It was a bold prophecy, but it contains the root of the whole matter. Only where there is community of heart and thought is national or personal life possible in any worthy sense. Unless that community exists between the various nationalities within an Empire, we may be sure the Empire is moribund. It is dying, as Napoleon said, of indigestion, and that other community of the world which is slowly taking shape among free and reasonable peoples will demand its dissolution. Our hope is that the other community will further proceed to demand that these disastrous experiments in the overthrow and subjection of free nationalities shall no longer be tolerated by the combined forces of liberty.
BLACK AND WHITE
One night Mr. Clarkson, of the Education Office, was rather late in leaving the Savile Club. He always makes a point of selecting the best articles in the Nineteenth Century, the Fortnightly, and the Contemporary on the first Monday of every month, and, owing to a suspension of political activity in the House of Commons, he had lately spent more time than usual over the daily papers as well, since they could now afford greater space for subjects of interest. He noticed with some regret that it was half-past eleven as he came up Piccadilly and admired, as he never failed to admire, that urbane aspect of nature’s charm presented by the Green Park.
It was late, but the evening was cool and dry. He wished to follow up a train of thought suggested by the question: “Should Aristotle be left out?” but, to preserve his mind from exclusiveness, he now and then considered it advantageous to plunge into what he called the full tide of humanity at Charing Cross. So that night, instead of making his way by the shortest route to his rooms in Westminster, he strolled, with a pleasurable sense of sympathetic abandonment, through the usual crowds that were hurrying home from theatres or supper-room.
But he soon perceived that all the crowds were not usual. Some were not hurrying; they were stationary. They were nearly all men, unrelieved by that subdued feminine radiance which Mr. Clarkson so much valued in the colour scheme of London. They were mainly silent. They appeared to be waiting for something.
“Is the King returning from the Opera?” he asked a policeman near King Charles’s statue. But the policeman regarded him with a silent pity so profound that he suddenly remembered a King’s recent death and the mourning in which the country was still partially immersed. No, it could not be royalty, and, feeling for the first time like a stranger in the centre of existence, Mr. Clarkson hurriedly crossed the road.