May was still languid and feeble--is now racing about
     in the garden on his crutches; a boy who last year could only crawl
     on hands and feet is now steadily and rapidly learning to walk, and
     so on. The effect, indeed, is startling to those who have watched
     the experiment. Meanwhile the teachers have entered in the
     log-book of the school their testimony to the increased power of
     work that the children have been showing since the new feeding has
     been adopted. Hardly any child now wants to lie down during school
     time, whereas applications to lie down used to be common; and the
     children both learn and remember better."

It may be added that while the minimum payment of 1-1/2_d._ for these
dinners was still maintained at the Settlement School, payments of 2_d._
and even 3_d._ were asked from those who could afford it, and were in
many cases willingly given, while there were always a few children who
were excused all payment on the ground of poverty at home.

Another element that contributed largely to the success of the school
from the very beginning was that of the "dinner-hour helpers"--a panel
of ladies who took it in turns to wait on the children at dinner and to
superintend their play-time afterwards. They came with remarkable
regularity, and became deeply attached, many of them, to their frail
little charges. When the School Board extended the Cripples' Schools to
other parts of London they were careful to copy this development of
ours, by insisting that local committees of managers, half of whom
should be women, must be attached to each school. Here, surely, in this
simple but effective institution, may be seen the germ of the Care
Committee of future days!

The success of the school in Tavistock Place--the roll of which soon
increased to some forty children--naturally attracted a good deal of
attention, and it had hardly been running a year before the pros and
cons of setting up similar schools in other districts began to be
debated within the London School Board. Some members inevitably shied at
the prospect of the increasing expense to the rates, especially if the
whole cost of premises, ambulance and nurse were to be borne by the
public authority, and a definite movement arose, either for bringing the
crippled children into the ordinary schools, with some provision in the
way of special couches, etc., or for brigading the crippled and invalid
children with the "Mentally Defectives" in the special centres which had
already been opened for the latter. Much encouragement was given to this
latter view by the official report of one of the Medical Officers of the
School Board, who was instructed, in the spring of 1900, to examine and
report upon all cases of crippled children not attending school, and
submitted a report recommending that "those cases whom it is advisable
to permit to attend school at all" should be sent to the Mentally
Defective Centres, while neither nurse nor ambulance were, in the
opinion of the writer, required.

Mrs. Ward and her friends on the School Board were obliged to fight very
strenuously against these views, which, if they had prevailed, would
have prevented the establishment of "Physically Defective Centres" as we
know them to-day. It is perhaps unprofitable to go into the details of
that long-past controversy, the echoes of which have so completely died
away; suffice it to say that a Special Conference appointed by the Board
to consider the Medical Officer's Report recommended, in October, 1900,
that "The Board do make provision for children who, by reason of
physical defect, are incapable of receiving proper benefit from the
instruction in the ordinary public elementary schools, but are not
incapable by reason of such defect of receiving benefit from instruction
in special classes or schools"; and "that children of normal
intelligence be not taught with mentally defective children." A little
later it recommended the provision of both ambulance and nurse. These
resolutions--which were accepted by the Board--cleared the way for the
establishment of new centres for "Physically Defective" children, as
they now began to be called; but in order to make her case invincible,
and to accelerate the work of the School Board, Mrs. Ward undertook, all
through the autumn and winter of 1900-1901, a complete investigation
into the numbers and condition of the invalid children not attending
school in some of the largest and poorest London boroughs. In
consultation with the trained workers whom she employed for the purpose,
she had special forms printed for use in the inquiry, and I remember
well her eager comments as the statistics came in, and her consternation
at the ever-increasing numbers of crippled children which the inquiry
revealed. Finally this investigation extended to nine out of the ten
School Board divisions of London, and embraced a total of some 1,800
children, of whom 1,000, in round numbers, were recommended by her as
suitable for invalid schools. Of the rest, a substantial proportion were
reported as fit for ordinary school with a little additional care on
the part of teachers and managers; some were too ill for any school, and
some were both mentally and physically defective, and therefore
recommended for the "M.D." Centres. Meanwhile, the Special Schools
Sub-Committee of the School Board, under their Chairman, the Hon. Maude
Lawrence, had been at work since February, 1901, in making inquiries
into possible sites and buildings for the new schools, and by the middle
of March the Board were able to inform Mrs. Ward that sites for four
Centres had been agreed upon, while two more were to be located in
Kennington and Battersea "on the constitution of your returns, which
have now been marked on the map by the Divisional Superintendents."

Four ambulances had also been ordered, and it was decided to appoint
nurses at each of the Centres at a salary of £75 a year. Kitchens were,
of course, to be provided at all the Centres, so that the hot midday
meal which had proved so successful at the Settlement might be supplied.

The first two Centres to be opened by the School Board--in Paddington
and Bethnal Green--were ready by September, 1901, and both drew their
children entirely from those on Mrs. Ward's lists. It may be imagined
with what intense satisfaction she had followed every step taken by the
School Board towards this consummation. Finally she gathered up the
whole story of the Settlement School and of the School Board's adoption
of responsibility for London's crippled children in the letter to _The
Times_ mentioned above, pleading for the extension of the movement to
other large towns, and describing certain efforts made at the Settlement
School for the industrial and artistic training of the older children.
Her final paragraph ran as follows:

     "The happiness of the new schools is one of their most delightful
     characteristics. Freed from the dread of being jostled on stairs or
     knocked down in the crowd of the playground, with hours, food and
     rest proportioned to their need, these maimed and fragile creatures
     begin to expand and unfold like leaves in the sun. And small
     wonder! They have either been battling with ordinary school on
     terribly unequal terms, or else, in the intervals of hospital and
     convalescent treatment, their not uncommon lot has been to be
     locked up at home alone, while the normal members of the family
     were at work. I can recall one case of a child, lame and
     constantly falling, with brain irritation to boot--the result of
     infant convulsions--locked up for hours alone while its mother was
     at work; and another, of a poor little lad, whose back had been
     injured by an accident, alone all day after his discharge from
     hospital, feebly dragging himself about his room, in cold weather,
     to find a few sticks for fire, with the tears running down his
     cheeks from pain. His father and sister were at work, and he had no
     mother. It could not be helped. But he has been gathered into one
     of the new schools, where he has become another being. Scores of
     children in as sore need as his will, I hope, be reached and
     comforted by this latest undertaking of the Board.

     "And for some, all we shall be able to do, perhaps, will be to
     gladden a few months or years before the little life goes out. From
     them there will be no economic return, such as we may hope for in
     the great majority of cases. But even so, will it not be worth

As the efforts of the School Board and--after 1903--of the Education
Committee of the London County Council to spread the "Special Schools
for Physically Defective Children" over London grew more and more
effective, and the number of the new schools rose steadily, Mrs. Ward
and her principal helpers concentrated their attention mainly upon the
training of the children for suitable employment on their leaving
school. As early as 1900 a little committee was formed for this purpose
at the Settlement, which engaged special teachers of drawing and design
for the boys and of art needlework for the girls--for these delicate
children were often found to possess artistic aptitudes which made up to
them in a certain degree for their other disabilities. Presently this
committee developed into the "Crippled Children's Training and Dinner
Society," presided over by Miss Maude Lawrence, of the London School
Board, a Committee which did hard pioneer work in the organizing of
careers for these crippled children, whose numbers stood revealed beyond
all expectation as the Special Schools spread to every quarter of
London. By the year 1906 the numbers of schools had risen to
twenty-three, and of children on the rolls to 1,767; by 1909 the figures
were thirty and 2,452 respectively. The dark-brown ambulances conveying
their happy load of children to and from the schools became a familiar
sight of the London streets. But, though Mrs. Ward's experiment had
grown in these ten years with such astonishing rapidity, it had not lost
its original character. She had impressed it too deeply with her own
broad and sane humanity for the Special Schools Department of the L.C.C.
to become lost in red tape or officialdom, and under the wise reign of
Mrs. Burgwin and Miss Collard (Superintendents of Special Schools under
the Council) the traditions that had gathered round the first Invalid
Children's School were carried on and perpetuated. And to this day the
Boards of Managers that watch over the "P.D." Schools seem to be
inspired by a tenderer and more personal feeling than any other of the
multifarious committees that take thought for the children of the State.
The secret, in fact, of Mrs. Ward's success in this as in her other
public undertakings lay in the fact that her action was founded on a
real and urgent human need, and that she combined a power of presenting
and urging that need in forcible manner with an unfailing tenderness for
the individual child. As one of her colleagues expressed it once in
homely phrase: "The fact is, she had the brain of a man and the heart of
a woman." Nor did the heart dissolve itself in "gush," but showed its
quality rather in a disinterestedness that cared not where the _hudos_
went, so long as the thing itself were done--in an eager desire to bring
others forward and to give them a full share of whatever credit were to
be had.

The view of the School Board authorities was summed up long afterwards
in these sentences from the pen of Mr. Graham Wallas: "She brought to
the task not only imagination and sympathy, but a steady and systematic
industry, which is the most valuable of all qualities in public life.
She was never disheartened, and never procrastinated."

What was felt of her spirit by those who worked with her more
intimately, who saw her week by week in contact with the children
themselves, is harder to put into words. Perhaps this little vision of
her, recorded by the teacher of the school, Miss Milligan, comes nearest
to saving what is, after all, an intangible essence, that once had form
and being and is now vanished into air:

"But above and beyond all else Mrs. Ward was--what she was always called
amongst us--'The Fairy Godmother.' In the early days before the school
grew so big, every child knew this Fairy Godmother personally, and
loved her, and we remember how on the occasion of one Christmas Party
Mrs. Ward was unable to be present through illness, and the children
were so sad that even the Christmas tree could hardly console them. When
she had recovered and came again to see them, _they_ gave _her_ a
delightful little tea-party, even the poorest children giving half-pence
and farthings to buy a bunch of Parma violets, and a sponge-cake--having
first ascertained what sort of cake she liked. It was a pretty sight to
see them all clustering round her, and her kind, beautiful face whenever
she was amongst the children will haunt one for years."




_Helbeck of Bannisdale_ is probably that one among Mrs. Ward's books on
which her fame as a novelist will stand or fall. Though it sold less in
England and much less in America than her previous novels at the time of
its publication, it has outlasted all the others in the extent of its
circulation to-day. In this the opinion of those critics for whose word
she cared has been borne out, for they prophesied that it had in it,
more than her other books, the element of permanence. "I know not
another book that shows the classic fate so distinctly to view," wrote
George Meredith, and some years later, in a long talk with a younger
friend about Mrs. Ward's work, repeated his profound admiration for
_Helbeck_. "The hero, if hero he be, is as fresh a creation as
Ravenswood or Rochester," said another critic, Lord Crewe, "and what a
luxury it is to hang a new portrait on one's walls in this age of old
figures in patched garments! I have no idea yet how the story will end,
but though the atmosphere is so much less lurid and troubled, I have
something of the _Wuthering Heights_ sense of coming disaster. I think
the Brontës would have given your story the most valuable admiration of
all--that of writers who have succeeded in a rather similar, though by
no means the same, field."

The theme of the book was, as all Mrs. Ward's readers know, the eternal
clash between the mediæval and the modern mind in the persons of Alan
Helbeck, the Catholic squire, and Laura Fountain, the child of science
and negation; while beyond and behind their tragic loves stands the
"army of unalterable law" in the austere northern hills, the bog-lands
of the estuary, the river in gentleness and flood. Almost, indeed, can
it be said that there are but three characters in _Helbeck_--Alan
himself, Laura, and the river, which in the end takes her tormented
spirit. The idea of such a novel had presented itself to Mrs. Ward
during a visit that she paid in the autumn of 1896 to her old friends,
Mr. James Cropper and his daughter, in that beautiful South Westmorland
country which she had known only less well than the Lake District itself
ever since her childhood. There the talk turned one day on the fortunes
of an old Catholic family (the Stricklands), who had owned Sizergh
Castle, near Sedgwick, for more than three centuries, steadfastly
enduring the persecutions of earlier days, and, now that persecutions
had ceased, fighting a sad and losing battle against poverty and
mortgages. "The vision of the old squire and the old house--of all the
long vicissitudes of obscure suffering, and dumb clinging to the faith,
of obstinate, half-conscious resistance to a modern world, that in the
end had stripped them of all their gear and possessions, save only this
'I will not' of the soul--haunted me when the conversation was
done."[19] By the end of the long railway-journey from Kendal to London
next day she had thought out her story. The deepest experiences of her
own life went to the making of it, for had she not been brought up with
a Catholic father, made aware from her earliest childhood of the
irremediable chasm there between two lovers? The situation in _Helbeck_
was of course wholly different, but in the working out of it Mrs. Ward
had the advantage of a certain inborn familiarity with the Catholic
mind, which made the characters of this book peculiarly her own.

All through the winter of 1896-7 Mrs. Ward was steeping herself in
Catholic literature; then in the early spring--again by the good offices
of Mr. Cropper--she became aware that Levens Hall, the wonderful old
Tudor house near the mouth of the Kent, which belonged to Capt.
Josceline Bagot, might be had for a few weeks or months. She determined
to migrate thither as soon as possible and to write her story amid the
very scenes which she had planned for it. How well do I remember the
grey spring evening (it was the 6th of March) on which--after delays and
confusions far beyond our small deserts--we drove up to the river front
of the old house; the hurried rush through glorious dark rooms, and a
half timid exploration of the garden, peopled with gaunt shapes of
clipped and tortured yews. Levens was to us just such another adventure
as Hampden House had been, eight years before, but this time there was
no bareness, no dilapidation, nothing but the ripe product of many
centuries of peaceful care. Yet Levens was famous for its crooked
descent, its curse and its "grey lady"--an accessory, this latter, of
sadly modern origin, as we found on inquiring into her local history.
Mrs. Ward, however, wove her skilfully into her story, as she wove the
fell-farm of the family of "statesmen" to whom Miss Cropper introduced
her, or the mournful peat-bogs of the estuary, or the daffodils crowding
up through the undergrowth in Brigsteer Wood, or covering with sheets of
gold the graves round Cartmel Fell Chapel.

Yet Bannisdale itself is "a house of dream," as Mrs. Ward herself
described it[20]; neither wholly Levens nor wholly Sizergh, placed
somewhere in the recesses of Levens Park, and looking south over the
Kent. "And just as Bannisdale, in my eyes, is no mortal house, and if I
were to draw it, it would have outlines and features all its own, so the
story of the race inhabiting it, and of Helbeck its master, detached
itself wholly from that of any real person or persons, past or present.
Those who know Levens will recognize many a fragment here and there that
has been worked into Bannisdale: and so with Sizergh. But Helbeck's
house, as it stands in the book, is his and his alone. And in the same
way the details and vicissitudes of the Helbeck ancestry, and the
influences that went to build up Helbeck himself, were drawn from many
fields, then passed through the crucible of composition, and scarcely
anything now remains of those original facts from which the book

Many Catholic books, in which she browsed "with what thoughts," as
Carlyle would say, followed her to Levens, giving her that grip of
detail in matters of belief or ritual, without which she could not have
approached her subject, but which she had now learnt to absorb and
re-fashion far more skilfully than in the days of _Robert Elsmere_. She
loved to discuss these matters with her father, from whom she had no
secrets, in spite of their divergencies of view; when he came to visit
us at Levens--still a tall and beautiful figure, in spite of his
seventy-three years--they talked of them endlessly, and when he returned
to Dublin she wrote him such letters as the following:

     "One of the main impressions of this Catholic literature upon me is
     to make me perceive the enormous intellectual pre-eminence of
     Newman. Another impression--I know you will forgive me for saying
     quite frankly what I feel--has been to fill me with a perfect
     horror of asceticism, or rather of the austerities--or most of
     them--which are indispensable to the Catholic ideal of a saint. We
     must talk this over, for of course I realize that there is much to
     be said on the other side. But the simple and rigid living which I
     have seen, for various ideal purposes, in friends of my own--like
     T. H. Green--seems to me both religious and reasonable, while I
     cannot for the life of me see anything in the austerities, say of
     the Blessed Mary Alacoque, but hysteria and self-murder. The Divine
     Power occupies itself for age on age in the development of all the
     fine nerve-processes of the body, with their infinite potencies for
     good or evil. And instead of using them for good, the Catholic
     mystic destroys them, injures her digestion and her brain, and is
     then tortured by terrible diseases which she attributes to every
     cause but the true one--her own deliberate act--and for which her
     companions glorify her, instead of regarding them as
     what--surely--they truly are, God's punishment. No doubt directors
     are more careful nowadays than they were in the seventeenth
     century, but her life is still published by authority, and the
     ideal it contains is held up to young nuns.

     "Don't imagine, dearest, that I find myself in antagonism to all
     this literature. The truth in many respects is quite the other way.
     The deep personal piety of good Catholics, and the extent to which
     their religion enters into their lives, are extraordinarily
     attractive. How much we, who are outside, have to learn from them!"

To an ex-Catholic friend, Mr. Addis, who had undertaken to look over
the manuscript for her, she wrote some time later, when the book was
nearly finished:

     "In my root-idea of him, Helbeck was to represent the old Catholic
     crossed with that more mystical and enthusiastic spirit, brought in
     by such converts as Ward and Faber, under Roman and Italian
     influence. I gather, both from books and experience, that the more
     fervent ideas and practices, which the old Catholics of the
     'forties disliked, have, as a matter of fact, obtained a large
     ascendancy in the present practice of Catholics, just as Ritualism
     has forced the hands of the older High Churchmen. And I thought one
     might, in the matter of austerities, conceive a man directly
     influenced by the daily reading of the Lives of the Saints, and
     obtaining in middle life, after probation and under special
     circumstances, as it were, leave to follow his inclinations.

     "I take note most gratefully of all your small corrections. What I
     am really anxious about now is the points--in addition to pure
     jealous misery--on which Laura's final breach with Helbeck would
     turn. I _think_ on the terror of confession--on what would seem to
     her the inevitable uncovering of the inner life and yielding of
     personality that the Catholic system involves--and on the
     foreignness of the whole idea of _sin_, with its relative, penance.
     But I find it extremely hard to work out!"

As the weeks of our stay at Levens passed by, while the sea-trout came
up the Kent and challenged the barbarian members of the family to many a
tussle in the Otter-pool, or the "turn-hole," or the bend of the river
just above the bridge, Mrs. Ward plunged ever deeper into her subject,
though the difficulties under which she laboured in the sheer writing of
her chapters were almost more disabling than ever. "For a week my arm
has been almost useless, alas!" she wrote in May; "I have had it in a
sling and bandaged up. I partly strained it in rubbing A., but I must
also have caught cold in it. Anyhow it has been very painful, and I have
been in quite low spirits, looking at Chapter III, which would not move!
The chairs and tables here don't suit it at all--the weather is
extremely cold--and altogether I believe I am pining for Stocks!" But
before we left the wonderful old house many friends had come to stay
with us there, renewing their own tired spirits in its beauty and
charm, and in the society of its temporary mistress. Henry James and the
Henry Butchers, Katharine Lyttelton and her Colonel, Bron Herbert and
Victor Lytton, fishers of sea-trout,--and, on Easter Monday, "Max
Creighton" himself, now Bishop of London, much worn by the antics of Mr.
Kensit and his friends, but otherwise only asking to "eat the long
miles" in walks along Scout Scar, or over the "seven bens and seven
fens" that lay between us and the lovely little Chapel of St. Anthony on
Cartmel Fell. Such talks as they had, he and Mrs. Ward, at all times
when she was not deliberately burying herself in her study to escape the
temptation! The rest of us would listen fascinated, watching for that
gesture of his, when he would throw back his head so that the under side
of his red beard appeared to view--a gesture of triumph over his
opponent, as he fondly thought, until her next remark showed him there
was still much to win. Henry James was more demure in his tastes,
walking beside the pony-tub when Mrs. Ward went for her afternoon drive
through Levens Park, or along the Brigsteer lane, and "letting fall
words of wisdom as we went" (for so it is recorded by the driver of the
tub). Ah, if those words could but have been gathered up and saved from
all-swallowing oblivion! Mr. James's friendship for Mrs. Ward had
already endured for ten or twelve years before this visit to Levens, but
these days in the old house gave it a deeper and more intimate tone,
which it never lost thenceforward. He never wholly approved of her art
as a novelist--how could he, when it differed so fundamentally from his
own?--but his admiration for her as a woman, his affection for her as a
friend, knew very few limits indeed. And her feeling for him was to grow
and deepen through another twenty years of happy friendship, ripening
towards that day when, in England's darkest time, he chose to make
himself a son of England, and then, soon afterwards, followed the many
lads whom he had loved "where track there is none."

[Illustration: MRS. WARD IN 1898


Mrs. Ward finally quitted Levens before the end of her lease, owing to a
prolonged attack of influenza, which spoilt her last weeks there, but
she always looked back to her stay in the "Border Castle," as Mr. James
had dubbed it, as an enchanting episode, taking her back to the
fell-country and its people with an intimacy she had not known since
those long-past childish days, when she would dance up the path to
Sweden Bridge, the grown-ups loitering behind. For the remainder of this
year (1897) she was pressing on with her book, in spite of
ever-recurring waves of ill-health and of constant over-pressure with
the affairs of the Settlement. By the autumn, when the new buildings
were actually open, this pressure became so formidable that she was
obliged to take a small house at Brighton for three months, in order to
spend three days of each week there in complete seclusion. The book
prospered fairly well, but the formal opening of the Settlement, which
had been fixed for February 12, 1898, was very much on her mind--at
least until she had succeeded in persuading Mr. Morley to make the
principal speech. This, however, he consented to do with all the
graciousness inspired by his old friendship for its founder; and when
the ceremony was actually over Mrs. Ward retired to Stocks for a final
struggle with the last chapters of _Helbeck_. "Except, perhaps, in the
case of "Bessie Costrell," she wrote in her _Recollections_, "I was
never more possessed by a subject, more shut in by it from the outer
world." And in these last few weeks of the long effort she walked as in
a dream, though the dream was too often broken by cruel attacks of her
old illness. She fought them down, however, and emerged victorious on
March 25,--more dead than alive, in the rueful opinion of her family.
But the usual remedy of a flight to Italy was tried again with sovereign
effect, and at Cadenabbia on Lake Como, in Florence and on Maggiore, she
felt the flooding back of a sense of physical ease. The book did not
appear until the month of June, when both Press and friends received it
with so warm an enthusiasm as to "produce in me that curious mood, which
for the artist is much nearer dread than boasting--dread that the best
is over, and that one will never earn such sympathy again." One
discordant note was, however, struck by a review in the _Nineteenth
Century_ by a certain Father Clarke, violently attacking _Helbeck_ as a
caricature of Catholicism, and picking various small holes in its
technicalities of Catholic practice. The article was answered in the
next number of the _Nineteenth Century_ by another Catholic, Mr. St.
George Mivart, and Mrs. Ward's fairness to Catholicism vindicated;
indeed, many of the other reviews had accused her of making the ancient
faith too attractive in the person of Helbeck. Mr. C. E. Maurice wrote
to her to protest against Father Clarke's attack, remarking incidentally
that "if any religious body have cause of complaint against you for this
book, it is the Protestant Nonconformists" and asking her in the course
of his letter "what point you generally start from in deciding to write
a novel; whether from the wish to work out a special thesis, or from the
desire to deal with certain characters who have interested you, or from
being impressed by a special _story_, actual or possible?" Mrs. Ward
replied to him as follows:

     "I think a novel with me generally springs from the idea of a
     situation involving two or three characters. _Helbeck_ arose from a
     fragment of conversation heard in the North, and was purely human
     and not controversial in its origin. It is in these conflicts
     between old and new, as it has always seemed to me, that we moderns
     find our best example of compelling fate,--and the weakness of the
     personal life in the grip of great forces that regard it not, or
     seem to regard it not, is just as attractive as ever it was to the
     imagination--do you not think so? The forms are different, the
     subject is the same."

To Mr. Mivart himself she wrote:

     "I hear with great interest from Mr. Knowles that you are going to
     break a lance with Father Clarke on poor _Helbeck's_ behalf in the
     forthcoming _Nineteenth Century_. I need not say that I shall read
     very diligently what you have to say. Meanwhile I am venturing to
     send you these few Catholic reviews, as specimens of the very
     different feelings that seem to have been awakened in many quarters
     from those expressed by Father Clarke. It amuses me to put the
     passages from Father Vaughan's sermon that concern Helbeck himself
     side by side with Father Clarke's onslaught upon him.

     "The story that the orphan tells to Laura, which Father Clarke
     calls 'detestable, extravagant and objectionable,' that no
     instructed Catholic would dream of telling to his juniors, is told
     by Father Law, S.J., to his younger brothers and sisters, and is
     given in the very interesting _Life of Father Law_, by Ellis
     Schreiber. I have only shortened it.

     "Father Clarke does not seem to have the dimmest notion of what is
     meant by writing in character. I had a hearty laugh over his
     really absurd remarks about Laura and St. Francis Borgia's

Some years later, when her feeling about the book's reception had
settled down and crystallized, she wrote in more meditative mood to her
son-in-law, George Trevelyan:

     "Yes, it was a good subject, and I shall hardly come across one
     again so full both of intellectual and human interest.... I like
     your 'dear and dreadful!' In my case it is quite true. Catholicism
     has an enormous attraction for me,--yet I could no more be a
     Catholic than a Mahometan. Only, never let us forget how much of
     Catholicism is based, as Uncle Matt would have said, on 'Natural
     truth'--truth of human nature, and truth of moral experience. The
     visible, imperishable Society--the Kingdom of Heaven in our
     midst--no greater idea, it seems to me, was ever thrown into the
     world of men. Its counterpart is to be found in the Logos
     conception from which all Liberalism descends, and which is the
     perpetual corrective of the Catholic idea. But these things would
     take us far!"

Meanwhile, to Bishop Creighton, who had written to her far less
critically than usual of her new book, she replied with a long letter,
in which, after the first sheet, she reverted to the subjects which were
always of the deepest interest to this pair of friends--the barriers set
around the National Church, which Mrs. Ward complained kept out too many
of the faithful, or at least too many of those who, like herself, would
willingly proclaim their faith in a spiritual Christ.

_August 9, 1898_.

..."I have been desperately, perhaps disproportionately interested
     in a meeting of Liberal Churchmen as to which I cannot get full
     particulars--in which the great need of the day was said to be not
     ritual, but 'the re-statement and re-interpretation of dogma in the
     light of the knowledge and criticism of our day.' It makes me once
     more conscious of all sorts of claims and cravings that I have
     often wished to talk over with you--not as Bishop of London!--but
     as one with whom, in old days at any rate, I used to talk quite
     freely. If only the orthodox churchmen would allow us on our side a
     little more freedom, I, at any rate, should be well content to let
     the Ritualists do what they please! Every year I live I more and
     more resent the injustice which excludes those who hold certain
     historical and critical opinions from full membership in the
     National Church, above all from participation in the Lord's Supper.
     Why are we _all_ always to be bound by the formularies of a past
     age, which avowedly represent a certain state of past opinion, a
     certain balance of parties?--privately and personally I mean. The
     public and ceremonial use of formularies is another matter where
     clearly the will of the majority should decide. The minority may be
     well content to accept the public and ceremonial use, if it may
     accept it in its own way. But here the Church steps in with a
     test--several tests--the Catechism, the Creed, the Confirmation
     service. And the tendency of the last generation of churchpeople
     has been all towards tightening these tests, probably under two
     influences--a deepened Christian devotion, and the growing pressure
     of the alternative view of Christianity. But is it not time the
     alternative view were brought in and assimilated,--to the
     strengthening of Christian love and fellowship? What _ought_ to
     prevent anyone who accepts the Lord's own test of the 'two great
     commandments,' or the Pauline test of 'all who love the Lord Jesus
     Christ,' from breaking the bread and drinking the wine which
     signify the headship and sacrifice, and mystical fellowship of
     Christ? But such an one may hold it solemnly and sacredly
     impossible to recite matters of supposed history such as 'born of
     the Virgin Mary,' or 'on the third day He rose again--and ascended
     to the Father,' as personally true of himself. He may be quite
     wrong--that is not the point. Supposing that his historical
     conscience is clearly and steadily convinced on the one side, and
     on the other he only asks that he and his children may pass into
     the national Christian family, and join hands with all who believe
     in God, who 'love the Lord Jesus' and hope in immortality, what
     should keep him out? Would it not be an immense strengthening of
     the Church to include, on open and honourable terms, those who can
     now only share in her Eucharist on terms of concealment and
     evasion? Why should there not be an alternative baptismal and
     confirmation service, to be claimed under a conscience clause by
     those who desire it? At present no one can have his children
     confirmed who is not prepared to accept, or see them accept,
     certain historical statements, which he and they may perhaps not
     believe. And except as a matter of private bargain and
     sufferance--always liable to scandal--neither he nor they, unless
     these tests have been passed, can join in the commemoration of
     their Master's death, which should be to them the food and stimulus
     of life. Nothing honestly remains to them but exclusion, and
     hunger--or the falling back upon a Unitarianism, which has too
     often unlearned Christ, and to which, at its best, they may not
     naturally belong."

Mrs. Ward might, perhaps, have added that what remains to the majority
of those whom these tests keep out, is a gradual _loss of hunger_--a
making up with other things, which cannot but be a fatal loss to the
National Church. But she was thinking of her own case, and to her, I
think, the "hunger" for admission to the Church (though always on her
own terms!) remained for long years a living force, leading her in the
end to write that best and most vivid among her later books, _The Case
of Richard Meynell_. Meanwhile her relations with Unitarianism,
mentioned in this letter, remained somewhat anomalous, for while
agreeing with its tenets, she was always impatient of its old-fashioned
isolation, and of its neglect to seize the opportunity presented to it
by the march of modern thought, which seemed to her to summon it to take
the lead in the movement towards a free Christian fellowship. She was
never so hard on the Unitarian body as Stopford Brooke, who once
exclaimed in a letter to her that "they cling to ancient uglinesses as
if they were sweethearts!" But Mrs. Ward had had a brush with them in
1893, when she wrote to the _Manchester Guardian_ after the opening of
Manchester College, Oxford, lamenting the bareness of the service, the
extempore prayers, the relics of old Puritanism, instead of the appeal
to colour and imagination and modern thought. Her letter provoked many
answers, both public and private, and to one of these, a kind and
generous argument from Dr. Estlin Carpenter, she replied with a fuller
explanation of her feeling:

_November 2, 1893._

..."My own feeling, the child of course of early habit and
     tradition, is strongly on the side of ritual throughout, though I
     would infinitely rather have _new_ ritual, like Dr. Martineau's two
     services, than a modified edition of the Anglican prayers, such as
     we have at Mr. Brooke's. But I don't think I should have ventured
     to put forward the view I did so strongly as I did, with regard to
     any other place in the world than Oxford. I knew Oxford intimately
     for fifteen years, and still, of course, have many friends there. I
     am convinced that Manchester College has a real mission towards an
     Oxford which is not yet theirs, but which ought to become so. But I
     am also certain that Oxford cannot be reached through the forms
     that have been so far adopted. You may say, as Mr. ---- does in
     effect, in a letter to me: 'Oxford must take us with our Puritanism
     as we are, or leave us.' But surely to say this is to refuse a real
     mission, a real call. It is the very opposite of St. Paul's spirit,
     of making himself all things to all men, 'that I may by any means
     gain some.' It is putting adherence to a form, about which there
     is, after all, serious difference of opinion in your own body,
     between you and a great future. At least that is how it looks to
     me, and I think I have some means of judging. The religious
     message, the thoughts, the conceptions that you have to give
     Oxford, especially to the young men, not of your own body, who may
     be attracted to you through the Chapel, are, it seems to me, the
     all-important thing, and any fears of imitating the Church, or
     dislike of abandoning Puritan tradition, which may hold you back
     from the best means of bringing those thoughts and faiths into the
     current life of Oxford, will be a disaster to us all. It is because
     I have thought so much about this settlement of yours, in the place
     where I myself often starved for lack of religious fellowship, that
     I was drawn to write with the vehemence I did. But one had better
     never be vehement!"

In the following year the Unitarians forgave her and asked her to
deliver the "Essex Hall Lecture," which she did with a brilliant and
suggestive paper entitled "Unitarians and the Future." Her relations
with many Unitarians all through the period of University Hall were, as
we have seen, of the most intimate and friendly character, and now,
after the publication of _Helbeck of Bannisdale_, she showed her
goodwill to Unitarianism once more by journeying down to Norwich to give
an address in aid of the famous old Octagon Chapel there. The address
was typical of many others that she gave in these years of her
increasing fame; carefully and even elaborately prepared beforehand--for
she would never trust herself to speak extempore--it lived for long in
the memory of her hearers as a model of its kind, while the outspoken
opinions it expressed gave rise to a good deal of controversy in the
religious Press. The demands on her time for speeches and addresses in
aid of every possible good cause were by this time incessant. She
refused nineteen out of twenty, but the twentieth was usually so
persuasively put that she succumbed, and then she would live in an agony
of apprehension and of accumulated overwork, until the effort was safely
over. One of her most finished literary performances was the address she
gave in Glasgow in February, 1897, on "the Peasant in Literature"; while
her paper on the Transfiguration, entitled "Gospel Interpretation--a
Fragment," given at the Leicester Unitarian Conference in 1900, remains
to this day, with some of her audience, as a new and startling
revelation of the critical methods which had, for her, thrown so vivid a
light on the dark places of the Gospel story. All these
carefully-prepared essays--for such, indeed, they were--added enormously
to the burden of work which Mrs. Ward already carried, but she loved her
audiences and loved to feel that she had pleased and interested, or even
shocked them a little. "I want to poke them up," she would say
sometimes, with that flash of mischief or "trotzigkeit" (the word is
untranslatable), that endeared her so much to those who knew her well;
and poke them up she surely did whenever the subject of her address was
a religious one.

But the pace at which she lived during this year (1898), when the work
of the Settlement was expanding in every direction, and the preparations
for the Invalid Children's School were going on throughout the winter,
led her to feel that in order to write her next book she must have a
complete change of scene and, if possible, a far more complete seclusion
than that of Stocks, with its accessibility to posts and telegrams. The
great subject of Catholicism still held her fascinated, but she was
tempted to explore it this second time rather from the artistic than the
religious point of view. She had been reading much of Châteaubriand and
Mme de Beaumont during the winter, and had felt her imagination kindled
by the relationship between the two; why should she not migrate to Rome
and there, in the ancient scene, weave anew the old tale of the conquest
of "outworn, buried age" by the forces of youth? So while the
preparations for the Cripples' School were hastening forward, in
February, 1899, negotiations were also going on with the owners of the
vast old Villa Barberini, at Castel Gandolfo, in the Alban Hills, for
the taking of its first floor, and various friends in Rome were helping
us with advice as to how to make it habitable. It was just such an
adventure as Mrs. Ward loved with her whole heart, and when we finally
arrived at the little station overlooking the Alban Lake, on March 23,
packed ourselves and our luggage into three _vetture_ and drove up to
the somewhat forbidding entrance of the Villa, we felt that here,
indeed, was a new kingdom--a place to dream of, not to tell!

Never, indeed, will those who took part in it forget the sensations of
that arrival--the floods of welcome poured upon us by the delightful
little butler, Alessandro, and his stately sister Vittoria, who had been
engaged to minister to our wants, our own faltering Italian, and the
procession across the gloomy entrance-hall and up the uncarpeted stone
staircase, to the rooms of our floor above. A dozen rooms clustering
round two huge central _saloni_, all with tiled floors, exiguous strips
of carpet, and wonderfully ugly wall-papers, formed our _appartamento_;
but at each end, east and west, were glorious balconies, the one
overlooking the Alban Lake and Monte Cavo, the other the vast sweep of
the Campagna, stretching from our falling olive-gardens to the sea. Long
we hung over those balconies, forgetting our unpacking, and when at last
we left our book-boxes behind and wandered out into the mile-long
garden, clothing the side of the hill on the Campagna side, it was only
to suffer fresh thrills of wonder and delight. For there, beyond the
ilex avenue, that led like a cool green tunnel to the further mysteries,
ran a great wall of _opus reticulatum_, banking up the hill on that side
and crowned by overhanging olives, which had formed part of the villa
built on this ridge by the Emperor Domitian, just eighteen hundred years
before. And there, to the right, on another substructure of Domitian's,
ran the balustraded terrace laid out by the rascally Barberini Pope,
Urban VIII (or more probably by one of his still more rascally nephews),
from which you beheld, rolling away to the sea, fold after fold of sad
Campagna, and far away to the north, between two stone pines, the white
dome of St. Peter's. Mrs. Ward thus described the scene, four days after
our arrival, in a letter to her son:

_March 27, 1899_.

     "To-day, you never saw anything so enchanting in the world, as this
     house and its outlook. At our feet, looking west, lies the rose and
     green Campagna, melting into the sea on the horizon line, and as it
     approaches the hills, climbing towards us through all imaginable
     beauty of spreading olive-groves, and soaring pinewoods--brown
     pinkish earth, just upturned by the white ploughing oxen,--here and
     there on the spurs of the hills, great ruined strongholds of the
     Savelli and Orsini, or fragments of Roman tombs: close below the
     house a green sloping olive garden, white with daisies under the
     grey mist of the olives--while if you lean out of window and crane
     your neck a little, far to the north beyond the descending stone
     pines, the æthereal sun-steeped plain takes here a consistence in
     something, which is Rome.

     "We have just come in from wandering along the sunny hill-side
     towards Albano, past ruins of the Domitian Villa, overgrown with
     ilex and creepers, through long shady ilex-avenues, and then out
     into the warmth of the olive-yards, where the cyclamen are coming
     out and the grass is full of white and blue and pink anemones. Such
     a deep draught of beauty--of _bien-être_ physical and mental--one
     has not had for years. But only to-day! Two days ago we woke up to
     find a world in snow, or rather all the hills white, the Alban Lake
     lying like steel in its snowy ring, and the _silvæ laborantes_
     under the weight. And oh! the cold of these vast bare rooms at
     night! We spent the day in Rome, where, of course, there was no
     snow and much shelter, but when we came home, we sat and shivered
     at dinner, and presently we all dragged the table up to the fire in
     hope of cheating the draughts a little. Then the north wind howled
     round us all night, and our spirits were low. But to-day the
     transformation scene is complete!... We have put in baths and
     stoves, and carpets and spring mattresses, bought some linen and
     electro-plate, hired some armchairs--and here we are, not luxurious
     certainly, but with a fair amount of English comfort about
     us--quite enough, I fear, to make the Italians stare, who think we
     must be mad, anyway, to come here in March, and still madder to
     spend any money on an apartment that we take for three months! The
     cook, a white-capped, white-jacketed gentleman whom I have only
     seen once, sends us up excellent meals--except that on one occasion
     he so far forgot himself as to offer us for dinner, first, pâté de
     foie gras, and then "movietti," which, being explained, are small
     birds, probably siskins. Father and I were too hungry to desist,
     the poor little things being anyway fried and past praying for, but
     J. sat by, starving and lofty. And _we_ were punished by finding
     nothing to eat! So for many reasons, ideal and other, the cook will
     have to be told to keep his hands off _movietti_."

Here, then, we established ourselves, and here, either in the little
_salotto_ that we furnished for her, or walking up and down that
marvellous terrace, Mrs. Ward thought out her tale of _Eleanor_,
infusing into it strains old and new--Papal, Italian, English,
American--but, above all, steeping the whole scene in her own love for
the Italy of to-day, as well as for the old, the immemorial Italy.

Those were the times--how far away they seem now, and how small the
troubles!--when things were not going happily for the new-made Italian
Kingdom, when the country still smarted under the misery and failure of
the Abyssinian campaign, and when English visitors were wont to express
themselves with insular frankness on the shortcomings of the New Italy,
whose squalid activities so impudently disturbed, in their eyes, the
shades of the Old. The glamour of the _Risorgimento_ had somehow
departed, in the forty years that followed Cavour's death, so that the
Englishman travelling for his pleasure in the former territories of the
Pope, was ready enough to criticize the defects of the new Government,
while forgetting that if they had remained under the Pope, he would have
found therein no Government, in the modern sense, at all. Many elderly
people still remained who could remember Rome before _Venti Settembre_,
when the Cardinals drove in state down the Corso, and Pio Nono could be
seen taking his part in the processions of _Corpus Domini_ or _San
Giovanni_. Sentimentalists wept at the vandalisms of the Savoyards, who
had built a new city, all in squares and rectangles, on the heights of
the Esquiline, away from the sights and smells of Old Rome, had put up a
huge "Palace of Finance" to record their yearly deficits, and were now
cleaning up the Colosseum and the Forum, so that no æsthetic tourist
would ever wish to set foot in them again.

Mrs. Ward heard plenty of this sort of talk from English friends, who
came out to see us at the Villa, but she, by the simple process of
falling in love, headlong, with Italy and the Italians, avoided these
pitfalls and was enabled to see with a far truer eye than they the
essential soundness of Italian life, whether in town or country--the new
ever jostling the old, rudely sometimes, but with the rudeness of life
and growth, and the old still influencing and encompassing all things.

     "Nothing could be worse than the state of things here between
     Liberals and Clericals," she wrote to her son, "yet people seem to
     rub along and will, I believe, go on rubbing along in much the same
     way for many a long year. We read the _Tribuna_ and the _Civiltà
     Cattolica_, which on opposite sides breathe fire and flame. But
     life goes on and insensibly certain links grow up, even between the
     two extremes. For instance, there is a certain priest in Rome,
     rector of San Lorenzo in Lucina, who has started charitable work
     rather on the English pattern--no indiscriminate alms, careful
     inquiry, provision of work, exercise, recreation, country holidays,
     etc., in fine 'Settlement' style. And his workers include people of
     all beliefs or none--Jews even. But as he is perfectly correct in
     doctrine and observance, and does not meddle with any disputed
     points, he is let alone, and the experiment produces a quiet but
     very real effect. Yesterday our _parroco_, Padre Ruelli, came to
     see us here, an enchanting little man, with something of the old
     maid and the child and the poet all combined. He recited to us
     Leopardi, and explained some poems in Roman dialect, with an ease,
     a vivacity, a perfect simplicity, that charmed us all. Then he
     remembered his function, and before he left gave us a discourse on
     charity, containing a quotation from the Gospels, largely invented
     by himself, and so departed."

As the weeks went on in our bare, wind-swept _palazzo_, it became
impossible to resist a community in which everyone, from Alessandro to
this dear _padre parroco_, combined to show us that we were not only
tolerated, but _welcomed_. Our Italian was sadly to seek during those
first weeks, consisting largely in agonized consultations with Nutt's
Pocket Dictionary, and in practising its phrases over with Alessandro;
but his courtesy and patience never failed, so that before long our
sentences began to put forth wings and soar. But never, alas, to any
great heights, and even when Mrs. Ward was able to carry on animated
conversations with our drivers about the traditions of the Alban Hills,
she would find herself sitting tongue-tied and exasperated, or
descending into French, at luncheon-parties in Rome!

Yet those luncheon-parties, and the visits which we persuaded the new
friends, whom we made there, to pay us on our heights, laid the
foundations of certain friendships which influenced Mrs. Ward's whole
attitude towards the new Italy, and gave her the conviction, which she
never lost in the years that followed, that there exists between the
best English and the best Italian minds a certain natural affinity,
which transcends the differences of habits and of speech more surely
than is the case between ourselves and any other of our Continental
neighbours. She put this feeling into the mouth of her ideal Ambassador
in _Eleanor_--that slight but charming sketch which was, I believe,
based upon the figure of Lord Dufferin--when he speaks to the American
Lucy of the Marchesa Fazzoleni, symbol and type of Italian womanhood.
"Look well at her," he says to Lucy, "she is one of the mothers of the
new Italy. She has all the practical sense of the north, and all the
subtlety of the south. She is one of the people who make me feel that
Italy and England have somehow mysterious affinities that will work
themselves out in history. It seems to me that I could understand all
her thoughts--and she mine, if it were worth her while. She is a modern
of the moderns; and yet there is in her some of the oldest stuff in the
world. She belongs, it is true, to a nation in the making--but that
nation, in its earlier forms, has already carried the whole weight of
European history!"

Figures such as these began, when the storms of an inhospitable April
had passed away, to haunt the cool ilex avenue and the terrace beyond,
filling Mrs. Ward's eager mind with new impressions, new perceptions of
the infinite variety and delightsomeness of the human race; and the old
walls of Domitian's villa re-echoed to many an animated talk of Pope and
Kingdom, Church and State, as well as to Lanciani's full-voiced
exclamations on the buried treasures--nay, even Alba Longa itself!--that
must lie at our feet there, only a few yards below the surface! Then,
once or twice, we took these guests of ours further afield, to the Lake
of Nemi, in its circular crater-cup--"Lo Specchio di Diana"--with the
ruined walls of the Temple of Diana rising amid their beds of
strawberries at its further end. This was indeed a place of enchantment,
and readers of _Eleanor_ will remember how the _motif_ of the "Priest
who slew the slayer" is woven into the fabric of the story, while the
turning-point in the drama of the three--Eleanor, Lucy and Manisty--is
reached during an expedition to the Temple. Here it was that Count Ugo
Balzani, best of friends and mentors, bought from the strawberry-pickers
for a few francs a whole basketful of little terra-cotta heads--votive
offerings of the Tiberian age--and gave them to Mrs. Ward; and here that
Henry James, during the few precious days that he spent with us at the
Villa, found the peasant youth with the glorious name, Aristodemo, and
set him talking of Lord Savile's diggings, and of the marble head that
he himself had found--yes, he!--with nose and all complete, in his own
garden, while the sun sank lower towards the crater-rim, and the rest of
us sat spell-bound, listening to the dialogue.

Naturally, however, with Rome only fifteen miles away, we did not always
remain upon our hill-top, and the days that Mrs. Ward spent in the city,
making new friends and seeing old sights, were probably among the
richest in her whole experience. The great ceremony in St. Peter's, when
Leo XIII celebrated the twenty-first anniversary of his accession, is
too well described in _Eleanor_ to need any mention here, but there were
days of mere wandering about the streets, shopping, exploring old
churches and talking to the sacristans, when she breathed the very
spirit of Rome and let its beauty sink into her soul. And there was one
day when a kind and condescending Cardinal--_not_ an Italian--offered to
take her over the crypt of St. Peter's--a privilege not then easy to
obtain for ladies--and to show her the treasures it contained. Little,
however, did the poor Cardinal guess what a task he had undertaken. "The
very kind Cardinal knew nothing whatever about the crypt, which was a
little sad," wrote D. W. that evening, and Mrs. Ward herself thus
described it to her husband: "It was very funny! The Cardinal was very
kind, and astonishingly ignorant. Any English Bishop going over St.
Peter's would, I think, have known more about it, would have been
certainly more intelligent and probably more learned. You would have
laughed if you could have seen your demure spouse listening to the
Cardinal's explanations. But I said not a word--and came home and read
Harnack!" A lamentable result, surely, of His Eminence's courteous
efforts to grapple with the tombs of the Popes.

Through April, May, and half through June we stayed at the Villa, till
the sun grew burning hot, and we were fain to adopt the customs of the
country, keeping windows and shutters closed against the fierce mid-day.
During the hot weather Mrs. Ward made an excursion, for purposes of
_Eleanor_, to the wonderful forest-country in the valley of the Paglia,
north of Orvieto, where the Marchese di Torre Alfina, a nephew of Mr.
Stillman, had placed his agent's house at her disposal, and charged his
people to look after her. There, with her husband and daughter, she
spent two or three days exploring the forest roads and the volcanic
torrent-bed, down which the Paglia rushes, learning all she could of the
life and traditions of the village and of the Maremma country beyond.
It was a district wholly unknown to her and full of attraction and
romance, which she has infused into the last chapters of _Eleanor_; it
gave her, too, a feeling of the inexhaustible wealth of the Italian soil
and race which reinforced her growing love for this land of her
adoption. As the chapters of _Eleanor_ swelled during the remainder of
this year, so its theme took form and presence in the writer's mind--the
eternal theme of the supplanting of the old by the young, whether in the
history of States or of persons. Steadily Mrs. Ward's faith in the
destiny of that vast Italy into whose life she had looked, if only for a
moment, grew and strengthened, till she put it into words in the mouth
of her Marchesa Fazzoleni, speaking to a group gathered in the Villa
Borghese garden: "I tell you, Mademoiselle," she says to Lucy, "that
what Italy has done in forty years is colossal--not to be believed!
Forty years--not quite--since Cavour died. And all that time Italy has
been like that cauldron--you remember?--into which they threw the
members of that old man who was to become young. There has been a
bubbling, and a fermenting! And the scum has come up--and up. And it
comes up still, and the brewing goes on. But in the end the young,
strong nation will step forth!" And Manisty himself, the upholder of the
Old against the New, the contemner of Governments and officials, admits
at last that Italy has defeated him, because, as he confesses to Lucy,
"your Italy is a witch." "As I have been going up and down this
country," so runs his recantation, "prating about their poverty, and
their taxes, their corruption, the incompetence of their leaders, the
folly of their quarrel with the Church; I have been finding myself
caught in the grip of things older and deeper--incredibly, primævally
old!--that still dominate everything, shape everything here. There are
forces in Italy, forces of land and soil and race, only now fully let
loose, that will re-make Church no less than State, as the generations
go by. Sometimes I have felt as though this country were the youngest in
Europe; with a future as fresh and teeming as the future of America. And
yet one thinks of it at other times as one vast graveyard; so thick it
is with the ashes and the bones of men."

Thus Mrs. Ward wove into her book, as was her wont, all the rich
experience of her own mind, as she had gathered and brooded over it
during these months in Italy, and then, when all was finished, gave to
it the prophetic dedication which has made her name beloved by many an
Italian reader:

    "To Italy the beloved and beautiful,
       Instructress of our past,
       Delight of our present,
       Comrade of our future--
     The heart of an Englishwoman
       Offers this book."




In spite of the close and continuous toil that she put into the writing
of _Eleanor_ during the year 1899, Mrs. Ward found time, in the course
of that year, for an effort of literary criticism to which she devoted
the best powers of her mind, but which has never, perhaps, received the
recognition it deserves. I refer to the Prefaces that she wrote to
Messrs. Smith & Elder's "Haworth Edition" of the Brontë novels.

Mrs. Ward had always had a peculiarly vivid feeling for the genius and
tragedy of the Brontë sisters, so that when Mr. George Smith asked her
in 1898 to undertake these Prefaces she felt it impossible to resist a
task not only attractive in itself, but presented to her in persuasive
phrase by "Dr. John." For it is by this time a commonplace of Brontë
lore that Lucy Snowe's first friend in the wilderness of Villette is no
other than the young publisher who had first recognized Charlotte's
greatness, though the situation between Lucy and Dr. John bears no
resemblance to the actual friendship that arose between Mr. George Smith
and his client. Still, the letters which Mr. Smith placed at Mrs. Ward's
disposal for this task were sufficiently interesting to arouse her
curiosity (one of them even described how Charlotte and he had gone
together to the celebrated phrenologist, Dr. Brown, to have their heads
examined!), and, taking her courage in both hands, she boldly asked him
whether he had ever been in love with Charlotte Brontë? His reply is
delightful as ever:

_August 18, 1898._


...I was amused at your questions. No, I never was in the least bit
     in love with Charlotte Brontë. I am afraid that the confession will
     not raise me in your opinion, but the truth is, I never could have
     loved any woman who had not some charm or grace of person, and
     Charlotte Brontë had none. I liked her and was interested by her,
     and I admired her--especially when she was in Yorkshire and I was
     in London. I never was coxcomb enough to suppose that she was in
     love with me. But I believe that my mother was at one time rather

So with much toil and in the intervals of her other work, Mrs. Ward
accomplished the four admirable Prefaces to Charlotte's novels, enjoying
this return to her old critical work of the eighties and becoming more
and more deeply possessed by the strange power of the Haworth sisters.
Then in the winter she took up _Wuthering Heights_ and _Wildfell Hall_,
writing her introduction to the former under a stress of feeling so
profound as to produce in her, for the first and last time since
childhood, the desire to express herself in verse. Early one January
morning she reached out for pencil and paper and wrote down this sonnet,
sending it afterwards to George Smith to deal with as he would. He
printed it in the _Cornhill Magazine_ of February, 1900.


    Pale sisters! reared amid the purple sea
      Of windy moorland, where, remote, ye plied
    All household arts, meek, passion-taught, and free,
      Kinship your joy, and Fantasy your guide!--
    Ah! who again 'mid English heaths shall see
      Such strength in frailest weakness, or so fierce
      Behest on tender women laid, to pierce
    The world's dull ear with burning poetry?--
    Whence was your spell?--and at what magic spring,
      Under what guardian Muse, drank ye so deep
    That still ye call, and we are listening;
      That still ye plain to us, and we must weep?--
    Ask of the winds that haunt the moors, what breath
    Blows in their storms, outlasting life and death!

Her introductions duly appeared in the bulky volumes of the Haworth
Edition, and there, unfortunately, they lie buried. The edition was
doomed by its unwieldy _format_, and since the copyright had already
disappeared, these "library volumes" were soon displaced by the lighter
and handier productions of less stately publishing firms. But the
Prefaces had made their mark. The literary world was delighted to
welcome Mrs. Ward again among the critics, with whom she had earned her
earliest successes, and passages such as the following, which gives her
view of the ultimate position of women novelists and women poets, were
much quoted and discussed:

     "What may be said to be the main secret, the central cause, not
     only of Charlotte's success, but, generally, of the success of
     women in fiction, during the present century? In other fields of
     art they are still either relatively amateurs, or their
     performance, however good, awakens a kindly surprise. Their
     position is hardly assured; they are still on sufferance. Whereas
     in fiction the great names of the past, within their own sphere,
     are the equals of all the world, accepted, discussed, analysed, by
     the masculine critic, with precisely the same keenness and under
     the same canons as he applies to Thackeray or Stevenson, to Balzac
     or Loti.

     "The reason, perhaps, lies first in the fact that, whereas in all
     other arts they are comparatively novices and strangers, having
     still to find out the best way in which to appropriate traditions
     and methods not created by women, in the art of speech, elegant,
     fitting, familiar speech, women are and have long been at home.
     They have practised it for generations, they have contributed
     largely to its development. The arts of society and of
     letter-writing pass naturally into the art of the novel. Madame de
     Sévigné and Madame du Deffand are the precursors of George Sand;
     they lay her foundations, and make her work possible. In the case
     of poetry, one might imagine, a similar process is going on, but it
     is not so far advanced. In proportion, however, as women's life and
     culture widen, as the points of contact between them and the
     manifold world multiply and develop, will Parnassus open before
     them. At present those delicate and noble women who have entered
     there look still a little strange to us. Mrs. Browning, George
     Eliot, Emily Brontë, Marcelline Desbordes-Valmore--it is as though
     they had wrested something that did not belong to them, by a kind
     of splendid violence. As a rule, so far, women have been poets in
     and through the novel--Cowper-like poets of the common life like
     Miss Austen, or Mrs. Gaskell, or Mrs. Oliphant; Lucretian or
     Virgilian observers of the many-coloured web like George Eliot, or,
     in some phases, George Sand; romantic or lyrical artists like
     George Sand again, or like Charlotte and Emily Brontë. Here no one
     questions their citizenship; no one is astonished by the place they
     hold; they are here among the recognized masters of those who know.

     "Why? For, after all, women's range of material, even in the novel,
     is necessarily limited. There are a hundred subjects and
     experiences from which their mere sex debars them. Which is all
     very true, but not to the point. For the one subject which they
     have eternally at command, which is interesting to all the world,
     and whereof large tracts are naturally and wholly their own, is the
     subject of love--love of many kinds indeed, but pre-eminently the
     love between man and woman. And being already free of the art and
     tradition of words, their position in the novel is a strong one,
     and their future probably very great."

She sent her Prefaces to a few intimate friends, turning in this case
chiefly to those French friends who represented for her the ultimate
tribunal in literary matters. The older generation--Scherer, Taine,
Renan--were passing away by this time, but a younger had followed them,
of whom Paul Bourget, Brunetière of the _Revue des Deux Mondes_, the
Gaston Paris, the Ribots, the Boutmys were among those whom Mrs. Ward
would always seek out during her almost annual visits to Paris in these
years. But among all her French acquaintance she came about this time to
regard M. André Chevrillon, nephew of Taine, traveller and generous
critic of English politics and literature, as the most sympathetic, for
he seemed to combine with an almost miraculous knowledge of English the
very essence of that _esprit français_ which she continued to adore to
the end of her life. He had first visited Mrs. Ward at Haslemere in
1891, as a "young French student lost in London," and he happened to be
with us at Stocks at the time of the publication of the Haworth Edition
(1900). A few days later Mrs. Ward received the following appreciation
from him:


     Je désire tout de suite vous remercier de votre gracieux accueil et
     de la bonne journée que j'ai passée à Tring, mais je voudrais
     surtout essayer de vous dire un peu l'impression, l'émotion durable
     et qui me poursuit ici--que m'a donnée la lecture de vos admirables
     articles sur les Brontë. Je n'ai pas su le faire tandis que j'étais
     auprès de vous; ce n'est que ce matin que j'ai lu l'article sur
     Charlotte et Jane Eyre et j'en suis encore tout hanté. Jamais âmes
     de poètes et d'artistes n'ont été sondées d'un coup d'œil plus
     pénétrant, plus rapide, plus exercé et plus sûr. Vous avez su, en
     quelques pages, montrer l'irréductible personnalité de ces âpres et
     douloureuses jeunes femmes en même temps que vous expliquiez les
     traits qui chez elles sont ethniques et généraux, la tendre, la
     nostalgique âme celtique, farouchement repliée sur soi avec ses
     pressentiments, ses divinisations magiques, sa faculté d'apercevoir
     dans les couleurs du ciel, dans les formes et les lignes que
     présente çà et là la nature des _signes_ chargés de sens mystérieux
     et profond.... Enfin le dernier paragraphe où vous mettez Charlotte
     à sa place dans la littérature européenne nous rappelle la sûre
     _scholarship_, la puissance de généralisation auxquelles vous nous
     avez habitués, la faculté philosophique qui aperçoit _les idées_
     comme des forces vivantes, dramatiques qui se croisent, se
     combattent, moulent et façonnent les hommes, et sont les plus
     vraies des réalités.

M. Chevrillon shared, I think, with M. Jusserand and with M. Elie Halévy
the distinction of being the most profound and sympathetic among French
students of England at that time; all three were firm friends of Mrs.
Ward's, all charmed her into envious despair by their perfect command of
our language. M. Jusserand--who as a young man on the staff of the
French Embassy had been a constant visitor at Russell Square--would dash
off such notes as this: "Dear Mrs. Ward--Are you in town, or rather what
town is it you are in?" and now in this matter of the Brontë Prefaces he
wrote her his terrible confession:

     "I spent yesternight a most charming evening reading your essay.
     Shall I confess that I feel with Kingsley, having had a similar
     experience? I could never go beyond the terrible beginning of
     _Shirley_--and yet I tried and did my best, and the book remains
     unread, and I the more sorry as my copy does not belong to me, but
     to Lady Jersey, who charged me to return it when I had finished
     reading. I really tried earnestly: I took the volume with me on
     several occasions; it has seen, I am sure, as many lands as wise
     Ulysses, having crossed the Mediterranean more than once and
     visited Assuan. But there it is, and I see from my writing-table
     its threatening green cloth and awful back, with plenty of
     repulsive persons within. And yet I _can_ read. I have read with
     delight and unflagging interest Vol. I in-folio of the Rolls of
     Parliament, without missing a line. _Shirley_, I cannot. I must try
     again, were it only for the sake of the editor of the series!"

But in spite of these warm and in many cases lifelong friendships, Mrs.
Ward did not find the French atmosphere an easy one in such a year as
1900. The South African War had followed on the Dreyfus Case, the
Dreyfus Case on Fashoda, and the ties of friendship suffered an unkindly
strain. Mrs. Ward spent a few spring weeks in Rome, where all was golden
and delightful--forming new friendships every day, and passing into that
second stage of intimacy where first impressions are tested and were
not, for her, found wanting; then on the way home she lingered a little
in Paris, plunging into the gay confusions of the Great Exhibition. Her
literary friends offered her attentions and hospitalities as of old, but
she felt at once the difference of atmosphere, describing it vividly in
a letter to her brother Willie:

"_May 16, 1900_.

     "We have had a delicious time in Rome, Dorothy and I, and now Paris
     and the Exhibition are interesting and stimulating, but are not
     Rome! I have come back more Italy-bewitched than ever. Rome was
     bathed in the most glorious sunshine. Every breath was
     life-giving--everything one saw was beauty. And the people are so
     kind, so clever, so friendly--so different from this _France
     malveillante_, between whom and us as it seems to me, Fashoda,
     Dreyfus and the Transvaal have opened a gulf that it will take a
     generation to fill. In Rome we saw many people and I had much
     conversation that will be of use for the revision of _Eleanor_. The
     country is progressing enormously, the _Anno Santo_ is a
     comparative failure, and the Jesuit hatred of England flourishes
     and abounds. The Harcourts were there and I had much talk with Sir
     William about politics and much else. He is very broken in health,
     but as amusing as ever. With him and Father Ehrle we went one
     morning through the show treasures of the Vatican, turned over and
     handled the Codex Vaticanus, the Michael Angelo letters, the
     wonderful illuminated Dante and much else. One day with two friends
     D. and I went to Viterbo, slept, and next day saw the two
     Cinquecento villas, the Villa Lante and Caprarola. Caprarola was a
     wonderful experience. Ten miles' drive into the mountains along a
     ridge 3,000 feet high, commanding on one side the Lake of Vico, on
     the other the whole valley of the Tiber from Assisi to Palestrina,
     with Soracte in the middle distance, and the great rampart of the
     Sabines half in snow and girdled with cloud. Between us and the
     plain, slopes of chestnut and vine, and on either side of the road
     delicious inlets of grass, starred thick with narcissus, running up
     into continents of broom that by now must be all gold. Then the
     great pentagonal palace of Caprarola, gloomy, magnificent, in an
     incomparable position, frescoed inside from top to toe by the
     Zuccheri, and containing in its great sala a series of portrait
     groups of Charles V, Francis I, Henry II, Philip II, of the
     greatest possible animation and brilliancy, and in almost perfect

After such delights the atmosphere of Paris must indeed have seemed
cold, but Mrs. Ward could always see the other side of such a
controversy, and took pleasure in reporting to her father a conversation
she had had, while in Paris, with "a charming old man, formerly
secretary of the Duc D'Aumale, and now curator of the Chantilly Museum."

     "We had," she wrote, "a very interesting talk about the War and
     Dreyfus. 'Oh! I am all with the English,' he said--'they could not
     let that state of things in the Transvaal continue--the struggle
     was inevitable. But then I have lived in England. I love England,
     and English people, and can look at matters calmly. As to the
     treatment of English people in Paris, remember, Madame, that we are
     just now a restless and discontented people. We are a disappointed
     people--we have lost our great position in the world, and we don't
     see how to get it back. That makes us rude and bitter. And then our
     griefs against England go back to the Crimea. The English officers
     then made themselves disliked--and in the great war of 1870, you
     were not sympathetic--we thought you might have done something for
     us, and you did nothing. Then you were much too violent about the
     _Affaire_. The first trial was abominable, but by the second trial
     we stand, we the _modérés_ who think ourselves honest fellows. But
     you made no difference. The Press of both countries has done great
     harm. All that explains the present state of things. It is not the
     Boers--that is mainly a pretext, an opportunity."

It is perhaps a curious fact that while German learning and German
methods of historical criticism had compelled Mrs. Ward's admiration
from her earliest years, no crop of personal friendships with Germans
had sprung from these sowings, as in the case of her French studies and
her Italian sojournings. Dear, homely German governesses were almost the
only children of the Fatherland with whom she had personal contact, her
relations with certain Biblical scholars and with the translators and
publishers of her books being confined to pen and ink. But there was one
German scholar with whom she had at any rate a lengthy correspondence--Dr.
Adolf Jülicher, of Marburg, whose monumental work on the New Testament
she presented one day, in a moment of enthusiasm, to her younger
daughter (aged seventeen), suggesting that she should translate it into
English. The daughter dutifully obeyed, devoting the best part of the
next three years to the task--only to find, when the work was all but
finished, that the German professor had in the meantime brought out a
new edition of his book, running to some 100 pages of additional matter.
Dismay reigned at Stocks, but there was no help for it: the additional
100 pages had to be tackled. In the end Mrs. Ward herself seized on the
proofs and went all through them, pen in hand; little indeed was left
of the daughter's unlucky sentences by the time the process was
complete. In vain we would point out to her that this was the "Lower
Criticism" and therefore unworthy of her serious attention; she would
merely make a face at us and plunge with ardour--perhaps after a heavy
day of writing--into the delightful task of defacing poor Mr. Reginald
Smith's clean page-proofs. For these were the days when Mr. Reginald had
practically taken over the business of Smith & Elder's from his
father-in-law, George Smith, and one of the diversions that he allowed
himself was to print Mrs. Ward's daughter's translation free of all
profit to the firm. The profits, indeed, if any, were to go in full to
the translator, but naturally the expenses of proof-correction stood on
the debit side of the account. Hence the anxiety of the person who had
once been seventeen whenever Mrs. Ward had had a particularly energetic
day with the proofs of Jülicher!

_Eleanor_ had had a triumphal progress in the monthly numbers of
_Harper's Magazine_ throughout this year (1900), and appeared at length
in book-form on November 1. Mrs. Ward's pleasure in its reception was
much enhanced by the warm appreciation given to Mr. Albert Sterner's
illustrations--clever and charming drawings, which had wonderfully
caught the spirit of her characters and of the Italian scene, for Mr.
Sterner had spent two or three weeks with us at the Villa Barberini. He
and Mrs. Ward were fast friends, and it was always a matter of real
delight to her whenever he could be secured to illustrate one of her
subsequent novels. This was to be the case with _William Ashe_,
_Fenwick's Career_ and _The Case of Richard Meynell_. The publication of
_Eleanor_ coincided, however, with news of Mr. Arnold's serious illness
in Dublin, so that the chorus of delight in her "Italian novel" reached
Mrs. Ward's ears muffled by the presence of death.

Thomas Arnold died on November 12, 1900, tended to the last by his
surviving children, and by the devoted second wife (Miss Josephine
Benison), whom he had married in 1889. Mrs. Ward's affection for him had
never wavered throughout these many years, as the letters which she
wrote him about all her doings, once or even twice in every week, attest
to this day; his mystical, child-like spirit attracted her invincibly.
Three days after his death she wrote to Bishop Creighton, over whom the
same summons was already hovering:

_November 15, 1900._


     Many, many thanks. It was very dear of you to write to me,
     especially at this time of illness, and I prize much all that you
     say. My father's was a rare and _hidden_ nature. Among his papers
     that have now come to me I have come across the most touching and
     remarkable things--things that are a revelation even to his
     children. The service yesterday in Newman's beautiful little
     University Church, the early mass, the bright morning light on the
     procession of friends and clergy through the cypress-lined paths of
     Glasnevin, the last 'requiescat in pace,' answered by the Amen of
     the little crowd--all made a fitting close to his gentle and
     laborious life. He did not suffer much, I am thankful to say, and
     he knew that we were all round him and smiled upon us to the last.

And he on his side regarded her with an adoring affection that sometimes
found touching expression in his letters, as when, a few months after
the publication of _David Grieve_, he broke out in these words:

     "My own dearest Polly (let me call you for once what I often called
     you when a child), God made you what you are, and those who love
     you will be content to leave you to Him. He gave you that
     wide-flashing, swiftly-combining wit, 'glancing from heaven to
     earth, from earth to heaven'; He gave you also the power of turning
     your thoughts, with deft and felicitous hand, into forms of beauty.
     No one can divine what new problems will occupy you in time to
     come, nor how you will solve them; but one may feel sure that with
     you, as Emerson says, 'the future will be worthy of the past.'"

Yet there was hardly a public question, especially in his later years,
on which Mrs. Ward and her father did not differ profoundly; for Tom
Arnold hated "Imperialism" and the modern world, especially such
manifestations of it as the Omdurman campaign and the South African War.
Mrs. Ward, on the other hand, watched the former with all the pride and
dread that comes from a personal stake in the adventure; for was not
Colonel Neville Lyttelton in command of a brigade, and had he not left
his wife and children under our care at Stocks Cottage? She had found a
task for Mrs. Lyttelton's quick mind, to while away the too-long hours
of that summer, in a translation into English of the "Pensées" of
Joubert; their consultations over the fine shades of his meaning, while
the bees hummed in the lime-tree on the lawn, became the light and
relaxation of her days, while, later on, the Introduction she
contributed to the book helped its appearance with the public. And when
Colonel Lyttelton came home, a happy soldier, and pegged out the
Omdurman campaign for us on the drawing-room floor with matches, how was
it possible not to rejoice with him in the overthrow of so dark a
tyranny as the Khalifa's?

But the South African War was a matter of far more mingled feelings,
though on the whole Mrs. Ward was persuaded that we were right as
against President Kruger and his methods, and upheld this view in many a
letter to her father:

     "I am not without sympathy for the Boers," she wrote to him in
     November, 1899, "and I often try to realize their case and how the
     invasive unwelcome English power looks to them. But it seems to me
     that history--which for me is God--makes very stern decisions
     between nations. The Boers have had their chance of an ascendancy
     which must have been theirs if they had known how to work for it
     and deserve it; they have missed it, and the chance now passes to
     England. If she is not worthy of it, it won't remain with her--that
     one may be sure. But I must say that the loyalty of the other
     colonies--especially of French-speaking Canada; the pacification
     and good government of India, the noble development of Egypt, are
     to me so many signs that at present we _are_ fit to rule, and are
     meant to rule. But we shall rule only so long as we execute
     righteous judgment and so long as it is for the good of the world
     that we should rule."

She would have liked to see peace made after Lord Roberts' early
victories, and was for a time in favour of such terms as would not have
involved annexation. But when this hope failed she settled down to
endure the thing, and in 1901 devoted much time and labour to the
improvement of the Boer women's and children's lot in the concentration
camps. She joined the committee of the Victoria League formed for this
purpose. And, as inevitably happens in all such controversies, the
passion felt by the other side contributed to the hardening of her own
opinion, so that the end of the war found her more staunch an
Imperialist, more definite a Conservative, than she would have admitted
herself to be before it.

It was during the war-shadowed winter of 1900-1901 that Mrs. Ward
suffered a series of heavy personal losses in the death of many of her
oldest friends, beginning with Mr. James Cropper, of Ellergreen, her
quasi-uncle,[21] with whom she had been on the most affectionate terms
ever since her childhood. This occurred a bare month before her father's
death; then, two months later (January 14, 1901), came the blow that the
whole country felt as a catastrophe, the death of Bishop Creighton, and,
early in April, a loss that came home very sadly to Mrs. Ward, that of
her well-beloved publisher and friend, George Smith. "I never had a
truer friend or a wiser counsellor," she wrote of him, and indeed he
combined these qualities with so shrewd a humour and so unvarying a
kindness that Mrs. Ward might well count herself fortunate to have
enjoyed fourteen years of familiar intercourse with him.

     "His position as a publisher was very remarkable," she wrote to her
     son. "He was the friend of his authors, their counsellor, banker
     and domestic providence often--as Murray was to Byron. But nobody
     would ever have dared to take the liberties with him that Byron did
     with Murray."

When he was gone, Mrs. Ward was fortunate enough to find in his
successor, Reginald Smith, an equally just and generous adviser, on
whose friendship she leant more and more until death took him too, in
the tragic winter of 1916.

       *       *       *       *       *

The remarkable success of _Eleanor_ in the United States (where the
character of Lucy Foster won all hearts) led to inquiries being made
from certain theatrical quarters there as to whether Mrs. Ward would not
undertake to dramatize it. The suggestion attracted her at once, for
though she had never written anything for the stage she had, all her
life, been a keenly interested critic of plays and actors and a devoted
adherent of French methods as against the heavy English stage
conventions. But when she seriously confronted the problem she felt
herself too ignorant of stagecraft to undertake the task unaided, and
therefore called in to her counsels that delightful writer of light
comedy, Julian Sturgis, whom she persuaded to collaborate with her.
Could she have foreseen the play's delays, the insolence of box offices
and the manifold despairs that awaited her in this new path, probably
even her high courage would have turned aside, but the co-operation it
brought her with so rare a spirit as Julian Sturgis was at any rate a
very living compensation. In the spring of 1901 Mr. Sturgis came out to
stay with us in a villa we had taken (on the spur of the moment) on the
outskirts of Rapallo (not then celebrated as the scene of international
"pacts"), and together he and his hostess plunged with ardour into the
business of making their puppets move. The work was extraordinarily
hard, while the skies above our crimson villa behaved as though it were
Westmorland and the Mediterranean thundered on the sea-wall of our
garden; but Mrs. Ward enjoyed the stimulus and novelty of it immensely
and always declared that she owed much even for her novelist's art to
that week of "grind" with Mr. Sturgis. Nor was it quite all grind, for
one day, when the sun at last shone, we took our guest and his tall Eton
boy up the long pilgrimage-way to the Madonna di Montallegro, overtaking
a party of laden peasant-women as we went to whom Mr. Sturgis offered
some passing kindness. His advances were met by a torrent of words in
some uncouth dialect which none of us could understand, but he chose to
appropriate them to himself as a prayer offered to "Santo Giulio," and
"Santo Giulio" he remained to Mrs. Ward and all of us for the too-short
remnant of his life.[22] The play stood up and lived by the time his
visit was ended; but this was only the beginning of endless heartaches
and disappointments. At first there were hopes of the Duse, then of Mrs.
Pat; then Mr. Benson was to produce it with a clever and charming
amateur actress of our acquaintance in the role of Eleanor; then at
length a real promise was secured from a well-known actor-manager, and
all was fixed for May, 1902. But the promise was not an agreement, and
was therefore mortal; when it died Mr. Sturgis's only comment was: "My
dear Mrs. Ward, I am not a bit surprised. My deep distrust of the
theatrical world, wherein pretending gets into the blood, makes me
sceptical of any promises which are not stamped, signed and witnessed by
a legion of angels."

Already, however, Miss Marion Terry, Miss Robins and Miss Lilian
Braithwaite had promised in no spirit of "pretending" to play the three
principal parts, so that with things so well advanced on that side Mrs.
Ward determined to go forward. Since the managers were timid she would
take a theatre and bear the risk herself. Finally all was settled with
the Court Theatre, and the delightful agony of the rehearsals began
(October, 1902). Miss Terry sprained a tendon in her leg, but gallantly
limped through her part, while the constant changes called for in the
words, the cuts and compressions, made a bewildering variety of versions
that left the lay onlooker gasping. Mrs. Ward, however, was equal to all
occasions--even to a last-minute change in the actor who played
Manisty[23]--until not one of the cast but was moved to astonishment and
admiration, not only by her versatility, but by her long-suffering. Add
to this her endless consideration for themselves--for their comfort,
their feelings or their clothes--and it is easy to understand the
feelings of real affection which grew up between author and actors as
the play went on. Yet all was of no avail, or, at least, it failed to
conquer the great heart of the British public. The cast was admirable,
the reviews were kind--though Mr. Walkley in _The Times_ perhaps gave
the key to the situation when he ended his article with the words, "But
then, who _could_ play Manisty?" Yet, somehow, the audience (after the
first day) failed to fill the seats. _Eleanor_ ran for only fifteen
matinées, October 30-November 15, and though much was said of a
revival, she only once again saw the footlights--in a couple of special
matinées given in aid of the Passmore Edwards Settlement. And yet--what
fun it had been! Though the financial loss made her rueful, Mrs. Ward
always looked back to those six weeks at the Court Theatre as a
breathless but happy episode, during which she had looked deep into the
technique of a new art and brought from it, not success indeed, but much
valuable experience which she might bring to bear upon her future work.
Certainly the two novels of these years, _Lady Rose's Daughter_ and the
_Marriage of William Ashe_, gained much in sureness of touch, terseness
and finish from Mrs. Ward's dramatic studies; _Lady Rose_ was in fact
acclaimed by the critics as the book in which, at last, the writer
showed "the predominance of the artistic over the ethical instinct, the
subordination of the didactic to the artistic impulse."

She never dramatized it, but a dramatized version of _William Ashe_, at
which Mrs. Ward toiled extremely hard, in collaboration with Miss
Margaret Mayo, during 1905, was accepted by an American "stock company"
and acquired a considerable reputation in the States. In London,
however, where it was performed by a semi-American cast in 1908, it fell
very flat, Mrs. Ward being fortunately spared the sight of it owing to
the fact that she herself was across the Atlantic at the time. The
actress who played Kitty, wishing to leave the author in no doubt as to
the cause of its failure, cabled to her after the first night, "Press
unfriendly to play--_my_ performance highly praised!" Even so, however,
the Manager decided to withdraw it after a three weeks' run, and no play
of Mrs. Ward's was ever afterwards performed in England.

Among the most absorbed spectators of the first performance of
_Eleanor_, watching it from an arm-chair brought for his ease into the
author's box, was the pathetic figure of Mrs. Ward's eldest brother,
William Arnold. His health had broken down some years before, while he
was still assistant editor of the _Manchester Guardian_, and he had come
to live, with his wife, in a small house in Chelsea, where it was Mrs.
Ward's delight to find him, on his better days, and to discuss all
things in heaven and earth with him. No comradeship could ever have been
closer than was theirs, though intercourse with him would always end in
a strangling heartache for his state of health, for noble gifts
submerged by bodily pain, despite as gallant a fight as was ever waged
by suffering man. Mrs. Ward was for ever watching over him and helping
him; sending him abroad in search of sun and warmth; having him to stay
with her at Stocks, in London, or at some villa in Italy; encouraging
him to do what work he could. But most they loved their talks together.
Their tastes would usually agree on literary matters, and differ on
politics, but no matter what the subject, his flashes of mischief and
malice would light up the most ordinary topic, and no one loved better
to draw him out, and to set him railing or praising, than his sister.
How they would talk, sometimes, about the details of her craft, about
Jane Austen, or Trollope, or George Meredith! For this latter they both
had a feeling akin to adoration, based on a knowledge not only of his
novels but of his poems (then not a common accomplishment); and I
remember W. T. A. once saying to me that he thought the jolliest line in
English poetry was

    Gentle beasties through pushed a cold long nose.

Mrs. Ward's feeling for the old giant of Box Hill led her on all
occasions to champion his right to be regarded as the greatest living
master of English--as may be seen from the following spirited letter
(January 19, 1902) addressed to the secretary of the Society of Authors,
when that body had, in her view, made the wrong decision in recommending
Herbert Spencer instead of Meredith for the Nobel Prize.

     "However eminent Mr. Spencer may be" (she wrote), "and however
     important his contribution to English thought, there must be a
     great many of us who will feel, when it is a question of
     interrogating English opinion as to the most distinguished name
     among us in pure literature, there can be only one answer--George
     Meredith. It is no reply to say that the Swedish Academy will
     probably know something of Mr. Herbert Spencer, and may know little
     or nothing about Mr. Meredith. That is their affair, not ours. The
     meaning and purpose of this prize has been illustrated by the
     selection of M. Sully Prud'homme. Its recipient should be surely,
     first and foremost, a man of letters, and, if possible, a
     representative of what the Germans call 'Dichtung,' whether in
     prose or verse.

     "If Mr. Meredith had written nothing but the love-scenes in
     _Richard Feverel_; _The Egoist_; and certain passages of
     description in _Vittoria_ and _Beauchamp's Career_, he would still
     stand at the head of English 'Dichtung.' There is no critic now who
     can be ranged with him in position, and no poet. As a man of
     letters he is easily first; to compare Mr. Spencer's power of clear
     statement with the play of imaginative genius in Meredith would be
     absurd--in the literary field. And this is or should be a literary

     "I trust that in writing thus I shall not be misunderstood. I am
     not venturing to dispute Mr. Spencer's great position in the
     history of English thought--I have neither the wish nor the
     capacity for anything of the kind. But to be the philosopher of
     evolution is one thing; to be our first man of letters is another.
     I would submit that English opinion is asked to point out our most
     distinguished man of letters, and that if we cannot unanimously say
     'George Meredith!' we are not worthy that Genius should come among
     us at all."

But only two years after this outburst (which I feel sure she showed
him) her comradeship with "Will" ended for ever, and his sufferings
ceased. He died on May 29, 1904.[24]

       *       *       *       *       *

About the same time as she lost her beloved brother, Mrs. Ward acquired
a new member of the family in the person of her son-in-law, George
Macaulay Trevelyan, son of Sir George Otto Trevelyan. He and her younger
daughter became engaged at the Villa Bonaventura, Cadenabbia--which Mrs.
Ward had taken from Mr. Alfred Trench--in May, 1903--and ten months
later they were married at Oxford. Mrs. Ward soon became much devoted to
her son-in-law, whose ardent faiths and non-faiths challenged and
stimulated her, bringing her into touch with movements of thought that
ran parallel to, but had not yet mingled with, her own belief in a more
reasonable Christianity. The walls of her room at Stocks would re-echo,
during his visits, with the most fundamental discussions! Mr.
Chamberlain, too, was a disturbing element in those days, with his
Tariff Reform campaign, for what was Mrs. Ward to do when her son took
one side and her son-in-law the other--and when, moreover, her own
well-trained mind was perfectly capable of understanding the arguments
of each? But whatever the subject of these discussions, whether politics
or religion, they only served to increase the affection between the two,
which grew and deepened with every turn of fortune that the years might

It is perhaps interesting to speculate what might have been the
development of Mrs. Ward's powers if her intellect had never been
captured by the dramatic spell, and if other sides of that
"wide-flashing" mind had been allowed to work themselves out unchecked.
For in the lull that followed the completion of _Eleanor_ she had
conceived the writing of a "Life of Christ" based on such a
re-interpretation of the Gospel story as she believed had been made
possible by the research of the last half-century. She brooded much over
this theme and even discussed it with her publishers. But whether it was
that her continued ill-health made her shrink from the heavy toil
involved by such a task--the re-reading and collating of all her
Germans, the study of an infinite amount of fresh material, and probably
a journey to Palestine--or whether the practical side of Christianity
had by now absorbed too large a share of her time and her powers, the
project never came to fruition, though it never ceased to attract her.

       *       *       *       *       *

And indeed, Mrs. Ward's practical adventures in well-doing during these
years would have been enough to fill the lives of any three ordinary
individuals, without any such diversions as the writing of novels or the
hammering out of plays. The affairs of the Settlement were always on her
shoulders, not only as regards the financial burden of its maintenance,
but in all the personal questions that inevitably arose in such a busy
hive of humanity. If the nurse of the Invalid School had words with the
porter, the case was sure to come up to her for judgment, while any
misdemeanour among the young people themselves who frequented the
building would cause her the most anxious searchings of heart. But "it
does not do to start things and then let them drift," as she wrote in
these days to one of us, and she continued to cherish the Settlement, to
support the Warden (Mr. Tatton) in his difficulties and to beg for
money, with an extraordinary vitality as well as an extraordinary
patience. Yet in spite of all, the Settlement was far more of joy to her
than of burden, and on its children's side it never ceased to be pure
joy from the beginning. For was it not always possible to devise new
ways of making the children happy, as well as to continue the old? The
principal way in which Mrs. Ward's work extended itself at this time was
in the opening of the "Vacation School," designed to bring in from the
streets in large numbers the children left stranded during the August
holiday,--and if anyone will take the trouble to wander through the back
streets during that happy season, and to note what he sees, there will
be little doubt in his mind that such a school must be a real
deliverance. Mrs. Ward had taken the idea from an account by Mr. Henry
Curtis in _Harper's Magazine_ (early in 1902) of the first schools of
the kind started in New York, and her mind had at once grasped the
possibilities of such a scheme. There stood the Settlement with its fine
shady garden in the rear, empty and dumb through the holidays: surely it
would be a sin not to use it!

She collected a special fund from a few old friends of the Settlement,
appointed an admirable director in the person of Mr. E. G. Holland, an
assistant master at the Highgate Secondary School, enlisted the help of
all the schools around to send us such children only as had no chance of
a country holiday, and then issued invitations to some 750, divided into
two batches, morning and afternoon. The result was an orderly and
delighted crowd which, owing to Miss Churcher's and Mr. Holland's
faultless organization, moved from class to class and from garden to
building without the smallest hitch, played and dug in the "waste
ground" beyond the garden, specially thrown open to the school by the
Duke of Bedford, and when rain came marched into the building and filled
its basement rooms and the pleasant library and class-rooms without any
confusion or squabbling. The occupations were much the same as those
already in use for the "Recreation School," and never failed to attract
and then to keep the children; while the spirit of good fellowship that
the atmosphere of the school engendered had a marked effect on their
manners as the four weeks of the school passed away. Here is Mrs. Ward's
own account of the contrast presented by the children as they were in
the Vacation School and as they could not help being in a mean street
only half a mile away:[25]

     "Last week a lady interested in the school was passing through one
     of the slum streets to the west of Tottenham Court Road. Much good
     work has been done there by many agencies. But in August most of
     the workers are away. Dirty, ragged, fighting or querulous children
     covered the pavement, or seemed to be bursting out of the grimy
     houses. The street was filthy, the clothes of the children to
     match. There was no occupation; the little souls were given up to
     'the weight of chance desires'; and whatever happiness there was
     must have been of rather a perilous sort. The same spectator passed
     on, and half a mile eastward entered the settlement building in
     Tavistock Place. Here were nearly 300 children (the children of the
     Evening Session), divided between house and garden, many of them
     from quarters quite as poor as those she had just traversed. But
     all was order, friendliness and enjoyment. Every child was clean
     and neat, though the clothes might be poor; if a boy brushed past
     the visitor, it would be with a pleasant 'Excuse me, Miss'; in the
     manual training-room boys looked up from the benches with glee to
     show the models they had made; the drawing-room of the settlement
     was full of little ones busy with the unfamiliar delights of brush
     or pencil; in the library boys were sitting hunched up over
     _Masterman Ready_, or the ever-adored _Robinson Crusoe_; girls were
     deep in _Anderson's Fairy Tales_ or _The Cuckoo Clock_, the little
     ones were reading Mr. Stead's _Books for the Bairns_ or looking at
     pictures; outside in the garden under the trees clay modelling and
     kindergarten games were going on, while the sand-pit was crowded
     with children enjoying themselves heartily without either shouting
     or fighting. Meanwhile in the big hall parents were thronging in to
     see the musical drill, the dancing or the acting, or to listen to
     the singing; the fathers as proud as the mothers that Willie was
     'in the Shakespeare,' or Nellie 'in the Gavotte.' The visitor had
     only to watch to see that the teachers were obeyed at a word, at a
     glance, and that the children loved to obey. Everywhere was
     discipline, good temper, pleasure. And next day the school broke up
     with the joining of 600 voices in the old hymn 'O God, our help in
     ages past.' Surely no contrast could be more complete."

And in conclusion Mrs. Ward made her characteristic appeal:

     "Shall we not enter seriously on the movement and call on our
     public authorities to take it up? Who can doubt the need of it,
     even when all allowance is made for country holidays of all sorts?
     Extend and develop country holidays as you will, London in the
     summer vacation month will never be without its hundreds of
     thousands of children for whom these Vacation Schools, properly
     managed, would be almost a boon of fairyland."

The Vacation School had indeed been watched with much interest by the
London School Board, which had also co-operated by the lending of
furniture and "stock," but the transference of its powers to the London
County Council made a bad atmosphere, just at this time, for the
adoption of new experiments, and the new "London Education Authority"
which arose in 1903 was only too glad to leave the carrying-on of the
Settlement Vacation School to Mrs. Ward. Every year it seemed to
increase in popularity. Mr. Holland remained director for thirteen
consecutive Augusts (1902-1914); the numbers of the school rose to 1,000
per day in later years, when an additional building became available,
and Mrs. Ward could have no greater pleasure, when the pressure of her
literary work permitted, than to come up from Stocks for a day to watch
her holiday children. But in spite of the universally recognized success
of her experiment, this and the "Holiday School" organized by the
Browning Settlement from 1904 onwards remained practically the only
efforts of the kind carried on in London, until at length, in 1910, the
L.C.C. followed suit by opening six Vacation Schools in different parts
of the metropolis, housed in the ordinary school buildings and
playgrounds. They were an enormous boon to the children of those
districts, but the Council did not persist in its good deeds, for after
two years these Holiday Schools were allowed to drop, and have never,
unfortunately, been revived. Indeed, in June, 1921, a resolution was
passed, prohibiting any expenditure on Holiday Schools or Organized
Playgrounds. So does the London child pay its share of the War Debt.

But the Vacation School at the Settlement has never lapsed, since the
first day that Mrs. Ward opened it in August, 1902, although in these
times of forced economy the numbers are less than of old. But there,
under the great plane-trees in the garden, the trestle-tables are still
set up and the children still congregate, bearing their laughing
testimony to the memory of one who knew their little hearts, and who,
seeing them shepherdless in the hot streets, could not rest until they
were gathered in.




Both _Lady Rose's Daughter_ and _The Marriage of William Ashe_, which
appeared in 1903 and 1905 respectively, are novels of London life,
reflecting in their minor characters, their talk and the incidents that
accompany the tale, that intimate aquaintance with the world of London
which Mrs. Ward had acquired during the many years that she had spent in
observing it, in working with it, and in sharing some of the rarer forms
of the rewards which it has to give. The central theme in each case is a
broadly human one, but the setting and the savour are those of
London--that all-devouring London which she loved so well, but from
which, after a few weeks of its turmoil, she was always so thankful to
escape. It was now twenty years and more since she and Mr. Ward had come
to live in the pretty old house in Russell Square where they had first
gathered their friends around them, and where her Thursdays had first
become an institution; but time had not dimmed her zest for friendship
and for talk, so that the Thursdays and the frequent dinner-parties
continued at Grosvenor Place through all the years that followed. She
would never have claimed that they amounted to a _salon_, for, in spite
of _Lady Rose's Daughter_, her belief was that a _salon_, properly
so-called, was not in the English tradition, and could hardly survive
outside Paris; yet I think that if one had taken the opinion of those
who frequented them they would have said that Mrs. Ward's afternoons or
evenings made a remarkable English equivalent. She herself did not
disguise the fact that she regarded good talk as an art, and enjoyed
nothing more than the play of mind on mind and the quick thrust and
parry that occasionally sweeps across a dinner-table; but she had no
illusions as to the natural inaptitude of the English for the art, and
would often quote the exasperated remark of her great friend in Rome,
Contessa Maria Pasolini, after an evening spent in entertaining English
visitors: "You English, you need so much winding up! Now, if I were
merely to tear up a piece of paper and throw it down among my French
friends, they would talk about it delightfully all the evening!" Hence
her injunctions to her children, when they began to take wing and go
forth to "social junketings" of their own, not to be stuck-up or blasé,
and above all "not to sit like a stuck pig when you get there!" To exert
one's wits to make a party go was part of one's social duty, just as
much as handing the tea-cake or opening the door, and she herself, in
spite of a natural absence of small talk which made her formidable
sometimes to new acquaintances, would faithfully follow her own
precepts. But with her the effort was second nature, for it sprang from
her inborn desire to place herself in sympathetic relations with her
neighbour, to draw out the best in him, to set him going. And so the
talk that was heard at Grosvenor Place, whether at her small
luncheon-parties, her Thursdays, or her dinners, always took from her
first and foremost the quality of reality; people talked--or made her
talk--of the things they knew or cared about, and since her range was so
wide, and there was always, as an old friend expressed it, "so much
tinder about" among her guests, the result was a certain vividness and
vitality that left their mark, and have been long remembered. And, as
one of those who knew her best said once on a public occasion,[26] she
had the secret of making you feel, as you left her house, that you were
a much finer fellow than you thought when you went in; she made you
believe in yourself, for she had, by some subtle magic--or perhaps by
the simplest of all--brought out gifts or powers in you which you hardly
knew that you possessed.

As to the persons who came and went in that pretty room, looking out on
the garden of Buckingham Palace, how is it possible to number or name
them, or to recall the flavour of their long-vanished conversation?
Many have, like their hostess, passed into the unknown: figures like
Leslie Stephen, who wrote to her often, especially after his wife's
death, and came at intervals to Grosvenor Place for a long
_tête-à-tête_, sitting on the sofa beside Mrs. Ward, his ear-trumpet
between them; or like the much-loved Burne-Jones, who came at an earlier
stage and too soon ceased to come, for he died in 1898, leaving her only
a little bundle of letters which she affectionately treasured; or again,
like Lady Wemyss, the deep-voiced, queerly-dressed _grande dame_, whom
Mrs. Ward loved for her heart's sake, and of whom she has recorded a
suggestion, perhaps, in the Lady Winterbourne of _Marcella_; and ah! how
many more, of whom it would be unprofitable for the after-born to write.
Mrs. Ward has left in her novels the mirror of the world in which she
lived and moved, and in her _Recollections_ a more intimate picture of
her friends. To try to add to these records would be but to tempt the

But at what a cost in fatigue of body and mind even her entertaining was
carried on, those who passed their days with Mrs. Ward may at least
tell. It was always the same story. She put so much of herself into
whatever she was doing that the effort produced exhaustion. And so,
after her Thursdays, or perhaps after some gathering of Settlement
workers to whom she had been talking individually, she would collapse
upon the sofa, white and speechless, only fit to be "stroked" and left
to gather her forces again as best she might. There was one Thursday in
the month when, after her own "At Home," she was obliged to attend the
Settlement Council meeting at eight o'clock. This meant that there was
no time for recuperation between the two, but only for a hurried meal,
filled with hasty consultations as to the evening's notes, letters and
telephonings that must be done during her absence; then she would go
off, and some time towards eleven would return, worn out and crumpled,
though perhaps with the light of battle still in her eye over some point
well raised or some victory won. At the Settlement she would have given
no hint of any disability, and would have been the life and soul of the
meeting. Perhaps only her friend the Warden knew what a struggle against
physical pain and weakness her presence there had implied. We used to
chaff her sometimes about the physical ailments of her heroines, who,
according to our robust ideas, were too fond of turning white or of
letting their lips tremble, but this trick of her novels expressed only
too deep an experience of her own, since never, in all the years that
she was writing, did she know what it was to have a day of ordinary
physical strength. On many and many of her guests she made the illusion
of being a strong woman, but could they have seen her when the talk and
the excitement were over, they would have known that it was only her
spirit that had carried her through. The body was always dragged after,
a more or less protesting slave.

Her way of life at Grosvenor Place was naturally one which involved a
good deal of expenditure. Sometimes she would have searchings of heart
over this, or even momentary spasms of economy, but it sprang in reality
from two fundamental causes--one her delight in beautiful things,
inherited even in her starved childhood from her mother, and shared to
the full in later years with her husband; the other this constant
ill-health, which made her incapable of "roughing it," and rendered a
certain amount of luxury indispensable if she was to get through her
daily task. Good pictures and the right kind of furniture gave her a
definite joy for their own sakes, while the arrangement of the chairs
and tables in the manner best calculated to encourage talk was always a
fascinating problem. Clothes, too, were not to be despised, and though
she liked to sit and work in some old rag that had seen better days, it
amused her also to go and plan some beautiful thing with her dressmaker,
Mrs. Kerr, and it amused her to wear the "creation" when it was
finished. Her faithful maid, Lizzie, who had been with us since the
early days of Russell Square, and who was often more nurse than maid to
her, cut and altered and renovated in her little workroom upstairs,
while every now and then Mrs. Ward would issue forth and make a raid
upon the shops, coming home either triumphant to face the criticism of
her family, or very low because she knew she had been beguiled into
buying something which she now positively hated. She was extremely
particular, too, about her daughters' clothes, nor could she make up her
mind, when they came out, to give them a dress allowance, being far too
much interested herself in the problem of how they looked; but even
when she was fully responsible for some luckless garment of theirs she
would often break out, on its first appearance, with the fatal words,
"Go upstairs, take that off, and let me _never_ see it again until it's
completely re-made!"--usually uttered amid helpless giggles, for this
had become, by long use, a stock phrase in our family.

Strangers coming from afar with some claim upon her kindness found
always a ready welcome at her house. In addition to her French and
Italian friends, who would find their way to her door as soon as they
arrived in London, she had many warm friendships with Americans,
beginning with her much-loved cousin, Frederick W. Whitridge, who had
married Matthew Arnold's daughter Lucy, and had got Mr. Ward to build a
comely house for her within half a mile of Stocks. "Cousin Fred," with
his charming blue eyes and white moustache and beard, had been a truly
Olympian figure to us children even in the days of Russell Square, for
had he not deposited on our plates at breakfast, one golden morning, a
sovereign each for the two elders and half a sovereign for the youngest?
And as the years passed on, and he became the intimate friend of
Roosevelt and a recognized leader of the New York Bar, the friendship
between him and Mrs. Ward grew ever deeper, so that his shrewd wisdom
and inimitable humour, as well as his habit of spoiling the people he
was fond of, came to be looked for each summer as one of the true
pleasures of the year. His son was one of the first Americans to join
the British Army in 1914, but he himself, like Henry James, was not to
see the day for which both he and Roosevelt had toiled so hard. He died
in December, 1916, four months before America "came in." Mr. Lowell, the
American Ambassador during the 'eighties, had been a frequent visitor at
Russell Square, while his successors, Hay, Bayard and Choate, were all
on friendly terms with Mrs. Ward. Comrades in her own trade whom it
always pleased her to see were Mr. Gilder, editor of the _Century
Magazine_, welcome whether he came as publisher or friend; Mr. Godkin,
of the _Evening Post_, the most intellectual among American journalists;
Mr. S. S. McClure, who had first tracked down Mrs. Ward at Borough Farm,
and remained ever afterwards on cordial, not to say familiar, terms with
her; Charles Dudley Warner, Mrs. Wharton, the William James's, and many
more. But the most intimate of all were certain women: that inseparable
and delightful pair, Mrs. Fields and Miss Sarah Orne Jewett (the writer
of New England stories), who twice found their way to Stocks, and many
times to Grosvenor Place, and lastly that other Bostonian, Miss Sara
Norton, whose friendship for Dorothy made her almost as another daughter
during her visits to Stocks, to Levens, or to the Villa Bonaventura.

But it was not by any means only for the "distinguished," whether from
home or abroad, that Grosvenor Place laid itself out. One of its
principal functions was that of making the head-quarters in London for
all the younger members of Mrs. Ward's own family, as well as for the
grandchildren who began about this time to find their way to her knee.
For to all such young people she was mother, fairy godmother and friend
rolled into one. Settlement workers and Associates, teachers and many
"dim" people of various professions would find her as accessible as her
strenuous hours of labour would allow. All she asked of those who came
to her house was that they should have something real to contribute--and
if possible that they should contribute it without egotism. Certainly
she did not suffer bores gladly; an ordinary bore was bad enough, but an
egotistic bore would produce a peculiar kind of nervous irritation in
her which we who watched could always detect, however manfully she
strove to conceal it. Nor could she ever bring herself to observe the
strict rules of London etiquette, so that to "go calling" was an unknown
occupation in her calendar, and in spite of two daughters and a
secretary her social lapses and forgetfulnesses sometimes plunged her in
black despair. When she had hopelessly missed Mrs. So-and-So's party, to
which she had fully meant to go, she would sorrowfully declare that the
motto of the Ward family ought to be: "Never went and never wrote."

It is needless to point out how exhausting this London life became to
one who pressed so much into it as Mrs. Ward. For although she could
rarely write her books in London, being far too distracted by the
demands of the hungry world upon her time, it was mainly at Grosvenor
Place that she hammered out her schemes for the welfare of London's
children, talking them over with members of the School Board or the
County Council, driving about to some of the poorest districts to see
with her own eyes the conditions under which they lived, and planning
out the details in mornings of hard work with Miss Churcher. The
development of the Cripples' Schools, both in London and the Provinces,
was very much on her shoulders at this time, for she felt the imperative
need for extending them to other parts of the country, and undertook
many arduous missionary journeys on their behalf during the few years
that followed their establishment in London. There, as the schools grew
and spread under the fostering care of the L.C.C., it was the auxiliary
services of after-care, feeding and training that claimed the principal
share of her attention. But she had a very efficient committee to assist
her in these matters, under the chairmanship of Miss Maude Lawrence, so
that gradually her responsibility for the London cripples grew less
heavy, and she was able to turn to other schemes that now began to
simmer in her mind for the welfare of the whole as well as the halt
among London's children.

For the remarkable success of the Children's Recreation School at the
Settlement, which by the year 1904 had attendances of some 1,700
children a week (all, of course, wholly voluntary), led Mrs. Ward to
feel that some effort might be made to carry the civilizing effect of
such centres of play into the remoter and still more squalid regions of
the East and South. Already the Children's Happy Evenings' Association
held weekly or fortnightly "Evenings" in some eighty or ninety schools,
giving much pleasure to the children wherever they went, but Mrs. Ward's
plan was for something on a more intensive scale than this, something
that might exert a continuous influence over the lives of large numbers
of children in any given district, as the occupations and delights of
the "Passmore" did over the children of St. Pancras. She founded a small
committee, in October, 1904, to go into the matter and to lay proposals
before the Education Committee of the London County Council: proposals
to the effect that the "Play Centres Committee" should be allowed the
free use of certain schools after school hours on five evenings a week,
from 5.30 to 7.30, and also on Saturday mornings, for the purpose of
providing games, physical exercises and handwork occupations for the
children of that district. The Council readily gave its consent, and
Mrs. Ward applied herself to the task of raising sufficient funds for
the maintenance of eight "Evening Play Centres" in certain school
buildings, to be carried on for a year as an experiment. She obtained
promises amounting to nearly £800, largely from the same friends as had
watched her work at the Settlement, and with this she felt that she
could go forward. After careful inquiry, four schools in the East End
were selected, with one in Somers Town and two in Lambeth and Walworth
respectively, while Canon Barnett offered Toynbee Hall itself as the
scene of an eighth Centre. Mrs. Ward devoted special pains to the
selection of the eight Superintendents who were to have charge of these
Play Centres, for she rightly felt that on their wisdom and skill in
handling the large numbers of children who would pass through their
hands would largely depend the success of the adventure. Gymnastic
instructors, handwork teachers and many voluntary helpers were also
secured and assigned to the various Centres, so that the staff in each
case consisted of a _cadre_ of paid and professional workers, assisted
by as many volunteers as possible. Mrs. Ward's long experience at the
Settlement had convinced her that this nucleus of paid workers was
essential to the smooth and continuous working of any such scheme, since
although the best volunteers were invaluable in supplying an element of
initiative and originality in the working out of new ideas, still there
was also an element of irregularity in their attendance which detracted
much from their usefulness! And in proportion as the Centres succeeded
in their object of attracting the children from the streets, so much the
more disastrous would it be if large numbers of them were left
shepherdless on foggy evenings because Miss So-and-So had a bad cold.
Mrs. Ward was much criticized in certain quarters for bringing the
"professional element" into her Play Centres, but she knew better than
her critics how far the voluntary element might safely be trusted, and
how far it must be supplemented by the professional. She was playing all
the time for a _big thing_, with possibilities of expansion not only in
London but in the great industrial towns as well, besides which she
always hotly resented the suggestion that the paid worker must be
inferior in quality to the volunteer. On the contrary, it interested her
immensely to see how the professional teachers, both men and women,
would often reveal new and unsuspected qualities in the freer atmosphere
of the Play Centre, while the greater intimacy that they acquired with
their children was--as they often acknowledged--of the greatest value to
them in their day-school work.

The first eight Play Centres opened their doors to the children on the
first Monday in February, 1905, and it may be imagined with what anxiety
and delight Mrs. Ward watched their development during these first
weeks. The children had been secured in the first instance by
invitations distributed through the Head Teachers to those who, in their
opinion, stood most in need of shelter and occupation after school
hours, i.e. principally to those whose parents were both out at work
till 7 or 8 o'clock; but after the ice was broken, Alf would bring 'Arry
and Edie would bring Maud, till the utmost capacity of the classes was
reached, and Mrs. Ward's heart was both gladdened and saddened by the
tale that her staff had as many children as they could possibly cope
with, and that many had of necessity been turned away. By the end of the
year the weekly attendance at the eight Centres amounted to nearly
6,000, and a year later, with ten Centres instead of eight, they had
risen to over 10,000. This meant that Mrs. Ward had struck upon a real
need of the wandering, loafing child-population of our greatest city--a
need that will in fact be perennial so long as the housing of the miles
upon miles of bricks and mortar that we call the working-class districts
remains what it is. "It all grows steadily beyond my hopes," wrote Mrs.
Ward to Mrs. Creighton in October, 1906, "and I believe that in three or
four years we shall see it developing into an ordinary part of
education, in the true sense. There is no difficulty about money--the
difficulty is to find the time and nerve-strength to carry it on, even
with such help as Bessie Churcher's."

But the burden of raising the increasing sums required was, in truth,
very great, so that Mrs. Ward, with her belief in the future of the
movement, was already at work to get the Play Centre principle
recognized and embodied in an Act of Parliament. The opportunity arose
on Mr. Birrell's ill-fated Bill of 1906, but although Mrs. Ward's
clause, enabling any Local Education Authority "to provide for children
attending a public elementary school, Vacation Schools, Play Centres, or
means of recreation during their holidays or at such other times as the
Local Education Authority may prescribe," was accepted by the
Government, and passed the House of Lords in December, 1906, the Bill
itself was dropped soon afterwards, having been wrecked on the usual
rocks of sectarian passion. Fortunately, however, Mr. McKenna, who
succeeded Mr. Birrell at the Board of Education, was able to carry a
smaller measure, known as the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act,
in the summer of the next year (1907). This Act duly contained the Play
Centres clause, as well as the provisions for the medical inspection and
treatment of school-children which have since borne such beneficent
fruit. Already in the previous summer, when the clause was first before
the House of Commons, Mr. Sydney Buxton had said at the opening of the
Settlement Vacation School that he felt sure it would go down to history
as the "Mary Ward Clause."

But this victory had not been won except at the cost of considerable
friction with the only other body that attempted to cater in any
systematic fashion for the needs of London's children in the evening
hours--I mean the Children's Happy Evenings' Association. The
Association, which embodied the "voluntary principle" in its purest
form, could not tolerate the idea that the Public Education Authority
might in the future come to encroach upon a field which they regarded as
their own--even though their "Evenings" were avowedly held only once a
week, sometimes only once a fortnight, and could not touch more than the
barest fringe of the child population of each district. They disliked
the professional worker, and they abhorred the bare idea that public
money might eventually be spent upon the recreation of the
children--ignoring the experience of America, where the public authority
was doing more each year for the playtime of its children, and
forgetting, perhaps, that at the "preparatory schools" to which their
own little boys were sent, almost more time and thought were spent upon
their games than upon their "education" proper. And so they sent a
deputation to Mr. Birrell to oppose Mrs. Ward's clause, and their
workers attacked Mrs. Ward and her precious Play Centres in other ways
and on other occasions as well; but they found that she was a shrewd
fighter, for even though during the summer of 1906 she was laid low by
that most disabling complaint, a terrible attack of eczema, she
compelled herself to write from her bed a trenchant letter to _The
Times_ in defence of the professional worker, and also a very
conciliatory letter to her friend Lady Jersey, the President of the
Happy Evenings' Association.

     "It is most unwelcome to me," she wrote, "this dispute over a
     public cause--especially when I see or dream what could be done by
     co-operation. What I _wish_ is that you would join the Evening Play
     Centres Committee, and see for yourself what it means. There is
     nothing in our movement which is necessarily antagonistic to yours,
     but I think we may claim that ours is more in sympathy with the
     general ideas on the subject that are stirring people's minds than

The affair ended in the acceptance by the Government of an amendment to
Mrs. Ward's clause, authorizing the Local Education Authorities to
"encourage and assist the continuance or establishment of Voluntary
Agencies" in any exercise of powers under the new Act. The two
associations--the Happy Evenings and the Play Centres--continued to
exist side by side until the inevitable march of events led, under the
stress of war, to the issue of Mr. Fisher's authoritative Memorandum
(January, 1917), admitting the obligation of the State in the matter of
the children's recreation, and announcing that in future the Board would
undertake half the "approved expenditure" of Evening Play Centre
committees. The Children's Happy Evenings' committee thereupon decided,
in dignified fashion, that their work was ended, and dissolved their
Association. Peace be to its ashes! It had given joy, much joy, to many
thousands of London children, as Mrs. Ward always most fully recognized,
and if in the end it stood in the way of the new and younger power which
was capable of giving an almost indefinite extension to the children's
pleasure, could it but have a free field, the reluctance of the
Association to cede any ground was only, after all, a very natural

But once the new Act was passed, Mrs. Ward was to be disappointed in her
hopes that the London Education Authority would take advantage of the
powers conferred upon it in order to assist the movement financially.
Certain members of the Council elected in 1907 (in which the majority
was overwhelmingly Moderate) urged her to present an appeal to the
Education Committee, asking that the cost of the Handwork, Drill and
Gymnastic classes held at the Play Centres might be defrayed by the
Council; this she did in a statement which she drew up and presented in
October, 1907, weaving into it with all the practised skill that she
knew so well how to throw into such documents firstly a picture of the
child-life of such districts as Hoxton, Walworth and Notting Dale in the
winter evenings, when the children were too often "turned out after tea
into the streets and told not to come home till bedtime"; then a brief
account of the small beginnings and immense growth of the Children's
Recreation School at the Passmore Edwards Settlement, with its
offshoots, the ten Play Centres held in the London schools, and finally
a striking list of individual cases, showing how the Centres had already
attracted to themselves scores of boys and girls whose conditions of
life were leading them into idling and vagabondage of all sorts, through
the mere lack of anything to do in the dark hours.

     "Perhaps the most striking revelation of the whole work," wrote
     Mrs. Ward, "has been the positive hunger for hand-occupation which
     exists among the older children. The attendances at the handwork
     classes drop off a little when June begins, and from June to
     October they are better discontinued in favour of cricket, swimming
     and outdoor games in general. But from October onwards through the
     whole winter and up to the end of May, the demand for handwork
     never slackens. Two or three times the number of children who are
     now being taught would eagerly come to classes if they were opened.
     Basket-work, wood-work and cobbling are unfailing delights, and it
     is here that we ask most earnestly for the help of the County
     Council. Rough boys, who would soon, if left to themselves, become
     on leaving school a nuisance to the community and to the police,
     can be got hold of through handwork, and in no other way. And when
     once the taste has been acquired, there remains the strong
     probability that after school is over they will be drawn into the
     net of Evening Classes and Polytechnics, and so rescued for an
     honest life."

But the Education Committee, burdened as it was in that year with the
first arrangements for medical inspection and treatment, as well as with
the demand for the feeding of necessitous children, did not feel able to
undertake this further responsibility, although its reception of Mrs.
Ward's memorandum was extremely sympathetic. All that the Council would
do at this stage was to remit the charges previously made for cleaning
and caretaking of the schools during Play Centre hours, a concession
which amounted to a grant of about £20 a year per Centre.

Mrs. Ward was therefore thrown back upon her own resources for the
financing of her great experiment. No thought of reduction or even of
standing still could be admitted, for with the growing fame of the
Centres, appeals began to come in from Care Committees, from School
Managers, from Clergy, and from hard-worked Magistrates, begging that
Centres might be opened in their districts, while the owner of a jam
factory in South London offered to pay part of the cost of a Centre if
it could be opened near his works, _because the children used to come
down to the factory gates in the evenings and cry till their mothers
came out_. Mr. Samuel's Children's Act of 1908 created the post of
Probation Officer for the supervision of "first offenders"; the first
two or three of these were appointed, on Mrs. Ward's recommendation,
from among her Play Centre Superintendents, since the intimate knowledge
they possessed of the children's lives gave them special qualifications
for their task. It soon became the practice of all Probation Officers to
refer their lawless little charges (often aged only nine or ten!) to the
nearest Play Centre as "every-night children," there to forget their
wild or thieving ways in the fascinations of cobbling, or wood-work, or
games, or military drill. But in order to respond to these growing
appeals Mrs. Ward had to undertake an ever-increasing burden of
financial responsibility, as well as of organization. In 1905 the first
eight Centres had cost a little over £900; in 1908, with twelve Centres
and total attendances of 620,000, the bill had risen to £3,000; in 1911,
with seventeen Centres and attendances of 1,170,000, it was £4,500; in
1913, with twenty Centres and attendances of 1,500,000, it was £5,700.
How she succeeded in raising these large sums in addition to her efforts
for the Settlement; how she found time, on the top of her literary work
and her many semi-political interests, for the close attention that she
gave, week in, week out, to the progress of each individual Centre and
the peculiarities of every Superintendent, will always remain a mystery.
Her unconquerable optimism, which became a more and more marked trait of
her character as the years went on, helped her through every crisis,
while her joy in the children's happiness acted both as a tonic and a
spur. Every winter she would issue her eloquent Report, sending it out
with irresistible personal letters to a large number of subscribers;
many a London landlord was made to stand and deliver for the children of
meaner streets than those which paid him rent; many a factory owner was
persuaded to follow the example of the jam-manufacturer above-mentioned.
Yet when all was done there would usually remain a deficit of several
hundred pounds, which must be wiped out in order to avert a bankers'
strike; then Mrs. Ward would gather up all the outstanding facts of the
year's work and present them in one of those remarkable letters to _The
Times_ of which she possessed the secret, charming the cheques for very
shame out of the pockets of the kind-hearted. And thus, with incredible
toil and with many moments of despair, the organization was kept going
and the indispensable funds supplied; but it was a labour of Hercules,
and her letters throughout these years bear witness to the exhausting
nature of the task.

Once more, in 1913, Mrs. Ward hoped that the recognition of her long
effort was not far off, for both Government and County Council expressed
themselves, through the mouths of two distinguished leaders, as very
warmly in sympathy with it. She had organized an exhibition of Play
Centre hand-work at the Settlement--toy models of all sorts, baskets,
dolls, needlework, cobbled boots and shoes--and invited her old friend
Lord Haldane, then Lord Chancellor, and Mr. Cyril Cobb, Chairman of the
Education Committee, L.C.C., to speak at the opening ceremony. Both
speakers emphasized the fact that Mrs. Ward had now proved her case, and
that, as Lord Haldane said, the Play Centre movement had "reached a
stage in which it must be recognized as one, at least, of the elements
in a national system of education, as one of the things that must come
within the scope and observance of the Board of Education. Such a
movement must begin by voluntary effort. It has already reached a stage
in which I hope it is going to attract a great deal of official
attention." Such words could not but encourage Mrs. Ward to hope that
help was near, for by that time the Board of Education had already
inaugurated the system of giving aid to voluntary societies, if their
aims and methods were approved, by a proportional grant on their
expenditure. Yet 1913 passed away and nothing came of it. One may
perhaps shrewdly suspect, in looking back, that the authorities knew
well enough when a thing was a "going concern" and needed no effort of
theirs to help it up the hill. Mrs. Ward was their willing horse; they
continued, with the instinct of _laissez-faire_ which has so often
preserved the British Constitution, to let her pull her own load. But a
time was at hand when _laissez-faire_ and all other comfortable
doctrines were to be swept away in the shock that set the whole fabric
of our society reeling. The outbreak of war, which seemed at first to
threaten the very existence of such things as Play Centres, was in fact
to reveal and establish their necessity. After two more years of heroic
effort to keep them going amid the flood of war appeals, Mrs. Ward had
her reward at last in Mr. Fisher's Memorandum of January, 1917. The
State had recognized the principle that in the children lay the best
hope of England, and Mrs. Ward had her way. Thence-forward the Board of
Education undertook to pay half the "approved expenditure" of the
Evening Play Centres committee.

       *       *       *       *       *

But the establishment and growth of the London Play Centres, heavy and
exacting as was the toil that it involved, did not by any means exhaust
Mrs. Ward's efforts to improve the lot of London's children during these
years. In 1908 she opened two additional Vacation Schools in the East
End; one in a school with a "roof-playground" in Bow, the other in an
ordinary school in Hoxton.

     "On Friday I had a field-day at the Bow Vacation School," she wrote
     to J.P.T. in August, 1908. "The air on the roof-playground was like
     Margate, and the children's happiness and good-temper delightful to
     see. There were flowers all about, and sunny views over East
     London to distant country, and round games, and little ones happy
     with toys, and all sorts of nice things. Downstairs a splendid game
     of hand-ball in the playground, and a cool hall full of boys
     playing games and reading. As for the Settlement, it has never been
     so enchanting. There are 1,150 children daily, and all the teachers
     say it is better than ever. The Duke's sand-heap and the new
     drinking-fountain are great additions. Hoxton goes to my heart! It
     is _too_ crowded, and there is nothing but asphalt playgrounds,
     with no shade till late. Yet the children swarm, and when you see
     them sitting listlessly, doing absolutely nothing, in the broiling
     dirty streets outside you can't wonder. I am having the playground
     shelter scrubbed out with carbolic daily, lined with some flowers
     in pots, and filled with small tables and chairs for the little
     ones. They have 800 children, and we have been obliged to give
     extra help."

Then in the next year, besides maintaining the roof-playground, she
opened another experimental Holiday-school near by for a small number of
delicate and ailing children whose names were on the "necessitous" list,
and who were therefore eligible for free dinners. Mrs. Ward delighted in
continuing and improving the free dinners for these little waifs during
the holidays, as well as in providing suitable occupations for their
fingers, and it was with real pride that she returned them to their
regular school at the end of the holidays, thriving, and with a record
of increased weight in almost every case. But the very success of these
attempts, together with the ever-increasing size and attractiveness of
the Settlement Vacation School, filled her with distress at the wasted
opportunities presented by the empty playgrounds of the ordinary London
schools during the August holiday, for she well knew from her own
experience and from that of New York, which she had closely studied,[27]
that it only needed the presence of two or three active kindergarten
teachers and a supply of toys and materials to attract to these open
spaces all the hot and weary children from the neighbouring streets and
there to make them happy. Her fingers itched to do it, tired though
they were with so many other labours. It was not, however, till the
spring of 1911 that she was able to take this work in hand, but then she
addressed herself to it with all her usual energy, presenting a scheme
to the L.C.C. for the "organization" of both the boys' and the girls'
playgrounds at twenty-six London schools during the summer holiday. The
Council met her once more with complete confidence, lending all the
larger equipment required; Mrs. Ward raised a special fund of nearly
£1,000, and devoted much attention to the engagement of the
Superintendents for the girls' grounds and the Games Masters for the
boys'. Then, just before the end of term, notices were distributed in
the neighbouring schools announcing that such and such a playground
would be opened for games and quiet occupations during the holidays, and
the result was awaited with some quaking. Would there be a crowd or a
desert? and if the former, would the Superintendents be able to keep
order? The answer was not long in coming. "I let in 400 boys," wrote one
of the Games Masters after his first session, "and the street outside
was still black with them." But in spite of the eager crowds which
everywhere made their appearance, order _was_ kept most successfully.
Mrs. Ward herself visited the playgrounds constantly, and at the end of
the month wrote her joyous report to _The Times_:

     "Inside one came always upon a cheerful scene. In the girls'
     playgrounds, during those hottest August days, one saw crowds of
     girls and babies playing in the shade of the school buildings, or
     forming happy groups for reading or sewing, or filling the trestle
     tables under the shelters, where were picture-books to be looked
     at, beads to thread, paints and paper to draw with, or wool for
     knitting, or portable swings where the elder girls could swing the
     little ones in turn. Then, if you asked the schoolkeeper to pass
     you through a locked door, you were in the boys' playground, where
     balls were whizzing, and the space was divided up by a clever
     Superintendent between the cricket of the bigger boys--very near,
     often, to the real thing--and the first efforts, not a whit less
     energetic, of the younger ones. In one corner, also, there would be
     mats and jumping-stands; in another a group playing tennis with a
     chalked line instead of a net, while the shelters were full, as in
     the girl's ground, of all kinds of quiet occupations. Management
     was everything. It was wonderful what a Superintendent with a real
     turn for the thing could make of his ground, what a hold he got
     upon his boys, and how well, in such cases, the boys behaved. There
     was a real loyalty and _esprit de corps_ in these grounds; and
     when, in the last week, 'sports' and displays were organized for
     the benefit of the parents, it was really astonishing to see with
     what ease a competent man or woman could handle a crowded
     playground, how eagerly the children obeyed, how courteous and
     happy they were."

The number of attendances had been prodigious--424,000 for the whole
month, or 106,000 per week--and the gratitude of the parents who had
pressed in to see the final displays was touching to hear. In the next
year Mrs. Ward persuaded the L.C.C. to share the experiment with her,
the Council opening "organized playgrounds" in twenty schools and she
herself in twenty more; this time the organization was in many points
improved, and the results still more satisfactory. But although the
Council gave her to understand that they would undertake to carry on the
experiment in future, being convinced of its necessity, no further
action was taken, and the playgrounds of London, in spite of Mrs. Ward's
object-lesson, have been suffered to relapse into that condition of
uselessness and sometimes of positive danger to the children's morals
from which her efforts in 1911 and 1912 had sought to rescue them.

       *       *       *       *       *

The story of Mrs. Ward's activities for the welfare of London's children
has taken us far beyond the period of her life at which we had otherwise
arrived. To return briefly to her literary work, it may be said, I
think, that those two novels of London life, _Lady Rose's Daughter_ and
_William Ashe_, had marked its highest point in sheer brilliance and
success; after these the long autumn of her novel-writing began, which,
like all mellow autumns, had its moments of more true and delicate
beauty than the full summer had possessed. The first of these autumn
novels, if I may use the term, was _Fenwick's Career_, which appeared in
May, 1906; it was not a great popular success, like the previous two,
but to those who read it in these after-times its sober excellence of
workmanship, as shown especially in the scenes at Versailles and at the
Westmorland cottage where husband and wife meet again after their long
separation, are perhaps more attractive than all the brilliance of poor
Kitty Bristol or of the shifting groups in Lady Henry's house in Bruton
Street. Mrs. Ward had been criticized in the case of these three novels
for having made use of the persons and incidents of the past without any
definite acknowledgment, but she defended herself vigorously, in a short
Preface to _Fenwick's Career_, in words that I cannot do better than

     "The artist, as I hold, may gather from any field, so long as he
     sacredly respects what other artists have already made their own by
     the transmuting processes of the mind. To draw on the conceptions
     or the phrases that have once passed through the warm minting of
     another's brain, is for us moderns at any rate, the literary crime
     of crimes. But to the teller of stories, all that is recorded of
     the real life of men, as well as all that his own eyes can see, is
     offered for the enrichment of his tale. This is a clear and simple
     principle; yet it has been often denied. To insist upon it is, in
     my belief, to uphold the true flag of Imagination, and to defend
     the wide borders of Romance."

The cottage on the "shelf of fell" in Langdale, whence poor Phœbe
Fenwick set forth on her mad journey to London, had also a solid
existence of its own, though no "acknowledgment" is made to it in
Foreword or text. "Robin Ghyll" stands high above the road on the
fell-side, between a giant sycamore and an ancient yew, close by the
ghyll of "druid oaks" whence it takes its name--resisting with all the
force of the mountain stone of which it is built the hurricanes that
sweep down upon it from the central knot of those grim northern hills.
The view from its little lawn of Pikes, Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell has
perhaps no equal in the Lake District. Sunshine and storm have passed
over it for 200 years or more, since the valley folk first built it as a
small statesman's farm or shepherd's cottage. At the time of which I
write the little place was occupied by a poetically minded resident who
had added two pleasant rooms.

Mrs. Ward and her daughter Dorothy noticed Robin Ghyll as they drove up
Langdale with "Aunt Fan" one summer day in 1902, and fell in love with
it. Two years later it actually fell vacant, so that Mrs. Ward could
take it in the name of her daughter and share with her the joy of
furnishing and then inhabiting its seven rooms. But though Mrs. Ward
loved Robin Ghyll and fled to it occasionally for complete retirement,
it belonged in a more particular sense to her daughter, and derived from
her its charm. Thither she would go at Whitsuntide or in September,
refreshing body and mind by contact with its solitudes. Not often indeed
could she be spared from the absorbing life of Stocks, or Italy, or
Grosvenor Place, where so much depended upon her. But though life limped
at Stocks during Dorothy's brief absences, she always returned from
Robin Ghyll with strength redoubled for the arduous service of love
which she rendered to her mother all her life long, and from which both
giver and receiver derived a sacred happiness.




Mrs. Ward had often been assured by her friends and admirers in the
United States that if she would but visit them she would find such a
welcome as would stagger all her previous ideas of hospitality. She
could not doubt it; it was, in fact, this thought, combined with the
frailness of her health, that had deterred her during the twenty years
that followed the publication of _Robert Elsmere_ from going to claim
the honours that awaited her. Her husband and daughter had already paid
two visits to the States, and had experienced in the kindness and warmth
of their reception an earnest of what would fall to Mrs. Ward's lot
should she venture across the Atlantic; nor had they merely whirled with
the passing show, but had made many lifelong friends. Mrs. Ward had,
however, resisted the pressure of these friends for many years, until at
length, in the spring of 1908, so strong a combination of circumstances
arose to tempt her that her resolution gave way. Her own health, which
had suffered a grievous and prolonged breakdown in 1906, had gradually
re-established itself, so that by the time of which we are speaking she
was perhaps in better case for such an adventure than she had been for
some years. Mr. and Mrs. Whitridge would hear of nothing but that she
should make their house her home during her stay in New York; Mr. Bryce
made the same demand for Washington; Earl Grey for Ottawa (where he was
at that time Governor-General), while Mr. Ward's acquaintance with Sir
William van Horne, Chairman of the Canadian Pacific Railway--based on a
common enthusiasm for Old Masters--led to the irresistible offer of a
private car on the Line for Mrs. Ward and her party, at the Company's
expense, from Montreal to Vancouver and back. Such lures were hardly to
be withstood, but I doubt whether Mrs. Ward would have succumbed even to
them had it not been for her growing desire to see, with her own eyes,
the work which was being done in New York for the play-time of the
children. She knew that New York was far in advance of London in the
provision of Vacation Schools for the long summer holiday, and of
evening Recreation Centres for the children who had left school; but
Play Centres for the school-children themselves were as yet unknown
there, so that she felt much might be gained by an exchange of
experiences between herself and the "Playground Association of America."

And so, on March 11, 1908, they sailed in the _Adriatic_--she and Mr.
Ward, and her daughter Dorothy, with the faithful Lizzie in attendance.
The great ship set her thinking of the only other long voyage that she
had ever made, over far other seas. "When I look at this ship," she
wrote, "and think of the cockleshell we came home in round the Horn in
'56, and the discomforts my mother must have suffered with three
children, one a young baby! Happiness, as we all know, and as the
copy-books tell us, does not depend on luxuries--but how she would have
responded to a little comfort, a little petting, if she had ever had it!
My heart often aches when I think of it." The comforts of the _Adriatic_
were indeed colossal, and since the ocean was kindness itself, Mrs. Ward
took no ill from the voyage, but arrived in good spirits, and ready to
face the New World with that zest which was her cradle-gift.

Mr. Whitridge's pleasant house in East Eleventh Street received Mr. and
Mrs. Ward, while Dorothy stayed with equally hospitable friends--Mrs.
Cadwalader Jones and her daughter--over the way. Avalanches of reporters
had to be faced and dealt with, all craving for five minutes' talk with
Mrs. Ward, but they were usually intercepted in the hall by Mr.
Whitridge, whose method of dealing with his country's newspapers was
somewhat drastic. If they passed this outer line of defence they were
received by Mr. or Miss Ward, who found them persistent indeed, but
always marvellously civil; and on the very few occasions when Mrs. Ward
did consent to be interviewed, she insisted on seeing the proof and
entirely re-writing what had been put into her mouth. The newspapers,
indeed, had reckoned without a mentality which intensely disliked this
kind of thing; it was unfortunate, perhaps, but inevitable!

In all other respects, however, it was impossible for Mrs. Ward not to
be deeply moved by the kindness that was heaped upon her. "Life has been
a tremendous rush," wrote D. M. W. from New York, "but really a very
delightful one, and we are accumulating many happy and amusing memories.
The chief thing that stands out, of course, is the love and admiration
for M. and her books. When all's said and done, it really is pretty
stirring, the way they feel about her. And the things the quiet, unknown
people say to one about her books go to one's heart." ("We dined at a
house last night," wrote Mrs. Ward herself, "where everybody had a card
containing a quotation from my wretched works. Humphry bears up as well
as can be expected!") But on one occasion, at least, she came in for a
puff of unearned incense. At an afternoon tea, given in her honour by
Mrs. Whitridge, an elderly lady was overheard saying in awe-struck tones
to her neighbour, "To think that I should have lived to shake hands with
the authoress of _Little Lord Fauntleroy_!"

Dinners, lunches, receptions, operas and theatres succeeded one another
in a dazzling rush, but New York knew quite well what was the main
purpose of Mrs. Ward's visit, and it was fitting that the principal
function arranged in her honour should have been a dinner given her at
the Waldorf-Astoria by the Playground Association of America. There were
900 persons present, and when Mrs. Ward stood up to address them every
man and woman in the room spontaneously rose to their feet to greet her.
It was a moment that would have touched a far harder heart than hers.

     "It was very moving--it really was," she wrote to J. P.
     T.--"because of the evident kindness and sincerity of it. I got
     through fairly well, though I don't feel that I have yet arrived at
     the right speech for a public dinner.... I was most interested by
     the speech of the City Superintendent of Education, Dr. Maxwell, an
     _admirable_ man, who declared hotly in my favour as to Play
     Centres, and has, since the dinner, given directions for the first
     _afternoon_ Play Centre for school children in New York. Isn't that

     "Well, and since, we have been lunching, dining and seeing sights
     with the same vigour. I have been to schools and manual training
     centres with Dr. Maxwell, and we went through the Natural History
     Museum with its Director,[28] who gave us a _thrilling_ time....
     One afternoon I went down to a College Settlement and spoke to a
     large gathering of workers about English ways. The day before
     yesterday I spoke to about 900 boys and girls and their teachers,
     in one of their _magnificent_ public schools. Dr. Maxwell took me,
     and asked me to speak of Grandpapa. A great many of the elder boys
     had read _Tom Brown_ and knew all about the 'Doctor'! I enjoyed it
     greatly, and as to their saluting of the flag--these masses of
     alien children--one may say what one will, but it is one of the
     most thrilling things in the world, and we, as a nation, are the
     poorer for not having it."

Mrs. Ward had accepted four or five engagements to lecture while she was
in America, in aid of her London Play Centres, and accumulated, to her
intense satisfaction, the handsome sum of £250 from this source during
her tour. She gave her audiences of her best--the paper already
mentioned, on "The Peasant in Literature," which revealed her literary
craft in its most finished form, and although she was so much the rage
at the time that her admirers were not disposed to be critical, she was
yet genuinely gratified by the pleasure which this paper gave,
especially in so cultivated a centre as Philadelphia. Here Mrs. Ward and
her daughter were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Earle Coates, and then of
the Bertram Lippincotts, in their charming house outside the town.
Independence Hall gave them the proper thrill of sympathy with a "nation
struggling to be free," while Mrs. Ward was delighted by the general
old-world look of many of the streets, no less than by the stately
river, on which, as she found to her astonishment, "the boat-crews
practise for Henley." During their short stay with Mrs. Coates, Mrs.
Ward made friends with Dr. Weir Mitchell, novelist and physician, and
with Miss Agnes Repplier, for whom she felt an instant attraction,
while Dorothy sat next to a Mr. Walter Smith, and talked to him
innocently about certain Modernist lectures that had been given at the
Settlement in London, discovering afterwards, to her dismay, that he was
a strong Catholic, and freely called in Philadelphia "Helbeck of
Bannisdale." "I noticed it fell a little flat!"

From Philadelphia they moved on to Washington, to stay with their old
friends the Bryces, at the hospitable British Embassy. An invitation
from the President (Mr. Roosevelt) to dine with him at the White House,
had already reached them. Mrs. Ward described her impressions in a long
letter to her son:

"_April 13, 1908_.

     "Everybody here has been kindness itself, and we feel that we ought
     to spend the rest of our days in trying to be nice to Americans in
     London! First, as you know, we went to the Bryces. They asked a
     great many people to meet us, but what I remember best is a quiet
     hour with Mr. and Mrs. Root, who were smuggled into an inner
     drawing-room away from the crowd, where one could listen to him in
     peace, and above all, look at him! He is, I think, the most
     attractive of all the Americans we have seen. He has been Secretary
     of State now for some years, and is evidently, like Edward Grey,
     absorbed in his own special work and not much concerned with
     current politics. His subordinates speak of him with enthusiasm,
     and he has a detached, humane, meditative face, with a slight
     flicker of humour perpetually playing over it--as different as
     possible from the hawk-like concentration of the New Yorkers. We
     have seen most of the Cabinet and high officials, and I have
     particularly liked Mr. Garfield, Secretary of the Interior, Mr.
     Metcalf, Secretary for the Navy, and Mr. Bacon, Assistant Secretary
     of State. Saturday's dinner at the White House was delightful, only
     surpassed by the little round-table dinner of eight last night at
     Mr. Henry Adams's, where the President took me in and talk was fast
     and free--altogether a memorable evening. At the White House I did
     not sit near the President, everything being regulated by a
     comparatively strict etiquette and precedence--but after dinner he
     sent word that I was to sit by him in the ballroom, at the little
     concert which followed, and when the music was over, he and I
     plunged into all sorts of things, ending up with religion and
     theology! Last night he talked politics, socialism, divorce, large
     and small families, the Kaiser, Randolph Churchill, the future of
     wealth in this country (he wants to _lop_ all the biggest fortunes
     by some form of taxation--pollard them like trees)--the future of
     marriage and a few other trifles of the same kind. He is, of
     course, an egotist, but an extraordinarily well-meaning and able
     one, with all the virtues and failings of his natural character and
     original bringing-up, exaggerated now and produced on what one
     might almost call a colossal scale, which strikes the American
     imagination. He honestly doesn't want a third term, and has set his
     mind on Taft for his successor, but it must be hard for such a man
     to step down from such a post into the ordinary opportunities of
     life. However, as he says, and apparently sincerely, 'we mustn't
     break the Washington tradition.'

     "To-day we are going out to Mount Vernon, and to-night there is
     another dinner-party. Washington is a most beautiful place--the
     Capitol a really glorious building that any nation might be proud
     of, and the shining White House, with its graceful pillared front,
     among its flowering trees and shrubs, makes me think with shame of
     that black abortion, Buckingham Palace!"

It was a special pleasure to them also to see something of M. Jusserand,
the French Ambassador, and his charming wife, and to renew a friendship
which had endured since their early days in London. But above all it was
the leaders of American politics that impressed Mrs. Ward.

     "Root, Garfield, Taft," she wrote to Miss Arnold, of Fox How,
     "these and several others of the leading men attracted and
     impressed me greatly--beyond what I had expected. Indeed, I think
     one of the main impressions of this visit has been the inaccuracy
     of our common idea in England that American women of the upper
     class are as a rule superior to the men. It may be true among a
     certain section of the rich business class, but amongst the
     professional, educated and political people it is not true at all."

Boston, of course, claimed Mrs. Ward on her way to Canada, and adopted
her in whole-hearted fashion. She was by this time a little tired of
"receptions" of five and six hundred persons, all passing before her as
in a dream and shaking a hand which was never free from writer's cramp.
"But the touching thing is the distance people come--one lame lady came
300 miles!--it made me feel badly--and all the Unitarian ministers for
thirty miles round have been asked and are said to be coming on Tuesday
next!" When they came, Mrs. Ward enjoyed the occasion particularly, and
wrote home that she had "had to make a speech, but got through better
than usual by dint of talking of T. H. Green." An elderly bookseller
among them, who had written to her regularly about each of her books for
the last twenty years, now met her and spoke with her at last; he went
away contented. But the real delights of her stay at Boston were her
visits to Harvard and Radcliffe, and her intercourse with the Nortons at
Shady Hill, and with Mrs. Fields and Miss Jewett at the former's house.
Here she met the fine old veteran, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, author of the
"Battle-Hymn of the Republic," who had lately brought out her memoirs.
Mrs. Ward had been somewhat wickedly amused by certain passages in the
latter: "Imagine Mrs. Ward Howe declaring in public that a poem of hers,
which a critic had declared to be 'in pitiable hexameters' (English, of
course), was not 'in hexameters at all--it was in pentameters of my own
make--I never followed any special school or rule!' I have been gurgling
over that in bed this morning." But when they met, Mrs. Ward
capitulated. "By the way, I retract about Mrs. Howe. Her book is rather
foolish, but she herself is an old dear--full of fun at ninety, and
adored here. She lunched with Mrs. Fields to-day _en petit comité_, and
was most amusing."

The New England country, which she saw on a motor-trip to Concord and
Lexington, and again on a visit which she paid to Mr. and Mrs. Henry
Holt at their beautiful house overlooking Lake Champlain, fascinated
her, "with its miles and miles of young woods sprung up on the soil of
the slain forests of the past--its pools and lakes, its hills and dales,
its glorious Connecticut river, and its myriads of white, small wooden
houses, all on a nice Georgian pattern, with shady verandahs, scattered
fenceless over the open fields. There were no flowers to be seen--only
the scarlet blossom of the maples in the woods."

Nor could she get away, in such an atmosphere, from the old, old problem
of the separation.

"I have been reading Bancroft this morning, and shall read G. O. T.
to-night. We _were_ fools!--but really, I rather agree with H. G. Wells
that they make too much fuss about it! and with Mr. Bryce that it was a
great pity, for _them_ and us, that the link was broken. So they needn't
be so tremendously dithyrambic!"

It was, however, with a heart full of gratitude for the unnumbered
kindnesses of her hosts that Mrs. Ward quitted American soil at the end
of April and crossed over into Canada. Here her peregrinations were to
be mainly under the auspices of Lord Grey, then Governor-General, and of
Sir William van Horne, lord of the Canadian Pacific Railway, at whose
house in Montreal she planned the details of her great journey to the
West. These two revealed themselves to Mrs. Ward in characteristic
fashion while she was still the guest of Sir William, at Montreal, for
the Governor-General, coming over from Ottawa for the great Horse Show,
stopped during his progress round the arena at the Van Horne's box,
spoke to Mrs. Ward with the greatest cordiality, and there and then
insisted that she must go to see the great new Agricultural College at
St. Anne's, near Montreal, on their way to Ottawa the next day.

"He declared that M. could not possibly leave Canada without having seen
it," wrote D. M. W., "and then said, with a laugh and a wave of his hand
to Sir William, 'Ask him--_he'll_ arrange it all for you!'--and passed
on, leaving M. and me somewhat scared, for we had not wanted to bother
Sir William about _this_ journey at any rate! I could see that even he,
who is never perturbed, was a little taken aback, but he said, in his
quiet way, 'It can certainly be arranged,' and it _has_ been!" Then, _en
revanche_, the Governor-General, "being on the loose, so to speak, in
Montreal, with only one and the least vigilant of his A.D.C.'s," came
unexpectedly to the big evening party that the Van Hornes were giving
that night--"because, as he said, 'I like Van Horne, and I wanted to see
Mrs. Ward!'" But, once back in Ottawa, "his family and all his other
A.D.C.'s, are scolding him and wringing their hands, because he never
ought to have done it! It creates a precedent and offends 500 people,
while it pleases one. Such are the joys of his position."

When the "command" journey to the Agricultural College had been safely
preformed, the students duly presented Mrs. Ward with a bouquet and sang
"For _she's_ a jolly good fellow." "The G.G. was delighted," wrote
Dorothy, "and led her out to smile her thanks, but there was fortunately
no time for her to be called upon for five minutes of uplift, as His
Excellency was, the last time he went there! That has now become a
household word in Government House." Mrs. Ward must, I think, almost
have been in at the birth of that hard-worked phrase.

Mr. Ward had been obliged to return to England for his work on _The
Times_, so that his wife's Canadian experiences are recorded in letters
to him:

"_May 14, 1908_.

..."Well, we have had a _very_ pleasant time. Lord Grey is never
     tired of doing kind things, and she also is charming. He has asked
     everybody to meet us who he thought would be
     interesting--Government and Opposition--Civil servants,
     journalists, clergy--but no priests! The fact is that there is a
     certain amount of anxiety about these plotting Catholics, and
     always will be. They accept the _status quo_ because they must, and
     because it would not help them as Catholics to fall into the hands
     of either the United States or of France. But there is plenty of
     almost seditious feeling about. And the ingratitude of it! I sat
     last night at the Lauriers' between Sir Wilfrid and M. Lemieux,
     Minister of Labour--both Catholics. Sir Wilfrid said to me, 'I am a
     Roman Catholic, but all my life I have fought the priests--_le
     cléricalisme, voilà l'ennemi_. Their power in Quebec is unbounded,
     but Modernism will come some day--with a rush--in a violent
     reaction.' On my left M. Lemieux described his meeting last week in
     Quebec with fourteen bishops, one of whom said to him--'_Le Canada,
     c'est le Paradis terrestre du Catholicisme!_' But as for the
     educated Catholics, M. Lemieux went on, 'We are all Modernists!'
     Both of them denounced the Pope and spoke with longing of Leo

       *       *       *       *       *

"_May 18_.

     "Such nice people at Ottawa, and such interesting people. Also the
     guiding ideas and influences are _English,_ the first time I have
     felt it. The position of the Parliament buildings is splendid, and
     some day it will be a great city. The Archives represent the birth
     and future of Canadian history, and a Canadian patriotism--four
     years' work, and already it is influencing ideas and politics,
     among a young people who did not know they _had_ a history.[29]

     "Toronto is less exciting, though pleasant. We lunched yesterday
     with Colonel George Denison, a great Loyalist and Preferentialist,
     much in with Chamberlain. He cut Goldwin Smith twenty years
     ago!--so it was piquant to go on from him to the Grange. The Grange
     is an English eighteenth-century house, or early nineteenth--as one
     might find in the suburbs of Manchester in a large English
     garden--the remains of 1,000 acres--with beautiful trees. An old
     man got up to meet me, old, but unmistakably Goldwin Smith, though
     the black hair is grizzled--not white--and the face emaciated. But
     he holds himself erect, and his mind is as clear, and his eye as
     living, as ever--at 85. He still harps on his favourite theme--that
     Canada must ultimately drop into the mouth of the United States and
     should do so--and poured scorn on English Tariff Reformers and
     English Home Rulers together. Naturally he is not very popular

From Toronto Mrs. Ward made a flying trip to Buffalo and Niagara, where
she was shown the glories of the Falls by General Greene--a descendant
of the gallant Nathaniel Greene, hero of the S. Carolina campaign of
1781. Then, returning to Toronto, she found Sir William van Horne and
the promised private car awaiting her--not to mention the "Royal Suite"
at the Queen's Hotel, offered her by the management "free, gratis, for
nothing! Oh dear, how soon will the mighty fall!--after the 12th of June
next" (the date of her departure for home). But, for the present, "The
car is yours," said Sir William, "the railway is yours--do exactly as
you like and give your orders."

They parted from their kind Providence on Saturday, May 23, but within
forty-eight hours the railway was providing them with quite an
unforeseen sensation. Six hours this side of Winnipeg (where all kinds
of engagements awaited her), part of the track that ran across a marsh
collapsed, with the result that Mrs. Ward's and many other trains were
held up for nearly twenty hours.

"_May 25, 1908_.

     "Here we are, stranded at a tiny wayside station of the C.P.R., and
     have been waiting _sixteen hours_, while eight miles ahead they are
     repairing a bridge which has collapsed in a marsh owing to heavy
     rain. Three trains are before us and about five behind. A complete
     block on the great line. We arrived here at six this morning, and
     here it is 9.50 p.m.

     "It has been a strange day--mostly very wet, with nothing to look
     at but some scrubby woods and a bit of cutting. We captured a
     Manitoba Senator and made him come and talk to us, but it did not
     help us very far. Snell, our wonderful cook and factotum, being in
     want of milk, went out and milked a cow!--asking the irate owner,
     when the deed was done, how much he wanted. And various little
     incidents happened, but nothing very enlivening.

     [_Later._]. "Here we are at the spot, a danger signal behind us,
     and the one in front just lowered. Another stop! our engine is
     detached and we see it vanishing to the rear. The track won't bear
     it. How are we going to get over!--Here comes the engine back, and
     the brakesman behind our car imagines we are to be pushed over, the
     engine itself not venturing.

     "10.5. Safely over! The engine pushed us to the brink, and then, as
     it was taken off, a voice asked for Mrs. Ward. It was the
     Assistant Manager of the line, Mr. Jameson, who jumped on board in
     order to cross with us and explain to me everything that had
     happened. He had been working for hours and looked tired out. But
     we went out to the observation-platform, he and I and Dorothy, and
     the _trajet_ began--our train being attached to some light empty
     cars, and an engine in front that was pulling us over. I thought
     Mr. Jameson evidently nervous as we went slowly forward--we were
     the first train over!--but he showed us as well as the darkness
     allowed, the marshy place, the new bed made for the line (in the
     morning the rails were hanging in air and an engine and two cars
     went in!) and the black mud of the sink-hole pushed up into high
     banks--trees on the top of them--on either side by the pressure of
     the new filling put in--50,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel. On
     either side of the line were crowds of dark figures, Galician and
     Italian workmen, intently watching our progress. Altogether a
     dramatic and interesting scene! We were all glad, including,
     clearly, the assistant manager, when he said, 'Now we are over
     it'--but there was no real danger, even if the train had partially
     sunk, for it was only a causeway over a marsh and not a real

     "Well, it is absurd to have only a day for Winnipeg, but this
     accident makes it inevitable. The journey has been all of it
     wonderful, and I am more thrilled by Canada than words can

After a breathless day in Winnipeg, very pleasantly spent, under the
care of Mr. and Mrs. Sanford Evans, in endeavouring to overtake the
engagements lost in the "sink-hole," Mrs. Ward and her daughter resumed
their journey across the vast prairie, over the Rockies and the
Selkirks, and down into Vancouver. On her return she thus summed up her
impressions of it in a letter to "Aunt Fan":

     "Everybody was kindness itself, everywhere, and the wonderful
     journey across Canada and back was something never to forget. To
     see how a great railway can make and has made a country, to watch
     all the stages of the prairie towns, from the first wooden huts
     upwards to towns like Calgary and Regina, and the booming
     prosperity of Winnipeg--to be able to linger a little in the
     glorious Rockies, to rush down the Fraser Cañon, which Papa used to
     talk to us about and show us pictures of when we were children--I
     thought of him with tears and longing in the middle of it--and then
     to find ourselves at the end beside the 'wide glimmering sea' of
     the blue Pacific--all this was wonderful, a real enrichment of mind
     and imagination. At least it ought to be!"

In Vancouver they were under the chaperonage of Mr. F. C. Wade, now
Agent-General for British Columbia, and of Mr. Mackenzie King, the
future Prime Minister, whom they had already met at Ottawa, but with
whom Mrs. Ward had a far more intimate link than that, since about five
years before he had come to live as a Resident at the Passmore Edwards
Settlement, and had made great friends with us all. He now acted as
guide, not only to the marvellous beauties of Vancouver, but also to the
recesses of the Chinese quarter, where he had many friends, owing to the
fact that he happened to be engaged in dealing out Government
compensation for the anti-Chinese riots of the year before. Mrs. Ward
was immensely interested in all the problems of Vancouver--racial,
financial and political--being especially impressed by the danger of its
"Americanization" through the buying up of its real estate by American
capital. She stayed long enough to lecture to the Canadian Club of
Vancouver in aid of Lord Grey's fund for the purchase of the Quebec
battlefields as a national memorial to Wolfe, and then set her face
definitely homewards. But she could not allow herself to hurry too
swiftly through the Rockies, where the snow was beginning to melt and
expeditions were becoming possible. From Field she drove to feast her
eyes on the Emerald Lake; from Laggan she pushed on to Lake Louise.

To T. H. W.

"_June 4, 1908_.

     "Since we left Vancouver we have had a delicious time, but
     yesterday was the cream! We started at 8.30 from the very nice
     Field Hotel, on a special train, just our car and an engine,
     and--the car being in front--were pushed up the famous Kicking
     Horse Pass, on a glorious morning. The Superintendent in charge of
     the Laggan division of the line came up with us and explained the
     construction of the new section of the line, which is to take the
     place of the present dangerous and costly track down the pass. At
     present there are no tunnels, nothing but a long hill, up and down
     which extraordinary precautions have to be taken. Now they are to
     have spiral tunnels, or rather one long one, on the St. Gotthard
     plan. One won't see so much, but it will be safer, and far less
     expensive to work.

     "The beauty of the snow peaks, the lateral valleys, the leaping
     streams, the forests!--and the friendliness of everybody adds to
     the charm. At Laggan we left the car and drove up--three miles--to
     Lake Louise--a perfectly beautiful place, which I tried to
     sketch--alack! It is, I think, more wonderful than any place of the
     kind in Switzerland, because of the colour of the rocks, which hold
     the gorgeous glacier and snow-peak. We spent the day there, looked
     after by a charming Scotchwoman--Miss Mollison--one of three
     sisters who run the C.P.R. hotels about here. About 6.30 we drove
     down again to find Snell and George delighted to welcome us back to
     the car. Then we came on to Banff, sitting on the platform of the
     car, and looking back at a beautiful sunset among the mountains. We
     shall part from the Rockies with a pang! Emerald Lake and Lake
     Louise would certainly conjure one back again, if they were any
     less than 6,000 miles from home! As it is, I suppose one's physical
     eyes will never see them again, but it is something to have beheld
     them once."

At Field Mrs. Ward had met the eminent explorer, Mrs. Schäffer, who was
busy collecting guides and ponies for another expedition into the
unknown tracts of the Rockies. She and Mrs. Ward made great friends, and
some months later the latter was delighted to receive from her
photographs of a wonderful lake which she had discovered, and to which
she gave the name of Lake Maligne. Mrs. Ward could not resist weaving
the virgin lake into the last chapter of her story, _Canadian Born_.

When at length the long journey was over and the faithful car landed her
safely at Montreal, Mrs. Ward still had one pleasant duty to
perform--the handing over of her earnings at Vancouver to Lord Grey, as
a thank-offering for all the good things that had fallen to her lot
since she had parted from him three weeks before. His reply delighted
her, especially since she had just ended her Canadian experiences by an
expedition up the Heights of Abraham, escorted by Col. Wood, the
Canadian military historian.

_June 12, 1908._


     You are _most_ kind! I have received no contribution to the Quebec
     Battlefields that has given me greater pleasure. I value it partly
     because it is yours and partly Vancouver's. Every cent that filters
     through from B.C. and the Prairie Provinces is a joy to me. The
     Canadian National Problem, the Imperial Problem, is how to link
     B.C. and the Western Provinces more closely with the Maritime
     Eastern Provinces--how to improve the transportation service, East
     and West, and cause the great highroad of human traffic from Europe
     to Asia to go via Montreal and Vancouver--that is the problem, and
     that is why I rejoice over every Western Piccanin who subscribes
     his few cents to Quebec. A feeling for Quebec will remain engraven
     on his heart for all time.

...I do not think the character of the debt owing in £ s. d. by the
     British race to the Wolfe family has ever been put before the
     public. Wolfe's father never could obtain the repayment from the
     British Government of £16,000 advanced by him during the
     Marlborough campaigns. The different Departments did the pass trick
     with him--the first rule of departmental administration--played
     battledore and shuttlecock with him until he desisted from pressing
     his claim for fear of being considered a Dun!

     Then James Wolfe, our Quebec hero, never received the C. in C.
     allowance of £10 per day. His mother claimed £3,000 from the
     British Treasury as the amount owing to her son on September 13,
     1759--but the poor hard-up departments played battledore and
     shuttlecock with her, and she, like her Wolfe relations, was too
     great a gentleman to press for payment. When, however, she found
     that James had left £10,000 to be distributed according to the
     instructions of his will, and that his assets only realized £8,000,
     the dear good lady did try and squeeze £2,000 out of the £19,000
     owing by the Government to the family, in order that she might
     carry out her boy's wishes--but it was a hopeless, useless effort,
     and the splendid dame heaped all the coals of fire she could on the
     heads of the stony-hearted, perhaps because stony-broke, British
     People, by leaving the whole of her fortune to the widows and
     orphans of the officers who fell under Wolfe's command at Quebec.
     Now I maintain that the whole Empire has a moral responsibility in
     this matter, for have not the most energetic of the descendants of
     the British People of 1759 emigrated into Greater Britain? The
     story of how we recompensed Wolfe for giving us an immortal example
     and half a continent has not, so far as I know, been told.

     Delighted to think you are going back to England a red-hot Canadian
     missionary. Send out all the young people whom you know and believe
     in, and who are receptive and sympathetic and appreciative, and
     have sufficient imagination not to be stupidly critical. Send them
     all over here. We shall be delighted to see them, although I fear
     they cannot all get Private Cars!

If Mrs. Ward did not, on her return to England, set up altogether as an
amateur emigration agent, she yet paid her debt to Canada by the
delightful enthusiasm for the young country with all its boundless
possibilities, combined with a shrewd appreciation of its difficulties,
which she threw into her novel, _Canadian Born_. Neither Canada nor Lord
Grey had any reason to complain of the devotion, both of heart and of
head, which she gave to the cause. To her American friends, on the other
hand, her impassioned attack in _Daphne_, or _Marriage à la Mode_, on
the divorce laws of the United States, came as something of a surprise,
for they had not realized, while she was with them, how deep an
impression these things had made on her, or how much her artistic
imagination had been captured by their tragic or sordid possibilities.
_Daphne_ is, indeed, little but a powerful tract, written under great
stress of feeling, but the Americans missed in it the happy touch that
had created Lucy Foster, and regretted that Mrs. Ward should have felt
bound to portray for their benefit so wholly disagreeable a young person
as Daphne Floyd. Time has, however, brought its revenges in the strong
movement that has now arisen in the United States for the unification of
the widely-differing divorce laws of the various States under one
Federal Law.

Yet there were deeper forces at work in the writing of _Daphne_ than any
which Mrs. Ward's brief visit to America alone could have accounted for.
The growing disturbance which the Suffrage question was making in the
currents of English life had thrown Mrs. Ward's thoughts into these
channels for longer than her critics knew. _Daphne_ was one result of
this fermentation; another was what we should now call "direct action."
Within a month after her return from America Mrs. Ward wrote to Miss
Arnold of Fox How (herself an undaunted Suffragist at the age of
seventy-five): "You will see from the papers what it is that has been
taking all my time--the foundation of an Anti-Suffrage League."



Mrs. Ward, as is well known, did not believe in Women's Suffrage. She
had heard the subject discussed from her earliest days at Oxford, ever
since the time when the first Women's Petition for the vote was brought
to the House of Commons by Miss Garrett and Miss Emily Davies in 1866,
and John Stuart Mill moved his amendment to the Reform Bill of 1867. But
it did not greatly interest her. Her mind was set in other directions,
responding to the intellectual stimulus of Oxford rather in the field of
historical and religious inquiry and leading her on, as we have seen, to
her memorable "revolt from awe" in the matter of the Interpretation of
the Scriptures. Her group of friends at Oxford were hardly touched by
the Suffrage agitation; the movement for the Higher Education of Women,
in which Mrs. Ward bore so distinguished a part, was wholly unconnected
with it. Indeed it was the very success of this movement that helped to
convince Mrs. Ward that the right lines for women's advance lay, not in
the political agitation for the Suffrage, but in the broadening of
education, so as to fit her sex for the many tasks which were opening
out before it. But she had also an inborn dislike and distaste for the
type of agitation which, even in those early days, the Suffragists
carried on; for the "anti-Man" feeling that ran through it, and for the
type of woman--the "New Woman" as she was called in the eighties--who
gravitated towards its ranks. Her scholarly mind rejected many of the
Suffragist arguments as shallow and unproven, especially those which
concerned the economic condition of women, while the practical
co-operation between men and women that she saw all round her, both in
Oxford and afterwards in London, gave her the conviction that the
remaining disabilities of women might and would be removed in due course
by this road, rather than by a political turmoil which would only serve
to embitter the relations between them. In her eyes women were neither
better nor worse than men, but different; so different that neither they
nor the State would really be served by this attempt to press them into
a political machine which owed its development solely to the male sex.
In later years she had many close friends in the Suffrage camp, nor did
she ever lose those of her earlier days who were converted, but to the
end there remained a profound antipathy between her and the "feminist"
type of mind, with its crudities and extravagances--the type that was to
manifest itself so disastrously in later years among the "Suffragettes."
It was not that she wished her sex to remain aloof from the toil and
dust of the world, as her Positivist friends would have liked; rather
she felt it to be the duty of all educated women to work themselves to
the bone for the uplifting of women and children less fortunate than
themselves, and so to repay their debt to the community; but clamour for
their own "rights" was a different thing: ugly in itself, and likely to
lead, in her opinion, to a sex-war of very dubious outcome.

The first time that Mrs. Ward was drawn into the battle of the Suffrage
was on the occasion, early in 1889, of Lord Salisbury's much-trumpeted
conversion to it, when a Private Member's Bill[30] of the usual limited
type was before Parliament, and the Prime Minister's attitude appeared
to make it probable that the Bill might pass. Mrs. Creighton--then also
opposed to the Suffrage, though on somewhat different grounds from Mrs.
Ward's--Mr. Frederic Harrison, Mr. Knowles, and Mrs. Ward united in
organizing a movement of protest. It was decided at a meeting held at
Mr. Harrison's house in May that the signatures of women eminent in the
world of education, literature and public service should be invited to a
"Protest against the extension of the Parliamentary Franchise to Women,"
which Mrs. Ward had drawn up (with some assistance from Mrs. Creighton),
and which Mr. Knowles undertook to publish in the next month's
_Nineteenth Century_.

The arguments advanced in this _Protest_ are interesting as showing the
position from which Mrs. Ward hardly moved in the next thirty years,
though many of her original allies who signed it fell away and joined
the Suffrage camp. There is first the emphasis on the essentially
different functions of men and women:

     "While desiring the fullest possible development of the powers,
     energies and education of women, we believe that their work for the
     State, and their responsibilities towards it, must always differ
     essentially from those of men, and that therefore their share in
     the working of the State machinery should be different from that
     assigned to men." Women can never share in such labours as "the
     working of the Army and Navy, all the heavy, laborious, fundamental
     industries of the State, such as those of mines, metals and
     railways, the management of commerce and finance, the service of
     that merchant fleet on which our food supply depends.... Therefore
     it is not just to give to women direct power of deciding questions
     of Parliamentary policy, of war, of foreign or colonial affairs, of
     commerce and finance equal to that possessed by men. We hold that
     they already possess an influence on political matters fully
     proportioned to the possible share of women in the political
     activities of England."

At the same time the recent extensions of women's responsibilities, such
as their admission to the municipal vote and to membership of School
Boards, Boards of Guardians, etc., is warmly welcomed, "since here it is
possible for them not only to decide but to help in carrying out, and
judgment is therefore weighted by a true responsibility." Then comes a
denial of any widespread demand among women themselves for the
franchise, "as is always the case if a grievance is real and reform
necessary," and finally an argument on which Mrs. Ward continued to lay
much stress in after years, that of the steady removal of the reasonable
grievances of women by the existing machinery of a male Parliament.

     "It is often urged that certain injustices of the law towards women
     would be easily and quickly remedied were the political power of
     the vote conceded to them; and that there are many wants,
     especially among working women, which are now neglected, but which
     the suffrage would enable them to press on public attention. We
     reply that during the past half-century all the principal
     injustices of the law towards women have been amended by means of
     the existing constitutional machinery; and with regard to those
     that remain, we see no signs of any unwillingness on the part of
     Parliament to deal with them. On the contrary, we remark a growing
     sensitiveness to the claims of women, and the rise of a new spirit
     of justice and sympathy among men, answering to those advances made
     by women in education, and the best kind of social influence, which
     we have already noticed and welcomed. With regard to the business
     or trade interests of women--here, again, we think it safer and
     wiser to trust to organization and self-help on their own part, and
     to the growth of a better public opinion among the men workers,
     than to the exercise of a political right which may easily bring
     women into direct and hasty conflict with men."

This feeling was evidently uppermost in her thoughts at that time, for
she wrote as early as January, 1889, to her sister-in-law, Miss Agnes

     "What _are_ these tremendous grievances women are still labouring
     under, and for which the present Parliament is not likely to give
     them redress? I believe in them as little as I believe now in the
     grievances of the Irish tenant. There _were_ grievances, but by the
     action of the parties concerned and their friends under the
     existing system they have been practically removed. No doubt much
     might be done to improve the condition of certain classes of women,
     just as much might be done for that of certain classes of men, but
     the world is indefinitely improveable, and I believe there is
     little more chance of quickening the pace--wisely--with women's
     suffrage than without it.... There is a great deal of championing
     of women's suffrage going on which is not really serious. Mr.
     Haldane, a Gladstonian member, said to me the other day, 'Oh, I
     shall vote for it of course!--with this amendment, that it be
     extended to married women, and in the intention of leading through
     it to manhood suffrage.' But if many people treat it from this
     point of view and avow it, the struggle is likely to be a good deal
     hotter and tougher before we have done with it than it has ever
     been yet.

     "I should like to know John Morley's mind on the matter. He began
     as an enthusiast and has now decided strongly against. So have
     several other people whose opinion means a good deal to me. And as
     to women, whether their lives have been hard or soft, I imagine
     that when the danger _really_ comes, we shall be able to raise a
     protest which will be a surprise to the other side."

In spite of the fact that the organizers of the _Protest_ were
handicapped by the natural reluctance of many of their warmest
supporters to take part in what seemed to them a "political agitation,"
and so to let their names appear in print,[31] they worked to such
purpose during the ten days that elapsed between the meeting at Mr.
Frederic Harrison's house and the going to press of the _Nineteenth
Century_ that 104 signatures were secured. They were regarded by their
contemporaries as the signatures either of "eminent women" or of
"superior persons," according to the bias of those who contemplated the
list. Posterity may be interested to know that they included such future
supporters of the Suffrage as Miss Beatrice Potter (Mrs. Sidney Webb),
Mrs. Creighton and Mrs. T. H. Green, while among women distinguished
either through their own work or their husbands' in many fields occur
the names of Mrs. Goschen, Lady Stanley of Alderley, Lady Frederick
Cavendish, Mrs. T. H. Huxley, Mrs. J. R. Green, Mrs. Max Müller, Mrs. W.
E. Forster, and Mrs. Arnold Toynbee.

Naturally the _Protest_ drew the Suffrage forces into the field. The
July number of the _Nineteenth Century_ contained two "Replies," from
Mrs. Fawcett and Mrs. Ashton Dilke, to which Mrs. Creighton in her turn
supplied a "Rejoinder." Meanwhile a form of signature to the _Protest_
had been circulated with the Review, and was supplied in large numbers
on demand, so that in the August number Mr. Knowles was enabled to print
twenty-seven pages of signatures to the statement that "The
enfranchisement of women would be a measure distasteful to the great
majority of women of the country--unnecessary--and mischievous both to
themselves and to the State." Mrs. Creighton's "Rejoinder" was regarded
on the Anti-Suffrage side as a dignified and worthy close to the
discussion. "The question has been laid to rest," wrote Mr. Harrison to
her, "for this generation, I feel sure." Nearly thirty years were indeed
to pass before the question was "laid to rest," though in a different
sense from Mr. Harrison's.

During the earlier part of that long period Mrs. Ward concerned herself
no further, in any public capacity, with the task of opposing the
Suffrage forces. Her own opinions were known and respected by her
friends of whatever party, while her growing interest in and knowledge
of social questions gave her an ever-increasing right to advocate them.
At Grosvenor Place the talk at luncheon or dinner-table would often play
round the dread subject in the freest manner, with a frequent appeal, in
those happy days, to ridicule as the deciding factor. Mrs. Ward was
particularly pleased with a dictum of John Morley's, "For Heaven's sake,
don't let us be the first to make ourselves ridiculous in the eyes of
Europe!" which I remember hearing her quote from time to time; but on
this subject, as on all others, the atmosphere of the house was one of
liberty to all comers to air and express their opinions. Most of her own
family were of the Suffrage persuasion, especially her two sisters,
Julia and Ethel, but her children followed her lead--save one who, being
a member of a youthful debating society where the wisdom of nineteen ran
riot in speech and counter-speech, was told off one day to get up the
arguments in favour of Women's Suffrage and to open the debate; she got
them up with the energy of that terrible age, and remained a convert
ever afterwards.

The question, in fact, did not enter the region of practical politics
until the advent to power of the Liberal Government in December, 1905.
It was on the occasion of Campbell-Bannerman's great meeting at the
Albert Hall, before the election, that the portent of the Suffragette
first manifested itself in the form of a young woman who put
inconvenient questions to "C.-B.," in a strident voice, from the
orchestra, and was unmercifully hustled out by indignant stewards. It
was the beginning of eight years of tribulation. Mrs. Ward watched
through 1906 and 1907 the growing violences of these women with mingled
horror and satisfaction: horror at the unloveliness of their
proceedings and satisfaction at the feeling that an outraged public
would never yield to such clamour what they had refused to yield to
argument. She did not yet know the uses of democracy. But the
constitutional agitation was also making way during these years,
especially since it was known that Campbell-Bannerman himself was a
Suffragist, and even after his death Mr. Asquith announced to a
deputation of Liberal M.P.'s, in May, 1908, that if when the
Government's proposed Reform Bill was introduced, an amendment for the
extension of the franchise to women on democratic lines were moved to
it, his Government as a Government would not oppose such an amendment.
This announcement brought Women's Suffrage very definitely within the
bounds of practical politics, so that those who believed that the change
would be disastrous felt bound to exert themselves in rallying the
forces of opposition. Mrs. Ward had hardly returned from America before
Lord Cromer and other prominent Anti-Suffragists approached her with
regard to the starting of a society pledged to oppose the movement. They
knew well enough that no such counter-movement had any chance of success
without her active support, and they shrewdly augured that, once
captured, she would become the life and soul of it. Mrs. Ward groaned
but acquiesced, and thus in July of this year (1908) was born the
"Women's National Anti-Suffrage League," inaugurated at a meeting held
at the Westminster Palace Hotel on July 21.

In the long struggle that now opened it is easy to see that Mrs. Ward
was not really at her ease in conducting a movement of mere opposition
and denial. She did not enjoy it as she enjoyed her battles with the
L.C.C. for the pushing forward of her schemes for the children, yet she
felt that it was "laid upon her" and that there was no escape. "As
Gertrude says, it is all fiendish, but we feel we must do it," she wrote
after the inaugural meeting; but this feeling explains her imperative
desire to give a positive side to the movement by dwelling on the great
need for women's work on local bodies--a line of argument which was
mistrusted by many of her male supporters, one of whom, Lord James of
Hereford, had spoken passionately in the House of Lords against the Act
of 1907 for enabling women to sit on County or Borough Councils. But
Mrs. Ward had her way, so that when the programme of the Anti-Suffrage
League came out it was found to contain twin "Objects":

(_a_) To resist the proposal to admit women to the Parliamentary
Franchise and to Parliament; and

(_b_) To maintain the principle of the representation of women on
municipal and other bodies concerned with the domestic and social
affairs of the community.

This second "Object" was indeed the keystone of Mrs. Ward's fabric for
the useful employment of the energies and gifts of women, in a manner
suited to their special experience as well as conducive to the real
interests of the State. She called it somewhere the "enlarged
housekeeping" of the nation, and maintained that the need for women's
work and influence here was unlimited, whereas in the special
Parliamentary fields of foreign affairs, war and finance, women might
indeed have opinions, but opinions unsubstantiated by experience and
unbacked by the sanction of physical force. It is interesting to observe
how she conducts her case for a "forward policy" as regards Local
Government before her own supporters in the _Anti-Suffrage Review_
(July, 1910):

     "There is no doubt that the appointment of a Local Government
     Sub-Committee marks a certain new and definite stage in the
     programme of our League. By some, perhaps, that stage will be
     watched with a certain anxiety; while others will see in it the
     fulfilment--so far as it goes--of delayed hopes, and the promise of
     new strength. The anxiety is natural. For the task before the
     League is long and strenuous, and that task in its first and most
     essential aspect is a task of fight, a task of opposition. We are
     here primarily to resist the imposition on women of the burden of
     the parliamentary vote. And it is easily intelligible that those
     who realize keenly the struggle before us may feel some alarm lest
     anything should divert the energies of the League from its first
     object, or lest those who are primarily interested in the fight
     against the franchise should find themselves expected willy-nilly
     to throw themselves into work for which they are less fitted, and
     for which they care less.

     "But if the anxiety is natural, the hope is natural too Many
     members of the League believe that there are two ways of fighting
     the franchise--a negative and a positive way. They believe that
     while the more extreme and bigoted Suffragists can only be met by
     an attitude of resolute and direct opposition to an unpatriotic
     demand, there are in this country thousands of women,
     Anti-Suffragist at heart, or still undecided, who may be attracted
     to a positive and alternative programme, while they shrink from
     meeting the Suffragist claim with a simple 'No.' Their mind and
     judgment tell them that there are many things still to be done,
     both for women, and the country, that women ought to be doing, and
     if they are asked merely to acquiesce in the present state of
     things, they rebel, and will in the end rather listen to Suffragist
     persuasion and adopt Suffragist methods. But the recent action of
     the executive opens to such women a new field of positive
     action--without any interference with the old. How immeasurably
     would the strength of the League be increased, say the advocates of
     what has been called 'the forward policy,' if in every town or
     district, where we have a branch, we had also a Local Government
     Committee, affiliated not to the present W.L.G.S., which is a
     simple branch of the Suffrage propaganda, but to the Women's
     National Anti-Suffrage League! The women's local government
     movement, which has been almost killed in the last two years by
     Suffragist excesses and the wrath provoked by them in the nation,
     would then pass over into the hands of those better able to use
     without abusing it. Anti-Suffrage would profit, and the nation

Mrs. Ward looked forward, indeed, to the regular organization of women's
work and influence on these lines, culminating in the election, by the
women members of local bodies, of a central committee in London which
would inevitably acquire immense influence on legislation as well as
administration in all matters affecting women and children. "Such a
Committee," she said to an American audience in 1908, "might easily be
strengthened by the addition to it of representatives from those
government offices most closely concerned with the administration of
laws concerning women and children; and no Government, in the case of
any new Bill before the House of Commons, could possibly afford to
ignore the strongly expressed opinion of such a committee, backed up as
it could easily be by agitation in the country. In this way, it seems to
me, all those questions of factory and sanitary legislation, which are
now being put forward as stalking-horses by the advocates of the
franchise, could be amply dealt with, without rushing us into the
dangers and the risks, in which the extension of the suffrage to women,
on the same terms as men, must ultimately land us."

This passage shows very clearly Mrs. Ward's belief in the duty of
educated women to work for their fellows. She did not by any means wish
them to sit at home all day with their embroidery frames, but looked
forward instead to the steady development of what she called women's
"legitimate influence" in politics--the influence of a sane and informed
opinion, working in collaboration with Parliament, which should not only
remove the remaining grievances and disabilities of women, but hold a
watching brief on all future legislation affecting their interests.
Decidedly Mrs. Ward was no democrat. She was willing to wear herself out
for Mrs. Smith, of Peabody Buildings, and her children, but she could
not believe that it would do Mrs. Smith any good to become the prey of
the political agitator.

Her activity in carrying on the Anti-Suffrage campaign from 1908 to 1914
was astonishing, considering how heavily burdened she was at the same
time with her literary work and with the constant pressure of her Play
Centres and Vacation Schools. She was practically the only woman speaker
of the first rank on her own side, except for the rare appearances in
public of Miss Violet Markham, so that the Branches of the Anti-Suffrage
League formed in the great towns were all anxious to have her to speak,
and she felt bound to accept a certain number of such invitations. She
went to Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield in 1909; she led a
deputation to Mr. Asquith in 1910 and another at a more critical moment
in December, 1911; she wrote a series of articles in the _Standard_ on
"The Case against Women's Suffrage" in October, 1911, besides carrying
on an active correspondence in _The Times_, as occasion arose, against
Lady Maclaren, Mrs. Fawcett, or Mr. Zangwill; she spoke at Newcastle,
Bristol and Oxford early in 1912, and at a great meeting in the Queen's
Hall, just before the fiasco of the Liberal Reform Bill, in January,
1913. At all these meetings the prospect of Suffragette interruptions
weighed upon her like a nightmare. The militant agitation was, however,
a very potent source of reinforcement to the Anti-Suffrage ranks
throughout this period, so that although Mrs. Ward groaned as a citizen
at every new device the Militants put forth for plaguing the community,
she rejoiced as an Anti-Suffragist. The most definite annoyance to which
she herself was subjected by the Suffragettes occurred at Bristol, where
she addressed a huge meeting in February, 1912, in company with Lord
Cromer and Mr. Charles Hobhouse, M.P. A devoted lady had found a place
of concealment among the organ-pipes behind the platform, from which
post of vantage, as the _Bristol Times_ put it, "she heard an excellent
recital of music at close quarters, and for a few minutes addressed a
vast meeting in a muffled voice which uttered indistinguishable words."
She and a number of her fellows were ejected after the usual unhappy
scrimmage, and Mrs. Ward and Mr. Hobhouse were allowed to proceed. But
whether in consequence of this or as a mere coincidence, the Bristol
Branch became one of the strongest of the League's off-shoots, devoting
itself, to Mrs. Ward's intense satisfaction, to much useful work on
local and municipal bodies.

Her opposition to Mrs. Fawcett's organization was, of course, conducted
on very different lines from this. Quite early in the campaign, in
February, 1909, a debate was arranged to take place at the Passmore
Edwards Settlement (under the auspices of the St. Pancras Branch of the
Women's Suffrage Society) between the two protagonists, Mrs. Ward and
Mrs. Fawcett. The organizers of the meeting were besieged with
applications for seats. Mrs. Ward reserved 150 for herself and the
Anti-Suffrage League, while about 300 went to the Suffrage Society, so
that the voting was a foregone conclusion; but the debate itself reached
a high level of excellence, though it suffered from the usual fault
which besets such tournaments--that the champions did not really _meet_
each other's arguments, but cantered on into the void, discharging their
ammunition and returning gracefully to their starting-points when time
was called.

     "Surely," wrote Mrs. Ward afterwards to her old friend, Miss McKee,
     the Chairman of the St. Pancras Suffrage Society, "surely you
     don't think that Mrs. Fawcett answered my main contentions! Does
     anyone deny the inequality of wage?--but what Mrs. Fawcett never
     attempted to prove was how the vote could affect it. And why
     compare doctor and nurse? Does not the doctor pay for a long and
     costly training, while the nurse is paid her living at least from
     the beginning? Would it not have been fairer to compare woman
     doctor with man doctor, and then to show that under the L.C.C. at
     the present moment medical appointments are open to both women and
     men, and the salaries are equal?"

It could not be expected that such combatants would influence each
other, but Mrs. Ward's campaign went far to influence the doubting
multitude, torn by conflicting counsels, harassed by the Militants,
worried by accounts of prison tortures suffered by the "martyrettes,"
and generally bothered by the obscuring of the good old fight between
Liberals and Tories which the importation of the Suffrage into every
by-election caused. The Suffrage battle was indeed waged upon and around
the vile body of the Liberal Party in a very special degree from 1908 to
1914, for Mr. Asquith was Prime Minister, and Mr. Asquith--encouraged
thereto by every device of provocation and exasperation which the
Militants could spring upon him--was an Anti-Suffragist. Yet the
influence of his Suffragist colleagues and of the constitutional
agitation throughout the country was sufficient to induce him, in
November, 1911, to give a very favourable answer to a deputation
introduced by Mrs. Fawcett, who put to him a series of questions with
regard to the Reform Bill announced by the Government for the Session of
1912 and the possibility of adding Suffrage amendments to it. The
Suffragists withdrew with high hopes of a real measure of
enfranchisement in the ensuing year. But less than a month later Mr.
Asquith was receiving a similar deputation from the Anti-Suffrage
League, introduced by Lord Curzon and including Mrs. Ward, Miss Violet
Markham and Mr. McCallum Scott. His reply showed unmistakably that he
was exceedingly glad to have his hands strengthened by the "Antis" in
his own domestic camp, and he only begged them to carry on their crusade
with the utmost vigour, since "as an individual I am in entire agreement
with you that the grant of the parliamentary suffrage to women in this
country would be a political mistake of a very disastrous kind."

When the Session of 1912 opened it was evident that very strong
influences were at work within the walls of Parliament for the defeat of
the "Conciliation Bill," which was due to come up for Second Reading at
the end of March, and it is significant that Mrs. Ward was able to say,
at a meeting of the Oxford Branch of the Anti-Suffrage League held on
March 15, that "Woman Suffrage is in all probability killed for this
Session and this Parliament." The prophecy was partly fulfilled; like
the prayers of Homer's heroes, Zeus "heard part, and part he scattered
to the winds." At any rate, in the Session of 1912, not only was the
Conciliation Bill defeated on March 28, by fourteen votes (after its
very striking victory the year before), but the Suffrage amendments to
the Reform Bill never even came up for consideration. At the very end of
a long Session, that is in January, 1913, the Speaker ruled that the
Bill had been so seriously altered by the amendments regarding male
franchise already passed that it was not, in fact, the same Bill as had
received Second Reading, while there were also "other amendments
regarding female suffrage" to come which would make it still more
vitally different. For these reasons he directed the withdrawal of the
Bill. The fury of the Suffragists at the "trick" which had been played
them may be imagined, but apart from the sanctity of Mr. Speaker's
rulings I think it is evident that the lassitude and discouragement
about the Suffrage which pervaded the House of Commons at that time, and
which contributed to the withdrawal of the Bill, was largely due to the
recognition that there _was_ a considerable body of Anti-Suffrage
opinion in the country, both amongst men and women, the strength of
which had not been realized before Mrs. Ward began her campaign. Well
might she draw attention to this at a great meeting held at the Queen's
Hall on January 20, when it was still expected that the Suffrage
amendments would be moved:

     "Naturally, I am reminded as I stand here, of all that has happened
     in the four and a half years since our League was founded. All I
     can tell you is, that we have put up a good fight; and I am amazed
     at what we have been able to do. Just throw your minds back to
     1908. The militant organization was fast over-running the country;
     the cause of Women Suffrage had undoubtedly been pushed to the
     front, and for the moment benefited by the immense advertisement it
     had received; our ears were deafened by the noise and the shouting;
     and it looked as though the Suffrage might suddenly be carried
     before the country, the real country, had taken it seriously at
     all. The Second Readings of various Franchise Bills had been
     passed, and were still to be passed, by large majorities. There was
     no organized opposition. Suffragist opinions were entrenched in the
     universities and the schools, and between the ardour of the
     Suffragists and the apathy of the nation generally the situation
     was full of danger.

     "What has happened since? An opposition, steadily growing in
     importance and strength, has spread itself over the United Kingdom.
     Men and women who had formerly supported the Suffrage, looked it in
     the face, thought again and withdrew. Every item in the Suffragist
     claim has been contested; every point in the Suffragist argument
     has been investigated, and, as I think, overthrown. It is a great
     deal more difficult to-day than it was then to go about vaguely and
     passionately preaching that votes will raise wages in the ordinary
     market--that nothing can be done for the parasitic trades and
     sweated women without the women's vote--for what about the Trade
     Boards Bill? or that nothing can be done to put down organized vice
     without the women's vote--for what about the Criminal Law Amendment
     Bill? or that nothing can be done to help and protect children,
     without women's votes--for what about the Children's Act, the First
     Offenders' Act, the new Children's Courts and the Children's
     Probationary Officers, the vast growth of the Care Committees, and
     all their beneficent work, due initially to the work of a woman,
     Miss Margaret Frere?

     "Witness, too, the increasing number of women on important
     Commissions: University--Divorce--Insurance; the increasing respect
     paid to women's opinions; the strengthening of trade unionism among
     women; the steady rise in the average wage.

     "No, the Suffragist argument that women are trampled on and
     oppressed, and can do nothing without the vote, has crumbled in
     their hands. It had but to be examined to be defeated.

     "Meanwhile, the outrages and the excitement of the extreme
     Suffragist campaign gave many people pause. Was it to this we were
     committing English politics? Did not the whole development throw a
     new and startling light on the effect of party politics--politics
     so exciting as politics are bound to be in such a country as
     England--on the nerves of women? Women as advisers, as auxiliaries,
     as the disinterested volunteers of politics, we all know, and as
     far as I am concerned, cordially welcome. But women fighting for
     their own hands--fighting ultimately for the political control of
     men in men's affairs--women in fierce and direct opposition to
     men--that was new--that gave us, as the French say, furiously to

     "And now, the coming week will be critical enough, anxious enough;
     but we all know that if any Suffrage amendment is carried in the
     House, it can only be by a handful of votes--none of your
     majorities of 160 or 170 as in the past.

     "And our high _hope_ is that none will pass, that every Suffrage
     amendment will be defeated.

     "That state of things is the exact measure of what has been done by
     us, the Anti-Suffrage party, to meet the Suffragist arguments and
     to make the nation understand what such a revolution really
     means--though I admit that Mrs. Pankhurst has done a good deal! It
     is the exact measure of the national recoil since 1908, and if
     fortune is on our side next week, we have only to carry on the
     fight resolutely and steadily to the end in order finally to
     convince the nation."

After the collapse of the Government Reform Bill just described, the
deadlock in the Parliamentary situation as regards Women's Suffrage
continued right down to the outbreak of the War. Mrs. Fawcett
transferred the allegiance of the National Union of Women's Suffrage
Societies to the Labour Party, the only party which was prepared to back
the principle of women's votes through thick and thin; the Militants
continually increased in numbers, agitation and violence, and Mrs. Ward
and her friends concentrated their energies more and more on the
positive side of their programme, that is on the active development of
women's work in Local Government. But it was a heavy burden. Mrs. Ward
felt, as she said in a speech at Oxford in 1912, that "it is a profound
saying that nothing is conquered until it is replaced. Before the
Suffrage movement can be finally defeated, or rather transformed, we who
are its opponents must not only have beaten and refuted the Suffrage
argument, but we must have succeeded in showing that there is a more
excellent way towards everything that the moderate Suffragist desires,
and we must have kindled in the minds, especially of the young, hopes
and ideals for women which may efface and supersede those which have
been held out to them by the leaders of the Suffrage army."

Her artistic imagination was already at work on the problem, for in 1913
she wrote her Suffrage novel, _Delia Blanchflower_, in which the reader
of to-day may still enjoy her closely observed study of the militant
temperament, in Gertrude Marvell and her village followers, while on
Delia herself, an ardent militant when the story opens, the gradual
effect is traced of the English traditions of quiet public service, as
exemplified--naturally!--in the person of the hero. Incidentally it may
here be remarked that Mrs. Ward always believed that her Anti-Suffrage
activities, culminating in the writing of this novel, had a markedly bad
effect on the circulation of her books. Certainly she was prepared to
suffer for her opinions, for the task of diverting and of carrying
forward the Women's Movement into other lines than those which led to
Westminster was one that was to wear her out prematurely, though her
gallant spirit never recognized its hopelessness.

Her organized attempt to give effect to these aspirations, in the
foundation (early in 1914) of the "Joint Advisory Council" between
Members of Parliament and Women Social Workers, arose out of the stand
which she made within the National Union of Women Workers[32] for the
neutrality of that body on the Suffrage question. The National Union was
bound by its constitution to favour "no one policy" in national affairs,
and many moderate Suffragists agreed with Mrs. Ward that sufficient _ad
hoc_ Societies existed already for carrying on the Suffrage campaign,
and that it would have been wiser for the National Union to remain
aloof from it altogether. But the feeling among the rank and file of the
Union was too strong for the Executive, so that in the autumn of 1912 a
Suffrage resolution was passed and sent up to the Prime Minister and all
Members of the House of Commons. Mrs. Ward protested, but suspended her
resignation until the next Annual Conference, which met at Hull in
October, 1913. There Mrs. Ward's resolutions were all voted down by the
Suffragist majority, so that she and some of her friends felt that they
had no choice but to secede from the Union, on the ground that its
original constitution had been violated. They drew up and sent to the
Press a Manifesto in which the following passage occurred:

     "Under these circumstances it is proposed to enlarge and strengthen
     the protest movement, and to provide it, if possible, with a new
     centre and rallying-point for social work involving, probably,
     active co-operation with a certain number of Members of Parliament,
     who, on wholly neutral ground from which the question of Suffrage,
     for or against, has been altogether excluded, desire the help and
     advice of women in such legislation."

Mrs. Ward had, throughout the controversy, carried on an active and most
amicable correspondence with her old friend, Mrs. Creighton, the
President of the National Union of Women Workers, who had for some years
been a convert to Women's Suffrage, on the ground that, since women had
already, for good or ill, entered the political arena with their various
Party Associations, it would be more straight-forward to have them
inside than outside the political machine. Mrs. Ward now wrote to tell
her of the progress of her idea for a "Joint Advisory Committee":

"_December 18, 1913_.

..."The scheme has been shaping beyond my hopes, and will I hope,
     be ready for publication before Parliament meets. What we have been
     aiming at is a kind of Standing Committee composed equally of
     Members from all parts of the House of Commons, and both sides of
     the Suffrage question--and women of experience in social work. I do
     not, I hope, at all disguise from myself the difficulties of the
     project, and yet I feel that it _ought_ to be very useful, and to
     develop into a permanent adjunct of the House of Commons. From this
     Joint Committee the Suffrage question will be excluded, but it will
     contain a dozen of the leading Suffragists in the House, which
     ought, I think, to make it clear that it is no _Anti_
     conspiracy!--but a bona-fide attempt to get Antis and Pros to work
     together on really equal terms."

She was much gratified by the cordial response to her invitation on the
part of M.P.'s of all shades of opinion, while some seventy women--both
Suffragists and "Antis"--representing every field of social work,
presently joined the Committee. Naturally the reproach levelled against
it by those who did not believe in it was that the Committee was wholly
self-appointed, but Mrs. Ward replied that, self-appointed or not, it
was an instrument for _getting things done_, and that it would soon
prove its usefulness. Under the Chairmanship of Sir Charles Nicholson,
M.P., the Committee had held four meetings at the House of Commons
between April and July, 1914, and had got through a great deal of
practical work in the drafting of various amendments to Bills then
before the House, when the curtain was rung down on all such fruitful
and peaceable activities. Henceforth the guns were to speak, and such
things as the education of crippled children, or the pressing of a wider
qualification for women members of local bodies, were to disappear
within the shadow that fell over the whole country. So at least it
appeared at the time, but the Joint Advisory Council, like all really
practical bodies, survived the shock, and lived to devote to the special
questions arising from the War the experience gained in these first

       *       *       *       *       *

The last act in the drama of Women's Suffrage found Mrs. Ward, as usual,
active and on the alert, and still unconvinced of the necessity for the
measure, or, still more, of the competence of the Parliament of 1917 to
deal with it. It will be remembered that the question arose again on the
"Representation of the People Bill" which the Government felt bound to
bring in before the death of the existing Parliament in order to remedy
the crying injustices of registration which deprived most of the
fighting men and many of the munition workers of their votes. The
opportunity was seized by the Suffragists to press the claims of women
once more upon Parliament and public, and this time the response was
overwhelmingly favourable. The pluck and endurance shown by women in all
the multifarious activities of the War had brought the public round to
their side; the men at the front were believed to be in favour of it,
the militant outrages had ceased, and, last but not least, there was now
a lifelong Suffragist at the head of affairs. The Speaker's Conference,
which reported on January 27, 1917, decided "by a majority" that "some
measure of women's suffrage should be conferred." It was evident that
the current of opinion was setting strongly in favour of the women's
claim, but Mrs. Ward still felt it to be her duty to protest, and to
organize the latent opposition which certainly existed in the country.
She wrote an eloquent letter to _The Times_ in May, pointing out the
obvious truth that the country had not been consulted, that the existing
Parliament had twice rejected the measure and was now a mere rump, with
some 200 Members absent on war service; she denied in a passage of great
force the plea based on "equality of service" between men and women,
appealing to the grave-yards in France and Flanders which she had seen
with her own eyes, as evidence of the eternal _in_equality, and finally
she pleaded for a large extension of the women's _municipal_ vote, in
order to provide an electorate which might be consulted by Referendum.
The Referendum was in fact adopted by the now dwindling Anti-Suffrage
party in Parliament as their policy; but the House of Commons would have
none of it, and the Second Reading of the Bill, which included the
Suffrage clause, was carried by 329 to 40. It is obvious, of course,
that in an elective Assembly, when the members are once convinced that a
large increase in the electorate is about to be made, anxiety for their
seats will make them very chary of voting against the new electors.
Hence Mrs. Ward had to bewail many desertions. The Bill was finally
passed by the House of Commons on December 7; but there still remained
the Lords. Here the opposition was likely to be far more formidable, for
the Lords had no hungry electors waiting for them, nor were they so
susceptible as the Lower House to waves of sentiment such as that which
had overspread press and public in favour of Women's Suffrage. It was
here, therefore, that Mrs. Ward organized her last resistance. The
January _Nineteenth Century_ appeared with an article by her entitled
"Let Women Say," appealing to the Lords to insist on a Referendum, while
in the first week of January she (acting as Chairman of the National
League for Opposing Women's Suffrage) issued a Memorial to which she had
obtained the signatures of about 2,000 women war-workers, and sent it to
the press and to the Members of the House of Lords.

Lord Bryce wrote to her in response (January 8, 1918):


     Thank you for your admirable article and for the copy of the
     Memorial, an effective reply to that of the Suffragist ladies. It
     is an achievement to have secured so many signatures so
     quickly--and this may be used effectively by Lord Balfour of
     Burleigh, when he moves his Referendum Amendment. No one can yet
     predict the result. Lord Loreburn will move the omission of the
     earlier part of Clause IV to-morrow; and I suppose that if it is
     defeated the Referendum issue will come next."

There were a large number of distinguished Peers, including Lords
Loreburn, Weardale, Halsbury, Plymouth, and Finlay, who were pledged to
oppose "Clause IV," but the rock on whom the Anti-Suffragists chiefly
relied was Lord Curzon. He was President of the National League for
Opposing Women's Suffrage. He was an important member of the Government.
His advice would sway the votes of large numbers of docile Peers. He
had, however, sent Mrs. Ward a verbal message through her son, whom he
met in the House on December 18, that his position in the Government
would make it impossible for him to _vote_ against the Clause: he would
be obliged to abstain. Still he continued in active communication with
Mrs. Ward, giving advice on the tactics to be pursued, and on December
30, 1917, wrote her a letter in which, after expressing admiration for
her _Nineteenth Century_ article, he added the words: "A letter (if
possible with the article) to the Peers a few days before the Clause
comes under consideration may bring up a good many to vote, and after
all that is what you want for the moment."

Lord Curzon gave no further warning to the Committee of the League that
he intended to pursue any different line of action from that recommended
here. It was still a question of "bringing the Peers up to vote," though
the Committee knew by this time that his own vote--on the formal ground
of his being Leader of the House of Lords--could not be given against
the Clause. What, then, was their astonishment, when on the decisive
day, January 10, 1918, after a speech in which Lord Curzon condemned the
principle of Women's Suffrage in unmeasured terms and announced that his
opposition to it was as strong as ever, he then turned to their
Lordships and advised them not to reject the Clause because it would
lead to a conflict with the other House "from which your Lordships would
not emerge with credit." The effect of the appeal was decisive; the
Clause passed the House of Lords by a majority of sixty-three.

Thus fell the Anti-Suffrage edifice, and Mrs. Ward and her friends were
left to nurse their wrath against their leader. A somewhat lengthy
correspondence in the _Morning Post_ followed, the echoes of which have
long since died away, and Mrs. Ward retired soon afterwards to Stocks.
Thence she wrote to Mrs. Creighton, on March 14, her little valediction
on the Suffrage question:

     "Yes, I have had rather a bad time of headache and weariness
     lately. The last lap of the Suffrage struggle was rather too much
     for me. But I felt bound, under all the circumstances (I should not
     have felt bound if the decision had been postponed till after the
     War) as a patriot--or what I conceive to be a patriot--to fight to
     the end, and I actually drafted the last amendment on which the
     House of Lords voted. Well now, thank goodness, it is over, for a
     while, though I see Mrs. Fawcett is still proposing to go on. Now
     the question is what the women will do with their vote. I can only
     hope that you and Mrs. Fawcett are right and that I am wrong."

Nine months later, the General Election of December, 1918, gave women
the opportunity of echoing their Prime Minister's sentiments that the
Kaiser should be brought to trial and that Germany should pay for the
cost of the War. Mrs. Ward did not record her vote, for purely local
reasons, but she had by this time adopted an attitude of quite
benevolent neutrality on the merits of the question. She had fought her
fight squarely and openly, and had finally been defeated by a
combination of circumstances to which no combatant need have been
ashamed of succumbing. To some of those who worked with her and who
watched her endless consideration for friend and foe alike, in office
and committee-room, who admired the breadth and versatility of her mind
and who shared her belief in the "alternative policy" for which she so
eloquently pleaded, it seemed that the failure of the Anti-Suffrage
campaign lay at the door of those who obstructed her within her own
walls, who could not understand her call to women to be up and doing,
and who opposed a mere blind _No_ to the youth and hope of the Suffrage

Be that as it may, Mrs. Ward had no reason, in looking back, to be
otherwise than proud of her contribution to the great cause of women's
work and freedom in this country. From her earliest days she had
forwarded the cause of women's education. As her experience of life grew
ever richer and more pitiful she had pleaded with her sex, using all her
varied gifts of pen and speech, to give themselves, each in her degree,
to the service of her fellows, and of the children. Her own example was
never lacking to enforce the plea. Service, not "rights," was in effect
her watch-word. If she disbelieved in the efficacy of the vote to
achieve miracles, it was because she believed far more in the gradual
growth and efficacy of spiritual forces. The rule of the mob did not
attract her, especially if it were a female mob; she would have offered
it, instead, its fill of work and service. Perhaps it was too austere a
gospel for our day, and in the end she watched her country choose the
opposite path without bitterness, and even with some degree of hope. At
any rate she had done her part in laying before her countrywomen a
different ideal.



Stocks, during the first sixteen years that Mrs. Ward inhabited it, was
a dear but provoking house. Built in 1772 by the Duncombe family, at the
expense of the earlier manor-house at the foot of the hill, it had been
added to in the mid-nineteenth century in a spirit of small economy, so
that the visitor as he drove up beheld an unlovely eastern side, with a
squalid porch jutting out into the drive and a mean little block of
"bachelors' rooms" joined on to the main Georgian building. Though Mrs.
Ward loved the southern and western sides of the house, the eastern side
was always an offence to her; she longed to tear down the porch and to
plan some simple scheme for unifying its whole aspect. After many
hesitations, the plunge was finally made in 1907. The family retired to
Stocks Cottage, the little house among the steep hanging woods of
Moneybury Hill where the Neville Lytteltons had stayed so many summers,
and thence watched the slow disintegration and rebuilding of the "big
house." For, of course, once the process was begun, three-quarters of
the Georgian structure was found to be in a state of decomposition, with
floors and ceilings that would have crumbled at another touch, so that
long before it was finished the visit to America had come and gone and
the Anti-Suffrage campaign was launched. When at length the new Stocks
could be inhabited, in the autumn of 1908, the alterations were
beautiful indeed, but had been expensive. There was thenceforward an
unknown burden in the way of upkeep which at times oppressed even Mrs.
Ward's buoyant spirit.

And yet how she loved every inch of the place--house and garden
together--especially after this rebuilding, which stamped it so clearly
as her and her husband's twin possession. Whether in solitude or in
company, Stocks was to her the place of consolation which repaid her for
all the fatigues and troubles of her life. Not that she went to it for
rest, for the day's work there was often harder than it was in London,
but the little walks that she could take in the intervals of work, down
to the kitchen-garden, or up and down the lime-avenue, or through the
wood behind the house, brought refreshment to her spirit and helped her
to surmount the labours that for ever weighed upon her. Here it was that
the near neighbourhood of her cousins of "Barley End"--Mr. and Mrs.
Whitridge in summer and Lord and Lady Sandhurst in winter--meant so much
to her, for they could share these brief half-hours of leisure and give
her, in the precious intimacy of gossip, that relaxation which her mind
so sorely needed. Then, in summer, there were certain spots in the long
grass under the scattered beeches where wild strawberries grew and
multiplied; these gave her exquisite delight, bringing back to her the
hungry joys of her childhood, when she would seek and find the secret
strawberry-beds that grew on the outcrop of rock in Fox How garden. But
the more sybaritic delights of Stocks were very dear to her too--the
scent of hyacinths and narcissus that greeted her as she entered the
house at Christmas-time, or the banks of azalea placed there by Mr.
Keen, the incomparable head-gardener. Keen had already been at Stocks
for fifteen years before we came to it in 1892, and he lived to gather
the branches of wild cherry that decked his mistress's grave in 1920. In
summer he would work for fifteen hours a day, in spite of all that Mrs.
Ward could say to him; his simple answer was that he could not bear to
see his plants die for lack of watering. So Keen toiled at his garden,
and Mrs. Ward toiled at her books, her speeches and her correspondence,
each holding for the other the respect that only the toilers of this
world can know.

Her habits of work when she was settled at Stocks were somewhat
peculiar, for method was not her strong point, and it often seemed as
though the day's quota was accomplished in a series of rushes rather
than in a steady approach and fulfilment. No breakfast downstairs at
8.30 and then a solid morning's work for her, but a morning beginning
often at 5.30 a.m., with the reading of Greek, or writing of letters, or
much reading, for the reading of many books was still her greatest
solace and delight. "For reading, I have been deep in Emile Faguet's
_Dix-huitième Siècle_," she wrote to Mrs. Creighton in August, 1908,
"comparing some of the essays in it with Sainte-Beuve, the reactionary
with the Liberal; reading Raleigh's Wordsworth, and Homer and Horace as
usual. If I could only give three straight months to Greek now I should
be able to read most things easily, but I never get time enough--and
there are breaks when one forgets what one knew before."

Greek literature meant more and more to her as the years went on, and
though she could give so little time to it, the half-hour before
breakfast which she devoted, with her husband, to Homer, or Euripides,
or the _Agamemnon_, became gradually more precious to her than any other
fraction of the day. She was of course no scholar, in the ordinary
sense, and her "quantities" both in Greek and Latin frequently produced
a raucous cry from her husband, to whom the correct thing was, somehow,
second nature; but the literary sense in her responded with a thrill
both to the glories and the restraints of Greek verse, so that such a
passage as Clytemnestra's description of the beacons moved her with a
power that she could hardly explain to herself. The influence which
Greek tragedy had obtained upon her thought is well seen in the opening
chapter of _Diana Mallory_.

Then, at eight o'clock, would come breakfast and post, and, with the
post, the first visits from the rest of us and the planning of the day's
events. Usually she did not appear downstairs till after ten, and if, as
so often happened, there were friends or relations staying in the house
she would linger talking with them for another half-hour before
disappearing finally into her writing-room. Then there would be a short
but intensive morning's work--sometimes wasted on Anti-Suffrage, as she
would wrathfully confess!--lunch and a brief interval for driving on the
Common or in Ashridge Park, after which work would begin again before
four o'clock and continue, with only a nominal break for tea, till well
after eight. She rarely returned to her task after dinner, for this
would infallibly bring on a bad night, and indeed the long spell in the
afternoon left her with little energy for anything but talk or silence
in the evening.

Such, in approximate outline, was her day when nothing from outside
caused an unusual interruption, but life at Stocks seemed often fated to
consist of interruptions. First and foremost there might be guests in
the house, who must be taken for a picnic on the Ivinghoe Downs or on
Ringshall Common, or else there might be visitors from town on
business--the Warden of the Settlement, an American publisher, a
theatrical manager; telegrams would come up the drive from the little
village post-office (for the telephone was not installed till 1914),
while always and ever there was the tyranny of the post. One Sunday the
contribution of Stocks to the village post-bag was duly certified at
eighty-five letters, while forty to fifty was a very usual number. The
evening post left at 6.30, and not till this was out of the way could
Mrs. Ward enjoy that fragment of the day which she regarded as the best
for real work, when letters and all other interruptions were cleared
from the horizon. Her sitting-room was always a mass of papers,
wonderfully kept in order by Dorothy or Miss Churcher; but in spite of
the neatness of the packets, there would come days when the one letter
or sheet of manuscript that she wanted could _not_ be found, and the
house would resound with the clamour of the searchers. Indeed Mrs. Ward
could never be trusted to keep her small possessions, unaided, for very
long, for being entirely without pockets she was reduced to the
inevitable "little bag," which naturally spent much of its time down
cracks of chairs and in other occult places. When her advancing years
made spectacles necessary for reading and writing, these added another
complication to life, but fortunately there was always some willing
slave at hand to aid in recovering the lost--or rather her family would
half unconsciously arrange their days so that there should be some one.
Once she declared with pride to a friend that she had travelled home
_alone_ from Paris to London without mishap, but on inquiry it was found
that "alone" included the faithful Lizzie, and only meant that, for
once, neither husband nor daughter had accompanied her.

Her letters to Mrs. Creighton during these years give many glimpses of
her life.

     "I am writing to you very early in the morning--6.30--," she wrote
     on August 4, 1910, "a time when I often find one can get a _real_
     letter done, or a difficult bit of work. These weeks since the
     middle of June have been unusually strenuous for me. Anti-Suffrage
     has been a heavy burden, especially the effort to give the movement
     a more constructive and positive side. Play Centres have been
     steadily increasing, and there were three Vacation Schools to
     organize. The Care Committees under the L.C.C. are beginning to
     wake up to Play Centres, and lately I have had three applications
     to start Centres in one week. Then I have also begun a new book
     [_The Case of Richard Meynell_] and even completed and sent off the
     first number. But I am very harassed about the book, which does not
     lie clear before me by any means. Still, I have been able to read a
     good deal--William James, and Tyrrell, and Claude Montefiore's book
     on the Synoptics, and some other theology and history.

     "Life is _too_ crowded!--don't you feel it so? Every year brings
     its fresh interests and claims, and one can't let go the old. Yet I
     hope there may be time left for some resting, watching years at the
     end of it all--when one may sit in the chimney corner, look on--and

"Some resting, watching years"! The gods were indeed asleep when Mrs.
Ward breathed this prayer, or was it that they knew, better than she,
that life without toil would have been no life to her?

Among the self-imposed labours which Mrs. Ward added to her burden
during the year 1910, was that of taking an active part in the two
General Elections of that _annus mirabilis_. Her son had been adopted as
Unionist candidate for the West Herts Division, in which Stocks lay, and
Mrs. Ward was so disgusted by what she conceived to be the violence and
unfairness of the leaflets issued by both sides that she decided to sit
down and write a series of her own, intended primarily for the villages
round Stocks and written in simple but persuasive language. These
"Letters to my Neighbours," as they were entitled, dealt with all the
burning questions of the day--the rejection of the Budget by the House
of Lords, Tariff Reform, the new Land Taxes, Home Rule for Ireland and
so forth; but their fame did not remain confined to the villages of West
Herts, but spread first to Sheffield and thence to many other great
towns and county divisions. Mrs. Ward was by this time a convinced
Tariff Reformer, and set forth the case in favour of Protection in lucid
and attractive style; she had learnt the way to do this in the course of
certain "Talks with Voters" which she had held in the little village
schoolroom at Aldbury and in which she had penetrated with her usual
sympathy and directness into the recesses of the rustic mind. The whole
thing was, of course, a direct attempt to influence public opinion on a
political issue, on the part of one who had no vote, and as such was not
missed by the sharp eye of Mrs. Fawcett. The Suffrage leader twitted
Mrs. Ward with her inconsistency in a speech to a Women's Congress in
the summer of 1910, drawing from Mrs. Ward a reply in _The Times_ which
showed that her withers were quite unwrung. Her contention was, in fact,
that the minority of women who cared about politics had as good a right
as anyone else to influence opinion, _if they could_, and would succeed
"as men succeed, in proportion to their knowledge, their energy and
their patience.... That a woman member of the National Union of
Teachers, that the wives and daughters of professional and working men,
that educated women generally, should try to influence the votes of male
voters towards causes in which they believe, seems to me only part of
the general national process of making and enforcing opinion." At any
rate in the village of Aldbury and far outside it, Mrs. Ward was
accepted as a "maker of opinion" because the people loved her, and
because at the end of her little "Talks with Voters" she never failed to
remind her hearers that the ballot was secret. Her son was duly elected
for West Herts--a result which Mrs. Ward could not be expected to take
with as much philosophy as Mrs. Dell, our village oracle, whose only
remark was, "Lumme, sech a fustle and a bustle! And when all's say and
do one's out and the other's in!"

The election made Mrs. Ward more intimate than she had been before with
the village folk and with her county neighbours--amongst whom she had
many close friends--but her real delight still was to receive her
relations and friends, to stay in the house, and there to make much of
them. Among these her sister Ethel was a constant visitor, together with
her great friend Miss Williams-Freeman, whose knowledge of France and of
French people was always a delight to Mrs. Ward. Then there were those
whom she would beguile from London on shorter visits--so far as she
could afford the time to entertain them! Not every Sunday, by any means,
could she allow herself this pleasure, but her instinct for hospitality
was so strong that she stretched many points in this direction, paying
for her indulgence afterwards by a still harder "grind." There were
red-letter days when she persuaded her oldest friends of all, Mrs. T. H.
Green or the Arthur Johnsons, to uproot themselves from Oxford and come
to talk of all things in heaven and earth with her; Mrs. Creighton was
an annual visitor, usually for several days in the autumn; Miss Cropper,
of Kendal, and the Hugh Bells, of Rounton, were among the few whom Mrs.
Ward not only loved to have at Stocks, but with whom she in her turn
would go to stay, reviving in Westmorland and Yorkshire her love for the
North. Then there was Henry James, whose rarer visits made him each time
the more beloved, and with whom Mrs. Ward maintained all through these
years a correspondence which might have delighted posterity, but of
which he, alas, destroyed her share before he died. Many, too, were the
friends from the world of politics or journalism who found their way to
Stocks: Mr. Haldane and Alfred Lyttelton; Oakeley Arnold-Forster, her
cousin, whose career in the Unionist Cabinet was cut short by death in
1909; Sir Donald Wallace, the George Protheros and Mr. Chirol, and ever
and anon some friend from Italy or France--Count Ugo Balzani and his
daughters, Carlo Segrè or André Chevrillon, whose presence only made the
talk leap faster and more joyously. The sound and the flavour of their
talk is gone for ever, but the memory of those days, and of their
hostess, must still be green in the hearts of many.



Young people, too, were always welcomed by Mrs. Ward, especially the
many nieces and nephews who were now growing up around her and who were
accustomed to look to Stocks almost as to a second home. Amongst these
were the whole Selwyn family, children of her sister Lucy, who had died
in 1894; both children and father (Dr. E. C. Selwyn, Headmaster of
Uppingham School) were very dear to Mrs. Ward and frequently came to
fill the house at Stocks. Two splendid sons of this family, Arthur
and Christopher, were to give up their lives in the War. Their
stepmother, who had been Mrs. Ward's favourite cousin on the Sorell
side, Miss Maud Dunn, occupied after her marriage a still more intimate
place in her affections. One little boy she had, George, to whom Mrs.
Ward was much attached for his quaint and serious character, but he too
was doomed to die in France, of influenza, in the last month of the War.

That member of her own family, however, to whom Mrs. Ward was most
deeply attached, her sister Julia (Mrs. Leonard Huxley), fell a victim
in the year 1908, at the age of only 46, to a swift and terrible form of
malignant disease. With her perished not only the gifted foundress of
the great girls' school at Priors' Field, but Mrs. Ward's most intimate
friend--the person with whom she shared all joys and sorrows, and whom
it was an ever-new delight to receive at Stocks, with her brood of
brilliant children. She had been amongst the first guests to visit the
house in 1892; she was there within two months of her death in 1908.
Such a shock went very deep with Mrs. Ward, but she spent herself all
the more in devotion to "Judy's" children, whom she loved next to her
own and who had always, since their babyhood, spent a large part of each
year's holidays at Stocks. And they on their side were not ashamed to
return her affection. Julian and Trevenen, Aldous and Margaret became to
her almost a second family, leaning on her and loving and chaffing her
as only the keen-witted children of a house know how to do.

For if Stocks was a Paradise to the tired week-end visitor from London,
or to the stalwart young ones who could play cricket or tennis on its
lawns, it was still more the Paradise of little children. Mrs. Ward was
never really happy unless there were children in the house, the younger
the better, and one of the joys of the re-building was that it provided
her, on the transformed eastern side, with a pair of nurseries which
only asked thenceforward to be tenanted. Her grandchildren, Mary,
Theodore and Humphry, were naturally the most frequent tenants, and
there accumulated a store of ancient treasures to which they looked
forward with unfailing joy each time that they returned. Usually, too,
they found that "Gunny" (as they had early christened her) had
surreptitiously added to the store during their absence, which was
unorthodox, but pleasant. How she loved to fill their red mouths with
strawberries or grapes, to hear their voices on the stairs, or their
shrill shrieks as they played hide-and-seek on the lawn with some
captive grown-up! The two elders, Mary and Theodore, paid her a visit
every morning, with the regularity of clockwork, just as her
breakfast-tray arrived, and then sat on the bed, with sly, expectant
faces, waiting for the execution of the egg--a drama that was performed
each day with a prescribed ritual, varying only in the intensity of the
egg's protests against decapitation. The invaders usually ended by
consuming far more than their share of Gunny's breakfast. And as they
grew in stature and delightsomeness, Mrs. Ward became only the more
devoted to them, till when Theo was four and Mary five and a half, they
would pay for their 'bits of egg' by show performances of _Horatius_,
declaiming it there on the big bed till the room re-echoed with their
noise. Or else they would act the coming of King Charles into the House
of Commons in search of the five members, Mary being the Speaker and
Theo the disgruntled King, or, now and then, descend to modern politics
by singing her derisive ditties such as--

    "Tariff Reform means work for all,
     Work for all, work for all;
     Tariff Reform means work for all,
       Chopping up wood in the Workhouse."

"Gunny" would become quite limp with laughing at the wickedness and
point which Theodore would throw into the singing of this song, for the
rascal knew full well that she had succumbed to what Mrs. Dell, after a
village meeting, had christened "Tarridy-form."

Whenever one of their long visits to Stocks came to an end, Mrs. Ward
would be most disconsolate. "_How_ I miss the children," she wrote to J.
P. T. in January, 1911, "--it is quite foolish. I can never pass the
nursery door without a pang." Three months later, while she was staying
at an Italian villa in the Lucchese hills, the news fell upon her that
the beloved grandson whose every look and gesture was to her "an
embodied joy," would be hers no longer. He had died beside the sea,

                 ...φἱη ἑν πατρἱδι γαἱη,

and the fells which stand around the little church in the Langdale
valley looked down upon another grave.

It was long before Mrs. Ward could surmount this grief. That summer
(1911) she was busied with the organization of her Playgrounds for the
thousands upon thousands of London children who had no Stocks to play

     "Sometimes," she wrote, "when I think of the masses of London
     children I have been going through I seem to imagine him beside me,
     his eager little hand in mine, looking at the dockers' children,
     ragged, half-starved, disfigured, with his grave sweet eyes, eyes
     so full already of humanity and pity. Is it so that his spirit
     lives with us--the beloved one--part for ever of all that is best
     in us, all that is nearest to God, in whom, I must believe, he

During these years between her visit to America and the outbreak of War,
Mrs. Ward produced no less than six novels, including the two on America
and Canada which we have already mentioned. She also issued, in the
autumn of 1911, with Mr. Reginald Smith's help and guidance, the
"Westmorland Edition" of her earlier books (from _Miss Bretherton_ to
_Canadian Born_), contributing to them a series of critical and
autobiographical Prefaces which, as the _Oxford Chronicle_ said, "to a
great extent disarm criticism because in them Mrs. Ward appears as her
own best critic." Time and again, in these Introductions, we find her
seizing upon the weak point in her characters or her constructions: how
_Robert Elsmere_ "lacks irony and detachment," how _David Grieve_ is
"didactic in some parts and amateurish in others," how in _Sir George
Tressady_ Marcella "hovers incorporate and only very rarely finds her
feet." This candour made the new edition all the more acceptable to her
old admirers, and set the critics arguing once more on their old theme,
as to whether Mrs. Ward possessed or not a sense of humour. If it may be
permitted to one so near to her to venture an opinion on this point, it
is that Mrs. Ward, like all those who possess the ardent temperament,
the will to move the world, worked first and foremost by the methods of
direct attack rather than by the subtler shafts of humour; but no one
could live beside her, especially in these years of her maturity,
without falling under the spell of something which, if not humour, was
at least a vivid gift of "irony and detachment," asserting itself
constantly at the expense of herself and her doings and finding its way,
surely, into so many of her later books. Her minor characters are
usually instinct with it; they form the chorus, or the "volley of
silvery laughter" for ever threatening her too ardent heroes from the
Meredithian "spirit up aloft," and show that she herself is by no means
totally carried away by the ardours she creates. My own feeling is that
this gift of "irony and detachment" grew stronger with the years,
perhaps as the original motive force grew weaker, and though she
maintained to the end her unconquerable fighting spirit, as shown in her
struggle against the Suffrage and her keen interest in politics, these
things were crossed more frequently by humorous returns upon herself
which made her all the more delightful to those who knew her well. And
in the little things of life, no one was ever more easy to move to
helpless laughter over her own foibles. When she had bought no less than
five hats for her daughter on a motor-drive from Stocks to London--"on
spec, darling, at horrid little cheap shops in the Edgware Road"--or
when at Cadenabbia, she had actually sallied forth _unattended_ in order
to buy a pair of the peasants' string shoes, and had gone through a
series of harrowing adventures, no one who heard her tell the tale could
doubt that she was richly endowed with the power of laughing at herself.
In her writings she was, perhaps, a little sensitive about the point.

     "_Am_ I so devoid of humour?" she wrote to Mr. Reginald Smith, in
     September, 1911. "I was looking at _David Grieve_ again the other
     day--surely there is a good deal that is humorous there. And if I
     may be egotistical and repeat them, I heard such pleasing things
     about _David_ from Lord Arran in Dublin the other day. He knows it
     absolutely by heart, and he says that when he was campaigning in
     South Africa two battered copies of _David_ were read to pieces by
     him and his brother-officers, and every night they discussed it
     round the camp fires."

The inference being, no doubt, that a set of hard-bitten British
officers would hardly have wasted their scanty leisure on a book that
totally lacked the indispensable national ingredient.

The last novel with a definitely religious tendency to which Mrs. Ward
set her hand was her well-known sequel to _Robert Elsmere_, the "Case"
of the Modernist clergyman, Richard Meynell. It was by far the most
considerable work of her later years and represented the fruit of her
ripest meditations on the evolution of religious thought and practice in
the twenty years that had elapsed since _Robert's_ day. Ever since the
Loisy case she had been deeply possessed by the literature of Modernism,
seeing in it the force which would, she believed, in the end regenerate
the churches.

     "What interests and touches me most, in religion, at the present
     moment," she wrote to Mrs. Creighton, in September, 1907, "is
     Liberal Catholicism. It has a bolder freedom than anything in the
     Anglican Church, and a more philosophic and poetic outlook. It
     seems to me at any rate to combine the mystical and scientific
     powers in a wonderful degree. If I only could believe that it would
     last, and had a future!"

She was deep in the writings of Father Tyrrell, of Bergson and of
William James during these years, but while she allowed herself,
perhaps, as time went on, a more mystical interpretation of the Gospel
narratives, she was still as convinced as ever of the necessity for
historical criticism.

_To J. P. T._

"_Easter Day, 1910_.

..."It is good to be alive on spring days like this! I have been
     reading William James on this very point--the worth of being
     alive--and before that the Emmaus story and the appearance to the
     Maries. I more and more believe that the whole resurrection story,
     as a story, arose from the transference of the body by the
     Romans--at Jewish bidding, no doubt--to a hidden sepulchre to avoid
     a local cult. The vacant grave seems to me historic fact,--next to
     it, the visions in Galilee, perhaps springing from _one_ vivid
     dream of a disciple such as I had both of my father and mother
     after their deaths--and then theology, and poetry, environment and
     inherited belief did the rest. Yet what an amazing thing the rest
     is, and how impossible to suppose that it--or any other great
     religion--means nothing in the scheme of things."

She had been much excited, also, by the instances of revolt in a Liberal
direction which were occurring at this time within the English Church,
such as that of Mr. Thompson of Magdalen; and so, out of these various
elements, she wove her tale of _Richard Meynell_. When she was already
deep in the writing of the book she came, quite by chance, upon a
country parish in Cheshire where a similar drama was going on.

_To Reginald Smith_

"_October 11, 1910_.

..."I have returned home a great deal better than when I went, I am
     glad to say. And on Sunday I heard Meynell preach!--in Alderley
     church, in the person of Mr. Hudson Shaw. An astonishing sermon,
     and a crowded congregation. 'I shall not in future read the
     Athanasian Creed, or the cursing psalms or the Ten Commandments, or
     the Exhortation at the beginning of the Marriage Service--and I
     shall take the consequences. The Baptismal Service ought to be
     altered--so ought the Burial Service. And how you, the laity, can
     tolerate us--the clergy--standing up Sunday after Sunday and saying
     these things to you, I cannot understand. But I for one will do it
     no more, happen what may.'

     "I really felt that _Richard Meynell_ was likely to be in the

Richard Meynell, as the readers of this book will remember, makes
himself the leader of a crusade for modernizing and re-vivifying the
services of the Church, in accordance with the new preaching of "the
Christ of to-day,"--finds his message taken up by hundreds of his fellow
priests and hundreds of thousands of eager souls throughout the
country,--comes into collision with the higher powers of the Church,
takes his trial in the Court of Arches, and, when the inevitable
judgment goes against him, leaves us, on a note of hope, carrying his
appeal to the Privy Council, to Parliament and to the people of England.
The whole book is written in a vein of passionate inspiration--save for
the few touches, here and there, which convey the note of irony or
contemplation--; the reader may disagree, but he cannot help being
carried away, for the time at least, by the infectious enthusiasm of
Meynell and his movement.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Perhaps the strongest impression," declared one of the reviewers, "at
once the most striking and the most profound, created by _The Case of
Richard Meynell_, is its religious optimism. One finds oneself
marvelling how any writer, in so sceptical an age as this, can picture a
Modernist religious movement with so inspired, so fervent a pen, as to
kindle a factitious flame even in hearts grown cold to religious
inspiration and to religious hope."

       *       *       *       *       *

Others, again, pronounced the book to be, on the whole, a failure. "And
yet," said the _Dublin Review_, "there is a certain force in Mrs.
Humphry Ward that enables her to push her defective machine into motion;
_Richard Meynell_ is the work of a forcible, if tired, imagination. This
fact may be wrong, and that detail ugly, and another phrase offensive to
the sense of the ridiculous; but as a whole it ranks higher than many
and many a production that is lightly touched in and delicately edged
with satire. Spiritual sufferings, a yearning after truth,
self-restraint, revolt, the helpless wish to aid those who will not be
helped, the texture of fine souls, such things are brought home to us in
_Richard Meynell_. This is not done by the vitality of the author's
personages, for they never wholly escape from bondage to the main
intention of the book, but it is done by contact with a remarkable mind
tuned to fine issues."

The reappearance of Catherine Elsmere, far less overwhelming and more
attractive than in the earlier book, endeared this tale to all who
remembered Robert's wife; her death in the little house in Long Sleddale
where Robert had first found her was felt to be a masterpiece that Mrs.
Ward had never surpassed.

The writer did not disguise from herself and her friends that she looked
forward with unusual interest to the reception of this book. Would it in
truth find itself "in the movement"? Would it kindle into a flame the
dull embers of religious faith and freedom?

     "What I should like to do this winter," she wrote to Mrs.
     Creighton, in September, 1911 (six weeks before the book's
     appearance), "is to write a volume of imaginary 'Sermons and
     Journals of Richard Meynell,' going in detail into many of the
     points only touched in the book. If the book has the great success
     the publishers predict, I could devote myself to handling in
     another form some of the subjects that have been long in my mind.
     But of course it may have no such success at all. I sometimes think
     that, as Mr. Holmes maintains in his extraordinarily interesting
     book,[33] the church teaching of the last twenty years has gone a
     long way towards paganizing England--together of course with the
     increase of wealth and hurry."

These "Sermons and Journals of Richard Meynell" were, however, never
written. The book certainly aroused interest and even controversy in
England, but it did not sweep the country and set all tongues wagging,
as _Elsmere_ had done, while in America the populace refused to be
roused by what they regarded as the domestic affairs of the English
Church. Mrs. Ward never spoke of Meynell's reception as a
disappointment, but she must have felt it so, and within six months of
its appearance she was at work, as usual, upon its successor.

Yet a piece of work which brought her two such letters as the following
(amongst many others) cannot be said to have gone unrewarded:--

_From Frederic Harrison_

     "I am one of those to whom your book specially appeals, as I know
     so much of the literature, the persons, the questions it dealt
     with. It has given me the most lively interest both as romance--as
     fine as anything since _Adam Bede_--and also as controversy--as
     important as anything since _Essays and Reviews_. Meynell seems to
     me a far higher type than Elsmere, both as a man and as a book, and
     I am sure will have a greater permanent value--even if its
     popularity for the hour is not so rapid--for it appeals to a higher
     order of reader, and is of a larger kind of art."

_From André Chevrillon_

     "On est heureux d'y retrouver ce qui nous a paru si longtemps une
     des principales caractéristiques de la littérature anglaise: ce
     sentiment de la beauté morale, cette émotion devant la qualité de
     la conduite qui prennent par leur intensité même une valeur
     esthétique. C'est la tradition de vos écrivains les plus anglais,
     celle des Browning, des Tennyson, des George Eliot. Elle fait la
     portée et l'originalité des œuvres de cette époque victorienne,
     contre laquelle on a l'air, malheureusement, d'être en réaction en
     Angleterre aujourd'hui--réaction que je ne crois pas durable--qui
     cessera dès que le recule sera suffisant pour que la force et la
     grandeur de cette littérature apparaisse.

     "Le problème religieux que vous posez là est vital, et la solution
     que vous y prévoyez dans votre pays, cette possibilité d'un
     christianisme évolué, adapté, qui conserverait les formes anciennes
     avec leur puissance si efficace de prestige, tout en attribuant de
     plus en plus aux vieilles formules, aux vieux rites une valeur de
     symbole--cette solution est celle que l'on peut espérer du
     protestantisme, lequel est relativement peu cristalisé et peut
     encore évoluer. Même dans l'anglicanisme la part de
     l'interprétation personnelle a toujours été assez grande. J'ai peur
     que l'avenir de la religion soit plus douteux dans ceux des pays
     catholiques où la culture est avancée. Nous sommes là comme des
     vivants liés à des cadavres, ou comme des grandes personnes que
     l'on astreindrait au régime de la _nursery_. Les mêmes formules,
     les mêmes articles de foi, le même catéchisme, les mêmes
     interprétations, doivent servir à la fois à des peuple de mentalité
     encore primitive et semi-païenne et à des sociétés aussi
     intellectuelles et civilisées que la nôtre. Nous n'avons le choix
     qu'entre le culte des reliques, la foi aux eaux miraculeuses, et
     l'agnosticisme pur, ou du moins, une religiosité amorphe, sans
     système ni discipline."

The writing of _Richard Meynell_ left Mrs. Ward very tired, and all the
next year (1912) she "puddled along" as Mrs. Dell would have put it,
accomplishing her tasks with all her old devotion, but suffering from
sleeplessness and knowing that the novel of that year, _The Mating of
Lydia_, was not really up to standard. Mr. Ward, too, fell ill, and
remained in precarious health for the next four years, which gravely
added to his wife's anxieties. The burdens of life pressed upon her,
while the maintenance of her Play Centres seemed sometimes an almost
impossible addition. Italy was still the best restorative for all these
ills. Every spring she fled across the Alps, enjoying a week or two of
holiday and then settling, with her daughter, in some Villa where she
might work undisturbed. In 1909 she went for the last time to the Villa
Bonaventura at Cadenabbia, the place which was to her, I think, the
high-water mark of earthly bliss. This time her stay was marked by one
long-remembered day--a flying visit paid her from Milan by Contessa
Maria Pasolini, the friend for whom, amongst all her Italian
aquaintance, Mrs Ward felt the strongest devotion. She could watch her,
or listen to her talk, for hours with unfailing delight; for she seemed
to embody in herself both the wisdom and the charm, the age and the
youth, of Italy. It was a friendship worthy of two noble spirits. Never
again was Mrs. Ward able to rise to the Villa Bonaventura, but she
explored other parts of Italy with almost equal delight, settling at the
Villa Pazzi, outside Florence, in April, 1910, at a bare but fascinating
Villa in the Lucchese hills in the next year, and in a fragment of a
palace on the Grand Canal in 1912. It was during this stay in Venice
that Mr. Reginald Smith obtained for her, from Mr. Pen Browning,
permission to camp and work in the empty Rezzonico Palace, a privilege
which she greatly valued and which gave her many romantic hours. While
savouring thus the delights of Venice she was enabled, too, to witness
the formal inauguration of the new-built Campanile, watching the
splendid ceremony from a seat in the Piazzetta.

     "Venice has been delirious to-day," she wrote to Reginald Smith on
     St. Mark's Day, April 25, "and the inauguration of the Campanile
     was really a most moving sight. 'Il Campanile è morto--viva il
     Campanile!' The letting loose of the pigeons--the first sound of
     the glorious bells after these ten years of silence--the thousands
     of children's voices--the extraordinary beauty of the setting--the
     splendour of the day--it was all perfect, and one feels that Italy
     may well be proud."



Her great relaxation during all these sojourns, but especially during a
stay of six weeks at Rydal Mount during the autumn of 1911, was to play
with brushes and paint, for she had skill enough in the problems of
colour and line to throw off all other cares in their pursuit, while her
inevitable imperfections only spurred her to fresh efforts. Dorothy
would call it her "public-house," for she could not keep away from it
and would exhaust herself, sometimes, in the pursuit of the ideal,
but the results were full of charm and are much treasured by their few

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1913, as though to confound her critics, Mrs. Ward produced the book
which contained, perhaps, the most brilliant character-drawing that she
had ever attempted--_The Coryston Family_. She was pleased with its
success, which was indeed needed to reassure her, for at this time
occurred some serious losses, not of her making, which had to be faced,
and, if possible, repaired. She was already sixty-two and her health, as
we know, was more than precarious, but she set herself to work perhaps
harder than ever. "Courage!" she wrote in July 1913, "and perhaps this
time next year, if we are all well, the clouds will have rolled away."

When that time came, when the Archduke Francis Ferdinand had been
murdered at Serajevo and we in England, no less than the Serbian peasant
and the French _piou-piou_, found ourselves face to face with a horror
never known before, the crisis found Mrs. Ward at a low ebb of health
and spirits. Attacks of giddiness led the doctors to pronounce that she
was suffering from "heart fatigue." Mr. Ward's illness had increased
rather than diminished; Stocks was abandoned for a time (though to a
charming tenant and a sister novelist, Mrs. Wharton), and the three had
migrated to a small and unattractive house in Fifeshire, where Mrs. Ward
applied herself once more to writing. There the blow fell. Her first
reaction to it was one of mere revolt, a cry of blind human misery.
"What madness is it that drives men to such horrors?--not for great
causes, but for dark diplomatic and military motives only understood by
the ruling class, and for which hundreds of thousands will be sent to
their death like sheep to the slaughter! Germany, Russia and Austria
seem to me all equally criminal." Then, as the news came rolling in,
from the "dark motives" there seemed to detach itself one clear,
stabbing thought. France! France invaded, perhaps overwhelmed!

"To me she is still the France of Taine, and Renan, and Pasteur, of an
immortal literature, and a history that, blood-stained as it is, makes a
page that humanity could ill spare. No, I am with her, heart and soul,
and to see her wiped out by Germany would put out for me one of the
world's great lights."



Mrs. Ward's feeling about the Germans, before the thunderbolt of 1914,
had been one of sincere respect and admiration for a nation of patient
brain-workers who, she believed, were honest with the truth, and had
delved farther into certain obscure fields of history in which she
herself was deeply interested than any of their contemporaries. But her
acquaintance with Germany was a book-acquaintance only. She had indeed
paid one or two visits to the Rhine and to South Germany during her
married life, and had been astonished to mark, in 1900, the growth of
wealth and prosperity in the Rhine towns, due, she was told, to
scientific protection and to the skilful use of the French indemnity.
But she had no personal friendships with Germans, and her knowledge of
their state of mind was derived only from books and newspapers and the
reports of others. Still, these had become disquieting enough, as all
the world remembers, between 1911 and 1914, but Mrs. Ward clung to the
optimistic view that the hatred and envy of England, so apparent in
German newspaper writing, was but the creed of a clique, and that the
heart of the laborious and thrifty German people was still sound. In
April, 1913, a delegation of German Professors came over to London to
take part in a historical congress; Mrs. Ward willingly assisted in
entertaining them, giving a large evening party in their honour at
Grosvenor Place. Perhaps the atmosphere was already a little strained,
but we mustered our forgotten German as best we might, and flattered
ourselves at the end that things had not gone badly. Little more than a
year afterwards the names of nearly all our guests were to be found in
the manifesto of the ninety-three German Professors--the pronouncement
which above all others in those grim days stirred Mrs. Ward's
indignation. She expressed her sense of the "bitter personal
disillusionment which I, and so many Englishmen and Englishwomen, have
suffered since this war began," in a Preface which she wrote, in 1916,
to the German edition of _England's Effort_--an edition which was
intended for circulation in German Switzerland, but found its way also,
as we afterwards heard, to a good many centres within Germany itself:

     "We were lifelong lovers and admirers of a Germany which, it seems
     now, never really existed except in our dreams. In the article 'A
     New Reformation,' which I published in the _Nineteenth Century_ in
     1889, in answer to Mr. Gladstone's critique of _Robert Elsmere_,
     and in many later utterances, I have rendered whole-hearted homage
     to that critical and philosophical Germany which I took to be the
     real Germany, and hailed as the home of liberal and humane ideas.
     And now! In that amazing manifesto of the German Professors at the
     opening of the War, there were names of men--that of Adolf Harnack,
     for instance--which had never been mentioned in English scholarly
     circles before August, 1914, except with sympathy and admiration,
     even by those who sharply differed from the views they represented.
     We held them to be servants of truth, incapable therefore of
     acquiescence in a tyrannous lie. We held them also to be scholars,
     incapable therefore of falsifying facts and ignoring documents in
     their own interest. But in that astonishing manifesto, not only was
     the cry of Belgium wholly repulsed, but those very men who had
     taught Europe to respect evidence and to deal scrupulously with
     documents, when it was a question of Classical antiquity, or early
     Christianity, now, when it was a question of justifying the crime
     of their country, of defending the Government of which they were
     the salaried officials, threw evidence and documents to the winds.
     How many of those who signed the professorial manifesto had ever
     read the British White Paper, and the French Yellow Book, or, if
     they had read them, had ever given to those damning records of
     Germany's attack on Europe, and of the vain efforts of the Allies
     to hold her back, one fraction of that honest and impartial study
     of which a newly discovered Greek inscription, or a fragment of a
     lost Gospel, would have been certain at their hands?"

It was this feeling of the betrayal of high standards and ideals which
had meant much to her in earlier life, coupled with the emergence of a
native ferocity unguessed before (for _we_ had not lived through 1870),
that went so deep with Mrs. Ward. But there were at least no personal
friendships to break. With France, on the other hand, her ties had, as
we know, been close and intimate from the beginning, so that her heart
went out to the trials and agonies of her French friends with a peculiar
poignancy. M. Chevrillon, her principal correspondent, gave her in a
series of letters, from November, 1914, onwards, a wonderful picture of
the sufferings, the heroisms and the moods of France; she replied--to
this lover of Meredith!--with her reading of the English scene:

"_November 23, 1914_.

     "We are indeed no less absorbed in the War than you. And yet,
     perhaps, there is not that _unrelenting_ pressure on nerve and
     recollection in this country, 'set in the silver sea' and so far
     inviolate, which there must be for you, who have this cruel and
     powerful enemy at your gates and in your midst, and can never
     forget the fact for a moment. That, of course, is the explanation
     of the recent slackening of recruiting here. The classes to whom
     education and social life have taught imagination are miserable and
     shamed before these great football gatherings, which bring no
     recruits--'but my people do not understand, and Israel doth not
     consider. They have eyes and see not; ears have they but they hear
     not.' One little raid on the East Coast--a village burnt, a few
     hundred men killed on English soil--then indeed we should see an
     England in arms. Meanwhile, compared with any England we have ever
     seen, it _is_ an England in arms. Every town of any size has its
     camp, the roads are full of soldiers, and they are billeted in our
     houses. No such sight, of course, has ever been seen in our day.
     And yet how quickly one accustoms oneself to it, and to all the
     other accompaniments of war! The new recruits are mostly excellent
     material. Dorothy and I motored over early one morning last week to
     Aston Clinton Park to see the King inspect a large gathering of
     recruits. It was a beautiful morning, with the misty Chilterns
     looking down upon the wide stretches of the park, and the bodies of
     drilling men. The King must have been up early, for he had
     inspected the camp at ten (thirty-five miles from London) and was
     in the park by eleven. There was no ceremony whatever, and only a
     few neighbours and children looking on. It had been elaborately
     announced that he would inspect troops that day in Norfolk! The men
     were only in the early stages, but they were mostly of fine
     physique--miners from Northumberland a great many of them. The
     difficulty is officers. They have to accept them now, either so
     young, or so elderly! And these well-to-do workmen of twenty-five
     or thirty don't like being ordered about by lads of nineteen. But
     the lads of nineteen are shaping, too, very fast.

     "We are so sorry for your poor niece, and for all the other
     sufferers you tell us of. I have five nephews fighting, and of
     course innumerable friends. Arnold is in Egypt with his Yeomanry.
     One dreads to open _The Times_, day after day. The most tragic loss
     I know so far is that of the Edward Cecils' only boy--grandson of
     the late Lord Salisbury, and Admiral Maxse, the Beauchamp of
     _Beauchamp's Career_. I saw him last as a delightful chattering boy
     of eleven--so clever, so handsome, just what Beauchamp might have
     been at his age! He was missing on September 2, and was only
     announced as killed two days ago."

The first year and a half of the War was a time of great anxiety and
strain for Mrs. Ward, both in the literary and the practical fields.
Besides her unremitting literary work she pushed through, by means of
the "Joint Advisory Committee," an exhaustive inquiry into the working
of the existing system of soldiers' pensions and pressed certain
recommendations, as a result, upon the War Office; she was confronted by
a partial falling-off in the subscriptions to her Play Centres, and was
obliged to introduce economies and curtailments which cost her much
anxious thought; she converted the Settlement into a temporary hostel
for Belgian Refugees; and, above all, she carried through, between
October, 1914, and the summer of 1915, a complete reorganization of the
Passmore Edwards Settlement, converting it from a men's into a women's
settlement. There were many reasons, even apart from the growing
pressure on men of military age to enlist in the New Armies, which had
for some time made such a change desirable in the eyes of Mrs. Ward and
of a majority of the Council; chief among these being the need for a
body of trained voluntary workers to carry out, for St. Pancras, the
mass of social legislation that had been passed since the foundation of
the Settlement, and to take their part in the work of School Care
Committees, Schools for Mothers and so forth. Male Residents, being
occupied with their own work during the day, were not available for such
things; but amongst women it was believed that a body possessing
sufficient leisure and enthusiasm for social service to make a real mark
in the life of the neighbourhood, would not be difficult to find. The
change was not accomplished without strenuous opposition from the
existing Warden and some of the Residents, but Mrs. Ward went
methodically to work, getting the Council to appoint a Committee with
powers to inquire and report. She found also that her old friend and
supporter, the Duke of Bedford, was strongly in favour of the change,
and would be ready to provide, for three years, about two-thirds of the
annual sum required for the maintenance of a Women's Settlement. This
argument was decisive, and the Council finally adopted the Report of the
Special Committee in May, 1915. Mrs. Ward had the happiness of seeing,
during the remaining years of the War, her hopes for the usefulness of
the new venture very largely fulfilled, under the able guidance of Miss
Hilda Oakeley, who was appointed Warden of the Settlement in August,

Meanwhile, Mrs. Ward felt herself in danger of seeing her usual means of
livelihood cut from beneath her feet during this first period of the
War. For one result of the vast upheaval in our social conditions was
that the circulation of all novels went down with a run, and it was not
until the War had made a certain dismal routine of its own, in the needs
of hospitals, munition-centres, soldiers' and officers' clubs and the
like, that the national taste for the reading of fiction reasserted
itself. Till then Mrs. Ward relied mainly on her American public, which
was still untouched; but the pressure of work was never for an instant
relaxed, and fortunately she still found her greatest solace and relief
from present cares in the writing of books. "I never felt more inclined
to spin tales, which is a great comfort," she wrote in January, 1915,
but as yet she could not face the thought of weaving the War into their
fabric, and took refuge instead in the summer of that year in the making
of a story of Oxford life, as she had known it in her youth--an
occupation that gave her a quiet joy, providing a "wind-warm space" into
which she could retreat from the horrors of the outer world. The
compulsory retrenchments of the War years came also to her aid, in
reducing the _personnel_ employed at Stocks, while Stocks itself was
usually let in the summer and Grosvenor Place in the winter; but still
the struggle was an arduous one, leaving its mark upon her in the
growing whiteness of her hair, the growing fragility and pallor of her
look. Sleeplessness became an ever greater difficulty in these years,
but on the other hand her old complaint in the right side had grown less
troublesome, so that standing and walking were more possible than of
old. Had it not been for this improvement she would have been physically
incapable of carrying out the task laid upon her, swiftly and
unexpectedly, in January, 1916, when Theodore Roosevelt wrote to her
from Oyster Bay to beg her to tell America what England was doing in the

_December 27, 1915._


     The War has been, on the whole, well presented in America from the
     French side. We do not think justice has been done to the English
     side. I attribute this in part to the rather odd working of the
     censorship in hands not accustomed to the censorship. I wish that
     some writer like yourself could, in a series of articles, put
     vividly before our people what the English people are doing, what
     the actual life of the men in the trenches is, what is actually
     being done by the straight and decent capitalist, who is not
     concerned with making a profit, but with serving his country, and
     by the straight and decent labouring man, who is not thinking of
     striking for higher wages, but is trying to help his comrades in
     the trenches. What I would like our people to visualize is the
     effort, the resolution and the self-sacrifice of the English men
     and women who are determined to see this war through. Just at
     present England is in much the same strait that we were in in our
     Civil War toward the end of 1862, and during the opening months of
     1863. That was the time when we needed to have our case put before
     the people of England--when men as diverse as Gladstone, Carlyle
     and the after-time Marquis of Salisbury were all strongly against
     us. There is not a human being more fitted to present this matter
     as it should be presented than you are. I do hope you will
     undertake the task.

Faithfully yours,

The letter reached Mrs. Ward at Stocks on Monday, January 10, 1916, by
the evening post. She felt at once that she must respond to such a call,
though the manner of doing so was still dim to her. But she consulted
her friends, C. F. G. Masterman and Sir Gilbert Parker, at "Wellington
House" (at that time the Government Propaganda Department), and found
that they took Mr. Roosevelt's letter quite as seriously as she did
herself. They showed her specimens of what the American papers were
saying about England, her blunders, her slackers and her shirkers, till
Mrs. Ward thrilled to the task and felt a longing to be up and at it.
The next step was to see Sir Edward Grey (then Foreign Minister), to
whom she had also sent a copy of the letter. He asked her to come to his
house in Eccleston Square, whither accordingly she went early on January

     "They showed me into the dining-room," she wrote to J. P. T., "and
     he came down to say that he had asked Lord Robert Cecil and Sir
     Arthur Nicolson to come too, and that they were upstairs. So then
     we went into his library sitting-room, a charming room full of
     books, and there were the other two. They all took Roosevelt's
     letter very seriously, and there is no question but that I must do
     my best to carry it out. I simply felt after Edward Grey had spoken
     his mind that, money or no money, strength or fatigue, I was under
     orders and must just go on. I said that I should like to go to
     France, just for the sake of giving some life and colour to the
     articles--and that a novelist could not work from films, however
     good. They agreed.

     "'And would you like to have a look at the Fleet?' said Lord

     "I said that I had not ventured to suggest it, but that of course
     anything that gave picturesqueness and novelty--i.e. a woman being
     allowed to visit the Fleet--would help the articles.

     "I gave a little outline of what I proposed, beginning with the
     unpreparedness of England. On that Edward Grey spoke at some
     length--the utter absence of any wish for war in this country, or
     thought of war. Even those centres that had suffered most from
     German competition had never thought of war. No one wished for it.
     I thought of his long, long struggle for peace. It was pathetic to
     hear him talking so simply--with such complete conviction.

     "I was rather more than half an hour with them. Sir Edward took me
     downstairs, said it was 'good of me' to be willing to undertake it,
     and I went off feeling the die was cast."

A luncheon with Mr. Lloyd George--then Minister of Munitions--who gladly
offered her every possible facility for seeing the great
munition-centres that had by that time altered the face of England, and
the plan for carrying out her task began to shape itself in her mind. A
tour of ten days or so through the principal munition-works, ranging
from Birmingham to the Clyde, then a dash to the Fleet, lying in the
Firth of Cromarty, then south once more and across the Straits to see
the "back of the Army" in France. It may be imagined what busy
co-ordination of arrangements was necessary between the Ministry of
Munitions, the Admiralty and the War Office, before all the details of
the tour were settled, but by the aid of "Wellington House" all was
hustled through in a short time, so that Mrs. Ward was off on her round
of the great towns by January 31. To her, of course, the human interest
of the scene was the all-important thing--the spectacle of the mixture
of classes in the vast factories, the high-school mistresses, the
parsons, the tailors' and drapers' assistants handling their machines
as lovingly as the born engineers--the enormous sheds-full of women and
girls of many diverse types working together with one common impulse,
and protesting against the cutting down of their twelve hours' day! She
was taken everywhere and shown everything (accompanied this time by Miss
Churcher), seeing in the space of ten days the munition-works at
Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and
the Clyde. Then she returned home for a few days, to fix her impressions
in an ordered mass of notes, before leaving again on February 15 for the
far north, armed with an Admiralty permit and an invitation from Sir
John Jellicoe to spend a couple of nights in his house at Invergordon.

It was, of course, an unheard-of thing for a woman to visit the Fleet in
war-time, but, once the barriers passed, the sailors were so glad to see
her! Withdrawn from the common life in their iron, sleepless world, they
welcomed this break in their routine as much as she did the chance it
gave her of a wholly unique experience. She told the tale of her
adventures both in a letter to Mr. Ward and in notes written down at the

"_February 16, 1916._

     "Such a journey! Heavy snow-storm in the night, and we were held up
     for three hours on the highest part of the line between Kingussie
     and Aviemore. But at Invergordon a group of naval officers
     appeared. A great swell [Sir Thomas Jerram] detached himself and
     came up to me. 'Mrs. Ward? Sir John has asked me to look after
     you.' We twinkled at each other, both seeing the comedy of the
     situation. 'Now then, what can I do for you? Will you be at
     Invergordon pier to-morrow at eleven? and come and lunch with me on
     the Flagship? Then afterwards you shall see the destroyers come in
     and anything else we can show you. Will that suit you?' So he
     disappears and I journey on to Kildary, five miles, with a jolly
     young sailor just returned from catching contraband in the North
     Sea, and going up to Thurso in charge of the mail."

She spent a quiet evening at Sir John Jellicoe's house (the Admiral
himself being away). Her notes continue the story:

     "Looked out into the snowy moonlight--the Frith steely grey--the
     hills opposite black and white--a pale sky--black shapes on the
     water--no lights except from a ship on the inlet (the hospital

     "Next day--an open car--bitterly cold--through the snow and wind.
     At the pier--a young officer, Admiral Jerram's Flag Lieutenant.
     'The Admiral wished to know if you would like him to take you round
     the Fleet. If so, we will pick him up at the Flagship.' The
     barge--very comfortable--with a cabin--and an outer seat--sped
     through the water. We stopped at the Flagship and the Admiral
     stepped in. We sped on past the _Erin_--one of the Turkish cruisers
     impounded at the beginning of the war--the _Iron Duke_, the
     _Centurion_, _Monarch_, _Thunderer_--to the hospital ship _China_.
     The Admiral pointed out the three cruisers near the entrance to the
     harbour--under Sir Robert Arbuthnot--also the hull of the poor
     _Natal_--with buoys at either end--two men walking on her.

     "At luncheon--Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Jerram on my left, Sir Robert
     Arbuthnot, commanding the cruiser squadron, on my right. Captain
     Field and Mrs. Field. Commander Goldie--Flag Lieutenant Boissier,
     and a couple of other officers and their wives.

     "In the barge I had shown the Admiral Roosevelt's letter. Sir
     Robert Arbuthnot spoke to me about it at luncheon, and very kindly.
     They all seemed to feel that it was a tough task, not of my
     seeking, and showed wonderful sympathy and understanding. After
     lunch Captain Field was told off to show me the ship. Thrilling to
     see a ship in war-time, that might be in action any moment. The
     loading of the guns--the wireless rooms--the look down to the
     engine deck--the anchor held by the three great chains--the
     middies' quarters--the officers' ward-room. The brains of the
     ship--men trained to transmit signals from the fire-control above
     to all parts of the ship, directing the guns. The middies'
     chests--great black and grey boxes--holding all a middy's worldly
     goods. He opens one--shows the photos inside.--The senior middy, a
     fair-haired boy, like Humphry Sandwith--the others younger. Their
     pleasant room, with its pictures, magazines and books. Spaces where
     the wounded can be temporarily placed during action.

     "The chart of the North Sea, and the ship-stations. Lines radiating
     out in all directions--every dot on them a ship.

     "After going through the ship we went to look at the destroyer
     which the Admiral had ordered alongside. Commanded by Mr.
     Leveson-Gower, son of the Lord Granville who was Foreign Secretary,
     and nephew of 'Freddy.' The two torpedo tubes on the destroyer are
     moved to the side, so that we see how it discharges them. The guns
     very small--the whole ship, which carries 100 men, seems almost on
     the water-line--is constantly a-wash except for the cabin and the
     bridge. But on a dark night in the high seas, 'we are always so
     glad to see them!--they are the guards of the big ships--or we are
     the hens, and they are the chickens.'

     "Naval character--the close relations between officers and men
     necessitated by the ship's life. 'The men are splendid.' How good
     they are to the officers--'have a cup of coffee, sir, and lie down
     a bit.'--Splendidly healthy--in spite of the habitually broken
     sleep. Thursday afternoons (making and mending)--practically the
     naval half-holiday.

     "Talk at tea with Captain and Mrs. Field and Boissier and Commander
     Goldie. They praise the book, _Naval Occasions_. No sentiment
     possible in the Navy--_in speech_. The life could not be endured
     often, unless it were _jested through_. Men meet and part with a
     laugh--absurdity of sentimental accounts. Life on a
     destroyer--these young fellows absolute masters--their talk when
     they come in--'By Jove, I nearly lost the ship last night--awful
     sea--I was right on the rocks.'--Their life is always in their

Writing a week later to "Aunt Fan," she added one further remark about
the Captain of the ship--"so quietly full of care for his men--and so
certain, one could see, that Germany would never actually give in
without trying something desperate against our fleet." Little more than
three months later, Germany tried her desperate stroke, tried it and
lost, but at what a cost to English sailormen! The noble officer who had
sat next to Mrs. Ward at luncheon in the Admiral's flagship, Sir Robert
Arbuthnot, went down with his battle-cruiser, while on either side of
him occurred the losses which shook, for one terrible day, England's
faith in her fleet. Mrs. Ward wrote on June 6 to Katharine Lyttelton:

     "Yes, indeed, Sir Robert Arbuthnot's cruiser squadron was at
     Cromarty when I was there, and he sat next me at luncheon on the
     Flagship. I _particularly_ liked him--one of those modest,
     efficient naval men whose absolute courage and nerve, no less than
     their absolute humanity, one would trust in any emergency. I
     remember Sir Thomas Jerram, on my other side, saying in my
     ear--'The man to your right is one of the most rising men in the
     Navy.' And the line of cruisers in front of the Dreadnoughts, as I
     saw them in the February dawn, stretching towards the harbour
     entrance, will always remain with me."

Meanwhile the preparations for her journey to France had been pushed
forward by "Wellington House," so that only four days after her return
from Invergordon all was ready for her departure for Le Havre. She went
(this time with Dorothy) as the guest of the Foreign Office, recommended
by them to the good offices of the Army. She was first to be given some
idea of the vast organization of the Base at Le Havre, and then sent on
by motor to Rouen, Abbeville, Étaples and Boulogne. A programme
representing almost every branch of the unending activities of the "Back
of the Army" had been worked out for her, but she was warned that she
could not be allowed to enter the "War Zone." Once in France, however,
it was not long before this prohibition broke down, though not through
any importunity of hers.

The marvellous spectacle unrolled itself before her, quietly and
methodically, while her guides expounded to her the meaning of what she
saw and the bearing of every movement at the Base upon the lives of the
men in the front line. General Asser himself, commanding at Le Havre,
devoted a whole afternoon to taking her through the docks and
store-sheds of the port, "so that one had a dim idea," as she wrote to
her husband, "of the amazing organization that has sprung up here. It
explains a good deal, too, of the five millions a day!" But as a matter
of fact, the thing which impressed her most at Le Havre was the
'make-over department,' where all the rubbish brought down from the
Front, from bully-beef tins to broken boots, was collected together and
boiled down (metaphorically speaking) into something useful, so that
many thousands a week were thus saved to the taxpayer at home. "All the
creation of Colonel Davies, who has saved the Government thousands and
thousands of pounds. Such a thing has never been done before!"
Similarly, at Rouen (whither she drove on February 26--fifty
miles--through blinding snow) she was fascinated by the motor-transport
department--"the biggest thing of its kind in France--the creation of
one man, Colonel Barnes, who started with 'two balls of string and a
packet of nails,' and is now dealing with 40,000 vehicles."

Another snowy and Arctic drive from Rouen to Dieppe, and on to
Abbeville, where a wonderful piece of news awaited them.

_To T. H. W._

"_February 29, 1916._

..."After lunch Colonel Schofield [their guide] went out to find
     the British Headquarters and report. Dorothy and I went up to the
     cathedral, and on emerging from it met the Colonel with another
     officer, who introduced himself as Colonel Dalrymple White, M.P. 'I
     have news for you, Mrs. Ward, which I think will change your
     plans!' I looked at him rather aghast, wondering if I was to be
     suddenly sent home! 'There is an invitation for you from G.H.Q.,
     and we have been telephoning about, trying to find you. Great luck
     that Colonel Schofield looked in just now.' Whereupon it appeared
     that 'by the wish of the Foreign Office,' G.H.Q. had invited me for
     two days, and that an officer would call for me at Boulogne on
     Wednesday morning, and take me to the place which no one here
     mentions but with bated breath, and which I will not write! [St.
     Omer.] I was naturally thrilled, but I confess I am in terror of
     being in their way, and also of not being able to write anything
     the least adequate to such an opportunity. However it could not of
     course be refused."

A long day at Étaples intervened between this little scene and the
arrival at G.H.Q.--a day devoted not only to an inspection of some of
the great hospitals, but also to a more unusual experience. Étaples was
the scene of a huge training-camp where troops from England received
their final "polish" before going up to the Front; amongst other
things, they were taught how to throw bombs, and Mrs. Ward was taken to
see them do it. "We climb to the very top of the slope," she wrote in
her journal at the time, "and over its crest to see some live
bomb-practice. A hollow in the sand, three dummy figures twenty yards
away--a parapet and a young soldier with three different bombs, that
explode by a time-fuse. He throws--we crouch low behind the parapet of
sand-bags--a few seconds, then a fierce report. We rise. One of the
dummy figures is half wrecked, only a few fragments of the bomb
surviving. One thinks of it descending in a group of men, and one
remembers the huge hospitals behind us. War begins to seem to me more
and more horrible and intolerable."

The next day, March 1, they were taken in charge at Boulogne by Captain
H. C. Roberts, sent thither by G.H.Q. to fetch them, and motored through
a more spring-like land to St. Omer, where they took up their quarters
for two nights in the "Visitors' Château" (the Château de la Tour
Blanche). Captain Roberts said that his orders were to take them as near
to the battle-line as he safely could, and accordingly they started out
early in the afternoon in the direction of Richebourg St. Vaast, calling
on the way at Merville, the headquarters of General Pinney and the 35th
Division. The General came out to see his visitors and said that, having
an hour to spare, he would take them to the Line himself. He and Mrs.
Ward went ahead in the General's car, Dorothy and Captain Roberts
following behind. At Richebourg St. Vaast the road became so much broken
by shell-holes that they got out and walked, and General Pinney informed
Mrs. Ward calmly that she was now "actually in the battle," for the
British guns were bellowing from behind them. Early the next morning she
wrote down the following notes of what ensued:

     "Richebourg St. Vaast--a ruined village, the church in fragments--a
     few walls and arches standing. The crucifix on a bit of wall
     untouched. Just beyond, General Pinney captured a gunner and heard
     that a battery was close by to our right. We were led there through
     seas of mud. Two bright-faced young officers. One gives me a hand
     through the mud, and down into the dug-out of the gun. There it
     is--its muzzle just showing in the dark, nine or ten shells lying
     in front of it. One is put in. We stand back and put our fingers in
     our ears. An old artillery-man says 'Look straight at the gun,
     ma'am.' It fires--the cartridge-case drops out. The shock not so
     great as I had imagined. Has the shell fallen on a German trench,
     and with what result! They give us the cartridge-case to take home.

     "After firing the gun we walked on along the road. General Pinney
     talks of taking us to the entrance of the communication-trench. But
     Captain Roberts is obviously nervous. The battery we have just left
     crashes away behind us, and the firing generally seems to grow
     hotter. I suggest turning back, and Captain Roberts approves. 'You
     have been nearer the actual fighting than any woman has been in
     this war--not even a nurse has been so close,' says the General.
     Neuve Chapelle a mile and a half away to the north behind some tall
     poplars. In front within a mile, first some ruined
     buildings--immediately beyond them our trenches--then the Germans,
     within a hundred yards of each other.

     "As we were going up, we had seen parties of men sitting along the
     edge of the fields, with their rifles and field kit beside them,
     waiting for sunset. Now, as we return, and the sun is sinking fast
     to the horizon, we pass them--platoon after platoon--at
     intervals--going up towards the trenches. The spacing of these
     groups along the road, and the timing of them, is a difficult piece
     of staff-work. The faces of the men quiet and cheerful, a little
     subdued whistling here and there--but generally serious. And how
     young! 'War,' says the General beside me, 'is crass folly! _crass_
     folly! nothing else. We want new forms of religion--the old seem to
     have failed us. Miracle and dogma are no use. We want a new
     prophet, a new Messiah!'"

Mrs. Ward left her new friend with a feeling of astonishment at having
found so kindred a spirit in so strange a scene.

The next day they were up betimes and on their way to Cassel and
Westoutre, there to obtain permits, at the Canadian headquarters, for
the ascent of the Scherpenberg Hill, in order that Mrs. Ward might
behold Ypres and the Salient. There had been a British attack, that
morning, in the region of the Ypres-Comines Canal; it had succeeded,
and there was a sense of elation in the air. But, by an ironic chance,
Mrs. Ward had heard by the mail that reached the Château a far different
piece of news, and as she drove through the ruined Belgian
villages--through Poperinghe and Locre--dodging and turning so as to
avoid roads recently shelled, her mind was filled with one overmastering
thought--the death of Henry James, her countryman.[34]

But now they are at the foot of the Scherpenberg Hill. Her journal

     "A picket of soldiers belonging to the Canadian Division stops us,
     and we show our passes. Then we begin to mount the hill (about as
     steep as that above Stocks Cottage), but Captain Roberts pulls me
     up, and with various halts at last we are on the top, passing a
     dug-out for shelter in case of shells on the way. At the top a
     windmill--some Tommies playing football. Two stout lasses driving a
     rustic cart with two horses. We go to the windmill and, sheltering
     behind its supports (for nobody must be seen on the sky-line), look
     out north-east and east. Far away on the horizon the mists lift for
     a moment, and a great ghost looks out--the ruined tower of Ypres.
     You see that half its top is torn away. A flash! from what seem to
     be the ruins at its base. Another! It is the English guns speaking
     from the lines between us and Ypres--and as we watch, we see the
     columns of white smoke rising from the German lines as they burst.
     Then it is the German turn, and we see a couple of their shells
     bursting on our lines, between Vlamertinghe and Dickebusch.
     Hark--the rattle of the machine-guns from, as it were, a point just
     below us to the left, and again the roar of the howitzers. There,
     on the horizon, is the ridge of Messines, Wytschœte, and near by
     the hill and village of Kemmel, which has been shelled to bits.
     Along that distant ridge run the German trenches, line upon line.
     One can see them plainly without a glass. At last we are within
     actual sight of the _Great Aggression_--the nation and the army
     which have defied the laws of God and man, and left their fresh and
     damning mark to all time on the history of Europe and on this old,
     old land on which we are looking. In front of us the Zillebeke
     Lake, beyond it Hooge--Hill 60 lost in the shadows, and that famous
     spot where, on the afternoon of November 11, the 'thin red line'
     withstood the onset of the Prussian Guard. The Salient lies there
     before us, and one's heart trembles thinking of all the gallant
     life laid down there, and all the issues that have hung upon the
     fight for it."

So, with gas-helmets in hand, they retraced their steps down the hill,
finding at the bottom that the kind Canadian sentries had cut steps for
Mrs. Ward down the steep, slippery bank, and on to see General Plumer at
Cassel. With him and with Lord Cavan--the future heroes of the Italian
War--Mrs. Ward had half an hour's memorable talk, returning afterwards
to the Visitors' Château in time to pack and depart that same evening
for Boulogne. Next day they sailed in the "Leave boat"--"all swathed in
life-belts, and the good boat escorted (so wrote D. M. W.) by a
destroyer and a torpedo-boat, and ringed round with mine-sweepers!" In
such pomp of modern war did Mrs. Ward return.

It now remained for her to put into shape the impressions gathered in
these five breathless weeks, and this she did during some forty-five
days of work at very high pressure, putting what she had to say into the
form of "Letters to an American Friend." The Letters were sent hot to
the Press on the American side as quickly as Mrs. Ward could mail them,
appearing in a number of newspapers controlled by one of the great
"Syndicates"; then Scribner's published them in book form at the end of
May, with a preface by Mr. Choate. Here, with a little more leisure for
revision, the little book, under the title of _England's Effort_, came
out on June 8, incidentally giving to Mrs. Ward the pleasant opportunity
of a renewal of her old acquaintance with Lord Rosebery, whom she had
invited to write a preface to it. She went over, full of doubt, to
Mentmore one May afternoon, having heard that he was there, "quite
alone" (as she wrote to M. Chevrillon), "driving about in a high
mid-Victorian phaeton, with a postilion!" Knowing that he was never
strong, she fully expected a refusal, but found instead that he had
already done what she asked, being deeply moved by the proofs that she
had sent him. She was much touched, and the friendship was cemented, a
few days later, by a return visit that he paid to Stocks, all in its May
green, when he could not contain himself on the beauty of the place, or
the incomparable advantages it possessed over "such a British Museum as

_England's Effort_ reached a dejected world in the nick of time. Our
national habit of "grousing" in public, and of hanging our dirty linen
on every possible clothes-line, had naturally disposed both ourselves
and the outer world to under-estimate our vast achievements. This little
book set us right both with the home front and with our foreign critics.
It penetrated into every corner of the world and was translated into
every civilized language, while Mrs. Ward constantly received letters
about it, not only from friends, but from total strangers--from dwellers
in Mexico, South America, Japan, Australia and India, not to mention
France and Italy, thanking her for her immense service, and expressing
astonishment at the facts that she had brought to light. The
_Preussische Jahrbücher_ reviewed it with great respect; the Japanese
Ambassador, Viscount Chinda, was urgently recommended by King George to
read it, and afterwards contributed a preface to the Japanese edition.
And, as Principal Heberden of Brasenose reported to her, the burden of
comment among his friends always ended with the feeling that "the most
remarkable fact about the book is Mrs. Humphry Ward's own astonishing
effort. Certainly the nation owes her much, for no other author could
have attracted so much attention in America." A year later, it was
asserted by many Americans, with every accent of conviction, that but
for _England's Effort_ and the public opinion that it stirred, President
Wilson might have delayed still longer than he did in bringing America

In all the business arrangements made for the "little book" in America,
Mrs. Ward had had the constant help and support of her beloved cousin,
Fred Whitridge, while in England not only the publication, but the
voluminous arrangements for translation, were in the hands of Reginald
Smith. By a cruel stroke of fate, both these devoted friends were taken
from her in the same week--the last week of December, 1916--and Mrs.
Ward was left to carry on as best she might, without "the tender humour
and the fire of sense" in the "good eyes" of the one, or the wisdom,
strength and kindness that had always been her portion in so rich a
measure from the other. To Mrs. Smith (herself the daughter of George
Murray Smith), she wrote after the funeral of "Mr. Reginald":

     "I watched in Oxford Street, till the car had passed northwards out
     of sight, and said good-bye with tears to that good man and
     faithful friend it bore away.... Your husband has been to me
     shelter and comfort, advice and help, through many years. I feel as
     if a great tree had fallen under whose boughs I had sheltered...."

Never was the writing of books the same joy to Mrs. Ward after this.
Other publishers arose with whom she established, as was her wont, good
and friendly relations, but with the death of Reginald Smith it was as
if a veil had descended between her and this chief solace of her
declining years.

       *       *       *       *       *

Already, in the autumn of 1916, Mrs. Ward was thinking--in consultation
with Wellington House--of a possible return to France, mainly in order,
this time, to visit some of the regions behind the French front which
had suffered most cruelly in 1914. She wished to bring home to the
English-speaking world, which was apt to forget such things, some of the
undying wrongs of France. M. Chevrillon obtained for her the ear of the
French War Office, and meanwhile Mrs. Ward applied once more to Sir
Edward Grey and to General Charteris, head of the British Intelligence
Department in France (with whom she had made friends on her first
journey) for permission to spend another two or three days behind the
British front. Here, however, the difficulty arose that since Mrs.
Ward's first visit, some other ladies, reading _England's Effort_, had
been clamorous for the same privileges, so that the much-tried War
Office had been obliged to lay down a rigid rule against the admission
of "any more ladies," as Sir Edward Grey wrote, "within the military
zone of the British Armies." Sir Edward did not think that any exception
could be made, but not so General Charteris. On November 9, Lord Onslow,
then serving in the War Office, wrote to Mrs. Ward that:

     "General Charteris fully recognizes the valuable effect which your
     first book produced upon the public, and would consequently expect
     similar results from a further work of yours. He is, therefore,
     disposed to do everything in his power to assist you, and he thinks
     it possible that perhaps an exception to the general rule might be
     made on public grounds. But it would have to be clearly understood
     that in the event of your being allowed to go, it would not
     constitute a precedent as regards any other ladies."

Permits, in the form of "Adjutant-General's Passes," were therefore
issued to Mrs. Ward and her daughter for a visit to the British Military
Zone from February 28 to March 4, 1917. They crossed direct to Boulogne,
and were the guests of General Headquarters from the moment that they
set foot in France.

Since their last visit, the Battle of the Somme had come and gone, and
the German Army was in the act of retreating across that tortured belt
of territory to the safe shelter of the Hindenburg Line, there to resist
our pressure for another year. But, in these weeks of early spring, the
elation of movement had gripped our Army; the Boche was in retreat; this
must, this _should_ be the deciding year! Mrs. Ward's letters from the
war zone are full of this spirit of hopefulness; not yet had Russia
crumbled in pieces, not yet had the strength of the shortened German
line revealed itself. Once more she was sent on two memorable days, from
the Visitors' Château at Agincourt, to points of vital interest on our
line, first through St. Pol, Divion and Ranchicourt, to the wooded slope
of the Bois de Bouvigny, whence she could gaze across at the Vimy Ridge,
not yet stormed by the Canadians; then, on the second day, to the very
centre of the Somme battlefield, where she stood in the midst of the
world's uttermost scene of desolation. Of the Bois de Bouvigny,
Dorothy's narrative, written down the same night, gives the following

     "The car bumped slowly along a very rough track into the heart of
     the wood, and stopped when it could go no farther. We got out and
     walked on till soon we came to an open piece of grass-land, a
     rectangular wedge, as it were, driven from the eastern edge of the
     hill into the heart of the wood. We walked across it, facing east,
     and saw it was pitted with shell-holes, mostly old--but not all.
     In particular, one very large one had fresh moist earth cast up all
     round it. Captain Fowler [their guide] asked Captain Bell a
     question about it, lightly, yet with a significant _appui_ in his
     tone--but the young man laughed off the question and implied that
     the Boches had grown tired of troubling that particular place.
     Meanwhile, the firing of our own guns behind and to the side of us
     was becoming more frequent, the noise greater. Just ahead, and to
     the right, the ground sloped to a valley, which we could not see,
     and where we were told lay Ablain St. Nazaire and Carençy. From
     this direction came the short, abrupt, but quite formidable reports
     of trench-mortars. Over against us, and slightly to the right,
     three or four ridges and folds of hill lay clearly
     distinguishable--of which the middle back was the famous _Vimy
     Ridge_, partly held to this day by the Germans. Captain Bell,
     however, would not let us advance quite to the edge of the plateau,
     so that we never saw exactly how the ground dropped to the lower
     ground, neither did we see the crucifix of Notre Dame de Lorette at
     the end of the spur. All this bit had been the scene of terrific
     fighting in 1915, when it still formed part of the French line; it
     had been a fight at close quarters in the beautiful wood that
     closed in the open ground on which we stood, and we were told that
     many bodies of poor French soldiers still lay unburied in the wood.
     We turned soon to recross the bare space again, and as we did so,
     fresh guns of our own opened fire, and once more I heard that
     long-drawn scream of the shells over our heads that I got to know
     last year."

On both these days, the "things seen," unforgettable as they were, were
filled out by most interesting conversations with two of our Army
Commanders--first with General Horne and then with Sir Henry Rawlinson,
who entertained Mrs. Ward and her daughter with a kindness that had in
it an element of pathos. Not often, in those stern days, did anyone of
the gentler sex make and pour out their tea! And in the Chauffeurs'
Mess, the Scotch chauffeur, Sloan, who for the second time was in charge
of Mrs. Ward, found himself the object of universal curiosity. "He told
Captain Fowler," wrote Mrs. Ward to her husband, "that they asked him
innumerable questions about the two ladies--no one having ever seen
such a phenomenon in these parts before. 'They were varra puzzled,' said
Sloan, 'they couldna mak' it out. But I didna tell them. I left them

Mrs. Ward left the British zone for Paris on March 4, and after three
days of comparative rest there--renewing old acquaintance under strange
new conditions--she put herself under the charge of a kind and energetic
official of the "Maison de la Presse," M. Ponsot, for her long-planned
visit to the devastated regions of the Centre and East. Soissons, Reims
and Verdun were pronounced too dangerous for her, but she went north to
the ruins of Senlis, and heard from the lips of the old curé the
horrible tale of the German panic there, in the early days of September,
1914, the burning of the town, the murder of the Maire and the other
hostages, and of the frantic, insane excitement under which many of the
German officers seemed to be labouring. Then it was the battlefield of
the Ourcq, the scene of Maunoury's fateful flank attack, which forced
Von Kluck to halt and give battle at the Marne; a string of famous
villages--Marcilly, Barcy, Etrépilly, Vareddes--seen, alas, under a
blinding snow-storm, and at length the vision of the Marne itself,
"winding, steely-grey, through the white landscape." Mrs. Ward has
described it all, in inimitable fashion, in the seventh and eighth
Letters of _Towards the Goal_, and has there told also the ghastly tale
of the Hostages of Vareddes, which burnt itself upon her mind with the
sharpness that only the sight of the actual scene could give. Then,
leaving Paris by train for Nancy, she spent two days--seeing much of the
stout-hearted Préfet, M. Mirman--in visiting the regions overwhelmed by
the German invasion between August 20 and September 10, 1914--a period
and a theatre of the War of which we English usually have but the
dimmest idea. From the ruined farm of Léaumont she was shown, by a
French staff officer, the whole scene of these operations, spread like a
map before her, and became absorbed in the thrilling tale of the driving
back of the Bavarians by General Castelnau and the First French Army.
Then southward through the region from which the German wave had
receded, but which still bore indelible marks of the invaders' savage
fear and hatred. In _Towards the Goal_ Mrs. Ward has told the tale of
Gerbévillers and of the heroic Sœur Julie, who saved her "gros
blessés" in the teeth of some demoralized German officers, who forced
their way into the hospital. Here we can but give her general
impressions of the scene, as she recorded them in a letter to Miss
Arnold, written from Paris immediately afterwards:

     "Lorraine was in some ways a spectacle to wring one's heart, the
     ruined villages, the _réfugiés_ everywhere, and the faces of men
     and women who had lost their all and seen the worst horrors of
     human nature face to face. But there were many beautiful and
     consoling things. The marvellous view from a point near Lunéville
     of the eastern frontier, the French lines and the German, near the
     Forêt de Paroy--a group of some hundreds of French soldiers, near
     another point of the frontier, who, finding out that we were two
     English ladies, cheered us vigorously as we passed through
     them--the already famous Sœur Julie, of Gerbévillers, who had
     been a witness of all the German crimes there, and told the story
     inimitably, with native wit and Christian feeling--the beautiful
     return from Nancy on a spring day across France, from East to West,
     passing the great rivers, Meurthe, Meuse, Moselle, Marne--the warm
     welcome of the Lorrainers--these things we shall never forget."

A rapid return to England and then, in order that her impressions of the
Fleet might not be behindhand, she was sent by special arrangement to
see Commodore Tyrwhitt, at Harwich, there to realize the immense
development of the smaller craft of the Navy, and to go "creeping and
climbing," as she describes it in _Towards the Goal_, about a submarine.
Returning to Stocks to write her second series of "Letters"--now
addressed without disguise to Mr. Roosevelt--it was not long before the
news of America's Declaration of War came in to cheer her, with an eager
telephone-message from a daughter, left in London, that "Old Glory" was
to be seen waving side by side with the Union Jack from the tower of the
House of Lords. Now surely, the happy prophecies of her soldier-friends
in France would be fulfilled: this _must_ be the deciding year! But the
months passed on; Vimy and Messines were ours, yet nothing followed, and
in August, September, October, the agonizing struggle in the mud of
Passchendæle sapped the endurance of the watchers at home more
miserably than any other three months of the War. And there, on October
11, perished a lad of twenty, bearing a name that was heart of her heart
to Mrs. Ward, Tom Arnold, the elder son of her brother, Dr. F. S.
Arnold. He had lain wounded all night in a shell-hole, and when at
length they bore him back to the Casualty Clearing-station, the little
flame of life, though it flickered and shot upwards in hope, sank again
into darkness. Tom was a lad to whose gentle soul all war was utterly
abhorrent, yet he had "joined up" without question on the earliest
possible day. Already Christopher and Arthur Selwyn, the splendid twins,
were gone, and the sons of so many friends and neighbours, gentle and
simple! About this time General Horne had invited her to come once more
to France. "But it is not at all likely I shall go (she wrote)--though,
perhaps, in the spring it might be, if the War goes on. Horrible,
horrible thought! I am more and more conscious of its horror and
hideousness every day. And yet after so much--after all these lives laid
down--not to achieve the end, and a real 'peace upon Israel'--would not
that be worst of all?"


LAST YEARS: 1917-1920

     αὑτἁρ ἑμεὑ σχεδὁθεν μὁρος Ισταται ὡς ὁφελὁν γε
      χερἱ φἱλην τἡν σἡν χεἱρα λαβοὑσα θανεἱν.[35]

Those who visited Mrs. Ward at Stocks during the later years of the War
were wont to fasten upon any younger members of the family who happened
to be there, to declare that Mrs. Ward was working herself to death and
to plead that something must be done to stop her. And even as they said
it they knew that their words were vain, for besides the perennial need
to make a living, was not her country at war and were not the young men
dying every day? Mrs. Ward was not of the temperament that forgot such
things; hence her desire to throw her very best work into her "War
books"--which owing to their low price and the special terms on which
she allowed the Government to use them could never bring her anything
like the same return as her novels.[36] She regarded them therefore
almost as an extra on her ordinary work, so that the pressure on her
time was increased rather than diminished as the War years went on and
her own age advanced. And the last of the series, _Fields of Victory_,
was to make on her time and strength the greatest demands of all.

But the lighter side of her War labours was the intense and meticulous
interest she took in the "War economies" devised by herself and Dorothy
at Stocks. How they schemed and planned about the cutting of timber, the
growing of potatoes, the making of jam and the sharing of the garden
fruit with the village! Labour in the garden was reduced to a minimum,
so that all the family must take their turn at planting out violas and
verbenas, if the poor things were to be saved for use at all, while Mr.
Wilkin, the well-beloved butler who had been with us for twenty years,
mowed the lawn and split wood and performed many other unorthodox tasks
until he too was called up, at 47, in the summer of 1918. Mrs. Ward
could not plant verbenas, but she armed herself with a spud and might
often be seen of an afternoon valiantly attacking the weeds in the
rose-beds and paths. The links between her and the little estate seemed
to grow ever stronger as she came to depend more and more directly on
the produce of the soil, and when, in 1918, she established a cow on
what had once been the cricket-ground her joy and pride in the
productiveness of her new creature were a delight to all beholders. Her
daughter Dorothy was at this time deep in the organisation of "Women on
the Land"--a movement of considerable importance in Hertfordshire--, so
that Mrs. Ward could study it at first hand and had many an absorbing
conversation with one of the "gang-leaders," Mrs. Bentwich, who made
Stocks her headquarters for a time and delighted her hostess by her
many-sided ability and by the picturesqueness of her attire. All this
gave her many ideas for her four War novels--_Missing_, _The War and
Elizabeth_, _Cousin Philip_ and _Harvest_, the last of which was to
close the long list of her books. _Missing_ had a considerable popular
success, for it sold 21,000 in America in the first two months of its
appearance, but _Elizabeth_ and _Cousin Philip_ were, I think, felt to
be the most interesting of this series, owing to the admirable studies
they presented of the type of young woman thrown up and moulded by the
War. Mrs. Ward was by no means ashamed of her hard work as a novelist in
these days.

     "I have just finished a book," she wrote to her nephew, Julian
     Huxley, in April 1918, "and am beginning another--as usual! But I
     should be lost without it, and it is what my betters, George Sand
     and Balzac--and Scott!--did before me. Literature is an honourable
     profession, and I am no ways ashamed of it--as a profession. And
     indeed I feel that novels have a special function nowadays--when
     one sees the great demand for them as a _délassement_ and
     refreshment. I wish with all my heart I could write a good
     detective--or mystery--novel! That is what the wounded and the
     tired love."

But, side by side with this immense output of writing, Mrs. Ward never
allowed the springs of thought to grow dry for lack of reading. The one
advantage that she gained from her short nights--for her hours of sleep
were rarely more and often less than six--was that the long hours of
wakefulness in the early morning gave her time for the reading of many
books and of poetry. "There is nothing like it for keeping the streams
of life fresh," she wrote to one of us. "At least that is my feeling now
that I am beginning to grow old. All things pass, but thought and
feeling! And to grow cold to poetry is to let that which is most vital
in our being decay. I seem to trace in the men and women I see whether
they keep their ideals and whether they still turn to imagination,
whether through art or poetry. And I believe for thousands it is the
difference between being happy and unhappy--between being 'dans l'ordre'
or at variance with the world."

In addition to her novels and her two first War books, Mrs. Ward had
been writing at intervals, ever since the summer of 1916, her
_Recollections_, and brought them out at length in October 1918. They
covered the period of her life down to the year 1900, giving a picture
of things seen and heard, of friends loved and enjoyed and lost, of
long-past Oxford days, of London, Rome, and the Alban Hills, such as
only a woman of her manifold experience could offer to a tired
generation. The reception given to the book touched her profoundly, for
it showed her, beyond the possibility of doubt, that her long life's
work had earned her not only the admiration but the love of her
fellow-countrymen. As an old friend, Mrs. Halsey, wrote to Dorothy, "I
remember Mlle Souvestre saying more than thirty years ago, 'Ah! the
books I admire--but it's the woman Mary Ward that I love.'" "Mrs. Ward's
Recollections are of priceless value," said the _Contemporary Review_;
"all the famous names are here, but that is nothing; the people
themselves are here moving about and veritably alive--great men and
women of whom posterity will long to hear." And another reviewer dwelt
on a different aspect: "She has lived to see the first social studies
and efforts of her Oxford days grow into the Passmore Edwards
Settlement, the Schools for the Physically Defective, the Play Centres
and a great deal else in which she has reaped a harvest for the England
of to-day or sown a seed for the England of to-morrow." The reviews
generally ended on a note of hope for a second volume, to complete the
story--, but the story remained, and will always remain, uncompleted.

Perhaps part of the affectionate admiration with which her
_Recollections_ were received was due to the wider knowledge which the
public at last possessed of all that she had been able to accomplish,
through twenty years of toil, for the children of England. For it so
happened that during the two years that preceded the appearance of her
_Recollections_--years of war and difficulty of all kinds as they
were--Mrs. Ward had seen her labours for the play-time of London's
children crowned by that State recognition towards which she had always
worked, and her hopes for the extension of Special Schools for crippled
children to the provinces as well as London very largely realised. After
an immensely up-hill struggle to maintain the funds for her Play Centres
during the first two years of the War, it was at length the War
conditions themselves that convinced the authorities that all was not
well with the child-population of our big cities and that such efforts
as Mrs. Ward's must be encouraged and assisted in the fullest possible
way. "Juvenile crime"--that comprehensive phrase that covers everything
from pilfering at street corners to the formation of "Black-Hand-Gangs"
under some adventurous spirit of ten or eleven, gloriously devoted to
terrorising the back streets after dark--was the portent that convinced
Whitehall, that set the Home Office complaining to the Board of
Education and the Board of Education consulting Mrs. Ward. The result of
these consultations, carried on in the winter of 1916-17 between Mrs.
Ward, Sir Amherst Selby-Bigge (the Permanent Secretary), Mr. Pease the
outgoing and Mr. Fisher the incoming President of the Board, was that on
Jan. 26, 1917, an official announcement appeared in _The Times_ to the
effect that "Grants from the Board of Education will shortly be
available in aid of the cost of carrying on Play Centres.... Hitherto
Centres have been established only by voluntary bodies, mostly in
London, where the Local Education Authority has granted the free use of
school buildings. It is hoped that the powers which education
authorities already possess of establishing and aiding such centres will
be more freely exercised in future."

To which _The Times_ added the following note:--"The announcement that
the Treasury has approved the principle of play centres and will signify
its approval in the usual manner, forms a fitting and characteristic
climax to twenty years of voluntary effort on the part of Mrs. Humphry
Ward and a devoted circle of workers."

There was general rejoicing among the higher officials of the Board, who
had watched Mrs. Ward's work for so long, when the Treasury at length
announced its consent to the Grant. Sir Amherst Selby-Bigge wrote to her
in the following terms:

     "Allow me to congratulate you most heartily on having induced the
     State to take under its wing and aid the enterprise of which you
     have been the pioneer and which you have carried on unaided for so
     many years with such admirable results.

     "I do not think you are one of those who are nervous about State
     intervention or share the apprehension which is sometimes expressed
     that a free spirit of voluntary enterprise may be hampered or
     circumscribed by the existence of State aid. However this may be, I
     think you may feel sure that our grants and regulations will be
     administered in a sympathetic spirit and with full recognition that
     it is necessary to secure and retain the willing co-operation of
     people of all kinds who are anxious to devote their time and
     energy to public service. It is a source of great pleasure to me
     that I have been the humble instrument of furthering the enterprise
     of which you have been the guiding spirit."

As a matter of fact, the Board's regulations were largely drawn up by
Mrs. Ward herself, and her relations with both officials and President
continued close and cordial--nay, almost affectionate!--down to the last
day of her life. Nor was the London County Council left long behindhand.
The Treasury Grant amounted to 50 per cent. of the "approved
expenditure" of any voluntary committee or Education Authority which
carried on Play Centres according to the Board's regulations, so that it
was not long before some fifty great towns all over England were opening
Play Centres of their own, under the Act of 1907, and London was in
danger of being left behind. In the summer of 1919, however, Mrs. Ward's
edifice was crowned by the Council's deciding to take over another
quarter of the cost of her Centres, so that she was left with only one
quarter to raise in voluntary funds. The whole of the organisation,
however--which had long been perfected by the contriving brain of Miss
Churcher--was left in Mrs. Ward's hands, subject only to inspection by
the Council, for the Education Committee knew better than to disturb the
result of so many years of specialised care and study. The additional
funds available made it possible for Mrs. Ward, in the last three years
of her life, to add ten new Centres in London to the twenty-two that she
was maintaining before the advent of the Grant. It may be imagined what
joy this gave to her, and how, in the winter of 1917-18, in spite of the
cruelly-darkened streets and the danger of air-raids, she managed to
make her way to many of these new Centres, lingering there in complete
content to watch her singing children. The last phase of the Play Centre
movement, as far as Mrs. Ward was concerned, was the publication by her
daughter, in February 1920, of a little book describing their origin and
growth,[37] with a preface written by Mrs. Ward herself. This she sent
to Mr. Fisher, and received from him, a month before her death, a letter
which deserves to be quoted here as a fitting epitaph on her work. Mr.
Fisher and she had recently visited Oxford together, to speak at the
opening of the "Arlosh Hall" at Manchester College.

     "Albert Dicey spoke to us, as you will remember," wrote Mr. Fisher,
     "of the abolition of religious tests in the Universities as
     belonging to that small category of reforms to which no discernible
     disadvantages attach and I am convinced that the same high and
     unusual compliment may be paid without a suspicion of extravagance
     to the Evening Play Centres. Here there are no drawbacks, nothing
     but positive and far-reaching good."

In the same way Mrs. Ward succeeded, in the spring of 1918, in
persuading the House of Commons to add a clause to Mr. Fisher's great
Education Bill, making it compulsory for Education Authorities
throughout the country to "make arrangements" for the education of their
physically defective children. She used for this purpose the machinery
of the "Joint Parliamentary Advisory Council" which she had founded in
1913,[38] but the bulk of the work--involving as it did the sending out
of circular letters to ninety-five Education Authorities, the sifting
and printing of the replies and the forwarding of these to every Member
of Parliament--was carried out from Stocks, causing a heavy strain--long
remembered!--on the secretarial resources of the house. It may be noted
too, that all this took place during those agonising weeks when the
British Armies were being hurled back in France and Flanders, and when
Mrs. Ward, of all people, realised only too clearly the peril we were
in. But the task was accomplished and the clause added to the Bill, so
that a new charter was thus provided for the 30,000 or so of crippled
and invalid children who still remained throughout the country
uneducated and uncared for.[39] A little later, the movement initiated
by Sir Robert Jones and the Central Committee for the Care of Cripples,
for converting some of the War Hospitals into Homes for the scientific
treatment of crippled children received Mrs. Ward's warm support, her
special contribution to the movement being a successful campaign for the
provision of educational facilities for the children lying for many
months within the hospital walls. The beautiful War-hospital at Calgarth
on Lake Windermere (the Ethel Hedley Hospital) was converted to this use
in the spring of 1920, and one of the last pleasures which Mrs. Ward
enjoyed was her correspondence with the Governors of the hospital, who
described to her their plan for the conversion and invoked her blessing
upon it. Mrs. Ward was never able to visit Calgarth, but the love she
bore to the fells and waters of the North which surrounded it have
linked her memory very specially with this delightful place, where
children who, even ten years before, would have been deemed hopeless
cases, recover straightness and strength. Her connection with this
enterprise made a gentle ending to her long labour for these waifs of
our educational system.

       *       *       *       *       *

Who that lived through the year 1918 will ever lose the memory of its
gigantic vicissitudes? Mrs. Ward, with her actual knowledge of so much
of the ground over which the battles of March and April raged, was
certainly not among those who could shut their eyes to the national
danger they involved. She tried to maintain her characteristic optimism
throughout the blackest times, and was in the end justified. But I
remember one afternoon at Grosvenor Place when a friend who thought that
he was much "in the know" informed us confidentially that we were "out
of Ypres--been out for the last two days, but they don't want to tell
us," and hope sank very low. When the battle rolled up to the foot of
her own Scherpenberg Hill she longed, I believe, to be there with a
pike, but victory was ours that day and she felt a special lifting of
the heart at the news. As the terrible pageant of the year unrolled
itself, her heart went out to France in her losing struggle north of the
Marne; to Italy in those anxious days of June, when after a first recoil
she swept the Austrians permanently back over the Piave; to France again
in the first great return towards Soissons and the Aisne. Was it the
real turn of the tide? Hardly could we dare to believe it, but in the
light of later events it became evident that the Italian stand on the
Piave had indeed marked the turn for the whole Allied front. Mrs. Ward
always thought of this with peculiar satisfaction, for she was kept in
constant touch with the situation out there by her son-in-law, George
Trevelyan, who was in command of a British Red Cross Unit on the Italian
front, and the disaster of Caporetto had very sadly affected her. Now
all was well once more and Mrs. Ward, who had been no fair-weather
friend to Italy, rejoiced with all her heart. There was much talk during
the summer of a possible visit of hers, that autumn, to the Italian
front, but events were destined to move too fast, and Mrs. Ward never
again beheld the Lombard Plain.

But when the incredible hope had at last become solid fact--when the
British Armies had stormed the Hindenburg Line and how much else beside,
when the Americans had won through the forest of the Argonne and the
French had pressed on to their ancient frontier; when Stocks had been
illuminated on Armistice Night and we had all settled down to
speculation, more or less sober, on the remaking of the world, Mrs. Ward
began to enquire from the authorities as to the possibility of a third
and final journey to France. For she wished with almost passionate
eagerness to write a third and final book on the last phase of
"England's Effort." She was met once more with the greatest cordiality.
Sir Douglas Haig expressed a desire to see her; General Horne promised
to send her over the battlefield of Vimy; Lille, Lens and Cambrai were
to reveal to her the tale of their four years of servitude. And, on
their part, the French promised to convey her to Metz and Strasburg and
to show her Verdun and Rheims on her return, while Paris was to be made
easy for her by the hospitality of a delightful young couple, her
cousins, Arnold Whitridge and his wife, who had the good fortune to
possess a house there amid the rush and pressure of all the nations of
the world.

So everything was planned and settled during the month of December 1918,
but before she left England on her last mission Mrs. Ward was able to
enjoy that strange Peace Christmas which, in spite of its superficial
note of thanksgiving, seemed to ring for so many the final knell of joy.
Just two months before, Mrs. Ward had lost, from the influenza scourge,
yet another soldier-nephew, the youngest Selwyn boy, while sorrow had
come to the house itself in the death at a training camp of her butler's
only son--a lad of 17 who had been the playmate of her grandchildren on
many a golden afternoon in the days gone by. But if the elders could not
forget these things, the children at least could be made an excuse for
rejoicing! And so her two grandchildren, Mary and Humphry, came once
more to Stocks as they had come for every Christmas since they entered
this world; they mounted the big bed as of old and played the egg-game
with solemn attention to detail, and then on the last day of the year
Stocks opened its doors to the children from far and near, coming in
fancy dress to dance out the Year of Miracles. Mrs. Ward, who had that
very morning finished the writing of a novel, moved among the groups
with a face the pallor of which, though we did not know it, was already
a premonition of the end. She drank in the beauty of the scene in deep
draughts of refreshment. That little boy attired as feathered
Mercury--that slender Rosalind with the glorious bush of hair--they
caught at her heart! From certain fragments of talk that she let fall
during the evening one gathered that the sight had meant more to her
than a mere joyous spectacle. To these would be the new world: let the
elders leave it them in faith. "Green earth forgets."

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Ward's third journey to France was of longer duration (it lasted
over three weeks, Jan. 7-30) than either of the others, and save that
the conditions of danger created by the actual fighting were eliminated
it was of a still more arduous nature, while it afforded her even
greater opportunities than the others had done of realising and summing
up the proportionate achievements of the three great armies--French,
American and British. For the object of this final pilgrimage was no
less than to bring out, by a careful analysis of all the available
facts, the overwhelming part played by the British Armies in France in
the last year of the War, and so to do her part in silencing the
extraordinary misconceptions that were still current, especially in
America, as to the share that the British Armies had had in the final
breaking of the German resistance. A Canadian girl working at an
American Y.M.C.A. in France had written to her in the previous August,
imploring her to bring _England's Effort_ up to date and to distribute
it by the thousand among the American troops.

     "I see hundreds of the finest remaining white men on earth every
     week," continued this witness. "They are wonderful military
     material and _very_ attractive and lovable boys, but it discourages
     all one's hopes for future unity and friendship between us all to
     realize, as I have done the last few months, that the majority of
     these men are entering the fight firmly believing that 'England has
     not done her share,' 'the colonials have done all the hard
     fighting'--'France has borne all,' etc. This from not one or two,
     but _hundreds_. The men I speak of come principally from Kansas,
     Illinois, Iowa--that wonderful Valley of Democracy that I sometimes
     compare in my mind (with its safety and isolation from the outside
     world) to those words of Kipling--'Ringed by your careful seas,
     long have you waked in quiet and long lain down at ease'--To these
     boys away from the sheltered country for the first time in
     _generations_, England is a foreign and a somewhat mistrusted
     country, and four or five days rush through it gives them neither
     opportunity nor a fair chance of judging the people--beyond the
     fact that war-time restrictions annoy them. It is a crying shame
     that the _only_ knowledge these splendid men have of England's
     share in the war is drawn from the belittling reports of pro-German
     papers. This attitude will mar all attempts at friendship between
     the troops, and, I believe, seriously jeopardise future friendship
     between the countries."

This first-hand evidence has recently received a very striking
corroboration in Mr. Walter Page's Letters, and was amply borne out at
the time by our Ministry of Information at home. Moreover, since August,
Great Britain had indeed added another chapter to her previous record!
So Mrs. Ward was received by Sir Douglas Haig, at his little château
near Montreuil, on January 8, 1919, and there had a most illuminating
talk with him, illustrated by his wonderful series of charts and maps;
she went through the desolation of Ypres, and Lens, and Arras; she
visited General Birdwood at Lille and General Horne at Valenciennes,
renewing her friendship with the latter and making the aquaintance of
his Chief of Staff, General Hastings Anderson, "a delightful, witty
person, full of fun," who told her many things. She climbed the Vimy
Ridge, "scrambling up over trenches and barbed wire and other _débris_
to the top," assisted by Dorothy and Lieut. Farrer, their guide; she
crossed the Hindenburg Line in both directions, the second time at the
Canal du Nord, where she got out in the January twilight to study the
marvellous German trench system and the tracks of two tanks that had led
the attack of the First Army on September 27; she saw the area of open
fighting beyond Cambrai, and, returning by the Cambrai-Bapaume road to
Amiens, passed through a heap of shapeless ruins "where only a signboard
told us that this had once been Bapaume." From Amiens she passed on to
Paris, and thence to Metz and Strasburg, realising something, at Metz,
of the difficulty confronting the French Government in the large German
population, and at Strasburg passing a wholly delightful evening with
General Gouraud--hero both of Gallipoli and of Champagne. Armed with
General Gouraud's maps and passes she then returned via Nancy to Verdun
and spent an unforgettable afternoon, first in inspecting the
subterranean labyrinth under the old fortress which had given sleep to
so many weary soldiers during the siege, and then in motoring slowly
through the battlefield itself. It may be imagined how such names as
Vaux, Douaumont, the Mort Homme, the Mont des Corbeils and the rest made
her heart leap, how they stirred the vivid historic imagination in her
which always enabled her to visualise, beyond her fellows, the actual
movement of events and of the men who played their part in them. The
sight of Verdun certainly affected her more deeply than anything, I
think, save the Salient with its hundred thousand British graves. Then,
sleeping at Châlons, she moved on to Rheims, arriving in the _Place_
before what had once been the Cathedral in time to see the Prime
Minister of England--a Sunday visitor from the Conference--standing
before the battered façade in animated talk with Cardinal Luçon. Mrs.
Ward stood aside to let them pass, watching the retreating figure of Mr.
Lloyd George "with what thoughts." _This_ was Rheims; what remedy for it
would the Conference find?

Nor did Mrs. Ward neglect the American battle-fields, for on her way to
Verdun she had passed through the St. Mihiel salient and studied the
ground there; she had seen the Forêt de l'Argonne in the winter dusk
after leaving Verdun, and now on her way to Paris she spent a cheerful
hour at Château Thierry, mingling with the American boys on the scene
of their first and perhaps most memorable triumph. For actually to have
helped by hard fighting, man to man, to keep the Boche from Paris, that
was something for which to have crossed the Atlantic! St. Mihiel and the
Argonne were all part of the great plan, but this, this was history! So
at least Mrs. Ward felt as she crossed the sacred ground from Dormans to
Château Thierry where the Germans had made their formidable push for
Montmirail and Paris, and where an American regiment of marines had said
them nay.

After her long pilgrimage Mrs. Ward spent a week in Paris, much absorbed
in the pursuit of accurate information for the book that she had still
to write. But there was also time for the seeing of many of those famous
figures who, with the best intentions, filled the French stage for half
a year and, at the end, gave us the world in which, _tant bien que mal_,
we live. She went to consult with our ambassador, Lord Derby, on certain
aspects of her work; she revived her old friendship with M. Jusserand;
she saw General Pershing and Mr. Hoover, and, on the very day when the
League of Nations resolution had been passed, President Wilson himself.
Of this she has left a lively account in the first chapter of _Fields of

Mrs. Ward should, by all the rules, have returned straight home from
Paris, for she had already begun to suffer from bronchial catarrh and
the weather had turned colder. But she was bent on seeing certain
British officers at Amiens who had prepared some special information for
her and therefore broke her journey there and also at the little
"Visitors' Château" at Agincourt. Here, struggling against the intense
cold and her own increasing illness, she exhausted herself in long
conversations, though all that she heard was of deep interest to her
task. But she was obliged to give up a visit to the battle-field of
August 8 which her hosts had planned for her, and to return instead,
while she still might, to England. When at last she reached home she was
pronounced to have tonsilitis and to be within an inch of bronchitis
too, and was kept in bed for many days. But it was many weeks before the
bronchial catarrh left her, nor did she ever, during this last year of
her life, regain the level of health at which she had started for France
in the first week of the year. Yet none the less must her articles be
written, for time pressed if she was to catch the right moment for the
book's appearance. She was ably and generously helped by various
officers, especially by General Sir John Davidson, who brought with him
to Grosvenor Place one day a reduced-scale version of the great chart at
which she had gazed fascinated at Montreuil, and which she afterwards
obtained leave to reproduce in her book. "It was amusing," wrote Dorothy
that night, "to see Mother and Lady Selborne and Sir John Davidson all
on the floor, poring over his wonderful chart of the War."

But in spite of the willingness to help of the authorities, the labour
of studying and digesting the mass of material placed at her
disposal--stiff and intractable stuff as it was--and of forming from it
a harmonious and artistic whole was something far harder than she had
expected. It required real historical method, and carried her back in
memory to the days of the West Goths and the _Dictionary of Christian
Biography_. But she would not be beaten, either by the difficulty of the
task or by the necessity of getting it done within a certain time. One
day in April, just after she had returned from Grosvenor Place to
Stocks, it became necessary to send one of her articles, type-written,
up to London in time to catch the Foreign Office bag for New York; the
necessary train left Tring Station at 12.37. Mrs. Ward finished writing
the article at 12.22; Miss Churcher, who had followed page by page with
the type-writer, finished the last page at 12.30; Dorothy flew to the
station with it and caught the train.

Besides the initial difficulty of the work, however, the necessity of
submitting what she had written to two or three different authorities
caused inevitable delays, while a printers' strike in Glasgow at the
critical moment again deferred the book's publication. When, therefore,
_Fields of Victory_ at length appeared, the psychological moment had
passed by, the world was far more concerned with the future than with
the past, and only a moderate number of the book were sold. Mrs. Ward
was of course somewhat disappointed, but there was much consolation to
be had in the note of astonishment, combined with admiration, which the
book called forth among those for whose opinion she really cared,
whether in England, France or America. This feeling was summed up in a
letter written by General Hastings Anderson--then holding a high
appointment on the Staff of the Army--to Miss Ward, after her mother's

     "The book will be a very prized memento, not only of a gifted
     writer who did so much to bring home to the ignorant the whole
     significance of our effort in the war; but also of a great
     Englishwoman, and of the happy breaks in our work marked by her
     visits to the First Army in France.

     "What strikes me most in your mother's book is her marvellous
     insight into the way of thinking of the soldiers--I mean those who
     knew most of what was really happening--who were actually engaged
     in the great struggle. One would say the book was written by one
     who had played a prominent part in the War in France, and with
     knowledge of the thoughts of the high directing staffs. This is no
     compliment; it can only come from the trained expression of a very
     deep sympathy, and complete understanding of the thoughts and views
     which were expressed to her by those high in command.

     "I can well understand what a strain such intense concentration of
     thought must have meant, when combined with the fatigues of travel
     over great distances on the French roads, and the regrets and
     delays in publication. But the completed book and its predecessors
     are a very precious legacy, especially to those of us who saw the
     whole long struggle in France."

Mrs. Ward's health improved to a certain extent during the summer of
this year (1919), so that she was able to enjoy on Peace Day (July 19)
the great procession of Victory, watching it from the enclosure outside
Buckingham Palace. "Foch saluting was a sight not to be forgotten," she
wrote. "A paladin on horseback, saluting with a certain melancholy
dignity--a figure of romance." But she was mainly at Stocks during all
this summer, basking in the golden weather of that year, delighting in a
few Sunday gatherings of friends and in the weekly visits of her
grandchildren, who were now domiciled at Berkhamsted, five miles away,
and whom nothing could keep away, on Sundays, from Stocks, with its
tennis-court, its strawberries--and "Gunny"!

..."I shall always think of her particularly," wrote Mrs. Robert
     Crawshay afterwards, "sitting in her garden that last beautiful
     summer at Stocks, with her wonderful expression of wisdom and the
     kindness that prevented anyone feeling rebuked by her being on a
     much higher level than themselves--her interest so generously
     given, her pain never mentioned, her eyes lighting up with love as
     the children came across the lawn, an atmosphere of beauty and
     peace all around her."

Much talk was heard on the lawn, as the summer passed on, about the
peace terms and the prospects of any recovery in Europe, and it is
recorded that although Mrs. Ward approved on the whole of the terms she
thought it the height of unwisdom to have allowed the Germans no voice
in discussing them before the signature. In Russia her heart was
passionately with the various rebels who arose to dispute the tyranny of
the Soviets, and as each hope faded she felt the horrors of that tragic
land more acutely. But most of all did she feel the tragedy of the
children of Austria and Central Europe, so that one of her last speeches
was devoted to pleading, at Berkhamsted, the cause of the Save the
Children Fund.[40] It was noticed that day how white and frail was her
look, but all the more for that did her appeal find its way to the
hearts of her audience. The children of Germany must be fed as well as
the rest, she said; "we have no war with children," and she recalled the
lovely lines of Blake which describe the angels moving through the

    "If they see any weeping
     That should have been sleeping
     They pour sleep on their head
     And sit down by their bed."

"There are hundreds of thousands of children at this moment who on these
beautiful October nights 'are weeping that should have been
sleeping'--It is for this country, it is for you and me, to play the
part of angels of succour to these poor little ones wherever they may
be, to feed and clothe and cherish them in the name of our common
humanity and our common faith."

In the meantime the unrelenting pressure of war taxation on her own
income had made it imperative, at last, to give up the house in
Grosvenor Place which had been her London home for nearly thirty years.
Mrs. Ward slept there for the last time on August 29, 1919, and wrote of
her parting from it the next day to J. P. T.

     "The poor old house begins to look dismantled. I had many thoughts
     about it that last night there--of the people who had dined and
     talked in it--Henry James, and Burne-Jones, Stopford Brooke,
     Martineau, Watts, Tadema, Lowell, Roosevelt, Page, Northbrook,
     Goschen and so many more--of one's own good times, and follies and
     mistakes--everything passing at last into the words, 'He knoweth
     whereof we are made, He remembereth that we are but dust.'"

Then, in September, Mrs. Ward went for the last time to the Lake
District, motoring there via Stratford-on-Avon in her "little car"--a
cheap post-war purchase which spent most of its time in the repairing
shop, but which, for this occasion, put forth a supreme effort and
actually brought Mrs. Ward safely home through the midst of the railway
strike. She made her headquarters at Grasmere, for which she had
developed a special affection during two recent summers when she had
taken "Kelbarrow" and had watched from its lawn every passing mood of
the little lake. She visited Fox How and "Aunt Fan" almost every day;
she renewed her friendship with Canon and Mrs. Rawnsley and her
life-long intimacy with Gordon Wordsworth. And, on the Langdale side of
the fell, she visited a little grave to which her heart always yearned

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Ward was deeply interested, during these last months of her life,
in the attempts made by the Liberal element in the Church to modify or
retard the "Enabling Bill," or as it is now known, the Church Assembly
Act. All her fighting spirit was aroused by the claim made by the Bill
to lay down tests and distinctions between member and member of the
National Church, especially by the imposition of the test of Holy
Communion on all candidates for the new Church bodies. She feared, in
the words of the Bishop of Carlisle (who saw eye to eye with her in this
matter) "that the declaration required as a condition of membership of
the Church of England will go a long way towards de-nationalising the
Church and reducing it to the status of a sect." She organised, early
in December, a letter to _The Times_ which was signed by all the most
prominent names in Liberal Churchmanship, protesting against the scanty
opportunities for debate which, owing to a ruling of the Speaker's, the
measure was to have in the House of Commons. But, when it became law
_quand même_, she turned her thoughts and her remaining energies to a
constructive movement which might rally the scattered Liberal forces of
the Church and assert for them the right, after due notice given of
their opinions, to participate without dishonesty in the rite of Holy
Communion. In a leaflet issued from Stocks to various private
sympathisers in January 1920, Mrs. Ward pointed out that the difficulty
which had confronted the Church sixty years before with regard to the
Thirty-nine Articles had now passed on to the Creeds, and that to many
who were convinced believers in the God within us, the following of
Christ and the practical realisation of the Kingdom, the Nicene Creed
was yet, "to quote a recent phrase, 'no more than the majority opinion
of a Committee held 1,600 years ago.'" She therefore appealed for the
formation of a "Faith and Freedom Association," the members of which
might claim to take their part in the new Councils and Assemblies while
openly stating their dissent from, or their right to re-interpret the
Creeds; only so could the Church continue to include that Modernist
element which was essential to its healthy development.

Mrs. Ward received a good deal of sympathy and encouragement from those
to whom she sent her leaflet, and dreamt, in her indomitable way, of
summoning a meeting later on if the response were sufficient. But she
knew in her heart that her own strength would no longer suffice to lead
such a crusade, and she appealed with a certain wistfulness to the young
"to pour into it their life, their courage and their love." It troubled
her that no young person or group arose to take the burden from her
shoulders. But in truth she was still the youngest in heart of all her
generation, or the next, and if it were not that the poor body was
outworn she might yet have exerted the influence she longed for on the
religious life of her country.

But it was too late. Mrs. Ward's health definitely gave way about
Christmas-time, 1919, the breakdown taking the form of a violent attack
of neuritis in the shoulders and arms. Although she would not yet
acknowledge it, but tried to continue the old round of work, increasing
weakness made it plain to her, at length, that she must not, for the
present at least, go crusading. But how she hoped and strove for better
times! Her devoted doctor-brother, Frank Arnold, to whom she turned
again and again with pathetic trust, knowing his ingenuity in the
devising of remedies, tended her with a skill born of a life-long
knowledge of her; but the malady was too deep-seated. At the end of
January she moved to London in order to try a certain course of
treatment, taking up her abode in a little house in Connaught Square
which her husband and Dorothy had found for her. She liked the little
place, especially on the days when flowers from Stocks arrived to make a
bower of it, and there, in the midst of a fruitless round of
"treatments" which did nothing but sap her remaining strength, she
passed the last weeks of her life. Old friends came once more to visit
her; her son and her daughters took turns in reading to her the poets
that she loved; Miss Churcher brought for her delight the latest stories
from the Play Centres. She still went downstairs and even, sometimes,
out of doors, but those who came to the house to sit with her left it,
usually, with aching hearts. Then, on March 11, another blow fell. Mr.
Ward became dangerously ill, and an immediate operation was found to be
necessary. The doctors carried him off to a nursing home not far away
and performed it, successfully, that night, while Mrs. Ward sat below in
the waiting-room in an agony of anxiety. The next day, and the next, she
was still able to go to him, the porters carrying her upstairs to his
room, but on Sunday, March 14, signs of bronchitis showed themselves,
together with a grave condition of the heart. The doctors would not
hear, after this, of her leaving the house.

So for ten days she lay in the little London bedroom, looking out over
London trees, her heart pining for the day--the spring day which would
surely come--when she and he would return to Stocks together and their
ills would be forgotten. "Ah," she wrote to him in his nursing home on
March 18, "it is too trying this imprisonment--but it ought only to be a
few days more!"

And indeed, her release was nearer than she knew. Did she not know it?
In mortal illness there are secrets of the inner consciousness which
those who tend, however lovingly, can never wholly penetrate, but as her
mind advanced ever nearer to the verge, one felt that it was swept, ever
and anon, by far-off gusts of poetry, finding expression in words and
fragments long possessed and intimately loved. Such were the "Last
Lines" of Emily Brontë, of which, two days before the end, she repeated
the great second verse to Dorothy, saying with the old passionate
gesture of the hands, "_That's_ what I am thinking of!"

      O God within my breast,
    Almighty, ever-present Deity!
      Life--that in me has rest,
    As I--undying Life--have power in thee!

Then, early on the morning of the 24th, there came an hour of crisis,
when life fought with death for victory; but, before the end, "she
opened her dear eyes wide, her dear brown eyes, like the eyes of a young
woman, and looked out into the unknown with a most wonderful look on her
face. I think that at that moment her soul crossed the bar." So wrote
Dorothy, the only witness of that look; she will carry the memory of it
in her heart to the end.

       *       *       *       *       *

We buried her in the quiet churchyard at Aldbury, within sight of the
long sweep of hill and the beechwoods that she had loved so well. Her
old friend the Rector, Canon Wood, laid her to rest, while another
friend for whom she had had a deep regard, Dean Inge, spoke of her in
simple and moving words, naming her before us all as "perhaps the
greatest Englishwoman of our time."

There were not wanting, indeed, signs that many in England so regarded
her. It was as though she had lived through the period, some ten years
before, when the public had tired somewhat of her books and younger
writers had to a large extent supplanted her, until, towards the end,
she found herself taken to the heart of her countrymen in a manner that
had hardly been her lot in the years of her greatest literary fame. They
loved her not only for all that she had done, but for what she was,
divining in her, besides her intellectual gifts, besides even the
tenderness and sympathy of her character, that indomitable courage that
carried her through to the end, over difficulties and obstacles at
which they only dimly guessed. They loved her for wearing herself out,
at sixty-seven, in visits to the battle-fields of France, that she might
bear her witness to her country's deeds; they loved her for all the joy
that she had given to little children. Two months before her death the
Lord Chancellor, making himself the mouthpiece of this feeling, had
asked her to act as one of the first seven women magistrates of England,
and later still, when she was already nearing the end, the University of
Edinburgh invited her to receive the Honorary Degree of LL.D. These acts
of recognition gave her a passing pleasure, and when she herself was
beyond the reach of pleasure, or of pain, it stirred the hearts of those
who went with her, for the last time, to the little village graveyard to
see awaiting her, at the drive gate, a file of stalwart police, claiming
their right to escort the coffin of a Justice of the Peace.

Many indeed were the tributes paid to her memory, whether in the letters
received after her death or in the words uttered by Lord Milner and
other old friends at the unveiling of her medallion in the Hall of the
Passmore Edwards Settlement[41] (July 1922). Of these one only shall be
quoted here, from a letter written to Mr. Ward by her dear and intimate
friend of so many years' standing, André Chevrillon:

..."I had no friend in England whom I loved and respected more,
     none to whom I owed so much. I have often thought that if I love
     your country as I do--and indeed I have sometimes been accused of
     being biassed in my views of England--it was partly due to the
     personal gratitude which I always felt for the kindness of her
     greeting and hospitality when I came to England as a young man. The
     same generous welcome was extended to other young Frenchmen who
     have since written on England, and there is no doubt that it has
     helped to create long before the War a bond between our two

     "We all felt the spell of her noble and generous spirit. She struck
     one as the most perfect example of the English lady of the old
     admirable governing class, with her ever-active and efficient
     public spirit--of the highest English moral and intellectual
     culture. Though I had come to England several times before I met
     her--some thirty years ago--I had not yet formed a true idea of
     what that culture would be--though I had read of it in my uncle
     Taine's _Notes on England_. It was a revelation, though I must say
     I have never met one since with quite so complete a mental
     equipment, and that showed quite to the same degree those wonderful
     and, to others, beneficent qualities of radiant vitality, spirit
     and generosity. (It seems that these words must recur again and
     again when one speaks of her). She was one of those of whom a
     nation may well be proud.

     "I remember our impression when her first great book came to us in
     Paris. Here was the true successor of George Eliot; she continued
     the great English tradition of insight into the spiritual world.
     The events in her novels were those of the soul--how remote from
     those which can be adapted from other writers' novels for the
     cinema!--The main forces that drove the characters like Fate were
     Ideas. She could _dramatise_ ideas. I do not know of any novelist
     that gives one to the same degree the feeling that Ideas are living
     forces, more enduring than men, and in a sense more real than
     men--forces that move through them, taking hold of them and driving
     them like an unseen, higher Power."

On her tombstone we inscribed the lines of Clough, which she herself had
written on the last page of _Robert Elsmere_:

    Others, I doubt not, if not we,
    The issue of our toils shall see,
    And, they forgotten and unknown,
    Young children gather as their own
    The harvest that the dead had sown.


_Title._                                      _Date of Publication._

Milly and Olly, or A Holiday among the Mountains      May, 1881

Miss Bretherton                                       November, 1884

Amiel's Journal                                       December, 1885

Robert Elsmere                                        February, 1888

The History of David Grieve                           January, 1892

Marcella                                              April, 1894

The Story of Bessie Costrell                          July, 1895

Sir George Tressady                                   September, 1896

Helbeck of Bannisdale                                 June, 1898

Eleanor                                               November, 1900

Lady Rose's Daughter                                  March, 1903

The Marriage of William Ashe                          February, 1905

Fenwick's Career                                      May, 1906

The Testing of Diana Mallory                          September, 1908

Daphne, or Marriage à la Mode                         May, 1909

Canadian Born                                         April, 1910

The Case of Richard Meynell                           October, 1911

The Mating of Lydia                                   March, 1913

The Coryston Family                                   October, 1913

Delia Blanchflower                                    January, 1915

Eltham House                                          October, 1915

A Great Success                                       March, 1916

England's Effort                                      June, 1916

Lady Connie                                           November, 1916

Towards the Goal                                      June, 1917

Missing                                               October, 1917

A Writer's Recollections                              October, 1918

The War and Elizabeth                                 November, 1918

Fields of Victory                                     July, 1919

Cousin Philip                                         November, 1919

Harvest                                               April, 1920


Acton, Lord, 56, 98, 113

Adams, Henry, 211

Addis, W. E., 146

Amiel's _Journal Intime_, 42, 43, 46, 48-49

Anderson, General Sir Hastings, 298, 302

Anderson, Mary, 43

Arbuthnot, Sir Robert, 273-275

Arnold, Eleanor (Viscountess Sandhurst), 247

Arnold, Miss Ethel, 38, 39, 229, 251

Arnold family, the, 6

Arnold, Frances (Fan), 6, 7, 10, 12, 212, 218, 223, 274, 304

Arnold, Dr. Francis Sorell, 287, 306

Arnold, Jane (Mrs. W. E. Forster), 4, 7, 9, 228

Arnold, Julia (Mrs. Leonard Huxley), 38, 77, 98, 229, 253

Arnold, Lucy (Mrs. E. C. Selwyn), 252

Arnold, Lucy (Mrs. F. W. Whitridge), 191, 209, 247

Arnold, Mary (Mrs. Hiley), 8

Arnold, Matthew, 3, 15, 28, 33, 38, 55, 57, 63, 151, 191

Arnold, Theodore, 6, 13

Arnold, Thomas, Headmaster of Rugby, 1, 3, 18, 210

Arnold, Thomas, the younger, 3-7, 13, 14, 15, 19,
    26, 27, 47, 95, 146, 173-174, 219

Arnold, Lieut. Thomas Sorell, 287

Arnold, William T., 6, 13, 38, 48, 53, 99, 170, 179-181

Arnold-Forster, Oakeley, 252

Arran, Earl of, 256

Arthur, Colonel, Governor of Tasmania, 2

Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. H., 113, 230, 233, 235

Asser, General, 275

Bagot, Capt. Josceline, 144

Balfour, Rt. Hon. Arthur James (Earl), 72

Balfour, Rt. Hon. Gerald, 115

Balfour of Burleigh, Lord, 243

Balzani, Count Ugo, 161, 252

Barberini, the Villa, 156-158, 161-162, 173

Barlow, Sir Thomas, 135

Barnes, Colonel, 276

Barnett, Canon Samuel, 85, 194

Bathurst, Lord, 2

Bayard, American Ambassador, 191

Bedford, Duke of, 120, 131, 183, 268

Bell, Capt., 284

Bell, Sir Hugh, 72, 188 _note_, 252

Bellasis, Sophie, 9

Benison, Miss Josephine, 173

Bentwich, Mrs., 289

_Bessie Costrell_, _the Story of_, 112, 114, 118

Birdwood, General, 298

Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine, 195-196

Boase, C. W., 32

Boissier, Lieut., R.N., 273-274

Bonaventura, the Villa, 181, 192, 262

Borough Farm, 45-47, 51, 52, 93, 132

Bourget, Paul, 168

Boutmy, Emile, 168

Bowie, Rev. W. Copeland, 81, 82, 88

Braithwaite, Miss Lilian, 178

Brewer, Cecil, 120-121

Bright, Mrs., 107

Brodie, Sir Benjamin, 15

Brontë, Charlotte, 165-168

Brontë, Emily, 166-168, 307

_Brontë Prefaces_, the, 165-169

Brooke, Stopford A., 80, 81, 83, 87, 153, 304

Browning, Pen, 262

Brunetière, F., 168

Bryce, Rt. Hon. James (Viscount), 207, 211, 214, 243

Buchan, Lt.-Col. John, 288

Burgwin, Mrs., 135, 141

Burne-Jones, Sir Edward, 100, 102, 189, 304

Butcher, S. H., 30 _footnote_, 148

Buxton, Sydney (Earl), 115, 196

Campbell-Bannerman, Sir Henry, 229, 230

_Canadian Born_, 222, 255

Carlisle, Earl of, 80, 81, 83

Carpenter, J. Estlin, D.D., 81, 87, 154

Cavan, General the Earl of, 280

Cavendish, Lady Frederick, 228

Cecil, Lord Edward, 267

Cecil, Lord Robert, 270-271

Chapman, Audrey, 127

Charteris, General, 282

Chavannes, Dr., 87

Chevrillon, André, 168-169, 252, 260, 266, 280, 282, 308

Children's Happy Evenings Association, 193, 196-197

Childs, W. D., 77

Chinda, Viscount, 281

Chirol, Sir Valentine, 252

Choate, Joseph, American Ambassador, 191, 280

Churcher, Miss Bessie, 118, 123, 135, 192, 195, 249, 272, 293, 306

Churchill, Lord Randolph, 212

Clarke, Father, 149-150

Clough, Miss Anne, 8

Clough, Arthur Hugh, 3, 10, 309

Coates, Mrs. Earle, 210

Cobb, Sir Cyril, 200

Cobbe, Frances Power, 81

Collard, Miss M.L., 141

Conybeare, Mrs. Edward, 66

_Coryston Family_, _The_, 263

_Cousin Philip_, 289-290

Crawshay, Mrs. Robert, 303

Creighton, Mandell, Bishop of London, 28, 44, 65, 79, 99,
    148, 151, 174, 176

Creighton, Mrs., 29, 195, 225, 228, 240, 244, 248, 249, 252, 257, 259

Crewe, Marquess of, 143

Cromer, Earl of, 230, 234

Cropper, James, 51, 144, 176

Cropper, Miss Mary, 144, 145, 252

Cunliffe, Mrs., 12, 15

Cunliffe, Sir Robert, 71

Cunningham, Sir Henry, 111

Curtis, Henry, 183

Curzon of Kedleston, Marquess, 235, 243-244

_Daphne, or Marriage à la Mode_, 222-223

_David Grieve_, _The History of_, 71, 79, 92, 95, 97-99, 255, 256

Davidson, Sir John, 301

Davies, Colonel, 276

Davies, Miss, 10-14

Davies, Miss Emily, 224

_Delia Blanchflower_, 239

Dell, Mrs., 108, 251, 254, 261

Denison, Col. George, 216

Denison, Sir William, Governor of Tasmania, 3

Dicey, Albert, 294

_Dictionary of Christian Biography_, _The_, 21, 31, 37, 49

_Diana Mallory_, _The Testing of_, 248

Dilke, Mrs. Ashton, 228

Drummond, James, D.D., 81

Dufferin and Ava, Marquis of, 160

Dugdale, Mrs. Alice, 70

Dunn, Miss Maud (Mrs. E. C. Selwyn), 253

Ehrle, Father, 171

_Eleanor_, 158-164, 173;
  dramatisation of, 176-179

_England's Effort_, 265, 280-282, 297

Evans, Sanford, 218

Fawcett, Mrs., 228, 233-235, 238, 244, 251

_Fenwick's Career_, 173, 204-205

Field, Capt., R.N., 273

Fields, Mrs. Annie, 105 _note_, 192, 213

_Fields of Victory_, 289, 300-301

Finlay, Lord, 243

Fisher, Rt. Hon. H. A. L., 197, 292-294

Foch, Marshal, 302

Forster, W. E., 4, 25, 40-41

Fowler, Capt., 284

Fox How, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 26, 247, 304

Francis Ferdinand, Archduke, 263

Freeman, Edward, 21, 28

Frere, Miss Margaret, 237

Garrett, Miss, 224

Gerecke, Fräulein, 11

Gilder, R.W., 191

Gladstone, William Ewart, 39, 48, 55-64, 71, 73, 110

Godkin, E. L., 191

Gordon, James Adam, 102

Goschen, George (Lord), 40, 304

Goschen, Mrs., 228

Gouraud, General, 299

Grayswood Hill, Mrs. Ward's house on, 78, 92-94, 103

Green, John Richard, 21, 25, 28

Green, Mrs. J. R., 87, 228

Green, Thomas Hill, 27, 28, 33, 51, 62, 63, 213

Green, Mrs. T. H., 30, 228, 252

Greene, General, 216

Grey, Earl, 207, 214-215, 219, 221-222

Grey, Sir Edward (Viscount), 102, 211, 270-271, 282

Grosvenor Place, No. 25, 113, 190-192, 304

Haldane, R. B. (Lord), 99, 115, 200, 227, 252

Halévy, Elie, 169

Halsbury, Lord, 243

Halsey, Mrs., 291

Hampden House, 78-79

Harcourt, Mrs. Augustus Vernon, 30

Harcourt, Sir William, 171

Hargrove, Charles, 87

Harnack, Adolf, 265

Harrison, Frederic, 46, 225, 228-229, 260

_Harvest_, 289

Hay, American Ambassador, 191

Heberden, Principal, 281

_Helbeck of Bannisdale_, 143-151

Herbert, Bron (Lord Lucas), 148

Hobhouse, Charles, 234

Holland, E. G., 183, 185

Holmes, Edmond, 260

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 77

Holt, Henry, 213

Horne, General Lord, 284, 287, 296, 298

Horne, Sir William van, 207, 214, 216-217

Howe, Mrs. Julia Ward, 213

Hughes, Rev. Hugh Price, 123

Huxley, Aldous, 253

Huxley, Julian, 98, 99, 253, 290

Huxley, Leonard, 38

Huxley, Margaret, 253

Huxley, Prof. T. H., 38, 68, 79, 100

Huxley, Mrs. T. H., 228

Huxley, Trevenen, 253

Inge, W. R., Dean of St. Paul's, 307

James, Henry, 46, 112, 148, 161, 191, 252, 279

James, William, 192, 250, 257

James of Hereford, Lord, 230

Jellicoe, Sir John, 272

Jerram, Admiral Sir Thomas, 272-273

Jersey, Countess of, 170, 197

Jeune, Sir Francis, 109

Jewett, Miss Sarah Orne, 104-105, 192, 213

Johnson, A. H., 30, 252

Johnson, Mrs. A. H., 28, 29, 39, 70, 72, 78, 252

Jones, Mrs. Cadwalader, 208

Jones, Sir Robert, 294

Jowett, Benjamin, Master of Balliol, 18, 24, 28, 33, 48, 53, 99, 121

Jülicher, Dr. Adolf, 172

Julie, Sœur, 286

Jusserand, J. J., 169-170, 212, 300

Keble, John, 17

Keen, Daniel, 247

Kemp, Anthony Fenn, 1

Kemp, Miss, 2

Kensit, John, 148

King, Mackenzie, 219

Kipling, Rudyard, 116-117, 124

Knight, Prof., 87

Kruger, President, 175

Knowles, James, 55, 73, 150, 225, 228

_Lady Rose's Daughter_, 179, 187, 204

Lanciani, Senator Rodolfo, 161

Laurier, Sir Wilfrid, 215

Lawrence, Hon. Maude, 139, 140, 193

Lemieux, M., 215

Leo XIII., Pope, 162, 216

Levens Hall, 144-148

Liddon, Canon H.P., 17, 19, 20

Lippincott, Bertram, 210

"Lizzie," Miss H. E. Smith, 190, 208, 249

Lloyd George, Rt. Hon. David, 271, 299

Loreburn, Lord, 243

Lowell, American Ambassador, 191, 304

_Lydia_, _the Mating of_, 261

Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred, 39, 252

Lyttelton, Hon. Sir Neville, 109, 148, 174-175, 247

Lyttelton, Hon. Mrs. Neville (Lady), 109, 148, 175, 274

Lytton, Victor (Earl of), 148

Maclaren, Lady, 233

McClure, S. S., 76, 191

McKee, Miss Ellen, 135, 234

McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald, 196

Macmillan, Sir Frederick, 97

Macmillan, Messrs., 43, 50, 73

_Marcella_, 79, 97, 106-111, 189

Markham, Miss Violet, 233, 235

Martineau, James, D.D., 81-87, 154, 304

Masterman, C. F. G., 270

Maurice, C. E., 149

Maxse, Admiral, 267

Maxwell, Dr., 209-210

May, Miss, 13, 14, 16

Meredith, George, 143, 180-181, 266

Michel, André, 68

Midleton, Lord, 45, 47

Mill, John Stuart, 224

Milligan, Miss, 135, 141

_Milly and Olly_, 32

Milner, Viscount, 308

Mirman, M., 285

_Miss Bretherton_, 43, 44, 48, 255

_Missing_, 289

Mitchell, Dr. Weir, 210

Mivart, St. George, 149

Mollison, Miss, 220

Morley, John (Viscount), 37, 40-42, 46, 114, 149, 228, 229

Mudie's Library, 111

Müller, Mrs. Max, 228

Neal, Mary, 123

Nettlefold, Frederick, 81

Newman, Cardinal, 13, 17, 19, 57

Nicholson, Sir Charles, 241

Nicolson, Sir Arthur, 270

Northbrook, Lord, 131, 304

Norton, Miss Sara, 192, 213

Oakeley, Miss Hilda, 268

Odgers, Dr. Blake, 81

Onslow, Earl of, 282

Osborn, Fairfield, 210 _note_

Page, Walter Hines, 298, 304

Palmer, Edwin, 20

Pankhurst, Mrs., 238

Paris, Gaston, 168

Parker, Sir Gilbert, 270

Pasolini, Contessa Maria, 188, 262

Passmore Edwards, J., 91, 120-121

Passmore Edwards Settlement, the, 90, 92, 119-122,
     130-131, 182-183, 186, 189, 219, 234, 268

Pater, Walter, 27, 42, 99

Pattison, Mark, Rector of Lincoln, 17, 19-21, 24, 28, 34, 51, 57

_Peasant in Literature_, _The_, 155, 210

Pease, Rt. Hon. J. (Lord Gainford), 292

Percival, Dr., Bishop of Hereford, 31

Pilcher, G. T., 132

Pinney, General, 277

Plumer, General Lord, 280

Plymouth, Earl of, 243

Ponsot, M., 285

Potter, Beatrice (Mrs. Sidney Webb), 87, 95, 115, 116, 228

Prothero, Sir George, 252

Pusey, Edward Bouverie, D.D., 32

Putnam, George Haven, 76

Rawlinson, General Sir Henry, 284

Rawnsley, Rev. Canon H. D., 304

Renan, Ernest, 47, 168

Repplier, Miss Agnes, 210

Ribot, Alexandre, 168

_Richard Meynell_, _The Case of_, 90, 153, 173, 250, 257-261

Roberts, Earl, 175

Roberts, Capt. H. C., 277

_Robert Elsmere_, 33, 47, 49-54;
  publication, 54-55;
  Mr. Gladstone on, 55-64;
  circulation of, 64;
  _Quarterly_ article on, 72-73;
  in America, 73-78, 255, 309

"Robin Ghyll," 205-206

Robins, Miss Elizabeth, 178

Robinson, Alfred, 88

Rodd, Sir Rennell, 288 _note_

Roosevelt, Theodore, 191, 211-212, 269-270, 286, 304

Root, Elihu, 211-212

Rosebery, Earl of, 114, 280

Rothschild, Lord, 112, 115

Ruelli, Padre, 160

Ruskin, John, 28

Russell, Lord Arthur, 40, 48

Russell, Dowager Countess, 81

Russell, George W. E., 55

Russell Square, No. 61, 35-36, 131, 191

Salisbury, Marquis of, 225, 266

Sandwith, Humphry, 25

Sandwith, Lieut. Humphry, R.N., 273

Sandwith, Jane, wife of Henry Ward, 25

Samuel, Rt. Hon. Herbert, 199

Sandhurst, Viscount, 247

Savile, Lord, 161

Schäffer, Mrs., 220

Scherer, Edmond, 46, 48, 168

Schofield, Colonel, 276

Scott, McCallum, 235

Segrè, Carlo, 252

Selborne, Countess of, 301

Selby-Bigge, Sir Amherst, 292

Sellers, Eugénie (Mrs. Arthur Strong), 46, 70

Selwyn, Arthur, Christopher and George, 253, 287, 296

Selwyn, Rev. Dr. E. C., 252

Shakespeare, 47

Shaw, Bernard, 109

Shaw, Norman, 120

Shaw-Lefevre, Miss, 30

_Sir George Tressady_, 115-118, 127, 255

Smith, Dunbar, 120-121

Smith, George Murray, 50, 53, 96, 97, 107, 109, 112, 165-166, 176, 282

Smith, Goldwin, 216

Smith, Reginald J., 173, 176, 255, 256, 258, 262, 281-282

Smith, Walter, 211

Smith & Elder, publishers, 24, 165

Somerville Hall, foundation of, 30-31

Sorell, Julia, wife of Thomas Arnold, 1-4, 6, 8, 13, 16, 27, 53, 54, 208

Sorell, Colonel William, Governor of Tasmania, 2

Sorell, William, 2

Souvestre, Marie, 46, 291

Sparkes, Miss, 132

Spencer, Herbert, 180-181

Stanley, Arthur, Dean of Westminster, 18, 26

Stanley, Hon. Lyulph (Lord Sheffield), 72, 132, 134

Stanley of Alderley, Lady, 228

Stephen, Leslie, 189

Sterner, Albert, 173

"Stocks," 102, 103, 107-109, 113, 246-254, 297, 302-303, 306

Stubbs, William, Bp. of Oxford, 28

Sturgis, Julian, 177

Taine, H., 24, 68-69, 168

Talbot, Edward, Warden of Keble and Bp. of Winchester, 48, 56, 65

Tatton, R. G., 121, 127, 128, 189

Taylor, James, 21

Tennant, Laura, 39, 46

Terry, Miss Marion, 178

Thayer, W. R., 77

Thursfield, J. R., 38, 71, 102

Torre Alfina, Marchese di, 162

_Towards the Goal_, 285-286

Townsend, Mrs., 133

Toynbee, Mrs. Arnold, 228

Trench, Alfred Chevenix, 181

Trevelyan, George Macaulay, 151, 181-182, 296

Trevelyan, Sir George Otto, 181, 214

Trevelyan, Humphry, 253, 297

Trevelyan, Mary, 253-254, 297

Trevelyan, Theodore Macaulay, 253-255

Tyrrell, Father, 250, 257

Tyrwhitt, Commodore, 286

_Unitarians and the Future_, 155

Voysey, Charles, 33

Wace, Henry, Dean of Canterbury, 21, 31, 32

Wade, F. C., 219

Walkley, A. B., 178

Wallace, Sir Donald Mackenzie, 252

Wallas, Graham, 87, 109, 115, 132, 134, 141

Walter, John, 35

_War and Elizabeth_, _The_, 289-290

Ward, Miss Agnes (Mrs. Turner), 227

Ward, Dorothy Mary, 29, 205-206, 208-209, 211,
     214-215, 249, 275-280, 283-285, 289, 299, 301, 306-307

Ward, Miss Gertrude, 43, 126, 230

Ward, Rev. Henry, 25

Ward, Thomas Humphry, 20, 25, 35, 105, 112, 207-209, 215, 247, 248, 306, 308

Warner, Charles Dudley, 191

Weardale, Lord, 243

Wells, H. G., 214

Wemyss, The Countess of, 71-72, 189

Wharton, Mrs., 192, 263

Whitridge, Arnold, 296

Whitridge, Frederick W., 191, 207-208, 247, 281

Wicksteed, Philip, 85, 87, 88, 90

Wilkin, Charles, 289

_William Ashe_, _The Marriage of_, 173, 179, 187, 204

Williams, Charles, 127

Williams-Freeman, Miss, 251

Wilson, President, 281, 300

Wolfe, General James, 221

Wolff, Dr. Julius, 43, 107

Wolseley, Lord, 46

Wood, Rev. Canon H. T., 307

Wood, Col. William, 221

Wordsworth, Gordon, 304

Wordsworth, John, Bp. of Salisbury, 33

_Writer's Recollections_, _A_, 27, 31, 189, 290-291

Yonge, Miss Charlotte, 25

Zangwill, Israel, 233

_Printed in Great Britain by_ Butler & Tanner, Ltd., _Frome and London_

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by etext transcriber:

reliques chez son évèque=>reliques chez son évêque

The matter would be truth, names and places strictously ficticous=>The
matter would be truth, names and places strictously ficticious

Yours Obiediently=>Yours Obediently

extents over 400 pages=>extends over 400 pages

présente ça et là la nature=>présente çà et là la nature

as a thankoffering=>as a thank-offering

agitatiion and violence=>agitation and violence

Opposing Woman Suffrage=>Opposing Women's Suffrage {243}

Dix-huitième Siécle=>Dix-huitième Siècle

processs of making=>process of making

War conditions themsleves that convinced=>War conditions themselves that
convinced {291}

women are and and have long been at home=>women are and have long been
at home

Schaffer, Mrs., 220=>Schäffer, Mrs., 220

       *       *       *       *       *


[1] The following is a letter written long afterwards by Tom Arnold to
his sister Fan, with reference to Clough: "I loved him, oh! so well: and
also respected him more profoundly than any man, anywhere near my own
age, whom I ever met. His pure soul was without stain: he seemed
incapable of being inflamed by wrath, or tempted to vice, or enslaved by
any unworthy passion of any sort. As to 'Philip' something that he saw
in me helped to suggest the character, that was all. There is much in
Philip that is Clough himself and there is a dialectic force in him that
certainly was never in me."

_December 21, 1895._

[2] "School-days with Miss Clough." By T. C. Down. _Cornhill_, June,

[3] According to the universal understanding of those days, in the case
of a mixed marriage the boys followed the father's faith and the girls
the mother's. Tom Arnold's boys were, therefore, brought up as Catholics
until their father's reversion to Anglicanism in 1864.

[4] _Passages in a Wandering Life_ (T. Arnold), p. 185.

[5] Jowett to Lewis Campbell, June, 1871.

[6] Privately printed.

[7] _Life and Letters of H. Taine._ Trans. by E. Sparrel-Bayly, Vol.
III, p. 58.

[8] He called her "the greatest and best person I have ever met, or
shall ever meet, in this world."--_Letters of J. R. Green._ Ed. Leslie
Stephen, p. 284.

[9] After the foundation of Somerville Hall Mrs. Ward was succeeded in
the Secretaryship by Mrs. T. H. Green and Mr. Henry Butcher.

[10] Now Mrs. Arthur Strong, Assistant Director of the British School at

[11] The Editor of the _Spectator_.

[12] This conversation has already appeared once in print, as an
Appendix to the Westmorland Edition of _Robert Elsmere_.

[13] Mrs. T. H. Green; Mrs. Creighton; Mrs. A. H. Johnson; Miss Pater.

[14] "The New Reformation," _Nineteenth Century_, January, 1889.

[15] On February 3, 1890.

[16] Afterwards embodied in her book, _Town Life in the Fifteenth

[17] _Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett_, edited by Annie Fields, p. 95.

[18] See p. 91.

[19] Introduction to _Helbeck of Bannisdale_, Autograph Edition,
Houghton Mifflin & Co.

[20] Introduction to the Autograph Edition.

[21] Mr. Cropper's brother had married Susan Arnold, sister of Tom.

[22] He died in April, 1904.

[23] _Eleanor_ was finally played with the following cast:

  Edward Manisty                   Mr. CHARLES QUARTERMAINE
  Father Benecke                   Mr. STEPHEN POWYS
  Reggie Brooklyn                  Mr. LESLIE FABER
  Alfredo                          Mr. VICTOR BRIDGES
  Lucy Foster                      Miss LILIAN BRAITHWAITE
  Madame Variani                   Miss ROSINA FILIPPI
  Alice Manisty                    Miss ELIZABETH ROBINS
  Marie                            Miss MABEL ARCHDALL
  Dalgetty                         Miss BEATRIX DE BURGH
  Eleanor Burgoyne                 Miss MARION TERRY

[24] See the _Memoir of W. T. Arnold_, by Mrs. Ward and C. E. Montague.

[25] From _The Associate_, the quarterly magazine of the Passmore
Edwards Settlement, for October, 1902.

[26] Sir Hugh Bell at the unveiling of the memorial to Mrs. Ward at the
Mary Ward Settlement, July, 1922.

[27] In 1907 the City Education Authority of New York had no less than
100 school playgrounds equipped and opened under its own supervision.

[28] Mr. Fairfield Osborn.

[29] Mrs. Ward had spent a morning in the Parliamentary Library with Mr.
Martin, the librarian, delighting in his detailed knowledge of Canadian

[30] Mr. Woodall's.

[31] Mr. Harrison also deprecated the formation of a definite League.
"It is to do the very thing that we are protesting against," he wrote,
"which is to accustom women to the mechanical artifices of political

[32] Now the National Council of Women.

[33] _What Is and What Might Be._ By Edmond Holmes.

[34] Henry James had become a naturalized British subject in July, 1915.


    My doom hath come upon me, and would to God that I
    Had felt my hand in thy dear hand on the day I had to die.

    Sir Rennell Rodd's translation, in
    _Love, Worship and Death_.

[36] Col. John Buchan, Director of the Ministry of Information, wrote to
her in December 1918, as follows:


As the Ministry of Information ceases its operations on Dec. 31st, I am
taking this opportunity of writing to express to you, on behalf of the
Ministry, our very cordial gratitude for the help which you have given
so generously. It would have been almost impossible to essay the great
task of enlightening foreign countries as to the justice of the Allied
cause and the magnitude of the British effort without the co-operation
of our leading writers, and we have been most fortunate in receiving
that co-operation in full and ungrudged measure. To you in particular we
are indebted for generous concessions with regard to the use of your
books and writings, and I beg that you will accept this message of
gratitude from myself and from the other members of the Staff.

[37] _Evening Play Centres for Children_, by Janet Penrose Trevelyan.
Methuen & Co.

[38] See p. 241.

[39] Sir Robert Jones, F.R.C.S., Chairman of the Central Committee for
the care of Cripples, wrote to Miss Ward after her mother's death: "One
of the last pieces of work accomplished by Mrs. Ward for cripples was
the insertion of the P.D. clause in the Fisher Education Act, and the
reports obtained for that purpose are largely the groundwork and origin
of this Committee, in whose work she took a deep interest."

[40] On October 23, 1919.

[41] Now named, after its founder, the Mary Ward Settlement.

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