Chapter the first the dream chapter the second the wear and tear of episcopacy chapter the third insomnia



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She echoed his gesture.
"Probably I'm not alone among my brethren," he went on, and

then: "But what is one to do?"


With her hands she acted her sense of his difficulty.
"One may be precipitate," he said. "There's a kind of loyalty

and discipline that requires one to keep the ranks until one's

course of action is perfectly clear. One owes so much to so many.

One has to consider how one may affect--oh! people one has never

seen."
He was lugging things now into speech that so far had been

scarcely above the threshold of his conscious thought. He went on

to discuss the entire position of the disbelieving cleric. He

discovered a fine point.


"If there was something else, an alternative, another religion,

another Church, to which one could go, the whole case would be

different. But to go from the church to nothingness isn't to go

from falsehood to truth. It's to go from truth, rather badly

expressed, rather conservatively hidden by its protections, truth

in an antiquated costume, to the blackest lie--in the world."


She took that point very brightly.
"One must hold fast to 'iligion," she said, and looked

earnestly at him and gripped fiercely, pink thumbs out, with her

beautiful hands held up.
That was it, exactly. He too was gripping. But while on the

outside the Midianites of denial were prowling for these clinging

souls, within the camp they were assailed by a meticulous

orthodoxy that was only too eager to cast them forth. The bishop

dwelt for a time upon the curious fierceness orthodoxy would

sometimes display. Nowadays atheism can be civil, can be

generous; it is orthodoxy that trails a scurrilous fringe.
"Who was that young man with a strong Irish accent--who

contradicted me so suddenly?" he asked.


"The dark young man?"
"The noisy young man."
"That was Mist' Pat'ick O'Go'man. He is a Kelt and all that.

Spells Pat'ick with eva so many letters. You know. They say he

spends ouas and ouas lea'ning E'se. He wo'ies about it. They all

t'y to lea'n E'se, and it wo'ies them and makes them hate England

moa and moa."
"He is orthodox. He--is what I call orthodox to the

ridiculous extent."


"'idiculous."
A deep-toned gong proclaimed breakfast over a square mile or so

of territory, and Lady Sunderbund turned about mechanically

towards the house. But they continued their discussion.
She started indeed a new topic. "Shall we eva, do 'ou think,

have a new 'iligion--t'ua and betta?"


That was a revolutionary idea to him.
He was still fending it off from him when a gap in the shrubs

brought them within sight of the house and of Mrs. Garstein

Fellows on the portico waving a handkerchief and crying

"Break-fast."


"I wish we could talk for houas," said Lady Sunderbund.
"I've been glad of this talk," said the bishop. "Very glad."
She lifted her soft abundant skirts and trotted briskly across

the still dewy lawn towards the house door. The bishop followed

gravely and slowly with his hands behind his back and an

unusually peaceful expression upon his face. He was thinking how

rare and precious a thing it is to find intelligent friendship in

women. More particularly when they were dazzlingly charming and

pretty. It was strange, but this was really his first woman

friend. If, as he hoped, she became his friend.


Lady Sunderbund entered the breakfast room in a gusty abundance

like Botticelli's Primavera, and kissed Mrs. Garstein Fellows

good-morning. She exhaled a glowing happiness. "He is wondyful,"

she panted. "He is most wondyful."


"Mr. Hidgeway Kelso?"
"No, the dee' bishop! I love him. Are those the little sausages

I like? May I take th'ee? I've been up houas."


The dee' bishop appeared in the sunlit doorway.
(5)

The bishop felt more contentment in the London train than he

had felt for many weeks. He had taken two decisive and relieving

steps. One was that he had stated his case to another human

being, and that a very charming and sympathetic human being, he

was no longer a prey to a current of secret and concealed

thoughts running counter to all the appearances of his outward

life; and the other was that he was now within an hour or so of

Brighton-Pomfrey and a cigarette. He would lunch on the train,

get to London about two, take a taxi at once to the wise old

doctor, catch him over his coffee in a charitable and

understanding mood, and perhaps be smoking a cigarette publicly

and honourably and altogether satisfyingly before three.
So far as Brighton-Pomfrey's door this program was fulfilled

without a hitch. The day was fine and he had his taxi opened, and

noted with a patriotic satisfaction as he rattled through the

streets, the glare of the recruiting posters on every vacant

piece of wall and the increasing number of men in khaki in the

streets. But at the door he had a disappointment. Dr.

Brighton-Pomfrey was away at the front--of all places; he had

gone for some weeks; would the bishop like to see Dr. Dale?


The bishop hesitated. He had never set eyes on this Dr. Dale.
Indeed, he had never heard of Dr. Dale.
Seeing his old friend Brighton-Pomfrey and being gently and

tactfully told to do exactly what he was longing to do was one

thing; facing some strange doctor and going slowly and

elaborately through the whole story of his illness, his vow and

his breakdown, and perhaps having his reaction time tested and

all sorts of stripping and soundings done, was quite another. He

was within an ace of turning away.
If he had turned away his whole subsequent life would have been

different. It was the very slightest thing in the world tipped

the beam. It was the thought that, after all, whatever

inconvenience and unpleasantness there might be in this

interview, there was at the end of it a very reasonable prospect

of a restored and legitimate cigarette.

CHAPTER THE FIFTH - THE FIRST VISION
(1)

Dr. DALE exceeded the bishop's worst apprehensions. He was a

lean, lank, dark young man with long black hair and irregular,

rather prolonged features; his chin was right over to the left;

he looked constantly at the bishop's face with a distinctly

sceptical grey eye; he could not have looked harder if he had

been a photographer or a portrait painter. And his voice was

harsh, and the bishop was particularly sensitive to voices.


He began by understanding far too much of the bishop's illness,

and he insisted on various familiarities with the bishop's heart

and tongue and eye and knee that ruffled the bishop's soul.
"Brighton-Pomfrey talked of neurasthenia?" he asked. "That was

his diagnosis," said the bishop. "Neurasthenia," said the young

man as though he despised the word.
The bishop went on buttoning up his coat.
"You don't of course want to break your vows about drinking and

smoking," said the young man with the very faintest suggestion of

derision in his voice.
"Not if it can possibly be avoided," the bishop asserted.

"Without a loss, that is, of practical efficiency," he added.

"For I have much to do."
"I think that it is possible to keep your vow," said the young

man, and the bishop could have sworn at him. "I think we can

manage that all right."
(2)

The bishop sat at the table resting his arm upon it and

awaiting the next development of this unsatisfactory interview.

He was on the verge of asking as unpleasantly as possible when

Brighton-Pomfrey would return.
The young man stood upon Brighton-Pomfrey's hearth-rug and was

evidently contemplating dissertations.


"Of course," he said, as though he discussed a problem with

himself, "you must have some sort of comfort. You must get out of

this state, one way or another."
The bishop nodded assent. He had faint hopes of this young

man's ideas of comfort.


Dr. Dale reflected. Then he went off away from the question of

comfort altogether. "You see, the trouble in such a case as this

is peculiarly difficult to trace to its sources because it comes

just upon the border-line of bodily and mental things. You may

take a drug or alter your regimen and it disturbs your thoughts,

you may take an idea and it disturbs your health. It is easy

enough to say, as some do, that all ideas have a physical

substratum; it is almost as easy to say with the Christian

Scientist that all bodily states are amenable to our ideas. The

truth doesn't, I think, follow the border between those opposite

opinions very exactly on either side. I can't, for instance, tell

you to go home and pray against these uncertainties and despairs,

because it is just these uncertainties and despairs that rob you

of the power of efficient prayer."


He did not seem to expect anything from the bishop.
"I don't see that because a case brings one suddenly right up

against the frontier of metaphysics, why a doctor should

necessarily pull up short at that, why one shouldn't go on into

either metaphysics or psychology if such an extension is

necessary for the understanding of the case. At any rate if

you'll permit it in this consultation...."


"Go on," said the bishop, holding on to that promise of

comfort. "The best thing is to thrash out the case in your own

way. And then come to what is practical."
"What is really the matter here--the matter with you that is

--is a disorganization of your tests of reality. It's one of a

group of states hitherto confused. Neurasthenia, that

comprehensive phrase--well, it is one of the neurasthenias.

Here, I confess, I begin to talk of work I am doing, work still

to be published, finished first and then published.... But I go

off from the idea that every living being lives in a state not

differing essentially from a state of hallucination concerning

the things about it. Truth, essential truth, is hidden. Always.

Of course there must be a measure of truth in our working

illusions, a working measure of truth, or the creature would

smash itself up and end itself, but beyond that discretion of the

fire and the pitfall lies a wide margin of error about which we

may be deceived for years. So long as it doesn't matter, it

doesn't matter. I don't know if I make myself clear."
"I follow you," said the bishop a little wearily, "I follow

you. Phenomena and noumena and so on and so on. Kant and so

forth. Pragmatism. Yes."
With a sigh.
"And all that," completed Dr. Dale in a voice that suggested

mockery. "But you see we grow into a way of life, we settle down

among habits and conventions, we say 'This is all right' and

'That is always so.' We get more and more settled into our life

as a whole and more and more confident. Unless something happens

to shake us out of our sphere of illusion. That may be some

violent contradictory fact, some accident, or it may be some

subtle change in one's health and nerves that makes us feel

doubtful. Or a change of habits. Or, as I believe, some subtle

quickening of the critical faculty. Then suddenly comes the

feeling as though we were lost in a strange world, as though we

had never really seen the world before."


He paused.
The bishop was reluctantly interested. "That does describe

something--of the mental side," he admitted. "I never believe

in concealing my own thoughts from an intelligent patient," said

Dr. Dale, with a quiet offensiveness. "That sort of thing belongs

to the dark ages of the 'pothecary's art. I will tell you exactly

my guesses and suppositions about you. At the base of it all is a

slight and subtle kidney trouble, due I suggest to your going to

Princhester and drinking the local water--"


"But it's excellent water. They boast of it."
"By all the established tests. As a matter of fact many of our

best drinking waters have all sorts of unspecified qualities.

Burton water, for example, is radioactive by Beetham's standards

up to the ninth degree. But that is by the way. My theory about

your case is that this produced a change in your blood, that

quickened your sensibilities and your critical faculties just at

a time when a good many bothers--I don't of course know what

they were, but I can, so to speak, see the marks all over you--

came into your life."
The bishop nodded.
"You were uprooted. You moved from house to house, and failed

to get that curled up safe feeling one has in a real home in any

of them."
"If you saw the fireplaces and the general decoration of the

new palace!" admitted the bishop. "I had practically no control."


"That confirms me," said Dr. Dale. "Insomnia followed, and

increased the feeling of physical strangeness by increasing the

bodily disturbance. I suspect an intellectual disturbance."
He paused.
"There was," said the bishop.
"You were no longer at home anywhere. You were no longer at

home in your diocese, in your palace, in your body, in your

convictions. And then came the war. Quite apart from everything

else the mind of the whole world is suffering profoundly from the

shock of this war--much more than is generally admitted. One

thing you did that you probably did not observe yourself doing,

you drank rather more at your meals, you smoked a lot more. That

was your natural and proper response to the shock."


"Ah!" said the bishop, and brightened up.
"It was remarked by Tolstoy, I think, that few intellectual men

would really tolerate the world as it is if it were not for

smoking and drinking. Even novelists have their moments of

lucidity. Certainly these things soothe the restlessness in men's

minds, deaden their sceptical sensibilities. And just at the time

when you were getting most dislodged--you gave them up."


"And the sooner I go back to them the better," said the bishop

brightly. "I quite see that."


"I wouldn't say that," said Dr. Dale....
(3)

"That," said Dr. Dale, "is just where my treatment of this case

differs from the treatment of "--he spoke the name reluctantly

as if he disliked the mere sound of it--"Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey."


"Hitherto, of course," said the bishop, "I've been in his

hands."
"He," said Dr. Dale, "would certainly set about trying to

restore your old sphere of illusion, your old familiar sensations

and ideas and confidences. He would in fact turn you back. He

would restore all your habits. He would order you a rest. He

would send you off to some holiday resort, fresh in fact but

familiar in character, the High lands, North Italy, or

Switzerland for example. He would forbid you newspapers and order

you to botanize and prescribe tranquillizing reading; Trollope's

novels, the Life of Gladstone, the works of Mr. A. C. Benson,

memoirs and so on. You'd go somewhere where there was a good

Anglican chaplain, and you'd take some of the services yourself.

And we'd wash out the effects of the Princhester water with

Contrexeville, and afterwards put you on Salutaris or Perrier. I

don't know whether I shouldn't have inclined to some such

treatment before the war began. Only--"


He paused.
"You think--?"
Dr. Dale's face betrayed a sudden sombre passion. "It won't do

now," he said in a voice of quiet intensity. "It won't do now."


He remained darkly silent for so long that at last the bishop

spoke. "Then what," he asked, "do you suggest?


"Suppose we don't try to go back," said Dr. Dale. "Suppose we

go on and go through."


"Where?"
"To reality.
"I know it's doubtful, I know it's dangerous," he went on, "but

I am convinced that now we can no longer keep men's minds and

souls in these feathered nests, these spheres of illusion. Behind

these veils there is either God or the Darkness.... Why should we

not go on?"
The bishop was profoundly perplexed. He heard himself speaking.

"It would be unworthy of my cloth," he was saying.


Dr. Dale completed the sentence: "to go back."
"Let me explain a little more," he said, "what I mean by 'going

on.' I think that this loosening of the ties of association that

bind a man to his everyday life and his everyday self is in nine

cases out of ten a loosening of the ties that bind him to

everyday sanity. One common form of this detachment is the form

you have in those cases of people who are found wandering unaware

of their names, unaware of their places of residence, lost

altogether from themselves. They have not only lost their sense

of identity with themselves, but all the circumstances of their

lives have faded out of their minds like an idle story in a book

that has been read and put aside. I have looked into hundreds of

such cases. I don't think that loss of identity is a necessary

thing; it's just another side of the general weakening of the

grip upon reality, a kind of anaemia of the brain so that

interest fades and fails. There is no reason why you should

forget a story because you do not believe it--if your brain is

strong enough to hold it. But if your brain is tired and weak,

then so soon as you lose faith in your records, your mind is glad

to let them go. When you see these lost identity people that is

always your first impression, a tired brain that has let go."


The bishop felt extremely like letting go.
"But how does this apply to my case?"
"I come to that," said Dr. Dale, holding up a long large hand.

"What if we treat this case of yours in a new way? What if we

give you not narcotics but stimulants and tonics? What if we so

touch the blood that we increase your sense of physical

detachment while at the same time feeding up your senses to a new

and more vivid apprehension of things about you?" He looked at

his patient's hesitation and added: "You'd lose all that craving

feeling, that you fancy at present is just the need of a smoke.

The world might grow a trifle--transparent, but you'd keep

real. Instead of drugging oneself back to the old contentment--"


"You'd drug me on to the new," said the bishop.
"But just one word more!" said Dr. Dale. "Hear why I would do

this! It was easy and successful to rest and drug people back to

their old states of mind when the world wasn't changing, wasn't

spinning round in the wildest tornado of change that it has ever

been in. But now--Where can I send you for a rest? Where can I

send you to get you out of sight and hearing of the Catastrophe?

Of course old Brighton-Pomfrey would go on sending people away

for rest and a nice little soothing change if the Day of Judgment

was coming in the sky and the earth was opening and the sea was

giving up its dead. He'd send 'em to the seaside. Such things as

that wouldn't shake his faith in the Channel crossing. My idea is

that it's not only right for you to go through with this, but

that it's the only thing to do. If you go right on and right

through with these doubts and intimations--"


He paused.
"You may die like a madman," he said, "but you won't die like a

tame rabbit."


(4)

The bishop sat reflecting. What fascinated and attracted him

was the ending of all the cravings and uneasinesses and

restlessness that had distressed his life for over four years;

what deterred him was the personality of this gaunt young man

with his long grey face, his excited manner, his shock of black

hair. He wanted that tonic--with grave misgivings. "If you

think this tonic is the wiser course," he began. "I'd give it you

if you were my father," said Dr. Dale. "I've got everything for

it," he added.


"You mean you can make it up--without a prescription."
"I can't give you a prescription. The essence of it--It's a

distillate I have been trying. It isn't in the Pharmacopeia."


Again the bishop had a twinge of misgiving.
But in the end he succumbed. He didn't want to take the stuff,

but also he did not want to go without his promised comfort.


Presently Dale had given him a little phial--and was holding

up to the window a small medicine glass into which he was pouring

very carefully twenty drops of the precious fluid. "Take it

only," he said, "when you feel you must."


"It is the most golden of liquids," said the bishop, peering at

it.
"When you want more I will make you more. Later of course, it

will be possible to write a prescription. Now add the water--

so.
"It becomes opalescent. How beautifully the light plays in it!


"Take it."
The bishop dismissed his last discretion and drank.
"Well?" said Dr. Dale.
"I am still here," said the bishop, smiling, and feeling a

joyous tingling throughout his body. "It stirs me."


(5)

The bishop stood on the pavement outside Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey's

house. The massive door had closed behind him.
It had been an act of courage, of rashness if you will, to take

this draught. He was acutely introspective, ready for anything,

for the most disagreeable or the most bizarre sensations. He was

asking himself, Were his feet steady? Was his head swimming?


His doubts glowed into assurance.
Suddenly he perceived that he was sure of God.
Not perhaps of the God of Nicaea, but what did these poor

little quibblings and definitions of the theologians matter? He

had been worrying about these definitions and quibblings for four

long restless years. Now they were just failures to express--

what surely every one knew--and no one would ever express

exactly. Because here was God, and the kingdom of God was

manifestly at hand. The visible world hung before him as a mist

might hang before the rising sun. He stood proudly and

masterfully facing a universe that had heretofore bullied him

into doubt and apologetics, a universe that had hitherto been

opaque and was now betrayed translucent.
That was the first effect of the new tonic, complete

reassurance, complete courage. He turned to walk towards Mount

Street and Berkeley Square as a sultan might turn to walk among

his slaves.


But the tonic was only beginning.
Before he had gone a dozen steps he was aware that he seemed

more solid and larger than the people about him. They had all a

curious miniature effect, as though he was looking at them

through the wrong end of an opera glass. The houses on either

side of the street and the traffic shared this quality in an

equal measure. It was as if he was looking at the world through

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