However, the wide-apart worlds of AE, now fifty years dead, and John Hewitt might symbolise the overall change since 1921. In fact, these two Ulstermen, from Lurgan and Belfast, have certain qualities in common. Hewitt, listing AEs range of interests, sums up his own: literature, art and politics.  Their literary output displays a similar industrious fecundity. Above all, they share a utilitarian view of literature as the means to a social (and in AEs case spiritual) end. Hewitt approves AEs writings as sustenance for the long and painful journey to social justice and human fulfilment.  Each, with his intense vision of community, experienced the pain of that journey. The behaviour of ruling Nationalism contributed to AEs sad departure in 1933 for England, where he died two years later. Unionist prejudice blocked Hewitts appointment as Director of the Ulster Museum and Art Gallery, and he left in 1957, suitably for Coventry. (After retirement in 1972, he returned to Belfast.) AEs practical role in the agricultural co-operative movement accords with Hewitts socialism, but the mystic amuses the atheist. On some raptures [vi] about fairies, Hewitt comments: Peter Pan was only a few years away.  Yet Hewitt notes that John Eglinton called AE a Protestant Theosophist  as he himself, at a different extreme of reaction, may be Protestant in his atheism.
Mysticism, quite distinct from that of Catholic Nationalism, also pervades AEs vision of The National Being: Manifold, rich, intricate and of many dimensions. . His most lasting legacy is that he grasped, not so much the actual roots of difference - Yeats, for all his song and dance, was less surprised by the tide of the twenties - as their malign effect on what he apprehended as a palpable spirit. He dreaded the soul of the country becoming so blackened by hate and so coarsened by conflict that life in it would not be worth living  And he perceived how the law, which he constantly cited, whereby if you hate things you grow like them, can spread from political into intellectual life:
At the same time, AE emphasised the healthiness of true-debate, as opposed to the drive for all-out victory: We do not derive the slightest pleasure from the society of those who hold in all matters the same opinions as we do. We suffer in such society an intolerable boredom, for our own emanations are poisonous to us as they are to plants.  As editor of the Irish Statesman (1923-30) he crusaded against, in Terence Browns words, those aspects of Irish intellectual and cultural life that tended to national exclusivism, xenophobia and cultural imposition.  Although, as Brown says, a lynchpin of AEs polemic - the cultural necessity of the Anglo-lrish Protestants in the new state  - was not proven, he at least handed on the torch of the wedding of cultures and the [vii] mingling of races  to Sean OFaolain and the Bell.