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Title: Passing By
Author: Baring, Maurice, 1874-1945
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 "Passing By" ***

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- Cornell University)



PASSING BY

BY MAURICE BARING


LONDON: MARTIN SECKER

1921



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Friday, December_ 18_th_, 1908. _Gray's Inn_.

I went to the station this morning to see the Housmans off. They are
leaving for Egypt and intend to stay there a month or perhaps two
months. They are stopping a few days at Paris on the way.

_Saturday, December_ 19_th_.

My Christmas holidays begin. I am spending Christmas with Uncle Arthur
and Aunt Ruth. I have to be back at the office on the first of January.

_Thursday, January_ 1_st_, 1909. _Gray's Inn_.

Received a post-card from Mrs Housman, from Cairo.

_Monday, February_ 2_nd_.

Received a letter from Mrs Housman. They are returning to London.

_Sunday, February_ 8_th_.

The Housmans return to-morrow. They have been away one month and
twenty-one days.

_Monday, February_ 9_th_.

Went to meet the Housmans at the station. They are going straight into
their new house at Campden Hill and are giving a house-warming dinner
next Monday, to which I have been invited.

_Tuesday, February_ 10_th._

Lord Ayton has been made Parliamentary Under-Secretary. I do not know
him but I remain in the office. He is taking me on.

_Monday, February_ 16_th. Gray's Inn_.

The Housmans had their house-warming in their new house at Campden Hill.
I was the first to arrive.

On one of the walls in the drawing-room there is the large portrait of
Mrs Housman by Walter Bell, which I had never seen since it was
exhibited in the New Gallery ten years ago. It was always being lent for
exhibitions when I went to the old house in Inverness Terrace. While I
was looking at this picture Housman joined me and apologised for being
late. He said the portrait of Mrs Housman was Bell's _chef-d'oeuvre_.
He liked it _now._ Then he said: "We are having some music to-night.
Solway is dining with us and will play afterwards. He plays for nothing
here, an old friend; you know him? Miss Singer is coming too. You know
her? She writes. I don't read her."

At that moment Mrs Housman came in and almost immediately Mr and Mrs
Carrington-Smith were announced. Mr Carrington-Smith is Housman's
partner, an expert in deep-breathing besides being rich. Mrs
Carrington-Smith had lately arrived from Munich. The other guests
were--Miss Housman (Housman's sister), Lady Jarvis, Miss Singer, whom I
was to take in to dinner, a city friend of Mr Housman's, Mr James
Randall, a little man with a silk waistcoat, and, the last to arrive,
Solway. I sat on Mrs Housman's left, next to Miss Singer.
Carrington-Smith sat on Mrs Housmans right; Housman sat at the head of
the table, between Mrs Carrington-Smith and Lady Jarvis. Miss Singer
talked to me earnestly at first. She is writing on the Italian
Renaissance. I told her I was ignorant of the subject, upon which her
earnestness subsided, and she smiled. Then we talked of music, where I
felt more at home. She had been to all Solway's concerts. She is not a
Wagnerite. Just as we were beginning to get on smoothly there was a
shuffle in the conversation and Mrs Housman turned to me.

I told her we had a new chief at the office--Lord Ayton.

"We met him in Egypt," she said. "He had been big-game shooting. I had
no idea he was an official."

I told her he was only a Parliamentary Under-Secretary. At that moment
there was a lull in the general conversation and Housman overheard us.

"Ayton," he broke in. "A pleasant fellow, not too much money, some fine
things, furniture, at his place, but he won't go far, no grit."

I asked Mrs Housman what he was like. She said they had made great
friends at Cairo but she did not think they would ever meet again.

"You know," she said, "these great friends one makes travelling, people,
you know, who are just passing by."

Miss Singer said he had an old house in Sussex. She had been over it. It
was let; there were some fine old things there.

"But he won't sell," said Housman. "He's not a man of business."

Mrs Carrington-Smith said she preferred impressionist pictures,
especially the Danish school. Housman laughed at her and said there was
no money in them. Miss Housman said she had heard from a dealer that
Lord Ayton had a remarkable set of Charles II. chairs and that she
wished he would sell them. Solway took no part in the conversation but
discussed music with Miss Singer. I caught the phrase, "trombones as
good as Baireuth." Mrs Housman asked me whether I had seen Ayton yet. I
told her he had not been to the office.

"I think you will like him," she said. Then, as an afterthought, "He's
not a musician."

She asked me whether there were any changes in the staff. I told her
none except for the arrival of a new Private Secretary (unpaid) whom
Lord Ayton is bringing with him, called Cunninghame. She had never heard
of him. We stayed a long time in the dining-room. Housman was proud of
his Madeira and annoyed with us for not drinking enough. Mr Randall said
he was sorry but he never mixed his wines, and he had some more
champagne. Randall, Carrington-Smith and Housman talked of the
international situation. Solway explained to me why portions of the
Ninth Symphony were always played too fast. He was most illuminating.
Then we went upstairs. More guests had arrived. A few people I knew, a
great many I had not seen before, Solway played some Bach preludes and
the Waldstein Sonata. The unmusical went downstairs. There were about a
dozen people left in the drawing-room.

Afterwards there were some refreshments downstairs. I got away about
half-past twelve.

_Tuesday, February_ 17_th. Gray's Inn_.

Our first day under the new regime. The new chief came to the office
to-day. He looks young, and was friendly and unofficial. The new Private
Secretary came too, Mr Guy Cunninghame, an affable young man. He wears a
beautifully tied bow tie. I wonder how it is done and whether it takes a
long time or not. He is well dressed, but when it comes to describing
him he is dressed like anyone else, and yet he gives the impression of
being well dressed. I don't know why. I suppose it is an art like any
other. I could not tie a tie like that to save my life. _Equidem non
invideo magis miror_.

He seems to have been everywhere, to have read everything and to know
everyone. He is not condescending, he is just naturally agreeable.

I had to go over to the Foreign Office in the morning to see someone in
the Eastern Department. When I came back Cunninghame told me that a Mrs
Housman had been to see Ayton, about some billet for her brother-in-law.
She talked to him first. Cunninghame said he thought she did not like
coming on such an errand. She then saw A., who said he would do what he
could. He told C. afterwards he was sure he couldn't do anything for the
fellow. C. had never met her nor heard of her, but curiously enough he
said he recognised her from her picture which he had seen, Walter Bell's
picture. I asked him if he had seen it at the New Gallery. He said no,
at a dealer's in America two years ago.

I asked him if he was sure it was the same picture. He said he was quite
sure. The picture was for sale.

"One couldn't mistake the picture," he said. "It's the best thing Walter
Bell ever did. His pictures are valuable now he is dead, but there was a
slump in them before he died, or rather, there never was a boom in them.
That one picture attracted a great deal of attention when it was first
exhibited, and then one heard little of him till he died. Now, of
course, his pictures fetch high prices."



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to his cousin, Mrs Caryl_

                                             LONDON,
                                _February_ 19_th_, 1909.

DEAREST ELSIE,

Since my last letter I have been installed. I am George Ayton's
Secretary. I sit in the office with another man, who was there before
and has been taken on, called Mellor. He is as silent as a deaf-mute and
I have no doubt is the soul of discretion. There isn't much work to do
and Ayton has got a real Secretary of his own who writes shorthand and
typewrites without mistakes and lives in his house. He writes all his
private letters and does all his business for him. He is not supposed to
do official work, but George brings him to the office all the same, and
he has a typewriter in the clerk's room and is always ready to do any
odd job. I find him most useful. He is still more silent than Mellor. I
haven't much to tell you. I have got into my new flat in Halkin Street.
It will be presentable in time. The pictures are up, but not the
curtains. Let us hope they won't be a failure: They were promised last
week but have not yet arrived. If you have time and are passing that way
I wish you would get me from the Bon Marché half-a-dozen coloured
tablecloths.

George has got a flat in Stratton Street. I dined with him alone last
night. We went to a Music Hall after dinner and heard Harry Lauder. His
sister, Mrs Campion, is in Paris. Perhaps you will see her. Yesterday a
lady came to the office to interview him and saw me first, a Mrs
Housman. Have you ever heard of her? I recognised her at once as the
subject of a picture by Walter Bell. Do you remember a large picture of
a lady in white playing the piano? Such a clever picture. I saw it in
New York at Altheim's shop, but I believe it was exhibited years ago at
the New Gallery. Well, she is far more beautiful than the picture. She
is not really tall, but she looks tall, with a wonderful walk, but I
can't describe her, she makes other people look unreal--like wax-works.
She was dressed anyhow and rather shabbily in black, wearing no gloves
but the most beautiful ring I have ever seen, a kind of double monogram,
probably old French. She came on business. I wonder who she is. She is
not a foreigner and not, I think, an American, but she is, looks and
talks, especially talks, not like an Englishwoman.

I shall try to come to Paris for Easter.

Don't forget the tablecloths.

                              Yours,
                                                       Guy.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, March_ 1_st_.

I dined last night with the Housmans, They were alone except for Solway,
and after dinner we had some music. Solway played the Schumann
Variations and then he asked Mrs Housman to sing. I hadn't heard her for
a long time as she hardly ever will sing now. She sang _Willst du dein
Herz mir schenken_. Solway says the song isn't by Bach really but by his
nephew. Then she sang a song from Purcell's _Dido_, some Schubert; among
others, _Wer nie sein Brot_, and the _Junge Nonne_. Solway said he had
never heard the last better sung. Housman then asked her to sing a song
from _The Merry Widow_, which she did.

Housman plays himself by ear.

She did not allude to having been at the office, nor did I.

_Tuesday, March_ 2_nd_.

Dined with Cunninghame at his flat last night. A comfortable and
luxurious abode. I asked him if Ayton was likely to marry. He laughed.
He said he had been in love for years, with a Mrs Shamier. I had never
heard of her. Cunninghame said she was clever and accomplished, and had
been very pretty and painted by all the painters.

He says A. will never marry. I asked him if Mrs Shamier was in London.
He said of course. She has a husband who is in Parliament, and several
children; a country house on the south coast; but they are not
particularly well off.

"You must come and meet her at dinner," he said. "I am devoted to her."

I asked him if she was fond of A.

"Not so much now, but she won't let him go."

I went away early as C. was going to a party.

_Wednesday, March_ 3_rd_.

Went to the British Museum before going to the office, to look up an old
English tune for Mrs Housman from Ford's _Music of Sundry Kinds_ called
_The Doleful Lover_. I found it.

_Thursday, March_ _4th_.

Went to Solway's Chamber Music Concert last night.

Brahms Quintet and a trio by Solway himself. Some Brahms _Lieder_. The
Housmans were there. I thought Solway's trio fine.

_Friday, March_ 5_th_.

A. went to the country this afternoon to stay with the Shamiers; so C.
said, but, as a matter of fact, he told me he was going to his own
house. Cunninghame is going away himself to-morrow. He always goes away
on Saturdays, he says. I remain in London.

_Saturday, March_ 6_th_.

Went to the London Library and got some books for Sunday: _Thaïs_, by
Anatole France, recommended to me by C.; a book called _A Human
Document_, recommended me by Mrs Housman. I do not think I shall read
any of them. The only literature I read without difficulty is _The
Times_ and _Jane Eyre_, and _The Times_ doesn't come out on Sunday.

_Sunday Night, March_ 7_th_.

Called on the Housmans in the afternoon. She was out. Luncheon at the
Club. Dinner at the Club. I began _A Human Document_, but could not read
more than five pages of it. I couldn't read any of the book by Anatole
France.

Went to a concert in the afternoon. It was not enjoyable.

Read _Jane Eyre_.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                             LONDON,
                                  _Monday, March_ 8_th_.


DEAREST ELSIE,

I meant to write you a long letter yesterday from the country. I went to
stay with the Shamiers. I thought, of course, George would be there. He
didn't come near the office on Friday. He wasn't there and evidently
wasn't even expected.

Louise in tearing spirits and a new man there called Lavroff, a Russian
philosopher; youngish and talking English better than any of us, except
that he always said "I _have been_ seeing So-and-so to-day," "I _have
been to the concert yesterday_."

Needless to say, I didn't have a moment to write to you, in fact the
only place where I get time to write you a line is at the office.
Everything is appallingly dull. Mellor, the Secretary, had dinner with
me one night. He spoke a little but not much. I think he is shy but not
stupid.

George likes being in London, but Louise didn't mention him. It's
curious if after all this fuss and trouble to get this job and to be in
London it all comes to an end.

The tablecloths have arrived. Thank you a thousand times. They are
exactly what I wanted. The curtains have arrived too but they are a
failure; too bright. I can't afford to get new ones yet. This week I
have got some dinners. George said something about giving a dinner this
week.

Yours in great haste,

                                                      G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, March_ 8_th_.

A. asked me whether if I was free on Thursday I would dine with him. I
said f would be pleased to. He said he would try and get a few people.

_Tuesday, March_ 9_th_.

A. has got a Secretary called Tuke. He writes all his private letters
and he comes down to the office in the mornings. This morning he came
and asked me Mrs Housman's address. It is curious that he should have
applied to me and not to C., as I was not here when she called, nor does
A. know that I know her. How can he have known that I know her?

_Wednesday, March_ 10_th_.

Dined with Cunninghame last night at his flat. The guests were Mr and
Mrs Shamier, Miss Macdonald, C.'s cousin, M. Lavroff, a Russian, and a
Miss Hope. I sat between the Russian and Miss Macdonald. Miss Macdonald
is an elderly lady, kind and agreeable. Mr Shamier, M.P., was once, I
believe, an athlete, a cricket Blue. Miss Hope looked as if she were in
fancy dress; Lavroff, the Russian, is unkempt, with thick eyebrows and
dark eyes. Tolstoy was mentioned at dinner. Mrs Shamier said he was her
favourite novelist, upon which Lavroff became greatly excited and said
the day would come when, the world would perceive and be ashamed of
itself for perceiving that Tolstoy was not worthy to lick Dostoyevsky's
boots. Being asked my opinion I was obliged to confess that I had read
the works of neither novelist. Miss Macdonald asked me who was my
favourite novelist. I said Charlotte Brontë. She said she shared my
preference and couldn't read Russian books, they depressed her. After
dinner we had some music. Miss Hope sang and accompanied herself. She
sang songs by Fauré and Hahn; among others _La Prison_. She altered the
text of the last line, and instead of singing "Qu'as tu fait de ta
jeunesse?" she rendered it--"Qu'as tu fait dans ta jeunesse?": scarcely
an improvement. When she had finished Lavroff was asked to play. He
consented immediately and played some folk songs. Although he is in no
sense a pianist, they were beautifully played.

_Thursday, March_ 11_th_.

Had dinner last night with Admiral Bowes in Hyde Park Gardens. The only
people there besides myself were Colonel Hamley and Grayson, who is,
they say, a rising M.P. The Admiral said his nephew, Bowes in the F.O.
(whom I know a little), had become a Roman Catholic.

"What on earth made him do that?" said Colonel Hamley.

"Got hold of by the priests," said the Admiral; and they all echoed the
phrase: "Got hold of by the priests" and passed on to other topics.

I have often wondered what the process of being "got hold of by the
priests" consists of, and where and how it happens.

_Friday, March_ 12_th_.

Dined last night with A. at his flat. I was surprised to meet Mr and Mrs
Housman. The hostess was A.'s sister, Mrs Campion. She is a deal older
than he is, a widow and good company. There was also a Mrs Braham, and a
younger man called Clive. He is in a bank and is, I believe, a useful
man in a sailing boat.

I sat between Mrs Campion and Mrs Housman.

After dinner A. said to Mrs Housman that, knowing she liked music, he
had provided her with a musical treat. Mrs Braham would sing to us. She
sang, accompanying herself, _The Garden of Sleep, The Silver Ring,
Mélisande in the Wood_, and, by special request, _The Little Grey Home
in the West_. There was no other music.

_Saturday, March_ 13_th._

Had tea with the Housmans. They asked me to dinner next Tuesday to meet
A. Mrs Housman says that Mrs Campion is one of the most charming and
amusing people she has ever met. C. is staying in London. This Saturday
A. is going to his house in the country. He has a small house on the
coast near Littlehampton, where he keeps his yacht, but, of course, he
cannot yacht yet. He has a large house in Sussex which is let.

_Sunday Night, March_ 14_th._

Went down to Woking to spend the day with Solway in his cottage. He is
composing a Sonata for piano and violin. He played me the first
movement. He said he thought there was a certain amount of good music
being composed at the present day which nobody was taking notice of, but
which would probably come into its own some day. He said Mrs Housman was
the singer who gave him the most pleasure. He said: "Her singing is
_business-like_. She is divinely musical."



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                      _Sunday, March_ 14_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have been spending a perfect Saturday to Monday in London. I have had
a busy week and was glad to see no one and do nothing all to-day, that
is to say, comparatively no one and nothing, as I went to the play on
Saturday night, and to-day I went to a large luncheon party at Alice's,
who is back at Bruton Street. The news is that the Shamier episode is
over, quite, quite over. There is no doubt about it. She is madly in
love with Lavroff. I don't wonder. He is so intelligent and plays
wonderfully. As for George, I don't think he cares. You will at once ask
if there is no one else. Nobody that I know of. I don't know who he sees
and what he does. He hates going out, and talks every day of giving a
dinner at his flat, but as far as I know he hasn't entertained a cat
yet.

I dined out every night last week, and gave one dinner at my flat. I
think it was a success. Freda Macdonald, Louise, Lavroff and Eileen
Hope, who sang quite beautifully. I asked Godfrey Mellor, but I really
don't know if I can ask him again to that sort of party as he didn't
utter a word. Freda liked him. But it does ruin a dinner to have a gulf
of silence in the middle of it, especially as when he does talk he can
be quite agreeable. George has gone down to the country. His sister is
here now, but she goes north next week. I believe London bores him to
death and he is longing for the summer and for his yacht. I am sorry you
can tell me nothing of Mrs Housman. I haven't seen or heard anything
more of her.

Thank you very much for the _langues de chat_. They added to the success
of my dinner. Yours, etc.,

GUY.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, March_ 16_th._

I asked C. where he got his cigarettes. He said he got them from a
little man who lived _behind_ the Haymarket. Everybody seems to get
their cigarettes and their shirts from a "little man." The little man
apparently never lives in a street but always _behind_ a street.

My new piano, a Cottage Broadwood, arrived to-day. It is bought on the
three years' system.

_Tuesday, March_ 17_th._

Dined with my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Arthur last night, in Eccleston
Square. A large dinner-party: a Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign
Affairs, the French Chargé d'Affaires and his wife, the Editor of _The
Whig_ and his wife, Lord and Lady Saint-Edith, Professor Miles, Sir
Herbert Wilmott and Lady Wilmott, Mr Julius K. Lee of the American
Embassy, and Mrs Lovell-Smythies, the novelist.

As we were all waiting for dinner in the dark library downstairs a Miss
Magdalen Cross came in late, carrying a book in her hand. "This book,"
she said to us all, "is well worth reading." It was a German novel by
Sudermann. An old lady who was standing next to her, and who I
afterwards discovered was the widow of the Bishop of Exminster, said:
"You prepared that entry in your cab, dear Magdalen." Miss Cross
blushed. I took her in to dinner. She talked of sculpture, the Chinese
nation, German novels, and Russian music. She has been three times round
the world. She has no liking for most German music and cannot abide
Brahms. She likes Wagner, Chopin, Russian Church music and Spanish
songs. On the other side I had the wife of the French Chargé d'Affaires.
She said: "J'adore l'odeur des paquets anglais." Her favourite English
author, she said, was Mrs Humphry Wood. I did not like to ask her if
she meant Mrs Humphry Ward or Mrs Henry Wood. She said the works of this
novelist made her weep.

When we were left in the dining-room after dinner, Lord Saint-Edith,
Professor Miles and Hallam (of _The Whig_) had a long argument about
some lines in Dante, and this led them to the Baconian theory. Lord
Saint-Edith said he couldn't understand people thinking Bacon had
written Shakespeare's plays. If they said Shakespeare had written the
works of Bacon as a pastime he could understand it. He believed Homer
was written by Homer. The Professor was paradoxical and said he thought
the Odyssey was a forgery. "Tacitus," he said, "was known to be one."

After dinner upstairs there was tea but no music. Uncle Arthur is
growing very deaf and forgetful and asked me how I was getting on at
Balliol.

Aunt Ruth told me she had asked my new chief to dinner, but that he had
refused. "Of course," she said, "this is not the kind of house he would
find amusing. But considering how well I knew his father I think it
would be only civil for him to come to one of my Thursday evenings."

_Wednesday, March_ 17_th._

I dined at the Housmans' last night. It was a dinner for A. He was the
guest of the evening. To meet him there were Lady Maria Lyneham, who
must be over seventy; a French lady of imposing presence called, if I
caught the name correctly, the Princesse de Carignan and who, Housman
whispered to me, was a Bourbon, and if she had her rights would be Queen
of France to-day; a secretary from the Italian Embassy; Mr and Mrs
Baines. Mr Baines is an official at the British Museum and is half
French. His wife, he told me, had once been taken for Sarah Bernhardt.
There were several other people: Sir Herbert Simcox, the K.C., and Lady
Simcox, an art critic, a lady journalist and Miss Housman.

A. sat between Mrs Housman and Lady Simcox. Housman had the Princesse de
Carignan on his right and Lady Maria on his left. I sat between Lady
Maria and Miss Housman. Lady Maria told me she dined out whenever she
could, and asked me to luncheon on Sunday. "Don't come," she said, "if
you mind meeting lions; I like pleasant people. Only I warn you I have
an old-fashioned prejudice for good manners and I always ask their
wives."

Mr Baines talked beautiful French to the Princesse. Lady Maria told me
she was neither French nor a princess, but the illegitimate daughter of
a Levantine. "But very respectable all the same, I'm afraid," she added.

After dinner a few people came. Among others, Housman's partner and
Esther Lake, the contralto. She sang (she brought her own accompanist)
some Handel and _Che faro_ and, by request of Mr Housman, Gounod's
_There is a Green Hill._

I drove home with A. He told me he had enjoyed himself immensely and he
thought Esther Lake was the finest singer in the world.

He said Miss Housman was a very clever woman and Housman appeared to be
quite a good sort.

He said he liked this kind of dinner-party.

_Thursday, March_ 18_th._

The first day there has been a feeling of spring in the air. I went to
St James's Park on the way to the office.

Dined at the Club.

_Friday, March_ 19_th._

A. asked me to spend Sunday with him in the country. I told him I was
sorry I was engaged to go out to luncheon on Sunday. He said I must come
the week after.

_Saturday, March_ 20_th._

C. said it was a great pity A. did not go out more. He used to go out a
great deal, he said. "I suppose," he added, "it's because he doesn't
wast to meet Mrs Shamier." I said I thought C. had told me he was fond
of her. "Yes," said C, "he was very fond of her, but that is all over
now."

_Sunday Evening, March_ _21_st.

I went to St Paul's Cathedral in the morning. Then to luncheon with Lady
Maria in her house in Seymour Place.

A curious luncheon. There were two actors and their wives, Father Seton,
and Mr Le Roy, who writes detective stories, and his wife, and Sir James
Croker.

I sat next to Mrs Le Roy, who is, she told me, a Greek. She told me her
husband had written one hundred and ten books, but that she had read
none of them. She said it worried him if she read them. She said it was
a great sacrifice as she doted on detective stories and was told his
were very good. The actors, who were both actor managers, told us about
their forthcoming productions. Mr Vane said there was going to be a real
panther in his next production (a Shakespearean revival). Mr Jones Acre
is producing a play which is translated from the Swedish, and which
deals with the question of a man who has inoculated himself and his
whole family with a fatal disease, in the interests of science.

Father Seton took a great interest in the stage, and said he considered
the Church and the stage should be close allies. The clergy took far too
little interest in these things. It was a pity, he said, to let the
Romans have the monopoly of that kind of thing. This surprised Mrs Le
Roy, who said she thought he was a Roman Catholic. He laughed and said
Rome would have to capitulate on many points before any idea of
corporate reunion could be entertained.

Sir James Croker told stories of early days in the Foreign Office and
Lord Palmerston.

We sat on talking until half-past three. I then went home and read _Jane
Eyre_.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                  HALKIN STREET,
                                            _March_ 25_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I start on Thursday and shall arrive Thursday evening. I have got rooms
at the Ritz. Let us have dinner together Thursday night, and _not_ go to
a play. I shall stay in Paris a week and then go for four days to
Mentone. Then I shall come back to Paris for three days, and then home.
I suppose we shall have to dine at the Embassy one night. George is
going to the country for Easter with his sister. I want a really nice
screen (a small one). You must help me to find one, not too dear. I also
want something for the dining-room, which at present is coo bare.

I won't write any more now.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Sunday, March_ 29_th. Hôtel St Romain, Rue St Roch, Paris_

Went to a concert at the _Cirque d'Été_ this afternoon, not a very
interesting programme. A great deal of Wagner, and _L'Après-midi d'un
Faune_.

Dined by myself at a Duval. Start for Florence to-morrow morning.

_Tuesday, March_ 30_th. Villa Fersen, Florence_

Arrived this morning before luncheon after an exhausting journey
second-class. In the carriage there was a soldier belonging to the
_Garde Républicaine_. He said he was on duty at the Opera and had he
known I was passing through Paris he could have given me a _billet de
faveur_.

The Housmans' villa is at the top of a hill on the Bellosguardo side. It
is rather a large house, covered with wistaria, with high windows with
iron bars. It has a large empty _salon_ with a piano. A fine room for
sound. The garden is beautiful.

_Wednesday, March_ 31_st_.

I walked down into Florence very early in the morning. I reached the
town before anything was open and met a party of men in shorts and
flannels running back to a hotel. They were Eton masters taking
exercise. I didn't go to any picture galleries, but I walked about the
streets and went into the Duomo, an ugly building inside. I got back for
luncheon.

Housman said that they must leave cards in the afternoon and take a
drive in the Cascine. They went out in a carriage and pair. I went for a
walk to the Boboli Gardens. At dinner Housman said they had met several
friends, and he is giving a dinner-party on Sunday.

_Thursday, April_ 1_st_.

The Housmans took me to luncheon with a banker called Baron Strong. What
the explanation of this title is I do not know. They live in the modern
part of the town. He was a genial host, portly, with long white
whiskers. His wife, the Baroness, an Italian, a distinguished lady.
There were present a Marchese whose real name I was told was
Goldschmidt, and his wife, a retired and talkative English diplomatist,
a Russian lady, an Italian, who talked English, French and Russian with
ease, called Scalchi, Professor Johnston-Wright, who is spending his
holiday here, and a Frenchman. When the latter heard Scalchi talk every
language successively he said to him: "Vous êtes une petite tour de
Babel."

In the afternoon we left cards at several houses and villas and then
went for a drive in the Cascine. Some people called at tea-time, but I
escaped. After dinner Mrs Housman sang some Schumann, _Frühlingsnacht_,
and the _Dichterliebe._ These songs, she said, suit Florence.

_Friday, April_ 2_nd_.

I had a talk with the Italian gardener as far as my Italian permitted me
to. I pointed out a plant, a mauve-coloured plant, I don't know its
name, that seemed to grow in great profusion. He said: "Fiorisce come il
pensiere dell' uomo." More calls in the afternoon, and another drive in
the Cascine.

Housman has bought a large modern statue representing _The Triumph of
Truth,_ a female figure carrying a torch, with a serpent at her feet.
She is triumphing, I suppose, over the snake.

_Saturday, April_ 3_rd_.

We went to see the Easter Saturday ceremony at the Duomo, and then to
luncheon at the Villa Michael Angelo. It belongs to a rich American
called Fisk. There were present besides Mr and Mrs Fisk an English
authoress, a picture connoisseur, Scalchi, an American archæologist, an
Italian man of letters, and a Miss Sinclair, also an archæologist.
Housman said afterwards this was the cream of intellectual Florence.

I sat between two archæologists. I found their conversation difficult to
follow.

After luncheon we called on the British Consul's wife, whose day it was.
Then after a drive in the Cascine we went home.

_Easter Sunday, April_ 4_th._

Mrs Housman went to Mass early. Went for a walk with Housman. On the
Ponte Vecchio we met Ayton and his sister, Mrs Campion. Mrs Campion, he
said, had insisted on him taking her to Florence.

Housman asked them to dinner to-night; they accepted. A great many
people came to tea.

The dinner-party to-night was quite a large one. Baron and Baroness
Strong, Lord Ayton, Mrs Campion, Mr and Mrs Fisk, Scalchi and the
Marchese and his wife, whom we met lately. I sat between Mrs Campion and
Baron Strong. After dinner Mrs Fisk played Chopin with astonishing
facility, but without any expression.

A. intends to stay here another fortnight.

Housman said he received a telegram which will necessitate his meeting
his partner at Genoa. His partner is on the way to the Riviera. He may
have to go to Paris too, but he hopes not, and intends to be back in a
few days if possible.

_Monday, April_ 5_th._

Housman left to-day for Genoa. I went with Mrs Housman to San Marco and
the Accademia in the morning. In the afternoon to the Certosa with Mrs
Housman, A. and Mrs Campion.

_Tuesday, April_ 6_th._

Mrs Campion and A. came to luncheon. Mrs Campion, who is an expert
gardener, told me the names of all the flowers in the garden. They have
not remained in my mind.

_Wednesday, April_ 7_th_.

We all spent a morning sight-seeing and had luncheon at a restaurant. In
the afternoon we drove to Fiesole.

_Thursday, April_ 8_th._

Housman is not coming back. He is obliged to go to Paris and he will go
straight to London from there.

We drove to Fiesole in the morning. Had luncheon with some Italian
friends of Mrs Campion, Count and Countess Alberti. Nobody there except
the host and hostess and their three children. A fine villa and no
garden. Countess Alberti said it was no use having a garden if one lived
here in summer, as everything dried up. She is a charming woman, natural
and unpretentious, and talks English like an Englishwoman.

She asked A if he had met many people, and A. said he was a tourist and
had no time for visits. Countess Alberti said he was quite right and
that she knew nothing in the world more--_seccante_ was the word she
used, than Florentine society.

She asked us all to come again next week. I am leaving on Sunday, and
A. and Mrs Campion are going to Paris on Monday. Mrs Housman remains
here another week.

_Friday, April_ 9_th._

Mrs Housman had a headache and did not come down. I went to the town and
did some shopping and went over the Bargello. Mrs Housman came down to
dinner and sang afterwards, Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. I had never
heard her sing _O Versenk o versenk dein Leid mein Kind, in die See_
before.

_Saturday, April_ 10_th._

We went to a great many churches in the morning and saw a number of
frescoes. Mrs Housman received a great many invitations, but refused
them all. A. and Mrs Campion and the Albertis came to dinner. Countess
Alberti persuaded Mrs Housman to sing. She sang some English songs:
_Passing By, Lord Randall_, etc., Gounod's _Chanson de Mai_, and some
Lully. Countess Alberti said it was a comfort to hear singing of which
you could hear every word. A. liked _Passing By_ best, and he made her
sing it twice. He asked me who the words were by. The tune is Edward
Purcell's. The words, although generally attributed to Herrick by
musical publishers, are by an anonymous poet, and occur in Thomas Ford's
_Music of Sundry Kinds_, 1607. They are as follows:--

      There is a ladye sweet and kind,
      Was never face so pleas'd my mind,
      I did but see her passing by,
      And yet I love her till I die.

      Her gestures, motions, and her smile,
      Her wit, her voice my heart beguile,
      Beguile my heart, I know not why;
      And yet I love her till I die.

There is also a third stanza.



_Letters from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                       VILLA BEAU SITE,
                                           MENTONE,
                                _Thursday, April_ 8_th_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

It is divine here and this villa is a dream. We went to Monte Carlo
yesterday and I won 300 francs and then lost it again. I saw hundreds of
people, _monde_ and _demi-monde_. Among the latter Celia Russell, having
luncheon with rather a gross-looking shiny financier. I asked who he was
and found out that he was Housman of Housman & Smith. Apparently C.R.
has been living with him for some time, ever since, in fact, L. went to
India. But the interesting thing to me is that Housman is the husband of
that beautiful Mrs Housman I told you about. M. knows them and knows all
about them. Mrs Housman was a Canadian, very poor, with no one to look
after her but an old aunt. He married her about ten years ago. Since
then he has become very rich. Carrington-Smith is now his partner.
Housman supplies the brains. They live somewhere in the suburbs and she
never goes anywhere.

I am not coming back till next Monday. I shall be able to stop two or
three days in Paris, very likely longer.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.

                                            HALKIN STREET,

                                       _Sunday, May_ 9_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have had a busy week since I have been back. Monday I dined with
George at his flat. A man's dinner to meet some French politicians who
are over here for a few days. I told you I was determined to make Mrs
Housman's acquaintance, and I have. I had luncheon on Tuesday with Jimmy
Randall, a city friend of mine. You don't know him. He knows the
Housmans intimately. I told him I wanted to know them and he asked me to
meet them last night.

We dined at the Carlton, Randall, the Housmans and myself. I think she
is even more beautiful than I thought before. I couldn't take my eyes
off her. She was in black, with one row of very good pearls. I never saw
such eyes. Housman is too awful; sleek, fat and common beyond words, but
sharp as a needle. He has an extraordinary laugh, a high, nasal chuckle,
and says, "Ha! ha! ha!" after every sentence. They have asked me to
dinner next Tuesday. I will write to you about it in detail. Mrs H. is
charming. There is nothing American or Colonial about her, but she is
curiously un-English. I can't understand how she can have married him. I
caught sight of her again this morning at the Oratory, where I always go
if I am in London on Sundays, for the music. Randall told me she is
very musical, but I didn't get any speech with her.

The flat looks quite transformed with all the Paris things. They are the
greatest success.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.

                                      _Wednesday, May_ 12_th._


DEAREST ELSIE,

The dinner-party came off last night. They live in Campden Hill. I was
early and the parlour-maid said Mrs Housman would be down directly, and
I heard Housman shouting upstairs: "Clare, Clare, guests," but he did
not appear himself. I was shown into a large white and heavily gilded
drawing-room, with a candelabra, a Steinway grand, and light blue satin
and ebony furniture, a good many palms, but no flowers. The drawing-room
opened out on to an Oriental back drawing-room with low divans, small
stools inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and a silver lamp (from a mosque)
hanging from the ceiling, heavy curtains too, behind which I suspect
stained-glass windows. Over the chimney-piece an Alma Tadema (a group on
a marble seat against a violet sea). At the other end of the room Walter
Bell's picture. It _was_ the picture I saw before, but more about that
later. On another wall over a sofa a most extraordinary allegorical
picture: a precipice bridged by a large serpent, and walking on the
serpent two small figures, a woman in white draperies and a knight
dressed like Mephistopheles, all these painted in the crudest colours.
The Housmans then appeared, and Housman did the honours of the pictures,
faintly damned the Alma Tadema, and said the Snake Picture was by Mucius
of Munich in what he called _Moderne_ style. He had picked it up for
nothing; some day it would be worth pots of money. Ha! ha! Then the
guests arrived. Sir Herbert Simcox, K.C., Lady Simcox, dressed in amber
velvet and cairngorms; Housman's sister Miss Sarah, black, and very
large, in yellow satin, with enormous emerald ear-rings;
Carrington-Smith, Housman's partner; Mrs Carrington-Smith, naked except
for a kind of orange and red _Reform Kleid_, with a green complexion,
heavily blacked eyebrows, and a _Lalique_ necklace. Then, making a late
entrance, as if on the stage, a Princesse de Carignan, a fine figure, in
rich and tight black satin and a large black ruff, heavily powdered.
Housman whispered to me that she was a legitimate Bourbon. I think he
meant a Legitimist. We went down to dinner into a dark Gothic panelled
dining-room, with a shiny portrait of Mr Housman set in the panelling
over the chimney-piece.

I sat between Mrs Housman and Mrs Carrington-Smith. I talked to Mrs
Housman most of the time. Mrs Carrington-Smith asked me if I liked Henry
James's books. I said I liked the early ones. She said she preferred the
later ones, but she could never feel quite the same about Henry James
again since he had put her into a book. She was, she said, _Kate_ in
_The Wings of the Dove_. After dinner Housman moved up and sat next to
me. He talked about art and _bric-à-brac_. I asked him if I could
possibly have seen Bell's portrait of Mrs Housman in America. He said,
"Certainly." He had bought it cheap and sold it dear, anticipating a
slump in Bell, which was not slow in coming. He had then bought it back
directly Bell died, anticipating a boom, which had also occurred. "It is
now worth double what I gave for it. Ha! ha! ha!"

Randall said he liked a picture to tell a plain story and he could make
nothing of the Snake Picture upstairs. Housman laughed loudly and said
it was the oldest story in the world: the man, the woman, and the
serpent. Ha! ha! We went upstairs, where there was a crowd. I was seized
upon by the Princesse de Carignan, and she whispered to me confidential
secrets about Europe. She preened herself and displayed the deportment
of a queen in exile.

Then we had some music. Esther Lake bawled some Rubinstein, and Ronald
Solway played an interminable sonata by Haydn with variations and all
the repeats. Some of the guests went downstairs, but I was wedged in
between the Princesse and a Mrs Baines, a fluffy, sinuous woman, dressed
in a loose Byzantine robe. Her husband, who is an expert in French
furniture, told me she was once mistaken for _Sarah_, and she has
evidently been living up to the reputation for years. He was careful to
add that it was in the days when Sarah was thin--Mrs Baines being a
wisp.

After the music, which I thought would never stop, we went downstairs
again for a stand-up supper and sweet champagne. I was introduced by
Housman to Ronald Solway. Housman told him I was a musical connoisseur,
so he bored me with technicalities for twenty minutes. I couldn't get
away. He had no mercy on me. Housman has got a box at the Opera. He told
me I must use it whenever I like. How can she have married that man?

                              Yours,
                                                       G.

_Wednesday,_ May 19_th_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

Thank you for your most amusing letter. I have been busy and not had a
moment to write. We have had a good deal of work to do. Last Friday I
had supper at Romano's after the play. Housman was there with Celia
Russell. I spent Saturday to Monday with the Shamiers. Lavroff was
there. Last night I went to the Opera to the Housmans' box. It was
_Bohème_. During the _entr'acte_ who should come into our box but
George. He stayed there the whole time, talking to Mrs H., and came back
during the next _entr'acte_.

The next day at the office when I was in his room I said something about
the Housmans and began telling him about my dinner. He froze at once and
said Mrs Housman was an extremely nice woman. I said something about
Housman, and George said: "Oh, not at all a bad fellow." So I saw I was
on dangerous ground. Housman has asked me to spend next Sunday at his
country house, a small villa on the Thames near Staines. I am going.

They are dining with me on Thursday. I asked George, too, and he
accepted joyfully.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.

                                      _Monday, May_ 24_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I am just back from the country. But first I must tell you about my
dinner. I had asked the Housmans, George, Eileen Hope, and Madame de
Saint Luce who is staying in London for three weeks. Just before dinner
I got a telegram saying that Mrs Housman was laid up and couldn't
possibly come. Housman arrived by himself. George was evidently
frightfully annoyed and hardly spoke. Madame de Saint Luce was amazed
and rather amused by Housman, and after dinner Eileen sang beautifully,
so it went off fairly well except for George.

Saturday I went down to Staines. Housman had got an elegant villa on the
river. Very ugly, with red tiles, photogravures, and green wooden chairs
and a conservatory, full of calceolaria. But I must say his food is
delicious. George was there, Lady Jarvis, and Miss Sarah.

After dinner on Saturday there was a slight fracas. George asked Mrs
Housman to sing. She didn't much want to, but finally said she would.
Miss Sarah, who is a brilliant pianist, said she would accompany her
(she evidently hates being accompanied). She sang a song of Schubert's,
_Gute Nacht_. Miss Sarah played it rather fast. Mrs Housman said it
ought to be slower. Miss Sarah said it was meant to be fast, and that
was her conception of the song in any case.

Mrs Housman said she couldn't sing it like that, and didn't, and then
she said she couldn't sing at all. Afterwards she did sing some English
ballads and accompanied herself.

She sings most beautifully, her voice is perfectly produced and you hear
every word. There is nothing throaty or operatic about it but her voice
goes straight through one. George was entranced. Sunday afternoon George
and Mrs H. went out on the river and stayed out all the afternoon. I
spent the afternoon with Lady Jarvis, who is most clever and amusing.
She told me all about the Housmans. Mrs H. is not Canadian but Irish.
She was brought up in a convent in French Canada. Directly she came out
of it her marriage with H., who was then in a Canadian firm, was
arranged by her aunt (her aunt was an imbecile and quite penniless).
They lived several years in Canada, California and other parts of
America, and came to England about three years ago. Housman was
unfaithful from the first. Lady Jarvis knew about Celia Russell. I asked
her if Mrs Housman knew. She said she--Lady Jarvis--didn't know, but it
wouldn't make any difference if Mrs H. did or not. She said: "There is
nothing about Albert Housman that Clare doesn't know." Then she said
that unless I was blind I must of course have seen George was madly in
love with her.

I said I agreed. She said she thought Mrs Housman was madly in love with
him. I said I wasn't sure. Lady Jarvis said she was quite sure.

They came back very late from the river and Mrs Housman didn't come
down to dinner. She said she had a headache. We had rather a gloomy
dinner although Miss Sarah and Lady Jarvis never stopped talking for a
moment, but George was silent.

You know he sees nobody now except the Housmans.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, May_ 3_rd. Gray's Inn_.

A. returned to London a day sooner than he was expected. His Secretary,
Tuke, had not returned. He had left his address with me. He spent his
holiday in the Guest House, Fort Augustus Abbey, a Benedictine
monastery. He returned this morning. A. asked me on Saturday where he
was. When I told him, A. showed great surprise. He said: "He has been
with me six years and I never knew he was an R.C. It's extraordinary
when a thing once turns up, you then meet with it every day. I seem
always to be coming across Catholics now."

_Tuesday, May_ 4_th._

Alfred Riley telegraphed to me to know whether I could put him up
to-night. I have answered in the affirmative, but he will be, I fear,
most uncomfortable.

_Wednesday, May_ 5_th._

Riley arrived last night. He has been in Paris for the last three months
working at the _Bibliothèque Nationale_. He told me he had something of
importance to tell me: that he was seriously thinking of becoming a
Roman Catholic. I was greatly surprised. He was the last person I would
expect to do such a thing. I told him I had no prejudice against Roman
Catholics, but it was very difficult for me to believe that a man of his
intellectual attainments could honestly believe the things he would be
expected to believe. Also, if he needed a Church I did not understand
why he could not be satisfied with the Church of England, which was a
historic Church. He said: "Do you remember when we were at Oxford that
we used to say it would be a great sell if we found out when we were
dead that Christianity was true after all? Well, I believe it is true. I
believe, not in spite of my reason, nor against my reason, nor apart
from my reason, but with my reason. Well, if one believes with one's
reason in the Christian revelation, that is to say, if one believes that
God has uttered Himself fully and uniquely through Christ, such a belief
has certain logical consequences." I said nothing, for indeed I did not
know what to say. Riley laughed and said: "Don't be alarmed; don't think
I am going to hand you a tract. For Heaven's sake let me be able to
speak out at least to one person about this." I begged him to go on, and
he said he thought Catholicism was the only logical consequence of a
belief in the Christian revelation. Anglicanism and all forms of
Protestantism seemed to him like the lopped off branches of a living
tree.

I asked him what there was to prevent him worshipping in Roman Catholic
churches if he felt inclined that way without sacrificing his
intellectual freedom to their tenets.

He said: "You talk as if it was ritual I cared for and wanted. One can
be glutted with ritual in the Anglican Church if one wants that."

As for giving up one's freedom, he said I must agree that law, order and
discipline were the indispensable conditions of freedom. He had never
heard Catholics complain of any loss of freedom, indeed Catholic
philosophy, manners, customs, and even speech, seemed to him much freer
than Protestant or Agnostic philosophy, and what it stood for. He asked
me which I thought was freest, a Sunday in Paris or Rome or a Sunday in
Glasgow or London.

I suggested his waiting a year. He said perhaps he would.

_Thursday, May_ 6_th._

Riley talked of music, Wagner, _Parsifal._ He quoted some Frenchman who
said that _Parsifal_ was "_moins beau que n'importe quelle Messe Basse
dans n'importe quelle Église_." I said that I had never been to a Low
Mass in my life, but that I disliked the music at most High Masses I had
attended. I said I disliked Wagner, especially _Parsifal_. He said he
agreed about Wagner, but I did not understand what the Frenchman had
meant. I confessed I did not. He said: "It is like comparing a
description of something to the reality." I told him that I envied
people who were born Catholics, but I did not think it was a thing you
could become. He said it was not like becoming a Mussulman. He was
simply going back to the older tradition of his country, to what
Melanchthon and Dr Johnson called and what in the Highlands they still
call the Old Religion. I told him that I had once heard a man say,
talking of becoming a Roman Catholic, "if I could tell the first lie,
all the rest would be easy and follow naturally down to scapulars and
Holy Water."

_Friday, May_ 7_th._

Riley left this morning. He has gone back to Paris. He is not going to
take any immediate step.

_Sunday, May_ 9_th_

I went to see Mrs Housman yesterday afternoon. I told her what Riley had
told me. I asked her if she thought people could _become_ Roman
Catholics if they were not born so. She said she wished that she had not
been born a Catholic so as she might have become one. She envied those
who could make the choice. I asked her if she did not consider there was
something unreal about converts. She said she thought English converts
were in a very difficult situation which required the utmost tact. Many
perhaps lacked this tact. She said that in Canada and America, where she
had lived most of her life, the anti-Catholic prejudice as it existed in
England did not exist, at any rate it was not of the same kind. "The
nursery anti-Catholic tradition doesn't exist there."

She asked me what I had advised Riley to do. I told her I had dissuaded
him from taking such a step and had begged him to wait. She said: "If he
is to become a Catholic there will be a moment when he will not be able
to help it. Faith is a gift. People do not become Catholics under the
influence of people or books, although people and books may sometimes
help or sometimes hinder, but because they are pulled over by an
invisible rope---what we call _Grace_."

I told her I would find it difficult to believe that a man like Riley
would believe what he would have to believe. She asked me whether I
found it difficult to believe that she accepted the dogmas of the
Church. I said I was convinced she believed what she professed, but that
I thought that born Catholics believed things in a different way than we
did. I did not believe that this could be learnt by converts.

She said I probably thought that Catholics believed all sorts of things
which they did not believe. Such at least was her experience of English
Protestants, who seemed to imbibe curious traditions in the nursery, on
the subject.

I asked her if Mr Housman believed in Catholic dogma. She said: "Albert
has been baptized and brought up as a Catholic, but he is an Agnostic.
He is very charitable towards Catholic institutions."

She asked me more about Riley and whether he had any Catholic friends. I
said: "Not to my knowledge." "Poor man, I am afraid he will be very
lonely," she said.

She said that she herself knew hardly any Catholics in England, that is
to say she had no real Catholic friends, and that she felt as if she
were living in perpetual exile.

"You see," she said, "your friend ought to realise that he will have to
face the prejudice and the dislike not only of narrow-minded people but
of very nice intelligent and broad-minded people, who agree with you
about almost everything else. The Church has always been hated from the
beginning, and it always will be hated. In the past it was people like
Marcus Aurelius who carried out the worst persecutions and hated the
Church most bitterly with the very best intentions, and it is in a
different way just the same now."

I said that to me it was an impossible mental gymnastic to think that
Catholicism was the same thing as early Christianity.

She said: "Because the tree has grown so big you think it is not the
same plant, but it is. When I go to Mass I feel as if I were looking
through the wrong end of a telescope right back into the catacombs and
farther."

I told her Riley would take no decisive step. He had promised to wait.
She said there was no harm in that. There were many other things I
wished to ask her, but A. arrived, and after talking on various topics
for a few moments I left.

_Monday, May_ 10_th._

A. told me he had been invited to dinner by Aunt Ruth next Thursday and
that he was going. He asked me whether I was invited. I said I was
invited.

_Tuesday, May_ 11_th._

Cunninghame said he was dining at the Housmans' to-night.

_Wednesday, May_ 12_th._

I asked C. whether he had enjoyed his dinner. He said it was very
pleasant, but that the music was too classical for his taste. A. was not
there.

_Thursday, May_ 13_th._

I dined last night with A. in his flat. Nobody but ourselves. A. played
the pianola after dinner. He said I must come and stay with him in the
country soon. He would try and get the Housmans to come too.

_Friday, May_ 14_th._

A. dined with Uncle Arthur and Aunt Ruth. So did I. It was a dinner for
the American Ambassador. I sat next to a Miss Audrey Bax, a lady of
decided views and picturesque appearance. She talked about Joan of Arc,
and asked me whether I had read Anatole France's book about her. I said
I had not, but I had read an English translation of Joan of Arc's trial
which I thought one of the most impressive records I had ever read. She
said: "Ah, you like the stained-glass-window point of view about those
sort of people." I was rather nettled and said I preferred facts to
fiction. I thought Joan of Arc as she appeared in her trial was a very
sensible as well as being a very remarkable person. She had not read
this. She said Anatole France told one all one wanted to know from a
rational point of view. It was a comfort to read common-sense about this
sort of hallucinated people. A man who was sitting opposite her joined
eagerly in the conversation, and said that the two people in the whole
of history who had made the finest defence when tried were Mary Queen
of Scots and Joan of Arc. Miss Bax said she supposed he looked upon Mary
Queen of Scots as a martyred saint. The other man, whose name I found
out afterwards was Ashfield, an American who is now at the American
Embassy, said that he regarded Mary Queen of Scots as a woman who was
tried for her life and who had defended herself without lawyers without
making a single mistake under the most difficult circumstances. He said
he had been a lawyer, and spoke from a lawyer's point of view. Miss Bax
went back to Joan of Arc and Anatole France and said his book was as
important a work as Renan's _Vie de Jésus_. Mr Ashfield said he thought
that work no improvement on the Gospel. I said I had not read it. Miss
Bax again said that if we preferred sentimental traditions we were at
liberty to do so. She preferred rational writers untainted by
superstition. Ashfield said he regarded Renan as a sentimental writer.
Miss Bax said: "No doubt you prefer Dean Farrar." Ashfield said he did
not think Renan's book was a more successful attempt to rewrite the
Gospels than Dean Farrar's although it was better written. She said that
proved her point, and as she seemed satisfied, we talked of other
things. But throughout her conversation she struck me for a professed
free-thinker to be singularly dogmatic and sometimes almost fanatical.

_Saturday, May_ 15_th._

Spent the afternoon and evening with Solway at Woking but came back
after dinner.

_Sunday, May_ 16_th._

Went to see Mrs Housman in the afternoon, but she was not at home. This
is the first time she has not been at home on Sunday afternoons for a
very long time.

_Monday, May_ 17_th_.

A. said he was going to the opera to-night. Housman, whom he had seen
yesterday, had told him it would be a very fine performance.

_Tuesday, May_ 18_th._

Went to the opera in the gallery. Some fine singing. Cunninghame had
been in the Housmans' box.

_Wednesday, May_ 19_th._

Was going to dine with the Housmans to-night, but Mrs Housman is unwell.

_Thursday, May_ 20_th._

Lady Jarvis has asked me to stay with her Sunday week.

_Friday, May_ 21st.

This morning a man called Barnes came to the office. He is an
acquaintance of Cunninghame's; he is in the F.O. He talked of various
things, and then he asked Cunninghame whether he knew Mrs Housman. He
said she was playing fast and loose with A.'s affections. She was doing
it, of course, to convert him. Catholics didn't mind how immoral they
were in such a cause. He said that she was well known for it. She had
refused to marry Housman till he had been converted. He had been so much
in love with her that he could not refuse. I said that I happened to
know that Housman had been baptized a Catholic when he was born.
Cunninghame bore me out and said it was all nonsense about A. He was
sure Catholicism had nothing to do with it. He knew Mrs Housman quite
well and she had never mentioned it to him. Barnes said we could say
what we liked, but all London was talking of A.'s unfortunate passion
and Mrs H.'s behaviour.

"One sees them everywhere together," he said.

C. said: "Where?"

Barnes said: "Oh, at all the restaurants and at the opera."

Cunninghame said he had expected Mrs Housman to dinner, but she had been
unable to come.

_Saturday, May_ 22_nd_.

Called on Mrs Housman to inquire. They have gone to the country until
Monday.

_Monday, May_ 24_th._

I had luncheon with A. to-day at his flat. He said he had been staying
with the Housmans at their house on the Thames. He said he had put his
foot in it. On Saturday night at dinner they were talking about Ireland,
and he said he had no wish to go to a country full of priests. Mrs
Housman told him, laughing, she was a Catholic. He asked me if I had
known this. I told him I had always known it. He asked me whether she
was very devout. I said I knew she always went to Mass on Sundays, that
she had never mentioned the subject to me except once when I asked her a
question with reference to a friend of mine. He asked me whether Housman
was a Catholic too. I told him what I knew.

_Tuesday, May_ 25_th._

Went to the opera, in the Housmans' box. Housman and Cunninghame were
there. Mrs Housman did not come. A. looked in during the _entr'acte_.

_Wednesday, May_ 26_th._

A. gave a dinner at his Club. All politicians except myself and
Cunninghame.

_Thursday, May_ 27_th._

Tuke asked me to take a ticket for a concert at Hammersmith at which his
sister is performing on the piano. I have done so.

_Friday, May_ 28_th._

Luncheon with A. at his Club. He is staying with Lady Jarvis on
Saturday. The Housmans, he said, will be there. Cunninghame is going
also. A. told me Mrs Housman has not been well lately. I said I thought
she did too much. He asked me in what sort of way. I said she attended
to a great many charities and that as Housman entertained a great deal I
thought it tired her. Mrs Housman had told him I was very musical. He
asked me if I played any instrument. I said none except the penny
whistle. He asked me if I did not think Mrs Housman a very fine singer.
I said I did. He also said that he supposed she knew a lot of priests. I
said I had never met one in her house.

_Sunday, May_ 30_th. Rosedale, Surrey._

I arrived rather late last night. Besides the guests I knew I was to
meet, was a Frenchman, M. Raphael Luc, and a Mrs Vaughan. After dinner
we had some music. M. Luc sang several French songs, by Lully, and
others that I had heard Mrs Housman sing. His singing was greatly
appreciated and applauded, and it is, I confess, as far as it goes,
perfection itself, as regards quality, taste and art, but I could not
help thinking the whole time that it would be impossible for him to
interpret Schubert.

This morning I sat in the garden and read the newspapers. Mrs Housman
drove to Church which was some distance off.

Mr Winchester Hill, the novelist, arrived for luncheon and brought with
him Miss Ella Dasent, the actress. At the end of the meal she gave us
some vivid impersonations of contemporary actors and actresses.

We sat talking for some time in the verandah. Then Lady Jarvis took
Housman to show him the garden, and Cunninghame walked away with Mrs
Vaughan and M. Luc.

Miss Housman, Mr Hill, Miss Dasent, and myself remained on long chairs
underneath a large tree. Miss Dasent and Mr Hill discussed at great
length a play that he is adapting for her from one of his novels. The
story seemed to me absurd--it was something about an Italian nobleman
strangling his wife's lover with a silk handkerchief.

Towards five we had tea and after tea Mrs Vaughan took me for a stroll
round the garden.

I found her a well-read woman who has lived a great deal in Paris and is
familiar with the Bohemian world in more than one continent.

At dinner I sat between Mrs Housman and Cunninghame. Mrs Housman said
that Luc's singing made one despair, and she felt she could never sing
again after hearing him. I told her I doubted if he could interpret
German music. She was annoyed with me and said I was missing the point,
and that the songs he sang were exquisite.

We sat in the verandah after dinner, while Luc sang to us from the
drawing-room. He sang Fauré's settings to Verlaine's words.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                        _Monday, May_ 21_st_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have just come back from Rosedale, where I have been staying with Lady
Jarvis. It is an old Tudor house that was bodily transported from the
west of England. I believe it is quite genuine, but it looks unreal and
the rooms are like show rooms at a second-hand dealer's. The garden is
quite beautiful. We had a most amusing party. Jane Vaughan (looking very
pretty), Raphael Luc, George, the Housmans. Raphael sang both nights
quite divinely after dinner. On Saturday night we all sat in the big
downstairs room, but after he had sung two songs Mrs Housman went out on
the verandah. She is so musical that one could see it was more than she
could bear. I am certain she felt she was going to cry. Sunday morning I
had a long talk with Lady Jarvis. She told me Mrs Housman is a very
strict and devout Catholic. We both agreed that there is no doubt that
George is very much in love with her. She thinks she _is_ in love with
him. I am still not sure Lady Jarvis is right about her. I sat next to
her (Mrs H.) at dinner on Saturday night, and George was on her other
side. She was perfectly natural, but I thought miles _away_. During the
whole time we were there she didn't pay much attention to him and she
didn't avoid him. She went to church by herself on Sunday morning and
stayed in all the afternoon. I think she likes him, but nothing more
than that.

Godfrey Mellor, the silent Secretary, is devoted to her too. The other
morning at the office a man came to see us and said all sorts of most
absurdly silly things about Mrs H. I could see he was furious. He has
known the Housmans quite a long time.

More people came down to luncheon on Sunday, but nobody interesting.
George says he will be able to yacht now. I think Mrs H. is delightful.
I like her more and more. I have been to the opera twice, to a good many
dinners, and some balls. There may be a chance of Paris for a few days
later.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, May_ 31_st_.

I travelled back from Rosedale with A. He asked me if I was fond of
yachting. I said I was a moderate sailor. He asked me to go next
Saturday to his house near Littlehampton. His sister is going to be
there, and perhaps the Housmans. Dined at the Club.

_Tuesday, June_ 1_st._

There is going to be a large concert at the Albert Hall for the
Albemarle Relief Fund. Tuke brought the programme and placed it on my
table this morning. Esther Lake is singing, and the Housmans and A. are
among the patrons. Dined with A. at his Club. He told me he thought Mrs
Housman was far from well. He said what she wants is sea air.

_Wednesday, June_ 2_nd_.

Cunninghame told me he had dined at the Housmans' last night. He said
there was no one there but himself and Carrington-Smith. He said Mrs
Housman talks of going away soon. London tires her. Dined at the Club.

_Thursday, June_ 3_rd_.

I have just come back from a dinner-party at Aunt Ruth's. A great many
diplomats and politicians. I sat between Thornton-Davis, who is at the
F.O. now, and Mrs Vernon, who is French and a Legitimist and talks of
the Place de la Concorde as the _Place Louis XV_. Aunt Ruth said she
heard A. was doing very well and spoke well in the House. It's a pity,
she said, that he is such a Tory.

_Friday, June_ 4_th._

Went this afternoon to the concert at the Albert Hall for the Relief
Fund in the Housmans' box. Miss Housman and Mrs Carrington-Smith were
there, but neither Mrs nor Mr Housman. Miss Housman says that Mrs
Housman has not been well lately. She said she goes out far too much. I
enjoyed nothing in the programme. Dined at the Club.

_Saturday, June_ 5_th._

A. told me he expected me at Littlehampton, but that I would find it
dull, as he had no party.

_Sunday, June_ 6_th. Littlehampton_.

A. has a nice and comfortable little house. His yacht, a small cutter
with room for two to sleep on board, is here. He took Mrs Campion and
myself out this morning. There was what is called a nice breeze. I
cannot say I enjoyed it very much. He told me that he had asked the
Housmans, but they could not come, Mrs Housman is going to Cornwall soon
for the rest of the summer. She has not been well, and the doctors told
her she must leave London. A. said he would miss them very much. He
liked them both exceedingly, and he thought Miss Sarah was such a good
sort. A. said the truth was that Mrs H. worked herself to death over
charities and things like that. He was sure the priests were greatly to
blame for this.



_Letters from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                   LONDON,
                                          _Monday, June_ 7_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

There's not the slightest chance of my coming over to Paris now. I am
not going to Ascot at all this year. The Housmans thought of taking a
house for Ascot week, but she has not been well, and they are staying
out of London till they go down to Cornwall. They have taken a house
somewhere near the Lizard, and when she goes she will stay the whole
summer.

Both George and poor little Mellor are in low spirits. I had a very nice
letter from Mrs H. asking me to go down there in August and to stay as
long as I liked.

Housman has lent me his box for the whole of Ascot week. There is such a
rush that I haven't time to write properly to you.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



                                                    LONDON,
                                           _Friday, June_ 18_th_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have spent the most perfect Ascot week in London. I have enjoyed every
moment of it. I went to the opera every night in the Housmans' box,
which besides being fun was most convenient as I was able to ask people
who had done things for me. I dined on Saturday with Jimmy Randall, who
had been at Ascot all the week. He says that Housman has fallen
violently in love with a Mrs Rachel Park. You may possibly have heard of
her. She used to sing at concerts under the name of Rose Sinclair. She
was quite beautiful, with enormous eyes and flaming hair, but quite
brainless and quite unmusical. She married a barrister who is now Park,
K.C. He works like a slave, but she spends money more quickly than he
can make it. This explains the Cornwall arrangement. Jimmy R. says that
H. has violent scenes with Celia R. and that the end of that idyll is
only a question of hours. He says Mrs P. will lead him a dance. She is
mercenary, stupid, common and a real harpy. Poor "Bert," as Jimmy
Randall calls Housman. He is so good-natured. And poor Mrs H.! Mellor
hardly speaks at all now, and George doesn't say much. He goes nowhere,
but talks of yachting on the west coast during the summer.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.

_P.S_.--Just got your telegram. I am delighted you are coming to London.
I particularly wanted you to meet Mrs Housman--and "Bert." You must
come. And now I shall just be able to manage this if you will dine with
me on Monday night. She leaves for Cornwall on Tuesday morning. I've
asked George too. He stays in London till Parliament is over, and then
he is going away and I shall be free. How much leave will Jack get?
Three weeks at least, I hope. The Shamiers want you to stay with them
Sunday week, and Lady Jarvis wants you to go down there. If you don't
want to stay there, we might go down for luncheon one day. I shall be in
London till the end of July. Then I am going to Worsel for a fortnight.
The Housmans have asked me to go to Cornwall, and I shall try and fit
that in between Worsel and the Shamiers. They have been lent a lodge in
Scotland and have asked me to go there in September. I have promised to
stay a few days at Edith's as well.

There is a parcel for me at the Embassy. It is too big for the bag.
Could you bring it with you?



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Tuesday, June_ 10_th._

Dined with Cunninghame last night to meet his cousin, Mrs Caryl. She is
the wife of a diplomat who is Second Secretary at Paris. A pleasant
dinner. The Housmans were there, and A. and his sister.

_Friday, June_ 25_th._.

Received a letter from Mrs Housman to-day. She says the change of air is
doing her good. She hopes I will come to Cornwall some time during my
holiday.

_Monday, July_ 5_th._

Dined with Housman last night. Miss Housman was there, and the
Carrington-Smiths, and a Mrs Park who used to be a professional singer.
She sang after dinner. Miss Housman accompanied her. She sang Tosti's
_Ninon_, some Lassen, some Bemberg, a song by Lord Henry Somerset, and
E. Purcell's _Passing By_. Miss Housman said it was a comfort to
accompany someone who had a sense of time. She has a powerful voice and
has been well trained, but _Passing By_ did not suit her style of
singing, and I regretted that she had attempted that song. She was not
always in tune.

Housman enjoyed it, and accompanied her himself afterwards in some coon
songs which he played by ear.

Housman asked me to stay with them for the whole of August. He said he
was very anxious that I should go, as he would not be able to be much in
Cornwall and he was afraid Mrs Housman would be lonely. He asked
Cunninghame also. I accepted.

A. spends all his spare time now on his yacht. I am going to stay with
him next Saturday.

_Monday, July_ 12_th._

A. is going to the Cowes Regatta. He asked me to go with him, but I am
leaving on the 1st of August for Cornwall.

_Sunday, August_ 1_st. Grey Farm, Carbis Bay, Cornwall_.

I arrived here last night. A pleasant spot near the sea and not far from
a golf links. Mrs Housman and Housman are here alone. Housman is greatly
perturbed because Mrs Carrington-Smith is bringing a divorce suit
against her husband for infidelity. The other person concerned is Miss
Hope, whom I met at dinner one night at Cunninghame's flat. Housman says
that Miss Hope is neurotic and unhinged. Mrs Housman has never met Miss
Hope.

Housman said he hoped I would be able to stay on here, as he would not
be able to spend much time in Cornwall. Carrington-Smith was so greatly
upset by this wretched business that he could not attend to the affairs
of the firm. He was afraid Mrs Housman would be lonely. Lady Jarvis had
promised to come later, and Cunninghame also, but he did not know when.
Miss Housman had been obliged to go to Vichy to take the waters.
Housman played golf in the afternoon with a member of the Club. I am not
a golf player, unfortunately. I told him that Cunninghame was an
admirable player.

_Monday, August_ 2_nd_.

Housman has been telegraphed for and left this morning. In the afternoon
we went for a long drive and had tea in a farm-house. The climate is
warm and agreeable.

_Tuesday, August_ 3_rd_.

Bathed in the sea this morning and went for a long walk in the afternoon
with Mrs H. After dinner she tried some new songs by Tchaikovsky. We did
not care for them much and fell back on Schubert. Schubert is her
favourite composer. She sang the _Gruppe aus Tartarus_.

_Wednesday, August_ 4_th._

We went for an expedition to the Lizard. Mrs Housman told me that when
she was a girl she had much wanted to become a professional singer, and
that she was studying for the Concert Stage when she met Housman.

_Thursday, August_ 5_th._

We sat on the beach all the afternoon. It was extremely hot and
enjoyable. Mrs Housman read _Consuelo_, by George Sand, aloud. She reads
French with great purity of accent.

Father Stanway, the local priest, came to dinner, a cheerful man with a
venerable appearance. When we were left alone, after dinner, talking of
men in public offices, he said he knew Bowes, in the Foreign Office, who
had spent his Easter holidays here. I asked him whether he thought
converts of that description made satisfactory Catholics. He said he
thought Bowes would be an admirable Catholic. I said I thought it must
be very difficult for a man of his upbringing, as Bowes had been brought
up in a rigid Church of England family, and his father often wrote to
_The Times_, condemning ritualistic practices and innovations. Father
Stanway said it was not so complicated as I thought. There were only
three things indispensable to a man if he wished to become a Catholic:
To believe in God, to follow his conscience, to love his neighbour as
himself. If he did that all the rest was easy. He said he admired Bowes
greatly for taking the step.

_Friday, August_ 6_th._

We went to the Land's End, where there were a great many tourists. Mrs
Housman continues to read out loud _Consuelo_ in the afternoons and
evenings. It is an interesting book, but I prefer _Jane Eyre_.

_Saturday, August_ 7_th._

I received a letter from Riley this morning. He has been in London
nearly a month, and was there a fortnight before I left, but he did not
come to see me for the following reason. He has taken the step and has
been received into the Roman Catholic Church, and he says his first
intention was not to tell anyone of his conversion. He did not come to
see me because he knew he would not be able to help discussing it. He is
no longer making a secret of it now. He found this too difficult. Two or
three days after he had been received he happened to be dining out and
it was a Friday. His hostess said to him, in the course of conversation:
"You are not a Catholic, are you?" He resolved then and there to keep it
secret no longer.

He tells me in his letter, "Your philosophy of the first lie is quite
right. Only I regard what you call the first lie as the _first Truth_.
Once this is so, all the rest follows." He says that after he left me in
Gray's Inn in May he resolved to put the matter from him for a time and
not to think about it. He went back to Paris and pursued his research.
One morning he woke up and felt he could not delay another moment. He
took the train for London the next day, where he intended to go soon in
any case for his holiday, and the day after his arrival he called at the
Brompton Oratory and asked to see a priest, as he knew no priests. He
sat in a small waiting-room downstairs, and presently an elderly priest,
Father X., arrived and asked him what he could do for him. He told him
he wished for instruction prior to becoming a Catholic. He called the
next day. Father X. told him after they had talked for some time that he
did not think he would need much instruction. But he continued to see
him for the next three weeks. He was then received. He says that what
seemed before a step of great difficulty now appeared quite
extraordinarily simple, and he cannot conceive why he did not take it a
long time ago.

_Sunday, August_ 8_th._

Mrs Housman went to Mass. I sat in the garden; when she returned from
Mass I told her about Riley. She asked me how old he was. I said I
thought he was about thirty-five. I told her he was a brilliant scholar,
and had taken high honours at Oxford. He had a post at the Liverpool
University. She said she had felt certain he would come into the Church.

Lady Jarvis is coming here next week.

_Monday, August_ 9_th_.

We spent the whole day on the beach, reading aloud. Housman has written
to say that Mrs Carrington-Smith will insist on bringing their affairs
into court. Carrington-Smith is much worried. Mrs Housman says that Mrs
Carrington-Smith is an absurd woman.

_Tuesday, August_ 10_th._

We spent the morning at St Ives, shopping. I bought _The Pickwick
Papers_ and an old silver teapot. We sat on the beach in the afternoon,
reading _Consuelo._ After dinner Mrs Housman sang a beautiful
French-Canadian song.

_Wednesday, August_ 11_th._

Just as we were sitting down to luncheon A. walked into the room; he had
sailed here from Cowes in his yacht, which is anchored in the bay. He
could not stay to luncheon as he was lunching at the Golf Club with a
friend. Mrs Housman asked him to dinner. He accepted. He said he had
spent a most enjoyable week at Cowes in his yacht, but had not won any
races. His sister had been with him, only as she is a bad sailor she had
not enjoyed the sailing as much as he would have liked. Cunninghame has
been at Cowes for three days on board a Mr Venderling's steam yacht (an
American). A. says that he intends to spend some time here cruising
about the coast.

_Thursday, August_ 12_th._

Lady Jarvis arrived this morning. She says she thinks that if Mrs
Carrington-Smith goes into court she will get a divorce. She has
substantial evidence. Carrington-Smith is most uneasy.

A. came to luncheon and proposed that we should all go for a sail in the
afternoon together. Lady Jarvis and I declined, as we are both moderate
sailors. Mrs Housman went with him. They came back at six and she said
she had enjoyed it immensely.

_Friday, August_ 13_th_.

Mrs Housman received a telegram from Housman this morning, telling her
she must ask A. to stay here in the house. She had written to tell
him--Housman--A. was here. A. came to luncheon and Mrs Housman invited
him to stay. He said he would be pleased to do so for a few days, but
that he is due in his yacht early next week at Plymouth. Mrs Housman has
received a letter from Cunninghame, asking whether it would be
convenient for him to come next week. She has telegraphed to him that
she would be glad to receive him.

_Saturday, August_ 14_th._

The weather was so beautiful and the sea was so smooth that we were all
persuaded to go on board the yacht, where we had luncheon. We went for
a short sail in the afternoon. Although I did not feel ill I cannot say
I enjoyed it, I prefer the dry land. Lady Jarvis said she enjoyed it
greatly, although she is a bad sailor as a rule. Mrs Housman is an
excellent sailor.

_Sunday, August_ 15_th._

I am finishing _Consuelo_ by myself as we are not able to read aloud any
more. We all went for a drive in two carriages in the afternoon through
disused mines, and had tea in a farm-house.

A. says he is enjoying his holiday immensely.

Cunninghame arrives here to-morrow. We had some music in the evening.
A.'s favourite composer is Sullivan, but his favourite song is
Offenbach's _Chanson de Fortunio_, which Mrs Housman sang to-night.



_Letters from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                  GREY FARM,
                                             CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL,
                                       _Tuesday, August_ 17_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I arrived here from Worsel last night, and found Mrs Housman, Lady
Jarvis, George, who sailed here in his yacht from Cowes, and Godfrey
Mellor. It is the most delicious place. A blue sea with pink and purple
streaks in it, and a soft west wind, and wonderful sand beaches, thick
with people. It is the height of the season. The Housmans have got a
comfortable little house near a golf links. Housman has had to go to
London to see his partner, Carrington-Smith, who has been threatened
with divorce by his wife, who accuses him of infidelity with--who do you
think?--Eileen Hope. "Bert" is by way of coming down here on Saturday.
George is radiantly happy. I don't think she's thinking about him. He
wanted us all to go out in his yacht this afternoon, but as it was
blowing half a gale Mrs Housman was the only one who faced the elements.
She is a passionately good sailor and the rougher it is the more she
enjoys it. I played golf with a General York who lives here. Godfrey
Mellor doesn't play, which is tiresome. We are having the greatest fun.
Lady Jarvis is in the most splendid form. She told us some killing
stories about Mrs Carrington-Smith. She says that the whole of last year
she would only eat raw roots and uncooked fruit because she says in a
former existence she was a priestess of I sis, and that was the rule.
Lady Jarvis pointed out to her that she is not a priestess of I sis now,
but she said that if she ate meat it would spoil her chance of serving
Isis again in her next existence. She said, too, that it would displease
the elementals. Mrs Housman seems perfectly happy and cheerful. Mellor
is depressed, but I am terribly sorry for him. I feel he was having
such a divine time here before we all came.


                                                     GREY FARM,
                                            _Monday, August_ 23_rd_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

"Bert" came down on Saturday night, but went away this morning. He is
completely upset about Carrington-Smith, who says his wife is bent on
divorcing him. Now that he is gone one can laugh, but while he was there
we simply didn't dare. Eileen was apparently a most imprudent
correspondent. Housman says she will win her case without any doubt if
she brings it into court. I played golf with him all Sunday.

We had great fun after dinner last night. Mrs Housman sang songs out of
the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, and some Offenbach, too, the _Chanson
de Fortunio,_ too beautifully. George _is_ desperately in love--but I
still don't think _she_ is.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



                                           GREY FARM, CARBIS BAY,
                                        _Tuesday, August_ 24_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I am going to stay another week as Edith can't have me yet. George was
leaving to-day, as he has got to be at Plymouth for a regatta somewhere,
but he has put off going till to-morrow because of the weather.

I am enjoying myself immensely. I have got to like Godfrey Mellor very
much. I went for a long walk with him one afternoon. When one gets him
quite alone like that he talks quite a lot and is delightful.

Mrs Carrington-Smith _is_ going to insist on divorce.

I am going to the Shamiers' on the 1st of October. I told you they have
been lent a lodge in Scotland on the coast.

                              Yours etc.,
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, August_ 16_th. Grey Farm, Carbis Bay._

Cunninghame arrived late in the evening. We talked at dinner a great
deal about the likelihood of the Carrington-Smith divorce. We discussed
divorce in general. Mrs Housman was of course against divorce, but she
said that the rules of the Church were terribly hard on the individual
in many cases. She said: "We are allowed to separate."

_Tuesday, August_ 17_th._

We all went for an expedition to the Land's End.

_Wednesday, August_ 18_th_.

We all bathed in the morning. Mrs Carrington-Smith has refused to relent
in spite of Housman's attempts at mediation--apparently she found some
letters addressed by Miss Hope to her husband and Miss Hope was an
imprudent correspondent. Lady Jarvis and I wondered why people kept
letters, especially when they were compromising. Mrs Housman said she
quite understood this. She never could bring herself to burn old
letters, although she never looked at them.

_Thursday, August_ 19_th._

We had luncheon on board the yacht, but after luncheon we left A. on
board and went for a walk on the cliffs.

_Friday, August_ 20_th._

I went for a walk with Cunninghame in the afternoon. He talked a great
deal about A. He said he ought to marry. He said he thought Mrs Housman
was one of the nicest people he had ever met in his life.

_Saturday, August_ 21_st_.

Housman arrived in the evening. It poured with rain all day, so we sat
indoors. Lady Jarvis played patience. Mrs Housman played some old songs
she found in the house. There is nothing, I think, more melancholy than
old or, rather, old-fashioned music.

_Sunday, August_ 22_nd_.

Housman announced his intention of going to Mass with Mrs Housman this
morning. He said he always did so at the seaside, he thought it right to
support poor Missions. Housman said at luncheon that Father Stanway had
preached an excellent sermon. He had said in his sermon that man was a
ridiculous animal, and that every time we slip on a piece of orange-peel
or sit down on a hat by mistake, we should give thanks for the Grace of
God that is teaching us humility. In the afternoon Cunninghame and
Housman played golf. Housman lost. He says Cunninghame is a very fine
player.

_Monday, August_ 23_rd_.

Housman left for London this morning. A. leaves to-morrow for Plymouth,
but the weather is still very unsettled and it has been blowing hard,
and I wonder whether he will be able to start.

Last night after dinner Mrs Housman suggested reading aloud. A. asked
her to read some stories by an American called O. Henry, whose works
have not been published in England, and whom I had never heard of. A.
has travelled in America. Mrs Housman did so. She said she thought we
would find them difficult to understand as we did not know America. We
did, that is to say, Cunninghame and myself. But A. was greatly amused,
and Lady Jarvis said she thought they were clever.

_Tuesday, August_ 24_th._

It is still blowing hard and A. has put off going to Plymouth
altogether, as he would not get there in time for the regatta.
Cunninghame and A. played golf to-day with a retired Indian General, who
lives in a house about three miles from here. His name is York. They
brought him back to tea, a brisk, direct man. He said something about
his wife and Mrs Housman asked if she might call on her. General York
said they would be delighted.

More O. Henry was read out in the evening. I prefer Mrs Housman's
readings in French literature. A. enjoyed it immensely.

_Wednesday, August_ 25_th._

Mrs Housman called on Mrs York this afternoon. Mrs York greeted her with
the words: "This is very unusual." Mrs Housman did not understand what
was unusual. Mrs York said she did not recollect having called. She was
the oldest inhabitant and had discovered the place. Mrs Housman
apologised. She has asked the General and Mrs York to luncheon on
Sunday.

_Thursday, August_ 26_th._

Cunninghame played golf with the General. I went for a walk with Lady
Jarvis in the afternoon. She talked of a great many things; of music
and musical education abroad. She considers Mrs Housman a fine artist.
She talked of A., of his work and mine and my prospects for the future.
I told her I enjoyed routine work and had no ambition to do anything
else. She talked of marriage. She said A. ought certainly to marry soon
as he would be very lonely otherwise. His sister, Mrs Campion, could not
look after him, as she had her own children to look after. Her eldest
daughter would soon be out. She asked me whether I had ever thought of
marrying. She is a most intelligent and agreeable woman.

_Friday, August_ 27_th._

A. was obliged to go to Penzance to-day for the day. We all went for a
walk in the afternoon. It is finer and quite warm, but the sea is still
very rough. Mrs Housman received a letter from Mrs York this morning
saying that she was unable to come to luncheon on Sunday, but that she
had no doubt the General would accept the invitation with pleasure. Mrs
Housman wrote back to say she would be delighted to see the General on
Sunday.

The O. Henry book is finished. Mrs Housman is now reading us some
stories by another American author, Richard Harding Davis. I wish she
would return to European literature. But A. enjoys these American books.

_Saturday, August_ 28_th._

The wind has gone down and A. went out sailing. Cunninghame played golf.
Mrs Housman spent the day at a convent which is some miles off, and she
did not come down to dinner.

Lady Jarvis took me into the town in the morning, and in the afternoon
we went for a drive. We had no reading in the evening.

_Sunday, August_ 29_th._

General York did not come to luncheon after all, he wrote a note
excusing himself. Mrs Housman went to Mass in the morning. A. and
Cunninghame played golf. Mrs Housman read out loud a story by Kipling
after dinner. I wonder what an E.P. tent means.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                            GREY FARM, CARBIS BAY,
                                           _August_ 30_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

The weather has been too awful, but now, thank heaven, it is fine again.
George was obliged to put off going to Plymouth by sea as it was too
rough. The Shamiers have put me off. They can't have the Lodge that was
going to be lent to them, so they won't go to Scotland at all this year.
This changes all my plans. Mrs Housman asked me to stay on another week
here, and I am going to as there is now no hurry to get to Edith's. I
shall then go back to Worsel for three days if they can have me, and
then stay with Edith for the rest of my holiday. She has got the whole
family there at this moment, so I shall enjoy going there later better.
I shall be back in London the first week in October.

There is a charming old man here who plays golf with me, General York.
His wife, who was huffy because Mrs Housman "called," paid a call in
state this afternoon. She came in a barouche with an Indian servant on
the box. She is organising a bazaar and asked Lady Jarvis to help at her
stall. She said the bazaar was in the cause of the Church; she did not
ask Mrs Housman. She stayed seven minutes by the clock and refused tea,
which she said she never took as it was trying for the nerves. She was
dressed in black jet, and brought with her a small Pomeranian dog. She
said she and her husband had lived here eight years and that it used to
be a charming place when they discovered it.

Write to me here and then to Edith's, but not to Worsel as that is
uncertain.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, August_ 30_th_.

I am glad to say Cunninghame has put off going for a week. Mrs York
called chis afternoon. I was introduced to her, but she addressed no
remark to me.

_Tuesday, August_ 31_st_.

A. has gone away for a night as he is staying with someone in the
neighbourhood. Mrs Housman took Cunninghame to the Lizard, which he had
not yet seen. Lady Jarvis and I spent a lazy day in the garden and on
the cliffs. It is extremely hot.

_Wednesday, September_ 1_st_.

Cunninghame and A. played golf with General York and suggested his
coming back to tea, but he declined with much embarrassment. Mrs Housman
returned Mrs York's visit, but she was not at home. Mrs Housman sang
after dinner. A. does not care for German music, which limits the
programme; he is fond, however, of old English songs.

_Thursday, September_ 2_nd_.

A beautiful day for sailing, so they said. A. took Mrs Housman for a
sail.

_Friday, September_ 3_rd_.

I find A.'s spirits a little boisterous at times. He took us out fishing
this afternoon. After dinner he insisted on Mrs Housman playing some
American coon songs.

_Saturday, September_ 4_th._

Housman arrived unexpectedly with Carrington-Smith this afternoon.
Carrington-Smith seems depressed about his coming divorce. Mrs Housman
was out sailing with A. and they did not come back until just before
dinner. Carrington-Smith is a great expert on boxing and gave us a
sparring exhibition after dinner. That is to say, he explained at great
length the nature of a straight left, and upset some of the furniture in
so doing. After dinner Housman, Carrington-Smith, Cunninghame and Lady
Jarvis played Bridge.

_Sunday, September_ 5_th._

Housman played golf and met General York, knowing nothing of what had
occurred, and asked him and Mrs York to luncheon. The General was much
embarrassed and said his wife was an invalid. Housman then asked him to
come by himself. The General stammered and said they were having
luncheon out. But Housman would take no refusal and asked them to
dinner. The General said they didn't dine out on Sundays! His
wife----And then he got dreadfully confused, and Cunninghame came to the
rescue and said Housman had forgotten we were dining on board the yacht,
which we were of course not doing.

Cunninghame leaves, I regret to say, to-morrow.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                       GREY FARM, CARBIS BAY,
                                  _Sunday, September_ 5_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I leave to-morrow for Worsel. I am only stopping here a week. Then I go
on to Edith's where I shall stay to the end of the month. Most of the
family have gone. I spent a whole day with Mrs Housman on Tuesday and we
went to the Lizard. This is the first time I have had a real talk alone
with her since I have been here. We were talking about my plans and I
said that I had been going to stay with the Shamiers. She said: "Oh
yes," and paused a moment and then said: "She's a charming woman, isn't
she?" I could see she knew. Later on she talked of George and said how
nice Mrs Campion was and what a good thing it would be if George
married. I said: "Yes, what a good thing. It was the greatest mistake
his not marrying." Upon which she said: "Do you think he will?" And then
in a flash I knew that Lady Jarvis had been quite right and I had been
utterly wrong. What an idiot I have been! It must have been quite
obvious to a baby the whole time! I can't tell you how I mind it. I
think it is the greatest pity and really too awful! What are we to do?
That's just it--one can do nothing: there is nothing to be done,
absolutely nothing. Of course Godfrey Mellor must have seen it clearly
the whole time. I am sure he is miserable. It is all the greatest pity
and how I can have been so blind, I don't know, not that it would have
made any difference if I hadn't been. Housman, of course, sees nothing
and has begged George to stay on. As a matter of fact he (George) is
going away quite soon as he has to sail his yacht back and he is
stopping somewhere on the way. He will be back in London in October. It
is all very depressing and I am quite glad to be going. Lady Jarvis has
said nothing to me but I can see that she sees that I see. Godfrey
Mellor is staying on. Housman leaves to-morrow. Write to me at Edith's.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, September_ 6_th._

Housman and Cunninghame both left this morning. A. goes away on
Wednesday. A stormy day--too rough for sailing. Carrington-Smith, who is
remaining on, played golf with A.

_Tuesday, September_ 7_th._

Mrs Housman and A. went out for a sail. I went for a walk with Lady
Jarvis. Carrington-Smith played golf: after dinner he sang _I'll sing
thee songs of Araby,_ Mrs Housman accompanied him: he has a tenor voice.

_Wednesday, September_ 8_th_.

A. left in his yacht this morning. Lady Jarvis took Carrington-Smith for
a walk. I went out with Mrs Housman. She suggested finishing _Consuelo_:
I told her I had already finished it. Miss Housman arrives on Saturday.

_Thursday, September_ 9_th._

Mrs Housman received a telegram from Mrs Baines, who is in the
neighbourhood with her husband, proposing themselves. Mrs Housman has
asked them to stay. They will arrive to-morrow. Carrington-Smith sang
Tosti's _Good-bye_ after dinner.

I went for a walk with Mrs Housman in the afternoon. She said she likes
Cunninghame particularly. She said that A. ought to marry.

_Friday, September_ 10_th._

A rainy day, we remained indoors. Carrington-Smith went for a walk by
himself. Mr and Mrs Baines arrived in the afternoon. After dinner they
played bridge: Lady Jarvis, Carrington-Smith and Mr and Mrs Baines. Mrs
Baines said she greatly admired the works of Mrs Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
"She is," she said, "a true poet, or perhaps I should say a true
poetess." She said theatrical performances affected her so much that she
could seldom "sit out a piece." She had been obliged to take to her bed
after seeing _The Only Way_. Carrington-Smith said he preferred a prize
fight to any play. Mr Baines did not care for the English stage, but he
always went to a French play when there was one to see in London: he had
greatly admired Sarah Bernhardt in old days. His wife, he pensively
reminded us, had once been taken for her. Mrs Baines protested and said
that it was in the days when Sarah Bernhardt was quite thin. "Such a
beautiful voice," she said. "Quite the human violin in those days. Now,
of course, she rants and appears in such dreadful plays--so violent."

_Saturday, September_ 11_th._

Mr and Mrs Baines left this morning. Miss Housman arrived in the
afternoon. Carrington-Smith played golf and I went out with Mrs Housman.
After dinner Miss Housman suggested Bridge, but there were only three
players, as Mrs Housman does not play. Miss Housman said I must play. I
said I did not know the rules. She said she would teach me. I played--I
was her partner. She became excited over what is called the "double
ruff," a point I have not yet grasped. Carrington-Smith, who is an
excellent player, explained me the rules with great patience.

_Sunday, September_ 12_th._

Mrs Housman went to Mass. In the afternoon she went for a walk with Miss
Housman. We played Bridge again after dinner. Miss Housman was annoyed
with me as I neglected to finesse.

_Monday, September_ 13_th._

The last week of my holiday. It becomes finer and warmer every day. Miss
Housman said she must see the Land's End. Mrs Housman took her there. I
went for a walk with Lady Jarvis in the evening. More Bridge after
dinner: I revoked, but my partner, Carrington-Smith, was most amiable
about it.

_Tuesday, September_ 14_th._

Miss Housman took Mrs Housman into the town as she said she needed help
with her shopping: she did not make many purchases. As far as I
understood, only two yards of silk. I went out with Carrington-Smith in
the afternoon. Bridge in the evening--I do not yet understand the
"double ruff."

_Wednesday, September_ 15_th._

We all went to the Lizard in two carriages. Miss Housman said she must
see the Lizard. She, Mrs Housman and myself went in one carriage; Lady
Jarvis and Carrington-Smith in the other. Bridge in the evening; Miss
Housman lost, which annoyed her.

_Thursday, September_ 16_th._

A wet day. Miss Housman practised all the morning (Fantasia in C sharp
minor, Chopin); her touch is very metallic. We played Bridge in the
afternoon after tea, as well as after dinner.

_Friday, September_ 17_th._

My last day. It cleared up. We all went out on to the beach. Miss
Housman read aloud a novel, which she had already begun and which we
will certainly not have time to finish, called _Queed_, by an American
author. After dinner we played Bridge.

_Saturday, September_ 18_th._

Arrived at Gray's Inn. Travelled up with Carrington-Smith.

_Sunday, October_ 3_rd. Gray's Inn_.

Stayed at home in the morning and read the Sunday newspapers. In the
afternoon I went for a walk in Kensington Gardens.

_Monday, October_ 4_th._

A. and Cunninghame returned to the office. A. told us that his sister,
Mrs Campion, had invited both of us to stay with her next Saturday at
her house in Oxfordshire. We have both accepted.

_Tuesday, October_ 5_th._

Cunninghame asked me to dinner. We dined at his flat and sat up talking
until nearly one o'clock in the morning. I had a letter from Lady Jarvis
telling me she has returned to London and inviting me to visit her in
Mansfield Street whenever I felt inclined.

_Wednesday, October_ 6_th_.

Dined with A. at his Club. He told me that Mrs Housman arrives
to-morrow; he met Housman in the street this morning.

_Thursday, October_ 7_th._

I called on Lady Jarvis late this evening and found her at home. She
said Cornwall had had a beneficial effect on Mrs Housman's health. I
stayed talking till nearly seven.

_Friday, October_ 8_th._

Received a note from Mrs Housman asking me to dine there next Tuesday.
Went to a concert with Lady Jarvis at the Queen's Hall: the programme
was uninteresting, but I enjoyed my evening nevertheless.

_Saturday, October_ 9_th. Wraxted Priory, Oxfordshire_.

I travelled down with A. and Cunninghame and found a party consisting,
besides ourselves, of Mrs Campion and her three children, Fräulein
Brandes, the governess, Miss Macdonald, Cunninghame's cousin, and a Miss
Wray. I sat next to Mrs Campion at dinner: she said she hoped they would
go to Florence again next Easter. After dinner we played Consequences
and the letter game.

_Sunday, October_ 10_th._

Everyone went to church this morning except Cunninghame and myself. At
luncheon I sat next to Fräulein Brandes. She said Shakespeare was badly
performed in England and that she preferred the German translation of
the plays to the original; she considered it superior. "_Aber das_," she
added, "_will kein Engländer gestehen_." She was shocked to hear I had
never read Shakespeare's plays. I told her I had no taste for verse. She
said this was _unglaublich_. I told her I was fond of German music. In
the afternoon Mrs Campion took me for a walk. Cunninghame went out with
his cousin. At dinner I sat next to Miss Wray. I found her most
agreeable. She has travelled a great deal and seems to have a real
appreciation of classical music.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                        LONDON,
                                           _Monday, October_ 11_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

We had a delightful Sunday at Mrs Campion's. A lovely old house not very
far from Oxford: grey stone walls, a hall with the walls left bare and a
few bits of good tapestry and another panelled room. Freda was there,
and Lavinia Wray, who has just come back from South America. She is
looking so well, her lovely skin whiter than ever and those huge
eyes--George liked her enormously. He had never met her before. How
wonderful it would be if that could come off. It would be exactly right.
Of course I am sure Mrs Campion wants it and is not likely to do
anything stupid. I shall get Edith to help later if possible. She is
still in the country now. Mrs Housman has come back to London and I
hear from Randall that Housman is mad about Mrs Park. I shall go and see
her next week. George is in good spirits. When I got back I couldn't
bear the sight of my flat with those glaring curtains and I have
committed the great extravagance of changing them. The new ones are
coming next week. I hope they will be a success as I shan't be able to
change them again.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, October_ 11_th._

Dined at the Club.

_Tuesday, October_ 12_th._

Had luncheon with Cunninghame to meet his sister, Mrs Howard. She is
older than he is and less communicative. Her husband is on the Stock
Exchange. She was only in London for the day but she said she hoped I
would come and see her when she settled in London later. She has a house
in Chester Street.

_Wednesday, October_ 13_th._

Dined with the Housmans last night. A. was there, Miss Housman and Mrs
Park. I sat next to Mrs Housman. Mrs Park contradicted A. when he
mentioned music and said something about the gross ignorance of English
amateurs. After dinner she asked Miss Housman to accompany her. She sang
some operatic airs and Gounod's _Ave Maria_. I drove home with A., who
told me he could not bear Mrs Park.

_Thursday, October_ 14_th._

I am just back from dining with Lady Jarvis. A. was there, Miss Wray and
several other people. Lady Jarvis asked me if I had seen the Housmans. I
told her about my dinner there. She said that Mrs Park was an
intolerable woman: she knew her when she was a singer and she said she
had never met anyone who gave herself such airs. Walked home with
Cunninghame, who was dining there too. He is dining with the Housmans on
Sunday. The Carrington-Smith divorce case is in the newspapers.

_Friday, October_ 15_th._

Dined at the Club.

Mrs Carrington-Smith has got her divorce.

_Saturday, October_ 16_th._

Spent the day at Woking with Solway. He has finished his Sonata.

_Sunday, October_ 17_th._

I went to see Mrs Housman this afternoon and found her at home. After I
had been there about five minutes a great many visitors arrived and I
left.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                              HALKIN STREET,
                                         _Sunday, October_ 17_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I am having a quiet Sunday in London. George is staying with the Prime
Minister. I dined last night with the Housmans. Mrs Park was there,
Randall and Miss Housman. Mrs Park is incredible: a magnificent figure,
hair dyed a rich bronze with flaming high lights, dressed in a flowing
robe of peach-coloured satin with a necklace of fire-opals and a large
diamond lyre on her shoulder; the semi-royal manner of an ex-Prima
Donna, at the same time making it quite clear that she no longer mixed
with the artistic world--she had soared to the top of it and out of it.
She said: "Years ago when I was at Balmoral the dear Queen told me she
reminded me of Grisi." I said: "I suppose you mean you reminded her of
Grisi," and she drew herself up stiffly and said she meant what she
said. She told me that Madame Cosima had implored her to sing at
Bayreuth but of course she couldn't think of doing such a thing. Poor
Theodore (her late husband) hated Wagner. After dinner she sang, Miss
Housman accompanied her, a song out of _Cavalleria._ They had a fierce
argument about the time. Mrs Park said she was playing too fast, which
she was, although I don't believe Mrs Park knew this. Miss Sarah stuck
to her guns and played, if anything, faster. Mrs Park then refused to
sing. Housman asked his wife to accompany her, which Mrs Housman most
good-naturedly said she would be delighted to do. This was more than
Miss Housman could bear--she said Mrs Housman was playing too slow and
Mrs Park agreed. Miss Housman tore Mrs Housman from the piano and sat
there herself, and the song was sung to the end. All seemed to be
peaceable but Miss Housman unfortunately couldn't refrain from saying
that Mascagni's music was rubbish, upon which Mrs Park burst into a
furious passion. Who was Miss Housman to judge? she screamed. Miss
Housman said she had studied music for five years under the best
musicians in the world at Leipzig. Mrs Park said she had sung to Patti,
who had said she was the only English artist worthy of the name of
"artist." Miss Housman, in a sardonic voice, said that Patti was so
kind. Mrs Park said that the arrogance of amateurs knew no bounds. She
had sung before the most critical public in two continents. Miss Housman
said she did not consider the Americans a critical public. Mrs Park then
said she would never sing again in the Housmans' house as long as she
lived, not if everyone went down on their knees to her. Housman became
greatly agitated and fussed about the room, saying: "Never mind, never
mind; we are all very tired to-night, it's the east wind." Mrs Park
said she always sang her best in an east wind. I caught Mrs Housman's
eye and we were seized with a fit of uncontrollable laughter. We laughed
till we shook. Randall caught it too. This made things much worse. Mrs
Park said she was being insulted and swept out of the room, Housman
running after her. He came back alone gibbering with agitation, and Miss
Housman then attacked him and said of course if Albert (rolling the "r"
with a rapid guttural) would invite such awful people, what could one
expect? Then "Bert" got really angry and we all sat in dead silence
while he and Miss Sarah abused each other like pickpockets. Then the
door opened and Mrs Park came back saying she had left her fan behind.
She took no notice of us but disappeared with Housman into the Oriental
lounge, and there we heard spirited skirmishes of talk going on in an
undertone. Miss Housman sat down defiantly at the piano and played, or
rather banged, the _Rapsodie Hongroise._ When this was over they both
came back and Housman suggested, with a nervous chuckle, that we should
all have some lemonade. We jumped at the idea and the evening ended
peaceably enough, but Mrs Park ignored Miss Housman, was icy towards Mrs
Housman, and made all her remarks to me and Randall. I then left the
house. Housman followed me nervously to the door and said that Mrs Park
had the artistic temperament and that I mustn't mind, and that it was
too bad of Sarah to provoke her.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.

_P.S_.--I suppose you read about the Carrington-Smith case in the
newspapers. Mrs Housman and I laughed a good deal about it when "Bert"
wasn't listening, but I am very sorry for Eileen. Aren't you?



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, October_ 18_th._

A. has been staying with the Prime Minister. He does not appear to have
enjoyed himself very much. He asked me if I had seen the Housmans
lately.

_Tuesday, October_ 19_th._

A. and I dined with Cunninghame. Miss Wray was there, Mrs Howard and
Lady Jarvis. A. said afterwards that Miss Wray was a charming girl--it
was a pity that she did not marry.

_Wednesday, October_ 20_th_.

I called on Mrs Housman late, but she was not at home. Housman came out
of the house as I was standing at the door. He asked me to dinner on
Sunday. I accepted.

_Thursday, October_ 21_st._

Dined at the Club.

_Friday, October_ 22_nd_.

Dined with Mrs Howard. A. was there, Cunninghame, Miss Wray, Miss
Macdonald, and others. Mr Howard is half-Irish and very boisterous. I
sat next to Miss Wray; she said Mrs Campion was the nicest woman she
knew. Uncle Arthur and Aunt Ruth have come back to London and are
starting their Thursday evenings. They have asked A. and myself to
dinner on Thursday week.

_Saturday, October_ 23_rd_.

A. has gone to the country to stay with a General; a military party.

_Sunday, October_ 24_th._

I had luncheon with Lady Jarvis. She told me she did not think Mrs
Housman would stay long in London, as the London winter was bad for her;
she said she thought she would most likely go to Florence.

I dined with the Housmans. A strange party. Mrs Park was the only
person there I had met before. There was a South African magnate and
his wife, a retired Indian official, and a Mr Perry, an Australian, and
his wife, who were apparently intimate friends of Mrs Park's, at least
she called him Tom. I sat next to Mrs Perry, who told me that Paris had
been a disappointment to her. She told me, also, that the women in
England were, according to Australian standards, dowdy. On the other
side of me was Lady Bowles, the wife of the Indian official. She told me
she was Mrs Park's greatest friend; she said she lived at Cannes and
only spent a few weeks in London every year; they were staying at the
Hyde Park Hotel. She found London dreadfully slow: she was accustomed,
she said, always to smoke between the courses at dinner, and not to do
so was a great deprivation. She also said she was a great gambler and
was used to gambling all night. "Of course I find this exhausting," she
said; "and I always tell Harold I shall take to cocaine some day."
Housman seemed rather embarrassed. Miss Housman was not there. After
dinner Lady Bowles suggested a game of Poker. They all played except Mrs
Housman and they were still playing when I left.

_Monday, October_ 25_th._

I had luncheon with Cunninghame at his Club. He said A. had come back
from the country in a very bad temper and had said that nothing would
induce him to pay a visit anywhere again.

_Tuesday, October_ 26_th._

Went to a concert at the Queen's Hall. Saw the Housmans in the distance,
and to my astonishment I met A. in the interval. He said he had been
dragged there by his sister. I met them again as we were going out. A.
asked me to dinner on Friday.

_Wednesday, October_ 27_th._

Had luncheon with A. He seems in high spirits. He told me that his
sister had come up from London for the winter--she had taken a house
in Pont Street. He said the Housmans and Cunninghame were dining on
Friday and it would be a Cornwall party.

_Thursday, October_ 28_th._

Dined with Aunt Ruth--a large political dinner; the F.O. largely
represented, as usual. A. was there and sat next to the wife of the
French military attache, and on the other side of Aunt Ruth. I am afraid
he found the dinner tedious, but after dinner he talked to Miss Wray: I
sat next to her at dinner. She asked me if I had known A. long. She said
he was so like his sister. Uncle Arthur has not yet grasped I am working
in a public office. He asked me how I was getting on in the city.

_Friday, October_ 29_th_.

Dined with A. at his flat. Mr and Mrs Housman, Lady Jarvis, Miss Wray,
Cunninghame and Miss Macdonald, Mrs Campion was coming but had been
obliged to go down to the country. Mrs Housman said she was very likely
going abroad for the winter.

_Saturday, October_ 30_th._

A. was engaged to go somewhere in the country but he has put off going.
He left a telegram at the office to his hostess but forgot to fill in
the address. Tuke brought it to me. It was to Mrs Legget, Miss Wray's
aunt. She is not in _Who's Who_, but I rang up Lady Jarvis on the
telephone and she knew.

_Sunday, October_ 31_st_.

I went to call on Mrs Housman but she was not at home.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                   LONDON,
                                        _Monday, November_ 1_st_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I spent Sunday in London and had luncheon with Lady Jarvis. She told me
the Housman _ménage_ was all upside down owing to Mrs Park, who refused
to let Housman see any of his old friends, insulted them all, and
quarrelled every day with Miss Housman, and insisted on her friends
being asked nightly to dinner--and what friends! Fast colonials, Lady
Jarvis says, and the dregs of the Riviera! Poor Mrs Housman is utterly
worn out. Mrs Park behaves exactly as if it were her house, orders the
servants about, complains of the food, and is always there! The result
is Mrs Housman has gone to Florence; she was to leave this morning and
she is going to stay there the whole winter. I did not know how George
would take this bit of news, but he knew already and seems, oddly
enough, in good spirits! Edith thinks he is fond of Lavinia Wray and
that he will end by marrying her, but Lady Jarvis does not agree,
although she said that his sister thinks the same thing. They can't
understand his being in such spirits otherwise. Last Friday we all had
dinner at George's flat. After dinner, so Lady Jarvis told me, before we
came out of the dining-room they were playing the game of saying who you
could marry and who you couldn't, and after mentioning a lot of people,
Godfrey Mellor among others, Freda Macdonald said: "George." Lady Jarvis
and Freda said: "Oh yes; we could marry him." Mrs Housman and Lavinia
Wray said: "No--quite impossible."

Except Lady Jarvis, they are all extraordinarily optimistic about George
and think that there is nothing in the Housman thing and that it will
pass off and he will marry Lavinia. I am sure they are wrong, and I am
more depressed about it than words can say. Lavinia is fond of him, too,
and that is all that has been gained. There are now three miserable
people, instead of two! No letter from you this week, but I hope to get
one to-morrow.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, November_ 1_st. Gray's Inn_.

Received a letter from Mrs Housman saying that she was leaving for
Florence this morning, She was sorry not to have seen me yesterday. She
is going to stay in Florence until the end of May.

_Tuesday, November_ 2_nd_.

Had dinner with A. alone at his flat. He was in low spirits and said
that he hates official life.

_Tuesday, December_ 21_st_.

My Christmas holidays begin to-morrow. I am going to Aunt Ruth's.
Cunninghame is staying with Lady Jarvis. A. said he would most probably
spend Christmas with his sister, but he was not sure.

_Thursday, December_ 23_rd_.

Received a telegram from Aunt Ruth saying the party was put off as Uncle
Arthur has got bronchitis. A telegram arrived for A. at the office this
morning. I telephoned to Tuke at his flat to know where to forward it.
Tuke said A.'s address for the next week would be Hotel Grande Bretagne,
Florence.

_Christmas Day_.

Dined at the Club.

_Tuesday, December_ 28_th_.

Tuke telephoned to say not to forward any more letters to A. He was on
his way home.

_Saturday, January_ 8_th_, 1910.

Received a letter from A. from his sister's house. He is coming up next
week. Riley has written to me from Paris to know whether I could put him
up next month. He is going to spend a month in London. I have told him I
would be glad of his company.



_Letters from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                    ROSEDALE,
                                   _Saturday, January_ 1_st_, 1910.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have been staying with Lady Jarvis for Christmas. There is a very
small party, only Jane Vaughan and Winchester Hill besides myself. Just
before I came down here Housman asked me to dine with him at the
Carlton. I went and he was alone. After talking nervously on ordinary
topics, he told me he did not know what to do. It gradually came out
that Mrs Park is making his life quite unbearable. She won't let him see
any of his friends; she quarrels with Sarah, and has the most violent
scenes; she makes scenes every day, and not long ago, he said, broke a
fine piece of Venetian glass. He is miserable; he says he can't call his
soul his own. I told Lady Jarvis all about this and she said the only
thing to be done would be for Housman to get Mrs Housman to come back.
She has been away two months, and if she comes back at the end of the
month the worst of the winter will be over. She is very much worried
about Mrs Housman and says this is most unfortunate, as it would be
better really in every way if she were to stay out there. You see Edith
and Mrs Campion and Freda all think that it is only a passing fancy of
George's and that he will get over it and marry Lavinia Wray! Lady
Jarvis says this is wrong; she knows they are wrong. She thinks George
and Mrs Housman are desperately in love with each other and she doesn't
know how it will end. She is so worried that she nearly went out to
Florence last week. She had heard from Mrs Housman quite lately. She
said in her last letter that George had suggested coming out to Florence
for Christmas with Mrs Campion. She had told him that she would most
likely not be in Florence as the Albertis had asked her to spend
Christmas with them at Ravenna; she was not sure, however, whether she
would go or not. Whether George went or not, I don't know. He told me he
was going to spend Christmas with Mrs Campion at the Priory.

I am going back to London at the end of next week.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.

                                                       LONDON,
                                      _Wednesday, January_ 11_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I came back to London on Monday. I asked Housman to dinner with me and
told him that he had much better get Mrs Housman back. He said he quite
agreed that it was the only thing to do. Things were now worse than
ever. Mrs Park was impossible. Poor little "Bert"! The worst of it is,
that directly this is over there is quite certain to be someone else and
perhaps someone worse. However, let us hope for the best. George came
to the office yesterday. He said he had been staying with his sister; he
said nothing about Florence. He is in low spirits.

I shall certainly go abroad at Easter and spend a few days in Paris in
any case. Lady Jarvis is back in London, and the Shamiers. I dined there
last night. Lavroff was there and Louise is just as fond of him as ever.

Poor Godfrey Mellor is terribly melancholy. He has got a friend staying
with him now and I don't see much of him.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Tuesday, February_ 15_th_, 1910.

Alfred Riley arrived last night. He is now professor at Shelborough
University and is editing _Propertius_. He has come to consult some
books at the British Museum.

_Wednesday, February_ 16_th_.

Sat up very late last night talking with Riley. He was amused by a
conversation he had overheard at a Club. Two men were talking about
someone who had become a Roman Catholic. Someone he didn't know. One of
them said to the other that it was a very pleasant solution if you could
do it. The other one said: "Certainly; no bother, no responsibility ...
everything settled for you." I said that I did think the Confessional
must be the negation of responsibility. Riley said that by becoming a
Catholic you became responsible for all your actions. He said that
before he was a Catholic he felt no responsibility at all to anything or
anyone, but that the moment you were a Catholic everything you did and
said counted. Every time you went to Confession you acknowledged and
confirmed your assumption of responsibility. I mentioned a common friend
of ours, O'Neil, who had been a Catholic all his life and who, though he
was married, had never ceased to live with a Miss Silvia Thorpe, whom I
had known as an artist. He didn't hide it, neither did she. Riley said
that this proved his point. O'Neil never dreamt of going to Confession;
he knew it would be useless, because he had no intention of giving up
Miss Thorpe, and that being so, he knew he couldn't get Absolution, It
was a sacrifice to him, a very great sacrifice, as he Was a believing
Catholic. "That shows," he went on, "that you don't understand how the
thing works. You and all Protestants think that one can stroll into the
Confessional, wipe the slate clean and go on with what you are doing,
however bad it is, with the implied sanction of the Church. But the fact
remains that practising Catholics who are living in a way which the
Church condemned do not go to Confession. Going to Confession entails
facing responsibility instead of evading it." He said that if what I
thought was true, people like O'Neil would go to Confession. I must face
the fact that he did not go to Confession and was extremely unhappy on
that account. He would like to go to the Sacraments but he had made this
great sacrifice with his eyes open. I said that I had always thought the
Church was lax about such matters. He said individuals might be lax. The
Church was not responsible for the conduct of individuals, but the rule
of the Church was absolutely uncompromising. I said O'Neil might be an
extreme case, but supposing a devout Catholic married woman had a great
man friend, supposing he was very much in love with her, but she was a
virtuous woman, faithful to her husband, she could go on seeing the
other man as much as she liked? Would the Church forbid it? Riley said
the Church would forbid _sin_. Any priest would tell her that if she
thought it might lead to sin, she must cut it out of her life. I said
that was quite clear, but he was not telling me what I wanted to know.
He said: "What is it that you want to know?" I said I must give it up. I
couldn't put it into words. I said Roman Catholics were always so
matter-of-fact. They handed one opinions and ideas like chocolates
wrapped up in silver paper. He said: "You think that, because you would
sooner walk naked in the streets than think things out, or call things
by their names. You like leaving them vague. 'Le vague,' Renan said,
'est pire que le faux.'"

I said, going back to the question of responsibility, that I had often
heard Catholics themselves complain of the want of responsibility of
Catholics. Riley said that might very well be; they might lack a sense
of responsibility, just as they might lack a sense of charity or
honesty. "You think," he said, "that the Church is perpetually arranging
comfortable compromises. Nothing is further from the truth. Nothing is
harder on the individual than certain of the commandments of the Church
with regard to marriage: for instance, divorce, and the bearing of
children. Some of the Church's views were just as hard on the individual
as it was hard on a man, who is going to catch a train to see his dying
child, to be delayed by a policeman holding up the traffic, but in order
to make traffic possible, you had to have a policeman, and the
individual couldn't complain however much he might suffer.

"I know a much harder case than O'Neil's," he said: "a colleague of mine
who is married and has been completely neglected by his wife. On the
other hand, he has been looked after devotedly for years by another
woman, who nursed him when he was ill and saved his life. He wants to
become a Catholic, but he knows quite well that the Church will not
receive him unless he were to give up this woman, whom he adores, and go
back to his wife, who is indifferent to him. What you don't understand,"
he said, "is that the Church is not an air cushion but a rock."

He said I accused the Church of being lax, but many people that he knew
found fault with what they called the _hardness_ of the Church. But as a
matter of fact they had generally to admit that as far as the human race
was concerned the Church in such matters of morals was always right. He
cited instances of what the Church was right in condemning. I said that
one did not need to be Roman Catholic to know that immorality was bad
for the State, and that vice was noxious to the individual. The
ordinary laymen reach the same conclusions merely by common-sense.

Riley said there were only two points of view in the world: the Catholic
point of view or the non-Catholic point of view. All so-called religions
which I could mention, including my layman's common-sense view, were
either lopped-off branches of Catholicism or shadows of it, or a blind
aspiration towards it, or a misguided parallel of it, as of a train that
had gone off the rails, or a travesty of it, sometimes serious, and
sometimes grotesque: a distortion. The other point of view was the
materialist point of view, which he could perfectly well understand
anyone holding. It depends, he said, whether you think human life is
casual or divine.

I said I could quite well conceive a philosophy which would be neither
materialist nor Catholic. He quoted Dr Johnson about everyone having a
right to his opinion, and martyrdom being the test. Catholicism, he
said, had survived the test; would my philosophy?

As far as I was concerned I admitted that I held no opinion for which I
was ready to go to the stake, except, possibly, that _Jane Eyre_ was an
interesting book.

_Monday, February_ 21_st_.

I heard from Mrs Housman this morning. She returns to-morrow.

_Saturday, February_ 26_th._

Called on Mrs Housman, and found her in. Housman was there also. They
asked me to dinner next Monday.

_Sunday, February_ 27_th. Rosedale_.

I am staying with Lady Jarvis. There is no one else. Lady Jarvis said
she was glad Mrs Housman had returned to London.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                   LONDON,
                                          _Tuesday, March_ 1_st_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I dined with the Housmans last night. Only myself, Miss Sarah, Lady
Jarvis, and Godfrey Mellor. Everything as it used to be.
Carrington-Smith came in after dinner. He has not been inside the house
for months. I don't know what Mrs Housman did nor how it was done, but
it _was_ done, and done most successfully and quickly! She only came
back a week ago. "Bert" looks quite different and is perfectly radiant.

George, I gather, hasn't seen her. They asked him to dinner last night,
but he had an official dinner and couldn't come. He asked me whether I
had seen her. He said he had been there several times, but she had
always been out. He is still most depressed and goes nowhere unless he
is absolutely obliged to. The Housmans have asked me to spend Easter at
their villa. Lady Jarvis is going, and Godfrey; and Housman told me he
was going to ask George. I am going and I shall stop two or three days
in Paris on the way.

Lavinia Wray has gone to the south of France with her aunt. The Shamiers
are going to Paris next week. They will tell you all the news, not that
there is much.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, February_ 28_th._

A. told me he had not been to the country after all on Saturday.

_Tuesday, March_ 1_st_.

Dined with the Housmans, a very agreeable dinner. Mrs Housman played and
sang after dinner: Brahms' _Lieder_, and some Grieg.

_Wednesday, March_ 2_nd_.

A. asked me to luncheon. He told me he had been so sorry not to be able
to go to the Housmans' last night. He said he had not seen them yet. He
was so busy. He asked me how Mrs Housman was and whether Florence had
done her good.

_Thursday, March_ 3_rd_.

I told Riley I had been reading Renan's _Souvenirs d'enfance et de
jeunesse_, and that Renan said in this book that there was nothing in
Catholic dogmas which raised in him a contrary opinion; nothing either
in the political action or in the spirit of the Church, either in the
past or in the present, that led him to doubt; but directly he studied
the "Higher Criticism" and German text-books his faith in the Church
crumbled. I asked Riley what he thought of this. He said people treated
German text-books superstitiously then and they still did so now. If
German text-books dealt with Shakespeare people could see at once that
they were talking nonsense, and that mountains of erudition were being
built on a false base, a base which we knew to be false, because we were
English; but when they dealt with things more remote, like the Gospels,
people swallowed what they said, and accepted any of their theories as
infallible dogma. In twenty years' time, he said, nobody will care two
straws for the "Higher Criticism."

Riley is going away to-morrow.

_Friday, March_ 4_th._

Mrs Housman has written to ask me to come and see her on Sunday
afternoon if I am in London.

Dined with Cunninghame at a restaurant and went to the Palace Music Hall
afterwards.

_Saturday, March_ 5_th._

A. is much annoyed at having to stay with the Foreign Secretary. Dined
at the Club.

_Sunday, March_ 6_th._

Spent the afternoon at Mrs Housman's. There was nobody there until
Housman came in late just when I was going. Housman said we must all
meet at Florence. He said he was going to ask A. "But we never see him
now," he added. He asked me what A. was doing. I told him he was staying
with the Foreign Secretary. He said, of course he was right to attend to
his official and especially to his social duties. He said he would ask
him to dinner next week. He asked me to dine on Wednesday. Mrs Housman
asked me to go to a concert with her on Tuesday.

_Monday, March_ 7_th._

Dined at the Club.

_Tuesday, March_ 8_th._

Went to a concert in Chelsea with Mrs Housman, Housman and Miss Housman.
Solway played, and an excellent violinist, Miss Bowden; Beethoven Sonata
(G Major) and Schubert Quartet (D Minor). We all enjoyed the music and
the playing. During the interval we went to see Solway. Housman asked
him to dinner to-morrow.

_Wednesday, March_ 9_th._

Dined with the Housmans. Lady Jarvis, Mrs Campion, Solway, Cunninghame,
Mrs Baines, and A. and Miss Housman were there. I sat between Lady
Jarvis and Mrs Campion. After dinner Mrs Housman asked Solway to try a
song with her, a new English song by a boy who has just left the
College of Music. She sang this and after that she sang all the
_Winterreise_. Housman asked A. and Mrs Campion to stay with them in
Florence. Mrs Campion cannot get away this Easter. A. accepted the
invitation.

_Thursday, March_ 10_th._

Went after dinner to Aunt Ruth's. Uncle Arthur is quite restored to
health. He asked me whether I had been appointed to Paris, still
thinking that I was in the F.O. There were a great many people there.
Aunt Ruth spoke severely about A. and said she heard he only went out in
the Bohemian world. I said he had stayed with the Foreign Secretary last
week.

_Friday, March_ 11_th._

Dined with Mrs Campion. A. was there and the Albertis, who are over in
England. A. said he was much looking forward to Florence. Easter is
early this year.

_Saturday, March_ 12_th._

A. has gone to Littlehampton. He has asked the Housmans and Cunninghame.
I am going to Woking.

_Sunday, March_ 13_th._

Spent the day with Solway, who played Bach. Returned by the late train
after dinner.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                     LONDON,
                                             _Monday, March_ 14_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have just come back from Littlehampton, where I spent Sunday with
George and his sister. The Housmans were asked and Housman went, but Mrs
Housman was not well. I start on Thursday morning and shall be in Paris
Thursday night and stay there till Monday. Let us do something amusing.
I should like to go to the play one night. But you have probably seen
all the best things hundreds of times. I am going on co Florence on
Monday. I don't think George has seen much of Mrs Housman. I dined there
last Wednesday. Mrs Housman sang the whole evening so that he did not
get any talk with her. Godfrey has been much more cheerful lately and
even suggested going to a music-hall one night. Mrs Campion is coming
to Florence too.

I'm sorry I've been so bad about writing lately. I seem to have had no
time and yet to have done nothing, and there have been a series of
rather tiresome episodes at the office.

Au revoir till Thursday,

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, March_ 14_th_

A. came back from the country in a gloomy state of mind. He said it was
a great mistake to go to the country in March and that his party had
been a failure. He said bachelors should not give parties. He asked me
to dine with him, which I did. He says he is leaving on Wednesday but
will stop two nights in Paris. Mrs Campion is travelling with him.

_Tuesday, March_ 15_th._

Mrs Housman rang up on the telephone and told me that a young vocalist
was dining with them to-morrow night. She wanted a few people to hear
her. Would I come? Solway was coming.

Dined with Cunninghame at his Club. He says he has never seen A. so
depressed.

_Wednesday, March_ 16_th._

Dined with the Housmans. Miss Housman, Solway and Lady Jarvis were
there. The vocalist, a Miss Byfield, did not arrive till after dinner.
Mrs Housman said Miss Byfield was shy and had refused to dine at the
last moment. After dinner she sang some songs from the classical
composers. She was extremely nervous. Mrs Housman and Solway say she has
promise. Housman said to me confidentially that he was sure there was no
money in her. The Housmans leave to-morrow. A. left to-day.

_Thursday, March_ 17_th._

Cunninghame left to-day. I had dinner with Lady Jarvis. She asked me to
travel with her on Saturday. We are both stopping Sunday night in Paris.

_Friday, March_ 18_th._

Lunched and dined at the Club. Packed up my things. Am taking some music
with me.

_Saturday, March_ 19_th. Paris._

Arrived at the Hôtel Saint Romain. Had a pleasant journey with Lady
Jarvis.

_Sunday, March_ 20_th._

Lady Jarvis took me to see a French friend of hers, Madame Sainton. It
was her day. There was a large crowd of men and women in the
drawing-room and the dining-room, where there was tea, Madeira and
excellent sandwiches. The French take just as much trouble about
preparing a good tea as they do to write or to dress well. I was
introduced to a famous composer, who talked to me technically about
boxing. I was obliged to confess that I knew nothing of the art. It was
a pity, I thought, Carrington-Smith was not there. I was also introduced
to a French author, who asked me what was the place of Meredith in
modern literature, what _les jeunes_ thought about him. I was obliged to
confess I had never read one line of Meredith. The French author thought
I despised him. He asked me: "Quest qu'on lit en Angleterre maintenant
avant de se coucher?" I said that I had no idea what _les jeunes_ read
but that I personally, for a bedside book, preferred _Jane Eyre_.

The French author said "_Tiens_!" He then asked me what I thought of
Bernard Shaw. I had again to confess that I had never seen his plays
acted. I told him that when I had time to spare I went to concerts. He
said: "Ah! la musique," and I felt he was generalising a whole movement
in young England towards music.

In the evening we went to the Opéra Comique and heard _Carmen_, which I
greatly enjoyed.

_Monday, March_ 21_st. Florence. Villa Fersen._

We arrived at Florence this morning. Cunninghame and A. and Mrs Campion
were in the same train. The Housmans had been there some days already.

_Tuesday, March_ 22_nd_.

Cunninghame, Mrs Housman, A. and Mrs Campion went out together. Lady
Jarvis stayed at home. I went later in the morning to the Pitti. In the
afternoon they went to Fiesole. Housman went to call on some friends.
Lady Jarvis and I went for a walk.

_Wednesday, March_ 23_rd_.

We were invited to luncheon by a Mr Eugene Lowe, a friend of Lady
Jarvis. He has a flat in the town on the Pitti side of the river. The
Housmans and Cunninghame and myself went. A. and his sister had luncheon
with the Albertis. Mr Lowe's flat had the peculiarity that everything in
it had been ingeniously diverted from its original purpose. The only
other guest besides ourselves was an ex-diplomatist whom I met last
year.

_Thursday, March_ 24_th._

Lady Jarvis has gone to Venice, where she is staying with friends until
next Monday. While we were sight-seeing this morning we met a lady
called Mrs Fairburn, who claimed to be an old friend of Mrs Housman. Mrs
Housman told me she had met her in America soon after she married, but
that she had never known her well. She asked us all to luncheon on
Saturday. Mrs Housman accepted for herself and Housman. Cunninghame and
I also accepted. A. and his sister were engaged.

In the afternoon Mrs Housman said she was going to hear a Dominican
preach. Cunninghame and I asked if we might accompany her. A. said it
was no use his going as he did not understand Italian. He was most
eloquent.

_Friday (Good Friday), March_ 25_th._

Mrs Housman spent the whole morning in church. I went with Cunninghame
for a long walk.

_Saturday, March_ 26_th._

We had luncheon with Mrs Fairburn, who has a villa on the Fiesole side.
She is a widow and always, she says, lives abroad; so much so, she told
us, that she had difficulty in speaking English correctly. She gave us
no evidence that she spoke any other language with great correctness.
She told me she was overjoyed at meeting Mrs Housman, who was her oldest
friend. Housman asked her to dinner to-morrow night.

_Sunday (Easter Sunday), March_ 27_th._

I went for a walk by myself. When I got back I found various people at
the villa and escaped to my room. Mrs Fairburn came to dinner. When
Housman said he had been suffering from a headache she exclaimed:
"_Poveretto_!" and said she was feeling-rather "_Moche_" herself.
Looking at Mrs Housman, she said to me: "She is _ravissante, che
bellezza! E vero?_"



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                           VILLA FERSEN, FLORENCE,
                                       _Easter Monday, March_ 28_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

We arrived safely and we are a very happy party. Lady Jarvis has gone to
Venice to stay with the Lumleys, but comes back to-morrow. George is, of
course, immensely happy at being here, but it isn't really satisfactory.
We haven't seen many people, though we have been out to luncheon twice:
once with that terrible bore, Eugene Lowe, who lives in a flat which is
the most monstrous ind absurd thing I have ever seen. The walls are hung
with Turkish carpets; the chairs and tables with Church vestments; the
books turn out to be cigarette lamps and cigar cases; the writing-table
is a gutted spinet; and in the middle of the room there is a large
Venetian well, which he uses for cigarette ashes.

On Saturday we had luncheon with a Mrs Fairburn, who professed to be an
old friend of Mrs Housman's. This turned out to be a gross exaggeration.
She is an affected woman who dresses in what are meant to be
ultra-French clothes, and she speaks broken English on purpose. She
pretends to be silly, but is far from being anything of the kind. I can
see now that she has got her eye on Housman. He was quite charmed by
her. She has arranged an outing next week. I can see that she is going
to stick like a leech, and she will be, unless I am very much mistaken,
much worse than Mrs Park or any of them.

Godfrey Mellor is, I think, liking it, but he insists on going out by
himself, and every day he goes to some gallery with a Baedeker, all
alone. We always ask him to come with us, but it is no use. He says he
has got things to do in the town and off he goes.

We go about mostly all together except for Godfrey, who always manages
to elude us.

I am staying till Monday, then two days at Mentone, and then home (via
Paris, but only for a night).

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday (Easter Monday), March_ 28_th._

We all had luncheon with the Albertis. Lady Jarvis returned in the
afternoon from Venice.

_Tuesday, March_ 29_th._

Went to the Uffizzi. Housman said he was going to spend the day in
visits.

_Wednesday, March_ 30_th._

Mrs Fairburn came to luncheon. Housman said when she had gone that she
was a very remarkable woman, so cultivated, so well read and widely
travelled. He said she ought to have held some great position. She
should have been an Empress.

I went to the Pitti in the morning and to the Boboli Gardens in the
afternoon.

_Thursday, March_ 31_st_.

The Albertis came to luncheon. Baroness Strong and Mrs Fisk called in
the afternoon. They both asked us all to entertainments, but Housman
explained that we had guests ourselves every day. He asked them to
dinner on Sunday, but they declined.

_Friday, April_ 1_st_.

Housman has bought some miniatures by a young artist recommended by Mrs
Fairburn. I do not think they are well done, but I am no judge. A. and
Mrs Campion left.

_Saturday, April_ 2_nd_.

Mrs Housman suggested having luncheon in the town and going to Fiesole
afterwards, but Housman explained, with some embarrassment, that he had
promised to go with Mrs Fairburn to see a studio and to have luncheon
with her afterwards.

I leave for London to-night. I am going straight through.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                              VILLA BEAU SITE, MENTONE,
                                          _Wednesday, April_ 6_th_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

Just a line to say I shall arrive the day after to-morrow, and I can
only stay one night. Godfrey Mellor left Florence on Saturday, and
George and his sister are on their way back. George was very sad at
going--I think he feels it's the end--Mrs Housman and Lady Jarvis are
staying on till next Monday, and I think Housman also. What I fore-saw
has happened more quickly than I expected. Housman is now the devoted
slave of Mrs Fairburn, and she has announced her intention of coming to
London in the summer, so this will make fresh complications.

I am having great fun here. The Shamiers are here, I am travelling back
with them. I am sorry not to be able to stop more than a night in
Paris, but it really is impossible.

I can't dine at the Embassy on Friday, I am dining with the Shamiers
that night. But I will come and see you in the morning, and we might do
some shops and have luncheon together.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, April_ 4_th. London_.

Back at the office. Tuke came this morning and said A. would not come to
the office till to-morrow. Cunninghame does not return until Friday.

_Tuesday, April_ 5_th._

A. came to the office. He says that Housman has returned to London, but
that Mrs Housman and Lady Jarvis will not be back before next Tuesday.

_Thursday, April_ 7_th._

Dined with Aunt Ruth. I sat next to a Mrs de la Poer. She told me she
knew the Housmans. I said I had been staying with them in Florence. She
said: "I suppose Lord Ayton was there." I said that A. and his sister
always spent Easter in Italy. She said: "And he spends the summer in
Cornwall when Mrs Housman is there. It is extraordinary how far
virtuous Roman Catholics will go." I said Mrs Housman was an old friend
of mine and I preferred not to discuss her. She said: "Ah, you are right
to be loyal to your Chief, but all London knows about it." I changed the
subject.

_Thursday, April_ 14_th._

Mrs Housman has put off coming till next week. Lady Jarvis spoke to me
on the telephone.

_Wednesday, April_ 20_th._

Mrs Housman returned on Monday. She has asked me to dinner on Sunday.

_Thursday, April_ 28_th._

A. dined with Aunt Ruth. I went there after dinner. Uncle Arthur told
us he thought A. would go far, but he thinks he is in the army. A. is
going to the country on Saturday.

_Friday, April_ 29_th._

Dined with Lady Jarvis. The Housmans were there, and Cunninghame.
Cunninghame told me as we walked home that he had seen Housman with a
party of people at the Carlton last night. Mrs Fairburn was among them.
He says it is a great pity A. does not go out more. It annoys people. I
told him A. had dined with Aunt Ruth last night.

The Housmans are not staying long in London. They have taken the same
house they had last year on the Thames near Staines. Housman can go up
every day to his office as it is so close to London.

_Saturday, April_ 30_th._

Dined with Cunninghame. He is staying in London this Sunday. I asked him
if he thought A. was likely to marry. He said: "Not yet."

_Sunday, May_ 1_st_.

Dined with the Housmans. Cunninghame was there, Mrs Fairburn and Miss
Housman. After dinner Mrs Fairburn asked Mrs Housman to sing. She said
she remembered her singing in America. Mrs Housman sang a few Scotch
ballads. Then Miss Housman played. The Housmans are letting their London
house for the season. They go down to their house on the Thames at the
end of this week. Housman told me I must come down often.

Mrs Fairburn was very gushing about Mrs Housman's singing. I do not
think she is very musical.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                     LONDON,
                                               _Monday, May_ 2_nd_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have got two pieces of news for you. Ralph Logan proposed to Lavinia
Wray and she has refused him. I don't think you know him; he is in the
army. But he is Sir Walter Logan's heir and will inherit, besides a lot
of London property, a most beautiful old house in Essex, Tudor. Besides
that, he is charming and has been devoted to her for years. This is for
you only, of course. He told me himself. He has just come back from
India, where he has been for five years. The first thing he did was to
fly to Lavinia, who has come back from France and is now in London. He
came to see me yesterday afternoon and told me all about it. I said
something about her perhaps changing her mind if he was persistent. He
said there was no chance of this, he felt sure. Lavinia told him she
would never marry, and she said she was not going out after this year. I
believe she is going to be a nurse. She used to talk of this some time
ago. The second piece of news is that George has been offered to be
Governor of Madras. That is also a secret, of course. I don't know
whether he will accept it or not. Sir Henry, who is George's godfather,
is, George tells me, tremendously keen about his accepting it.

I don't think he has been seeing much of the Housmans since she has been
back. She only came back last week. I don't think she wants to see him.
I dined there on Sunday. There was no one there except that extremely
tiresome Mrs Fairburn, who now does what she likes with Housman. They
are not going to be in London during the summer at all and are letting
their house.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, May_ 2_nd_.

Mrs Shamier has asked me to dinner next Thursday. The invitation
surprised me as I scarcely know her.

_Tuesday, May_ 3_rd_.

A. asked me to luncheon to meet Sir Henry St Clair. Sir Henry is an old
man, over seventy, with very strong views and a fiery temper. He is his
godfather. Mrs Campion was there. He lives in Scotland and said he had
not been to London for the last five years. But he said he was enjoying
himself and meant to go to the Derby. He looks surprisingly young for
his age, not more than sixty.

_Wednesday, May_ 4_th._

Went with the Housmans to hear the Gilbert & Sullivan Company at
Hammersmith: _Patience_; we enjoyed it greatly. _Patience_ is a classic.
The performance was adequate. My enjoyment was marred by the comments
of Mrs Fairburn, who went with us. She said she thought it _vieux jeu_,
and preferred Debussy: a foolish comparison.

_Thursday, May_ 5_th._

I dined with the Shamiers. They live in Upper Brook Street. Mrs Vaughan,
whom I had met staying with Lady Jarvis, was there; a young Guardsman
and a Miss Ivy Hollystrop, an American, who, I believe, is a beauty.

I sat next to Mrs Shamier. She asked me where I had spent Easter. I told
her. She said she did not know the Housmans, but had heard a great deal
about her. Cunninghame had told her that she sang quite divinely. I said
that Mrs Housman had received a very sound musical education. She asked
me what kind of man Housman was. I said he was a very generous man and
did a lot for charities. She asked me if I had known them a long time. I
said yes, a long time. She said she remembered Walter Bell's picture
perfectly and if it was at all like her she must be a very beautiful
woman. I said it was generally considered to be a faithful portrait. She
asked me if the Housmans bad any children. I said no. Mrs Shamier said
she would like to meet Mrs Housman very much, but she understood they
did not go out much. I said they were living in the country.

_Friday, May_ 6_th._

I dined with Lady Jarvis. She was alone. She asked me to spend Sunday
week with her in the country. She told me that Sir Henry St Clair had
gone back to Scotland, much displeased. He has had a difference with A.
He is, she said, a very dictatorial man.

_Saturday, May_ 7_th._

Went down to the Housmans' villa on the Thames. Mrs Fairburn was there,
but no other guests. Mrs Fairburn asked Mrs Housman to sing after
dinner, but she declined.

_Sunday, May_ 8_th_.

Mrs Fairburn and Housman went out on the river. I sat with Mrs Housman
in the garden. She read aloud from Chateaubriand's _René_. It sounded,
as she read it, very fine.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                     LONDON,
                                                _Monday, May_ 9_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

George has refused Madras. Sir Henry, who had heard about the offer from
H., who is an intimate friend of his, came up post haste from Scotland.
He told George he _must_ accept it. George said he would think it over,
and did so for forty-eight hours, then he made up his mind, and he
settled to refuse it. Sir Henry stormed and raved and said it would have
broken George's father's heart if he had been alive, but it was no use.
George was as obstinate as a mule. He said he liked his present work and
he did not want to leave England. Sir Henry went straight back to
Scotland.

The Housmans have left. I spent Sunday at Rosedale with Lady Jarvis. She
says that Mrs Fairburn is always there and was staying there this
Saturday Quite apart from anything else she is a very tiresome woman.
But she is no fool. In Housman she had found a gold-mine.

The Shamiers are back. I am dining there next week. George is depressed.
He is fond of old Sir H. and doesn't like having annoyed him. Sir H.
says he will never forgive him. I can't understand why people can't let
other people lead their own lives.

The _Compagnie de Cristal_ haven't sent my little chandelier. If you are
passing that way could you ask about it?

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, May_ 9_th_.

I was trying to remember the date a French colonel had called at the
office, and I consulted Tuke. He did not remember, but said he would
refer to his diary. I asked him if he kept a diary regularly. He said he
had kept his diary without missing a day for the last five years, but he
always burnt it every New Year's Day.

_Tuesday, May_ 10_th._

A. asked me to dinner. He said he very seldom saw the Housmans now, but
Housman had asked him to stay there on Sunday week. He was going next
Sunday to Rosedale. He told me he had been offered the Governorship of
Madras, and had refused it. He said he could not live in tropical
climates. They made him ill. He said he hated the summer in London. He
would have a lot of tedious dinners. There were several next week he
would be obliged to go to.

_Wednesday,_ May 11_th._

I dined with Cunninghame. He talked of the Madras appointment, and said
it was absurd offering it to A. The tropics made him ill. He was ill
even in Egypt. He said Housman had a small flat in London, where he
stays during the week.

_Thursday, May_ 12_th._

Cunninghame dined at Aunt Ruth's. I went after dinner. So did A. I could
see Aunt Ruth was pleased. Uncle Arthur confused Cunninghame with A. and
congratulated C. on his answers in the House of Lords.

_Friday, May_ 13_th._

Lady Jarvis gave a small musical party, which was what I call a large
musical party. Someone sang Russian songs, and Bernard Sachs played
Mozart on the harpsichord. It would have been very enjoyable had there
not been such a crowd. Housman was there, but not Mrs Housman.

_Saturday, May_ 14_th. Rosedale_.

Went down to Staines this afternoon. Mrs Housman, A., Cunninghame, Miss
Macdonald, and Mrs Campion were there. Housman was expected and had told
Mrs Housman he was coming by a later train, but he sent a telegram
saying he had been detained in London.

_Sunday, May_ 15_th. Rosedale._

It poured with rain all day, so we sat indoors. Mrs Housman played and
sang. She drove to church in the morning in a shut fly.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                    LONDON,
                                           _Monday, May_ 16_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have just come back from Rosedale, where we had a most amusing Sunday,
rather spoilt by the incessant rain. Of course it cleared up _this_
morning, and it's now a glorious day. The Housmans were asked and she
came, and he was expected by a later train, but chucked at the last
minute. Nobody was there except Mrs Campion, Freda, and Godfrey.

We had a lot of music. Mrs Housman never let George have one moment's
conversation with her. He is quite miserable. It is quite clear that she
has cut him out of her life. I think it would have been better if he had
gone to Madras. It's too late now, they've appointed someone else.

Last Tuesday I went to a huge dinner-party at Lady Arthur Mellor's,
Godfrey's aunt. Sir Arthur is quite gaga and took me for George the
whole evening. I sat between an English blue stocking and the wife of
one of the Russian secretaries. She told me rather pointedly that these
were the kind of people she preferred. "Ici," she said, "on voit de
vrais Anglais, des gens vraiment bien." There was no gainsaying that.

But of course the chief news, which you probably have heard, is that
Louise Shamier has left her husband, and she is going to marry
Lavroff--that is to say, if she gets a divorce. He apparently refused to
do the necessary in the way of making a divorce possible, so she has
left him and has gone to Italy with Lavroff. Everybody thinks it is the
greatest pity, and I, personally, am miserable about it. The only
comfort is that it might have been George.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, May_ 16_th._

Caught a bad cold at Rosedale from walking in the wet.

_Tuesday, May_ 17_th._

Cold worse. Saw the doctor, who said I must go to bed and not think of
going to the office.

_Wednesday, May_ 18_th._

Stayed in bed all day and read a book called _Sir Archibald Malmaison_,
by Julian Hawthorne.

_Thursday, May_ 19_th._

Better. Got up.

_Friday, May_ 20_th._

Went to the office.

_Saturday, May_ 21st.

Went down to Staines to the Housmans'. Found Lady Jarvis, A. and Mrs
Fairburn. At dinner Mrs Fairburn talked of the Shamier divorce. Mrs
Housman said she admired people who behaved like that, and she thought
it far better than a hidden liaison. Mrs Fairburn agreed, and said there
was nothing she despised so much as dishonesty and concealment.

_Sunday, May_ 22_nd_.

It again rained all Sunday, so we were unable to go on the river. It
cleared up in the evening. Housman took Mrs Fairburn out in a punt.

Housman told us he had taken for the summer the same house they had last
year at Carbis Bay. He invited A. to come there and to stay as long as
he liked. A. said he would be yachting on the west coast this summer and
he would certainly pay them a visit. Housman said Lady Jarvis must come,
and he is going to ask Cunninghame. Mrs Fairburn said it was a pity she
would not be able to come, but she always spent August and September in
France.

_Monday, May_ 23_rd_.

I had luncheon with Cunninghame at his Club. He said that A. does not
seem quite so depressed as usual.

Dined at the Club.

_Tuesday, May_ 24_th._

A. is giving a dinner to some French _députés_ at his Club. Cunninghame
and I have both been invited.

_Wednesday, May_ 25_th._

Dined at the Club with Solway. Went to the Opera afterwards, for which
Solway had been given two places. Debussy's _Pelléas et Mélisande_. We
both enjoyed it.

_Thursday, May_ 26_th._

Dined with Aunt Ruth. I had a long talk with her after dinner. She asked
after Riley, whom she knows well. "I hear," she said, "he has become a
Roman Catholic; of course he will always have a _parti-pris_ now. I
wonder if he has realised that." Uncle Arthur joined in the conversation
and thought we were talking of someone else, but of whom I have no
idea, as he said it all came from not going to school. Riley has been to
three schools, besides Oxford, Heidelberg and Berlin universities, and
has taken his degree in French law. He, Riley, is staying with me
to-morrow night.

_Friday, May_ 27_th._

I told Riley that I had heard a lady discussing his conversion lately,
and that she had wondered whether he realised that he would have a
_parti-pris_ in future. Riley said: "I rather hope I shall. Do you
really think one becomes a Catholic to drift like a sponge on a sea of
indecision, or to be like an Æolian harp? Don't you yourself think," he
said, "that _parti-pris_ is rather a mild term for such a tremendous
decision, such a _venture_? Would your friend think _parti-pris_ the
right expression to use of a man who nailed his colours to the mast
during a sea-battle? It is a good example of _miosis_." I asked him what
_miosis_ meant. He said that if I wanted another example it would be
miosis to say that the French Revolution put Marie Antoinette to
considerable inconvenience. Besides which, it was putting the cart
before the horse to say you would be likely to have a _parti-pris,_ when
by the act of becoming a Catholic you had proclaimed the greatest of all
possible _parti-pris_. It was like saying to a man who had enlisted in
the Army: "You will probably become very pro-British." "You won't," he
said, "think things out." I said that it was not I who had made the
comment, but my aunt, Lady Mellor.

_Saturday, May_ 28_th._

A. has gone to the country. Dined at the Club.

_Sunday, May_ 29_th._

Had luncheon with Lady Maria. The company consisted of Hollis, the
play-wright, and his wife, Miss Flora Routledge, who, I believe, began
to write novels in the sixties, Sir Hubert Taylor, the Academician, and
his wife, and Sir Horace Main, K.C. I was the only person present not a
celebrity.

Lady Maria asked me how the Housmans were. She had not seen them for an
age. I said the Housmans were living in the country.

She said I must bring A. to luncheon one Sunday. "Who would he like to
meet?" she asked; "I am told he only likes musicians, and I am so
unmusical, I know so few. But perhaps he only likes beautiful
musicians." I said I was sure A. would be pleased to meet anyone she
asked. She said: "I'm sure it's no use asking him; he's sure to be away
on Sundays." I said A. usually spent Sunday at Littlehampton. "Or on the
Thames," Lady Maria said.

She said she hadn't seen the Housmans for a year. She heard Mr Housman
had dropped all his old friends.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                      _Monday, May_ 30_th_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have been terribly bad about writing, and I haven't written to you for
a fortnight. I got your letter last week, and was immensely amused by
all you say. Sunday week I stayed with Edith, a family party, but rather
fun all che same. I went to the opera twice this week and once the week
before. Nothing very exciting. The Housmans haven't got a box this year.
Yesterday I stayed with them at Staines. There was no one else there
except Miss Housman. Thank heaven, no Mrs Fairburn! George, by the way,
hasn't the remotest idea of "Bert's" infidelities. I believe he thinks
him a model husband. He is still in low spirits, but rather better
because he is fearfully busy. He has been going out more lately, which
is a good thing, and he has been entertaining foreigners and official
people, too. People are now saying he is going to marry Lavinia Wray
That story has only just reached the large public. They are a little bit
out of date. As a matter of fact, Lavinia has quite settled to go in for
nursing, but she hasn't broken it yet to her relations. Louise will, I
believe, get her divorce. They have left Italy and gone to Russia, where
Lavroff has got a large property.

I have got a terribly busy week next week, dinners nearly every night,
besides balls. So don't be surprised if you don't hear from me for some
time.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, May_ 30_th._

Heard to-day from Gertrude. She and Anstruther arrive next week for
three months' leave from Buenos Aires. They are going to stay at the
Hans Crescent Hotel. Anstruther does not expect to go back to Buenos
Aires. They hope to get Christiania or Belgrade. They ask me to inform
Aunt Ruth and Uncle Arthur of their arrival, which I must try to
remember to do, as Gertrude is Aunt Ruth's favourite niece.

_Tuesday, May_ 31_st_.

A. is not at all well. He says he has got a bad headache, but he has to
go to an official dinner to-night. He is also most annoyed at having
been chosen as a delegate to the Conference that takes place in Canada
in August. This, he says, will prevent his doing any yachting this year
as he will not be back before the end of September.

_Wednesday, June_ 1_st_.

Riley came to see me at the office and asked me whether I could put him
up for a few nights. I would with pleasure, but I warned him that I
should be having most of my meals with Solway, who is up in London for a
week.

_Thursday, June_ 2_nd_.

Went to Aunt Ruth's after dinner and remembered to tell her that
Gertrude was arriving next week. Aunt Ruth was glad to hear the news and
said she hoped Edmund would get promotion this time. He had been passed
over so often. I said I hoped so also, but I suppose I did not display
enough enthusiasm, as Aunt Ruth said I didn't seem to take much interest
in my brother-in-law's career. I assured her I was fond of Gertrude and
had the greatest respect for my brother-in-law. Uncle Arthur said:
"What, Anstruther? The man's a pompous ass." Aunt Ruth was rather
shocked.

_Friday, July_ 3_rd_.

Solway has arrived in London. He is staying at St Leonard's Terrace,
Chelsea. He is taking me to a concert to-morrow night. Riley has also
arrived. He said he would prefer not to go to a concert.

_Saturday, June_ 4_th._

The concert last night was a success. Miss Bowden played Bach's
_Chaconne._ Solway was greatly excited and said loudly: "I knew she
could do it; I knew she could do it."

_Sunday, June_ 5_th_.

A. hasn't been at all well this week, and he has put off staying with
the Housmans to-day. They asked me, but as Solway and Riley were here I
did not like to go. Cunninghame has asked me to dinner next week to meet
his cousin, Mrs Caryl. I shall have to conceal from Gertrude that I am
going to meet them, as Caryl was promoted over his head and she would
think it disloyal on my part. Solway and Riley had luncheon with me at
the Club. In the afternoon I went to hear Miss Bowden play at a Mrs
Griffith's house, where Solway is staying. We could not persuade Riley
to come. I had supper there with Solway. Riley went to more literary
circles and had supper with Professor Langdon, the Shakespearean
critic.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                   LONDON,
                                            _Monday, June_ 6_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

Please write down in your engagement book that you are dining with me on
Thursday as well as on Monday. I have asked Godfrey Mellor to meet you
on Thursday. George is laid up with appendicitis, and I am afraid he is
_very_ bad indeed. The doctors are going to decide to-day whether they
are to operate immediately or not. He is at a nursing home in Welbeck
Street. His sister is looking after him. He was going to Canada in
August. I don't suppose he will be able to now.

I am looking forward to seeing you quite tremendously.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, June_ 6_th._

A. has got appendicitis and has been taken to a nursing home. I have
just heard he is to have an operation to-morrow morning.

_Tuesday, June_ 7_th._

A.'s operation was successfully performed, but he is still very ill.
Cunninghame has been to Welbeck Street this morning and saw his sister.
She is most anxious. He was, of course, not allowed to see A.

_Wednesday, June_ 8_th._

I sat up late last night talking to Riley.

_Thursday, June_ 9_th._

Cunninghame went to Welbeck Street and saw the doctor. He says there is
every chance of his recovery. Apparently the danger was in having to do
the operation at once, while there was still inflammation. It was not
exactly appendicitis, but Cunninghame's report was too technical for my
comprehension.

I dined with Cunninghame to-day to meet Mrs Caryl. I had not met her
husband before. He is, I thought, slightly stiff. Lady Jarvis was there
also. She was much disturbed about A.'s illness.

_Friday, June_ 10_th_.

Gertrude and Edmund Anstruther arrived yesterday. I dined with them
to-night. Edmund said the way diplomats were treated was a scandal. The
hard-working members of the profession were always passed over. The best
posts were given to men outside the profession. No conscientious man
could expect to get on in such a profession. If he was passed over this
time he would not stand it any longer, but he would leave the Service
altogether. The Foreign Office, he said, was so weak. They never backed
up a subordinate who took a strong line. They always climbed down. I
wondered what Edmund had been taking a strong line about in Buenos
Aires. Gertrude agreed. She said they had been there for three years
without leave, and if they did not get a good post she would advise
Edmund to retire and get something in the City. There were plenty of
firms in the city who would jump at getting Edmund. She mentioned the
Housmans and said she knew they were friends of mine, and didn't want to
say anything against them, but she had met many people in Buenos Aires
who knew Mrs Housman intimately, and said she was rather a dangerous
woman. I asked in what way she was dangerous. Gertrude said: "Perhaps
you do not know she is a Roman Catholic." I said I had known this for
years, but she never talked of it. "That's just what I mean," said
Gertrude; "they are far too subtle, and I am afraid too underhand to
talk of it openly. They lead you on." I asked Gertrude if she thought
Mrs Housman wished to convert me. She said most certainly. Her friends
in Buenos Aires had told her she had made many converts. It was the only
thing she cared for, and even if she didn't, Roman Catholics were
obliged to do so. It was only natural, if they thought we all went to
hell if we were not converted.

I said I was not sure Roman Catholics did believe that. Gertrude and
Edmund said I was wrong. I could ask anyone. Gertrude repeated she had
no wish to say anything against Mrs Housman, and she was convinced she
was a good woman according to her lights.

Edmund said there had been many conversions in the Diplomatic Service.
He was convinced this was part of a general conspiracy. If you wanted to
get on in the Diplomatic Service you had better be a Roman Catholic. Of
course those who did not choose to sacrifice their conscience, their
independence, their traditions, and were loyal to the Church and the
State, suffered. I said I didn't quite see where loyalty to the State
came in. Edmund said: "How could you be loyal to the State when you were
under the authority of an Italian Bishop?" I must know that the Italian
Cardinals were always in the majority. I said that, considering the
number of Catholics in England, compared with the number of Catholics in
other countries, I should be surprised to see a majority of English
Cardinals at the Vatican. I said Edmund wanted England to be a
Protestant country, and at the same time to have the lion's share in
Catholic affairs. Edmund said that was not at all what he meant. What he
meant was that an Englishman should be loyal to his Church, which was an
integral part of the State.

I said there were many Englishmen who would prefer the State to have
nothing to do with the Church. Edmund said there were many Englishmen
who did not deserve the name of Englishmen. For instance, Caryl, who was
now Second Secretary at Paris, had been promoted over his head three
years ago. What was the reason? Mrs Caryl was a Roman Catholic and Caryl
had been converted soon after his marriage. I foolishly said that the
Caryls were now in London, and when Edmund asked me how I knew this I
said that Aunt Ruth had told me.

This raised a storm, as it appears that Aunt Ruth does know the Caryls
and asks them to dinner when they are in London. Edmund said he would
talk to Aunt Ruth about them seriously. I asked him as a favour to do no
such thing. And Gertrude told him not to be foolish, and added
magnanimously that Mrs Caryl was a nice woman, if a little fast.

For a man who has lived all his life abroad Edmund Anstruther is
singularly deeply imbued with British prejudice.

They are staying in London until the middle of July. Then they are going
on a round of visits. Edmund is confident that he will get Christiania.
I feel that it is more than doubtful.

Riley went back to Shelborough to-day.

_Saturday, June_ 11_th._

Received a telegram from Housman, asking me to go to Staines. I went
down by the afternoon train, and found Lady Jarvis, Miss Housman and
Carrington-Smith. Housman was anxious for news of A. I told him I
believed he was now out of danger, but that it would be a long time
before he was quite well again. Housman said he must certainly come to
Cornwall. I said he had intended to go to Canada for a Conference, but
would be unable to do so now. Housman said that was providential.

_Sunday, June_ 12_th._

A fine day, but the river was crowded and hardly enjoyable. I sat with
Mrs Housman in the garden in the evening. The others went on the river
again. Mrs Housman asked me if I had seen A. I said he was not allowed
to see anyone.

_Monday, June_ 13_th._

A. is getting on as well as can be expected. There appears to be no
doubt of his recovery. Cunninghame is going to see him to-day.

_Tuesday, June_ 12_th._

Cunninghame says that A. wants to see me. I am to go there to-morrow.

Dined with Hope, who was at Oxford with me. He is just back from Russia,
where he has been to make arrangements for producing some play in
London. He thinks of nothing now but the stage, and a play of his is
going to be produced at the Court Theatre. I promised to go and see it.
He spoke of Riley, and I told him he had become a Roman Catholic. Hope
said he regarded that as sinning against the light. He said no one _at
this time of day_ could believe such things.

_Wednesday, June_ 15_th_.

I went to see A. at Welbeck Street. He has been very ill and looks white
and thin. His sister was there, but I had some conversation with him
alone. I told him all the news I could think of, which was not much. He
said he liked seeing people, but was not allowed more than one visitor a
day. He had got a very good nurse. Housman had sent him grapes and
magnificent fruit every day. He said he would like to see Mrs Housman,
but supposed that was impossible, as she never came to London now. He
said Cunninghame had been very good to him, and had put off going to
Ascot to look after him.

I wrote to Mrs Housman this evening and gave her A.'s message.

_Thursday, June_ 16_th._

Dined with Aunt Ruth. Gertrude and Edmund were there. Edmund said to
Aunt Ruth that he had heard the Caryls were in London. Aunt Ruth said
she had no idea of this, and she would ask them to dinner next Thursday.
Aunt Ruth asked a good many diplomats to meet Edmund, and they had a
long talk after dinner about their posts. They called Edmund their
"_Cher collègue_." Edmund enjoyed himself immensely. Uncle Arthur cannot
bear him, nor, indeed, any diplomats, and it is, I think, the chief
cross of his life that Aunt Ruth asks so many of them to dinner.

Aunt Ruth asked after A. and said that she had been to inquire.

_Friday, June_ 17_th_.

Received a letter from Mrs Housman, saying she was coming up to London
to-morrow, and was going to stay with Lady Jarvis till Monday. She would
go and see A. on Sunday afternoon if convenient. She asked me to ring up
the nurse and find out. I did so and arranged for her to call at four
o'clock.

_Saturday, June_ 18_th._

I dined with Lady Jarvis. There was no one there but Mrs Housman and
myself. Cunninghame is staying somewhere with friends of the Caryls.

_Sunday, June_ 19_th_.

I had luncheon with Aunt Ruth. Edmund and Gertrude were there, but no
one else. Edmund has been appointed to Berne. It is not what he had
hoped, but better than any of us expected. He said Berne might become a
most important post in the event of a European war.

_Monday, June_ 20_th._

Dined with the Caryls at the Ritz. Cunninghame was there and Miss
Hollystrop. Mrs Vaughan asked me whether it was true that A. had become
a Roman Catholic. She had heard Mrs Housman had converted him.
Cunninghame deftly turned the conversation on account of Mrs Caryl.

We all went to the opera--_Faust_.

_Tuesday, June_ 21_st_.

I went to see A. He told me Mrs Housman had been to see him. He is still
in bed, but looks better.

_Wednesday, June_ 22_nd_.

Barnes of the F.O. came to the office this morning. He asked after A.
He said he had heard that the real cause of his illness was his passion
for Mrs Housman, who would have nothing to do with him unless he was
converted. Cunninghame said he wondered he could talk such nonsense.

_Thursday, June_ 23_rd_.

Went to Aunt Ruth's after dinner. The Caryls were there, and Gertrude
and Edmund came after dinner. Heated arguments were going on about the
situation in Russia, Edmund taking the ultra-conservative point of view,
much to the annoyance of Aunt Ruth and Uncle Arthur, who felt even more
strongly on the matter because he thought they were discussing the
French Revolution.

_Friday, June_ 24_th_.

Dined with Lady Jarvis; she was alone. She said Mrs Housman was coming
up again to-morrow. The fact is, she says, Staines is intolerable now on
Sundays. Mrs Fairburn comes down almost every Sunday. She overwhelms
Mrs Housman with her gush and her pretended silliness. Housman thinks
her the most wonderful woman he has ever met.

_Saturday, June_ 25_th._

Went down to S---- to stay with Riley. Riley lives in a small villa
surrounded with laurels. A local magnate came to dinner, who is
suspected of being about to present some expensive masterpieces to the
public gallery.

_Sunday, June_ 26_th_.

Riley went to Mass in the morning. I sat in his smoking-room, which is a
litter of books and papers and exceedingly untidy. A geologist came to
luncheon, Professor Langer, a naturalised German. When we were walking
in the garden afterwards, he said he could not understand how Riley
reconciled his creed with plain facts of geology. But Riley's case
surprised him less than that of another of his colleagues, who was a
great authority on geology, and nevertheless a devout Catholic, and not
only never missed Mass on Sundays, but had told him, Langer, that he
fully subscribed to every point of the Catholic Faith. It was true he
was an Irishman, but politically he was not at all fanatical, and not
even a Home-Ruler.

In the afternoon we had tea with the magnate, whose house is full of
Academy pictures. I now understand what happens to that great quantity
of pictures we see once at the Academy and then never again. An art
critic was invited to tea also. He had, I believe, been invited here to
persuade the magnate in question to present some very modern piece of
art to the city. He seemed disappointed when he saw the pictures on the
walls, and when the magnate asked his opinion of a composition called _A
Love Letter_, he said he did not think the picture a very good one. The
magnate said he regretted not having bought _Home Thoughts_, by the
same painter, which was undoubtedly superior.

We dined alone, and I told Riley what Professor Langer had said. He
said: "Most Protestants, whether they have any religion or not,
attribute Protestant notions to the Catholic Church. What these people
say shows to what extent the conception of Rome has been distorted by
their being saturated with Protestant ideas. Mallock says somewhere that
the Anglicans talk of the Catholic Church as if she were a _lapsed
Protestant sect_, and they attack her for being false to what she has
never professed. He says they don't see the real difference between the
two Churches, which is not in this or that dogma, but in the authority
on which all dogma rests. The Professors you quote take for granted that
Catholics base their religion, as Protestants do, on the Bible _solely_,
and judged from that point of view she seems to them superstitious and
dishonest. But Catholics believe that Christ guaranteed infallibility
to the Church _in perpetuum: perpetual_ infallibility. Catholics
discover this not _at first_ from the Church as doctrine, but from
records as trustworthy human documents, and they believe that the Church
being perpetually infallible can only interpret the Bible in the right
way. They believe she is guided in the interpretation of the Bible by
the same Spirit which inspired the Bible. She teaches us _more_ about
the Bible. She says _this_ is what the Bible teaches."

He said: "Mallock makes a further point. It is not only Protestant
divines who talk like that. It is your advanced thinkers, men like
Langer and his colleagues. They utterly disbelieve in the Protestant
religion; they trust the Protestants in nothing else, but at the same
time they take their word for it, without further inquiry, that
Protestantism is more reasonable than Catholicism. If they have
destroyed Protestantism they conclude they must have destroyed
Catholicism _a fortiori_. With regard to Langer's geological friend, it
doesn't make a pin's difference to a Catholic whether evolution or
natural selection is true or false. Neither of these theories pretends
to explain the origin of life. Catholics believe the origin of life is
God." He had heard a priest say, not long ago: "A Catholic can believe
in evolution, and in evolution before evolution, and in evolution before
that, if he likes, but what he must believe is that God made the world
and in it _mind,_ and that at some definite moment the mind of man
rebelled against God."

_Monday, June_ 27_th_.

A. telephoned for me. I saw him this afternoon. His room was full of
flowers. He will not be allowed to get up till the end of the week. As
soon as he is allowed to go out the doctor says he ought to go away and
get some sea air. There is no question of his going to Canada. The
Housmans have asked him to go to Cornwall and he is going there as soon
as he can. He asked me when I was going. I said at the end of the month,
if that would be convenient to him.

_Tuesday, June_ 28_th._

Finished Renan's _Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse_. He says: "Je
regrettais par moments de n'être pas protestant, afin de pouvoir être
philosophe sans cesser d'être Chrétien. Puis je reconnaissais qu'il n'y
a que les Catholiques qui soient conséquents." Riley's argument. Dined
at the Club.

_Wednesday, June_ 29_th._

Dined with Hope at a restaurant in Soho. Quite a large gathering, with
no one I knew. We had dinner in a private room. Two journalists--Hoxton,
who writes in one of the Liberal newspapers, and Brice, who edits a
weekly newspaper--had a heated argument about religion. Brice is and
has always been an R.C. Hoxton's views seemed to me violent but
undefined. He said, as far as I understood, that the Eastern Church was
far nearer to early Christian tradition than the Western Church, and
that by not defining things too narrowly and by not having an infallible
Pope the Greeks had an inexpressible advantage over the Romans. Upon
which someone else who was there said that the Greeks believed in the
infallibility of the First Seven Councils; they believed their decisions
to be as infallible as any papal utterance, and that dogma had been
defined once and for all by the Councils. Brice said this was quite
true, and while the Greeks had shut the door, the Catholic Church had
left the door open. Besides which, he argued, what was the result of the
action of the Greeks? Look at the Russian Church. As soon as it was
separated it gave birth to another schism and that schism resulted in
the rise of about a hundred religions, one of which had for one of its
tenets that children should be strangled at their birth so as to
inherit the Kingdom of Heaven without delay. That, said Brice, is the
result of schism.

The other man said that there was no religion so completely under the
control of the Government as the Russian. The Church was ultimately in
the hands of gendarmes. Hoxton said that in spite of schisms, and in
spite of anything the Government might do, the Eastern Church retained
the early traditions of Christianity. Therefore, if an Englishman wanted
to become a Catholic, it was absurd for him to become a Roman Catholic.
He should first think of joining the Eastern Church and becoming a Greek
Catholic. The other man, whose name I didn't catch, asked why, in that
case, did Russian philosophers become Catholics and why did Solovieff,
the Russian philosopher, talk of the pearl Christianity having
unfortunately reached Russia smothered under the dust of Byzantium?

Brice said the Greek Church was schismatic and the Anglican Church was
heretical and that was the end of the matter. Hoxton said: "My
philosophy is quite as good as yours." Brice said it was a pity he could
neither define nor explain his philosophy. Hope, who was bored by the
whole argument, turned the conversation on to the Russian stage.

_Thursday, June_ 30_th._

Dined with Aunt Ruth. After dinner I sat next to a Russian diplomatist
who knew Riley. He said he was glad he had become a Catholic--he himself
was Orthodox. He evidently admired the Catholic religion. He said, among
other things, how absurd it was to think that such floods of ink had
been used to prove the Gospel of St John had not been written by St
John. He said, even if it wasn't, the Church has said it was written by
St John for over a thousand years. She has made it her own. He himself
saw no reason to think it was not written by St John. Uncle Arthur, who
caught the tail end of this conversation, said the authorship of _John
Peel_ was a subject of much dispute. Gertrude wasn't there; they have
gone to the country.

_Friday, July_ 1_st_.

Dined with Lady Jarvis. Cunninghame was there and a large gathering of
people. More people came after dinner and there was music, but such a
crowd that I could not get near enough to listen so I gave it up and
stayed in another room. Lady Jarvis told me Mrs Housman is going down to
Cornwall next Monday.

_Saturday, July_ 30_th. Grey Farm, Carbis Bay._

Arrived this evening after a hot and disagreeable journey. The Housmans
are here alone. Housman goes back to London on Tuesday. A. is coming
down here as soon as he is fit to travel. He is still very weak.

_Sunday, July_ 31_st_.

The Housmans went to Mass. Father Stanway came to luncheon. He said he
had been giving instruction to an Indian boy who is being brought up as
an R.C. I asked him if it was difficult for an Indian to understand
Christian dogma. Father Stanway said that the child had amazed him. He
had been telling him about the Trinity and the Indian had said to him:
"I see--ice, snow, rain--all water."

_Monday, August_ 1_st_.

Housman played golf. Mrs Housman took me to the cliffs and began reading
out _Les Misérables_, which I have never read.

_Tuesday, August_ 2_nd_.

Housman left early this morning. We sat on the beach and read _Les
Misérables_.

_Wednesday, August_ 3_rd_.

Lady Jarvis arrives to-morrow. We continued _Les Misérables_ in the
afternoon and after dinner. Mrs Housman said that some conversations and
the reading of certain passages in books were like _events_. Once or
twice in her life she had come across sentences in a book which,
although they had nothing extraordinary about them and expressed things
anyone might have thought or said, were like a revelation, or a
solution, and seemed to be written in letters of flame and had a
permanent effect on her whole life; one such sentence was the following
from _Les Misérables_: "Ne craignons jamais les voleurs ni les
meurtriers. Ce sont là les dangers du dehors, les petits dangers.
Craignons nous-mêmes. Les préjugés, voila les voleurs; les vices, voila
les meurtriers. Les grands dangers sont au dedans de nous. Qu'importe ce
qui menace notre tête ou notre bourse!" She said: "Of course this has
never prevented me from feeling frightened when I hear a scratching
noise in the night. That paralyses me with terror."

_Thursday, August_ 4_th._

We continued our reading. The weather has been propitious. Lady Jarvis
arrived in the evening. We continued our reading after dinner.

_Friday, August_ 5_th._

A. arrived this evening. He was exhausted after the journey and went to
bed at once. Housman arrives to-morrow--he is only staying till Monday.

_Saturday, August_ 6_th._

A. sat in the garden and Mrs Housman read out some stories by H.G. Wells
from a book called _The Plattner Story,_ which we all enjoyed.

Housman arrived in the evening. A. is not yet strong enough to walk. He
sits in the garden all day. The weather is perfectly suited to an
invalid.

_Sunday, August_ 7_th._

Housman invited Father Stanway to luncheon. He and Housman talked of
politicians and popularity and the Press and to what extent their
reputation depended on it. Housman said it was death to a politician not
to be mentioned. A politician needed popularity among the public as much
as an actor did. Father Stanway said it was a double-edged weapon and
that those who lived by it risked perishing by it. Housman said
Gladstone and Beaconsfield had lived by it successfully. Father Stanway
said it depends whether you want to be famous or whether you want to get
things done. A man can do anything in the world if he doesn't mind not
getting the credit for it. Father Stanway said nobody realised this
better than Lord Beaconsfield. He said somewhere that it was private
life that governs the world and that the more you were talked about the
less powerful you were.

A. is a little better. I went for a walk with Father Stanway in the
afternoon. I asked him a few questions about the system of Confession.
He said the Sacrament of Penance was a Divine Institution. I asked him
if the practice did not lead to the shirking of responsibility and the
dulling of the conscience on the part of those who went to Confession.
He said Confession was not an opiate but a sharp and bitter medicine,
disagreeable to take but leaving a clean after-taste in the mouth I gave
him a hypothetical case of a man being in love with a Catholic married
woman. If the woman was a practising Catholic and faithful to her
husband, and if she continued to be friends with the man who was in love
with her, would she confess her conduct and, if so, would the priest
approve of the conduct? Father Stanway said it was difficult to judge
unless one knew the whole facts. If the woman knew she was acting in a
way which might lead to sin or even to scandal--that is to say, in a way
which would have a bad effect on others--she would be bound to confess
it. If a woman asked him his advice in such a case he would strongly
advise her to put an end to the relationship. I said: "You wouldn't
forbid it?" He said: "The Church forbids sin, and penitents when they
receive Absolution undertake to avoid the occasions of sin." He said he
could not tell me more without knowing more of the facts. Cases were
sometimes far more complicated than they appeared to be, but however
complicated they were, there was no doubt as to the attitude of the
Church towards that kind of sin and to the advisability of avoiding
occasions that might bring it about.

_Monday, August_ 8_th._

Housman went back to London. Cunninghame arrives to-morrow. A. walked as
far as the beach this morning. In the afternoon Lady Jarvis took him for
a drive. Mrs Housman went into the town to do some shopping.

_Tuesday, August_ 9_th._

We all went for a drive in a motor to a village with a curious name and
had tea in a farm-house. Cunninghame arrived in time for dinner. He has
been staying at Cowes.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                 CARBIS BAY,
                                       _Wednesday, August_ 10_th_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I arrived last night from Cowes. I found Mrs Housman, Lady Jarvis,
George and Godfrey.

George is very much better, but he is still weak and can't get about
much. He is not allowed to play golf yet. He sits in the garden, and goes
for a mild walk once a day. Lady Jarvis says that Mrs Housman is very
unhappy. In the first place, her home is intolerable. Mrs Fairburn makes
London quite impossible for her. It is a wonder that she is not here,
but as Housman is in London there is nothing to be surprised at. In the
second place, Lady Jarvis thinks that Mrs Housman would much rather
George hadn't come, but she couldn't help it as Housman asked him.

We do things mostly altogether now. I am staying a fortnight, then I go
to Worsel for a week and to Edith's till the end of September; then
London. Lady Jarvis says that she is sure Mrs Housman will not spend the
winter in London.

Write to me here and tell me about the Mont Dore. I have been there once
and think it is an appalling place.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Wednesday, August_ 10_th_.

A. has been doing too much, the doctor says, and he is not to be allowed
out of the garden for a few days. Mrs Housman and Lady Jarvis take turns
in reading to him aloud. We have finished the Wells book and we are now
reading _Midshipman Easy_.

_Thursday, August_ 11_th._

I went for a walk with Cunninghame. He said his favourite book was _John
Inglesant_ and was surprised that I had not read it. He has it with him
and has lent it to me.

_Friday, August_ 12_th._

It rained all day. We spent the day reading aloud.

_Saturday, August_ 13_th._

A. is much better and went for a walk with me this morning.

_Sunday, August_ 14_th._

Housman was coming down yesterday but telegraphed to say he was
detained. Mrs Housman went to Mass. In the afternoon we received a visit
from an American who has come here in a yacht and met Cunninghame and
myself in the town this morning. His name is Harold C. Jefferson. When I
was introduced to him he said he did not quite catch my name. I said my
name was "Mellor"; he said: "Lord or Mister?" Cunninghame told him where
he was staying and he said he would call--he knew the Housmans in
America. He asked us all to go on board his yacht to-morrow. Mrs
Housman, Cunninghame and myself accepted. Lady Jarvis said she would
stop with A. who is not up to it.

_Monday, August_ 15_th_.

We had luncheon on board Mr Jefferson's yacht, a large steam vessel. It
has on board a piano and an organ, both of which are played by
electricity, which is in some respects satisfactory, but the _tempo_ of
the _Meistersinger_ Overture which was performed for us was accelerated
out of all recognition.

_Tuesday, August_ 16_th_.

A Miss Simpson called in the afternoon to ask Mrs Housman to help with
some local charity; she lives at the Hotel. She said she found it very
inconvenient not being able to go to Church. We wondered what prevented
her doing so, but she soon gave us the reason herself. She said that the
local clergyman was so low--no eastward position.

A. is much better and went for a walk with Lady Jarvis.

_Wednesday, August_ 17_th._

Housman has written to say that he will not be able to come down until
late in September. Carrington-Smith is unwell and he is overwhelmed with
business. He, Housman, may have to meet a man in Paris.

_Thursday, August_ 18_th._

A rainy day. Cunninghame and I went out in spite of the rain.

_Friday, August_ 19_th._

Cunninghame played golf with General York.

_Saturday, August_ 20_th._

Lady Jarvis, Mrs Housman and myself went for a drive. A. played golf
with Cunninghame. I began _John Inglesant_ last night. Mrs Housman has
never read it. After dinner we had some music. Mrs Housman played
Schubert's _Prometheus_ and hummed the tune. She says it is a man's
song.

_Sunday, August_ 21_st_.

A. says he is going to have his yacht sent up here--he will be able to
sail back in her. Mrs Housman went to Mass. In the afternoon we sat in
the garden and read out aloud _Cashel Byron's Profession,_ a novel by
Bernard Shaw. A. enjoyed it immensely.

_Monday, August_ 22_nd_.

We drove to the Lizard in a motor and had luncheon at the Hotel. A.
misses his yacht very much but he has sent for her. After dinner we
played Clumps.

_Tuesday, August_ 23_rd_.

Cunninghame was going to-morrow but he is staying till Saturday. Mrs
Housman went to Newquay to the convent for the day. Lady Jarvis took A.
for a drive.

_Wednesday, August_ 24_th._

This morning A., Cunninghame and myself walked down to the town. We met
a friend of Cunninghame's called Randall, who is yachting. He has just
come from France.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                         GREY FARM, CARBIS BAY,
                                     _Thursday, August_ 25_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I am stopping here till Saturday, then Worsel, then Edith's. You had
better write to Edith's. Yesterday morning we were in the town, George,
Godfrey and I, and we met Jimmy Randall, who has come here in the
Goldberg's yacht. They had been to St Malo and other places in France.
When we said we were staying with the Housmans, Randall said there was
not much chance of our seeing Housman for some time as he was having the
time of his life with Mrs Fairburn at a little place near Deauville.

This came as a revelation to George, who had no idea of Housman's
adventures. He has scarcely spoken since. We are having a very happy
time and I am miserable at having to go away. George is quite well. He
has sent for his yacht, but he is not staying on very long as he has got
to go to one or two places before he goes back to London. The weather
has been divine. Godfrey is quite cheerful.

I shan't write again till I get to Edith's. I shan't stop more than a
night at Worsel on the way.

Edith is clamouring for me to come. The Caryls are staying there.

                              Yrs.
                                                  G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Thursday, August_ 25_th._

I went out for a walk with Cunninghame; he asked me whether I had liked
_John Inglesant_. I said I had it read with interest but it gave me the
creeps; it had the chill of a dream world; I preferred the character of
Eustace Inglesant to that of his brother John. Cunninghame said he had
read it five times; that _John Inglesant_, Flaubert's _Trois Contes_ and
Anthony Hope's _The King's Mirror_ were his three favourite books. I had
read neither of the others. Mrs Housman and A. went for a walk in the
afternoon. After dinner Lady Jarvis read out a story by Stevenson.

_Friday, August_ 26_th._

Mrs Housman went to the town in the afternoon. A. and Cunninghame played
golf. I went for a walk with Lady Jarvis. She talked about Mrs Housman.
She said it was wonderful what comfort she (Mrs H.) found in her
religion. As far as she herself was concerned, she had never ceased to
appreciate the luxury of not going to church on Sunday, so much had she
disliked being made to go to church before she was grown up. I said Mrs
Housman had told me that Roman Catholic children enjoyed going to
church. She said: "Yes, and their grown-up people too. Clare will
probably go to church this afternoon. If I was a Catholic I could
understand it." She said it was the only religion she could understand.
"Unhappily to be a Catholic," she said, "one must believe. I am not
talking of the ritual and the discipline--I mean one must _believe_,
have faith in the supernatural, and I have none." She said that she
thought religion was an instinct. Her religion consisted in trying not
to hurt other people's feelings. That was difficult enough. She said she
had once come across this phrase in a French book: "Aimez-vous les uns
les autres, c'est beaucoup dire supportez-vous les uns les autres, c'est
déjà assez difficile." Some people, she said, arrived at religion by
disbelieving in disbelief. She didn't believe in dogmatic _disbelief
but_ that didn't lead _her_ to anything positive. She said she was glad
for Mrs Housman that she had her religion. I asked her if she thought
Mrs Housman was very unhappy. She said: "Yes; but there comes a moment
in unhappiness when people realise that they must either live, or die.
Clare passed that moment a long time ago." People often made God in
their own image. Mrs Housman had a beautiful character. She, Lady
Jarvis, had no stuff in her to project a deity with. She thought that
religion seldom affected conduct. She thought Mrs Housman would have
been just the same if she had been brought up as a free-thinker or a
Presbyterian. She thought her marriage and her whole life had been a
gigantic mistake. She ought, she said, to have been a professional
singer. She was an artist by nature. I said I was struck by Mrs Housmans
strong common-sense and her tact in dealing with people. "That would
have made her all the greater as an artist," Lady Jarvis said. "In all
arts you want to be good at other things besides that art. Riding needs
mind." She said it was no good wishing to be otherwise but she thought
it was very tragic. She said: "If I believed there was another life,
this sort of thing wouldn't matter, but as I don't it matters very
much." I said it struck me the other way round. If one didn't believe in
a future life I didn't see that anything could matter very much. I asked
her if she positively believed there wasn't another life. She said: "I
don't know. I only know I don't believe in a future life." I asked her
if that wasn't faith. She said very possibly, but she at any rate hadn't
the fervent faith in no-God that some atheists had. In any case she was
not intolerant about it. I asked her if it had not often struck her
that agnostics and free-thinkers were still more intolerant than
religious people and that they had least business to be. She said that
was exactly what she had meant. The religion of other people irritated
them; they wanted people to share their particular form of unbelief. She
never did that. She thought dogmatic disbelief intolerable. She had the
greatest respect for Catholics and would give anything to be able to be
one. Mrs Housman never spoke about her religion. We talked about
reading. I said I always read the newspapers or rather _The Times_ every
day. I had done so for fifteen years. She said she never did except in
the train but she knew the news as well as I did. We talked about what
is good reading for the train and about journeys. I told her of a
journey I had once taken in France in a third-class carriage. She said
it was lucky one forgot physical discomfort at once unlike mental
discomfort. She said something about the appalling unnaturalness of
people when they had to deal with death, and then of the misery in
seeing other people suffer, of the hardness of some people, and of a
book she had just been reading, called _Katzensteg_, by Sudermann, and
then of Germans, and so, to music, of Housman's great undeveloped
musical talent, of Jews, how favourable the mixture of Jewish and German
blood was to music. I said something about Jews being rarely men of
creation or action. She said they were just as persistent in getting
what they wanted as men of action, so she supposed that it came to the
same. Disraeli was a man of action, she supposed, and all the great
socialists, Marx and Lassalle, they got what they wanted. "Un de nous a
voulu être Dieu et il l'a été," she said a Jewish financier had once
said. This led her to Heine. He was her favourite writer, both in prose
and verse. Had I ever read his prose? I ought to read _Geschichte der
Religion und Philosophie in Deutschland._ It was the most brilliant book
of criticism she knew. It was the Jews who had invented all great
religions, and socialism was the invention of the Jews. Some people said
the Russian revolution was Jewish in idea and leadership and might very
likely lead to a new political creed. She said she hated anti-Semitism.
This led us to Christianity. Christianity to her meant Catholicism. She
could not understand any other form of it. She thought there was nothing
in the world more silly than attempts to make a religion of Christianity
without the Church--there could only be one Church. "But," I said, "you
disbelieve in it." She said: "Yes; but the only thing that could tempt
me to believe in it is the continued existence of the Catholic Church."
She said: "It's there; it's a fact, whether one believes in its divine
origin, as Clare does, or whether one doesn't, as I don't. It must
either all hang together or not exist. You can't take a part of it and
make a satisfactory and reasonable religion." Not only that,
nothing seemed to her more foolish than the attempts to make a religion
of Christianity without the Divine element, in which Christ was only a
very good man. I said if she did not believe in the divinity of Christ
the story could be nothing more to her than a fable. She said: "If one
only regards it as a fable, as I suppose I do--but again I have no
dogmatic disbelief in it--it is still the most beautiful, impressive,
wonderful and tragic story ever invented and it seems to me to lose its
whole point if Christ was only a man with hypnotic powers and a head
turned by ambition or illusion." She quoted a Frenchman, who had said
that he adored Jesus Christ as his Lord and God, but "s'il n'est qu'un
homme je préfère Hannibal." Napoleon too had said that he knew men and
Jesus Christ was not a man. Regarded as a story the whole point and
beauty of the Gospel were lost in all modern versions, rewritings,
explanations and interpretations, and none of them held together. She
said it was as if one rewrote the fairy tales and made the fairies not
fairies but only clever conjurers. By this time we had reached home.

_Saturday, August_ 27_th._

Cunninghame went away early this morning. Mrs Housman told me that she
was not going to spend the winter in London; she was going to Florence,
and it was possible she might be away for a whole year. A. went out this
afternoon with Lady Jarvis.

_Sunday, August_ 28_th._

Mrs York called in the afternoon. Mrs Housman was out with A. Lady
Jarvis and myself entertained her. She was most affable and not at all
stiff, as she was last year. She said she had known several of A.'s
relations in India. As she went away she said to Lady Jarvis, in the
hall: "You never told me Mrs Housman was an _American_--that makes
_all_ the difference."

_Monday, August_ 29_th._

We all went to the Land's End for the day.

_Tuesday, August_ 30_th._

A.'s yacht has arrived. We had luncheon on board and went for a short
sail in the afternoon; the sea was reasonably smooth, but Lady Jarvis
said that the sea under any conditions gave her a headache.

_Wednesday, August_ 31_st_.

Mrs Housman and A. went out for a sail in the morning and came back for
tea. A. says he will have to go away in a day or two. After dinner Mrs
Housman read out Burnand's _Happy Thoughts_.

_Thursday, September_ 1_st_.

A rainy day. Mrs Housman called on Mrs York and has asked her and the
General to luncheon next Sunday. I went out for a walk in the rain by
myself and got very wet. Mrs Housman said that the Indian servant stood
motionless behind Mrs York's chair during the whole of the visit. This
embarrassed her. She felt inclined to draw him into the conversation.

_Friday, September_ 2_nd_.

Mrs Housman went to the convent by herself. Lady Jarvis and A. went out
for a walk and I stayed at home. It is quite fine again. A. leaves next
Monday.

_Saturday, September_ 3_rd_.

A. wanted to go out sailing but Mrs Housman thought it was too windy. We
all went for a drive instead.

_Sunday, September_ 4_th_.

General York and Mrs York came to luncheon. The General was a little
nervous, but Mrs York was affable and friendly. She said she had never
got used to the English climate. Lady Jarvis asked Mrs York if she had
been to church. Mrs York said they had a church quite close to their
house in the village but she always drove to our village church,
although it was three miles off. She could not go to their church as she
did not approve of the clergyman's ritualistic practices. He used white
vestments at Easter, changed the order of the service, and allowed a
picture in church. All that, of course, made it impossible. They went
away soon after luncheon. I went for a walk with Lady Jarvis. After
dinner A. asked Mrs Housman to sing, but she said she would rather read.
She read _Happy Thoughts_ aloud.

_Monday, September_ 5_th._

A. left in his yacht. He said he would be back in London by the first of
October. He is stopping at Plymouth on the way.

_Tuesday, September_ 6_th._

Mrs Housman asked me if I had finished _Les Misérables_. I said I had
not gone on with it. She read aloud from it in the afternoon.

_Wednesday, September_ 7_th._

I leave to-morrow to stay with Aunt Ruth. I have to be in London on
the 19th. Lady Jarvis went to the village, we stayed in the garden.
After dinner, Mrs Housman sang some Schubert. She leaves Cornwall at the
end of the month and then goes to Florence, where she stays rill Easter
or perhaps longer.

_Monday, October_ 3_rd. London, Gray's Inn_.

Cunninghame and A. both came back to-day. Cunninghame asked me to dine
with him to-morrow.

_Tuesday, October_ 4_th._

Dined with Cunninghame alone in his flat. He said that he knew I had
some R.C. friends, perhaps I knew a priest. I said the only priest I had
ever spoken to was Father Stanway at Carbis Bay. He said he wanted to
consult a priest about certain rules in the R.C. Church. He wanted to
know under what conditions a marriage could be annulled. A friend of
his wanted a married woman to get her marriage annulled as her husband
was living with someone else. He wanted to know whether the marriage
could be annulled. I said I knew who he was talking about. He said he
had meant me to know. He had promised A. to find out from a priest. A.
had been told by her that it was out of the question to get the marriage
annulled. It had been a marriage entered into by her own free will and
performed with every necessary condition of validity. Of course she was
very young when she was married and didn't know what she was doing, but
that had nothing to do with it. Her aunt and the nuns in the convent
where she had been brought up had thought it was an excellent marriage,
as he was well off and a Catholic. Cunninghame begged me to go and see a
priest. I said I did not know how this was done. I suggested his asking
his cousin, Mrs Caryl. He said she was in Paris and that would be no
use, it would not satisfy A. I said I would think about it.

_Wednesday, October_ 5_th_.

I asked Tuke where and how one could find a priest who would be able to
tell one the rules of the Church with regard to marriage. Tuke said any
of the Fathers at Farm Street or the Oratory. In the afternoon I went to
the Oratory, sent in my card and asked to see a priest. I sat in a
little waiting-room downstairs. Presently a tall man came in with very
bright eyes and a face with nothing but character left in it. I told him
I had come for a friend. It was a case of divorce, or rather of
annulment. I knew his Church did not tolerate divorce. I was, myself,
not a Catholic. It was the case of a lady, a Catholic, who had married a
Catholic. The husband had always been unfaithful and was now almost
openly living with someone else. Could the marriage be annulled? The
priest asked whether she desired the marriage to be annulled. I told
him she had said it was impossible. He asked whether the marriage had
been performed under all conditions of validity. I said I did not myself
know what these conditions were, but that she had expressly said that
the marriage had been performed with her own free will, with every
necessary condition of validity. I knew she thought it was out of the
question to think of the marriage being annulled, but there was someone
who was most devoted to her and wanted to marry her, and he was not
satisfied with her saying it was impossible. He wanted the decision
confirmed by a priest and that was why I had come. The priest said he
was afraid from what I had told him that it was no use thinking of
annulment. It was clear from what I had said she knew quite well the
conditions that make it possible to apply for the annulment of a
marriage. He said he was sure it was a hard case. If I liked he would
lend me a book which went into the matter in detail. I said I would not
trouble him. It would be enough that I had seen him and heard this from
him. I then went away. I went straight back to the office and told C.
the result of my visit. He was most grateful to me for having done this.
He said he was dining with A. to-night. He said A. was in a terrible
state.

_Thursday, October_ 6_th_.

Cunninghame told me that he had dined with A. and given him the
information I had procured for him. He said A. was wretched. Mrs Housman
arrives in London on Saturday. She is only staying till Monday; she then
goes to Florence.

_Friday, October_ 7_th._

Cunninghame told me that Housman has come back to London. They have got
their house back. Mrs Fairburn is in London also.

_Saturday, October_ 8_th._

A. has gone down to Littlehampton.

_Sunday, October_ 9_th._

I went to see Mrs Housman in the afternoon--she was in. She leaves for
Florence to-morrow. She told me she was going to stay there a whole
year. She asked after A. and was pleased to hear he was still in good
health. Miss Housman came in later after we had finished tea.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                       LONDON,
                                         _Sunday, October_ 9_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

Thank you for your long letter. I am most worried about George. Mrs
Housman goes to Florence to-morrow and is not coming back for a whole
year. George has told me about the whole thing. She knows all about
Housman and has always known. George has implored her to divorce Housman
and to marry him. She can't divorce, as you know better than I do, and
she told George it was not a marriage that could be annulled. However,
this didn't satisfy him. He insisted on getting the opinion of a priest.
I thought of writing to you, but there wasn't time, and then I didn't
know whether it was the same in France or not. I got the opinion of a
priest, who said there wasn't the slightest chance of getting the
marriage annulled. I told George this and he won't believe it, even now.
He keeps on saying that we ought to go to Rome, but I don't suppose that
would be of the slightest use either, would it? In the meantime he is
perfectly wretched. Mrs Housman didn't see him after Cornwall. George
won't see anyone, or go anywhere now. He is at this moment down at
Littlehampton by himself. If you can think of anything one could do, let
me know at once, but I know there is nothing to be done. If the marriage
could be annulled I think she would marry him to-morrow. I can't write
about anything else, because I can't think about anything else.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, October_ 17_th._

Heard from Mrs Housman from Florence. She says the weather is beautiful
and she is having a very peaceful time.

_Monday, November_ 7_th._

Heard from Mrs Housman. She has been to Rome, where she stayed a
fortnight.

_Wednesday, November_ 9_th._

I met Housman in the street this morning. He said he had given up the
house near Staines. It was dismal in winter and not very pleasant in
summer. He had taken a small house in the north of London, not far from
Hendon. He could come up from there every day and the air was very good.
I was not to say a word about this to Mrs Housman, as it was a surprise.
He said he was going to Florence for Christmas if he could. He said I
must come down one Saturday and stay with him.

_Saturday, November_ 19_th._

Staying with Riley at Shelborough.

_Monday, December_ 12_th._

Heard from Mrs Housman. She is going to spend Christmas at Ravenna with
the Albertis. Housman has written to me saying he will not be able to
get to Florence at Christmas and asking me to spend it with him at his
house near Hendon. I have told him that I was staying with Aunt Ruth for
Christmas.



_Letters from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                         _Monday, October_ 17_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

Thank you for your letter. I quite understand all you say and I was
afraid it must be so, but thank you for taking all that trouble. George
is just the same. He sees nobody except Godfrey and me. I have heard
from Mrs Housman twice and I have written to her several times and given
her news of George. I haven't set eyes on Housman nor heard either from
him or of him.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



                                                        LONDON,
                                          _Monday, October_ 31_st_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I saw Jimmy Randall yesterday. He tells me that Housman is in London but
has taken a house near Hendon and comes up every day. He is just, as
infatuated as ever with Mrs Fairburn and has given her some handsome
jewels.

I heard from Mrs Housman on Saturday. I am afraid she is quite
miserable. George won't even go to stay with his sister. He dines with
me sometimes.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



                                                        LONDON,
                                               _November_ 14_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

Lady Jarvis is back from Ireland. I went down to Rosedale on Saturday.
There were a few people there, but I managed to have two long and good
talks with her. She is of course fearfully worried. She hears from Mrs
Housman constantly, she never mentions G. Lady Jarvis thinks of going
out there, only, apparently, Mrs Housman will not be at Florence for
Christmas. She tried to get George to come to Rosedale, but he
wouldn't.

I have seen Housman for a moment at the play. He said I must see his
house at Hendon. He said he had meant it as a surprise for Mrs H., but
he had been obliged to tell her. He says he has bought a lot of new
pictures and that the house is very _moderne_ in arrangement. I can see
it. He wanted me to go there next Saturday. I said I couldn't.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



                                                         LONDON,
                                        _Tuesday, November_ 29_th_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I am sorry to have been so bad about writing, but we have been having
rather a busy time, which has been a good thing for George. I am going
to stay with Lady Jarvis for Christmas. She asked George and he is going
too. There is no party. He seems a little better, but he isn't really
better, and he talks of giving up his job altogether and going out to
Africa again. Will you choose me a small Christmas present for Lady
Jarvis, something that looks nice in the box or case.

                              Yrs.
                                                  G.



                                                         LONDON,
                                         _Monday, December_ 12_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

Housman asked me so often to go down to Hendon that I was obliged to go
last Saturday. The house is decorated entirely in the _Art Nouveau_
style. There is a small spiral staircase made of metal in the
drawing-room that goes nowhere. It is just a serpentine ornament. The
house is the last word of hideosity, but the pictures are rather good.
He gets good advice for these and never buys anything that, he thinks
won't go up. It was a bachelor party, Randall, Carrington-Smith and
myself. We played golf all the day, and Bridge all the evening.

He said Mrs Housman was enjoying Florence very much and that we must
all go out there for Easter again.

I heard from her three days ago. She said very little, and asked after
George. He never hears from her. He dines with me often.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



                                                        ROSEDALE,
                                         _Saturday, December_ 31_st_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

We have had rather a sad Christmas, only George and myself here, but
Lady Jarvis has been too kind for words, and quite splendid with George.
She has heard regularly from Mrs Housman and she thinks she will go out
to Florence in January if she can.

Godfrey is staying with his uncle. Lady Jarvis says that Miss Sarah
Housman makes terrible scenes about Mrs Fairburn, so much so that Sarah
and he are no longer on speaking terms. I go back to London just after
the New Year, so does George. The Christmas present was a great success.
Lady Jarvis gave me a lovely table for my flat.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, January_ 2_nd_, 1911.

Received a small Dante bound in white vellum from Mrs Housman. It had
been delayed in the post.

_Tuesday, January_ 3_rd_.

Cunninghame came to the office to-day. A. also.

_Tuesday, April_ 12_th._

Riley is spending Easter in London. He wishes to attend the Holy Week
services. He is staying with me.

_Wednesday, April_ 13_th_.

Sat up with Riley, talking. I told him about Hope having said that he
considered that to become an R.C. was to sin against the light. Riley
said that Hope might very likely end by committing suicide, as views
such as he held led to despair. He said: "If the Catholic religion is
like what Hope and you think it to be, it must be inconceivable that
anyone whose character and whose intelligence you respect could belong
to such a Church, but, granting you do, does it not occur to you that it
is just possible the Catholic religion may be unlike what you think it
is, may indeed be something quite different?"

I said that I did not at all share Hope's views. Indeed I did not know
what they were. I said that I agreed with him that when one got to know
R.C.'s one found they were quite different from what they were supposed
to be, and I was quite ready to believe this applied to their beliefs
also.

I said something about the complication of the Catholic system, which
was difficult to reconcile with the simplicity of the early Church. He
said the services of the early Church were longer and more complicated
than they were now. The services of the Eastern Church were more
complicated than those of the Western Church, and to this day in the
Coptic Church it took eight hours to say Mass. The Church was
complicated when described, but simple when experienced.

_Saturday, April_ 16_th._

Went with Riley to the ceremony of the Blessing of the Font at
Westminster Cathedral. Riley said he was sorry for people who had to go
to Maeterlinck for symbolism.

Received a postcard from Florence. Housman did not go out after all.

_Monday, May_ 1_st_.

Cunninghame told us that Housman is laid up with pneumonia.

_Thursday, May_ 4_th._

Housman is worse, and Mrs Housman has been telegraphed for. He is laid
up at Hendon. They don't think he will recover.

_Friday, May_ 5_th._

Mrs Housman arrived last night. Housman is about the same.

_Monday, May_ 8_th._

Had luncheon with Lady Jarvis yesterday. She says that Housman was a
shade better yesterday. He may recover, but it is thought very doubtful.
Mrs Housman has been up day and night nursing him.

_Wednesday, May_ 10_th_.

Housman has taken a turn for the better, but he is not yet out of
danger.

_Saturday, May_ 13_th._

The doctors say Housman is out of danger.

_Monday, May_ 15_th._

Cunninghame says Housman will recover. He has been very bad indeed. The
doctors say that it is entirely due to Mrs Housmans nursing that he has
pulled through.

_Saturday, May_ 20_th._

Went to see Mrs Housman at Hendon. I was allowed to see Housman for a
few minutes. He likes visitors. Mrs Housman looked tired. Cunninghame
says that Housman has a weak heart. That was the danger.

_Saturday, June_ 10_th._

The Housmans have gone to Brighton for a fortnight.



_Letters from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                        LONDON,
                                             _Monday, May_ 22_nd_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I am delighted to hear you and Jack are coming to London so soon, but
very sad of course that you won't be going back to Paris. But I believe
Copenhagen is a delightful post, and they say it always leads to
something.

Perhaps you will let me come and stay with you in the summer?

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



                                           _Saturday, June_ 10_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

Your letter made me laugh a great deal. I expect you will get to like
the place. I am writing this from Rosedale, where I am in the middle of
a large musical and artistic party, one painter, two novelists, and two
pianists. They all hate each other like poison, and it is pain to all
the others when one of them performs. But the rest of us are enjoying it
immensely, and Lady Jarvis is being splendid. The Housmans have gone to
Brighton for a fortnight. Bert is quite well again, but Mrs Housman
looks fearfully ill.

Write to me again soon.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



                                            _Monday, June_ 26_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have just come back from Oakley, the Housmans' place, near Hendon. He
has quite recovered, and everything was going on there just as usual.
Jimmy Randall was there, and Mrs Fairburn. Housman said nothing about
the summer, but Mrs Housman told me she was not going to Cornwall this
year. I asked her if she was going to stay all the summer at Oakley,
the Hendon house. She said that Housman had hired a yacht for the summer
and asked several people. She said she couldn't bear steam yachting with
a large party, and she has taken a small house on the west coast of
Ireland, with Lady Jarvis. They would be there quite alone; she was
going there quite soon: "Albert would probably go to France."

She told me Housman had wanted to take the house in Cornwall and ask us
all again, but that she had told him this was impossible.

George has seen her once or twice, and he is of course happier, but
things are where they were. She won't think of divorcing.

I shall start for Copenhagen at the end of July.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Tuesday, June_ 27_th._ London.

Housman has asked me to go to Oakley next Saturday. He has asked A.
also.

_Wednesday, June_ 28_th._ London.

Dined with A. and his sister. A. said he would be unable to go to Oakley
next week. He had some people staying with him.

_Thursday, June_ 29_th._ London.

Dined with Aunt Ruth. Apparently Gertrude is still annoyed at the Caryls
having got Copenhagen. She complains of this weekly.

_Friday, June_ 30_th._ London.

Solway is staying the night with me, his concert is to-morrow afternoon.

_Saturday, July_ 1_st_. London.

Went with Mrs Housman to Solway's concert in the afternoon, and she
drove me down to Hendon afterwards in her motor. Mrs Housman is going
to spend the summer in Ireland.

_Sunday, July_ 2_nd. Oakley (near Hendon)_.

Mrs Fairburn and Carrington-Smith are staying here. Mrs Housman leaves
to-morrow for Ireland.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, October_ 28_th. London, Gray's Inn_.

Mrs Housman returns from Ireland to-day. She spends Sunday in London,
and goes to Oakley, near Hendon, on Wednesday. I have not heard one word
from Mrs Housman since her long absence in Ireland.

_Sunday, October_ 29_th._

Went to see Mrs Housman in the afternoon. Ireland has done her a great
deal of good, and she looks quite refreshed and rested.

She asked after A. I told her he was due to arrive from Scotland
to-morrow, and that we expected him at the office. She asked me if I was
going to stay with Lady Jarvis next Saturday. She said we would meet
there. She said nothing about her plans for the future.

_Monday, October_ 30_th._

A. has arrived from Scotland, and Cunninghame from Copenhagen, where he
has been staying for the last three months with his cousin. I called on
Lady Jarvis. She told me she thought Mrs Housman would not remain long
in England. She might go to Italy again.

_Tuesday, October_ 31_st_.

A. is going to Rosedale on Saturday.

_Wednesday, November_ 1_st_.

Dined with A. and Cunninghame. We went to a music hall after dinner.

_Thursday, November_ 2_nd_.

Cunninghame and I went to Aunt Ruth's after dinner. When Cunninghame
said he had been at Copenhagen, Aunt Ruth said that she knew, of course,
Caryl was a brilliant diplomatist, but that Edmund Anstruther ought to
have had the post. Uncle Arthur said: "What, Edmund? Copenhagen? He
would have got us into war with the Danes."

_Friday, November_ 3_rd_.

Dined alone with A. He asked after Mrs Housman's health.

_Saturday, November_ 4_th. Rosedale_.

A.. Cunninghame, myself, and Mrs Vaughan are here. The Housmans were
unable to come at the last moment.

_Monday, November_ 6_th._

Housman asked me to go to Oakley on Saturday, November 25th. Mrs
Housman has gone to Folkestone for a fortnight to stay with Miss
Housman. Cunninghame says that Housman and his sister have quarrelled,
and that she no longer goes to the house.

_Saturday, November_ 25_th. Oakley_.

Lady Jarvis, A. and Carrington-Smith are staying here. Cunninghame comes
down to-morrow for the day. Housman was obliged to go to Paris on
urgent business for a few days.

_Sunday, November_ 26_th._

Cunninghame and Carrington-Smith played golf. I went for a walk with
Lady Jarvis.

_Monday, November_ 27_th._

Dined with A. and went to the play, a farce. A. enjoyed it immensely. I
have written to Aunt Ruth to tell her I shall not be able to go there
this year. I shall remain in London, as Riley wishes to spend Christmas
with me.

_Tuesday, November_ 28_th._

Dined with Lady Jarvis. Mrs Housman has gone back to Folkestone. She
stays there till Christmas, then she returns to London.

A. is going abroad for Christmas.

_Wednesday, December_ 20_th._

A. goes to Paris to-morrow night. Cunninghame is going to spend
Christmas with the Housmans at Oakley.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                HALKIN STREET,
                                       _Friday, December_ 22_nd_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

As you see, I write from London. All my plans have been upset by an
unexpected catastrophe. I will try and begin at the beginning and tell
you everything in order as clearly as possible, but the fact is I am so
bewildered by everything that has happened that I find it difficult to
think clearly and to write at all.

I think I told you in my last letter that Housman asked me to spend
Christmas with them at Oakley. I was to go down yesterday, Thursday, and
George was going to Paris by the night train. I think I told you, too,
that ever since we stayed at Oakley in November, George has been a
_changed man_ and in the highest spirits. On Thursday we had luncheon
together. I thought it rather odd that he should be going to Paris, but
he said he was tired of England and felt that he must have a change. I
wondered what this meant. I could have imagined his wanting to go away
if he had been like he was before, that is to say miserable, but now
that he seemed to be enjoying life it was rather extraordinary. I said I
was going to Oakley. He said nothing, and talked about his journey.
After luncheon he went to the office to give Mellor some final
instructions. He said he might be away for some time. I left him there
at about half-past three. I asked him why he was going by the night
train, and he said he hated a day in the train and always slept well in
the train at night. I said good-bye and went down to Oakley in a taxi.
Housman had not arrived, and the butler (who has taken the place of the
nice parlour-maid there used to be at Campden Hill) told me that Mrs
Housman had gone up to London. Her maid thought she was staying the
night at Garland's Hotel, but he, the butler, knew nothing of her
arrangements. This astonished me, but I supposed there were no servants
at Campden Hill. At a quarter to five Housman arrived in a motor with
Carrington-Smith. He looked more yellow than usual. I met him in the
hall and while we were talking the butler gave him a letter which he
said Mrs Housman had left for him. He said we would have tea at once in
the drawing-room. Then he said to Carrington-Smith: "I just want to show
you that thing," and to me: "We will be with you in one minute." He took
Carrington-Smith into his study and I went into the drawing-room. Tea
was brought in. I again tried the butler and asked him whether Mrs
Housman was coming back to-morrow morning. He said that she had left no
instructions, but Mr Housman was probably aware of her intentions. He
went out and almost directly I heard someone shouting and bells ringing,
violently. Carrington-Smith was calling me. I ran out and met him in
the hall; he said Housman had had a stroke, he thought it was fatal.

It was like a thing on the stage. A breathless telephone to the doctor.
The motor sent to fetch him. Servants scurrying with blanched faces.
Housman lying on the sofa in the study, his collar undone, his face
ghastly.

Carrington-Smith said: "We must telephone to Campden Hill for Mrs
Housman."

I said: "She isn't there." Then told him about Garland's Hotel. He
seemed _dumbfounded_, sent for the butler, who confirmed this, and then
got on to the Hotel. Mrs Housman was in. He spoke to her and told her
Housman was dangerously ill and she must come at once. He said he would
get on to Miss Housman and tell her to bring Mrs Housman down in her
motor. This was arranged and he told Miss Housman the whole facts. In
the meantime the doctor arrived--an Australian. He examined Housman and
said it was heart failure and that he had always feared this. They had
known he had a weak heart after his last illness. It might have happened
any day.

Then Carrington-Smith told me how it had happened. When they went into
the study Housman had sat down at his writing-table and read a letter
through twice quite slowly, torn it up and thrown it into the fire. He
had then said: "We will go," and at that moment fallen back and
collapsed on the sofa.

He told me that Housman had had a terrific row with Mrs Fairburn
yesterday and had talked of nothing else on the way down. Probably the
letter was from her, he said. I said: "Yes, very likely"; but as a
matter of fact I knew it was from Mrs Housman. He had not noticed that,
or if he had he was lying on purpose.

Mrs Housman and Miss Housman arrived about six. Mrs Housman almost
_frighteningly_ calm.

She wanted to know every detail. She had a talk with Carrington-Smith
alone and then I saw her for a moment before going away. She asked me if
I had seen Housman before he died. Then she made all the arrangements
herself. I went back to London by train.

I don't know what to think. Why did she go to London? Why did she stay
at Garland's Hotel? The Campden Hill house isn't shut up. Miss Housman
talked about going there. Did the letter which she left for Housman play
a part in the tragedy?

I sent George a telegram. Possibly you may see him.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Friday, December_ 22_nd_.

I was rung up last night by Cunninghame, who had returned to London
unexpectedly. He had bad news to tell me. A tragedy had occurred at
Oakley and Housman had died suddenly of a heart attack. Mrs Housman was
informed at once and reached Oakley an hour after the tragedy occurred.

Cunninghame has informed A. by telegram.

Not unconnected with this tragic event a small incident has occurred to
me which leaves me stunned.

I have unwittingly violated A.'s confidence, and as it were looked
through a keyhole into his private affairs. I am literally appalled by
what I have done. But after reviewing every detail and living again
every moment of yesterday, I do not see how I could have acted
otherwise than I did, nor do I see how things could have happened
differently.

These are the facts:

A. arrived at the office at half-past three on Thursday afternoon with
Cunninghame. Cunninghame left him.

A. remained in his room until five o'clock, writing letters.

At five he sent for me and told me he was leaving for Paris that night
by the night train. Tuke, he said, had gone on his holiday. He asked me
if I was going away. I said I should be in London during all the
Christmas holidays, as I had a friend staying with me. He said he would
most probably be away for some time, and he would be obliged if I could
look in at the office every now and then. He had told the clerks to
forward letters, but he wanted me to make sure they did not forward
circulars or any other useless documents to him. I was to open all
telegrams, whether private or not, and not to forward them unless they
were of real importance. "But," he said, "there won't be any telegrams.
Don't forward me invitations to luncheon or dinner."

This morning I went to the office. There was a telegram for A. The clerk
gave it to me. I opened it. It had been sent off originally at five
yesterday afternoon and redirected from Stratton Street. Its contents
were: "Albert dangerously ill. Fear worst. Cannot come. Clare."

I forwarded it to the Hôtel Meurice. He will know of course that I have
read it. I read it at one glance before I realised its nature. Then it
was too late. And so unwittingly I am guilty of the greatest breach of
confidence that I could possibly have committed.

It was a fatality that this telegram should have missed him. The clerks
say he left the office soon after I did, a little after five. They say
the telegram did not reach the office till later. They didn't know where
A. was and he had told them not to forward any telegrams till I had
seen them. I remember his saying that he was not returning to his flat.
That he was dining at a club and going straight from thereto the
station, where his servant would meet him. I am truly appalled by what I
have done, but the more I think over it, the less I see how it could
have been otherwise.

I had some conversation with Cunninghame on the telephone last night. He
had been talking to Lady Jarvis on the telephone. She had at once
offered to go to Oakley, but Mrs Housman said she would rather see no
one at present.

Cunninghame went down to Rosedale at her urgent request this morning. He
did not call at the office on the way.



_Letters from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                    ROSEDALE,
                                      _Friday, December_ 22_nd_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I came down here early this morning. Lady Jarvis heard the news from
Miss Housman last night and at once offered to go, but Mrs Housman said
she would rather see no one at present. Carrington-Smith was making all
the arrangements. The funeral is to be on Tuesday. I told Lady Jarvis
about Mrs Housman being in London. She said Mrs Housman often went up to
Garland's Hotel. She found it a complete rest and the house at Campden
Hill was very cold and there was no cook there. Lady Jarvis said it was
the most natural thing in the world. I told her about the letter. She
said Mrs Housman had no doubt written to Housman saying she had gone to
Garland's Hotel and was coming back. I also told her what
Carrington-Smith had said about Mrs Fairburn. She said: "That was it.
It was those terrible scenes which used to shatter him and no doubt
caused his death." Lady Jarvis says it will be a shock to Mrs Housman in
spite of everything. The fact of Housman having made her very unhappy,
or rather of her having been very unhappy as his wife, will make no
difference to the shock. Lately Lady Jarvis says he had made things very
difficult for her. Mrs Fairburn was always there.

One can't help thinking--well you know, I needn't explain. I wonder what
will happen in the future. I have heard nothing from George yet. There
is no one here. Housman must have left an enormous fortune. He was very
canny about his investments, and very lucky too. Randall told me he had
almost doubled his fortune in the last three years, and he was rich
enough to start with.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.

_P.S._.--Lady Jarvis' explanation of the letter does not quite satisfy,
but what _did_ happen? What does it all mean?



                                                        LONDON,
                                         _Monday, January_ 1_st_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

I came up to-day for good. I went to Housman's funeral last Tuesday. Mrs
Housman went down to Rosedale directly after the funeral. She is going
to Florence next week and means to stay on there indefinitely. George
has come back. He never wrote and I did not hear from him till he
arrived at the office this morning. He is just the same as usual except
for being subtly different.

Housman left everything to her.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.

_P.S._--I told Godfrey everything that had happened at Oakley. He said
_nothing._ He appears incapable of discussing the matter.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Monday, January_ 1_st_, 1912.

A. arrived last night from Paris. He came to the office and he thanked
me for what I had done in his absence. "Everything was quite right," he
said. He conveyed to me without saying anything that I need not distress
myself about the telegram and that he still trusted me.

He did not mention Mrs Housman nor the death of Housman.

_Wednesday, February_ 28_th_.

I heard to-day from Mrs Housman. She tells me she has entered the
Convent of the Presentation and intends to be a nun. I cannot say the
news surprised me, but to hear of the death in life of anyone one knows
well, is almost worse I think than to hear of their death.



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                        LONDON,
                                    _Wednesday, February_ 28_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have just had a short letter from Lady Jarvis telling me that Mrs
Housman is going to be a nun. I have not set eyes on her since Housmans
funeral, and have only heard of her, and that not much, from time to
time from Lady Jarvis.

I confess I am completely bewildered, and I hope you won't be shocked if
I tell you that I' can't help thinking it rather _selfish_. Do as I
will, I cannot see any possible reason for her taking such a step. Mrs
Housman seems to me the last person in the world who ought to be a nun.
Whether it will make her happy or not, I am afraid there is no doubt
that she will be causing a lot of intense misery. George is worse than
ever. He hasn't in the least got over it, and he never will, I feel
sure. He knows what has happened, but he can't even bring himself to
talk about it. I think he must have known of it for some time. In any
case he hasn't for one moment emerged from the real fog of gloom and
misery that has wrapped him up ever since Christmas.

What is so extraordinary is that just before Christmas he was in radiant
spirits after all those months of sadness!

I can't see that it _can_ be right, however good the motive, to destroy
and shatter someone's life!

His life _is_ destroyed, shattered and shipwrecked! We must just face
that.

I tried to think that we had always been wrong and that my first
impressions were right, that she had never really cared for him. But I
know this is not true. You will forgive me saying that I think your
religion has a terribly hard and cruel side. Nobody appreciates more
than I do all its good points, and nobody knows better than I do what a
lot of good is often done by Catholics. But it is just this sort of
thing that makes one _revolt_.

I was reading Boswell last night before going to bed, and I came across
this sentence: "Madam," Dr Johnson said, to a nun in a convent, "you are
here not from love of virtue, but from fear of vice." Even this is not a
satisfactory explanation in Mrs Housmans case. It is obvious that she
had nothing to fear from vice. I can't help thinking she has been the
victim of an inexorable system and of a training which bends the human
mind into a twisted shape that can never be altered or put straight.

Frankly, I think it is _more_ than sad, I think it is positively
_wicked_; not on her part, but on the part of those who have led her to
take such a mistaken view of ordinary human duty. After all, even if she
wants to be a nun, isn't it her duty to stay in the world? Isn't it a
more difficult duty? What is one's duty to one's neighbour? Forgive me
for saying all this. You know in my case that it isn't inspired by
prejudice.

It is cruel to think that most probably George will never get over this,
and that she has sacrificed the certain happiness of two human beings
and the chance of doing any amount of good in the world. What for? For
nothing as far as I can see that can't be much better done by people far
more fitted to that kind of vocation. I am too sad to write any more.

                              Yrs.
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Thursday, March_ 1_st_.

I dined alone with Cunninghame at his flat last night. He had heard the
news about Mrs Housman. He was greatly upset about it, and thought it
very selfish. I said I believed the step was not irrevocable, as one had
to stay some time in a convent before taking final vows.

He said: "That is just what I want to talk about, just what I want to
know. How long must one stay exactly?"

I said I did not know, but I could find out. He said I want you to find
out all about it as soon as possible. A., he said, was in a dreadful
state. He had dined with him last night. He had said very little;
nothing personal, not a word about what he felt about it, but he had
asked him, Cunninghame, whether he knew what the rules were about taking
the veil.

C. said he did not believe Mrs Housman would take an irrevocable
decision. He had told A. he would find out all about it. I could of
course ask Riley, but I don't know whether he would know.

I decided I would apply to Father Stanway, the priest I met at Carbis
Bay, for information. I wrote to him, saying I wished to consult him on
a matter, and suggested going down to Cornwall on Saturday and spending
Sunday at Carbis Bay.

_Friday, March_ 2_nd_.

Received a telegram from Father Stanway, saying that he will not be in
Cornwall this week-end, but in London, where he will be staying four or
five days; and suggesting our meeting on Sunday afternoon. I sent him a
telegram asking him to luncheon on Sunday.

_Sunday, March_ 4_th._

Father Stanway came to luncheon with me at the Club, and we talked of
the topics of the day. After luncheon I suggested a walk in the park.
We went for a walk in Kensington Gardens. I asked him first for the
information about the nuns. He said, as far as he could say off-hand, it
entailed six months' postulancy, two years' "Habit and White Veil,"
three years' _simple_ vows of profession; and then solemn perpetual
vows. But he said he could write to a convent and get it quite accurate
for me. In any case he knew it was a matter of five years.

I then said I would like, if he did not mind, to have his opinion on a
case which I had come across. He said he would be pleased to listen.

I then told him the whole Housman story as a skeleton case, not
mentioning names, and calling the people X. and Y. Very possibly he knew
who I was talking about, almost certainly I think, although he never
betrayed this for a moment. I felt the knowledge, if there were
knowledge, would be as safe as though given in the confessional. I told
him everything, including a detailed account of Housman's death which
Cunninghame had given me. I referred to Housman as X., to Mrs Housman as
Mrs X. and to A. as Y.

I then asked him if he thought Mrs X. was justified in taking such a
step, and whether it would not be nobler, a more unselfish course, to
remain in the world and to make Y. happy.

I asked him whether, in his opinion, people would be justified in
calling Mrs X.'s step, were it to turn out to be irrevocable, a
_selfish_ act.

And, thirdly, I asked if in the case of Mrs X. changing her mind she
would be allowed by the Church to marry Y.

Father Stanway said if I wished to understand the question I must try
and turn my mind round, as it were, and start from the point of view
that what the world considers all-important the Church considers of no
importance _if it interferes with what God thinks important_. He said I
must start by remembering that Mrs X.'s conduct proceeded from that
idea--what was important in the eyes of God: she believed in God
_practically_ and not merely theoretically. This belief was the cardinal
fact and the compass of her life. He added that this did not mean the
Church was unsympathetic. No one understood human nature as well as she
did, nobody met it as she did at every point. That was why she helped it
to rise superior to its weakness and to do what it saw to be really
best. He said it was no disgrace to be weak, and vows helped one to do
what might be difficult without them.

Then he said that if Mrs X. felt she was called to the religious life,
this vocation was the result of supernatural Grace; that she would not
be thinking of what was delightful or convenient to her, but of what was
pleasing and honourable to God. She was bound to follow the appointment
of God, if she felt certain that was His appointment, rather than her
own desire, and before anything she desired.

Here I said the objection made (and I quoted Cunninghame without
mentioning him) was that her desire might be for the calm and security
of the religious life; but might it not be her duty, possibly a more
difficult, a more unselfish and less pleasant duty, to stay in the world
and not to shatter the happiness of another human being?

Father Stanway then said it was very easy to delude oneself in most
things, but not in following a religious vocation. One might in _not_
following it. It would be easy to pretend to oneself one was staying in
the world for someone else's sake. One's merely earthly happiness was
not a reason for _not_ following a vocation, nor was anyone else's,
because the religious life belonged not to things temporal but to things
eternal. However, if it were her duty to remain in the world she would
feel no call to leave the world. It was impossible for a human being to
gauge the vocation of another human being. A vocation was a
"categorical imperative" to the soul, and there was no mistaking its
presence. Mrs X. would know for certain after she had spent some time in
the Convent, she probably knew already, whether or no what she felt was
a vocation or not. Nobody else could judge, though her Director might
help her to decide. He would certainly not allow her to stay if he felt
she had no vocation.

I said: "So, if after she has lived through her first period, or any
period of probation, she feels uncertain as to her vocation, there would
be no objection to her leaving the religious life, and marrying Y.?
Would the Church then allow her to marry Y., and allow her to go back to
the world, knowing she would in all probability marry Y.?"

Father Stanway said: "Of course, and the Church would allow her to marry
Y. now."

I said, perhaps a little impatiently: "Then why doesn't she?"

"I think," said Father Stanway, "you are a musician, Mr Mellor?"

I said music was my one and sole hobby.

He said he would try and express himself in terms of harmony.

"Perhaps Mrs X. has a great sense of harmony herself," he said. "If she
married Y. that would make a legitimate harmony certainly. But her very
feeling for the _full_ harmony of life would make it impossible" (and he
said this with startling emphasis) "_for her to use X.'s death as a
means for doing rightly what she had meant to do wrongly_, for her
intention to do it wrongly had in a measure caused his death. Within
the harmony of her marriage the memory of that discord would always be
present. And perhaps she is a woman who is able to have a vision of
perfect love and harmony. In that case she could not put up with an
imperfect one. She is now free to enter upon a perfect harmony and love,
by marrying Christ, which I imagine she always wanted to do, even in
the normal married state, in fact by means of the normal married state,
for it is a Sacrament and unites the soul to God by Grace.

"But I understand from you that her marriage was such a travesty of
marriage that she felt she couldn't worship Christ through that, and so
swung across and decided she couldn't be in relation with Him at all.
Then comes this catastrophe and the pendulum swings back and stops up.

"There is nothing selfish about this. For all we know it was the will of
God that all this should happen (the shipwreck of her marriage, Y.'s
love and present misery) solely to make her vocation certain, and as far
as Y. is concerned we don't know the end. Even from the worldly point of
view we don't know whether his marriage with Mrs X. would have made for
his ultimate happiness or for hers. His present unhappiness may be an
essential note in the full and total harmony of _his_ life. It may be a
beginning and not an end. It may lead him to some eventual happiness, it
may be welding his nature and his life for some undreamed-of purpose, a
purpose which he may afterwards be led to recognise and bless 'with
tears of recognition.' If Mrs X. is certain of her vocation, and
continues to be certain of it, you can be sure she is right, and that
whatever the world says it will be wrong.

"The only way in which peace comes to the human soul is in accepting the
will of God, 'In la sua volontate e nostra pace.'

"Mrs X. knows that, and perhaps Y. is on the road to learning it. I
daresay Mrs X. may have an element of fear of life _too_, but it will
thin out and float off and away from her; her act in choosing the
religious life will not be an escape nor a _flight_, but a positive
acceptance of the love of Christ. She is getting to and at the
mysterious spiritual thing which is in music, and which is as different
from sounds as sounds are different from printed notes. It is you
musicians who know."

I said that although I did not pretend to understand the whole thing,
and the whole nature of the motive, I could understand that it could be
as he said, and I thanked him, telling him that I for one should never
cavil at her act nor criticise it, but always understand that there was
something to understand, although probably it would always be beyond my
understanding.

I felt during all this conversation that the real problem was not why
she had become a nun, but what terrible thing had happened inside her
mind to make her take that step at Christmas, and decide on what seemed
to contradict all her life so far.

I said something about religion not affecting conduct in a crisis.
Father Stanway seemed to read my thoughts. He said: "After a long stress
sometimes a tiny accident will suffice to make a nerve snap _suddenly_.
I should say that in this case long stress had pushed and pushed a soul
out of its real shape and pattern; an unknown factor sufficed to force
it into a coherent but false pattern; a new shock sufficed to liberate
it wholly and let it fall back into its original _true_ pattern. That
may account for half of it."

_Wednesday, March_ 7_th._

I dined alone with Cunninghame last night, and told him what I had
ascertained respecting the rules for the period of probation of nuns. He
appeared to be relieved. I warned him that Mrs Housman's step might very
well prove to be irrevocable, as I didn't think she was a person to
change her mind easily. He said: "That's what I am afraid of. They never
do let people go. I feel that once in a convent they will never let her
go. But it will be a relief to A. to know that the step is not yet
irrevocable."



_Letters from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                       LONDON,
                                        _Wednesday, March_ 7_th_.

DEAREST ELSIE,

Godfrey dined with me last night. I feel he thinks that Mrs Housmans
step will be irrevocable, although he didn't actually say so. He said he
didn't pretend to understand it, but he was convinced she knew best. I
talked of George's acute misery. He said it was all very difficult to
understand, and I saw he didn't want to discuss it, so I didn't say any
more. I feel he knows something that we don't know, but what? He told me
that he knew on good authority that going into Convent doesn't mean she
takes the veil for five years. An R.C. who knows all about it had told
him. I suppose this is right? Do ask a priest. I have seen George once
or twice. I don't talk about it to him. In fact, the rules about nuns
is the only point that has been mentioned between us as I see he simply
can't talk about it. He looks ten years older.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



                                                          LONDON,
                                         _Monday, March_ 12_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

Thank you very much for your letter and for the detailed information. I
told George at once that you had confirmed what Godfrey had said, and he
was really relieved. But he doesn't yet look like a man who has had a
_reprieve_, only a respite.

I feel that he feels it is all over, but personally I shall go on
hoping.

Lady Jarvis is away.

I long to talk about it with her.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Sunday, August_ 19_th. Rosedale_.

I am staying with Lady Jarvis. There is no one here but myself and
Cunninghame. She told us she had heard from Mrs Housman, who has
finished her postulancy and received the novice's white veil.

She had seen her. She says she is quite certain that it is irrevocable
and that Mrs Housman will never change her mind now.

Cunninghame said he had hoped up till now this would not happen (though
he had always feared it might happen) and that Mrs Housman would think
better of it. He thought it very wrong and selfish and quite inexcusable
on the part of the Church authorities.

Lady Jarvis said it must appear so to him. She herself would have no
sympathy with a vocation such as this one must appear to be to the
world in general, and even to people who knew Mrs Housman well, like
Cunninghame and myself; so Mrs Housman's act had not surprised her.

"But," said Cunninghame, "do you approve of it?"

"The person concerned," said Lady Jarvis, "is the only judge in such a
matter. Nobody else has the right to judge. It's a sacred thing, and the
approval or disapproval of an outsider is I think simply impertinent."

We then talked of it no more. But in the afternoon I went out for a walk
with Lady Jarvis and she reverted to the question.

She said: "I hope you understand I'm so far from disapproving of Clare's
act. I understand it and approve of it; but I don't expect you or anyone
else to do the same."

I said she need not have told me that. I knew it already.

She then said: "Clare knew you would understand, even if you didn't
understand."

I said that was my exact position: "I did not understand, but I knew
there was something to understand, and that therefore she was right."



_Letter from Guy Cunninghame to Mrs Caryl_

                                                          LONDON,
                                        _Monday, August_ 10_th._

DEAREST ELSIE,

I have just come back from Rosedale. There is no one there except
Godfrey. Lady Jarvis told us that Mrs Housman has finished the first
period you told me about, and has taken the veil, though it isn't
irrevocable yet, but for all intents and purposes it is, as we are all
certain now that she will never leave the Convent. You know what I think
about it. I haven't changed my mind, but Lady Jarvis doesn't disapprove,
or is too loyal to say so.

George knows, he is going to Ireland with his sister.

I can't help thinking it is all a great, a wicked mistake, and I can't
help still thinking it _selfish_.

George talked about Mrs Housman, at least he just alluded to her having
become a nun, as if it were a fact and quite irrevocable. He said: "Once
the priests get hold of someone they will never let them go, and in this
case it was a regular conspiracy." But somehow or other this did not
seem to me to ring quite true, from _him_, and I felt he was using this
as a shield or a disguise or mask. I said so to Godfrey, but found it
impossible to get any response. He won't talk about it.

                              Yours,
                                                       G.



_From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor_


_Sunday, August_ 26_th. Carbis Bay Hotel_.

I have come down here to spend a week by myself. It is three years ago
since I came here for the first time to stay with Mr and Mrs Housman.

I hesitated about coming down here again, but I am now glad that I did
so.

I went to Father Stanway's church this morning and heard him preach. He
is a good preacher, clear and unaffected. He quoted two sayings which
struck me. One was about going away from earthly solace, and the other I
cannot remember well enough to transcribe, but I have written him a post
card asking who said them and where I could find them.

In the afternoon I went for a walk alone along the cliffs and passed the
place where we began _Les Misérables_. I am re-reading it, not where we
left off, but from the beginning.

_Monday, August_ 27_th_.

Father Stanway called this morning while I was out. He has left me the
quotations on a card.

They are both from Thomas à Kempis. One of them is this: "By so much the
more does a man draw nigh to God as he goes away from all earthly
solace." The other: "Whosoever is not ready to suffer all things and to
stand resigned to the will of his beloved is not worthy to be called a
lover."

_Tuesday, August_ 28_th_.

I have resolved to give up keeping this diary.





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