“Now, listen, Sabre. Another man in my place would say he did not intend to be personal. I do intend to be personal. I always am personal. I say that this Garden Home is springing up about you and that you are not realising what is happening. This Garden Home is going to enshrine life as it should be lived. More. It is going to make life be lived as it should he lived. Some one said to me the other day—the Duchess of Wearmouth; I was staying at Wearmouth Castle—that the Garden Home is going to be a sanctuary. I said ‘Bah!’ like that—’Bah!’ I said, ’Every town, every city, every village is a sanctuary; and asleep in its sanctuary; and dead to life in its sanctuary; and dead to Christ in its sanctuary.’ I said, ’The Garden Home is not going to be a sanctuary, nor yet a sepulchre, nor yet a tomb. It is going to be a symbol, a signal, a shout.’ More ham.”
He paused, pushed his plate to one side more as if it had bitten him than as if he desired more ham to be placed upon it, and looked around the room before him, sulkily, and exercising his chin.
Sabre had a vision of dense crowds of bishops in lawn sleeves, duchesses in Gainsborough hats, and herds of intensely fashionable rank and file applauding vigorously. He could almost hear the applause. But how to deal with this man he never knew. He always felt he was about fourteen when Mr. Boom Bagshaw thus addressed him. He therefore said, “Great!” and Mabel murmured, “How splendid!”
But Sabre’s thought was—and it remained with him throughout the meal, acutely illustrated by the impressive monologues which Mr. Boom Bagshaw addressed to Mabel, and by her radiant responses—his thought was, “I simply can’t get on with this chap—or with any of Mabel’s crowd. They all make me feel like a kid. I can’t answer them when they talk. They say things I’ve got ideas about but I never can explain my ideas to them. I never can argue my ideas with them. They’ve all got convictions and I believe I haven’t any convictions. I’ve only got instincts and these convictions come down on instincts like a hammer on an egg.”
Mr. Boom Bagshaw was saying, “And we shall have no poor in the Garden Home. No ugly streets. No mean surroundings. Uplift. Everywhere uplift.”
There slipped out of Sabre aloud, “There you are. That’s the kind of thing.”
Mr. Boom Bagshaw, as if to disclose without fear precisely where he was, dismantled from between them the hedge of flowers which he had replaced and looked sulkily across. “What kind of thing?”
Sabre had a vision of himself advancing an egg for Mr. Bagshaw’s hammer. “About having no poor in the Garden Home. Isn’t there something about the poor being always with us?”
“Certainly there is.”
“In the Bible?”
“In the Bible. Do you know to whom it was addressed?”
Sabre admitted that he didn’t.