<!DOCTYPE html><html lang="en"><head><meta charset="utf-8"><title>Printable Note - Animadversions - Somerset Maugham Short Stories - Part 1 (Theo Todman's Web Page) </title><link href="../../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <P ALIGN="Center"><FONT Size = 3 FACE="Arial"><B><HR>Theo Todman's Web Page<HR><p>For Text Colour-conventions (at end of page): <A HREF="#ColourConventions">Click Here</a></p><U>Animadversions - Somerset Maugham Short Stories - Part 1</B></U></P> <P ALIGN="Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"> <ol type="1"><li>For Somerset Maugham, see <A HREF = "../../../Authors/S/Author_Somerset Maugham (W.).htm">W. Somerset Maugham</A>. </li><li>I have now added brief commentaries on things that struck me from all the stories in the collection in "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_06/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_6413.htm">Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories</A>". </li><li>I have managed to precis the stories to the degree strictly necessary to provide the context for whatever I have to say, but anyone other than me reading these accounts probably won t fully understand what I m on about unless they ve read  and can recall  the stories. </li><li>My intention has been merely to reflect on  and remind myself of  various  <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_1">ethical</A></U><SUB>1</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_1"></A> or more generally philosophical issues that arise. I don t claim to be a literary critic.</li><li>Because of record-size restrictions in my database, this Note has had to be split in two:-<BR>&rarr; see <a name="17"></a>Part 2 for the remainder of the Stories. </li></ol><BR><U>Commentaries</U><ol type="1"><li><b>The Pacific</b>  1 <ul type="disc"><li>One-page; atmospheric. </li></ul></li><li><b>Mackintosh</b>  2<ul type="disc"><li>Mackintosh is a clerk whose health necessitates a retreat to warmer climes  a small island in the South Pacific under British administration  lest he catch TB in the London cold. </li><li>This story raises a lot of questions  even ignoring the issue of colonial paternalism which would be frowned on these days. Under the empire  caring for the natives as your children was a moral virtue, but would be seen as condescending today; if only because the  natives  after another century of western influence  have grown up a bit, though maybe that s equally condescending. </li><li>Mackintosh comes to work for an Irish ignoramus who initially became administrator under the Germans, but stayed on when control was ceded to the British, and has now been in control for 20 years. He s described as corpulent and is in his early 60s; Mackintosh is younger and thin. There s a contrast between the precision, correctness and culture of Mackintosh and the vulgarity  but more positive and expansive, if bullying, character  of the  administrator (Walker). </li><li>Walker takes risks  his career was founded on an outrageous bit of luck in a 1000-1 winning bet on a horse  but  does things  in particular building the roads that allow copra to be transported more easily, and hence adds to the prosperity of the island. </li><li>Walker is an uneducated ruffian who metes out his own justice in a  hard but fair way, bending the rules where necessary  lying and cheating if this is required for  justice to be done. He has no doubts as to what to do in any circumstance  even dispensing medicines without any medical training, along the lines of  tomorrow (your child) will be either better or dead . </li><li>He views himself as invulnerable, and provided everyone submits to him, all goes well. He is honest, has never made a penny out of his position, and genuinely loves the native people and the beauty of the island, which he greatly appreciates, despite his coarseness. </li><li>However, for those who won t willingly submit to him, he is intolerable as he doesn t perceive their resentment, and thinks everyone loves him  partly because they hide their true feelings as the oppressed must. </li><li>In particular, he is greatly resented by his subordinate, Macintosh  whose subordination is forever before him  and also by the local chief s son, whom he humiliates in a needless dispute over remuneration for road-building: the young man encourages the tribe to hold out for a sum that is within the grant, but Walker won t be challenged  and thinks the payment would be bad for them ( they d only spend it on drink ; paternalism again).</li><li>However, things get nasty when the hospitality arrangements of the island mean that the local tribe has to support another tribe that Walker brings in to build the road. This results in the total humiliation of the chief s son, who is punished by his tribe when they had supported him until Walker got the upper hand. </li><li>Macintosh  accidentally leaves his gun so the young man can find it, and  while he warns Walker not to carry on his routines alone  is complicit in his assassination. </li><li>Walker is shot, and on his death-bed, forgives the  natives , saying that the shooting should be put down as an accident lest the governor sends a gun-boat to destroy the innocent. The natives are distraught at the death of their  father and Mackintosh commits suicide  maybe to draw the blame for Walker s death on himself, given his complicity in it. </li><li>There are doubtless many things to draw from all this. I have worked for worse people than Walker, and felt Mackintosh s resentment. I have also worked for people who knew with certainty the way to go; sometimes they were sacked and replaced by the next monster who knew the opposite direction was the way to go, who was later replaced by & </li><li>However, Walker does know the way, and Mackintosh probably doesn t (and I don t think I did  or anybody did  in the grand strategic sense). </li></ul></li><li><b>The Fall of Edward Barnard</b>  38<ul type="disc"><li>Edward Barnard is engaged to the upright and intelligent Isabel when his father goes bankrupt and he goes to Tahiti to remake his fortune. This is supposed to take two years, but drags on and Hunter Bateman, his best friend who is secretly in love with Isabel, volunteers to go out to determine what has gone wrong. </li><li>The trio belong to the upper crust of Chicago society, and they count (or  in Edward s case   counted ) Chicago as the greatest place on earth. However, their lives  unbeknownst to themselves  are far from authentic, but are entirely formulaic and unoriginal. Their houses are copies of Venetian palaces or French chateaux, filled with fine reproductions of slightly inappropriate furniture, and the men spend their lives bouncing back and forth between their homes and their company head offices, spending the evenings at the theatre. This is the life from which Edward  <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_3">falls</A></U><SUB>3</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_3"></A> . </li><li>Hunter finds that Edward has been fired for indolence and is working in a haberdasher s. He has also become friends with Arnold Jackson  a (former) con-man and rogue who had spent time in a penitentiary and is the black sheep of Isabel s family. </li><li>The story is full of amusing examples of Hunter s moral and <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_4">aesthetic</A></U><SUB>4</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_4"></A> discomfiture  in particular at a private dinner involving Arnold and his  native wife (bigamously acquired) and Arnold s  half-caste daughter who Edward hopes to marry if <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_5">released from his promise to Isabel</A></U><SUB>5</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_5"></A>. </li><li>When Edward says he has  plans for his life in Tahiti, Bateman imagines  with exhilaration  some ruinously exploitative scheme, but Edward s idea is something far more eco-friendly, and not intended to earn him the millions he has no need of for a happy life. </li><li>The story hinges on the different life-choices of Edward and Bateman, and the contrast between a lucrative and industrious treadmill that leaves no place for happiness other than a smug ranking in the social pecking order and a more laid-back approach that s closer to nature and real humanity. </li><li>While I agree completely with this, I do retain a sympathy for the  protestant work ethic .  <FONT COLOR = "800080">Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made, by singing:-  Oh, how beautiful, and sitting in the shade</FONT> (<A HREF = "http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_garden.htm" TARGET = "_top">Kipling - The Glory of the Garden</A> (http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_garden.htm)). Maybe things are easier in Tahiti, in that the garden is mostly self-maintaining  but one of the things Edward wants to do is  read (it s not said quite what). There would be nothing to read unless lots of people were willing to work to provide the wealth to support writers to write stuff. We can t all drop out. The  noble savage isn t a drop out either, and knows nothing of the positives or negatives of the life that ultimately dissatisfies his western admirers. </li></ul></li><li><b>Rain</b>  73<ul type="disc"><li>This is supposed to be one of the short stories that has best stood the test of time in the public affections. I m not so sure it deserves to, if it does. </li><li>The situation is that two couples (the Davidsons and the Macphails) are holed up (for reasons that need not detain us) for two weeks in a makeshift guesthouse on a remote island in the South Pacific during the monsoon season. The two husbands are both medics, but Davidson is a medical missionary (he s never referred to as  Dr but only as  Mr or  Rev ), while Macphail is a skeptical GP. </li><li>The <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_6">critical consensus</A></U><SUB>6</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_6"></A> seems to be that this short story exposes the hypocrisy of the pair of missionaries, but I m not convinced it does anything so simplistic. </li><li>Both couples are fairly snobbish and hold themselves aloof from the other passengers that were on the boat that brought them to the island, and who remain incarcerated there. This is hypocritical from a Christian standpoint. </li><li>However, the Davidsons do seem to be genuine zealots  obnoxious, but not necessarily routinely hypocritical. Indeed, Rev. Davidson seems to have personal and spiritual courage in that he s been willing to turn out in any weather  crossing in a canoe to remote islands in dangerous conditions  whenever there s been a medical emergency. He sees an inconsistency in claiming to  trust the Lord and to be worried about his own safety. </li><li>The missionaries give an account of their  work  which seems to involve inculcating in  the natives a sense of sin. The people they work amongst seem to have had no sense of the wrongness of lying, stealing or adultery, and cannot be induced by normal means to repent. So, to teach them the wrongness of these activities, the missionaries use their stranglehold over economic resources to fine them and bring them into line, making it against the law to sin in these ways. One man is reduced from plenty to penury as a result of a dispute with Davidson. Indeed, the missionary organization as a whole seems to have undue influence in Washington, which gives them power over the civil authorities on the islands.</li><li>In a sense, this focus on making sin <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_7">illegal</A></U><SUB>7</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_7"></A> is consistent with Pauline teaching on sin: for instance, Romans 7:7 (<A HREF = "https://www.blueletterbible.org/niv/rom/7/7/s_1053007" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (https://www.blueletterbible.org/niv/rom/7/7/s_1053007))  Paul argues that if it hadn t been for the law, he would not have known sin, and (for example) wouldn t have known <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_8">what it is to covet</A></U><SUB>8</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_8"></A> unless the law had told him not to. </li><li>The question, though, is one of cultural and ethical imperialism. Just why should missionaries think they have the right to impose their moral values on other cultures that seem to get along all right without them? No doubt  in a fully worked-out apologia (not given by Somerset Maugham)  the place of sin in separating the sinner from God, and the need for repentance and forgiveness  would feature. It would be argued that sin separates whether or not the sinner knows she s sinning, and so the realization of sin is the first set on the road to redemption. </li><li>So, given the missionaries world-view, their actions might be seen to be logical and loving  however much of an oppression and kill-joy it may seem to be on the surface. Many evangelicals today could argue thus, though they would probably tut at the abuse of power <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_9">now they no longer have it</A></U><SUB>9</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_9"></A>. </li><li>Of course, the question has to be how can the missionaries know with sufficient certainty that their system is right to justify causing the degree of unhappiness that their actions do when imposed on the unwilling. </li><li>All this is highlighted by the case of Miss Thompson  a good-time girl who has worked in the red-light district of Honolulu. She was also on their boat, and consequently sets up shop for the entertainment of the sailors in a room below the Davidsons, much to their chagrin  which is exacerbated by a gramophone and the music played on it. Rev. Davidson takes her on as a project for reform, with initial  success but ultimately disastrous consequences. </li><li>Miss Thompson starts off in a robust life-affirming way and will have nothing to do with Davidson s persuasion. However, Davidson has a hold over her because he can have her put on the next boat to San Francisco, where she will be arrested for previous misdemeanors and spend some years in the penitentiary, which fills her with terror. Eventually, Davidson persuades her to repent. However, he won t let her have  cheap grace , but insists that she demonstrate her repentance by going through with  indeed embracing  her future <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_10">incarceration</A></U><SUB>10</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_10"></A>. </li><li>All this reduces Miss Thompson to a shadow of her former self, though she seems to come to terms with it all and to truly  repent . </li><li>Davidson spends some considerable amount of time with her  including much of the night before she is due to set sail  ostensibly in prayer and spiritual instruction (or argument, in the early stages). </li><li>The denouement is incredible to me, given the way Davidson is described, though maybe understandable in the case of many obviously hypocritical and money-grabbing televangelists. Davidson is found with his throat cut, and Miss Thompson is back to her old ways  and has her old self-confidence back - with the gramophone on. She spits on Mrs. Davidson and, when Dr. Macphail asks what she s doing, announces:  You men! You filthy, dirty pigs! You re all the same, all of you. Pigs! Pigs! . Dr. Macphail is then said to gasp, and to  understand . </li><li>Presumably, Davidson is supposed to have had a  weakness of the flesh , and consorted with Miss Thompson on that last night. It s not spelled out, but I can t think of an <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_11">alternative explanation</A></U><SUB>11</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_11"></A>. </li><li>If so, this is a major weakness in the story. The missionaries behavior is <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_12">objectionable</A></U><SUB>12</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_12"></A>  in making people who fall into their power unhappy, and causing them problems they didn t previously have  even if they don t fall into overt and gross hypocrisy  and I don t think a zealot of the kind Davidson is supposed to be would have  fallen . </li><li>I suppose a possibility is that Davidson had  softened  actually improved, morally speaking  and felt genuine (rather than purely theoretical) love for Miss Thompson; then things got out of hand and Miss Thompson felt morally betrayed. And, maybe Davidson committed suicide <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_13">because</A></U><SUB>13</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_13"></A> he realized his whole life had been misguided (and not just because he d fallen in a moment of weakness). But this rather more nuanced conclusion doesn t seem consistent with Miss Thompson s contempt. </li><li>So, maybe we are to suppose that a couple of hypocrites messed with the mind on a fun-loving girl, and that the husband got his just deserts when he couldn t control his animal passions. If so, so much the worse for the story. </li></ul></li><li><b>Envoi</b>  116<ul type="disc"><li>Half-page; atmospheric. </li></ul></li><li><b>The Casuarina Tree</b>  117<ul type="disc"><li>Brief  a page and a half: looks like the preface to  <FONT COLOR = "800080">a collection of stories about the English people who live in the Malay peninsula and in Borneo</FONT> , justifying the title. </li><li>The Casuarina tree is thought of as a <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_14">symbol</A></U><SUB>14</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_14"></A> for these people  & <FONT COLOR = "800080">the Casuarina tree stood along the sea shore, gaunt and rough-hewn, protecting the land from the fury of the winds, and so might aptly suggest these planters and administrators who, with all their short-comings, have after all brought to the peoples among whom they dwell tranquility, justice and welfare, </FONT>... . </li></ul></li><li><b>Before the Party</b>  119<ul type="disc"><li>A family is preparing to go to an English garden party at which they will meet some big-wigs, including the Bishop of Hong-Kong, who wants to talk to the recently-widowed daughter, Millicent, about her late husband, Harold, whom she had claimed had died of a fever in Borneo some eight months previously. </li><li>The father, Mr. Skinner, is a  respectable family solicitor , who works in Lincoln s Inn Fields, and never takes dodgy cases, but is quite happy to pass them on to others. </li><li>The sister, Kathleen, has just heard  from the daughter of the Canon who s hosting the garden party  that Harold didn t die of a fever, but committed suicide. </li><li>The family don t seem in the least concerned as to why this should have been  but are more worried about the social consequences and their not having been properly prepared by Millicent. It seems that the Bishop met Harold, and is the one who let it be known that he had committed suicide by cutting his throat. </li><li>So, they seek to get the background out of Millicent, more so they can be socially prepared than out of genuine concern, and a sorry tale it is. </li><li>It seems that Harold  the  Resident of a district of Borneo  had been a confirmed drunkard and had been threatened with the sack unless he could find a wife who could sort him out. So, he d come back to England and selected Millicent who was short of offers, and an effective marriage of convenience was entered into (though it was not admitted as such). </li><li>But, they had got on well enough and Millicent liked the life in Borneo and the status of Resident s wife, and Harold stayed sober  except when out of her gaze, or otherwise tempted. There was one episode when he was entertaining visitors, but the worst cases were when Millicent was away for extended periods in the fictitious Kuala Solor, either giving birth to their daughter, Joan, or finally when Joan was ill. </li><li>It seems that  when sober  Harold was a fine man who did his job well, and seems to have developed some affection for Millicent. In her turn, Millicent had developed a  hold on Harold because he loved their daughter, and she had threatened to take her away from him if he failed to remain sober. Further, on the journey home with Joan after her illness, Millicent persuaded herself that she loved Harold. </li><li>Unfortunately, while they were away, Harold had relapsed again and was asleep dead drunk when Millicent returns to their bungalow. She is consumed with rage at the betrayal and  it seems  somehow manages to cut Harold s throat with a parang (a Malayan sword) while trying to get his attention. </li><li>The region was remote, and she had Harold quickly buried and the murder (if that s what it was) is made out to be suicide, no-one suspecting anything. </li><li>So much for the story. It is well told, though the cause of Harold s alcoholism is obscure. </li><li>The interest is all in the family s reaction to the account. Millicent just seems to be depressed, and has  let herself go somewhat. There seems to be no concern for Harold (though Mrs. Skinner liked him)  or that Millicent is technically a murderess  their concern is purely that it shouldn t get out. Mr. Skinner s main complaint against Millicent is that she selfishly told him at all, as it gives him an uncomfortable crisis of conscience. </li><li>Well, actually, not really conscience  because he has no moral sense at all. It s the discomfort for him of having to hush up something he knows he  as an upstanding solicitor  would be expected to take further. </li><li>They head off to the garden party because it would seem socially odd if they didn t. It seems there is nothing genuine about their lives at all. </li></ul></li><li><b>P & O</b>  147<ul type="disc"><li>This is an interesting tale, but not one that I ve much to say about. </li><li>The story is centered around the sad end of Mr. Gallagher, a robust Irishman on his way home from Malaya to Galway (on the eponymous P&O liner) after a career as a  planter , and the life, intentions and observations of Mrs. Hamlyn, who is running away from her husband who is having an affair. </li><li>Gallagher had taken a  native wife, but has left her behind, well provided for by the standards of the place and time. She had become corpulent during their time together, as seems to have been standard for Malay women, and Gallagher liked to  live well . But this isn t  I don t think  the reason Gallagher didn t take her with him. On departure, his wife prophesies (this is taken to be a  native curse ) that he will not see land. Gallagher, however, departs in good spirits. </li><li>On the journey home, Gallagher develops persistent hiccups, and  despite an attempted exorcism involving the sacrifice of a <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_15">cockerel</A></U><SUB>15</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_15"></A>, and all the efforts of a junior doctor  expired just before reaching Aden, to which the ship had been diverted so that he could receive further medical treatment. </li><li>Mrs. Hamlyn s husband  who s in his 50s, while she has just turned 40  has formed a liaison with another woman who s just turned 50. He doesn t want to hurt his wife, and hopes that they can just carry on as normal. But this is not conventionally possible, so she heads off back to England with bitterness in her heart to find an appropriate lawyer to arrange a divorce. </li><li>The situation with Gallagher gets her to rethink things and she comes to the conclusion that there s no reason to begrudge others their shot at happiness given the brevity of life; she remembers her husband s remark that  we are so long dead . The story ends with her writing a conciliatory letter to her husband, and posting it before she changes her mind. </li><li>What to say about all this? </li><li>I think we can side-step the  native curse meme. The important thing is that Gallagher ought not to have treated his Malay wife as a chattel to be left behind when no longer needed. Maybe he subconsciously realizes this and it works on his subconscious, though he gives no such indication. </li><li>The idea of getting happiness where it can be found because life is short is an important idea; why be miserable when you can be happy? And bearing conventional resentments because that s what you re supposed to think, and others will think you odd if you don t, or your pride will be hurt  all this may be irrational and only leads to more pain for all concerned. But, even so, we can t all just do what we want  life is too complex, and commitments have to be respected reciprocally. </li></ul></li><li><b>The Letter</b>  180<ul type="disc"><li>This is another jolly tale, but again I ve nothing much to say.</li><li>A lady (Mrs. Leslie Crosbie) has been imprisoned, awaiting trial, in Singapore for murdering a neighbor (Geoff Hammond)  allegedly in self-defense  at her home late one night while her husband (Robert Crosbie) is away. </li><li>She is supposedly so refined and of such good  breeding  and Hammond was a bit of a lad  and she has allegedly had little recently to do with Hammond  that she in expected to be acquitted of manslaughter or worse. </li><li>She gives her defense to a solicitor friend (Mr. Joyce). Her story is in good order, so he expects a quick acquittal. His only concern is that she d emptied the whole barrel into Hammond. </li><li>Unfortunately, the solicitor s Chinese clerk (Ong Chi Seng) announces that Hammond s Chinese mistress has the eponymous letter that Mrs. Crosbie had allegedly sent to Hammond on the night of his death, imploring him to visit her. He hands over a copy, which is very incriminating. </li><li>After further prevarication, and the thought of being hanged, Mrs. Crosbie suggests to Mr. Joyce  without fully admitting that she d actually sent the letter  that they might buy the letter back. </li><li>Mr. Joyce thinks this is similar to suborning a witness, but he s been long enough in the East to cope with this irregularity for completely <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_16">spurious reasons</A></U><SUB>16</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_16"></A>; namely, that convicting Mrs. Crosbie will not bring Hammond back, and will adversely impact Mrs. Crosbie s husband. </li><li>Nothing untoward happens thereafter, and the incriminating letter is redeemed for $10k, the maximum that Mr. Crosbie can raise. The redemption takes place in a flat usually employed as an opium den. The Chinese mistress, a male relative, Ong Chi, Mr. Joyce and <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_17">Mr. Crosbie</A></U><SUB>17</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_17"></A> are present. </li><li>It is clear that Ong Chi Seng is to receive a cut, so doubly shares in the corruption. Mr. Joyce is aware of this, but doesn t confront him  though he did attempt to bargain with him, suggesting $5k, but Ong Chi wouldn t be moved. Mr. Joyce seems somewhat <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_18">impressed by his astuteness</A></U><SUB>18</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_18"></A>. </li><li>As is expected, in the absence of the incriminating letter, Mrs. Crosbie is swiftly acquitted, and she and her husband retire to Mr. Joyce s house. All  in ignorance of the facts  are entirely sympathetic towards Mrs. Crosbie and her  ordeal . </li><li>Mr. Crosbie reads the letter, perceives the inconsistency in the story Mrs. Crosbie gives for sending it, and bikes off to his estates. Mr. Joyce then burns it. Mrs. Crosbie pulls herself together and carries on publicly with the pretense of innocence. </li><li>Mrs. Crosbie then reveals that Geoff Hammond had been her secret lover for years. He d recently abandoned her in favour of his first love  the somewhat faded Chinese lady  and  under severe provocation from Mrs. Crosbie  had claimed (possibly only in reciprocal spite) that he had never loved her. Mrs. Crosbie had then lost her cool and repeatedly shot him in the red mist. </li><li>What to make of this? <ol type="i"><li>Firstly  as noted above  some conflicts between the law and morality (only some of which are real). </li><li>Secondly, the difference between inward and outward appearances, and the passions that can burn in the hearts of the outwardly self-controlled. </ol></li></ul></li><li><b>Mr Harrington's Washing</b>  216<ul type="disc"><li>This is a long  and sometimes fun  <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_19">tale</A></U><SUB>19</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_19"></A>, but not one that s other than merely entertaining, in my view. </li><li>There are three main protagonists: <ol type="i"><li>Ashenden, a British agent sent to Russia on an  impossible mission in 1917. This turns out to be something to do with Czech nationalists being enlisted to distract the Central Powers and to keep Russia in the war. </li><li>Mr Harrington, an American businessman sent to Russia to negotiate a contract for his company. </li><li>Anastasia Alexandrovna, a romantic Russian revolutionary. </ol></li><li>The story splits into three main parts:- <ol type="i"><li>Setting up in Vladivostok and the account of Ashenden & Harrington s train journey from Vladivostok to Petrograd. </li><li>An interlude describing Ashenden & the married Anastasia Alexandrovna s assignation years earlier. They have a  trial in a Paris hotel  ostensibly required because Anastasia Alexandrovna s husband, in true romantic Russian style, would have to commit suicide to release her  which would be a shame if they found they were unsuited to one another. It turns out to be well-advised as Ashenden cannot bear the thought of eating scrambled eggs for the rest of his life, and realizes that he s more in love with Russian literature than Russians. He secretly absconds to New York. </li><li>The ultimate denouement in Petrograd in which Ashenden and Harrington are involved in their respective negotiations. </ol></li><li>The story is intended as a farce, and ends with Harrington being shot at random in the early days of the Revolution while  together with Anastasia Alexandrovna  absurdly attempting to retrieve his unwashed washing from a laundry at some distance from his hotel. </li><li>It all ends in tears before then  all the negotiations are fruitless as power changes hands from the Karensky government (according to Maugham, Karensky does nothing but make speeches) to the Bolsheviks. </li><li>The amusing story is primarily a vehicle for displaying Somerset Maugham s views on the pre-revolutionary Russians and early 20th-century Americans, as exemplified by the two non-British protagonists. <ol type="i"><li>Harrington is a bore who is  well read and considers himself a  high-brow , though appears to have no ideas of his own. He has some redeeming features, mainly arising from his naivety. The account of the train-journey is as long and boring as the supposed journey itself, a sort of self-parody (and maybe also a parody of the interminable Great Russian Novel). </li><li>Anastasia Alexandrovna is a reckless heroine, doubtless a spoof on those appearing in classic Russian novels. Like Harrington  but unlike the pragmatic Ashenden  she is somewhat detached from reality. </ol> </li></ul></li><li><b>Sanatorium</b>  257<ul type="disc"><li>This  as the title suggests  is a set of vignettes about life in a Scottish sanatorium. Ashenden  the controlling character in this story as in the last  has  like the other residents  TB. The narrative, however, revolves mainly about 3 pairs of characters. </li><li>The purpose of the story as a whole is about our attitude to death, and the ability of love to conquer our fear of it  or at least our preoccupation with it. There is a passage early on that regrets the passing of simple belief in the possibility of resurrection.</li><li>The three <em>pas de deuces</em> are as follows:- <ol type="i"><li>Two old gits  Campbell and McLeod  who have been there for 17 years  are rivals for the best room, and Campbell lives in the room below McLeod whose room he wants and tries to drive him out by continually playing his violin. They are both good bridge players and rivals at the table. The denouement is the last hand of a rubber-bridge session in which McLeod  playing against Campbell makes a redoubled grand slam involving two finesses and a squeeze. His arrogant celebration is such that he drops down dead at the table. Far from being satisfied, Campbell does not like the best room when he gets it, gives up the violin as there s no McLeod to annoy, and his life loses purpose without his enemy to define himself against. </li><li>Major Templeton  rich a playboy of about 40  has led a worthless life with several casual relationships  but is now riddled with TB  falls in love with the 29-year-old Ivy Bishop who has been in sanatoria for the last 8 years. She is intelligent and virtuous, and it s her virtue that attracts Templeton to her, much to his surprise. His love is reciprocated, and they decide to marry  despite the warnings from Dr. Lennox that it will drastically shorten their lives. Templeton had earlier remarked that he was not concerned about when death came  it didn t matter much whether you left a party when it was in full swing or  went home with the milk . </li><li>Henry Chester is a rather boring banker who had nothing to hold him together beyond his work and family. When he becomes ill, he becomes resentful of his wife s good health, and  while he looks forward to her visits  says spiteful things to her when she comes. The two are reconciled when Templeton & Ivy get married and Chester comes to realise that he loves his wife and is happy that she is well, irrespective of his own ill-fortune. </ol> </li></ul></li><li><b>The Princess and the Nightingale</b>  283<ul type="disc"><li>This is a fable for children. See <A HREF = "https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/954536.Princess_September_and_the_Nightingale" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/954536.Princess_September_and_the_Nightingale).</li><li>It s a story about the nine daughters of the King of Siam, the youngest of whom  September  is the heroine of the tale, though the hero is her nightingale. </li><li>There are lots of stereotypical asides about the ways of oriental monarchs, but there is an important moral of the story, that freedom  rather than a gilded cage  is necessary for flourishing, and that true love does not seek to possess the beloved, but gives him freedom. </li></ul></li><li><b>The Round Dozen</b>  292<ul type="disc"><li>On one level this is rather a silly tale. In brief, a bigamist and swindler  Mortimer Ellis  a very unprepossessing man  has been sent down for 5 years having married successively 11 middle-aged women and then left them in turn, having relieved them of their limited fortunes that he had purported to invest. </li><li>Sometime after his release he arrives in a faded Georgian sea-side resort somewhat down at heel, but  initially unbeknownst to the narrator to whom he tells his story  he ultimately manages to elope with the 54-year-old niece  Miss Porchester  of a respectable elderly couple (Mr & Mrs St Clair) resident in the same hotel as the narrator, and with whom our narrator had also become acquainted. Thus he achieves the  Round Dozen . </li><li>Prior to the denouement, Mortimer Ellis explains his attraction to these women, and tries to justify his actions, expressing outrage at the public infamy that fell on his head on his conviction. Instead of acknowledging that he is a public pest, he considers that he has performed a public service. Three of his victims had asked for mercy to be shown to him on his conviction  and one had been willing to have him back (so that he had to leave prison by the back entrance lest she be there to collect him). The one who had betrayed him had been dishonest about the diminutive size of her fortune. </li><li>His defense rests on the needs of those he deceives. He claims they would have married him if he d had one leg and a hump on his back. It s the married state  and the attention that comes with it  that they were after. They were either spinsters  who had never had attention paid to them  or widows  who missed it once it was gone. He had to earn a living, and this was what he did.</li><li>Miss Porchester had once been beautiful and had been engaged to be married  but her fianc  a barrister  had had an affair with his laundress and Miss Porchester  had sacrificed herself on the altar of Victorian morality and rejected him, living a solitary life with her guardians thereafter. </li><li>No doubt there could be an argument between the consequentialists and the Kantians about morality of all this. The Kantians are most likely right that Mortimer Ellis uses his wives as means rather than ends in themselves. However, it s unlikely that his activities would satisfy the consequentialists as his wives are left destitute by his depredations, however satisfied they might have been with their married state while it lasted. </li><li>Miss Porchester s guardians say that they will never have her back. There is some slight hope that she may be helped by the laundress, with whom she has kept in touch and supported over the years, once Mortimer Ellis has exhausted her  trifling 3,000. </li></ul></li><li><b>Jane</b>  321<ul type="disc"><li>On almost all levels this seems to me to be a lightweight and silly tale, an explicitly Pygmalionesque story about the marriage of a rich but rather dowdy and  elderly relict of a northern industrialist to a young architect half her age. In fact the eponymous Jane in her mid-50s. </li><li>It s initially thought that Jane s then future husband is after her money, but he this is not the case. Instead he sees in her what others miss  and after a series of make-overs, brought about by Parisian dress-makers and hair stylists  reveals the swan in the place of the ugly duckling. Gilbert designs her dresses and advises her to cut her hair and wear a monocle. </li><li>The pair have agreed that they would not be bound to one another  the initial assumption being that Gilbert Napier would want to move on  but in fact it is eventually Jane who divorces Gilbert in favour of an Admiral she meets at one of her soirees. She has come to need the companionship of someone more her age. Gilbert agrees to continue designing her attire, and it is hoped that he will eventually marry Admiral Frobisher s daughter. </li><li>The tale is told by the author, but amusingly also from the perspective of a Mrs Towers, who had initially regarded Jane as  her Cross . Jane is a former school friend who subsequently became Mrs Towers sister-in-law, Jane Fowler being Mrs Towers husband s sister </li><li>Jane also becomes a famous humourist, yet her conversation is no different in this regard since her re-invention to what it was before. It seems that what amuses people  once her now striking appearance has attracted their attention  is that she tells the truth. Marion Towers is the only one who doesn t find her amusing. Jane s retort is  Perhaps you don t know the truth when you see it, Marion dear. This is, I suppose, an example of the innocent but truthful comment which is amusing if said without malice  and  as the author notes  if truthfulness is rare. </li></ul></li><li><b><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_20">The Alien Corn</A></U><SUB>20</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_20"></A></b>  348<ul type="disc"><li>This story was  at least in my retelling of my early life  pivotal to my <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_21">development and life choices</A></U><SUB>21</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_21"></A>. </li><li>There are <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_22">two main themes</A></U><SUB>22</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_22"></A>  it seems to me:- <ol type="i"><li>Belonging and authenticity, and</li><li>Whether to risk all in the pursuit of excellence. </ol></li><li>The story revolves around a wealthy assimilated Jewish family  the <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_23">Blands</A></U><SUB>23</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_23"></A> (formerly Bleikogel)  and their slightly less assimilated relative, Ferdie Rabenstein, who has kept his Jewish identity, refusing to change his name to Robinson, though his life as a socialite and aesthete is fully assimilated. </li><li>Sir Adolphus Bland, known as Freddy, is the second Baronet, who has paid 180,000 for his country estate, Tilby. Towards the end of the story, it is announced that he has been given a peerage. His wife, Muriel is Jewish, her real name being Miriam, but has converted to Catholicism and likes to think of herself as having been raised by nuns. Freddy s mother  the Dowager Lady Bland  still speaks with a German accent, and is Ferdy Rabenstein s sister. </li><li>The Blands have two sons  George and Harry. George is the elder, and is being groomed to take over the estate and, it is hoped, will ultimately take on the  family seat as an MP. Harry is younger  still at Eton  and the cleverer of the two. He is expected to take over the family business in the City. George is a bit of a waster. He had fun at Eton and Oxford, but has recently been sent down for some unspecified minor misdemeanor. </li><li>The Blands have kept their sons in ignorance of their Jewish heritage  indeed George is disgusted by the  filthy old Jew Ferdy and his Jewish jokes. Ferdy has been estranged from the Blands for the last 20 years  essentially for the whole of George s life. </li><li>George  on discovering his Jewish heritage  rebels against the role for which he has been groomed by his parents, and escapes to Munich, where he studies the piano. He falls in with other Jewish students, and feels that he has found authenticity at last. But, the question arises what he is to do with his life. He cannot remain a permanent student  hanging out ridiculously with young men in his middle age. </li><li>So, the stakes get raised. He agrees with his grandmother that if he can demonstrate that he has the qualities required to become a professional pianist, his family won t stand in his way. However, if not he agrees to take up the position prepared for him in English society. We are given intimations that all will not end well. The narrator notes that his right and left hands are not quite synchronized. He asks George what he will do if his project fails, and he jokes that he will shoot himself. </li><li>Well, the inevitable happens. It is arranged that he will audition before an internationally-renowned pianist  also Jewish  named <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_24">Lea Makart</A></U><SUB>24</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_24"></A>. He plays with brio, but she notes that he has neither the hands nor the ear to be a professional   not in a thousand years & would he be a pianist in the first rank  though as  a very competent amateur he will have the pleasure of appreciating great music  and great musicians  more than the generality of mankind. After expatiating on the theme of  great art and artists are all that matter , she offers to refer him on to Paderewski for a second opinion, but he says this will not be necessary  her evaluation reflected that of his teacher in Munich. She plays Bach for them, and George says  That clinches it, I fancy . </li><li>The story ends tragically, but is described in the same vein as the Blands lives  a retreat from reality and living in pretense. While his death is obviously suicide it is described as an accident while he was cleaning a gun. </li></ul></li><li><b>The Door of Opportunity</b>  390<ul type="disc"><li>This is an interesting tale that raises various uncomfortable questions for intellectuals in the wrong spot. </li><li>It s set in the Dutch East Indies, now administered by Britain, and it features a couple in a middle-ranking position where the husband  currently the District Officer of a remote area  has hopes of ultimately ending up as the Governor. </li><li>While he s highly intelligent and a perfect administrator he s obviously unsuited in some respects to the rough and tumble of colonial life. Both he and his wife are aesthetes  fond of books and music; he s a competent and enthusiastic pianist, and she has artistic sensibilities which she uses to design the dcor for their bungalows. They also love the aesthetics of the country, despite the hardships of the climate. </li><li>Unfortunately, a lot of their virtues aren t relevant to the position they hold, and they don t really fit in. The other administrators are less educated, having gone East straight from their second-rate schools, and they resent the husband Alban s airs, calling him  Powder Puff Percy behind his back. His wife Anne hopes, however, that when Alban eventually gets the top spot they will be able to convert the administration into something more culturally appealing. In the interim, Alban is impervious to his unpopularity and Anne  worships the ground he walks on . </li><li>They are  or at least Alban is  put to the test in an up-country incident. Prynne, a local rubber planter, has invited them to visit his estate to investigate problems with the Chinese coolies who have become infected with communism and are causing a nuisance. We re given some background. Prynne is in his mid-thirties, totally uneducated and  against what is expected of him  has taken a native woman by whom he has had two children, though Alban and Anne are very accepting of this arrangement. Initially, he d been worried what the  highbrows would make of him, but they get on fine and he tells them that  if all highbrows are like them, give me highbrows any time . </li><li>Before they can set off, they are told 150-odd coolies are in revolt, have killed Prynne and the fate of his family is unknown. Anne pleads with Alban to go to their rescue immediately with his eight policemen and a sergeant, but Alban thinks it s too risky, and insists in waiting for reinforcements. This turns out to be a fatal error and ruins his career. He says it s not reasonable to risk his life and that of his policemen for  a native woman and her half-caste brats . </li><li>It looks from Alban s questioning of Prynne s native assistant, who has escaped, though wounded, that the coolies have some arms, though probably not many, so their numbers are mostly immaterial, and what is important is that the situation be brought under control immediately, whatever the risk. But Alban is too rational for this. It is said later by Anne that the fear was clear in his eyes. This is  to me  all by the by; one can be afraid and act or not act irrespective of the fear if controlled by reason. The question is whether his fear controlled his reason, and the consensus was that it did. Worse than this, part of the calculation should have been the realization that even if his judgement had not been controlled by fear, those who resented him would think  or at least claim  that it had been. Anne points this out to Alban, and sees  or thinks she sees  that he really is ruled by fear. </li><li>Anyway, the situation ended in a complete debacle for the British administration. By the time 20 reinforcements have arrived, a local Dutch timber-camp manager with three others had sorted the problem, shooting the only coolie who pulled a gun. Alban is summoned to see the Governor, and asked to resign. Alban is completely impervious to the situation. He argues he d made the rational decision, so the Governor dismisses him for cowardice. Alban doesn t care what any of them think, and goes to his club for tiffin and a drink. The Governor is secretly impressed:  Courage is a queer thing. I would rather have shot myself than go to the club just then and face all those fellows. I doubt whether courage had anything to do with it. Alban is so sure he s in the right  and has such a low opinion of his colleagues  that he doesn t care what any of them think. </li><li>Anne supports Alban on the journey home  with everyone talking about them behind their backs. Alban receives an enormous powder puff as an anonymous  gift . While Anne pretends not to care what others think, she is secretly mortified and thinks that Alban has betrayed them both and the cause they espouse. Moreover, when they get back to London, Anne tells Alban she s leaving him, and the story ends with Alban abjectly begging her to stay, saying he can t live without her  but Anne leaves anyway, stopping her ears. </li><li>What should we make of all this? <ol type="i"><li>Anne claims that Alban has betrayed their principles: everyone will now say that aesthetes are cowards. To me, this seems neither here nor there. Courage and aesthetic sensibilities are at best orthogonal qualities, but are more likely to be inversely correlated. The important thing is that aesthetes lacking courage shouldn t be in positions where aesthetic sensibilities are irrelevant and courage essential. Alban is probably wrong not to care that people don t share his sensibilities: it would be good for them if they did. But having his sensibilities respected for irrelevant reasons, but not shared, does no real good. </li><li>However, Anne s defense is the value of their aesthetic stance  which is to make them  better, nobler, wiser and braver ; but Alban  in his inaction  hadn t been better, nobler or braver. She doesn t mention  wiser , and I can t see why aesthetes or intellectuals generally  qua intellectuals  need to be braver than the rest  or otherwise without betray their aestheticism  though it would no doubt be good if they were. The question is the purpose of being an aesthete or an intellectual  is it a good in itself or an instrumental means of making one a better or more noble person? I suspect the Greeks and Stoics would have thought the latter. I suppose it depends on the form one s intellectualism takes. If it s just appreciating what others have done, it does no good unless it makes you a better person in other ways. However, if it involves creativity that is of benefit to others, it would seem to be of use irrespective of its impact on one s own character. </li><li>Alban definitely does wrong in expressing a lack of concern  and respect  for Prynne s family. He places too high a regard for his own safety compared to that of others. He may treat others respectfully when there s no cost to himself, but this doesn t reflect his counting some people  himself in particular  as more valuable than others. I think it s this evaluation  rather than sheer cowardice  that leads to his inaction. Is such an attitude to be viewed with horror, as Anne views it, or is it rational, as Alban sees it? Are some lives worth more than others? I think this is obviously true, but it s not a popular idea these days. </li><li>Alban takes his wife for granted. He doesn t appreciate  until too late  that he s not really facing the world with indifference alone  but relies on the fact that at least his wife supports him. Also, he doesn t appreciate the impact his actions have on her. He would  I suspect  care about her feelings if he d taken the trouble to take her into his calculations, but he hasn t. </ol> </li></ul></li><li><b>The Vessel of Wrath</b>  426<ul type="disc"><li>This is a diverting but rather improbable tale. The eponymous  Vessel of Wrath is Ginger Ted  an English reprobate (real name Edward Wilson) in a Dutch East Indies island-group (the Atlas Islands) governed by the Contrleur  a young hedonist named Ewart Gruyter  the other characters being a Baptist missionary (Rev. Owen Jones) and his middle-aged sister (Miss Martha Jones) who double as a medical team. </li><li>Ginger Ted is probably educated, but is a violent drunk who cares for no-one, and goes about dressed in rags, though he enjoys a drink with the Contrleur. He has a small annuity, presumed to be from someone who wants him out of the way. Ted gets into a fight with some Chinese and the Contrleur gives him six months hard labour. </li><li>On his release, Ginger Ted shares a boat back to the main island with Martha, who had been performing an appendectomy in lieu of her brother who was laid aside with malaria, but the boat breaks down and the small crew has to spend the night on the island. Martha is in fear of her life or virtue, and attempts to stay awake armed with a scalpel to resist the attentions of Ginger Ted. Eventually she falls asleep and awakes to find that Ted has simply performed an act of kindness (covering her with some copra sacks). She assumes he had intended to have his way with her, but his hidden good nature had relented. In fact, no wicked thought had entered his head as Martha wasn t in the least attractive. As it turns out, she falls in love with him and tries to reform him  initially just by inviting him to tea, but he ll have none of it. </li><li>A cholera epidemic breaks out and the Europeans have to split up so that all the islands can be visited and appropriate measures enforced. Ginger Ted is eventually persuaded  against his worst nature  to accompany Martha. Their mission is a huge success. </li><li>The story ends with Ted and Martha about to get married. It seems that Ted turns out to be a  natural missionary  converting the natives by the dozen (well, 17 of them). The Contrleur said he d not known him to believe, and Ted admits that he hadn t, but that when  they came into the fold like a lot of blasted sheep he  thought there must be something in it , and didn t want to waste his talent.  You don t know the joy of bringing all them bleeding sinners to repentance, and Christ! He and Martha intend to set up a mission. His reason is stated as  She s not a bad old girl when you get to know her. It s her last chance, if you understand what I mean, and I d like to do something to oblige her . And she can make an excellent treacle pudding. </li><li>There is a passing thought of Martha s  not wholly unknown to the evangelical mind  to the effect that God had <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_1168_25">arranged</A></U><SUB>25</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_1168_25"></A> the cholera academic in order to bring Ted and Martha together. The narrator says he s  not well versed in the ways of omnipotence , but that it seems to be  rather a clumsy device that 600 innocents should have to die for such a matter. </li><li>As I said, I didn t find much of this very convincing, though it s a well-told tale; particularly the description of Ewart Gruyter and Ginger Ted. </li></ul> </li></ol><BR><BR>See <a name="17"></a>Part 2 for the rest of the Stories.<FONT COLOR = "000000"><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U></B><a name="On-Page_Link_1168_1"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 1</B>: In the widest sense, including matters of life-choice and self-evaluation.<a name="On-Page_Link_1168_3"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 3</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>The use of the term  fall is obviously intended as ironic by Somerset Maugham, but is firmly believed to be the case by the Chicago set. </li><li>The ugliness and inauthenticity of the life  together with its dependence on social standing and mores  reminds me of that castigated in "<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_12/Abstract_12622.htm">Tolstoy (Leo) - The Death of Ivan Ilyich</A>". </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_4"></A><B>Footnote 4</B>: I m not sure this is the right term  Hunter is persuaded to wear a native garland of flowers along with his formal suit, having refused to wear native dress. <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_5"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 5</B>: It s not clear why Edward retains this aspect of conventional morality, nor what he intended to do were his release not forthcoming. A return to Chicago didn t seem to be on the agenda. <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_6"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 6</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>See, for instance, <A HREF = "https://csrags.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/somerset-maughams-rain/" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (https://csrags.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/somerset-maughams-rain/), and </li><li><A HREF = "http://diplomaticjottings.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/meditation-on-w-somerset-maughams-rain.html" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (http://diplomaticjottings.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/meditation-on-w-somerset-maughams-rain.html): this is interesting in that it discusses the religious aspects in some detail, being written by a highly-educated former Catholic priest (Emanuel R. Fernandez) who is now a Filipino career diplomat. </li><li>There are also opportunities to buy essays on the significance of  rain in the story, but I don t care about such issues. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_7"></A><B>Footnote 7</B>: This is important for the missionaries, not just that sin should be financially inconvenient. <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_8"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 8</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>Such ideas are tricky. Presumably Paul doesn t mean that he literally wouldn t have wanted what wasn t his unless the law had told him not to, but wouldn t have known it was sinful to covet. </li><li>Ie. Maybe  in Paul s mind  it s analytic that  coveting is sinful; otherwise (maybe) I m just wanting what s not mine without realizing there s anything wrong with this.</li><li>No doubt  coveting is  stealing in the heart , just as lustful looks are  adultery in the heart , and the desire is almost as sinful as the act itself. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_9"></A><B>Footnote 9</B>: From Elizabethan times until the (partial) repeal of the Act of Uniformity (<A HREF = "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Uniformity_1662" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Uniformity_1662)) in the late 19th century, recusants (<A HREF = "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recusancy" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recusancy)) had ruinous fines or worse laid on them, and non-conformists of all stripes were excluded from the universities and the professions until the Test Act (<A HREF = "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_Act" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_Act)) was repealed early in the 19th century. <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_10"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 10</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>This is all good Christian doctrine, by the way.</li><li>C.S. Lewis taught that the duty of a Christian murderer was  to be hanged .</li><li>However, what is distasteful in the Davidsons approach is the imposition of all this by means of coercion. The acceptance of retributive punishment as evidence of true repentance is supposed to be voluntary, but the missionaries enforce it. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_11"></A><B>Footnote 11</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>I don t think their having had a  relationship throughout much of the time he spent with her is consistent with her apparent repentance and emotional collapse. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_12"></A><B>Footnote 12</B>: Or at least highly questionable, for the reasons the story highlights. <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_13"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 13</B>: Fernandez makes a parallel with Judas, who also  he claims  felt he couldn t be forgiven. <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_14"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 14</B>: Fashions may have changed in appreciating the appropriateness of the symbol, as it depends on a positive evaluation of paternalism. <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_15"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 15</B>: The sourcing of which on the P&O liner is left unexplained. <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_16"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 16</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>Few would be convicted if lawyers entertained such considerations.</li><li>Mr. Joyce admits that his role is to defend his client to the best of his ability, whatever his private suspicions about her guilt or innocence. However, cheating  by interfering with the evidence or witnesses  ought to be a step too far. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_17"></A><B>Footnote 17</B>: I d expected a shoot-out, but it s all very civil, rather surprising as Crosbie is effectively ruined. <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_18"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 18</B>: It had earlier been pointed out that Ong Chi is working for Mr. Joyce for a year before establishing himself independently. Mr. Joyce has a high opinion of his abilities. <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_19"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 19</B>: It seems to be the last of 16 in a series involving Ashenden: see <A HREF = "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashenden:_Or_the_British_Agent" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashenden:_Or_the_British_Agent). <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_20"></A><BR><BR><B>Footnote 20</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>An article in <em>Oxford Academic  Music & Letters</em> attributes the title to Keats:- <FONT COLOR = "800080">One of Somerset Maugham s most disquieting short stories is  The Alien Corn , a study of the  Jewish question as refracted through the prism of British high society in the years immediately after the First World War. Maugham drew his title from Keats s  Ode to a Nightingale , which sings  the self-same song that found a path / Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, / She stood in tears amid the alien corn (Keats refers to Ruth 2: 2 3). </FONT></li><li>See <A HREF = "https://academic.oup.com/ml/article-abstract/88/1/176/1107639" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (https://academic.oup.com/ml/article-abstract/88/1/176/1107639)</li></ul><a name="On-Page_Link_1168_21"></A><B>Footnote 21</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>I could expatiate on this topic at length. </li><li>Briefly, it was not to go  all out in any one direction  which in any case suits my rather diffuse talents. </li></ul><a name="On-Page_Link_1168_22"></A><B>Footnote 22</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>I m not sure I ve stated these quite correctly at the moment. </li><li>A previous footnote refers to  The Jewish Question  true, but maybe only on the surface. The same problems of assimilation and authenticity would apply to any immigrant community. </li><li>Another ( Virtuosi ) has it that it s a disguised study of homosexuality  always possible with Maugham  and marks both George and Ferdy down as homosexuals. Seems fanciful to me. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_23"></A><B>Footnote 23</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>The name  Bland is surely suggestive. </li><li>The narrator notes that the Blands  stately home is really a pastiche  devoid of that family history that would make it a home. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_24"></A><B>Footnote 24</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>I think this is a fictitious person. </li><li>However, while Googling to check, I found that this story is mentioned in  Sense and Sensibility: A Range of Musicality in "<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_06/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_6512.htm">Sacks (Oliver) - Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain</A>" and sundry other places. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_1168_25"></A><B>Footnote 25</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>To be fair to the evangelicals, they would probably spin this by saying that God can bring good out of evil, not  of course  that God does evil that good may come. </li><li>The narrator s reference to  omnipotence , of course, leads directly to  the problem of evil . Isn t an omnipotent God as responsible for what he fails to prevent as for what he directly causes? </li><li>But, the narrator s  non-well-versedness also leads to  noseeum arguments in theodicy (see "<A HREF = "../../../Abstracts/Abstract_11/Abstract_11925.htm">Rowe (William L.), Howard-Snyder (Daniel) & Bergmann (Michael) - Debate: Is Evil Evidence against Belief in God?</A>", for instance): we don t know enough to evaluate God s deep purposes. </li></ul> <BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "000000"></P><B>Note last updated:</B> 02/07/2017 10:36:29<BR> </P><HR> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><BR><P ALIGN="Left"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><B><U>Text Colour Conventions</U></B><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "000000">Black</FONT>: Printable Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018<LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018<LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</OL><hr><BR><a href = "../../../index.htm">Return to Home page</a><BR><B>Timestamp: 06/08/2018 09:54:48. 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