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Breaking The Spell Breaking The Spell

Breaking The Spell
APRIL 8, 1921. My seat by the Serpentine was under a small and almost impalpable cloud of almond petals. The babbling of ducks somewhere in the place where the water seemed a pale and wavering fire was like the sound of the upwelling of the hidden spring of life. This was the spot where I could sit and there quietly match the darker shades of trouble in the afternoon papers, the time being April in England, and the sky ineffable. There was not a trace of mourning in the sky; not a black-edged cloud. But human life, being an urgent and... Essays - Post by : sgp100 - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 2710

Barbellion Barbellion

Barbellion
DECEMBER 18, 1920. When posterity feels curious to discover what may have caused the disaster to our community it will get a little light from the merry confessions of our contemporary great folk. Let it read Colonel Repington's Diary, Mrs. Asquith's book, and the memoirs of General French. The general, of course, implies that he was so puzzled by the neutrality of time and space, and by the fact that the treacherous enemy was in trenches and used big guns. Our descendants may learn from these innocent revelations what quality of knowledge and temper, to be found only in a superior... Essays - Post by : NicheProf - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 2470

A Devon Estuary A Devon Estuary

A Devon Estuary
SEPTEMBER 11, 1920. "This dreary expanse," the guide-book explains, "will not attract the tourist." The guide was right. I was alone to that degree beyond mere solitude when you feel you are not alone, but that the place itself is observing you. Yet only five miles away long lines of motor-cars were waiting to take tourists, at ruinous prices, to the authentic and admitted beauty spots. There was not, as the polite convention would put it, a soul about. It was certainly a dreary expanse, but the sunlight there seemed strangely brilliant, I thought, and, what was more curious, appeared to... Essays - Post by : George_Flm - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 1978

Kipling Kipling

Kipling
JUNE 5, 1920. One day, when I did not know Kipling's name, I found in a cabin of a ship from Rangoon two paper-covered books, with a Calcutta imprint, smelling of something, whatever it was, that did not exist in England. The books were Plain Tales from the Hills and Soldiers Three. It was high summer, and in that cabin of a ship in the Albert Dock, with its mixed odour of tea, teak, and cheroots, I read through all. The force in those stories went nearer to capturing me completely than anything I have read since. I can believe now... Essays - Post by : Funky - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 2128

An Old Lloyd's Register An Old Lloyd's Register

An Old Lloyd's Register
With the sensation that I had survived into a strange and a hostile era that had nothing to do with me, for its affairs were not mine, I was inside a submarine, during the War, talking to her commander. He was unravelling for me the shining complexity of his "box of tricks," as he called his ship. He was sardonic (there was no doubt he was master of the brute he so lightly villified), and he was blithe, and he illustrated his scientific monologue with stories of his own experiences in the Heligoland Bight. These, to me, were... Essays - Post by : trippin73 - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 4537

The South Downs The South Downs

The South Downs
MAY 22, 1920. The southern face of the hill fell, an abrupt promontory, to the woods of the plain. Its face was scored by the weather, and the dry drainage channels were headlong cascades of grey pebbles. Clumps of heather, sparse oak scrub with young leaves of bronze, contorted birch, and this year's croziers of the bracken (heaven knows their secret for getting lush aromatic sap out of such stony poverty), all made a tough life which held up the hill, steep as it was; though the hill was going, for the roots of some of the oaks were exposed, empty... Essays - Post by : 100kplus - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 1190

Off-shore Off-shore

Off-shore
For weeks our London days had been handmade with gas and oil. It was a winter of the kind when the heaven of the capital is a brown obscurity not much above the highest reached by the churches, and a December more years before the War then it would be amusing to count. There was enough of the sun in that morning to light my way down Mark Lane, across Great Tower Street to Billingsgate. I was on my way to sea for the first time, but that fortune was as incredible to me as the daylight.... Essays - Post by : username13 - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 1487

Literary Critics Literary Critics

Literary Critics
MARCH 27, 1920. The last number of the Chapbook, containing "Three Critical Essays on Modern English Poetry," by three well-known critics of literature, I read with suspiciously eager attention, for I will confess that I have no handy rule, not one that I can describe, which can be run over new work in poetry or prose with unfailing confidence. My credentials as a literary critic would not, I fear, bear five minutes' scrutiny; but I never cease to look for that defined and adequate equipment, such as even a carpenter calls his tool-chest, full of cryptic instruments, each designed for some... Essays - Post by : mwn61 - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 1979

In A Coffee-shop In A Coffee-shop

In A Coffee-shop
With a day of rain, Dockland is set in its appropriate element. It does not then look better than before, but it looks what it is. Not sudden April showers are meant, sparkling and revivifying, but a drizzle, thin and eternal, as if the rain were no more than the shadow cast by a sky as unchanging as poverty. When real night comes, then the street lamps dissolve ochreous hollows in the murk. It was such a day as that; it was not night, for the street lamps were not alight. There was no sound. The... Essays - Post by : John_Culotta - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 2743

The Real Thing The Real Thing

The Real Thing
JANUARY 9, 1920. There was a country town of which we heard wonderful tales as children. But it was as far as Cathay. It had many of the qualities that once made Cathay desirable and almost unbelievable. We heard of it at the time when we heard of the cities of Vanity Fair and Baghdad, and all from a man with a beard, who once sat by a London fire, just before bedtime, smoking a pipe and telling those who were below him on the rug about the past, and of more fortunate times, and of cities that were fair and... Essays - Post by : Gary_West - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 2992

The Illusion The Illusion

The Illusion
When I came to the house in Malabar Street to which John Williams, master mariner, had retired from the sea, his wife was at her front gate. It was evening, and from the distant River a steamer called. Mrs. Williams did not see me, for her grey head was turned away. She was watching, a little down the street, an officer of the Merchant Service, with his cap set like a challenge, for he was very young, and a demure girl with a market-basket who was with him. They were standing in amused perplexity before their house door.... Essays - Post by : J_Williams - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 2722

Great Statesmen Great Statesmen

Great Statesmen
MAY, 31, 1919. What is wrong with our statesmen? I think the answer is simple. Success in a political career can be understood by all of us. It attracts the attention which applauds the owner of a Derby winner, or the Bishop who began as a poor, industrious, but tactful child. John the Baptist failed to attract the publicity he desired; and Christ drew it as a criminal, for the religious and political leaders of his day recognized what his teaching would lead to as easily as would any magistrate to-day who had before him a carpenter accused of persuading soldiers... Essays - Post by : pagelockprocom - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 1397

Not In The Almanac Not In The Almanac

Not In The Almanac
It was an unlucky Friday morning; "and, what's more," the chief officer stopped on the gangway to call down to me on the quay, "a black cat crossed my path when I left home this morning, and a very nice black cat it was." The gangway was hauled up. The tugs began to move the big steamer away from us, a process so slow that the daylight between us and the ship increased imperceptibly. On my way home I paused by the shop which sells such antiques as old spring mattresses, china dogs, portable baths, dumb-bells, and even the... Essays - Post by : aparent - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 1868

The Reward Of Virtue The Reward Of Virtue

The Reward Of Virtue
MAY 9, 1919. The Treaty of Peace is published. Compared with what the innocent in 1915 called the "objects of the War," this treaty is as the aims of Captain Morgan's ruffians to those of the Twelve Apostles. The truth is, some time ago the Versailles drama fell to the level of an overworked newspaper story which shrewd editors saw was past its day. Those headlines, Humiliate the Hun, Hang the Kaiser, and Make Germany Pay, had become no more interesting than a copy of last week's Morning Mischief in a horse-pond. The subject was old and wet. Because five months... Essays - Post by : 2paul2 - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 1591

The Ship-runners The Ship-runners

The Ship-runners
The Negro Boy tavern is known by few people in its own parish, for it is a house with nothing about it to distinguish its fame to those who do not know that a man may say to his friend, when their ships go different ways out of Callao, "I may meet you at the Negro Boy some day." It is in a road which returns to the same point, or near to it, after a fatiguing circuit of the Isle of Dogs. No part of the road is better than the rest. It is merely a long... Essays - Post by : rich_55 - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 1955

Ruskin Ruskin

Ruskin
APRIL 19, 1919. Some good people have been celebrating Ruskin, whose centenary it is. And to-day a little friend of mine left her school books so that I might wonder what they were when I saw them on my table. One of them was The Crown of Wild Olive. It put me in a reminiscent mood. I looked at Ruskin's works on my shelves, and tried to recall how long it was since they interested me. Nevertheless, I would not part with them. In my youth Ruskin's works were only for the wealthy, and I remember that my purchase of those... Essays - Post by : a-b-b-o - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 2415

The Master (of A Ship) The Master (of A Ship)

The Master (of A Ship)
This master of a ship I remember first as a slim lad, with a shy smile, and large hands that were lonely beyond his outgrown reefer jacket. His cap was always too small for him, and the soiled frontal badge of his line became a coloured button beyond his forelock. He used to come home occasionally--and it was always when we were on the point of forgetting him altogether. He came with a huge bolster in a cab, as though out of the past and nowhere. There is a tradition, a book tradition, that the boy apprenticed to... Essays - Post by : 64616 - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 2273

Old Sunlight Old Sunlight

Old Sunlight
APRIL 5, 1919. I find the first signs of this spring, now the War is over, almost unbelievable. I have watched this advent with astonishment, as though it were a phantom. The feeling is the same as when waking from an ugly dream, and seeing in doubt the familiar objects in a morning light. They seem steadfast. Are they real, or is the dream? The morning works slowly through the mind to take the place of the night. Its brightness and tranquillity do not seem right. And is it not surprising to find the spring has come again to this world?... Essays - Post by : pkahan - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 1461

The Heart's Desire The Heart's Desire

The Heart's Desire
If the evening was one of those which seem longer than usual but still have far to go, it was once a custom in Millwall to find a pair of boots of which it could be claimed that it was time they were mended, and to carry the artful parcel around to Mr. Pascoe. His cobbler's shop was in a street that had the look of having retired from the hurry and press of London, aged, dispirited, and indifferent even to its defeat, and of waiting vacantly for what must come to elderly and shabby despondence. Each grey house... Essays - Post by : 4easypr - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 1880

Economics Economics

Economics
MARCH 22, 1919. There is an astonishing number of books on what is called Reconstruction in the new publications of this spring. Reconstruction seems to be as easy as conscription or destruction. We have only to change our mind, and there we are, as though nothing had happened. It is the greatest wonder of the human brain that its own accommodating ratiocination never affords it any amusement. We use reason only to make convincing disguises for our desires and appetites. Perhaps it is fear of the wrath to come that is partly responsible for the clamour of the economists and sociologists... Essays - Post by : scooby001 - Date : October 2011 - Author : Henry Major Tomlinson - Read : 3558