with obvious truth, that the Bishop has more need of
motor-cars than any of his flock. But this Heaven making
needs no motor cars; it needs time and concentration. It
needs the imagination of a poet. Left to ourselves we can but
trifle with it—imagine Pepys in Heaven, adumbrate little
interviews with celebrated people on tufts of thyme, soon 
fall into gossip about such of our friends as have stayed in 
Hell, or, worse still, revert again to earth and choose, since 
there is no harm in choosing, to live over and over, now as 
man, now as woman, as sea-captain, court lady, Emperor,
farmer's wife, in splendid cities and on remote moors, in 
Teheran and Tunbridge Wells, at the time of Pericles or 
Arthur, Charlemagne, or George the Fourth—to live and 
live till we have lived out those embryo lives which attend 
about us in early youth and been consumed by that
tyrrantical ‘I’, who has conquered so far as this world is
concerned but shall not, if wishing can alter it, usurp 
Heaven too, and condemn us, who have played our parts 
here as William or Amelia, to remain William or Amelia 
for ever. Left to ourselves we speculate thus carnally. We 
need the poets to imagine for us. The duty of Heaven-
making should be attached to the office of Poet Laureate.

Indeed, it is to the poets that we turn. Illness makes 
us disinclined for the long campaigns that prose exacts. 
We cannot command all our faculties and keep our reason 
and our judgment and our memory at attention while 
chapter swings on top of chapter, and, as one settles into 
place, we must be on the watch for the coming of the 
next, until the whole structure—arches, towers, battle-
ments—stands firm on its foundations. The Decline and 
Fall of the Roman Empire is not the book for influenza, nor 
The Golden Bowl nor Madame Bovary. On the other hand, 
with responsibility shelved and reason in abeyance—for 
who is going to exact criticism from an invalid or sound 
sense from the bed-ridden?—other tastes assert them-
selves; sudden, fitful, intense. We rifle the poets of their