HERMIONE ON FASHIONS AND WAR
ISN’T war frightful, though; simply FRIGHTFUL!
What Sherman said it was, you know.
Though they say there’s an economic condition back of this war, too.
We took up economics not long ago — our Little Group of Serious Thinkers, you know — and gave an entire evening to it.
It’s wonderful; simply WONDERFUL!
Without economics, you know, there couldn’t be any Civilization.
That’s a thought that should give one pause, isn’t it?
Although, of course, this war may destroy civilization entirely.
If I thought it was likely to do that I would join in the Peace Demonstration at once — or have they had it already ? — the march for peace, you know! Anyhow, no matter what the personal sacrifice might be, I would join in. Not that I care to march in the dust. And black never did become me. But I suppose there will be some autos. And, well — one must sacrifice.
For if Civilization dies out, what will become of us then?
Will we revert to the Primordial?
Will the Cave Man triumph?
The very idea gives me the creeps!
Because, you know, the Cave Man is all right — and the Primitive, and all that — as a protest against Decadence-and in a LITERARY way — but if ALL men were Cave Men!
Well, you know, the thought is frightful; simply frightful!
You can have a feeling for just ONE Cave Man, you know, in the midst of Civilization, when a MILLION Cave Men would —
But the idea is too terrible for words!
And in this crisis it is Woman who must save the world.
The loveliest woman — she’s quite advanced, really, and has the most charming toilettes — told our Little Group of Serious Thinkers the other night that this is the time when Woman must rule the world.
It is the test of the New Woman.
If ANYTHING is saved from the wreck it will be because of Her.
She can write letters to the papers, you know, against war and-and all that sort of thing, you know.
And, of course, if the Germans and Russians and English do all get together and conquer Paris,I suppose they won’t kill the modistes and designers.
Civilization, you know, is not so easily killed after all. The Romans were conquered, you know, but all their styles and philosophies and things were taken up by the Medes and Persians who conquered them, and have remained unchanged in those countries ever since.
But in a time like this, it’s comforting to have a Cause to cling to.
No matter what happens, the advanced thinkers must cling together and make their Cause count.
And if England should conquer France, and put a king on the throne there again, no doubt there will be a great revival of fashion, as there was in the days of Napoleon I . and the Empress Eugenie.