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of fumbling, b that of organized, hereditary attractions and repulsions, lin ing the individual to its surroundings and con'stItuting the elements of all life’s essential changes. Be this as it may, the mature human being ought to have no need for such crude curiosity, or rather neither time nor energy for it, because he should be dominated by curiosity which is not crude, by interests and problems and purposes differing from individual to individual according to his kind, a part of that great give-and-take between the ego and the surroundings.
And here, we are back at Keeling’s Apple of Life. I may be prejudiced, but I suspect that the person who has curiosity to spare for biting into the Apple of Life must, for one reason or another, be at a loss for pro lems, interests, jobs, and let me add the old-fashioned word, duties. Also, for what is as necessary in, and for, life : at a loss for tastes, preferences and those impulses to thought and action bringing the human creature into contact with the Otherness, and, little as he may suspect it, freeing him from himself. It means being at a loose end.
That such was the case, and with a resultant desire to Bite into the Apple o}‘ Life, among the generation which the war has decimated or perha s cured, seems to me evident. Also, that this quest for intellectual and emotional Adventure (Adventure of which their own soul was the field) made many, just like Keeling, welcome the war, and welcoming, justify it. I do not pretend to know what led to the existence of this state of mind. I can only suspect some hidden connexion, some parallelism of causes, between it and that “ drab monotony” making, as Mr. Lloyd George told us, that other class of men welcome the war, the men supplying our necessaries and conveniences, our food, warmth, light, clothes, and our leisure, while sharing in them so very unequally. Our younger intellectuals, even those working not at art or poetry, but at social questions, were apt, like Keeling himself, who was perpetually wondering how his work affected himself, to take even the Service of Man as a su erior sort of game, and uestion whether some other might not e better worth the can e of their atten-tion. Is it not probable, I cannot but ask myself, that these privileged youths, these of the variegated, as opposed to the drab and monotonous lives, had too much given them? Not merely too many material advantages, but too many, at least for powers of assimilation unstimulated by effort or refusal, too man intellectual and emotional ones 2 Why even ideas and idea s, which had cost their elders so much heart-searching and painful rebellion (I appeal to the recollections of those who grew up in the years when Darwin and Renan were still dangerous heretics) even ideas and ideals had been furnished this overlucky generation, abundant, various, ready-made, to pull about and wonder were they worth having ? On the other hand (I am still trying to account for that desire for the Apple of War Experience) may there not have lingered among Keeling’s contemporaries some of the old religious habit of referring real life to standards of perfection,“ ideal goodness,” “ supreme values,” or perfect faith and hope for which there is no warrant beyond itself ? There is surely a resemblance between this latter-day longing for something more interesting (since that is at the bottom of the quest for Adventure) and the cui bono of Tolstoy and his heroes André and Levine ; also of humbler minds who feel out in the cold for lack of Divine Justice and Divine Mercy, both of which were looked upon as a part of a man’s legitimate birthright. At all events, it is significant that this desire for “ Adventure ” (do you remember William James actually casting about for “ideal equivalents of war” ?), this refusal to let themselves be seized and dominated by the world’s tasks and riddles, should have coincided, as it did, with the recurring demand, d la H. G. Wells, for a Companionable Deity. Can it be that these young men felt out in the cold, isolated, insignificant, in the universe whose myriad living meshes did not suflice to hold their souls and draw forth their spontaneous longings and efforts ? Did these youths, who flung themselves so ardently into the great Adventure of War, feel like my puppet Satan, arid, impotent and bored ? '
And before ending this note on Love of Adventure as such, let me remind my readers of Satan’s definition of Love, love not
‘only of persons and (what is almost as personal!) causes ; but
of 1occupations, problems, plans and things, the love he cannot fee .
In the revelations which Keeling and his war comrades, living and dead (alas, mostly dead !), are furnishing more and more, there is a frequent and curious har ing upon the circumstance that the war and its miseries ha opened their eyes to comradeship and love. Had they then, one may ask, been closed to them before? Had these youths lived in what mystics would have called a condition of aridity? Aridity,
__ non-participation, not towards other men and women only,
known or unknown, but aridity towards the vast impersonal brotherhood in which, when giving himself with jo or bitterness, effort or exultation, man shuffles off his litt e self, and receives in return a share of the inexhaustible living plenitude of things.
New Year, 1919.
In Time of War, as during the rivate quarrels of individuals, Justice is but another name for Punishment ; at best for what is called Compensation, which implies taking away from one side money, o portunities, liberty, in order to give to the other; and whic , under a show of re-establishing the status quo ante, is oftenest an application of the “ Eye for an Eye ” principle or impulse. Of course, I am aware that the Mosaic, or any other statutory Lex fl'alionis is, taken historically, an attempt to regulate and diminish this impulse towards retaliation : an attempt to cut short, by saying “an eye for an eye but no more than one eye,” the endless action and reaction of rivate vindictiveness. But beneath the “ Eye for an Eye ” ind of justice there lurks likewise a strong and very singular instinct, or more properly convergence of, what I suspect to be, two instincts of se arate origin. One of these is that of relieving our pain, hence a so the sense of our being injured, by hitting out at the object which has inflicted it ; or, in default, hitting out at any other handy object, as when, being enraged, we kick a pebble, or, like Tolstoy’s jealous husband, smash a thermometer; and, oftener still, when we vent upon our innocent family or servants the ill-humour produced by entirely different persons, like that other Russian, the jilted lady in Turgeniev who, when forsaken by her lover “ souffleta sa femme de chambre puis s’e'vanouit.” In short, there is the impulse to relieve discomfort by violent and, if possible, destructive or unkind action.
That is one half of the compound instinct of retaliation. The other half is formed by an impulse, cognate to sundry underlying aesthetic ones, of equalizing the balance ; and which, in case of human grievances, turns to desire for revanche (which is not the same as revenge), determination to “get even with a person.” And it reveals its kinship to the need for symmetry and rhythm by the spectator’s urely contemplative demand that mischief done be balanced y mischief suffered. And, just as the more overtly msthetic demand results in a lion on the right hand producing a lion (or other supporter) on the left, till the “ heraldic lions ” may continue for yards, so also the same instinct multiplies the gouged-out eye of Tom by the symmetrically gouged-out eye of Dick, with the unexpected result that the spectator, so far from being harrowed by a double dose of cruelty and pain, experiences the special well-being (appaisement is the untranslatable French word) of all aesthetic satisfaction, the ineffable sense that even as in a major cadence, “ all’s right in the world.”
These two, so very dissimilar, elementary needs of our emotional constitution converge in what I have called the “ Eye for an eye ” instinct. And their fusion has doubtless greatly helped the legal and utilitarian policy by which, as just mentioned, society has rid itself of endless vendettas by saying, and feeling : “Justice is satisfied: Basta ! ”
Such is, I think, the genesis and constitution of our rimaeval, our primitive, notion of Yustice, as embodied in co es and as so vehemently clamoured for in private and public quarrels.
Let it not be imagined that I doubt the usefulness of such a composite instinct and habit of retribution, especially in brutal times and with brutish man. Thanks to it the deterrent fear of punishment has doubtless been brought home, has grown
into our feelings of naturalness and fitness, become what people call “instinctive,” nay “ moral”; and instead of being accounted a mark of cowardice has gained a new lease of life by taking on the distinguished status, accompanied, of course, by self-enhancement, the harmonious dignity, of a “ Sense of Right.” Since a vulgar malefactor may be deterred by ignoble fear; but an honourable man is deterred b the recognition that the unishment checking his own indu gence in lust, greed or vioijence, is something whereto his nobility freely consents, nay, is demanded by it.
All this, however, is Retributive Justice. And, like the Ancient Gods Jahweh or Themis, or Zeus, or whosoever presided over such retaliation, primitive mankind (including our modern selves when in a rage) does not seem to get much further forward. Justice is always provided with a sword. Indeed, arguing from contemporary oratory, you might almost imagine that swords were never used save for the purposes enumerated above. Or else Justice is furnished with the parricide’s sack, dog and cock; or the torch and hissing snakes of the Eumenides ; or, best of all, with those wholesale and eternal punishments wherewith the immortal and omnipotent Godhead competes so unfairly with poor ephemeral human judges and hangmen.
But there exists another possible conception and even practice of Justice; though one which, alas ! no Godhead, that I know of, has ever employed towards his creatures: the Justice not of making things equal afterwards and through retributive duplication of evil ; but the humbler, less dramatic, less conspicuous, Justice, of being fair from the beginning. This also has its aesthetic sanction, and one which, very fitly, has arisen not in men debased by injury endured, and itching to hand on this pain to others, but in mankind’s joyful moments of leisurely comradeship ; whence its name, delightfully symbolical of common recreation, and the keen happiness of well-grown youths: its name of Fair Play. ‘
Fair Play. This means, instead of multipl 'ng evil, that we seek to equalize chances of good; or, if an ev' chance should enter, that it be borne by all, diminishing the weight of responsibility by distribution between present and past. Fair Play ,