“Yes,” I thought, “you have learnt something to-day; it does not do, you see, hastily to despise those distant relatives of yours, who talk about pauperising and molly-coddling the lower classes. No, no! One must look deeper than that! One must have generosity!”
And with that I stopped the cab and got out for I wanted a breath of air. 1911
THE BLACK GODMOTHER
Sitting out on the lawn at tea with our friend and his retriever, we had been discussing those massacres of the helpless which had of late occurred, and wondering that they should have been committed by the soldiery of so civilised a State, when, in a momentary pause of our astonishment, our friend, who had been listening in silence, crumpling the drooping soft ear of his dog, looked up and said, “The cause of atrocities is generally the violence of Fear. Panic’s at the back of most crimes and follies.”
Knowing that his philosophical statements were always the result of concrete instance, and that he would not tell us what that instance was if we asked him—such being his nature—we were careful not to agree.
He gave us a look out of those eyes of his, so like the eyes of a mild eagle, and said abruptly: “What do you say to this, then?..... I was out in the dog-days last year with this fellow of mine, looking for Osmunda, and stayed some days in a village—never mind the name. Coming back one evening from my tramp, I saw some boys stoning a mealy-coloured dog. I went up and told the young devils to stop it. They only looked at me in the injured way boys do, and one of them called out, ‘It’s mad, guv’nor!’ I told them to clear off, and they took to their heels. The dog followed me. It was a young, leggy, mild looking mongrel, cross—I should say—between a brown retriever and an Irish terrier. There was froth about its lips, and its eyes were watery; it looked indeed as if it might