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the subtle spell of poetical harmonies; as also does. The Kiss,' where the tedious round of regimental duties and boring details of the life of Ryabovitch, the shy and insignificant little officer, is steeped for a few days in his dreamy haze of love for the unknown lady who has kissed him in the dark, in mistake for her lover. Again, in The Exile' with its immense horizon of suffering and frustrated hopes, Tchehov evokes in the soul of a sick and desolate Tatar these wistful, mournful harmonies.
It is not merely the individual life, however, with its broken, shifting tangle of yearnings and regrets, that calls forth Tchehov's wistful compassionateness, but his recognition disentangles the irony in the very texture of life. Time's revenges or the irony of satisfied desires are treated in Ionitch,' 'A Teacher of Literature,' and • The Lady with the Dog. Yet one cannot say that Tchehov himself is disillusioned.' His sense of spiritual beauty is too strong; and his depth of acceptation of life's pattern forms, as it were, an aura enveloping his subject. This spiritual aura hovers about it and enwraps the gloomiest, greyest, most sardonic facts of life; death itself cannot diminish it. Examine 'Gusev,' a sketch of the death of two worn-out soldiers on board a steamer, when returning from the East, a sketch that is so 'modern'in its all-embracing outlook and bold acceptations as to shame nearly all our writers of to-day. It is so humanly broad, so tender, so infallibly true in its spiritual lightings, and it conveys the mystery of nature and all its transitory processes with sharp precision. In "Gusev' there is a sharper consciousness of life's pulsating forces, of its inescapable laws and its evasive rhythms, than in any other 'modern.' Compare it with Tolstoy's wonderful Three Deaths,' and note how the tinge of 'science' that faintly colours Gusev'marks the advance of a new generation. The fluid, emotional receptivity of the Russian nature, which we have noted above, is seen here to gather force, like a wave, in its onward sweep. • The Cattle-Dealers' is another fine example of Tchehov's sensitive response to every shade of movement and feeling in a scene before his eyes.
His sensitive, indulgent observation of the play of human nature exhibits the drovers, the railway men, and even the unhappy cattle penned in their trucks, in a soft, restful
atmosphere. It is a slice of common life delightful in its spontaneous force, while other men pass by, unseeing, the charm of the human by-play, here revealed to the master's eye.
Tchehov's æsthetic charm culminates in The Steppe,' a tale in which his tender, fluid consciousness, infinitely delicate, mirrors in its pellucid depths the whole mirage of nature, variegated, wild and stern, elusive in its changing breath, in the vast bosom of the steppes. This consummate piece of art is not 'modern,' save in a few recurring notes. It is a record, seen through the magic glass of boyish memories, of the passing life of travelling merchants and wayfarers, journeying in old-world conditions. Tchehov is here looking backward, away from the new currents and atmospheres that his vision caught and reflected from the great ocean of contemporary life within Russia's boundaries. But when he looked forwards he caught and reflected with equal subtlety, with equal precision, the new vistas of our modern emotions and apprehensions, the new values' moral and intellectual of our modern vision. He has recorded his faith in our progress in his letter to Dagilev,* Modern culture is only the first beginning of work for a great future, work which will perhaps go on for tens of thousands of years in order that man may, if only in the remote future, come to know the truth of the real God. That is not, I conjecture, by seeking in Dostoevsky, but by clear knowledge, as one knows twice two are four. By * clear knowledge'—that was Tchehov's hope for men, a hope which in this era of Europe's violence and lying, shines afar off like a star.
* Letters of Tchehov,' p. 404.
Art. 4.-THE AIR RAIDS ON LONDON. 1. The Times' and other newspapers, passim. 2. The Times History of the War. Vols. VII, VIII, X, and
XIX. London, 1916-1919. 3. London County Council. The Council and the War.
Prepared by the Clerk of the Council. 1920. 4. All Clear: A brief record of the work of the London
Special Constabulary, 1914-1919. By J. E. Preston
Muddock. Everett, 1920. 5. The Specials : How they served London. By Colonel
W. T. Reay. Heinemann, 1920.
ALTHOUGH the air raids made by the Germans London during the years 1915–18 had not the decisive effect on the war which was anticipated by their authors, they form an important episode in the history of London. The story has not yet been told in a connected narrative. Voluminous details were published at the time, but they lack permanent interest, through the desire of the official Censor of the Press not to give information to the enemy. We were told vaguely, for instance, that bombs were dropped in the northern outskirts of London' or in a south-western district, omitting all mention of the buildings or streets affected, and generally concealing the names of the killed. We were not even informed of the number of casualties in the metropolis, the total being given only for the whole area of a raid. Even in 'The Times History of the War' the record is in many cases confined to the original official generalities. Many items of information have, however, from time to time come to light, including some, from German sources, published in The Times' in September 1920, and I am able to add some particulars from my own observation.
A German aeroplane dropped a bomb at Dover on Dec. 24, 1914; and on Christmas Day a German airman passed Sheerness under cover of a fog and flew far up the Thames. But it was not until May 17, 1915, that the first Zeppelin (LZ 38) came within sight of the lights of London. The first airship raid on London in force was on May 31, 1915. As we now look back on the work of the raiders, the preparations to combat them appear
strangely inadequate. Our anti-aircraft defence was a work of gradual development. In October 1914, the R.N.V.R. Anti-Aircraft Corps was raised by the Admiralty as a volunteer body. It was composed of city and university men who gave time and energy to learn gunnery and searchlight work, and to man the stations on the roofs. It began with a searchlight on Hungerford Bridge and a small gun on the Foreign Office, to be followed by gun stations on the Admiralty Arch, Lloyds' Bank in St James's Street, Cannon Street Station, Waterloo, Blackfriars, and Nine Elms, most of them armed with a one-pounder pompom. But this corps laid the foundations for the elaborate system which afterwards grew up.
Late on May 31, 1915, LZ 38—the initials stand for Luftschiff Zeppelin-again found its way to London, accompanied by a sister ship, LZ 37. Whether the latter came actually over the metropolis is not clear. Coming in by way of Colchester in the moonlight, LZ 38, though sailing at a height of 10,000 feet, was able to follow the line of the road from Stoke Newington to Shoreditch, dropping bomb after bomb over the East End of London. Missiles fell in Leytonstone and Stoke Newington, and on the railway goods depôt at Bishopsgate, but the bulk of the bombs were showered on the thickly populated districts of Hoxton, Shoreditch, and Whitechapel. The bombs were mostly of an incendiary type, and there is reason to believe that they were dropped in this congested zone with the idea of raising such a conflagration that the fire brigade would be unable to cope with it. Some 90 bombs were dropped, and 41 fires were caused, but they were all promptly dealt with, and the actual damage was not very serious. An incendiary bomb fell on the Shoreditch Empire during a performance, causing a fire in the dressing-rooms, which was extinguished without a panic. Five or six civilians were killed and 14 injured. It is satisfactory to know that the two airships met with their nemesis within a very short time; LZ 37 was brought down by Lieut Warneford, and LZ 38 was destroyed in her shed at Brussels on June 7.
This bombing of defenceless people achieved no military result. At first the Germans gave out that they
were attacking the fortress' of London ; but this pretext was soon dropped, and it became evident that their intention was to carry German frightfulness to the heart of the British Empire, with the object of intimidating the people. This object utterly failed. But London was absolutely powerless against the attacks; and it is remarkable, and at the same time a matter of congratulation, that they achieved so little.
Further assaults were attempted, the details of which are still very obscure, and it is not evident how far London was their objective; but on Aug. 17, 1915, Walthamstow and Leyton were bombed, and at about 11 p.m. on Sept. 7, the firing of the guns announced the close approach of the enemy again. I saw the Zeppelin from my window in Balham, apparently over the very centre of London ; yet next day in our official report we were merely told that hostile aircraft visited the eastern counties, and bombs were dropped'; and in • The Times History of the War,' Vol. vii, published in 1916, we read only that the outlying districts of London were attacked.' The German account, with more accuracy, stated that the docks, as well as other port establishments of London and the vicinity were bombarded with explosive and incendiary bombs. The effect
very satisfactory. Our airships returned damaged.' From this it would appear that more than one airship was present.
was present. Bombs were dropped in Millwall, Rotherhithe, Bermondsey, Deptford, Greenwich, and Woolwich. The Arsenal was evidently the objective; but the dropping of a bomb in Millwall Dock, another in a private garden at Blackheath and another on some railway trucks at New Cross Station achieved no military result. Sixteen people were killed and 28 injured in the county area.
A more destructive raid followed on the next night (Sept. 8-9), when 'several Zeppelins' hovered over London. L 13, commanded by Mathy, one of the ablest of the German airmen, who came across by way of the Wash, was at Potters Bar at 10.30 p.m., and ten minutes later dropped his first bomb-probably intended for Hendon aerodrome-on Golders Green. Over Barnet he dropped a scraped ham-bone in a bag attached to a small parachute, with the inscription, .Zum Andenken an das