Diplomacy and Faith
Theatre of Life. By Lord Howard of Penrith, Volume Two. (Hodder and Stoughton, 21s.) Reviewed by G. ELLIOT ANSTRUTHER When Lord Howard of Penrith looked at Life's theatre last year, in a first volume of reminiscences, he did so "from the pit." If, in this second and completing volume, his pen has been actuated "from the stalls," we may read into that avowal the grateful recognition that a long career of useful service for the Empire had carried him, before his retirement, to the highest of all diplomatic ranks, that of Ambassador.
The years covered in the present volume are from 1905 onwards. They embrace a wide scene in space, even as they include eventful periods of time. We begin with Crete, of which island Lord Howard has written at considerable length because, he disarmingly tells us, the place amused and interested him. Washington, at two separate periods; Budapest; Berne; Stockholm; the Peace Conference at Paris following the Armistice of November, 1918; an interlude in Poland; Madrid, in pages to which to-day's upheaval in Spain lend pathos by the contrast. Towards the end the Holy Land; and delightful glimpses of the West Indies-was it a Spanish memory which inadvertently transferred " Granada" to those parts?-where the journey down the length of the Leeward and Windward isles was " like saying the joyful mysteries of the rosary."
As one's inclination may lie, so, in this handsome book, everybody can find some
thing to his taste. High politics and international conflicts; the clash of aims and the exercise of wits; talks with kings and presidents; tales of peril, of courage, of tact, of cunning-these things, for many, will constitute the chief interest of Lord Howard's pages. At one of those pages we would that all would pause in order to read words which, alas! were not in the minds of statesmen at Versailles in 1919: This would have been the golden opportunity for obtaining a golden Peace, the Peace of goodwill, had there existed a real will to peace and conficiewe in security from future aggression. Unfortunately the world was not yet ready for it.
Peace, Lord Howard is convinced, has its greatest hindrance in the Tertii Gaudentes, the rejoicing third parties who, in every war, take profit to themselves by supplying arms and other commodities to the belligerents.
For those also who prefer life's lighter and pleasanter side, nearer to nature and farther from strife and guile, there is much good reading in this volume. With Lord Howard and his wife we can be pilgrims to Rome. We can look upon Spain in the sunshine of her piety and peace. At Stockholm we can meet a saint, one M. PhilliPe, an old Belgian workman of whom Lord Howard's brief panegyric is one of the most graceful and touching pieces of writing in the book. Or, in a still deeper moment, we can stand with the author in the cathedral in Port of Spain, giving thanks for the day when he was there received into the Claw-ch.