Mrs. Humphry Ward tells the story of a pretty, clinging Englishwoman, who learns through the war's hard lesson the essential dishonesty of clinging. Work brings her spiritual freedom, as it has brought spiritual freedom to hundreds of women since the beginning of the war.
"Missing" might be a contribution to the contemporary literature about woman, as vital in its way as "A Woman of Genius," but, like most of Mrs. Ward's work, it lacks reality. It is a cleverly staged, well-managed drama of the Pinero type. You look on, are interested, entertained, but never for a moment carried away. It is all a play. It might have happened, you are willing to admit, but that these very clever ladies and gentlemen are living it, not acting it that is too great a demand upon your credulity. Mrs. Ward can produce polished drama; but she cannot reproduce life. --The Dial, 1918.
other expressed that loosening of conventions in which we have all lived since the war--'Are you home on leave, or--'
'I came home to be married,' said the young soldier, flushing slightly, while his eyes crossed those of the young girl beside him. 'I've got a week more.'
'You've been out some time?'
'Since last November. I got a scratch in the Ypres fight in April--oh, nothing--a small flesh wound--but they gave me a month's leave, and my medical board has only just passed me.'
'Lanchesters?' said Sir William, looking at his cap. The other nodded pleasantly.
'Well, I am sure I hope you'll have good weather here,' said Sir William, stepping back, and once more raising his hat to the bride. 'And--if there was Anything I could do to help your stay--'
'Oh, thank you, Sir, but--'
The pair smiled again at each other. Sir William understood, and smiled too. A more engaging couple he thought he had never seen. The young man was not exactly handsome, but he had a pair of charming hazel eyes, a g
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