IN a recent number of the Atlantic Monthly there appeared, under the caption ‘The Gulf,’ a statement of one of the vague, but none the less imperative, problems of war-time, the problem of a divided society. The division in question was not the obvious schism between enemies, but the subtle rift which reappears in every time of war, between the soldier point of view and the civilian point of view. This gulf is an inevitable by-product of all wars; and even with the signing of peace it remains as one of the dilemmas of every period of reconstruction. Since the strain and agony of this war have been, for the soldier, greater than in any previous war, this temperamental gulf and the general social problems which it raises are correspondingly serious.
The initial problem needs no restatement here. It is a contemporary manifestation upon a vast scale of that spiritual schism which always appears in the world when some men live in dire strain and stress while other men live in comparative comfort and security. In each recurring circumstance this contrast and conflict give rise to what Nietzsche once finely called, ‘the pathos of distance.’1
Hundreds of thousands of men are now returning to civilian life from the armies of the modern world, to feel and in turn lo make us feel the ‘pathos of distance’ which separates battlefields in France from Beacon Street, Boston, or the Main Street of Coffeyville, Kansas. The readjustment and reconciliation of the two points of view in a single experience, to say nothing of the history of a nation, is a spiritual problem which few men have seriously anticipated on either side of the gulf.
The prospect that the present schism between the soldier mind and the civilian mind can be overcome by any ingenious ‘works’ which emanate from the deliberations of well-meaning but unimaginative committees of welcome is very poor. Our instinct for organization, our fertile genius for saving works, may easily lead us astray here. The problem goes deeper than that, and resolves itself at last into the sterner task of a lonely self-discipline of the inner life. So it always has been, so it will be now, as the waiting civilian prepares himself to receive the homecoming soldier. When the two stand face to face again, no perfunctory mechanics of greeting can get across the rift — only a penetrating insight which is born of imagination and sympathy.
In the moment of initial reunion it is more than probable that the presence of this subtle gulf will not be felt. The gladness of the returning on the one side and the genuineness of the welcome and homage on the other side will obliterate, for the time being, the rift which the War has set between the two. The first mutual greetings will seem to be a reaffirmation of the old unity of the common life.
But sooner or later, because the reactions of human nature to experience are reasonably reliable, a difference in the point of view must make its appearance. The first American draft took from a little village in Vermont seventeen of her sons. Before they went away to the wars, thirteen of those boys had never slept a night away from home in all their lives. It is not within the bounds of possibility that the intervening years should leave those boys unchanged. Life in the Vermont village must forever afterward be judged from a different angle. It must be tested on the touchstone of Château-Thierry and the Argonne Forest, which is of sterner stuff than the innocuous domesticities of the daily round in the Green Mountains. Which is the real world, which is the better world, may be an open question; but for these homecoming men, and for those who welcome them, there must be, in the years immediately to come, the consciousness and the collision of two very different worlds in place of the former platitude of one world.
Every troop-train, therefore, lumbering back to the Channel ports with its freight of khaki, every west-bound transport on the North Atlantic in midwinter, is a symbol of this ‘pathos of distance,’ a great question-mark set against all the conventions of home.
These men are returning to the Allied homelands as the incarnation of victorious democracy. But, of themselves, they are also the substance of a new spiritual aristocracy. The bluest blood in the veins of the civilian Brahmin is not half so blue, to-day, as the blood in the veins of the humblest ‘Wop’ or ‘Dago’ or ‘Nigger’ in the A.E.F., who has seen hard service at the front. Moral aristocracies are an inevitable by-product of every time of intense living. And not even the fresh vindication of the democratic principle can blind our eyes to the new-born aristocracy of men who are coming back to civilian life ‘with the chilling certainty, with which they are thoroughly imbued and colored, that by virtue of their suffering they know more than the shrewdest and wisest of us civilians can ever know, because they have been familiar wit h and at home in many distantdreadful worlds of which we know nothing.’ Something more than the cracker-barrel philosophy of the Vermont grocery store; something more than the platitudes which pass ac ross mahogany desks of First National Banks or overflow oak pulpits in orthodox churches, will be needed to overcome the ‘pathos of distance’ between the two worlds. The problem of the readjustment of the spiritual aristocrat to the ‘many-too-many ’ who make up his easygoing democratic environment, is always hard. But never was the task of reconciliation harder than now. In the welter of problems which are rolling on the shores of peace-time, like a ground-swell after storm, none bulks bigger and more imperious than this.
In his absence civilians have told one another that the soldier will not come back the same man he went. He will be changed. But how he will be changed, we really do not know. Every effort to forecast the change is tinged by our own point of view. We read into the expected change the particular creeds and codes which are still dear to us. And then we read them out again, with the sanctions of the soldier to give them new validity. Are we Tories? Then the soldier will come back from the wars cured of all the seductions to radicalism and pledged to a life of dogged conservatism. Are we rebels? Then the soldier will have been infected by the virus of revolt and will return a sworn ‘Red.’ Are we sectarians? Then the soldier’s experience will have taught him the truth of our dear dogmas, and he comes to take his place in our choirs to chant our creeds.
To this whole natural tendency on the part of the civilian to read into the soldier’s life our favorite creeds and then read them out again with the imprimatur of his experience, the soldier himself seems to take candid and often brutal exception. He does not propose to be monopolized or exploited by any civilian point of view. If he is not always gentle with us in his effort to disillusion us, this is because he must make us realize, at whatever cost to our complacency, at what price he has bought his new and hard-won moral independence.
It was a British officer who had won the M.C., and who therefore had the right to speak, who not long ago rebuked the facile civilian gift for prophecy about the changes in the soldier’s character.
They will not be the same; for they’ll have fought
In a just cause: they lead the last attack
On Anti-Christ; their comrades’ blood has bought
New right to breed an honorable race.
They have challenged Death and dared him to the face.’
‘For George lost both his legs; and Bill’s stone blind;
And Bert’s gone syphilitic: you’ll not find
A chap who’s served who has n’t found some change.’
And the Bishop said, ‘The ways of God are strange.’
Lines like these, and they have not been uncommon from the trenches, are not an indictment of the soldier; they are not even an indictment of war. They are an indictment of the civilian habit of using the soldier as fresh laboratory material for the dissectingrooms of theology and politics.
What makes the soldier, on the further side of the ‘pathos of distance,’ resent the civilian aptitude for moral diagnosis of his experience, is the fact that he does not even understand himself, and therefore he suspects our proffered helps to a better self-knowledge. He has not hesitated to tell us that throughout his own experience he has been bewildered and ‘inarticulate.’ He understands clearly neither his world nor himself. He knows only that he has been living intensely. And he feels vaguely that the proffered systems of religion and politics and economics by which the civilian would help him to self-knowledge are not founded on a discipline as drastic as his own.
Systems, whether theological or sociological, are always the product of a reflective epoch in experience, once removed from the engrossing business of living. They are the output of intellectual ‘luxury trades.’ For the business of fighting they represent a non-essential industry. The life of the soldier would seem to have been preoccupied with the stern business of bare existence, when life is reduced to its lowest denominators. And the soldier has had neither time nor inclination to take that mental step once removed from life, to indulge in the second-hand business of reflecting upon life.
The London Lancet recently conducted an extensive questionnaire into ‘The Essential Characteristics of Successful and Unsuccessful Aviators.’ The answers to the questionnaire from over six hundred flying men revealed the fact that the one universally recognized requisite for successful flying was the absence of introspective and imaginative bents of mind. This item recurs with precise and methodical regularity. ‘Not too much imagination’—‘Very little imagination’ — ‘Lacking in imagination’— ‘Must have no imagination.’ Airmen seem to depend on the intuitive reactions of the mind rather than on its reflective processes, for safety and victory. To philosophize in an aeroplane, to draft the platform for a coming Utopia or to rewrite the Nicene Creed in the middle of a spinning nosedive, with a German overhead, would seem, even to the stolid civilian whose feet are still glued to the ground, a work of dubious supererogation.
What is true of the airman seems to be true in lesser degrees of all men in the other branches of the service. Their lot has been cast with facts. Their life has depended, not on their ability to force any rigid system upon the facts, but rather on their infinite adaptability to fact. What they bring back from their experience, therefore, is what contact with fact always first begets, a certain mental pliability rather than a rigid system. Youth’s asset in war is more than physical, it is also psychological. The very absence of the reflective frame of mind, which is the luxury of maturity, gives to youth its advantage over age in the trenches.
Those of us, therefore, who are waiting on the dock to greet the home-coming soldier with a system, have missed the one important truth about his inner history. For the Nicene Creed, High Tariff, Single Tax, and Bolshevism, are, for better and for worse, all of them systems, which are once removed from the engrossing business of living. And because the soldier mind has not been able to remove itself from the primary business of living, it returns to us, so far as systems are concerned, almost a tabula rasa. The old systems are gone. No new systems have been fabricated to take their place.
If a man has been a good soldier, he has ‘carried on’ without the buttress of any system. He has not even troubled to investigate the remoter implications of his own act, either for himself or for his world. A ‘Camel ’ or a ‘ Fatima ’ has been worth ten volumes of sociology. His Egeria in his celibate world has not been a highly idealized Columbia. But for him a certain ‘K-k-k-katy’ has been the ‘blessed damozel’ who has leaned out from the golden bar of heaven and waved him her heartening cheer. Not that the soldier is wanting in a fine religious and political idealism, but that, for the moment, ‘K-k-k-katy’ at the kitchen door has been a more concrete and plausible incarnation of democracy than a highly systematized Goddess of Liberty. The civilians with their systems are born Platonists. The soldier is an Aristotelian. For better or worse, he has had to live with concrete facts.
Something of this sort, then, constitutes the initial task for those who, on the civilian side of our modern ‘pathos of distance,’ are seriously concerned to bridge the gulf: some perception that we have here the old but always new collision between the two great types of mind.
On the one hand, we have had at home a mind which, under the stress of war and the collision of ideals, has been freshly obsessed with the need for more and better systems in religion and business and politics. The enemy has proved to us the terrible power of a systematic t heology, once a people are indoctrinated with it. After Prussianism no one can ever say again that it does not matter what systems prevail in the world. Von Treitschke and his successors have vindicated the power of the systematic thinker once for all. They all but wrecked the world. And the civilian mind in the Allied countries, in its reaction from the terrible power of a dogmatic system imposed upon the German nation, has seen no duty but the clear duty of offsetting this sinister dogmatism by other and liberal dogmas.
The origins of the war in an evil system of religious and political thought have seemed to demand on our part a reconsecration of the common mind to the business of philosophizing. And so, preoccupied with our new systems, we go to the pier to greet the soldier, in the hope that for the sake of civilization he will countersign our intellectual efforts with the sanctions of his experience.
Yet what greets us is not a mind like our own, but a mind unlike our own — a mind which has been trained to suspect reflection as debilitating if not dangerous. We are greeted with a mind which has no systems, but only a method.
What is needed, then, on the part of the civilian who looks with eager expectancy to the men of the home-coming armies, is not any system of thought, but a frame of mind, a mental and moral method, which meets the soldier’s own. The soldier will be reserved. He will make no effort to explain or interpret himself to us. That is the way with aristocrats. We must be willing, for the sake of the common cause, to go all the way to meet him. And we shall meet and know him, not on the basis of any reflective dogmatism about religion or politics or business, but on the ground of a common attitude toward life, and a common method of meeting the world which is before us. By some solitary inner discipline, one by one, we must be reborn into the processes of the soldier’s inner life, if the gulf is to be bridged.
The first characteristic of the soldiermethod is a certain mental and moral sincerity. The war seems to have blasted away the superficial insincerities of life among the men who have tasted it in person. They may be frank and even brutal in expression, but they come back to us more honest than they went. They have discovered what Leslie Stephen means when he says of his own progress from orthodoxy to agnosticism, ‘When I ceased to accept the teaching of my youth, it was not so much a process of giving up beliefs as of discovering that I had never really believed.’ The war seems to have been for the fighting man, not an adventure in aggressive doubt, but simply a pounding to pieces of convention and platitude, of all dogmas which do not rest on the ‘fixed indubitable certainty of experience.’
For men cannot triangulate and direct gunfire by impressionistic mathematics. There is no key in the back of the book to assure the gunner in advance of the systematic correctness of his aim. He must trust in one thing alone, the reliability of his method, verifying the method only after the event, by observation. This necessity for trusting the method must reflect upon the whole inner process of life. This military sincerity, an utter naked willingness to face the facts and take all the facts into account, to overlook none, would seem to breed a certain moral attitude toward life, which has as yet no adequate counterpart in the civilian spirit, where men still feel at liberty to pick and choose the facts which fit their particular system.
There is no sin against Truth so common, and yet so grave, as the sin of picking and choosing facts to fit a theory. There is no spiritual habit which so surely undermines the integrity of thought and conduct as this. It has taken nothing short of a great war to teach men the peril of this process. To face the facts in their confusion, contradiction, and totality is the achievement of a sincere nature.
That is what his life has forced the soldier to do, at whatever expense to the order and decency of his systematic thinking. The average decorous churchgoer would be horrified at the recension of the Creed which a British chaplain says that he has heard, in substance, a hundred times at the front: ‘I believe in God the Father Almighty, and a trench-mortar has just blow n my pal, who was a clean-living lad, to pieces; and God is love, and they crucified the sergeant-major; and peace on earth, good-will to men, and I stuck my bayonet through his belly; and Jesus died to save us from sin, and the Boche has been raping women; and this —— war never ends!’
Such a creed may be grossly heretical, but at least it has the merit of utter and naked sincerity, for, soldier-wise, it faces all the facts.
Over fifty years ago Thomas Huxley wrote to Charles Kingsley his confession of faith in the scientific method. ‘Sit down humbly before facts as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all costs to do this.’ But a half-century of thoroughgoing scientific education has not yet bred a generation to this high faith.
It has been left for the soldier, above all men of our time, to understand what it means to follow facts wherever and to whatever abysses they may lead, and to find peace of mind at the far end of that quest of naked sincerity.
We cannot expect that men who have been perfected by their discipline in the habits of sincerity w ill look with sympathy and understanding upon the vestiges of old insincerities still lingering in the religion, the politics, and the business of the civilian world. The least suggestion of insincerity w ill repel the soldier. He will understand only sincere men and sincere institutions. He challenges us, in advance of his returning, to cleanse our mental and moral habits of those insincerities which still pass as the currency of an uncritical orthodoxy and respectability.
A second characteristic of the soldier-method would appear to be the habit of facing reality unafraid. The soldier’s fears may not have been cast out by perfect love, but they have been exorcized by a certain triumphant Stoicism. ‘Thy friends are exultations, agonies, . . . and man’s unconquerable mind.’
In Synge’s poignant drama of the west coast of Ireland, Riders to the Sea, the old woman, Maurya, comes at last to the time when the sea has robbed her of all her sons, and she says, ‘There is n’t. anything more the sea can do to me now. It’s a great rest I ’ll be having now.’ In t he same way hundreds of thousands of men have come, in the last four and a half years, to the point where they could say, ‘There’s nothing more the war can do to me now, nothing worse that life can do to me. And I have found peace beyond fear.’
But only agony and that has ending:
And the worst friend and enemy is but death.
If the discipline in courage has been brought to this point, the soldier’s habit of facing life unafraid will be something more than a physical recklessness: it will have become ‘stuff o’ the very stuff and life of life.’
The soldier unconsciously will expect from the civilian world a similar habit of facing life unafraid. He will not understand the timidity and apprehension with which so many civilians look upon their time. And the one intellectual and moral policy which will awaken no response in his spirit will be the policy of ‘Hush!’ We live in a world which, for religion and statecraft, is still filled with stubborn, hostile, and unconquered facts. We know to-day what Paul meant when he set his face toward Western Europe and said, ‘A great, door and effectual is opened unto me and there are many adversaries.’ In the very mood of that finely chosen ‘and’ there is something of the spirit of the soldier. The civilian would have written ‘but.’
Is there a hostile fact in our world? Let us not suppress the knowledge of this fact. Let us not evade the fact. Is there a skeleton in the ecclesiastical or polit ical closet? Have the custodians in panic locked the door and thrown away the key? Let us break the door and drag the brute out and have a fair look at him. Are we trembling at the spread of Bolshevism? Let us look the thing in the face. Let us drag out the unlovely facts which breed anarchy the world over; let us look into our mills and mines and counting-houses and see why it is that men see ‘red’ and turn ‘red.’ The civilian policy of overcoming obstacles by the incantation of a timid ‘Hush!’ will awaken no echo in the character of the soldier who has faced the shock troops of Prussia and faced them unafraid. The tangled problems of civilian life will have for him no terror, for his experience has cast out fear. So the soldier waits and watches to see in us the signs of a spiritual courage kindred to his own.
The absence of these qualities of sincerity and courage in the civilian point of view may well make of the soldier’s experience a liability and not an asset for our world of conventions. The failure of the homelands to meet and greet the soldier in something of his own temper might conceivably alienate him from the common mind, so that he should turn critic and not confirmer of the world of things-as-they-are.
Moreover the soldier, having learned to face reality sincerely and unafraid, has habituated himself to a life of risk. The last few years have rediscovered to us many of the primitive and unsuspected instincts of human nature. Not the least significant of these instincts, which have been balked rather than transformed by modern civilization, is the instinct of Trial and Error, man’s native tendency to ‘take a chance.’ This instinct, denied its natural expression in a world which prided itself on its safety appliances, found a poor vicarious satisfaction in betting on horseraces or playing the roulette wheel.
But beneath the surface, the slumbering capacity for risk waited its last best time. It is said that toward the close of the war one of the leading British aces, with scores of German planes to his credit, was a young man who in other days had been a draper’s clerk in a fashionable shop on Regent Street. Perhaps we underestimate the prior peril and discipline of selling lingerie to shoppers on the war-path. But certainly the world would not have suspected, in the person of a draper’s clerk, with conventional frock-coat and impeccable top hat, the makings of one of England’s most reckless aviators. Yet smouldering beneath the peaceful avocations of the other days was this universal human vocation to risk.
In many American homes there still linger the memory and tradition of staid young men whom the Civil War turned into wandering soldiers of fortune. Outside the pale of humdrum life these detached uncles and second cousins went their way as rolling stones. They are remembered or mentioned with a gesture of deprecation and regret. But it may be questioned whether the fault was all theirs. Perhaps they could not find in the insipid concerns of the ‘Reconstruction’ years after the Civil War challenge and opportunity for their capacity for risk.
So again, men returning from France, to a world which is still primarily concerned to ‘play the game safe’ in business and religion and politics, may well question the validity of the ideal which we offer them, and turn soldiers of fortune like some of the generation before them. For a sea-way swept clear of mines and empty of submarines never can have for the sailor quite the terrible zest of the North Atlantic of the immediate past. And the ‘Dago’ who returns from the front-line trenches of Northern France will never find digging other trenches for the gas company an adequate moral substitute for his adventure.
A society which persists in placarding its institutions with the legend ‘Safety First’ will never win the intuitive moral response of the soldier. It is here that Peter Stubland — the latest child of Mr. Wells’s genius for crit icism — puts his finger on the weakness of so much of our well-meaning pacifist idealism. You’ll never get us soldiers, he says, ‘ to stop cerebrating and making our damndest just in order to sit about safely in meadows joining up daisy chains like a lot of beastly figures by Walter Crane. ... I have my doubts of all this talk of making the world safe.’
The business house which offers an investment that is safe, and because it is safe, will make no direct appeal to the soldier. The church which preaches a ‘safe creed’ cannot expect that the ideal of safety will of itself attract the fighting man. On the contrary, the religion, the business enterprise, and the political platform which involve a plain element of risk will appeal to the still unexhausted capacity for risk which remains after the war. In enterprises of this nature, and not in mechanical imitation of the institutions of militarism as such, must be found those moral equivalents for war after which our time is groping.
In particular there must be an element of risk in the religion and the politics of the next few years, if they are to attract and hold the best soldier spirits. It is because Christianity is still in the making, and the would-be Christian still has to take many a moral chance, and because democracy is as yet an unfinished experiment, that they ought to attract the returning soldier.
And as a conclusion to the whole matter, it is to be noted that the habit of taking risks has generated in the soldier the further habit of selflessness. If you live a life of risk, you must give up thinking primarily of yourself.
It is here that the soldier’s life has touched most intimately the austerer types of moral idealism. To think of self in act ion, and to put personal salvation above risk for the cause, is to dally with the sin of treason, for which military law knows no forgiveness. That way lies a court-martial and the shooting squad. That so few men have yielded to the self-preserving instincts in the face of superhuman temptation is in itself one of the moral triumphs of the war. There has been something more at work here than gregarious courage. There has been a conscious appeal to the profoundest truth of the spiritual life, that to seek to save self is to lose self, while to lose self is to find self at a deeper level.
The civilian world has had rather scant patience with the whole selfless temper of certain types of mysticism. We have re-read the mystics recently, but we have not yet consented to their doctrine of self-denial. The stubborn Anglo-Saxon individualism upon which our society rests, the New England habit of trying to make the most of our selves, has cut the other way. We simply have not understood what the old mediæval saint meant when he said, ‘Nothing burneth in hell but self-will. Behold one or two words utter all that can be said: “Be simply and wholly bereft of self!” ’ It has remained for our soldiers to recover the neglected and the deliberately repudiated element of moral truth in the axioms of the selfless life.
For the rest of us, even during the war, to ‘be simply and wholly bereft of self’ has ‘seared too much the sense of conscious creatures to be borne.’ We have insisted upon the saving salt of a legitimate self-interest. The eye of modern ethics has had a perpetual squint toward self.
But the soldier has been taught by his experience what so many of us civilians may still have missed, that salvation, in the profoundest sense of the word, is a thoroughgoing indifference to all self-interest. The chaplains tell us that, while it is true that communicants at the Sacrament usually increased before hard fighting, when the fighting was over the soldiers were half-ashamed of themselves for having yielded to the impulse of self-preservation, even of spiritual self-preservation. A religion which is concerned merely to offer the soldier personal safety, though it be in the eternal realities of the spirit, makes no permanent appeal to him. What is required is a religion which corresponds with his devotion to the cause, and asks of him selflessness for the sake of God and of his human kind.
So the religious worker on one of our transports, who recoiled in moral disgust from his task, when he found that for the first two thousand miles of the voyage he was expected to be a movie operator, and the last thousand miles, in the submarine danger-zone, a preacher of the elder evangelism, reacted normally to such a conception of the meaning of religion. The ideal of personal salvation, save as an incident in self-dedication to a great cause, makes, and can make, no deep appeal to men who, by the very conditions of their life, are disciplined in daily selfdenial.
At the other end of the moral gamut of the time is the ‘war profiteer.’ That this sinister individual has figured so little in the war, and that his opportunities for selfishness have been reduced by law to a minimum, is one of the cheering aspects of the war. The profiteer in the person of Andrew Undershaft is not so serious a menace as once he was.
The real menace of war-profiteering has been transferred from the munitions factory to those more innocuous institutions which seem vaguely to be hoping that they can capitalize the war for their own purposes, through the person of the returning soldier. Not even the churches, to say nothing of the colleges and political parties, can escape the subtle temptation of the present moment to turn war-profiteers. The problem of the half-empty church, of the moribund political party which never half musters its vote, and of the college which baits its curriculum with alluring electives, is always with us. The institutional eye finds it very hard to overcome the cast of self-interest, a self-interest which is so often justified by the profession of an ultimate altruism. So, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, the church would capitalize the returning soldier, incidentally filling her empty pews! And the political party, in the name of the country’s welfare, would seek the suffrage of the soldier, incidentally to enjoy the perquisites of office! But always between the end and the proffered means there lingers the taint of self-seeking.
The soldier will ask of the institutions which are waiting now to receive him back some touch of the same great self-forgetfulness and self-renunciation which he has achieved. He will ask for churches and parties which dare to lose themselves for the sake of the world they profess to serve. He will see eye to eye with us at home only as we share with him a common point of view, a selfless devotion to great causes. In such a life the soldier has found himself. By such a method in our own living, and such only, can we hope to understand him and be reunited with him in a world where his self-knowledge and ours become one.
‘The gulf,’ then, will never be bridged by ‘works,’ by any obvious mechanical social structure. In so far as it is really bridged, it must be bridged by that sympathy and imagination in the civilian soul which seeks to understand and reproduce in its own life the inner substance and method of the soldier discipline. The soldier character has been proved and approved. The real testing of the development of civilian character in wartime is yet to come. It comes with the returning soldier, who brings to us no final ‘system’ on which to try our patiently refurbished creeds, but rather a point of view, an intellectual and moral method. The only tempers of soul which can cross and finally obliterate the gulf are those now incumbent upon the civilian: Sincerity, Courage, Venturesomeness, and Selflessness.
- It was Nietzsche who gave us this pregnant phrase, and with the phrase its definition: ‘The intellectual haughtiness and loathing of every man who has suffered deeply, — it almost determines how deeply men can suffer, — the chilling certainty, with which he is thoroughly imbued and colored, that by virtue of his suffering he knows more than the shrewdest and wisest can ever know; that he has been familiar with, and “at home” in, many distant dreadful worlds of which “you know nothing” — this silent intellectual haughtiness of the sufferer, this pride of the elect of knowledge, of the “initiated,” of the almost sacrificed, finds all forms of disguise necessary to protect itself from contact with officious and sympathizing hands, and in general from all that is not its equal in suffering. Profound suffering makes noble; it separates.’ — THE AUTHOR.↩