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of semi-slavery or expropriation or industrial exploitation of its subject peoples, will in future find itself turned in the opposite direction by the still greater and more searching worry of having to explain under cross examination, before the eyes of an unsympathetic commission representing fifty nations, why it has omitted to perform various duties to which it is pledged, and why it has done various discreditable things which it had solemnly promised not to do.
The world has not yet sounded or measured the immense power of mere publicity. I do not mean advertisement in newspapers; I mean the mere knowledge that your actions are to be known and discussed, and particularly that you will have to answer questions about them face to face with your questioner.
On the whole, I think it looks as if we were moving in the direction of realizing upon the earth something like the "one great city of gods and men." It will have, like other cities, its bad citizens as well as its good; but with the progress of knowledge, assisted by certain special lessons which have been lately learned at considerable cost, I think it will become within a measurable time almost impossible for a decent and intelligent statesman to profess absolute indifference to the welfare or suffering of other parts of the human race. To prove the point, one need only read the report of the recent International Financial Conference summoned at Brussels by the League of Nations, in which a number of bankers and business men and finan
cial experts from a large number of different nations lay down, from practical reasons, a theory of international duty and a scheme of international coöperation which ten years ago would have been thought extreme and almost fantastic in a club of radical idealists. I think we shall achieve some approach to the "one great city": that is, I think that some consciousness of ultimate solidarity among the peoples of the earth has really begun to penetrate the minds of ordinary practical politicians; and, secondly, that a sense of the moral duty of the strong and advanced nations to help the weak and backward, instead of being confined to disconnected groups of unimportant people in various countries, is now definitely and comprehensively recognized in a great public treaty to which all the most interested governments have attached their signatures, and will be regularly supported and asserted by the greatest existing organ of international opinion.
Let us not look to force. Force is against us, and there is no sillier spectacle than the sight of the weak appealing to force against the strong. We have no force. We have only the power of putting facts and questions before the public opinion of the world. Then the world-that is to say, chiefly, the electorates of the great nations-will be able to say whether they wish their governments to do justly or unjustly, to be worldplunderers or world-builders, whether all mankind are to be citizens of the "one great city," or whether some are still animals, feræ naturæ, which may legitimately be hunted for their skins.
"The Crystal Heart"
By PHYLLIS BOTTOME
Illustrations by Norman Price
Love was born on a May morn,
But he died
An eventide in June.
-E. H. COLERIDGE.
MRS. FEATHERSTONE had called her Joy because she came into the world with the barest whimper, and seemed subsequently to be so contented with her arrival,
She liked all the things that babies usually like, warmth and her mother's breast, the feel of responsible fingers and safe knees. But she liked also, from the first, the hazard and strangeness of baths, the hard, bright rims of basins, the loneliness of her deep cot, and the clutch of her helpless fingers upon naked air. Nobody needed to provide Joy with a dummy or a coral ring. Behind her very large blue eyes lay secrets of incommunicable mirth.
Elder sisters might nurse her with the awkward handling of awe, presumptuous brothers might toss her toward the ceiling with the impunity of ignorance, she might be left alone for hours to crawl all over the vast expanses of the nursery floor, and when a remorseful nurse hurried upstairs, after an inordinate tea, to see what had happened to baby, Joy would still be found smiling unexactingly at the universe.
Earth and air were alike to Joy, a friendly playground; and human beings, even her father with his irritating beard, born to be her play-fellows. For all the animal creation she had an ecstatic and unhesitating ardor. At two years old the highest form of human pleasure known to her was being hurled upon a gravel path by an Airedale and having her fur bonnet amicably worried. Reinforced by a biblical picture in the nursery, her love of lambs became a mania. At three years old she was accused of blasphemy because she persisted in stating to an elder sister that she had found the Lamb of God in the field below the garden.
She was discovered at the same early age following the local shepherd and his flock, trailing faint, but eager, in the dusty rear of the sheep, two miles from home, under a pink sunbonnet, fully convinced that she had found the Good Shepherd, and was approaching paradise. The shepherd apologized profusely for this involuntary abduction, but averred that he could n't call her "off it," she was "that set."
Even at three years old Joy was a difficult baby to convince of sin. Her visions shook reality out of her head, and made her deal elastically with circumstance. All the little Featherstones (there were nine of them) were plucky. They had been taught by
their mother never to tell lies and not to cry when they were hurt, but usually they had some sense of the inimical in things and people. If a hand had been
Joy had none. raised against her, she would have grasped it confidingly; nor was there any enmity set between her and a serpent.
Day after day, unknown to the entire household, she visited a vicious horse in the stables. She had heard her father say it was "a dangerous brute," and she knew he meant something not very nice by "brute," but she did not know what he meant by "dangerous." It hurt Joy to think that so noble a creature as a horse should be called something that did not sound quite nice. She was afraid that Skylark might have overheard the criticism and taken it to heart. She had to stand on a wooden box to reach up to the handle of the loosebox, but she opened the door very carefully, so as not to startle Skylark, who stood looking down at her with all the whites of his vicious eyes rolling, his teeth bared, and his ears plastered flat against his wicked head. He had not quite made up his mind what he was going to do to her.
Joy stood quietly under his nose, holding an apple out on a flat hand, and murmuring affectionate and unveracious praises of his nature.
Skylark's great nostrils dilated nervously above her, and then he moved to one side to give the little figure room, dropped his velvet nose down to her hand, and took his apple. It cannot be said that a fruit diet altered Skylark's unpleasant disposition, but he never betrayed his temper to Joy.
What she took him to be he was as far as she was concerned until Mr.
Featherstone succeeded in selling him to a friend.
After Skylark's departure Joy tried to content herself with the stable cat, a creature of nomad habits and without natural affections. The stable cat had lost an ear, her frequent families vanished like the dawn, and she had no charm for any one but Joy. Joy was heard murmuring softly over her as she tried to claw her way out of the child's sheltering arms: "You must n't mind not being a dog, dear Kitty, nor even an inside cat. I love you much the best, and I spect God does. You see, it's so kind of you to be a stable cat."
The dogs (the entire household of dogs, ranging between eight and ten, and not counting Mr. Featherstone's two retrievers, who were not allowed indoors) worshiped the ground Joy walked on. They belonged to the other children (Joy was seldom the legal possessor of anything), but they served Joy first in the spirit. When she came dancing out on the lawn, they let the nine points of the law escape, and danced with her. Joy always danced. She danced on the tips of her toes when she was angry, and she danced like an unflurried bird when she was glad.
What she did when she was sad was never known; there was no apparent pause between her ecstasies. She grew a little wistful sometimes over the sharp nursery feuds which raged above her devoted head, or she could take a violent tooth-and-claw part in them when roused; but nothing baffled for long her sense of life's enchantments.
She set the multiplication table to a tune, and when she was given dry bread and water for a punishment, she
turned it into a fairy-story, and asked if she might have it every night for a treat. Joy was not a naughty child, but life did not have the same horizons for her as it had for the other children; her horizons were farther away and more luminous.
They were all children of the same parents, but they called themselves the "first" and "second" families on account of a prolonged break in their ages. Margaret, Paul, James, and Walter were all old, and vanished into the world rapidly, with infrequent and romantic returns. Joy and Maude, Archie and Rosemary, were comparatively young and had an air of per
Rosemary was so young that she was like Joy's own child. Joy was nine when Rosemary was born, and in an instant her passion for puppies, kittens, dolls, and even waterfalls sank into insignificance. Joy loved everything and everybody still, but she knew, when she gazed down at this unexpected visitant, pinched, a little yellow, with a whining cry and a rather more unstable neck than most babies, that she could never love anything so much again.
Maude was Joy's companion sister, -there was barely a year between them, and they did everything together; but Maude was n't like a newborn baby. On the contrary, she often seemed older and wiser than Joy. She knew more about the world and how to act in it, and she was n't at all easily dazzled by its charms. The likeness between the sisters was very strong, but all Joy's features that ought to be small were smaller, and all her features that ought to be large were larger, than Maude's. Her coloring was delicately, firmly
pink, whereas Maude's coloring in moments of excitement or emotion turned to mauve.
Maude deeply resented these differences, but she was relieved to find, as she grew older, that she usually got what she wanted, whereas Joy, tentative and never on the lookout for possession, made few acquisitions, and could usually be induced to part easily with those that she had.
Mr. and Mrs. Featherstone seldom interfered with their children and lived a long way off. There were three flights of stairs between the nursery and the drawing-room, and there was a great gulf fixed between middle-aged Victorian imaginations and those of their offspring.
Mrs. Featherstone was still a very handsome woman, and her husband had been exceptionally good-looking when he was young. Unfortunately, he had not worn well. Life had picked out his weaknesses and had set them on his face. He was not a strong character, and he reinforced his decisions by a spirit of petty tyranny. He was not a reasonable man, and he had a good many principles, which he fell back upon for defense when his intellect failed him. This is apt to be an aggravating quality in family life, especially when the principles are said to be religious; and it must be confessed that Mr. Featherstone irritated his family exceedingly. When they got the better of him intellectually, he laid them out morally, and put an edge to their exasperation by applying penalties. applying penalties. He had not so strong a nature as his wife, and he never forgave her for finding it out.
Mrs. Featherstone was a tolerant, quiet woman with a dreadful courage and a merciless sense of humor.
was not the wife for a weak, vain man who wanted to pose as master in his own house. She let him pose, but he knew that she saw through his pose.
Mrs. Featherstone never laughed at him out loud, and she never gave him away to any one else, not even to her children. She belonged to a generation of women who kept married unhappiness to themselves and did not think it a matter of great importance.
Mrs. Featherstone loved the country, the moors, which stretched for miles behind the house, and the sea, which lay beneath the cliffs in front of it, with passion. She loved her children with indulgence and common sense, and she did not love her husband at all. Yet she no more dreamed of giving him up than she dreamed of giving up Rock Lodge because it faced north and the kitchen range was extremely inconvenient.
She never failed Mr. Featherstone in any of the duties of a wife, and as a housekeeper she was faultless. Mrs. Featherstone had never been very intimate even with her children, but they all adored her and took from her their cue to life. She had no favorites; that is to say, no one discovered which was her favorite. She did not punish easily, and she never praised.
She visited the nursery at breakfasttime, kissing each child once, satisfied herself that they were clean, healthy, and without real grievances, and did not see them again until after nursery tea, when she had them down-stairs with her till bed-time. If there were visitors, the children played by themselves with drawing-room toys on the floor, and if they were alone, Mrs. Featherstone read out loud to them in a musical voice, and with a singu
larly perfect diction, Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, and Tennyson's poetry.
She never allowed any of her children to tell tales, or to boast of anything they could do or possessed. The most awful thing she could say, because they knew how very much she meant it, was, "You are not behaving like a well-bred child." Nevertheless, in moments of real grief all the children knew they could safely turn to their mother. She did not underestimate youthful disaster.
When the stable cat died (to be accurate, she came by her death through having given undue provocation to Archie's new bull-terrier) and Mrs. Featherstone found Joy lying prostrate beside her, having tried, without advantage, stretching herself over Eliza's mangled form seven times, according to the familiar example of the prophet Elijah when raising the widow's only son, Mrs. Featherstone knew that no light comfort would suffice.
Joy was confronted by death for the first time, and the universe reeled under the shock of her discovery.
Mrs. Featherstone took Joy into her arms and set to work to rob the grave of its victory.
"Poor Eliza," she said soothingly, "will never feel pain any more."
"She can't lap milk," wailed Joy. "Why can't Eliza lap milk? I 've tried, oh, I 've tried so hard to raise her! I've asked God till I 'm sick of Him. I don't believe He's there. I don't believe a kind God would make a cat go stiff for nothing."
Mrs. Featherstone's mind raced hurriedly over the possible alternatives to this problem and rejected all the more plausible ones.
"I'm afraid," she said gently, "it