Many Dimensions
Charles Williams

Charles Williams

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Many Dimensions


the Inklings
Christian fiction

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Many Dimensions

Copyright © 1931 Charles Williams
Copyright © 1949 Pellegrini & Cudahy

Chapter Two
The Pupil of Organic Law
“It’s a fact I’ve continually observed in the witness box,” he said abstractedly, “that nine people out of ten, off their own subject, are incapable of lucidity, whereas on their own subject they can be as direct as a straight line before Einstein. I had a fellow once who couldn’t put three words together sanely; we were all hopeless, till counsel got him on his own business—which happened to be statistics of the development of industry in the Central American Republics; and then for about five minutes I understood exactly what had been happening there for the last seventy years.”



“Civilized man,” Lord Arglay said, “is known by the capacity of his intellect to produce convincing reasons for his emotions.”



Chapter Three
The Tale of the End of Desire

“I do not know what he meant,” Arglay answered, “though certainly the way to any end is in that end itself. For as you cannot know any study but by learning it, or gain any virtue but by practising it, so you cannot be anything but by becoming it. And that sounds obvious enough, doesn’t it? And yet,” he went on as if to himself, “by becoming one thing a man ceases to be that which he was, and no one but he can tell how tragic that change may be.”

For she was conscious that the evening had not been a success, and that the young man who accompanied her was conscious of it too. This annoyed her, for in matters of pleasure she had a high sense of duty, and not to cause gaiety appeared to her as a failure in morals.
Chapter Five
The Loss of a Type
Chloe’s intelligence reminded her that by the phrase “Muhammed was a fanatical monotheist”—he meant what Lord Arglay—or was it the Hajji?—had meant by saying “Our lord the Prophet arose to proclaim the Unity,” but she found the one phrase unusually trying after the other.




Chapter Six
The Problem of Time

“Child,” Lord Arglay said, “I am an old man and I have known nothing all my life farther or greater than the work I have taken to do. I have never seen a base for any temple nor found an excuse to believe in the myths that are told there. I will not say believe or do not believe. But there is one thing only at which I have wondered at times, and yet it seemed foolish to think of it. It will happen sometimes when one has worked hard and done all that one can for the purpose before one—it has happened then that I have stood up and been content with the world of things and with what has been done there through me. And this may be pride, or it may be the full stress of the whole being and delight in labour—there are a hundred explanations. But I have wondered whether that profound repose was not communicated from some far source and whether the life that is in it was altogether governed by time.”



Chapter Seven
The Miracles at Rich
“When the English take anything very seriously they always become a trifle delirious. People tell you that we aren’t logical, but it isn’t true. Only our logic is a logic of poetry. We are the Tom o’ Bedlam of the nations, the sceptics of the world, and we have no hope at all, or none to speak of—that is why we are always so good at adopting new ideas.”
Chapter Ten
The Appeal of the Mayor of Rich

[...] I made a list of their names in case they should be useful.”

“I sometimes think,” Arglay said, glancing down the slip of paper she gave him, “that the law of cause and effect isn’t really understood. Since whatever you do is bound to be justified, justification is produced. This Mr. Doncaster comes merely as a result of your having written down his name. Shall we ask him what he thinks—poor deluded wretch!—made him call here?”

“There is no case beyond law,” the Chief Justice answered. “We may mistake in the ruling, we may be deceived by outward things and cunning talk, but there is no dispute between men which cannot be resolved in equity. And in its nature equity is from those between whom it exists: it is passion acting in lucidity.”



Chapter Thirteen
The Refusal of Lord Arglay
But Lord Arglay, at once in contact and detached, at once faithless and believing, beheld all these things in the light of that fastidious and ironical goodwill which, outside mystical experience, is the finest and noblest capacity man has developed in and against the universe.

“You love her?” the Hajji said, half in statement, half in interrogation.

“Why, I do not very well know what love may be,” Lord Arglay said, “but so far as is possible to men I think that there is Justice between her and me, and if that Justice cannot help us now I do not think that any miracles will.”



“Anything that one uses is apt to become one’s master,” Arglay answered.

Chapter Fourteen
The Second Refusal of Chloe Burnett

This argument, though sound within its limits, suffered from the same trouble that invalidates all human argument and makes all human conclusion erroneous, namely, that no reasoning can ever start from the possession of all the facts.

She was protecting it. Not being a reader of religious history Chloe was ignorant what things have been done in the strength of that plea, or with what passionate anxiety men have struggled to protect the subordination of Omnipotence. But in her despair she rejected what churches and kings and prelates have not rejected; she refused to be deceived, she refused to attempt to be helpful to the God, and being in an agony she prayed more earnestly.
Chapter Fifteen
The Possessiveness of Mr. Frank Lindsay

“They also serve who only sit about and chat. But after believing in God——”

“Ah but you do!” Chloe cried, “and is that doing nothing?”

Lord Arglay looked at her. “It is giving a new name to old things,” he said. “Or perhaps an old name to new things.”

text checked (see note) Feb 2005

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