of English poetry; a passionate nature, too, for Harding would fight fiercely for his ideas, and his life had been lived in accordance with his beliefs. As the years advanced his imaginative writing had become perhaps a little didactic; his culture had become more noticeable—Owen laughed: it pleased him to caricature his friends—and he thought of the stream of culture which every hostess could turn on when Harding was her guest. The phrase pleased him: a stream of culture flowing down the white napery of every country house in England, for Harding travelled from one to another. Owen had seen him laying his plans at Nice, beginning his year as an old woman begins a stocking (setting up the stitches) by writing to Lady So-and-so, saying he was coming back to England at a certain time. Of course Lady So-and-so would ask him to stay with her. Then Harding would write to the nearest neighbour, saying, “I am staying with So-and-so for a week and shall be going on to the north the week after next—now would it be putting you to too much trouble if I were to spend the interval with you?” News of these visits would soon get about, and would suggest to another neighbour that she might ask him for a week. Harding would perhaps answer her that he could not come for a week, but if she would allow him to come for a fortnight he would be very glad because then he would be able to get on to Mrs.——. In a very short time January, February, March, and April would be allotted; and Owen imagined Harding walking under immemorial elms gladdened by great expanses of park and pleased in the contemplation of swards which had been rolled for at least a thousand years. “A castellated wall, a rampart, the remains of a moat, a turreted chamber must stir him as the heart of the war horse is said to be stirred by a trumpet. He demands a spire at least of his hostess; and names with a Saxon ring in them, names recalling deeds of Norman chivalry awaken remote sympathies, inherited perhaps; sonorous titles, though they be new ones, are better than plain Mr. and Mrs.; ‘ladyship’ and ‘lordship’ are always pleasing in his ears, and an elaborate escutcheon more beautiful than a rose. After all, why not admire the things of a thousand years ago as well as those of yesterday?” Owen continued to think of Harding’s admiration of the past. “It has nothing in common with the vulgar tuft-hunter, deeply interested in the peerage, anxious to get on. Harding’s admiration of the aristocracy is part of himself; it proceeds from hierarchical instinct and love of order. He sees life flowing down the ages, each class separate, each class dependent upon the other, a homogeneous whole, beautiful on account of the harmony of the different parts, each melody going different ways but contributing to the general harmony. He sees life as classes; tradition is the breath of his nostrils, symbol the delight of his eyes.” Owen’s thoughts divagated suddenly, and he thought of the pain Harding would experience were he suddenly flung into Bohemian society. He might find great talents there—but even genius would not compensate him for disorder and licence. The dinner might be excellent, but he would find no pleasure in it if the host wore a painting jacket; a spot of ink on the shirt cuff would extinguish his appetite, and a parlourmaid distress him, three footmen induce pleasant ease of thought.