Hermione and Her Little Group of Serious Thinkers/Stimulating Influences

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SCIENCE and philanthropy should go hand in hand—two hearts that beat as one, if you know what I mean, and all that sort of thing.

And they do, too. We were discussing it the other evening—our Little Group of Serious Thinkers, you know—and we decided that what philanthropy owes to science is made up by what science owes to philanthropy.

Isn't it wonderful how things balance like that?

There's the Twilight Sleep and the Mother-Teacher Idea, for instance.

Our little group are thinking of starting a propaganda to urge all Teachers to be Mothers.

And, of course, a lot of them might object but along comes the Twilight Sleep and takes away all possible objections.

And along comes Philanthropy to put the Twilight Sleep within the reach of all—at least, we hope it will—and we're going to take the matter up with some of the Philanthropists right away.

Isn't it just simply wonderful how Modern Thought brings subjects like that together? Of course, even Modern Thought couldn't do it, unless the subjects belonged together, anyhow, could it? Unless they were—er—er——

Well, you know, Affinities. Though I don't care much for the word.

Affinities have quite gone out, you know. You don't hear much about Affinities this autumn.

Nor Soul Mates, either, for that matter.

Though I always will say there's an Idea behind all the talk about them.

Isn't it odd about things that way—how Ideas come and go, you know, and become quite old-fashioned, and yet all the time have a quite profound Idea back of them?

There's Cubist and Futurist Art, for instance—one doesn't hear nearly so much about them now, though everyone admitted there was an Idea behind them.

Of course, no one knew what the Idea meant.

But it was stimulating.

And why should an Idea have to mean anything if it is Stimulating?

Stimulation! Stimulation! That is the secret of Modern Life!

One should be receptive to Stimulation–one should strive to Stimulate!

One owes it to the Masses to Stimulate! It is the duty of the leaders of Advanced Thought! Nearly every night before I go to bed I ask myself, "Have I been a Stimulating Influence today? Or have I failed?"

Fothergil Finch says I Stimulate him!

Poor, dear man!—he's becoming quite—quite—well, er—er—too encouraged, if you know what I mean.

Yes, that is the way with poets.

I doubt if any poet ever understood a purely Platonic Friendship.

I gave him a long, long look last evening and said, "Fothergil, can you keep on the Platonic Plane?"

He only said, "Alas! The Platonic Plane!"

I hope he can. I need him for my Salon.

I'm having the entire ground floor of the house done over for that, you know, and I may reopen it any time now!