And without wishing to flatter you, your prosperity--wife, children, house--has been deserved.You have never sunk into the contented apathy of middle life, for, as your letter from an office in the heart of London shows, instead of turning on your pillow and prodding your pigs, pruning your pear trees--you have a few acres in Norfolk--you are writing letters, attending meetings, presiding over this and that, asking questions, with the sound of the guns in your ears. those three dots mark a precipice, a gulf so deeply cut between us that for three years and more I have been sitting on my side of it wondering whether it is any use to try to speak across it.In the holidays you travelled; acquired a taste for art; a knowledge of foreign politics; and then, before you could earn your own living, your father made you an allowance upon which it was possible for you to live while you learnt the profession which now entitles you to add the letters K. It was a voracious receptacle, a solid fact--Arthur's Education Fund--a fact so solid indeed that it cast a shadow over the entire landscape.And the result is that though we look at the same things, we see them differently.But one does not like to leave so remarkable a letter as yours--a letter perhaps unique in the history of human correspondence, since when before has an educated man asked a woman how in her opinion war can be prevented? Therefore let us make the attempt; even if it is doomed to failure.
Some knowledge of politics, of international relations of economics, is obviously necessary in order to understand the causes which lead to war. Now you the uneducated, you with an untrained mind, could not possibly deal with such questions satisfactorily.
Had you not believed that human nature, the reasons, the emotions of the ordinary man and woman, lead to war, you would not have written asking for our help.
You must have argued, men and women, here and now, are able to exert their wills; they are not pawns and puppets dancing on a string held by invisible hands. Perhaps even they can influence other people's thoughts and actions.
So magically does it change the landscape that the noble courts and quadrangles of Oxford and Cambridge often appear to educated men's daughters like petticoats with holes in them, cold legs of mutton, and the boat train starting for abroad while the guard slams the door in their faces.
The fact that Arthur's Education Fund changes the landscape--the halls, the playing grounds, the sacred edifices--is an important one; but that aspect must be left for future discussion.