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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

Watching the guzzlers in the Savoy (and conveniently
overlooking the fact that some of them \vere officers
on leave) I nourished my righteous hatred of them,
anathematizing their appetites with the intolerance of
youth which made me unable to realize that comfort-
loving people are obliged to avoid self-knowledge—
especially when there is a war on. But I still believe
that in 1917 the idle, empty-headed, and frivolous in-
gredients of Society were having a tolerably good time,
while the officious wrere being made self-important by
nicely graded degrees of uniformed or un-uniformed
war-emergency authority. For middle-aged persons
who faced the War bleakly, life had become unbear-
able unless they persuaded themselves that the
slaughter was worth while. Tyrrell was comprehen-
sively severe on everyone except inflexible pacifists.
He said that the people who tried to resolve the dis-
cords of the War into what they called "a higher
harmony" were merely enabling themselves to con-
template the massacre of the young men with an easy
conscience. "By Jingo, I suppose you're right!" I
exclaimed, wishing that I were able to express my
ideas with such comprehensive clarity.

Supervising a platoon of Cadet Officers at Cam-
bridge would have been a snug alternative to "general
service abroad" (provided that I could have bluffed
the cadets into believing that I knew something about
soldiering). I was going there to be interviewed by
the Colonel and clinch my illusory appointment; but
I was only doing this because I considered it needful
for what I called "strengthening my position". I
hadn't looked ahead much, but when I did so it was