HERMIONE AND HER LITTLE GROUP OF SERIOUS THINKERS
BY DON MARQUIS
PROEM Introducing Some of Hermione's Friends
Sincerity in the Home
Aren't the Russians Wonderful?
How Suffering Purifies One!
Understanding and One's Own Home
Thoughts of Heredity and Things
The Swami Brandranath
Fothergil Finch, the Poet of Revolt
How the Swami Happened to Have Seven Wives
The Romantic Old Days
Hermione's Boswell Explains
Symbols and Dew-Hopping
The Song of the Snore
Ballads of Understanding
Hermione on Fashions and War
Urges and Dogs
Moods and Poppies
Hermione Takes up Literature
The World Is Getting Better
War and Art
A Spiritual Dialogue
Will the Best People Receive the Superman Socially?
The Parasite Woman Must Go!
The House Beautiful
Mamma Is So Mid-Victorian
Voke Easely and His New Art
Hermione on Superficiality
Isis, the Astrologist
The Simple Home Festivals
Citronella and Stegomyia
Hermione's Salon Opens (Verse)
The Perfume Factory
On Being Other-Worldly
Parents, and Their Influence
Fothergil Finch Tell of His Revolt Against Organized Society
The Exotic and the Unemployed
Souls and Toes
Kultur and Things
The Spirit of Christmas
Poor Dear Mamma and Fothergil Finch
Prison Reform and Poise
An Example of Psychic Power
Some Beautiful Thoughts
The Bourgeois Element and Background
Taking Up the Liquor Problem
The Japanese are Wonderful, If You Get What I Mean
She Refuses to Give UP the Cosmos
The Cave Man
The Little Group Gives a Pagan Masque
Blouses, Bulgars, and Buttermilk
Hermione on Psychical Research
Envoy Hermione the Deathless
(Introducing some of Hermione's Friends)
I visited one night, of late,
Thoughts Underworld, the Brainstorm Slum,
The land of Futile Piffledom;
A salon weird where congregate
Freak, Nut and Bug and Psychic Bum.
There, there, they sit and cerebrate:
The fervid Pote who never potes,
Great Artists, Male or She, that Talk
But scorn the Pigment and the chalk,
And Cubist sculptors wild as Goats,
Theosophists and Swamis, too,
Musicians mad as Hatters be
(E'en puzzled Hatters, two or three!)
Tame anarchists, a dreary crew,
Squib Socialists too damp to sosh,
Fake Hobohemians steeped in suds,
Glib females in Artistic Duds
With Captive Husbands cowed and gauche.
I saw some Soul Mates side by side
Who said their cute young Souls were pink;
I saw a Genius on the Brink
(Or so he said) of suicide.
I saw a Playwright who had tried
But couldn't make the Public think;
I saw a novelist who cried,
Reading his own Stuff, in his drink;
I saw a vapid egg-eyed Gink
Who said eight times: "Art is my bride!"
A queen in sandals slammed the Pans
And screamed a Chinese chant at us,
the while a Hippopotamus
Shook tables, book-shelves and divans
With vast Terpsichorean fuss . . .
Some Oriental kind of muss . . . .
A rat-faced Idiot Boy who slimes
White paper o'er with metric crimes
He is a kind of Burbling Blear
Who warbles Sex Slush sad to hear
And mocks God in his stolen rhymes
and wears a ruby in one ear
Murder to me: "My Golden Soul
Drinks Song from out a Crystal Bowl. . . .
Drinks Love and Song . . . my Golden Soul!"
I let him live. There were no bricks.
Or even now that Golden Soul
were treading water in the Styx.
A Pallid Skirt Anemic Wisp,
As bloodless as a stick of chalk
Got busy with this line of talk:
"The Sinner is Misunderstood!
How can the Spirit enter in,
Be blended with, the Truly Good
Unless through Sympathy with Sin?"
"Phryne," I murmured, sad and low,
"I pass the BuckI do not know!"
Upon a mantel sat a Bust. . . .
Some Hindu god, pug-faced and squat;
A visage to inspire disgust. . . .
Lord Bilk, the Deity of Rot. . . .
Nay, surely, 'twas the great god Bunk,
For when I wunk at it, it wunk!
I heard . . . I heard it proved that night
That Fire is Cold, and Black is White,
That Junk is Art, and Art is Junk,
That Virtue's wrong, and Vice is right,
That Death is Life, and Life is Death,
That Breath is Rocks, and Rocks are Breath:
The Cheap and easy paradox
The Food springs, hoping that it shocks. . . .
Brain-sick I stumbled to the street
And drooled onto a kindly Cop:
"Since moons have feathers on their feet,
Why is your headgear perched on top?
And if you scorn the Commonplace,
Why wear a Nose upon your Face?
And since Pythagoras is mute
on Sex Hygiene and Cosmic Law,
Is your Blonde Beast as Bland a Brute,
As Blind a Brute, as Bernard Shaw?
No doubt, when drilling through the parks,
With Ibsen's Ghost and Old Doc Marx,
You've often seen two Golden Souls
Drink Suds and Sobs from Crystal Bowls?"
"I ain't," he says, "I ain't, Old Kid,
And I would pinch 'em if I did!"
"Thank God," I said, "for this, at least:
The world, in spots, is well policed!"
SINCERITY IN THE HOME
SINCERITY should be the keynote of a life,
don't you think?
Sincerity beauty use these are my
I heard such an interesting talk on sincerity the
other evening. I belong to a Little Group of Serious
Thinkers who are taking up sincerity in all its
phases this week.
We discussed Sincerity in the Home.
So many people's homes, you know, do not
represent anything personal.
The SINCERE home should be full of purpose and
personality decorations, rugs, ornaments, hangings
and all, you know.
The home shows the soul.
So I'm doing over our house from top to bottom,
putting personality into it.
I've a room I call the Ancestor's Room.
You know, when one has ancestors, one's ancestral
traditions keep one up to the mark, somehow.
You know what I mean blood will tell, and all that.
Ancestors help one to be sincere.
So I've finished my Ancestors' Room with all
sorts of things to remind me of the dear dead-and-gone
people I get my traditions from.
Heirlooms and portraits and things, you know.
Of course, all our own family heirlooms were
destroyed in a fire years ago.
So I had to go to the antique shops for the portraits
and furniture and chairs and snuff boxes and
swords and fire irons and things.
I bought the loveliest old spinet truly, a fine!
I can sit down to it and image I am my own
grandmother's grandmother, you know.
And it's wonderful to sit among those old heir-
looms and feel the sense of my ancestors'
personalities throbbing and pulsing all about me!
I feel, when I sit at the spinet, that my personality
is truly represented by my surroundings at last.
I feel that I have at last achieved sincerity in the
midst of my traditions.
And there's a picture of the loveliest old lady . . .
old fashioned costume, you know, and all that . . .
and the hair dressed in a very peculiar way. . . .
Mamma says its a MADE-UP picture not really
an antique at all but I can just feel the personality
vibrating from it.
I got it at a bargain, too.
I call her the picture, you know after an
ancestress of mine who came to this country in the
old Colonial days.
With William the Conqueror, you know or
maybe it was William Penn. But it couldn't have
been William Penn, could it? For she went to New
Jersey Orange, N.J. Was it William of Orange?
More than likely . . .
Anyhow, I call the picture after her Lady Clarissa,
I call it. She married a commoner, as so
many of the early settlers of this country did.
When I sit at the spinet and look at Lady Clarissa
I often wonder what people do without family
And its such a comfort to know I'm in a room
that really represents my personality.
Have you thought much about Vibrations?
We're taking them up this week a Little
Group of Advanced Thinkers I belong
to, you know and they're wonderfully worth
while WONDERFULLY so!
That's what I always ask myself is a thing
WORTH WHILE? Or isn't it?
Vibrations are the key to everything. Atoms
used to be, but Atoms have quite gone out.
The thing that makes the new dances so wonder-
fully beneficial, you know, is that they give you
To an untrained mind, of course, Vibrations
would be dangerous.
But I always feel that the right sort of mind will
get good out of everything, and the wrong sort will
The most interesting woman talked to us the
other night to our little group, you know on one-
piece bathing suits and the Greek spirit.
Don't you just done on the Greeks?
They have some of the most MODERN ideas it
seems we get a lot of our advanced thought from
them, if you get what I mean.
They were so UNRESTRICTED, too. One has only
to look at their friezes and vases and things to
And the one-piece bathing suit, so the woman
said, was an unconscious modern effort to get back
to the Greek spirit.
She had a husband with her. He does lecture
or anything, you know.
But she isn't so very Greek-looking herself, al-
though her spirit is so Greek, so she has this Greek-
looking husband to wear the sandals and the tunics
and the togas and things.
She calls him Achilles.
It's quite proper, you know Achilles stays be-
hind a screen until she wants to illustrate a
point, and then he comes out with a lyre or a lute
or something, and just stands there and LOOKS Greek. And
then he goes back behind the screen and changes
into the next garment she needs.
Of course, there are lots of men couldn't stand
it as well as Achilles. But when you come to that,
there are lots of men who don't look so very well
in bathing suits, either.
And, of course, our American men don't have
the temperament to carry off a thing like that.
Of course, if we all turned Greek it would be
quite a shock at first to see everybody come
into a dining-room or a drawing-room looking like
Not that temperament makes so much difference
as it did a few years ago, you know temperament
and personality are going out and individuality is
Have you thought much about automatic writing?
It's being taken up again, you know.
Not the vulgar, old-fashioned kind of
spiritualism that was so ordinary, wasn't it?
The new ghosts are different. More more
well, more REFINED, somehow, you know. Like the
new dances as compared with that horrid turkey trot.
One should always ask one's self: "Does this
have a refining influence on me; and through me on
For, after all, there is a duty one owes to society
Have you seen the new sunshades?
AREN'T THE RUSSIANS WONDERFUL?
Aren't the Russians marvelous people!
We're been taking up Diaghileff in a serious
way our little group, you know and
really, he's wonderful!
Who else but Diaghileff could give those lovely
Russians things the proper accent?
And accent if you know what I mean accent
Accent! Accent! What would art be without
Accent is coming in if you get what I mean
and what they call "punch" is going out. I always
thought it was a frightfully vulgar sort of thing,
The thing I love about the Russians is their
You know there's an old saying that if you find
a Russian you catch a Tartar . . . or something
I'm sure that is wrong. . . . I get so MIXED on
quotations. But I always know where I can find
them, if you know what I mean.
But the Russian verve isn't Oriental, is it?
Don't you just dote on verve?
That's what makes Bakst so fascinating, don't
you think? his verve
Though they do say that the Russian operas
don't analyze as well as the German or Italian
ones if you get what I mean.
Though for that matter, who analyzes them?
One may not know how to analyze an operate, and
yet one may know what one likes!
I suppose there will be a frightful lot of imitations
of Russian music and ballet now. Don't you
just hate imitators?
One finds it everywhere imitation! It's the sincerest
flattery, they say. But that doesn't excuse it,
do you think?
There's a girl one of my friends, she says she
is who is trying to imitate me. My expressions,
you know, and the way I walk and talk,
and all that sort of thing.
She gets some of my superficial mannerisms . . .
but she can't quite do my things as if they were her
own, you know . . . there is where the accent
comes in again!
HOW SUFFERING PURIFIES ONE!
Oh, to go through fire and come out purified!
Suffering is wonderful, isn't it? Simply WONDERFUL!
The loveliest man talked to us the other night
to our Little Group of Serious Thinkers, you know
about social ideals and suffering.
The reason so many attempts to improve things
fail, you know, is because the people who try them
out haven't suffered personally.
He had the loveliest eyes, this man.
He made me thin. I said to myself, "After all,
have I suffered? Have I been purified by fire?"
And I decided that I had that is spiritually,
The suffering the spiritual suffering that I
undergo through being misunderstood is something FRIGHTFUL!
Mamma discourages every Cause I take up. So does Papa.
I get no sympathy in my devotion to my ideals.
And from a child I have had such a high-strung,
sensitive nervous organization that opposition of
any sort has made me ill.
There are some temperaments like that.
Once when I was quite small and Mamma
threatened to spank me, I had convulsions.
And nothing but opposition, opposition,
Only we advanced thinkers know what it is to
suffer! To go through fire for our ideals!
And what is physical suffering by the side of
I so often think of that when I am engaged in
sociological work. Only the other night it was
raining and chilly, you know some of us went
down in the auto to one of the missions and looked
at the sufferers who were being cared for.
And the thought came to me all of a sudden:
"Yes, physical suffering may be relieved but what
is there to relieve spiritual suffering like mine?"
Though, of course, it improves one.
I think it is beginning to show in my eyes.
I looked at them for nearly two hours in the
mirror last evening, trying to be quite certain.
And, you know, there's a kind of look in them
that's never been there until recently. A kind of
Well, it's an INTANGIBLE look, if you get what I mean.
Not exactly the HUNGRY look, more of a YEARNING look!
Thank heaven, though, I can control it one
should always be captain of one's soul, shouldn't
I hide it at times. Because one must hide one's
suffering from the world, mustn't one?
But at other times I let it show.
And, really, with practice, I think I am going
to manage it so that I can turn it off and on if
you get what I mean almost at will.
Because, you know, in certain costumes that look
will be QUITE unbecoming.
Quite out of Harmony. And Inner Beauty only
comes through Inner Harmony, doesn't it?
Harmony! Harmony! Oh, to be in accord with
Nearly every night before I go to bed I ask myself,
"have I vibrated in tune with the Infinite today,
or have I failed?"
UNDERSTANDING, AND ONE'S OWN HOME
It's TERRIBLE when one can't get understanding
in one's own family!
Papa has very little real sympathy for my
advanced ideas. And as for Mamma!
Sometimes I think I shall WRITE!
Express myself, my real Ego, in Song.
Not rhymes, of course. If I worked a year I
couldn't make two lines rhyme.
But rhyme is going out, anyhow.
Vers Libre is all the rage now.
We took it up not long ago our Little Group
of Serious Thinkers, you know and I feel
confident it is My Medium of Expression.
It is so untrammeled, isn't it?
And one should be untrammeled, both in Art and
Life, shouldn't one?
Often I ask myself, at the close of day: "Have I
been untrammeled today? Or have I FAILED?
If I could put my real Ego and how wonderful
the Ego is, isn't it? into vers libre, even Papa
might understand me.
I have always yearned to be understood!
I have drawn back from matrimony again and
again because I thought: "Will he understand me?
Will he see my real Ego? Or will he not?"
Only the other evening I was talking to the loveliest
man, who has been misunderstood by his wife.
It is FRIGHTFUL!
He is a sculptor. A cubist sculptor. But he
looks quite respectable really, some very good
people receive him.
And he has the most wonderful eyes sympathetic,
you know, and psychic but oh! so pure, too!
He dotes on purity. He told me that.
His wife does not understand him. She does
not see his real Ego.
He said to me: "I can read you like an open
book. You are yearning. You are yearning for
real understanding. No one has EVER understood you.
Is that not so? Is that not your secret?
Alas! It was. I could not deny it.
I said to him: "But is real understanding EVER attainable?"
He sighed and said: "Alas! The Unattainable!"
I knew why he sighedthere is so much of it
"What one attains," I said, "is often so intangible
do you not find it so?"
"Alas!" he said, "the Intangible!"
And I felt, somehow in a queer psychic way
that is elusive, you know strengthened and
sweetened spiritually by our sad little talk.
Our real Egos had been in communion. That's
what he said.
He has nine very commonplace children, and his
wife is very difficult socially.
She insists on filling some sort of commercial
position, although he says her place is in the home.
So they have grown apart. People don't invite
her places. Only him.
Oh! to be understood!
THOUGHTS ON HEREDITY AND THINGS
Isn't Heredity wonderful, though!
We've been going into it rather deeply
My little Group of Serious, you know.
And, really, when you get into it, it's quite complicated.
All about Homozygotes and Heterozygotes, you know.
The Homozygotes are well, you might call
them the aristocrats, you know; thoroughbreds.
And the Heterozygotes are the hybrids.
Only, of course, they don't need to be goats at
Not but what they COULD be goats, you know, just
as easily as horses or cows or human beings.
But whether goats or humans, don't you think
the great lesson of Heredity is that Blood will Tell?
Really the farther I go into Philosophy and
Science and such things the more clearly I see what a
fund of truth there is in the old simple proverbs!
People used to find out great truths by Instinct,
you know; and now they use Research vaccinate
guinea pigs, you know, and all that sort of thing.
Instinct! Isn't Instinct wonderful!
And Intuition, too!
You know, I have the most remarkable intuition
at times! Have I ever told you that I'm fright-
Mr. Finch, the poet you know Fothergil Finch,
don't you? he writes vers libre and poetry both
Mr. Finch said to me the other evening, "You
are EXTREMELY psychic!"
"How did you know it?" I asked him.
"Ah!" he said, "how DOES one know these things?"
And how true that is, when you come to think
it over! How DOES one know?
He has the great magnetic eyes! I could feel
them drawing my thoughts from me as we talked.
"You have a secret," he said.
"Yes," I said. And to myself I added, "Alas!"
"Your secret is," he said, "that there is a
difference between you and the other girls."
It was positively uncanny! I'VE felt that for
years! But no one else had ever suspected it before.
"Mr. Finch," I said, "I must have TOLD you that
or else it was just a wild guess. You COULDN'T have
gotten it psychically. HOW did you know it?"
"One knows these things," he said a trifle sadly,
I thought. "They come to one out of the
Silences; one knows not how. It is better not to
ask how! It is better not to question! It is better
to accept! Do you not feel it so?
Sometimes I think that Fothergil Finch is the
only man who has ever understood me.
You see, I am Dual in my personality.
There is the real Ego, and there is the Alter Ego.
And, besides these, I have so many moods which
do not come from either one of my Egos! They
come from my Subliminal Consciousness!
Isn't the Subliminal Consciousness wonderful;
We're going to take it up in a serious way some
evening next week, and thresh it out thoroughly.
But I must run along. I have an engagement
with my dressmaker at two o'clock. You know,
I've really found one who can make my gowns
interpret my inner spirit.
THE SWAMI BRANDRANATH
I HEARD such a lovely lecture the other night
on the Cosmos.
A Little Group of Advanced Women that I
belong to are specializing this winter on the Cosmos.
We took it up, you know, because the other topics
we were studying included it so frequently. And
it's wonderful, really WONDERFUL!
Of course, an untrained mind will grapple with
it in vain. One's interest must be serious and sincere.
One must devote time to it.,
Otherwise one will get more harm than good
out of it, you know.
It's like the Russian dances that way.
They are so primal, those dances! And all those
primal things are dangerous, don't you think?
Unless one has poise!
It's odd, too, that some of the most primal
people have the most poise, isn't it?
The Swami Brandranath was like that. I've told
you bout the Swami Brandramath, haven't I?
He wore such lovely robes! You can't buy silk
like that in this country.
And he had such a PURE look in this eyes. So
many of these magnetic people lack that pure look,
He used to give talks to a Little Group of Serious
Thinkers I belong to.
He taught us to go into the Silences only we
never quite learned, for some of the girls would
giggle. There are always people like that. The
dear Swami! he was so patient! It was
Occidental levity, he said, and we couldn't help it.
That is one of the main differences between the
Orient and the Occident, you know.
How wonderful they are, the Orientals. And
just think of India, with all its yogis and bazaars
and mahatmas and howdahs and rajahs and things!
He was a Brahmin, the Swami was. A Brahmin
and a Burman are the same thing, you know.
It's a caste, like belonging to one of our best
The Swami explained about the marks of caste,
and so forth, to us.
And then one of the girls asked him if he was
FOTHERGIL FINCH, THE POET OF REVOLT
Isn't it odd how some of the most radical and
advanced and virile of the leaders in the New
Art and the New Thought don't look it at all?
There's Fothergil Finch, for instance. Nobody
could be more virile than Fothy is in his Soul.
Fothy's Inner Ego, if you get what I mean, is a
Giant in Revolt all the time.
And yet to look at Fothy you wouldn't think he
was a Modern Cave Man. Not that he looks like
a weakling, you know. Butwell, if you get what
I mean you'd think Fothy might write about
violets instead of thunderbolts.
Dear Papa is ENTIRELY mistaken about him.
Only yesterday dear papa said to me, "Hermione,
if you don't keep that damned little vers libre run
away from here I'll put him to work, and he'll die
But you couldn't expect Papa to appreciate Fothy.
Papa is SO reactionary and conservative.
And Fothy's life is one long, grim, desperate
struggle against Conventionality, and Social
Injustice, and Smugness, and the Established Order, and
Complacence. He is forever being a martyr to the
New and True in Art and Life.
Last night he read me his latest poem one of his
greatest, he says in which he tries to tell just what
his Real Self is. It goes:
Look at me!
Behold, I am founding a New Movement!
Observe me. . . . I am in Revolt!
Now persecute me, persecute me, damn you,
persecute me, curse you, persecute me!
Respectabilities that you are,
You ask me, do you, what am I in revolt against?
Against you, fool, dolt, idiot, against you, against
Against Heavy, Hell and punctuation . . . against
Life, Death, rhyme and rhythm . . .
Persecute me, now, persecute me, curse you,
Slave that you are . . . what do Marriage,
Tooth-brushes, Nail-files, the Decalogue,
Handkerchiefs, Newton's Law of Gravity, Capital,
Barbers, Property, Publishers, Courts, Rhyming
Dictionaries, Clothes, Dollars, mean to Me?
I am a Giant, I am a Titan, I am a Hercules of
Liberty, I am Prometheus, I am the Jess Willard
of the New Cerebral Pugilism, I am the Mod-
ern Cave Man, I am the Comrade of the Cosmic
Urge, I have kicked off the Boots of Superstition,
and I run wild along the Milky Way
without ingrowing toenails,
I am I!
Curse you, what are You?
You are only You!
Bah! . . . persecute me, now persecute me!
Fothy always gets excited and trembles and
chokes when he reads his own poetry, and while
he was reading it Papa came into the room and
disgraced himself by asking if there was
any MONEY in that kind of poetry, and Fothy
was so agitated that he fairly screamed when he
"Money . . . money . . . curse money! Money
is one of the things I am in revolt against. . . .
Money is death and damnation to the free spirit!"
Papa said he was sorry to hear that; he said one
of his companies needed an ad writer, and he didn't
have any objection to hiring a free spirit with a
punch, but he couldn't consider getting anyone to
write ads that hated money, for there was a salary
attached to the job.
And Fothy said: "You are trying to bribe me!
Capitalism is casting its net over me! You are trying
to make me a serf: trying to silence a Free
Voice! But I will resist! I will not be enslaved!
I will not write ads. I will not have a job.
And then Papa said he was glad to hear Fothy's
sentiments. He had been afraid, he said, that Fothy
had matrimonial designs about me. And the
man who married HIS daughter would probably have
to stand for possessing a good deal of wealth, too,
for he had always intended doing something very
handsome for his son-in-law. So if Fothy didn't
want money, he wouldn't want me, for an enormous
amount of it would go to me.
Papa, you know, thinks he can be awfully sarcastic.
So many Earth Persons pride themselves on their
sarcasm, don't you think?
And Papa is an Earth Person entirely. I've got
his horoscope. He isn't AT ALL spiritual.
But you can image that the whole scene was
FRIGHTFULLY embarrassing to me I will NEVER forgive Papa!
And I haven't made up my mind AT ALL about
Fothy. But what I do know is this: once I get my
mind made up, I WILL NOT stand for opposition form
One must be an Individualist, or perish!
HOW THE SWAMI HAPPENED TO HAVE SEVEN WIVES
Isn't it terrible about that elephant at the Zoo
Oh, you know! it's like Gunga Din, only,
of course, it isn't Gunga Din at all.
Anyhow, he's CHAINED FOR LIFE! I suppose some-
one gave him tobacco for a joke and it made him
cross. I've heard of those cases, haven't you?
An elephant is such a such a well, NOBLE beast,
It's transmigration of souls makes them that way,
Oh is it a Rajah?
Anyhow, it sits on top of an elephant.
We took up transmigration of souls one time
our little Group of Serious Thinkers, you know
and it's wonderful; simply WONDERFUL!
That was when the Swami Brandranath used to
talk to us. The dear Swami! Such eyes so pure
and yet so magnetic! I have never seen in a human
The eye is the window of the soul, you know.
He's in jail now, the poor, dear Swami. But he
wasn't really a bigamist at all. You see, he had
seven spiritual planes. All of us do, only most of
us don't know it. But he could get from one plane
to another quite easily.
Of course, he couldn't remember what he'd done
on one plane while he was on the next one above
or below it. And that's the way he happened to
have seven wives one for each spiritual plane.
Only the Court took a sordid view of it. It seems
there was something about life insurance mixed
up with it, too.
The Occidentals are so apt to miss the spiritual
sweetness of the Oriental, don't you think?
We are all but the Leaders of Thought, and a
little group, here and there so commonplace.
Don't you LOATHE the commonplace?
Not loathe, really, of course because the harmonious
mind does not let itself be disturbed.
The harmonious mind realizes that dirt is only
useful matter in the wrong place, as Tennyson sings
so sweetly somewhere.
Tennyson has quite gone out, of course. He is
so so, well, if you get what I mean so mid-
It seems he WAS mid-Victorian all the time, but
it's only recently that it's been found out on him.
Though I always will think of "come Into the
Garden, Maud," as one of the world's sweetest
I'm very independent that way, in spite of the
critics. After all, criticism comes down to a question
of individual taste, doesn't it? That is, in the
Independence! That is what this age needs.
Nearly every night before I got to bed I say to myself:
"Have I been independent today? Or have I FAILED?"
I believe in those little spiritual examinations,
It helps one to keep in tune with the Infinite, you
The Infinite! How much it comprises! And
how little we really understand it!
We're going to take it up, the Infinite, in a serious
way soon our Little Group of Advanced
Thinkers, you know.
THE ROMANTIC OLD DAYS
It must have been terribly difficult getting around
in the days before automobiles were invented,
or railroads or anything like that.
Though, of course, it was wonderfully romantic,
The old coaching days, particularly, when everybody
blew on horns as they drove from town to
town, and there were highwaymen and cavaliers
with swords and all those people, you know, riding
by the coaches.
Don't you just DOTE on romance? I do!
But, of course, there's no place for it in our hurried
modern life, and I suppose we shouldn't regret it.
But now and then I sigh over it. Like dropping
a tear, you know, in a dear old chest perfumed with
lavender and old roses.
I always say that one can be advanced and in
the van of modern progress, and still drop a tear,
Do you think that all this study of sex hygiene
means the death of romance?
It's a serious thought, isn't it?
But what I always say is: "Which of these
things will do the most GOOD in the world?"
Especially good to the POOR!
You know how frightfully interested I am in the poor.
I make that my test. I always say to myself:
"Which will do the most good to the great masses?"
I take such a serious interest in the MASSES!
We should think twice before we take romance out
of their lives and replace it with science of any kind.
For, after all, you know, they represent the Future.
We should all think of the Future.
That's what makes the Feminist Movement such
a WONDERFUL thing it is moving right straight ahead
toward the Future!
I'm thinking of being a Suffragist again. I was
once, you know, but I resigned.
The sashes and banners are such a frightful shade
of yellow, you know. So I quit.
Beauty, after all, is the chief thing. What, after
all, do all our reforms come to, if the world is not
to be made more beautiful because of them?
And I simply CANNOT wear yellow.
HERMIONE'S BOSWELL EXPLAINS
Believe me, 'tis not with elation
I dwell on Hermione's madness;
The result of my rapt contemplation
Is sadness, a terrible sadness!
I weep when I note how she drivels;
I sigh o'er her fake philanthropies;
I am pained when I see how she frivols,
Like a kitten, with serious topics.
It is grief that her mental condition
Inspires, not laughter or scorning;
If she has any use, 'til her Mission
To stand as a Horrible Warning.
I am moral, essentially moral;
I am grave, and hate everything trashy,
And that is the reason I quarrel
With intellects flighty and flashy.
I yearn for the truth, I am earnest;
I yearn to face facts without blinking,
Of all of my years, quite the yearnest
Is my yearn to be thorough in thinking.
That's why I'm severe with this darling,
Nor pardon nor whitewash nor gloss her,
The linnet the parrot the starling!
I weep over her and expose her.
SYMBOLS AND DEW-HOPPING
Last week the Loveliest man lectured to us
to our Little Group of Serious Thinkers,
you know on the Ultimate Symbolism. In
art and life both, you know.
It was simply wonderful WONDERFUL!
Art, you know, used to be full of symbolism.
But now, it seems, symbolism has dropped out
of Art, and Nature has taken it up.
Odd, isn't it? But really not surprising when
you come to think about it.
For, you know, Nature is always trying to keep
up with advanced ideas evolving and evolving
toward the Superman.
And the Superwoman, too.
I think it is the duty of us who are advanced
thinkers to give Nature a worthy idea to evolve
toward, don't you?
To set Nature a mark to come up to, you know.
For what is the use of evolution if it doesn't
evolve forward instead of backward?
And the Best People, I think, should feel a sense
of social responsibility and give evolution a model.
Each should be a Symbol that's what I always
ask myself each night now: "Have I been a Symbol
today? Or have I failed to be a symbol?"
Down at the beach last week I nearly drowned
you don't mean to say you haven't heard of it? It
I'd always heard that, when a person sinks, his
whole past life passes before him in review.
But it didn't with me. What I said as I went
down was: "Have I been a Symbol? Or have I
And the life guard who got me out he was simply
the most gorgeous man! burned bronze, you
know, and with shoulders like a Greek god! and
with the most wonderful eyes and white teeth he
asked me, the guard did, "What, marm?"
It was fearfully disappointing! Sometimes they
are college men, you know, just life-guarding
through the summer. But would any college man
have said, "What, marm?"
And then he went and saved a blonde creature
in the most scandalous bathing suit I ever saw.
He saved one in the most business-like way, too,
as if he were a waiter, you know, passing from one
table to another.
No wonder the social fabric is crumbling when
quite impossible people like life guards permit
themselves to become blase' over such matters!
The lower classes are very discouraging anyhow,
don't you think? after all we do for them in the
way of philanthropy and sociology and uplifting
them generally, you know!
Of course, I haven't lost my interest in sociology
not by any means. I always hold fast the thought
that all the world are brothers.
I'm taking up Dew-hopping next week. It's a
wonderful new nerve cure. Formerly it was quite
the thing to walk barefoot in the dew at dawn.
But at this new place I've discovered they don't
merely walk that's going out, quite. They HOP.
Like frogs and toads, you know.
It brings the patients into closer kinship with the
electric currents of the earth, hopping does, the
doctor says. It's WONDERFUL!
He is the loveliest man with mystic eyes! the
THE SONG OF THE SNORE
Fothergil Finch, Hermione's friend, the
vers libre poet, dodges through life harried
and hunted by one pursuing Fear.
"Some day," he said to me
(It is Hermione's Boswell who is speaking in this
sketch, in the first person, and not Hermione, the
"Some day," Fothergil finch said to me, the
other night, in a tone of intense, bitter conviction,
"some day It will get me! Some day I will overtake
me. The great Beat, Popularity, which pursues me!
Some day It will clutch me and tear me
and devour my Soul! Some day I will be a
It is my own impression that Fothergil's fears
are exaggerated; but they are very real to him. He
visualizes his own soul as a fugitive climbing higher
and higher, running faster and faster, to escape
this Beast. Perhaps Fothergil secretly hopes that
the speed of his gong will induce combustion, and
he will leap from the topmost hills of Art, flaming,
directly into the heavens, there to burn and shine
immortality, an authentic star. Well, well, we all
have our little plane, our little vanities!
"Fothergil," I said, cheerily, "Popularity has not
overtaken you yet. Cheer up perhaps it never
We were in Fothergil's studio in Greenwich Village,
where I had gone to see how his poem on
Moonlight was getting along. He strode to the
window. Fothergil is not tall, and he is slightly
pigeon-toed the fleshly toes of Fothergil symbolize
the toes of his ever-fleecing soul but he strides.
Female poets undulate. Erotic male poets saunter.
Tramp poets lurch and swagger. Fothergil, being
a vers libre poet, a Prophet of the Virile, a Little
Brother of the Cosmic Urge, is compelled by what
his verse is to stride vigorously across rooms as if
they were vast desert places, in spite of what
his toes are. He strode magnificently, triumphantly,
to the window and flung the shade up and looked
out at the amorphous mist creeping
in across the roofs. The crawling fog must
have suggested his great, gray Dread, for presently
he turned away with a shudder and sank upon a
couch and moaned.
'Ah, Heaven! Popularity! The disgrace of it
the horror of it! Popularity! Ignominy! When it
catches me when it happens "
He plucked from his pocket a small phial and held
it up toward the light and gazed upon it desperately
"I am never without this!" he said. "It is my
means of escape. I will not be taken unawares!
I carry it always. At night it is beneath my pillow.
The day it happens the moment I feel myself in
the grip of Popularity"
I caught his hand; in his excitement he was
raising the poison to his lips.
"What I cannot understand, Fothergil," I said,
"is why a Poet of the Virile, a Reincarnation of the
Cave Man excuse me, but that is what you are
being this year, is it not ? should give way to Fear.
Is it not more in character to meet this Beast and
slay It? Is there not a certain contradiction between
your profession and your practice?"
"More than a contradiction," he said eagerly. "It
is more than contradictory! It is paradoxical!"
I eliminate much that followed. When Fothergil
gets started on the paradox, time passes. He is
never really interested in things until he has dis-
covered the paradoxical quality in them. Sometimes
I think that his enthusiasm over himself is
due to the fact that he discovered early in life that
he himself was a paradox and sometimes I think
that discovery is the explanation of his enthusiasm
for the paradox.
"What," said Fothergil, "is the most paradoxical
thing in the world? The Human Snore! It seems
Ugly-yet it is Beautiful! It seems a trivial function
of the body and yet it is the Key to the
"The Key to the Soul?"
"Man sleeps," he said, "and his Conscious Mind
is in abeyance. But his Subconscious Mind is still
awake. It functions. It has its opportunity to utter
itself. The Snore is the Voice of the Soul! And
not only the Soul of the individual but of the Soul
of the race. All the experiences of man, in his
ascent from the mire to his present altitude, are
retained in the Subconscious Mind-his fights, his
struggles, his falls, his recoveries. And his dreams
and nightmares are racial memories of these things.
Snores are the language in which he expresses them.
Interpret the Snore, and you have the psychic history
of the ascent of man from Caliban to Shakespeare!
"And I can interpret it! I have listened to a
million Snores, and learned the language of the
Soul! Night after night, for years, I harked to
the Human Snore in summer, hastening from
park bench to beach and back again; in winter,
haunting the missions and lodging houses. Ah,
Heavens! with what devotion, with what passion
of the discoverer, have I not pursued the Human
Snore! I have gone miles to listen to some snore
that was reported to be peculiar; I have denied my
self luxuries, pleasures, and at times even food, in
order to hire reluctant persons to Snore for me!
"And I have written the Epic of the Snore in
vers libre. You shall hear the prelude!"
And this is Fothergil's prelude:
Snore me a song of the soul,
Oh, sleeper, snore!
Whistle me, wheeze me, grunkle and grunt, gurgle
and snort me a Virile stave!
Snore till the Cosmos shakes!
On the wings of a snore I fly backward a billion
years, and grasp the mastodon and I tear him
limb from limb,
And with his thigh hone I heat the dinosaur to
death, for I am Virile!
Snore! Snore! Snore!
Snore, O struggling and troubled and squirming
and suffering and choking and purple-faced
Snore me the sound of the brutal struggle when the
big bull planets bellowed and fought with one
another. in the bloody dawn of time for the
love of little yellow-haired moons,
Snore till Chaos raps with his boot on the walls of
Cosmos and kicks to the landlord!
Turn, choke, twist and struggle, sleeper, and snore
me the song of life in the making,
Sneeze me a universe full of star-dust,
Snore me back to the days when I was a Cave Man,
and with my bare hands slew the walrus, for
I am Virile!
Snore the death-rattle of the walrus, O struggling
But I was compelled to leave. There is a great
deal of it, Fothergil says. If you know Fothergil
you are aware that when he declaims his Virile
verses he becomes excited; he swells physically;
sometimes he looks quite five feet tall in his moments
of expansion; all this is very bad for him.
More than once the declamation of his poem,
"Myself and the Cosmic Urge," has sent him shaking
to the tea urn.
Before I left I was able to calm him somewhat.
But with calm came reflection. And with reflection
came his great, gray Dread again.
When I left,. Fothergil was looking out of the
window and shuddering, as if the Monster
Popularity might be hiding behind the neighboring
chimneys. One hand clasped the phial caressingly.
But somehow I doubt that Fothergil will ever be
compelled to drink the poison.
BALLADE OF UNDERSTANDING
"Does not the World's stupidity
At times make Serious Thinkers fret?"
I asked the fair Hermione;
"Sometimes," she said, "and yet . . . and
We feel we owe the World a debt!"
She waved a slim, bejeweled hand,
She brooded on some vague regret. .
"I hope," she sighed, "you'll UNDERSTAND!"
"Is not your high Philosophy
Too subtle for the Mob to get?"
I asked . . . She pondered seriously;
"Sometimes," she said, "and yet . . . and
yet . . .
She trifled with an amulet
Imported from some Orient land. . . .
"What fish can burst the Cosmic Net? . . .
I HOPE," she sighed, "you'll Understand."
"Art, Science and Psychology,
Causes that rise and shine and set,
Do all these never weary thee?"
"Sometimes," she said, "and yet . . . and yet .
Would Thought and Life have ever met
Unless" . . . She paused. Her lashes fanned
Her eyes, with tears of ardor wet. . . .
"I hope," she sighed, "YOU'LL Understand!"
"Princess, is Bull the One Best Bet?"-
"Sometimes," she said, "and yet . . . and yet
She mused, and then; in accents bland,
"I hope," she said, "you'll UNDERSTAND!"
HERMIONE ON FASHIONS AND WAR
ISN'T war frightful, though; simply FRIGHTFUL!
What Sherman said it was, you know.
Though they say there's an economic
condition back of this war, too.
We took up economics not long ago our Little
Group of Serious Thinkers, you know and gave
an entire evening to it.
It's wonderful; simply WONDERFUL!
Without economics, you know, there couldn't be
That's a thought that should give one pause,
Although, of course, this war may destroy
If I thought it was likely to do that I would join
in the Peace Demonstration at once or have they
had it already ? the march for peace, you know!
Anyhow, no matter what the personal sacrifice
might be, I would join in. Not that I care to march
in the dust. And black never did become me. But
I suppose there will be some autos. And, well
one must sacrifice.
For if Civilization dies out, what will become of
Will we revert to the Primordial?
Will the Cave Man triumph?
The very idea gives me the creeps!
Because, you know, the Cave Man is all right
and the Primitive, and all that as a protest against
Decadence-and in a LITERARY way but if ALL men were Cave Men!
Well, you know, the thought is frightful; simply frightful!
You can have a feeling for just ONE Cave Man,
you know, in the midst of Civilization, when a
MILLION Cave Men would
But the idea is too terrible for words!
And in this crisis it is Woman who must save the world.
The loveliest woman she's quite advanced,
really, and has the most charming toilettes told
our Little Group of Serious Thinkers the other
night that this is the time when Woman must rule
It is the test of the New Woman.
If ANYTHING is saved from the wreck it will be
because of Her.
She can write letters to the papers, you know,
against war and-and all that sort of thing, you know.
And, of course, if the Germans and Russians and
English do all get together and conquer Paris,
I suppose they won't kill the modistes and designers.
Civilization, you know, is not so easily killed
after all. The Romans were conquered, you know,
but all their styles and philosophies and things were
taken up by the Medes and Persians who conquered
them, and have remained unchanged in those
countries ever since.
But in a time like this, it's comforting to have
a Cause to cling to.
No matter what happens, the advanced thinkers
must cling together and make their Cause count.
And if England should conquer France, and put
a king on the throne there again, no doubt there will
be a great revival of fashion, as there was in the
days of Napoleon I. and the Empress Eugenie.
But if all the advanced thinkers in the world
could only get together in one place and THINK Peace
and Harmony sit down in circles, you know, and
send Psychic Vibrations across the ocean who can
tell but what the war might not end ?
The triumph of mind over matter, you know.
I'm going to propose the idea to our little group
and pass it on to all the other little groups.
I'd be willing to give up an entire evening to it myself.
URGES AND DOGS
We had quite a discussion the other evening
our Little Group of Serious Thinkers,
you know as to whether it was Idealism
or Materialism that had gotten the Germans into
this dreadful war.
Isn't Idealism just simply wonderful!
Fothy Finch said it was neither; he said it was
the Racial Urge.
It's like the Cosmic Urge, you know; except it's
altogether German, Fothy explained.
Every once in a while you hear of a New Urge.
That's one of the things that distinguishes Modern
Thought from the old philosophies, don't you
Although, of course, the Cosmic Urge isn't what
it used to be a year or two ago.
It's become er well, VULGARIZED, if you know
what I mean. EVERYBODY'S writing and talking
about it now, don't you know.
I think, myself, it's going out soon. And a
leader a real pioneer in thought, you know,
would scarcely care to talk about it now without a
I've just about dropped it myself. It's the same
way with everything exclusive. It soon becomes
Really, I hadn't worn my white summer furs
three weeks before I saw so many imitations that
I just simply HAD to lay them aside.
Don't you think people who take up things
like that, after the real leaders have dropped them,
are frightfully lacking in SUBTLETY?
Oh, Subtlety! Subtlety! WHAT would modern
thought be without Subtlety?
Personally, I just simply HATE the Obvious. It's
so so well, so easily seen through, if you know
what I mean.
Fothy Finch said to me only the other day, "Has
it ever occurred to you, Hermione, that you are NOT
an Obvious sort of Person?"
It is almost UNCANNY the way Fothergil Finch
can read my thoughts sometimes. We are both so
Mamma said to me last night, "You are seeing a
great deal of Mr. Finch, Hermione. Do you think
it is right to encourage him if you don't intend to
marry him? What ARE your intentions with regard
to Mr. Finch?"
I didn't answer her at all poor dear Mamma is
But I thought to myself
Well, would it be so IMPOSSIBLE?
Of course, marriage is a serious thing. One must
look at it from all points of view, if one has a
He has a LOVELY way with dogs, Fothy has. They
trust him instinctively he is just DEAR with them.
I have some beauties now, you know. They are
getting so they won't let anyone but Fothy bathe them.
MOODS AND POPPIES
We took up the Bhagavad Gita our Little
Group of Advanced Thinkers, you know
in quite a thorough way the other
Isn't the Bhagavad Gita just simply WONDERFUL!
It has nothing at all to do with Bagdad, you
know though at first glance it seems quite like
it might, doesn't it?
Of course, they're both Oriental aren't you just
simply WILD about Oriental things? But really,
they're QUITE different.
The Bhagavad Gita, you know, is all about
Reincarnation and Karma, and all those lovely old
When I start my Salon I'm going to have a
Bhagavad Gita Evening all in costume, you know.
I find that when I dress in harmony with the
Idea I RADIATE so much more effectively, if you
get what I mean.
Fothergil Finch is the same way.
He writes his best vers libre things in a purple
There's an amber-colored pane of glass in his
studio skylight, and he has to sit and wait and wait
and wait until the moonlight falls through that pane
onto his paper, and then it only stays long enough
so he can write a few lines, and he can't go on with
the poem until he comes again.
He brought me one last night he wrote it to me
yes, really! and he waited and waited for
enough moonlight to do it, and caught a terrible
cold in his head, poor dear Fothy.
It goes like this:
Poppies, poppies, silver poppies in the moonlight,
Silver poppies in the moonlight,
Poppies poppies, crimson poppies in the sunset,
Poppies, poppies, poppies!
Black poppies in the midnight,
Three colors of poppies!
One color is silver,
The second color is crimson,
The third color is black,
And if there were a fourth color it would be
Alas! Why is there never a fourth color?
Poppies, poppies, poppies, but no Green Poppy!
I asked the little crippled girl who sells poppies to
Buy bread for the drunken father who beats her,
And she said, "I, too, seek the fourth color!"
I asked the boy who drives the grocer's delivery
wagon, the old apple woman without teeth, the
morgue keeper, the plumber, the janitor, the
red-armed waffle baker in the window of a
restaurant full of marble-topped tables and
pallid-looking girls, the subway guard and the
And they all said,
"Poppies, poppies, poppies,
We have never known but three colors!"
I am a Great Virile Spirit;
I, with my Ego,
I will give the world its Desire!
I, the strong!
I, the daring!
I will create a Green Poppy!
That about being Virile is just like Fothy! He
prides himself on being Virile, you know Poor
He said until he saw me he had always been satisfied
with silver and red and black poppies, but
as soon as he knew me he felt there MUST be a
Green Poppy somewhere.
It is likely a mood of my soul, you know the
Green Poppy is!
Isn't it simply wonderful!
Isn't it just simply terrible the way the Balkans
are bombarding Venice . . . all those beautiful
Doges and things, you know.
I suppose there will be nothing left, just simply
nothing, of the city that Byron wrote about in
in what was it? Oh, yes, in "Childe Harold to
the Dark Tower Came."
That's one comforting thing to think of if this
country ever gets into a war, isn't it? I mean that
we haven't any of those lovely old things that can
be bombarded, you know.
I suppose if we ever did get into war someone
like Edison would invent something quick, you
know, and it would be all over in a few hours.
Isn't inventive science wonderful! Just simply
It's so so well, so DYNAMIC, if you get what I
mean. Isn't it?
Don't you just DOTE on dynamic things?
Dynamic personalities, especially.
I've often thought if I had it to do over again
I'd go in less for psychics and more for dynamics.
But then there are so many things that a modern
thinker must keep up with, aren't there?
And it's easy enough to concentrate one's mind on
one or two things, but I often find it terribly difficult
to concentrate on ten or twelve different things
all at the same time.
And one must if one is to keep up with the very
latest in Thought and Life.
Concentration! Concentration! That is the key
to it all! Nearly every night when I am alone with
my own Ego I go into the Silences for a little period
of Spiritual Self-Examination and I always ask
myself: "Have I Concentrated today? Really
Concentrated? Or have I failed?"
I call these little times my Psychic Inquisitions.
In the hurry of this crowded age one must find
time to get along with one's self, must one not?
Fothy Finch has written a beautiful thing about the
hurry of this crowded age which I wish everyone
could hang over his desk.
Well, I must be going on now. I have a committee
meeting for this afternoon. I can't for the
life of me remember whether it's about suffrage
Oh, yes, I marched! or about some relief fund.
I'm taking up Bergson this week.
Next week I'm going to take up Etruscan
vases and the Montessori system.
Oh, no, I haven't lost my interest in sociology.
Only the other night we went down in the auto
and watch the bread line.
Of course, one can take up TOO MANY things.
It's the spirit in which you take up a thing that
Sometimes I think the spirit in which you take
a thing up counts more than the thing itself counts
in its effect on you, you know.
Of course, the way to get the real meaning out
of any thing is to put yourself in a receptive attitude.
In serious things the attitude counts for everything.
One mustn't scoff.
If you look seriously and scientifically you'll'
see there's a great deal more than you suspected
in all this affinity and soul mate craze, for instance.
Not that I care much for the words "soul mate"
and "affinity" particularly; they have been so
The Best People don't use those terms any more.
Psychic harmony is the new term.
The loveliest man explained all about it to us the
other day. I belong to a Little Group of Thinkers,
who take a serious interest in these things, you
We are trying to find out how to make our
psychic powers count for the betterment of the
world. I am very psychic. Some are now.
This man had the most interesting eyes and the
silkiest beard, and he said his aura was pink.
If he should meet a girl, you know, with an aura
just the shade of pink that his aura is, why then
they would know they were in psychic harmony.
Simple, isn't it? But then all truly great ideas
ARE simple, aren't they?
But if his aura was blue, and her aura was yellow,
then, of course, they would quarrel. That's
what makes so much domestic unhappiness.
But he said something that gave me the most
frightfully insecure feeling.
He said the aura CHANGES its color as the soul progresses.
Two people may be in harmony today, and both
have pink auras, and in a year hers may be green
and his golden.
What desperate chances a woman takes when
she marries, doesn't she?
I sometimes think life must have been a much
more comfortable thing before the world got to
be so terribly advanced.
But, of course, it is our duty to sacrifice personal
comfort for the future of the race and the
betterment of the world.
As I was looking at the bread line the thought
came to me that the chief difference between this
advanced age and other ages was in the fact that
people today are willing to take a serious interest
in such things.
People are willing to sacrifice themselves today,
It is food for optimism, don't you think?
Not that I was really so uncomfortable in the
auto, you know. I had on my new mink coat.
HERMIONE TAKES UP LITERATURE
We've been going in for Astrological
Research lately our Little Group of
Modern Thinkers, you know and we've
picked our own personal stars.
Only it seems such a shame, doesn't it, that one
isn't allowed to CHANGE stars? Keeping the same
star all your life is rather monotonous, don't you
Though, of course, if one changed and got some-
one else's star things might be frightfully
complicated, mightn't they?
But it would make a charming little story,
wouldn't it, for a girl to change stars, you know,
and find that her new star belonged to some quite
nice young man, and, of course, after that, their
destinies would be one.
I get some of the most ORIGINAL plots for stories!
Fothergil Finch has often said to me that that
is one difference between genius and talent. When
you have genius, you know, things like that just
come to you; but if you only have talent you must
work and WORK for them.
"If I only hd your spontaneity, Hermione!"
Fothergil often says.
And really, it's never been any trouble for me at
all to dash off an idea, though of course they
would have to be touched up by the editors a little
before they could be printed.
Fothergil said the other night I should try poetry.
"Why, Fothy," I said, "if I lived a hundred years
I never could make two lines rhyme with each
But he said Rhyme was out of fashion anyhow,
and would you believe it? while we were talking
I got an idea for a poem and just dashed it off
then and there a vers libre poem you know, and it
What becomes of
People when they die?
I used to ask when I was a little child,
And now even since
I am grown up I am not sure that I know!
"Fothy," I said, "It was so easy that makes me
afraid it isn't really good!"
"Ah," he said, "that modesty PROVES you are a
genius! Heavens, what would I not give to
have you spontaneity, your modesty, your spontaneity "
But I interrupted him. Another idea had come
to me just like that, and would you believe it?
I dashed off another one, right then and there! It
I see the rain fall.
It is no effort for the rain to fall.
Why is it no effort?
Because it falls spontaneously!
O Spontaneity! Spontaneity!
Rain is genius,
Genius is rain!
Fall, fall, rain!
Fothy is going to get them printed he knows a
lot of vers libre publishers if Papa will only put
up the money. And one nice thing about poor dear
Papa is that he always will put it up.
So that night I wrote twenty or thirty more
of them, and they were ALL good ALL works of
genius they ALL came to me just like the first ones!
The last one came to me just as I was going to
bed. I looked out of the window and saw the moon
and ran and got a pencil and wrote:
I see the moon out of the window.
I wonder what it thinks of me?
Wouldn't the moon and I both be surprised
If we found that neither of us
Though anything at all about the other?
The book's going to be vellum, you know, and
that sort of thing. I'm going to have a gown just
like the cover and give a fete when it comes out.
The worst thing about being literary, though, is
that it makes one feel so RESPONSIBLE for the gift,
if you know what I mean, doesn't it?
THE WORLD IS GETTING BETTER
DR. JAGADES CHUNDER BOSE says that
plants are almost as sensitive as human beings
they have feelings and susceptibilities,
you know, and all that sort of thing.
Isn't it wonderful how the Hindus find these
Soul speaking to soul, I suppose.
But I have scarcely been able to eat comfortably
since I read it.
Every time I sit down to a salad it makes me
feel quite like a cannibal!
And to think, I was just on the point of becoming
a vegetarian, too!
I suppose to be on the safe side one should eat
nothing but minerals.
But, of course, advanced thinkers will have to
take the matter up seriously and discover a way
out some day we will live on aromas and
electricity, no doubt.
Don't you think the world is getting kinder?
A hundred years ago, for instance, no one would
have cared whether plants suffer pain or not people
wouldn't have given it a second though, you know.
And now, though, they will have to keep on
eating them until something else is invented, they
will do it with a shudder and won't enjoy them near
so much. The world is losing much of its cruelty
and thoughtlessness. Upward! Onward! Is the
Do you like my new coat? Unborn lamb skin,
you know. Isn't it lovely?
WAR AND ART
THIS war is going to have a tremendous in-
fluence on Art vitalize it, you know, and
make it REAL, and all that sort of thing.
In fact, it's doing it already. We took up the war
last night our Little Group of Serious Thinkers,
you know in quite a serious way and considered
it thoroughly in all its aspects and we decided
that it would put more SOUL into Art.
And into life, too, you know.
Already you can see it on every hand how much
serious purpose it is putting into lives that were
merely trivial before. Even poor, dear Mamma
and really, it would be hard to imagine a more
trivial person than Mamma! is knitting socks.
She is going to send them to the Poles. She
wanted to send them to the Belgians.
But I said to her, "Positively, Mamma, you are
ALWAYS behind the times. Don't you know the
Belgians are going out and the Poles are coming in?"
And, you know, it's been months since really
Smart People have knit for the Belgians. The Poles
are QUITE the thing now.
It's strange how great movements keep going on
and on from mountain peak to mountain peak of
usefulness like that, isn't it? changing their
direction now and then as evolution itself does,
but always progressing, progressing!
That is one wonderful thing about evolution it
When one thinks it over, one grows more and
more conscious that the human race owes a great
deal to Evolution, doesn't one?
WHAT could we have done without it?
It's as somebody said about something else one
time if we hadn't had it, you know, it would have
been necessary to invent it, though for the life of
me, I can't remember who it was or what he said
about it. Although likely it was Madame de Stael.
We took her up once and it developed that she had
said a most surprising number of things like that
things, you know, that would be quite quotable if
you could only remember them.
Isn't memory a wonderful facility, though?
I've always intended to go in for developing mine
systematically and scientifically.
But I've never done it because I always forget
whether I should order the book-shop people to
send home a work on numismatics or a work on
mnemonics. One of them is about money, you
know, and the other is about memory. And once
when I was shopping and thought I had it right it
turned out the book did, when I got it home to
be all about air and things. Pneumatics, you know!
Wasn't it perfectly ridiculous?
But, of course, one learns by one's mistakes.
Have you seen dear Nijinsky?
We were discussing him last evening our little
group, you know and decided that while he has
more Personality than Mordkin he has less
Temperament, if you get what I mean.
One of the girls said last evening, "Mordkin is
more exotic, but Nijinsky is more esoteric."
And another said, "One of them shows intellect
obviously mingled with spirit, but the other shows
spirit occultly mingled with intellect."
Fothergil Finch said, "They are alike in their
differences, but subtly differentiated in their
likenesses, n'est-cd pas?"
Fothy has a simply delightful faculty of summing
a thing up in a sentence like that, but it makes him
very vain if you show you think so; so I put him
in his place and closed the discussion with one remark:
"It is all," I said, "it is ALL a question of Interpretation."
And, quite seriously, when you come to think
about it, it usually is, isn't it?
A SPIRITUAL DIALOGUE
Last night I met Hermione,
And eagerly she said to me:
"Thoughts from the ambient everywhere
Electrify our worldly air."
"My soul," I said, "grabs off such hints
As butter, whether pats or prints,
Receives and holds all unaware
Small strands of drifting, golden hair.
But have YOU thought, O Maiden fair,
O, have you thought profoundly of
The psychic consciousness in crows?
Or why the Malay when in love
Wears rubber earrings on his toes?"
The lady shook her lovely head
'Twas coiffed divinely and she said:
"Have you reflected on the part
Primeval instinct plays in Art?
It's simply wonderful the way
Old things grow new from day to day!"
"That's true," I said, "I often ape
The Ape to get my Art in shape
And with the Simian going strong,
Behold, another Rennysawng!"
"Perhaps," she said, "across the verge
Of darkness, from the Cosmic Urge,
The Light is speeding in bright waves,
E'en now to show the way to slaves!"
"The thought," I said, "is cheerful but
These Swamis WILL chew betel-nut!"
"Alas!" she said, "alas! too true!
But oh! it's wonderful of you
To sympathize and understand "
(She gestured with a jeweled hand)
"The joy of being understood!"
"Our talk," I said, "has done me good."
WILL THE BEST PEOPLE
RECEIVE THE SUPERMAN SOCIALLY?
WE'VE been taking up Metabolism lately
our Little Group of Serious Thinkers, you
know and it's wonderful; just simply
I really don't know how I got along for so many
years without it it opens up such new vistas,
I can never think in the same way again about
even the most trivial things since I have learned
all about Protoplasm and and well, all these
marvelous scientific things, you know.
Isn't Science DELIGHTFUL!
There's the Cosmos, for instance. It had always
been there, you know. But nobody knew much
about it until Scientists took it up in a serious way.
And now I, for one, feel that I couldn't do
Although, of course, one feels one's responsibilities
toward it too, and that is apt to be rather
trying at times unless one has a truly earnest nature
and is prepared to make sacrifices.
If the Cosmos is to be improved, what is there
that can improve it except Evolution?
And unless we who are serious thinkers give
Evolution a mark to reach, how can we be sure that
Evolution will Evolve in the right direction?
I have worried myself half to death at times
over the Superman!
You know I feel personally responsible, to a
certain extent, about what he will be like when he
gets here. If he isn't what he should be, you know,
it will be the fault of those of us who are the
leaders in thought today it will be because we
haven't started him right, you know.
Mamma poor dear Mamma is SO unadvanced,
you know! has an idea that when the Superman
does get here he won't be at all the sort of person
that one would care to receive socially.
"Hermione," she said to me only the other day,
"no Superman shall EVER come into MY house!"
She heard some of my friends, you know, talking
about the Superman and Eugenics, and she has
an idea that he will be horribly improper.
"I consider that the Superman would be a DANGEROUS
influence in the life of a young woman," said Mamma.
"Mamma," I told her, you are FRIGHTFULLY behind
the times! There isn't a doubt in the world that
when the Superman does come he will be taken
up by the Best People. Anarchists and Socialists
go everywhere now, and dress just like other people,
and ;you can hardly tell them, and it will be
the same way with the Superman."
What Mamma lacks is contact. Contact with
with well, she lacks Contact, if you get what I
So many of the elder generation DO lack Contact,
don't you think?
Although, of course, it would be very hard to
have Contact and Background at the same time.
And if one must choose between Contact and
Background, the choice is apt to be puzzling at
Although, of course, it is useless to reason too
much on things like that. Intuition often succeeds
where reason fails, especially if one is at all Psychic.
Well, I must go. I must hurry to my costumer's.
I'm have a special costume made, you know.
We've been taking up Spiritualism again our little
group, you know. And I'm going to give a Spirit
Fete, and of course it will take a great deal of
dressing and arranging and decoration.
Papa says it will be a Ghost Dance, but he is so
terribly frivolous and irreverent at times.
Don't you just simply LOATHE frivolity?
THE PARASITE WOMAN MUST GO!
THE Parasite Woman must go!
Our Little Group of Serious Thinkers
took up the Parasite Woman last night in
quite a thorough way. One of the most interesting
women you ever listened to gave us a little talk
about the Parasite Woman, you know.
And we decided that the Parasite Woman has
NOTHING to Contribute to the Next Generation.
Oh, these Parasite Women! It just simply makes
my blood boil to her about them! I don't know
when I have been so indignant!
With the world so full of work to be done for
the Cause for ALL the Causes, you know they
just sit around selfishly at home all wrapped up
in their own families, or children, if they're married,
and do nothing at all for the Evolution of
the Ego and the Development of the Race, and the
Conscious Guidance of the Next Generation, or
anything like that.
Thank goodness I could never be a Parasite Woman!
And, yet, I PITY them, too.
I'm thinking quite seriously of starting a little
Mission of my own for the purpose of appealing
to and reforming the Parasite Women among my
Of course it will take organization, and that
means I will have money to start it and
keep it going.
But Papa will give me the money all right. That
is one thing about poor, dear Papa he doesn't
understand the new movements at all, but he WILL
give me money. And he never asks what I do
Now and then, of course, he scolds me a little he
told me the other day that I cost him nearly as much
as a war. But I can always jolly him, you know,
when he gets that way. Men are so easily managed
I suppose my Mission will take quite a LOT of
money, too. But it is my DUTY, and I am willing to
make ANY sacrifice we modern thinkers are used
to making sacrifices for our Cause!
And it is worth a lot of sacrifice to make the
Parasite Woman over into an Awakened and
Enlightened Member of Society, independent of the
Man-Made System that has shackled her for so long.
What is nobler than Emancipation?
Of course, I'll have to have a Secretary, And
to get one especially training in organizing the
Mission will cost quite a bit, probably.
But Papa will never miss it.
And I think I'll have a MAN for a Secretary.
One that is quite presentable socially, you
know. For the Secretary will have to attend to a
lot of the details. I will give some teas and
entertainments and things, just to get the Parasite
Women I know interested.
And there's nothing like the right sort of a man
to get women to cooperate in some Cause that aims
for Woman's Liberty.
And I suppose, really, TWO Secretaries would be
better. And they will have to be men who can
dance the new dances well, too. That counts a
lot nowadays in getting girls to come to places.
I feel that I have Found my Work! One's work
lies at one's hand, if one could but see it, always.
And mine is to Save the Parasite Women I know
from Themselves and their Frivolity.
I will coax the first cheque out of Papa this very
evening! It may take some management and
jollying, butwell, Papa is EASY!
THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL
WE'RE taking up the House Beautiful our
Little Group of Serious Thinkers, you
know for we've decided that Environment
has more effect on personality than Heredity.
Interior decoration is the greatest of the arts
don't you think? because it furnishes the proper
setting for the spirit.
The loveliest woman gave us a talk on interior
decoration the other night she wears these slinky,
Greek things, you know, with straw sandals, when
the weather permits and I engaged her to do the
But right away a problem presented itself
whether to have the house done to fit my personality
or whether to have the house done to fit the thing
I want my personality to evolve into, and trust the
environment to help in the evolution.
Modern thought complicates LIFE immensely,
But I always feel that it is my duty to give the
best in myself to these problems.
Someone must help Evolution evolve. Someone
must be unselfish enough to give the cosmos new
marks to come up to.
And who but the serious thinkers are willing to
Well, we finally decided to do every room in
the house differently each one to fit a mood, you
There's one room now I call "Aspiration," where
I go for my little spiritual examinations.
And the next room beyond that is "Resolve."
And then there's a room I call "Brotherly Love,"
where I go to think out how to help the masses.
For of course I haven't lost my interest in
In fact I'm having some new dresses made
simple, quiet looking things, you know for the
express purpose of visiting the very poor in and
asking them questions about themselves.
Though I must admit that since helping the war
sufferers came into fashion friendly visiting has
rather gone out.
MAMA IS SO MID-VICTORIAN
WE'VE been taking ;up Hedonism lately
our Little Group of Modern Thinkers,
you know and it's wonderful, just
Though Mamma poor dear Mamma is so
hopelessly old fashioned; has entirely the
wrong idea about it.
"Hermione," she said to me the other evening,
after the little talk, "WHAT did the lecturer call
"He's a Hedonist," I said.
"Indeed!" she said, "and what sort of modern
impropriety is Hedonism? Is it something about
Sex, or is it something about Psychics?"
I simply couldn't speak.
I just gave her a look and walked out of the
room. It is absolutely useless to attempt to explain
anything to Mamma.
She is so Mid-Victorian!
And Mid-Victorianism has quite gone out, you
know. Really. The loveliest man gave us a talk
on the Mid-Victorian recently, and when he was
done there wasn't a one of us that didn't go and
hide our Tennysons and Ruskins.
Although I always WILL like "Come into the Garden, Maud."
But he did it with such HUMOR, you know. Isn't
a sense of humor a perfectly WONDERFUL thing?
A sense of humor is a sense of proportion, you
know he brought that out so cleverly, the
anti-Mid-Victorian man did.
Though so many people who have a sense of
humor are so so, well so QUEER about it, if you
get what I mean. That is, if you know they have
one, of course you're naturally watching for them
to say humorous things; and they're forever saying
the sort of things that puzzle you, because you have
never heard those things before in just that way,
and if you DO laugh they're so apt to act as if you
were laughing in the WRONG place!
And one doesn't dare NOT to laugh, does one?
It's really quite unfair and unkind sometimes!
Don't you think so?
We took up a volume on The Analysis of Humor
one winter our Little Group of Serious Thinkers,
you know and read it completely through, and
before the winter was over it got so there wasn't
a one of us that dared NOT to laugh at anything
any other one said and well, it got rather ghastly
before spring. Because even if someone wanted to
know if a person needed an umbrella someone else
Well, I must be going now. I have a committee
meeting at three this afternoon. We're going in
for this one-day Women's Strike, you know our
little group is.
VOKE EASELEY AND HIS NEW ART
FOR my acquaintance with Voke Easeley
(Hermione's reporter, and not Hermione
herself, is speaking now.)
For my acquaintance with Voke Easeley and his
new art, I am indebted to Fothergil Finch.
Fothergil is a kind of genius hound. He scurries
sleuthing around the town ever on the scent of
something queer and caviar. He is well trained and
never kills what he catches himself; he takes it to
Hermione; and after Hermione has tired of it I
am at liberty to do what I please with it.
The most remarkable thing about Voke Easeley
at a casual glance is his Adam's apple. It is not
only the largest Adam's apple I have ever seen, and
the hardest looking one, and the most active one,
but it is also the most intelligent looking one. Voke
Easeley's face expresses very little. His eyes are
small and full and green. His mouth, while large,
misses significance. His nose, indeed, is big; but
it is mild; it is a tame nose; one feels no more
character in it than in a false nose. His chin
and forehead retreat ingloriously from the battle
But all the personality which his eyes should
show, all the force which should dwell in his
nose, all the temperamental qualities that should
reveal themselves in his mouth and chin, all the
genius which should illumine his brow these dwell
within his Adam's apple. The man has run entirely
to that feature; his moods, his emotions, his
thoughts, his passions, his appetites, his beliefs, his
doubts, his hopes, his fears, his resolves, his
despairs, his defeats, his exaltations all, all make
themselves known subtly in the eccentric motions
of that unusual Adam's apple.
When I saw him first in action I did not at once
get it. He stood stiffly erect in the center of
Hermione's drawing-room, surrounded by the serious
thinkers, with his head thrown back and his Adam's
apple thrust forward, and gave vent to a series of
strange noises. Beside him stood a very slender
lady, all dressed in apple green, with a long green
wand in her hand, and on the end of the wand
was an artificial apple blossom. This she waved
jerkily in front of Voke Easeley's eyes, and his
Adam's apple moved as the wand moved, and from
his mouth came the wild sounds in response to it.
Soon I realized that she was conducting him as
if he were an orchestra.
But still I did not get it. For it was not words,
it was nothing so articulate as speech, that Voke
Easeley uttered. Nor was it, to my ear, song. And
yet, as I listened, I began to see that a wild rhythm
pervaded the utterance; the Adam;'s apple leapt,
danced, swung round, twinkled, bounded, slid and
leapt again in time with a certain rough barbaric
measure; the sounds themselves were all discords,
but discords with a purpose; discords that took each
other by the hand and kicked and stamped their
brutal way together toward some objective point.
I led Fothergil into a corner.
"What is it?" I whispered. It is always well, at
one of Hermione's soul fights, to get your cue
before the conversation officially starts. If you don't
know what is going to be talked about before the
talk starts the chances are that you never will know
from the talk itself.
"A New Art!" said Fothergil. And then he led
me into the hall and explained.
What Gertrude Stein has done for prose, what
the wilder vers libre bards are doing for poetry,
what cubists and futurists are doing for painting
and sculpture, that Voke Easeley is doing for
"He is painting sound portraits with his larynx
now," said Fothergil. "And the beautiful part of
it is that he is absolutely tone deaf! He doesn't
know a thing about music. He tried for years to
learn and couldn't. The only way he knows when
you strike a chord on the piano is because he doesn't
like chords near as well as he does discords. He
has gone right back to the dog, the wolf, the cave
man, the tiger, the bear, the wind, the rock slide,
the thunder and the earthquake for his language.
He interprets life in the terms of natural sounds,
which are discords nearly always; but he has added
brains to them and made them all the moods of
the human soul!"
"And the lady in green?"
"That is his wife he can do nothing without
her. There is the most complete psychic accord
between them. It is beautiful! Beautiful!"
When we returned the lady in green was
"The next selection is a Voke Easeley impression
of the Soul of Wagner gazing at the sunrise from
the peak of the Jungfrau."
The wand waved; the Adam's Apple leapt, and
they were off. What followed cannot be indicated
typographically. But if a cat were a sawmill, and
a dog were a gigantic cart full of tin cans bouncing
through a stone-paved street, and that dog and
that cat hated each other and were telling each
other so, it would sound much like it.
It was well received. Except by Ravenswood Wimble.
He always has to have his little critical fling.
"The peak of the Jungfrau!" he grumbled.
"Jungfrau indeed! It was Mont Blanc! It was very
wonderfully and subtly Mont Blanc! But the
"Hermione," I said, "what do you think of the
"It's wonderful!" she breathed, "just simply
wonderful! So esoteric, and yet so simple! But
there is one thing I am going to speak to Mrs. Voke
Easely about one improvement I am going to
suggest. His ears, you know don't you think they
are too large? Or too red, at least, for their size?
They catch the eye too much they take away from
the effect. Before he sings here again I will have
Mrs. Easeley bob them off a little."
HERMIONE ON SUPERFICIALITY
AREN'T you just crazy about the Moral Uplift?
It's coming into every department of life
now and one just simply HAS to keep up with it in
order to talk intelligently these days.
Not that one can talk too freely about it in mixed
company, you know.
There are getting to be the awfullest lot of moral
subjects that one can't talk about generally, aren't
Eugenics and sex hygiene and all these plays and
books with a moral purpose, you know.
Of course lots of people DO talk about them
generally. I did myself for quite a while. And then
another girl and I got some books and studied up
what the things we had been talking of really were
and it shocked us horribly!
Mamma has been trying to get me to give up the
moral uplift entirely, but you've just simply GOT to
talk it or be out of date.
Of course the whole thing depends upon whether
you are a serious thinker if you're sincere, REALLY
sincere, you can take up anything and get good out of it.
The loveliest man talked to us last night to our
Little Group of Advanced Thinkers, you know.
He said the curse of the age and the country was
superficiality. People aren't thorough, you know.
I've noticed that myself and I agree with him.
If one is going to take things up and show a serious
interest in them one must not limit one's self to a
One must be broad. One must be thorough.
One must cover the whole field of thought.
Our little group this winter has been trying to
do that. So far we've take up Bergson, socialism,
psychology, Rabindranath Tagore, the meaning of
welfare work, culinary science, the new movements
in art and ever so many more things I can't re-
For the rest of Lent we're going to take up the
One of the girls thought it would be a nice sort
of thing to take up during Lent a quiet kind of
thing, you know; not like feminism or chemistry.
Have you seen any of the new parti-colored boots
Isn't it an absurd idea?
And yet, you know if it made for Beauty!
That is what one must always say to one's self
must one not? I mean: Does it make for Beauty?
That's the reason I left the Suffrage Party, you
know. They wanted me to wear one of those hor-
rid yellow sashes. And my complexion can't stand
yellow. So I quit the Suffrage Party right there.
ISIS, THE ASTROLOGIST
WE'RE taking up astrology quiet seriously
our Little Group of Serious Thinkers, you
know and we've hired the loveliest lady
astrologer to cast our horoscopes and give
us a talk and get us started right.
She wrote a letter to methe most perfectly
fascinating letter and I told her to call, and we
looked her over. She wore a beautiful sky-blue
gown with gold stars on it one of those Greek
ones, you know, like poor, dear Isadora Duncan
wore and a gold star in the middle of her
It makes her look like a unicorn, that star,"
Ravenswood Wimble said. But then nobody ever
pleases Ravenswood Wimble completely. He is
so if you get me.
"If a unicorn, then a celestial unicorn," Fothy
Finch said. Fothy is too dear for anything; he is
always hunting for the good in people, like Apollo,
or Euripides which was it? when they gave him
the basket full of wheat and chaff, and he separated
them. Or maybe it was Diogenes.
She has six sisters, and they are all astrologers,
and they call them the Pleiades.
Although Voke Easeley, in his horrid slangy way,
said: "Pleiades? She's a Bear!"
Don't you just utterly loathe slang?
Bit I was going to tell you about the lovely letter
she wrote that's what attracted me to her at the
"Have you never asked yourself," it began
"'Why was I born?'"
Fancy knowing that about one! If there is one
question I have asked myself thousands and
thousands of times it is, "Why was I born?"
And then the letter went on to talk about
horoscopes and the Inevitable.
"We may not overcome the inevitable," it said,
"but it is ours to see that the Inevitable does not
Oh, the Inevitable! The Inevitable!
How often I have thought of the Inevitable with
And it has never occurred to me before that one
could take it and use it as one pleased. But it seems
one can if one knows about it beforehand. It is
like Destiny that way. If one is ignorant of one's
Destiny, it comes upon one with a surprise. But
if one knows beforehand what one's Destiny is to
be, one can make onself the master of it. That is
where the horoscope comes in handy, you know.
After dipping into Astrology I will never again
be afraid of the Inevitable.
As the Letter says: "Every woman with her
horoscope before her, and her Soul back of her,
should be able to solve any problem and meet any
situation that may occur in her life."
Ravenswood Wimble wanted to know, when he
met the lady did I tell you that her professional
name is Isis? what would happen if her Soul was
before her and her horoscope back of her. But Isis
just simply froze him with a look.
Don't you think that levity is horrid in the midst
of vital affairs like that?
But I suppose every little group has someone in
it that thinks he or she has to be quippy and
facetious at times.
Not but what I have a sense of humor myself.
I think a sense of humor is the saving grace, if
you get what I mean.
But no one should try to use it unless he is
perfectly sure that everyone understands he is being
We are going to take up the sense of humor
our Little Group of Thinkers, you know in a
serious way soon.
But the Swami doesn't like Isis. Poor, dear
Swami! She is a charlatan, he says. And she
doesn't like him. "My dear," she said to me, "are
you SURE he really goes into the Silences? Or does
he just PRETEND to?"
Isn't it awful about geniuses that way how jealous
they ARE of each other? Especially psychics!
We had two mediums the same evening a year or
two ago who actually quarreled over which one of
them a certain spirit control belonged to.
THE SIMPLE HOME FESTIVALS
DON'T you just love the simple old festivals,
like Thanksgiving Day and Christmas?
That's is one thing that Papa and Mamma
and I agree about. And this year we had a very
simple sort of Thanksgiving Day.
Of course, it's rather a bore if you have to invite
a lot of relations.
But one must always sacrifice something to gain
the worth-while things, mustn't one?
And what is more worth while than simplicity?
Simplicity! Simplicity! Isn't it truly WONDERFUL!
Nearly every night before I go to bed I ask myself:
"have I been simple and genuine today? Or have
Papa always has two maiden aunts to Thanks-
giving dinner. Dear old souls, I suppose, but
frumps, you know.
And Fothergil Finch was there, too. I asked
poor dear Fothy, because otherwise he would have
had to eat in some restaurant.
I tried to be agreeable to Papa's aunts of
course. I suppose they are my great-aunts, but I
never felt REALLY related to them but how could he
know how terribly unadvanced they are?
Fothy's only real interests center about Art, you
know. And if he had talked of Art it would have
But, as he told me later, he thought he should
try to meet my people on their own ground and
talk of something practical.
Something with a direct bearing on life, you know.
So he asked Aunt Evelyn what she thought of
She didn't know exactly what he meant at first,
but Aunt Fanny whispered something to her and
she turned white and said, "Mercy!"
Poor dear Fothy saw he must be on the wrong
track, so he changed the subject and began to tell
Aunt Fanny the plot of a new problem play. One
of the sex ones, you know.
"Heavens," said Aunt Fanny, and began to tremble.
And they drew their chairs nearer together and
each one took a bottle of smelling salts out of a
little black bag, and they sat and trembled and
smelled their salts and stared at him perfectly
This embarrassed Fothy, but he though his mistake
had been in talking about anything artistic,
like a play, so he changed the subject again. He
told me afterward that he felt if he could get onto
a really PRACTICAL subject all would go well.
So he asked Aunt Evelyn what she thought about Genetics.
"What are they?" asked Aunt Evelyn, her teeth chattering.
"Why, Eugenics," said Fothy. And then he had
to explain all about Eugenics.
They sat perfectly still and stared at him, and he
felt sure he had them interested at last, and he
talked on and on about Eugenics and the Future
Race, you know, and that led him back to Trial
Marriages, and then he go onto the Twilight Sleep.
And, as he said himself afterward, what could
be more practical?
But, you know, commonplace people never
appreciate the efforts that serious thinkers make for
them, and Aunt Evelyn refused to come to the
table at all when dinner was announced. She said
she had lost her appetite and felt faint.
But Aunt Emmy came. She asked the blessing.
Papa always has her do that on Thanksgiving Day
and Christmas and New Year's. And she made a
regular prayer out of it prayed for Fothy, you
know, right before him; and prayed for me too. It
And afterward poor dear Fothy said he wished
he had talked about Art.
"It's safe," I said; "then people can't get
offended, for nobody knows what you mean at all."
"Oh," said Fothy, "nobody does?" And he went
away quite melancholy and injured.
CITRONELLA AND STEGOMYIA
WE were talking about famous love affairs
the other evening, and Fothergil Finch
said he was thinking of writing a ballad
about Citronella and Stegomyia.
And, of course, everybody pretended they knew
who Citronella and Stegomyia were. Mrs. Voke
Easeley You've heard about Voke Easeley and his
New Art, Haven't you? Mrs. Voke Easeley said:
"But don't you think those old Italian love affairs
have been done to death?"
"Italian?" said Fothy, raising his eyebrows at
Mrs. Voke Easeley.
You know, really, there wasn't a one of them
knew who Citronella and Stegomyia were; but they
were all pretending, and they saw Mrs. Voke Easeley
was in bad. And she saw it, too, and tried to
"Of course," she said, "Citronella and Stegomyia
weren't Italian lovers THEMSELVES. But so many of
the old Italian poets have written about them that
I always think of them as glowing stars in that
wonderful, wonderful galaxy of Italian romance!"
Fothy can be very mean when he wants to. So he said:
"I don't read Italian, Mrs. Easeley. I have been
forced to get all my information about Citronella
and Stegomyia from English writers. Maybe you
would be good enough to tell me what Italian poet
it is who has turned out the most recent version of
Citronella and Stegomyia?"
Mrs. Voke Easeley answered without a moment's
hesitation: "Why, D'Annunzio, of course."
That made everybody waver again. And Aurelia
Dart said she's that girl with the beautiful arms,
you know, who plays the harp and always has a
man or two to carry it about wherever she goes
somebody else's husband, if she can manage it
"D'Annunzio, of course! Passages of it have
been set to music."
"Won't you play some of it?" asked Fothy, very
"It has never been arranged for the harp," said
Aurelia. "But if Mrs. Easely can remember some
of the lines, and will be good enough to repeat them,
I will improvise for it."
That put it up to Mrs. Easeley again, you know.
She hates Aurelia, and Aurelia knows it. Voke
Easeley carried Aurelia's harp around almost all
last winter. And the only way Mrs. Easeley could
break Voke of it was to bring their little girl along
the one that has convulsions so easily, you know.
And then when Voke was getting Aurelia's harp
ready for her the little girl would have a convulsion,
and Mrs. Easeley would turn her over to Voke,
and Voke would have to take the little girl home,
and Mrs. Easeley would stay and say what a family
man and what a devoted husband Voke was, for an
Well, Mrs. Easeley wasn't stumped at all. She
got up and repeated something. I took up Italian
poetry one winter, and we made a special study of
D'Annunzio; but I didn't remember what Mrs.
Easeley recited. But Aurelia harped to it.
Improvising is one of the best things she does.
And everybody said how lovely it was and how
much soul there was in it, and, "Poor Stegomyia!
The Swami said it reminded him of some passages
in Tagore that hadn't been translated into
Voke Easeley said: "The plaint of Citronella is
full of a passion of dream that only the Italian
poets have found the language for."
Fothy winked at me and I made an excuse and
slipped into the library and looked them up and,
well, would you believe it! they weren't lovers at
all! And I might have known it from the first, for
I always use citronella for mosquitoes in the country.
They were still pretending when I got back, all
of them, and Aurelia was saying: "Citronella differs
psychologically from Juliet she is more like
poor, dear Francesca in her feeling of the cosmic
inevitability of tragedy. But stegomyia had a strain
of Hamlet in him."
"Yes, a strain of Hamlet," said Voke Easeley.
"A strain of Hamlet in his nature, Aurelia and
more than a strain of Tristram!"
"It is a thing that Maeterlinck should have written,
in his earlier manner," said Mrs. Voke Easeley.
"The story has its Irish counterpart, too," said
Leila Brown, who rather specializes, you know, on
all those lovely Lady Gregory things. "I have always
wondered why Yeats or Synge hasn't used it."
"The essential story is older than Ireland," said
the Swami. "It is older than Buddha. There are
three versions of it in Sanskrit, and the young men
sing it to this day in Benares."
Affectation! Affectation! Oh, how I abhor
It was perfectly HORRID of Fothy just the same.
ANYONE might have been fooled.
I might have been myself, if I were not too
intellectually honest, and Fothy hadn't tipped me
HERMIONE'S SALON OPENS
Perchance last night you felt the world careen,
Leap in its orbit like a punished pup
Which hath a hornet on his burning bean?
Last night, last night historic yestere'en!
Hermione's Salon was opened up!
Without, the night was cold. But Thought, within,
Roared through the rooms as red and hot as Sin.
Without, the night was calm; within, the surge
And snap of Thought kept up a crackling din
As if in sport the well-known Cosmic Urge
with Psychic Slapsticks whacked the dome and Shin
Of Swami, Serious Thinker, Ghost and Goat.
From soup to nuts, from Nut to Super Freak,
From clams to coffee, all the Clans were there.
The groggy Soul Mate groping for its Twin,
The burgling free verse Blear, the Hobo Pote,
Clairvoyant, Cubist bug and Burlapped Greek,
Souse Socialists and queens with bright green hair,
Ginks leading barbered Art Dogs trimmed and Sleek,
The Greenwich Stable Dwellers, Mule and Mare,
Pal Anarchs, tamed and wrapped in evening duds,
Philosophers who go wherever suds
Flow free, musicians hunting after eats,
And sandaled dames who hang from either ear
Strange lumps "art jools" the size of pickled beets,
Writers that write not, hunting Atmosphere,
Painters and sculptors that ne'er paint nor sculp,
Reformers taking notes on Brainstorm Slum,
Cave Men in Windsor Ties, all gauche and glum,
With strong iron jaws that crush their food to Pulp,
And bright Boy Cynics playing paradox,
And th' inevitable She that knitteth Belgian socks
A score of little groups ! all bees that hum
About the futile blooms of Piffledom.
A wan Erotic Rotter told me that
The World could not be Saved except through Sin;
A she eugenist, sexless, flabby, fat,
With burst veins winding through unhealthy skin,
With loose, uncertain lips preached Purity;
A Preacher blasphemed just to show he dared;
A dame praised Unconventionality
In words her secretary had prepared;
A bare-legg'd painter garbed in Leopard hide
Quarreled with a Chinese lyre and scared the dogs;
A slithering Dancer slunk from side to side
In weird, ungodly, Oriental togs;
A pale, anemic, frail Divinity
Confided that she thought the great Blond Beast
Himself was Art's own true Affinity;
An Anarch gloomed; "The Mummy at the Feast
Gets all the pleasure from the festive board!"
I know not what they meant; I only wunk
Within myself, and praised the great god Bunk.
A Yogi sought the Silences and snored.
But 'twas Hermione that Got the Hand!
Ah, yes, she talked! Of Purpose, and of Soul,
And how Life's parts are equal to its Whole.
And Thought and do the Masses Understand?
She lightly touched on Life and Love and Death,
And Cosmic Consciousness, and on Unrest,
Substance and Shadow, Solid Things and Breath,
The New Art movements her sweet voice caressed,
Philanthropy, Genetics, Social Duty,
The Mother-Teacher claimed a passing smile,
And she made clear we all must worship Beauty
And Concentrate on Things that are Worth While.
"Each night," she said, "each night ere I retire
Into the Depths I peer, and I inquire,
"Have I today some Worth-while Summit scaled?
Or have I failed to climb? Oh, have I failed?
These little talks between the Self and Soul
Oh, don't you think? still help us toward the Goal;
They help us shape the Universal Laws
In sweet accordance with our glorious Cause!"
"Hermione," said I, "they do! They do!"
"Thank you," said she, "I KNEW you'd understand!"
I said to her, the while I pressed her hand,
"All, all, my interest I owe to you!"
And then I left, and following my feet
Soon found that they had led me to the street.
And there I found a burly Garbage Man
Who through bleak winter nights from can to can
Goes on his ashy way, sans rest or pause,
Goes on his way, still faithful to his Cause.
"Tell me," said I, "if now across the verge
Of night should come the kindly Cosmic Urge,
Strong-armed and virile, full of vim and help,
And offer you with thee here cans to help,
Would you accept the Cosmic Urge's aid,
Or would you rise up free and unafraid
And say, 'My restless Personality
Bids me return a negative to thee!'"
"Old scout," says he, "I've never really brought
My intellects to bear on that there though!
I gets no help, I asks no help from none
But I have noticed, bo, that one by one,
And soon or late, and gradual, day by day,
Most things in life eventual comes my way!
Into the Ashes Can the whole world goes,
Old hats, old papers, toys and styles and clo'es,
Eventual they dump "em down the bay!"
Symbolic Garbage Man! Sans rest or pause,
In steadfast faith work for thy Sacred Cause!
Some time, perhaps, all piles of twisted bunk,
All half-baked faddists, heaps of mental junk,
Unto the waiting Scow we'll cart away
Eventual to dump 'em down the bay!
THE PERFUME CONCERT
THE Loveliest man gave us a talk the other
evening our Little Group of Serious
Thinkers, you know on the Art of the
And what do you think it is to be? You'd never
The entertainment of the future will be a
Every scent, if you get what I mean, corresponds
to some color, and ever color corresponds to some
sound, and every sound corresponds to some
And the truly esthetic person the one who is
Sensitized, if you get what I mean will hear a
tone on the violin, and see a color, and think
passionately of the One he Loves, all at the same
time, just through smelling a Rose.
Only, of course, it must be the RIGHT KIND of a rose.
Papa poor der Papa is so coarse and crude
sometimes in his attempts to be witty Papa says it
would be a fine idea to lead the man who talked to
us into a boiled cabbage foundry and then watch
him die of the noise. Papa is not Sensitized; he
doesn't understand that the esthete really WOULD die
Papa resists the vibrations of the esthetic environment
with which I have striven to surround him,
if you get what I mean.
Oh, to be Sensitized! To be Sensitized! To vibrate
like a reed in the wind! To thrill like a petal
in the sun!
I'm having a study of my aura made. You
know, one's soul gives off certain colors, and if
one's individuality is to be in tune with the Cosmic
All, one must take care that the colors about out
do not jar with one's own Psychic Hue.
And after one has found one's soul color, one can
find the scent to match that color, if you get what I
I am going to have the house re-decorated, with
a sweet subtle blending of perfumes in every room!
I have always been good at matching things,
anyhow I perceive affinities at a glance. Psychic
When I was quite a small child Mamma always
used to take me with her to the shops if there were
ribbons or anything like that to be matched.
I just loved it, even as a baby! And I think
it is the greatest fun yet.
Often I go through half a dozen shops, not because
I want to buy anything, but just to match colors,
you know. It gives me a thrill that nothing else does.
Some of us are like that some of us truly Sensitized
Souls we function, I mean, quite without
being able to stop it I hope you follow me. Isn't
it wonderful to be in touch with the Universe in
that way! Not, of course, that the shop girls who
show you the fabrics and things are always understanding.
The working classes are so often ungrateful to
us advanced thinkers. Sometimes I am almost provoked
to the point of giving up my Social Betterment work
when I think HOW ungrateful they are.
But some of us, in every age, must suffer at the
hands of the masses for the sake of the masses, if
you know what I mean.
ON BEING OTHER-WORLDLY
IT is not enough to be merely unworldly.
One must be OTHER-WORLDLY as well, if you
get what I mean.
For what does all Modern Thought amount
to if it does not minister to the Beautiful and the
Isn't Materialism simply FRIGHTFUL?
For the undisciplined mind, I mean. Of course,
the right sort of mind will get good even out of
Materialism, and the wrong sort will get harm out
Every time before I take up anything new I ask
myself, "Is it OTHER-worldly? Or is it not OTHER-Worldly?''
We were going to take up Malthusianism and
Mendelism our Little Group of Serious Thinkers,
you know and give a whole evening to them, but
one of the girls said, "Oh let's NOT take them up.
They sound frightfully chemical, somehow!"
I said, "The question, my dear, is not whether
they are chemical or un-chemical. The question is,
Are they worldly? Or are they OTHER-Worldly?"
That is the Touchstone. One can apply it to
everything, simply EVERYTHING!"
Should teachers be mothers, for instance that
question came up for discussion the other evening.
And I settled the whole matter at once, with one
question: "Is it worldly? Or is it OTHER-worldly
for Teachers to be Mothers? Or is it merely Un-Worldly?"
Have you seen the latest models? Some of them
are wonderful, simply WONDERFUL! You know I
always dress to my temperament and I'm having
the loveliest gown made the skirt is ecru lace, you
know; a double tiered effect, falling from a straight
bodice, and the color scheme is silver and blue.
PARENTS AND THEIR INFLUENCE
MAMA is unadvanced enough, goodness
But poor, dear Papa!
"Papa," I said to him the other day, " all conservatives
worth listening to were radicals in their
youth." The loveliest man told us that the other
night our Little Group of Serious Thinkers, you
know and it struck me as being profound.
And isn't profundity fascinating?
But Papa only glowered and said, "Umph!"
Papa, you know, is an obstructionist.
"Papa," I said to him, "what is stubbornness in
you has become will power in me. You will never
dominate me NEVER! You should study heredity;
it's wonderful, simply WONDERFUL!
Papa scowled and said, "Umph!"
But you know, Parents are Doomed.
Our little group listened to a talk the other evening
about Parents. Mothers, particularly.
"The menace of the Mother," it was called. I
always make note of titles.
This man said he was a regular savant I wish
you could have heard him my, if I weren't such
an advanced thinker, I would be a savant
Anyhow, he said, this savant, that Mothers held
back Civilization through Selfishness they teach
the Child, you know, that is er, well, you know,
they lose sight of Ulterior Ethics and Race Morality
while inculcating Individual Self-Improvement.
It's frightful to think about, isn't it? Simply FRIGHTFUL!
Then and there I resolved that if I were ever a Mother
I would turn over the up-bringing of my children to experts
and savants and specialists like that.
"Papa," I said, "you allowed poor, dear Mamma
to make me selfish you know you did! What
have you to say for yourself? What right had you
to make me a Self-Indulgent Individualist?
And, you know, I have struggled and struggled
to get rid of the selfishness my parents trained into
me. How I strive for Harmony and Humility!
Nearly every night before I go to bed I say to my-
self: "Have I been HUMBLE today? Truly humble?
Or have I FAILED?"
Children are not nearly SIMPLE enough these days.
Oh, for more Simplicity! That is what we all need.
Though I will say this for Mamma that it
would have been hard to train Simplicity into me
even if she had known how.
I had such a high-strung, sensitive, nervous organism
as a child, you know.
At a very early age my temperament began to show.
And one CANNOT hide one's temperament.
Especially if one is at all psychic, and I am, VERY.
But if I ever have Children well, I will take no
chances with them.
To begin with, I will Select their Father.
Mamma said, when I told her that: "Hermione,
you are HORRID!"
Poor dear Mamma! She's SO stupid! "Mamma,"
I said to her, of course I DON'T mean free love.
I'm not that advanced, I hope! Though some VERY
Nice People have written of it it's quite respectable,
as a theory. But you're hopelessly old-fashioned.
I WILL select the parent of my Off-spring;
YOU were selected."
Mamma only groaned and said: "Anything but
a Cave-man, Hermione."
But I am not sure. It comes back to me again
and again how Primitive I am in some ways.
And to wander barefoot in the dew!
Not really quite barefoot, of course but with
some of the new sandals on.
FOTHERGIL FINCH TELLS OF HIS REVOLT
AGAINST ORGANIZED SOCIETY
BERTIE GRIGGS you know Ethelbert
Griggs, don't you? He does the text for
the Paris fashions for a woman's magazine,
and on the side he writes the most impassioned
verse. All about Serpents and Woman, and Lillith
and Phryne, you know.
Bertie said to me only the other day, "Fothy, you
are too Radical. It will keep you down in the
"Bertie," I said, "I know I am, but can I help
it? I spurn the world! A truly virile poet must."
"Some day, Fothy," he said, "you will come into
contact with the law."
I only laughed. Bitterly, I suppose, for Bertie
looked at me quite shocked.
"Bertie," I said, "I expect persecution. I welcome
it. All great souls do. I look for it. On
one pretext or another, I will be flung into prison
when my next volume, "Clamor, Cries and Curses'
And I will, too, if I ever find a publisher who
dares to bring it out. But they are all too cowardly!
"Fothy," he said, "you Revolutionists are always
talking but what do you ever do?
I arose with dignity. "Bertie," I said, "I am
ready to suffer for the Cause." I turned and left
him. I must have been pale with resolve, for he
ran after me and caught me by the wrist. But I
shook him off.
I was in a desperate mood.
"Curses upon all their Conventions!" I said, as I
turned up the street toward Central Park. "Curses
upon all organized society!"
I stopped in front of Columbus's statue, at
"Fool," I muttered bitterly, "to discover a new
I shook my fist at the statue and went on.
I wandered over to the place where they keep
the animals, and stopped in front of one of the
Dear, unconventional little beasts! They always
charm my blacker moods away from me! So free,
so untrammeled, so primitive!
I smiled at a monkey. He smiled at me. I held
up a peanut. He reached out his hand for it.
I was about to fling it to him when I saw a sign
"Visitors are warned not to feed the animals
under the penalty of the law."
Always their laws! Always their restrictions!
Always their damnable shackles! Always this
denial of the rights of the individual!
For a moment I stood there with the peanut in
my hand just simply too angry for anything!
And then I cried out, quite loudly: "Curses upon
organized society! I will break its laws! I will
feed the animals!"
Always in times of great crisis I see myself quite
plainly as if I were some other person; poets often
do, you know; and I could not help thinking of the
pose of Ajax defying the lightning.
"I WILL break the law!" I cried. "So there!"
And with that I flung the peanut right into the
cage with all my might, and ran away, laughing
mockingly as I ran.
I felt that I had crossed the Rubicon, and that
night I sat down and wrote my revolutionary poem,
What the Cause needs is men with Vision to see
and Courage to perform! This is the age of Virility!
THE EXOTIC AND THE UNEMPLOYED
WE'VE been taking up the Exotic this week
in poetry and painting, you know, and
all that sort of thing and its influence
on our civilization.
Really, it's wonderful simply WONDERFUL! Quite
different from the Erotic, you know, and from the
Esoteric, too though they'll all mixed up with it
Odd, isn't it, how all these new movements seem
to be connected with one another?
One of the chief differences between the Exotic in
art and other things such as the Esoteric, for
instance is that nearly everything Exotic seems to
have crept into our art from abroad.
Don't you think some of those foreign ideas are
apt to be well, dangerous? That is, to the
You can carry them too far, you know and if
you do they work into your subconsciousness.
One of the girls she belongs to the same Little
Group of Advanced Thinkers that I do has been so
taken with the Exotic that she wears orchids all the
time and just simply CRAVES Chinese food. "My
love," she said to me only yesterday, "I feel that I
must have chop suey or I'll DIE! The Exotic has
worked into her subliminal being, you know.
She has an intense and passionate nature, and
I'm sure I don't know what would become of her
if it were not for the spiritual discipline she gets
out of modern thought.
Next week we're taking up Syndicalism it's
frightfully interesting, they say, and awfully
I suppose it's a new kind of philosophy or socialism,
or maybe anarchy or something like that.
[Most of these new things that come along nowadays
ARE something like that, aren't they.
I'm sure the world owes a debt to its advanced
thinking which it can never repay for always
keeping abreast of topics like that.
Not that I've lost my interest in any of the older
forms of sociology, you know, just because I am
keeping up with the newer phases of it.
Only yesterday I rode about town in the car and
had the chauffeur stop a while every place where
they were shoveling snow.
The nicest man was with me he is connected
with a settlement, and has given his life to sociology
and all that sort of thing.
"Just think," I said to him, "how much real practical
sociology we have right here before us all
these men shoveling snow and how little they realize,
most of them, that their work is taking them
into sociology at all."
He didn't say anything, but he seemed impressed.
And I'm not sure the unemployed should be grateful
to the serious thinkers for the careful study we
give them. Don't you think so?
SOULS AND TOES
I went to a Soul Fight at Hermione's
And nothing normal can describe it . . .
It was beyond rhyme, reason, rum, rhubarb or rhythm . . .
Therefore, Vers Libre Muse, help me!
Imagist outcast with the bleary eyes,
My psychic Pup, my polyrhythmic hound, lift up
Your voice and help me howl!
Tenth Muse, doggerel muse, slink hither, brute,
And lick your master's hand . . . I've need of
Thee . . .
Come catercornered on three legs with doubtful tail
And eager eyes . . .
Tomorrow I may bash you in the ribald ribs again
And publicly disown you;
But oh! Today I've need of thee . . .
Winged mongrel, mutt divine, come here and help
Me bay the piebald moon!
It was a Soul Fight at Hermione's . . .
A fat Terpsichore with polished toes . . . a barefoot she Soul
With ten Achaian toes . . . and each toe had a separate soul, she said . . .
Was there . . . not only there, but IT.
She sat upon a couch and lectured . . . not with words,
But with her toes, her eloquent, her temperamental toes . . .
Her topes that had trod (so she said) the paths of beauty
Since Hector was a pup at Troy . . .
She sat upon a couch . . . bards, swamis and Hermione,
Gilt souls and purple, melomaniacs, yellow souls
Souse socialists and other cognac-scented cognoscenti,
Post-cubist chicles that would ne'er jell into gum . . .
All, all the little groups from all the brainstorm Slums . . .
Why specify? . . . we know our little groups!
. . . where there . . .
Were there to worship at those feet . . . to vibrate
and change color with the moods of those unusual feet. . . .
"This toe," she said, "is Beauty . . . this is Art . . .
This toe is Italy, and this is Greece." . . .
A poet, quite beside himself with inspiration,
Suddenly arose and cried:
"This little pig went to market,
This little pig stayed home
This little pig was Greece,
This little pig was Rome!"
But they chilled him . . . he went Into the Silences . . .
And Terpischore resumed:
"My ten toes are: Beauty, Art, Italy, Greece,
Life, Music, Psyche, Color, Motion, Liberty!
Put yourself into a receptive attitude now, and
Beauty will speak to you!"
And while a satellite ran rosy fingers down a lute,
she moved the toe named Beauty to and fro . . .
A hush fell on the assembled nuts, as Beauty moved . . .
As Beauty spoke to them . . .
"I see," murmured Hermione to Fothergil Finch,
As that toe moves . . . the Isles of Greece . . .
And Aphrodite rising
From the Acropolis." . . . "You mean," said Fothergil, "from the Aegean!"
"It is all one," said Hermione, "the point is that
I see her rising!"
Then Color spoke to them . . .
"As that toe moves," said Ravenswood Wimble, "I
see the heavens
Turned into one vast Kaleidoscope . . . all the stars
Dance through my soul like flakes of colored glass!"
Then waved the toe called Life, and as with one
accord each of the company
Leapt gasping to his or her feet, as the case might be,
And cried: "I feel! I feel! I feel! I feel the Cosmic Urge!"
Then moved the toe called Italy,
And Fothergil Finch remarked: "Roses . . .
roses . . . roses . . .
Onions and roses . . . roses are onions, and onions pigs . . .
And pigs are beautiful" . . .
And then the serious thinkers cried as one:
"Ah! Pigs are Beautiful!"
"Ah, Italy; oh, Italy!" cried Fothy Finch,
"Oh, never cease to move . . . Italy . . .
garlic . . . Venice . . .
Oh, bind my brows with garlic, lovely land, and
turn me loose!"
And as the toe called Italy still moved
The little groups made it into a chant, and sang:
"Oh, bind my brows with garlic, love, and turn me loose!"
* * *
"Hermione," I asked her afterward,
"Did you really see and feel anything when those
educated toes wiggled?"
"How can you ask?" she said, very up-stagey.
"Hermione," I said, "we are old enough friends by
this time, so we can deal frankly with one
another. Tell me on the square . . . did you
"You are blaspheming at the shrink of Art!" she said.
"Hermione! You are dodging!"
"Did you notice," she said irrelevantly, "the nail
polish she was using?
"It's QUITE the latest thing! For finger nails, too,
you know. That delicate rose pink, with just
the touch of creaminess in it! It's the creamy
tint that's new, you know. Isn't it simply
KULTUR, AND THINGS
Do you know, Kultur isn't the same thing at
all as culture . . . FANCY!
When we took it up Kultur, I mean yes,
we took it up in quite a serious way the other
evening our Little Group of Serious Thinkers, you
know and threshed it out thoroughly we hadn't
the slightest idea that it would lead us straight to
Nietzsche and and, well, all those people like that,
if you get what I mean. Though, of course, as the
man who spoke to us he was the LOVELIEST person!
spoke in German, we may have missed some of
the finer shades.
Oh, yes, I had German in high school . . . really,
I was quite proficient . . . although, of course,
it's such a GUTTURAL kind of language don't you
think? that one wonders how they EVER sing it.
And then, the verbs! . . . but I had Latin verbs
about the same time, you know . . . and really,
isn't it surprising how some of those foreign languages
seem to RUN to verbs, if you get what I mean?
It seems it was the Germans who invented the
Superman . . . and I suppose we must be grateful
to them for that, no matter what they may have
done with him after they invented him. . . .
I used to be quite taken with the Superman, you
know. . . . Really, I didn't recognize how
dangerous he might become. . . .
I didn't know he was German at all when we
took him up. . . .
Have you read anything about the Blond Beast?
I felt rather attracted toward him for a long
time myself . . . until lately. . . . But the attraction
passed. . . . I'm not brunette, you know, at
all. . . . Likely that's why I lost interest in
him. . . .
Aren't affinities between people of different
complexion simply WONDERFUL!
It makes me wonder if the Eugenists can be right
Fothergil Finch says that's where the Eugenists
fall down. . . . He says they don't take account
of Affinities at all.
Sometimes one finds it very puzzling doesn't
one? the way these modern causes and movements
seem to contradict one another!
But if one is in tune with the Cosmic All these
little inconsistencies don't matter.
The Cosmic All! . . . WHAT would we do without it?
How do you suppose people ever got along a
generation or two ago before the Cosmos and all
that sort of thing was discovered?
I've often thought about it . . . and of what life
must have been like in those days! As Emerson
. . . or WAS it Emerson? . . . says in one of his
poems: "Better a year of Europe than a cycle of
That's what Fothy Finch says he always feels
about Brooklyn . . . though I WILL say this for
Brooklyn the first girl I saw with courage enough
to wear one of those ankle watches on the street
lived in Brooklyn.
But don't you think Brooklyn people are rather
LIKE that . . . go to the latest things in dress, you
know, in an EXTREME sort of way, so that people
won't suspect they live in Brooklyn?
THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS
ISN'T the Christmas festival just simply WONDERFUL?
For days beforehand I feel so uplifted so
well, OTHER-WORLDLY if you know what I mean.
Isn't it just dreadful that any MATERIAL
considerations have to spoil such a sacred time?
It does seem to me that somehow we might free
ourselves of WORLDLINESS and GREEDINESS and just
rise to the spiritual significance of the day. If only
And what a blessing it would be to the poor, tired
shop girls if we could!
Though, of course, they, the shop girls, I mean,
must be upheld even in their weariest moments by
the thought that they are helping on the beautiful
impulse of giving!
When they reflect that every article they sell is
to be a gift from one thoughtful and loving heart
to another they must forget the mere fatigue of the
flesh and just feel the stimulus, the inspiration, the
There are gifts, I admit, that haven't the divine
spark of love to hallow them, but after all there
aren't so many of that sort. Love one another is
the spirit of Christmas and it prevails, whatever
the skeptics say to the contrary. And though
it's a pity there has to be a MATERIAL side to
Christmas at all, it's so comforting, so ennobling
to realize that back of the material gifts is Brotherly
It quite reassures one about the state of the world;
it certainly isn't getting worse with Brotherly Love
and the Spirit of Giving animating everybody.
Of course, Christmas giving IS a problem sometimes.
It is SO embarrassing when somebody you'd
forgotten entirely sends you a present.
I always buy several extra things just for that
emergency. Then, when an unexpected gift arrives,
I can rush off a return gift so promptly that
nobody'd ever DREAM I hadn't meant to send it all
And I always buy things I'd like to have myself,
so that if they aren't needed for unexpected people
they're still not wasted.
With all my spirituality, I have a practical side,
All well BALANCED natures have both the spiritual
and the practical side. It's so essential, nowadays,
to be well balanced, and it's a great relief to me to
find I CAN be practical. It saves me a lot of trouble,
too, especially about this problem of Christmas giving.
I know the value of material things, for instance.
And I never waste money giving more expensive
presents to my friends than I receive from them.
That's one of the advantages of having a well
balanced nature, a PRACTICAL side.
And, anyway, the value of a gift is not in the
COST of it. Quite cheap things, when they represent
true thought and affection, are above rubies.
Mamma and Papa are going to get me a pearl
necklace, just to circle the throat, but beautifully
matched pearl. I wouldn't care for an
ostentatiously long string of pearls anyway.
Poor, dear Papa says he really can't afford it
with times so hard, and those dear, pathetic
Europeans on everybody's hands, you know but
Mamma made him understand how necessary BEAUTY is
to me, and he finally gave in.
Isn't it just WONDERFUL how love rules us all at
POOR DEAR MAMA AND FOTHERGIL FINCH
(Hermione's Boswell Loquitur)
HERMIONE'S mother, who has figured so
often as "Poor dear Mama" in these
pages, has come out definitely for Suffrage.
Someone told her that there was an alliance between
the liquor interests and the anti-Suffagists and she
believed it, and it shocked her.
Since the activities of her daughter have brought
her into contact with Modern Though her life has
been chiefly passed in one or another of three
phases: She has been shocked, she is being
shocked, or she fears that she is about to be shocked.
She is nearing fifty and rather stout, though her
figure is still not bad. She has an abundance of
chestnut hair, all her own, and naturally wave; her
hands are pretty, her feet are pretty, her face is pretty.
Her mouth is very small, almost disproportionately so,
and her eyes are very large and blue and very wide
open. She was intended for a placed
woman, but Hermione and Modern Thought
have made complete placidity impossible. She has
a fondness for rich brocades and pretty fans are
chocolate candy and big bowls of roses and comfortable
chairs. When she was Hermione's age
she used to do water color sketches; the outlines
were penciled in by her drawing teacher, and she
washed on the color very smoothly and neatly; but
she heard a great many stories concerning the
dissolute lives that artists lead and she gave it up.
Nevertheless, she sometimes says: "Hermione
comes by her interest in Art quite naturally."
Fothergil Finch and I called recently. Hermione
was not in, and her mother suggested that we wait
for her. Hermione's mother looks upon all of
Hermione's friends with more or less suspicion,
and she would not permit Fothergil in particular to
be about the place for a moment if she were not
obliged to; but she does not have the requisite stern-
ness of character to resist her daughter. Fothergil,
knowing that he is not approved of, scarcely does
himself justice when Hermione's mother is present;
although he endeavors to avoid offending her.
"Have you seen the play, 'Young America'?"
asked Fothergil, searching for a safe topic of
A little ripple of alarm immediately ruffled the
lakeblue innocence of her eyes.
"If it is a Problem Play, I have not," she said,
"I consider such things dangerous."
"But it isn't, you know," said Fothergil eagerly.
It's a a it's a perfectly NICE play.
It's about a dog!"
"About a dog!" Her eyebrows went up, and her
mouth rounded itself with the conviction that no
perfectly nice play could possibly be about a dog.
"I think that is dreadfully Coarse!" she said.
"But it isn't," protested Fothergil. "It's just the
SORT of thing you'd like."
"Indeed!" She felt slightly insulted at his assumption
of what she would like, and dismissed
the subject with a wave of her pretty hand. Fothergil
"I hope," he said ingratiatingly, "that you haven't
been bothered by mosquitoes." She looked
a bit frightened, but said nothing, and he dashed on
determinedly. "You know, this is a new variety
of mosquitoes we've been having this year. Most
of them have stripes on their legs, you know, but
these have black legs this year. But maybe you
haven't noticed "
He stopped in midcareer. The preposterous idea
that she could be interested in examining the legs
of mosquitoes had too evidently outraged Hermione's
mother. Fothergil, flushed and embarrassed, tried
to make it better and made it worse.
"Maybe you haven't noticed their er limbs,"
"I have not," she murmured.
Fothergil desperately persevered.
"We don't see so much as we used to of
of " (I am sure he didn't know he was
going to finish the sentence when he began it, but
he plunged ahead) "of the Queen Anne style of
With visible relief, and yet with a lurking suspicion,
she assented. And Fothergil, feeling himself
on safe ground at last, went on:
"Don't you think she was one of the most interesting
queens in English history Queen Anne?
Do you remember the anecdote ?
But she checked him, frightened again:
"I do not wish to hear it, Mr. Finch," she said.
"But," said Fothergil, "She was a most unexceptional
Queen not like, er not like well,
Cleopatra, you know, or any of those bad ones."
Hermione's mother was silent, but it was apparent
that she feared the talk was about to veer toward
"When I was a girl," she said, "the lives of
queens were considered rather dangerous reading
for young women. You need not go into details,
I couldn't stand it any more myself. "If you'll
just tell Hermione I called," I said, edging toward
the door. Fothergil, however, stuck it out. In the
frenzy of embarrassment he must have lost his
head completely. For as I left I heard him be-
"Did you read the story in the papers today of
the man who killed his wife? Crimes of passion are
becoming more and more frequent. . . ."
PRISON REFORM AND POISE
AREN'T you just crazy about prison reform?
The most wonderful man talked to us to
our Little Group of Advanced Thinkers, you
know about it the other evening.
It made me feel that I'd be willing to do anything,
simply ANYTHING! to help those poor, unfortunate
convicts. Collect money, you know, or give talks,
or read books about them, or make any other
Even get them jobs. One ought to help them to
start over again, you know.
Though as for hiring one of them myself, or
rather getting Papa to well, really, you know,
one must draw the line somewhere!
But it's a perfectly fascinating subject to take up,
prison reform is.
It gives one such a sense of brotherhood and of
service it's so broadening, don't you think?
taking up things like that?
And one must be broad. I ask myself every night
before I go to bed: "Have I been BROAD today?
Or have I failed?"
Though, of course, one can be TOO broad, don't you think?
What I mean is, one must not be so broad that
one loses one's poise in the midst of things.
Poise! That is what this age needs!
I suppose you've heard wide-brimmed hats are
coming in again?
AN EXAMPLE OF PSYCHIC POWER
HAVE you thought deeply concerning the
Persistence of Personal Identity?
We took it up the other evening our
little group, you know in quite a thorough way
devoted an entire evening to it.
You see, there's a theory that after Evolution has
evolved just as far as it possibly can, everything
will go to smash, but then Evolution will start all
over again. And everything that has happened be-
fore will happen again.
Only the question is whether the people to whom
it is happening again will know whether they
are the same people to whom it has happened
That's where the question of Persistence of
Personal Identity comes in. FRIGHTFULLY
fascinating, isn't it?
For my part I'd just as soon not be reincarnated
as to be reincarnated and not know anything about
it, wouldn't you?
Of course, one's Subliminal Consciousness might
know about it, and give one intimations.
I've had intimations like that myself really!
I'm dreadfully psychic, you know.
Sometimes I quite startle people with my psychic
Fothergil Finch was here the other evening
you know fothergil Finch, the poet, don't you?
and I astounded him utterly by reading his inmost
He had just finished reading one of his poems
a vers libre poem, you know; all about Strength and
Virility, and that sort of thing. Fothergil is just
simply fascinated by Strength and Virility, though
you never would think it to look at him he is so
so well, if you get what I mean you'd think to
look at him that he'd be writing about violets instead
of cave men.
"Fothy," I said, when he had finished reading
the poem, "I know what you are thinking what
you are feeling!"
"What?" he said.
"You're thinking," I said, 'how WONDERFUL a
thing is the Cosmic Urge!"
Thoughts come to me just like that leap to me
right out of nowhere, so to speak.
Fothy was staggered; he actually turned pale;
for a minute or two he could scarcely speak. There
had been scarcely a WORD about Cosmic Urge in
the poem, you know; he'd hardly mentioned it.
"It is wonderful," he said, when we got over the
shock; "wonderful to be understood!" And you
know, really poor dear! so many people don't
understand Fothy at all. Nor what he writes,
But the strangest thing was I wish I could make
you understand how positively EERIE it makes me
feel that just the instant before he said, "It is
wonderful to be understood!" I knew he was going
to say it. I got that psychically, too!
"Fothy," I said, "It is absolutely WEIRD I
eavesdropped on your brain the second time!"
"Wonderful!" he said, "but the still more
wonderful thing would be "
And before he could finish the sentence it happened
the THIRD time! I interrupted and finished it
"The still more wonderful thing would be," I said,
"if it were NOT so."
"Heavens!" he cried, "this is getting positively ghostly."
And you know, it almost was. Not that I'm superstitious
at all, you know, in the vulgar way. But in the dim
room I always have just candlelight in
the drawing-room it fits in with my more reflective
moods, somehow I believe one must suit one's
environment to one's mood, don't you? in the dim
room, all those thoughts flying back and forty between
my brain and his gave me a positively creepy
feeling. And Fothy was so shaken I had to give
him a drink of Papa's Scotch before he went out
into the night.
SOME BEAUTIFUL THOUGHTS
(Fothergil Finch, the Vers Libre Bard)
OH, the Beautiful Mud! I always leave it on
my boots. It is sacred to me. Because in
it are the souls of lilies!
The Hog should be a sacred beast. Hogs are
Beautiful! They are close to the Mire! Oh, to be
What is more eloquent than a Sneeze? The
Sneeze is the protest of the Free Spirit against the
Smug Citizen who never exposes himself to a cold.
Oh, Beautiful Sneezes! Oh, to make my life one
loud explosive Sneeze in the face of Conventionality!
What is so free, so untrammeled, so ungyved, so
unconventional, as an Influenza Germ? From
throat to throat it floats, full of the spirit of true
democratic brotherhood, making the masses equal
with the classes, careless, winged ungyved! Oh,
the Beautiful Germ! Oh, to be an Influenza Germ!
What is so naive as a Hiccough! Oh, to be ingenuous,
unspoiled, beautiful, barbaric! Oh, the
hiccoughs, the beautiful hiccoughs, the hiccoughs
of Art uttered against the hurricane of time.
Bugs are Beautiful! Oh, the beautiful, sleek
slithery bugs. Oh, to be a water-bug of poesy skipping
across the flood of oblivion! Oh, to be a Bug!
I went down to the waterfront where they sell
fish and there I saw a fisherman who had caught a
Dogfish, and he cursed, but I said to him, "Do not
curse the Dogfish! The Dogfish is Symbolical! The
Dogfish is beautiful! Beautiful!"
Oh, the lovely Garbage Scows! I went down the
bay, and there I saw them dump the Garbage Scows!
I said to the man who sailed my boat: "What does
the Garbage Scow MEAN to you?" He was a
Philistine; he was Bourgeois; he was Smug; he was
Conventional, and he said: "A Garbage Scow means a
Garbage Scow to me!" But I said to him: "You
are Academic; you are Conservative! Garbage
Scows are lovely Symbols! Oh, my Argosies of
Dream! Oh, my beautiful Garbage Scows! Some
day even the Philistines of Benighted America will
see the Spiritual Significance of the Lovely Garbage
I found a Glue Factory, a Free Untrammeled
Glue Factory! I was expressing itself. It was
asserting its individuality. It was saying to the
Blind Complacent Pillars of Polite Society: "My
aroma is not your aroma, but my aroma is my
own!" Oh, the Courageous Glue Factory, the Free,
Unfettered Glue Factory! A thousand Glue Factories,
from Main to Oregon, are thus rebuking Class
Prejudice and Bourgeois Smugness. Like
Poets, like Prophets of the New Art, they stand,
Glue Factory after Glue Factory, expressing their
Egos, Being Themselves, undaunted, unshackled,
strong, independent, virile! Oh, to be the Poet of
the Super Glue Factory!
With violets in my hands I wandered to the
wilds, and there I met a Buzzard. He was Being
Himself! I wove a wreath of the violets and I
crowned the Buzzard, and the Buzzard said, "Why
do you crown me?" And I said, "Oh, Lovely Buzzard,
are you not Being Yourself? Are you not
rebuking the Trivial Conventionalities of our Organized
Society? I know your Dream, O Buzzard!
Accept this Crown of Violets from our little
Come with me to the zoo, and I will bare our
Souls to the Hyena, and the Hyena will commune
with us, and we will know the meaning of Life!
Oh, the lovely Hyena.
THE BOURGEOIS ELEMENT AND BACKGROUND
ISN'T it simply wonderful about D'Annunzio
enlisting as a common soldier and digging
trenches along with the Due D'Abruzzi and
those other Italian poets? Or was it D'Abruzzi?
Anyhow, it was one of those poets that were
always talking about the Superman.
Although, I must say, one doesn't hear so much
about the Superman these days, does one? The
Superman is going out, you know.
One of my friends she's quite an advanced
thinker, too, and belongs to our little group told
me a year or so ago, "Hermione, I will NEVER marry
until I find a Superman!"
"Of course, that is all right, my dear," I said
to her, "but how about Genetics?"
Because, you know, the slogan of our little group
that is, one of the slogans is "Genetics or
It made her quite angry for some reason. She
pursed her lips up and acted shocked.
"It is all very well, Hermione," she said, "to
discuss Genetics in the ABSTRACT. But to connect the
discussion with the marriage of a FRIEND is not, to
my mind, the proper thing at all!"
Did you ever hear of anything more utterly in-
Oh, Consistency! Consistency! Isn't Consist-
ency perfectly wonderful!
But that is always the way when it comes to
a discussion of Sex. The Bourgeois Element are
NEVER Fundamental and Thorough in their
treatment of Sex, if you know what I mean.
And, as Fothergil Finch says, in this country we
are NEARLY all Bourgeois.
We have not had enough Background for one thing.
If all the little groups the country over would
take up the matter of Background in a serious way,
something might be done about it, don't you think?
We must organize we who are the intellectual
leaders, you know and start an effective propaganda
for the purpose of obtaining more Background.
TAKING UP THE LIQUOR PROBLEM
WE'RE thinking of taking up the Liquor
problem our little group, you know,
in quite a serious way.
The Working Classes would be so much better
off without liquor. And we who are the leaders
in thought should set them an example.
So a number of us have decided to set our faces
very sternly against drinking in public.
Of course, a cocktail or two and an occasional
stinger, is something no one can well avoid taking,
if one is dining out or having supper after the
theater with one's own particular crowd.
But all the members of my own particular little
group have entered into a solemn agreement not
to take even so much as a cocktail or a glass of
wine if any of the working classes happen to be
about where they can see us and become corrupted
by our example.
The Best People owe those sacrifices to the
Masses, don't you think?
Of course, the waiters, and people like that,
really belong to the working classes too, I suppose.
But, as Fothergil Finch says, very often one
wouldn't know it. And who could expect a waiter
to be influenced one way or another by anything?
And it's the home life of the working classes that
When we took up Sociology we gave several
evenings to Sociological Discussion, you know,
besides doing a lot of practical Welfare Work it
was impressed upon me very strongly that if one is to
do anything at all for the Masses one must first
SWEETEN their Home Life.
Though Papa made me stop poking around into
the horrid places where they live for fear I might
catch some dreadful disease.
And the people we visited weren't all that grateful.
So VERY OFTEN the Masses are not.
One dreadful woman, you know, claimed that
she couldn't keep her rooms she had two rooms,
and she cooked and washed and slept and sewed
in them and there were five in the family claimed
that she couldn't keep her rooms in any better shape
because they were so out of repair and the plumbing
was bad and the windows leaked and all that
sort of thing, you know, and one of the rooms was
I preached the doctrine of fresh air and sunshine
and cleanliness to her, you know, and the imprudent
thing told me Papa owned the building and
it wasn't true at all Papa only belonged to the
company that owned the building. One can't do
much for people who will not be truthful with one,
Besides, it is the Silent Influence that counts more
than arguments and visiting.
If one makes one's life what it should be Good
Vibrations from one's Ego will permeate all
classes of society.
And that is the way we intend to make ourselves
felt with regard to the Liquor Problem. We will
inculcate abstemiousness by example.
Abstemiousness, Fothy Finch says, should be our
motto, rather than Abstinence. We shall be QUITE
careful not to identify ourselves with the MORE
VULGAR aspects of the propaganda.
And of course at social functions in our private
homes total abstinence is quite out of the question.
The working classes wouldn't get any example
from our homes, anyone; for of course we never
come into contact with them there.
But the working classes must be saved from
themselves, even if all the employers of labor have
to write out a list of just what they eat and
drink and make them buy only those things. They
simply MUST be saved.
Not that they'll appreciate it. They never do. If
I were not an incorrigible idealist I would be
inclined to give them up.
But someone must give up his life to leading them
onward and upward. And who is there to do it if
not we leaders of Modern Thought?
THE JAPANESE ARE WONDERFUL,
IF YOU GET WHAT I MEAN
DON'T you just dote on the Japanese?
They're so esoteric and subtle and all that
sort of thing, aren't they?
Just look at Buddhism and Shintoism, for
instance. Could anything be more subtle and
We've been taking them up our Little Group
of Serious Thinkers, you know and they've
wonderful, simply WONDERFUL!
Not, of course, that one would BE a Buddhist or
a Shintoist but it's broadening to the mind, don't
you think, to come in contact with the great
thought of of well, really of people like Shinto,
you know, and those other sages?
And how wonderfully artistic they are the
The new parasols are quite Japanese, you know.
Haven't you seen them?
I have three, for different costumes. One is
covered with embroidered Japanese crepe, and an-
other with martine silk.
But the one, I think that express ME the most
accurately the one that represents my individuality,
REALLY is made with gold spokes covered with
black Chantilly lace. Japanese shape, you know,
and French workmanship.
And one must strive to represent one's self if one
is to be honest.
One must put one's soul into one's environment.
Although Environment isn't what it used to be.
You don't hear Environment spoken of nearly as
often as you did.
Environment is going out.
But besides being so esoteric and exotic and artistic,
and all that sort of things, the Japanese are
wonderfully up to date, too.
Do you know, they actually have a battleship
named The Tango!
Have you thought deeply of Interstellar Communication?
It promises to be one of the great new problems.
The loveliest man talked to us about it the other
evening. "Interstellar Communication in Its Relation
to Recent Psychic Hypotheses" that's the title;
I wrote it down. I always take notes of a title like that.
It helps one to get to the heart of the matter.
Interstellar Communication is wonderful simply WONDERFUL!
We're going to take up Mars soon.
Mamma said to me only yesterday: "Hermione,
you SIMPLY MUST drop some of your serious subjects
during the hot weather."
"Mamma," I told her, "that was all very well in
your day to take things up and drop them at will.
But people didn't have a Social Conscience in those
times. We advanced thinkers owe a duty to the
race. We must grapple with things. We are not
content to frivol, I WILL take up Mars!"
And, you know, I don't have the temperament to
remain idle. My mind MUST be active. Sometimes
when I think how active my mind is, I wonder my
forehead isn't wrinkled.
And of course that would be a loss anything
is a loss that destroys Beauty.
For, after all, Beauty is what the world needs
more than anything else. It's a serious thought
how far Use should be sacrificed to Beauty, and
Beauty to Use, isn't it?
You know that's why I can't join the suffragists.
I am one, of course, but the suffragist yellow is
such a HORRID color I simply CANNOT wear it.
SHE REFUSES TO GIVE UP THE COSMOS
WE'VE taken up Gertrude Stein our Little
Group of Serious Thinkers, you know
and she's wonderful; simply WONDERFUL.
She Suggests the Inexpressible, you know.
Of course, she is a Pioneer. And with all
Pioneers don't you think the Reach is greater
than the Grasp.
Not that you can tell what she means.
But in the New Art, one doesn't have to mean
things, does one? One strikes the chords, and the
Aren't Vibrations just too perfectly lovely for
The loveliest man talked to us the other night
about World Movements and Cosmic Vibrations.
You see, every time the Cosmos vibrates it means
a new World Movement.
And the Souls that are in Tune with the Cosmos
are benefitted by these World Movements. The
other souls will get harm out of them.
Frightfully interesting, isn't it? the Cosmos, I mean.
I have given so much thought to it! It has be-
come almost an obsession to me.
Only the other evening I was thinking about it.
And without realizing that I spoke aloud I said,
"I simply could NOT DO WITHOUT the Cosmos!"
Mamma poor Mamma! she is so terribly
unadvanced you know! Mama said: "Hermione,
I do not know what the Cosmos is. But this I
do know not another Sex Discussion or East
Indian Swami will ever come into THIS house!"
"Mamma," I said to her, "I will NOT give up the
Cosmos. It means everything to me; simply EVERYTHING!"
I am always firm with Mamma; it is kinder, in
the long run, to be quite positive. But what I
suffer at home from objections to the advanced
movements nobody knows!
Nobody but the Leaders of Thought can dream
what Martyrdom is!
Sacrifice! Sacrifice! That is the keynote of the
Nearly every night before I go to bed I ask myself:
"Have I shown the Sacrificial Spirit to day?
Or have I FAILED?"
THE CAVE MAN
DON'T you think the primitive is just simply
too fascinating for anything? We've all
got it in us, you know, and it seems like
nowadays the more cultured and advanced one is the
more likely the primitives is to break out on one.
I have a strong strain of the primitive in me, you know.
I wouldn't take anything for it it's simply
It comes over me so strong at times, the yearning
for the primitive does, that I just sit with a dreamy
look on my face and murmur to myself: "ALONE,
ALONE UNDER THE STARS! ALONE!"
Mamma overheard me saying that the other day
and thought I had gone crazy, and she said: "for
Heaven's sake, Hermione, what are you thinking
about, and what do you want?"
"The stars," I murmured, scarcely knowing that
I spoke aloud, "the stars and my Cave Man!"
Mamma was shocked she says for an unmarried
woman to think of Cave Men is simply indelicate.
Mamma is not at all advanced, you know.
She's dear and sweet, but she doesn't believe in
Trial Marriages at all.
And I must admit they shocked me when I first
heard about them. But that was before I had taken
up these things seriously.
"Mamma," I said to her, "it is no use for you to
pretend to be shocked. I have a right to happiness.
And happiness to me means being alone, under the
stars, and walking barefoot and bareheaded in the
"Alone with a Cave Man!" she said. And then
Tears! that is so like the old-fashioned woman!
"Mamma," I said, kindly, but firmly, "If it is my
destiny to be kidnaped by a Cave Man and taken
into the waste places, under the stars, can I avoid it?"
She said I could at least be respectable, and that
I was acting like I WANTED to be kidnaped.
And, you know, at times I do feel as if that
might be my fate, "really. I am so psychic, you
know, and psychics feel their fate coming on quicker
than most people.
I told Mamma that I felt every woman had a
right to choose the father of her own children, and
she was shocked again. And then she wanted to
know what being kidnaped by a Cave Man had
to do with choosing the father of one's own children,
and how did I know but these Cave Men
kidnaped a different woman every year?
But I settled her.
"Mamma," I said, "you are NOT advanced, and
so I cannot argue with you. You wouldn't understand.
But if I AM primitive and I feel that
I am whose fault is it? Who did I inherit it from?"
She couldn't say anything to that. She didn't
like to own that I inherited it from her. And she
knew if she blamed it onto Papa I would ask her
how she DARED to deny me a primitive man when
she had married one herself.
Finally she quit crying and said, pressing her
lips together: "Hermione, do you KNOW any of
those Cave Men?"
But I refused to answer. I went to my room.
Dissension disturb's the soul's harmony.
One's subliminal consciousness must ever vibrate
in harmony with the Cosmic All.
I never fuss when a person disturbs me. I just
go into the Silences and vibrate there.
But I kept thinking: "DO I know any Cave Men?"
I Think I do one. He tries to conceal it. But
it's his secret. I'm sure.
He has the most luminous eyes!
Like a wolf's, you know, when it gallops across
the waste places under the stars, alone!
And the way he eats! I don't mean that he's
noisy, you know. But the way he crunched a chicken
bone the last time he dined with me was perfectly
WONDERFUL so nonchalant, you know, and loudly
and and well, primitive! I'm SURE he's one!
I wouldn't go autoing with him for anything
unless, of course, he gave me one of those compelling
glances, like Cave Men do in the magazines, you know.
Then I'd know it was destiny and useless to resist.
THE LITTLE GROUP GIVES A PAGAN MASQUE
The Little Group gave a party
And all of the gods were there,
From Thor to Miss Susan Astarte
With doo-daddles gemming her hair,
Bill Baldur and Jane Aphrodite,
Dick Vishnu and Benny O'Baal,
And Bacchus came on in a nightie
With little pink snakes in the tail;
Latin, Phoenician and Hindu
Norse and Egyptian and Chink. . . .
Castor was watching his Twin do
Stunts, with a brotherly wink. . . .
Persephone swearing by Hades. . . .
A Norn and Sibylline Simp. . . .
A Momus, who showed up to the ladies
The latest Olympian limp.
Was Hermione present? By Crikey!
(This Crikey's a Whitechapel joss)
Our Hermy attended as Psyche
She siked and she got it across
And Fothergil Finch, rather gaumy
With Cosmic cosmetics, was there,
But the Swami went just as the Swami,
After oiling the kinks in his hair.
I said to Hermione: "Goddess!
You're graceful, you're Greek, you're a rose,
From the pinions that rise from your bodice
To the raddle I note on your toes,
"And Fothergil, here, with his censer,
And his little cheeks crimson as beets,
Your acolyte, perfume-dispenser,
Is sweet as a page out of Keats,
"But tell me, my Dea my Psyche!
(With your wings outspread as to race
With that swift and acephalous Nike
Who lost her bean somewhere in Thrace)
"My Thea my classical pigeon!
Is not your Sincerity shocked
By this giddy revue of religion? . . .
Are none of these gods being mocked? . . .
"In the regions unknowable Thea!
Where the noumenon chumbs with the Nous,
Where the Idol gets hep to Idea,
And pythagoras ogles a Goose,
"In the heavens of Brahm and Osiris,
Are they peeved with this revel, I ask? . . .
Does Pluto like this, where his fire is? . . .
What in hell do they think of this masque? . . .
"Where the deities, avid of Is-ness,
Resurge from the Flivvers that Were,
While the wild Chaotical Whizness
Gives place to a Cosmic Whir,
"Do they relish this josh of the josses?
Do they lamp not the same with a grouch?
Are you stinging these gloomy Big Bosses
To a keener, immortaler ouch?"
Hermione murmured: "How eerie!
You are voicing my own Inner Mood!
Ah me! but the world is less dreary
If one is but understood!
"And I thank you, I thank you, for rising
To my personal point of view. . . .
I THANK you for SYMPATHIZING! . . .
Dear man, how you always do!"
OF course we're out of town for the summer
EVERYBODY'S out of town, now but
I motor in once or twice a week to keep in
touch with some of my committees.
Sociological work, for instance, keeps right up
the year around.
Of course, it's not so interesting in the winter.
You see more striking contrasts in the winter, don't
A couple of girl cousins of mine from Cincinnati
have been here. They're interested in welfare work
of all sorts.
"Hermione," they said, "we want to see the
"My dears," I said, "I don't mind showing it to
you, but it's nothing much to see in summer. It's
in the winter that it arouses one's deepest sympathies."
And one must keep one's sympathies aroused.
Often I say to myself at night: "Have I been
sympathetic today, or have I FAILED?"
Mamma often lacks sympathy. She objects to
having me reopen my Salon this winter.
"Hermione," she said, "I don't mind the subjects
you take up or the people you take up with if
you only take them up one at a time. And I am
glad when your own little group meets here, be-
cause it keeps you at home. But I will NOT have
all the different kinds of freaks here at the SAME
TIME, sitting around discussing free love and sex
I was indignant. "Mamma," I said, "what right
have you to say they would discuss that all the
"Because," she said, "I have noticed that no matter
whether they start with sociology or psychology,
they always get around to Sex in the end."
Isn't it funny about pure-minded people? in the
generation before this anything that shocked a pure-
minded person like Mamma was sure to be bad.
But now its only the evil-minded people who
ever get shocked at all, it seems.
The really PUREST of the pure-minded people don't
get shocked by anything at all these days.
I think Mamma is either getting purer-minded all
the time or is losing some of it I can't tell which
for she isn't shocked as easily as she was a few
But I got a shock myself recently.
I found out that plants have Sex, you know.
Just think of it carrots, onion, turnips,
potatoes, and everything!
Isn't it frightful to think that this agitation has
spread to the vegetable kingdom?
I vowed I would never eat another potato as
long as I lived!
And, after all, what GOOD does it do letting the
vegetable kingdom have Sex, I mean?
Even a good thing, you know, can be carried too far.
"Mamma," I told her, "you are hopelessly behind
the times. Sex is a Great Fact. Someone must
discuss it. And who but the Leaders of Thought
are worthy to?"
I intend to say nothing more about it now but
when the time comes I WILL reopen my Salon.
And as far as talking about Sex is concerned
the right sort of mind will get GOOD out of it, and
the wrong sort will get HARM.
I don't really LIKE discussions of Sex any more
than Mamma does. No really nice girl does.
But we advanced thinkers owe a duty to the race.
Not that the race is grateful. Especially the
It was only last week that I was endeavoring to
introduce the cook to some advanced ideas for her
own good, you know, and because one owes a spiritual
duty to one's servants and she got angry and gave notice.
The servant problem is frightful. It will have to
be taken seriously.
BLOUSES, BURGARS AND BUTTERMILK
SOME of us Our Little Group of Advanced
Thinkers, you know are going in for Bulgarian
It came in about the time the Bulgarian blouses
did there was a war over there somewhere, you
know, before this big war, that made it fashionable.
But the blouses went out, and the buttermilk
It seems there's a Bulgarian by the name of
Metchnikoff in Paris who sits down and designs
these things the buttermilk, you know, not the
Isn't science wonderful simply WONDERFUL!
We're going to take up Metchnikoff in a serious way.
You know what he aims to do is to lengthen life.
The question is: "Should life be lengthened?
Or should it not?
The Leaders of Thought will have to thresh that
The question of old age is a subtle one, isn't it?
And it's very typical of our times, don't you think,
that we should discuss the problems of old age?
Other epochs have done it, of course, but not
The question enters into everything even millinery.
I'm having the loveliest hat adapted from a
French model to wear with my lingerie costumes,
you know a wide-brimmed black lace with a black
It's only recently that young women could afford
to wear black, even when it was becoming. When
Mamma was young it was a sign that youth was
And nowadays, age doesn't matter so much one
way or another. A person is the age one FEELS,
Have you thought deeply on Hypnagogic
Illusions? We're planning to take them up.
HAVE you read anything about the Twilight
Sleep yet? It's wonderful; simply WONDERFUL!
The loveliest man told our little group all about
it just the other evening.
"Hermione," said Mamma, "I will NOT have you
taking up any more subjects of that Easy Indian
character. No Swami shall ever enter this house
"Mamma," I said to her, "you are hopelessly
unadvanced., It has nothing whatever to do with
Going into the Silences or Swamis. It's entirely
scientific and not psychic at all. And if it were
psychic, what then?"
"No Swami," said Mamma, even more stubborn-
ly, "shall ever darken my door again!"
Poor, dear, stupid Mamma! She gets things so
"As far as Swamis are concerned," I told her,
"the debt we owe to them in incalculable. Where,
for instance, would we have ever heard of Karma
if it had not been for the Swamis?"
She couldn't answer; she just looked stubborn;
unadvanced people always look stubborn and glare.
"Where," I said, "did we get the Vedantas and
Vegetarianism and Alternate Breathing from?"
She couldn't say a word. She just pouted.
"Who taught us," I said, "Transmigration of
Souls and Vibrations?"
She broke down and cried.
"Hermione," she said, "I simply HATE howdahs
and cobras and swastikas and all those Oriental
Mamma has no idea whatever of logic. She is a
typical old-fashioned woman.
"Mamma," I said, "cry as much as you like. You
shall not disturb MY inner Harmony! I will not
permit you to. And my mind is made up. I will
take up the Twilight Sleep in a serious way!"
That settled it, too.
Have you noticed, there's been just a hint of
autumn in the air these last few days?
Have you seen the new styles for autumn? They
are wonderful; simply WONDERFUL!
IN spite of all we've done for them by we I
mean the serious thinkers of the world some
people are so frightfully uncultured!
A girl asked me the other day and the surprising
thing about it, too, is that she belonged to our
own Little Group of Advanced Thinkers she asked
me: "Hermione, don't you just done on Rubaiyat's
For a moment I couldn't think who she meant at all.
"He's not an American, is he?" I said.
"Oh, no," she said, "he's some sort of an Oriental."
"It isn't Rubaiyat you're thinking of, my dear,"
I told her. It's Rabindranath. Rabindranath
Something-or-other, that new man he's wonderful,
my dear, simply wonderful."
And then she quoted some of it and the idea
is too absurd for anything, but what do you sup-
pose it was?
Omar Khayyam imagine!
And really, you know, it's been years since anybody
quoted Omar Khayyam; he's QUITE gone out, you know!
Even the question whether he was moral doesn't
attract any attention any more. Although as far
as that is concerned, the pure mind will get purity
out of him and the impure mind will get impurity.
Honi sit qui what is the rest of it? Oh, you
know it's Latin what the Romans used to say
about Caesar's wife and her continual suspicions.
My, how a suspicious wife can handicap a man!
But, of course, as women get more and more
advanced, and know about the lives men lead, they
are finding out that the suspicions were justified.
Their intuitions told them so all the time.
I have a lot of intuition myself the moment a
man comes I judge him in spite of myself.
First impressions always last with me, too.
You know, I'm very psychic.
Sometimes I am almost frightened when I think
of the things my intuition would tell me if I al-
lowed it to roam at will, so to speak, among my
friends and acquaintances.
But I restrain it. One must, you know. The
loveliest man gave us such an interesting talk on
self-restraint the other evening.
And now I always ask myself the last thing be-
fore I go to bed at night: "Have I restrained my-
self today? Or have I failed?"
There is no real culture without restraint, you know.
That's where the English are so superior, don't
I met the loveliest Englishman the other evening.
The moment I saw him I said to myself he
was one of the aristocracy. Other people have
noses like theirs, of course, but it is only the
English aristocracy who can CARRY that kind of a nose.
And my intuition was correct there are only
five lives between him and a title, and one of those
is a polo player and another is at the front.
Someone told me his family were paying him
not to go home, but what they think the poor man
would do if he were in England I don't know,
because they don't duel there, you know. If they
dueled there, of course, he might dispose of all
Don't you think those old European families are
so, so well, so ROMANTIC somehow?
SCIENCE and philanthropy should go hand in
hand two hearts that beat as one, if you
know what I mean, and all that sort of thing.
And they do, too. We were discussing it the
other evening our Little Group of Serious
Thinkers, you know and we decided that what
philanthropy owes to science is made up by what
science owes to philanthropy.
Isn't it wonderful how things balance like that?
There's the Twilight Sleep and the Mother-
Teacher Idea, for instance.
Our little group are thinking of starting a
propaganda to urge ALL Teachers to be Mothers.
And, of course, a lot of them might object but
along comes the Twilight Sleep and takes away all
And along comes Philanthropy to put the Twilight
Sleep within the reach of all at least, we
hope it will and we're going to take the matter up
with some of the Philanthropists right away.
Isn't it just simply WONDERFUL how Modern
Thought brings subjects like that together?
Of course, even Modern Thought couldn't do it,
unless the subjects belonged together, anyhow, could
it? Unless they were er er
Well, you know, Affinities. Though I don't care
much for the word.
Affinities have quite gone out, you know. You
don't hear much about Affinities this autumn.
Nor Soul Mates, either, for that matter.
Though I always will say there's an IDEA behind
all the talk about them.
Isn't it odd about things that way how Ideas
come and go, you know, and become quite old-
fashioned, and yet all the time have a QUITE
profound Idea back of them?
There's Cubist and Futurist Art, for instance
one doesn't hear nearly so much about them now,
though everyone admitted there was an Idea
Of course, no one knew what the Idea MEANT.
But it was stimulating.
And why should an Idea have to MEAN anything
if it is STIMULATING?
Stimulation! Stimulation! That is the secret
of Modern Life!
One should be receptive to Stimulation one
should strive to Stimulate!
One owes it to the Masses to Stimulate! It is
the DUTY of the leaders of Advanced Thought!
Nearly every night before I go to bed I ask myself,
"Have I been a Stimulating Influence today?
Or have I failed?"
Fothergil Finch says I Stimulate HIM!
Poor, dear man! he's becoming quite quite
well, er er TOO encouraged, if you know what I mean.
Yes, that is the way with poets.
I doubt if ANY poet ever understood a purely
I gave him a long, long look last evening and said,
"Fothergil, CAN you keep on the Platonic Plane?"
He only said, "Alas! The Platonic Plane!"
I hope he can. I need him for my Salon.
I'm having the entire ground floor of the house
done over for that, you know, and I may reopen it
any time now!
I'M thinking of taking up politics in a practical
I've never been an active suffragist, you
know, on account of that horrid yellow color on the
banners and things.
But one must sacrifice Ideals of Beauty to Ideals
of Usefulness, mustn't one?
And politics is fascinating; simply FASCINATING!
Going about and organizing working girls, you
know, and seeing Corrupt Bosses and enlisting them
for Moral Causes, and making one's self felt as a
Force could one make one's self more Utile?
More spiritually Utile?
Utility! That is what our Leaders of Thought
need to develop!
Nearly every night before I go to bed I say to
myself: "Have I been Utile today? Or have I
Politics, practical politics, will be such an outlet
for my personality, too.
And when I reopen my Salon I can make it count
for the Cause, too.
We are going to give an evening soon our
Group of Advanced Thinkers, you know to a serious
and thorough study of political economy. They
say it's simply wonderful.
The loveliest woman talked to us the other evening.
She's a poet. When women have charge of
affairs, she said, Humanitarianism, Idealism and the
Poetic Spirit will rule in public life.
Won't that be lovely?
But we must be practical, and get the Bosses on
our side. They are simply horrid people socially
and ethically, you know. But there's something
frightfully fascinating about the idea of bearding
them in their dens with petitions and things.
Though how the idea of abolishing men altogether
will work out I don't know.
Some of the leaders of the Cause seem to want it.
I have no doubt that it could be done. Some plants and
insects have only the female sex, you know. And
maybe the human race will be that way one day.
Although, for my part, if they could only be
reformed I'd favor retaining men.
There's something about them so so well, so
MASCULINE somehow, if you know what I mean.
But I must hurry I have to do some shopping.
Clothes are a bore, aren't they?
HERMIONE ON PSYCHICAL RESEARCH
SPIRITUALISM is becoming quite the thing,
Dear Sir Oliver Lodge has been proving
some more things quite recently, you know. How
anyone could doubt a man with such a lovely head
and face I can't imagine.
Spiritualism and Spiritism are quite different, you
know. It has been a long time, really, since
Spiritualism was taken seriously.
Except by superstitious people, of course.
But Spiritism has come to stay. It has nothing
to do with superstition at all. It's part of Advanced
Thought quite scientific, you know, while
Spiritualism was just a fad.
And Spiritualism is somehow more well, er
VULGAR if you get what I mean. The sort of people
one cares to know well have dropped Spiritualism
Though, of course, a ghost is a ghost, whether it
is materialized by spiritualism or Spiritism.
I have been often told that I am naturally very
clairvoyant if I were developed I would make a
splendid medium. Mediums have seen shapes
hovering around my head, and once when I was at
school I did some automatic writing.
It was the strangest, easiest thing! I had a pencil
in my hand and without thinking of anything in
particular at all I just scribbled away, and what I
wrote was, "When in the course of human events
it becomes necessary; When in the course of human
events it becomes necessary," over and over again.
I was quite startled, for the last thing I had been
thinking of was an algebra examination, and not
history at all. We had had our history examination
I felt as if an unseen hand had reached out of
the Silences and grasped mine!
Wasn't it weird?
And I know who it was, too. A distant relative
of Mamma's on her father's side, by marriage, was
one of the men who signed the Constitution of the
United States in Faneuil Hall, in Philadelphia, in
1776, and it was HIS spirit that was trying to de-
liver his message through me!
And only last year I came across a very similar
case. Only this was stranger than mine, if any-
thing. For it happened on a typewriter which
proves that the veil between the two worlds must
be very thin, doesn't it, if the spirits are taking up
It happened to one of Papa's stenographers. I
had her up to the house to take notes for a report
I was making to one of the sociological committees
I was on then.
And she took the notes and put them into shape
for me, but when she sent the report to me the back
of one of the sheets was just full of one sentence
written over and over again. She didn't know she'd
included that sheet, of course.
It was so curious I asked her about it.
She looked a little queer and said that when she
wasn't thinking of anything in particular, but just
sitting before her typewriter and not working, she
always wrote that sentence.
"It just comes into my head," she said, "and I
"An occult force guides your fingers?" I asked.
"Yes, ma'am, that's it," she said.
Over and over and over again she had written,
"Now is the time for all good men to come to the
aid of the party."
And here is the eerie part of it it almost frightened
me when I got it out of her! her father had
been some sort of politician; a district leader, or
something like that. And he was dead, and she
had had to go to work.
But he was trying to deliver a message through her!
Isn't Psychical Research simply wonderful!
Not that I'd care to go in for any vulgar thing
such as tin trumpets, you know, but
Well, there's the Astral Body. That hasn't been
vulgarized at all, if you get what I mean. Really,
the Best People have them.
HERMIONE, THE DEATHLESS
She will not die! in Brainstorm Slum
Fake, Nut and Freak Psychologist
Eternally shall buzz and hum,
And Spook and Swami keep their tryst
with Thinkers in a Mental Mist.
You threaten her with Night and Sorrow?
Out of the Silences, I wist,
More Little Groups will rise tomorrow!
The lips of Patter ne'er are dumb,
The Futile Mills shall grind their grist
Of sand from now till Kingdom Come;
The Winds of Bunk are never whist.
You scowl and shake an honest fist
You threaten her with Night and Sorrow?
Go slay one Pseudo-Scientist,
More Little Groups will rise tomorrow!
With Fudge to feed the Hungry Bum
She plays the Girl Philanthropist
Each pinchbeck, boy Millenium
She swings, a Bangle, at her wrist
Blithe Parrot and Pert Egoist,
You threaten her with Night and Sorrow?
Hermiones will aye persist!
More Little Groups will rise tomorrow!
She, whom Prince Platitude has kissed,
You threaten her with Night and Sorrow?
Slay her by thousands, friend but list:
More Little Groups will rise tomorrow!