But one does not like to leave so remarkable a letter as yours--a letter perhaps unique in the history of human correspondence, since when before has an educated man asked a woman how in her opinion war can be prevented? Therefore let us make the attempt; even if it is doomed to failure.
In the first place let us draw what all letter-writers instinctively draw, a sketch of the person to whom the letter is addressed.
Here we are only concerned with the obvious fact, when it comes to considering this important question--how we are to help you prevent war--that education makes a difference.
Some knowledge of politics, of international relations of economics, is obviously necessary in order to understand the causes which lead to war. Now you the uneducated, you with an untrained mind, could not possibly deal with such questions satisfactorily.
You have reached the middle years of life not without effort, at the Bar; but on the whole your journey has been prosperous.
For happily there is one branch of education which comes under the heading 'unpaid-for education'--that understanding of human beings and their motives which, if the word is rid of its scientific associations, might be called psychology.
So magically does it change the landscape that the noble courts and quadrangles of Oxford and Cambridge often appear to educated men's daughters like petticoats with holes in them, cold legs of mutton, and the boat train starting for abroad while the guard slams the door in their faces.
The fact that Arthur's Education Fund changes the landscape--the halls, the playing grounds, the sacred edifices--is an important one; but that aspect must be left for future discussion.
But there it is with its question--How in your opinion are we to prevent war? It is true that many answers have suggested themselves, but none that would not need explanation, and explanations take time.
In this case, too, there are reasons why it is particularly difficult to avoid misunderstanding.
But to us, who see it through the shadow of Arthur's Education Fund, it is a schoolroom table; an omnibus going to a class; a little woman with a red nose who is not well educated herself but has an invalid mother to support; an allowance of £50 a year with which to buy clothes, give presents and take journeys on coming to maturity.