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You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg of Australia License which may be viewed online at contact Project Gutenberg of Australia go to -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Three years is a long time to leave a letter unanswered, and your letter has been lying without an answer even longer than that.

I had hoped that it would answer itself, or that other people would answer it for me.

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.

Such is the effect that Arthur's Education Fund has had upon us.

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.

And without wishing to flatter you, your prosperity--wife, children, house--has been deserved.

And the result is that though we look at the same things, we see them differently.

What is that congregation of buildings there, with a semi-monastic look, with chapels and halls and green playing-fields?

To you it is your old school; Eton or Harrow; your old university, Oxford or Cambridge; the source of memories and of traditions innumerable.

Had you not believed that human nature, the reasons, the emotions of the ordinary man and woman, lead to war, you would not have written asking for our help.

You must have argued, men and women, here and now, are able to exert their wills; they are not pawns and puppets dancing on a string held by invisible hands. Perhaps even they can influence other people's thoughts and actions.

And the result is that though we look at the same things, we see them differently.

What is that congregation of buildings there, with a semi-monastic look, with chapels and halls and green playing-fields?

To you it is your old school; Eton or Harrow; your old university, Oxford or Cambridge; the source of memories and of traditions innumerable.

Had you not believed that human nature, the reasons, the emotions of the ordinary man and woman, lead to war, you would not have written asking for our help.

You must have argued, men and women, here and now, are able to exert their wills; they are not pawns and puppets dancing on a string held by invisible hands. Perhaps even they can influence other people's thoughts and actions.

You, who have read Pendennis, will remember how the mysterious letters A. For your education was not merely in book-learning; games educated your body; friends taught you more than books or games. And to this your sisters, as Mary Kingsley indicates, made their contribution.