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Within the Rim and Other Essays   By: (1843-1916)

Within the Rim and Other Essays by Henry James

First Page:

WITHIN THE RIM

WITHIN THE RIM AND OTHER ESSAYS

1914 15

HENRY JAMES

[Illustration: colophon]

LONDON: 48 PALL MALL W. COLLINS SONS & CO. LTD. GLASGOW MELBOURNE AUCKLAND

Copyright 1918

Within the Rim Written in Feb. 1915 for Miss E. Asquith for a proposed album in aid of the Arts Fund. The idea of the album was abandoned, and the article was ultimately published in the Fortnightly Review , Aug. 1917.

Refugees in Chelsea Published in the Times Literary Supplement, March 23, 1916.

The American Volunteer Motor Ambulance Corps in France: A Letter to the Editor of an American Journal Issued as a pamphlet, 1914.

France Published in The Book of France , edited by Winifred Stephens, Macmillan, 1915.

The Long Wards Published in The Book of the Homeless , edited by Edith Wharton, Macmillan, 1916.

Thanks are due in each case for the permission to reprint these essays.

CONTENTS

PAGE

WITHIN THE RIM 11

REFUGEES IN CHELSEA 39

THE AMERICAN VOLUNTEER MOTOR AMBULANCE CORPS IN FRANCE: A Letter to the Editor of an American Journal 63

FRANCE 83

THE LONG WARDS 97

WITHIN THE RIM

The first sense of it all to me after the first shock and horror was that of a sudden leap back into life of the violence with which the American Civil War broke upon us, at the North, fifty four years ago, when I had a consciousness of youth which perhaps equalled in vivacity my present consciousness of age. The illusion was complete, in its immediate rush; everything quite exactly matched in the two cases; the tension of the hours after the flag of the Union had been fired upon in South Carolina living again, with a tragic strangeness of recurrence, in the interval during which the fate of Belgium hung in the scales and the possibilities of that of France looked this country harder in the face, one recognised, than any possibility, even that of the England of the Armada, even that of the long Napoleonic menace, could be imagined to have looked her. The analogy quickened and deepened with every elapsing hour; the drop of the balance under the invasion of Belgium reproduced with intensity the agitation of the New England air by Mr Lincoln's call to arms, and I went about for a short space as with the queer secret locked in my breast of at least already knowing how such occasions helped and what a big war was going to mean. That this was literally a light in the darkness, or that it materially helped the prospect to be considered, is perhaps more than I can say; but it at least added the strangest of savours, an inexpressible romantic thrill, to the harsh taste of the crisis: I found myself literally knowing 'by experience' what immensities, what monstrosities, what revelations of what immeasurabilities, our affair would carry in its bosom a knowledge that flattered me by its hint of immunity from illusion. The sudden new tang in the atmosphere, the flagrant difference, as one noted, in the look of everything, especially in that of people's faces, the expressions, the hushes, the clustered groups, the detached wanderers and slow paced public meditators, were so many impressions long before received and in which the stretch of more than half a century had still left a sharpness. So I took the case in and drew a vague comfort, I can scarce say why, from recognition; so, while recognition lasted, I found it come home to me that we, we of the ancient day, had known, had tremendously learnt, what the awful business is when it is 'long,' when it remains for months and months bitter and arid, void even of any great honour... Continue reading book >>




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