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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

for the peace of mind which could have allowed me
to enjoy having tea out in the garden on fine after-
noons. But it was no use trying to dope my disquiet
with Trollope's novels or any of my favourite books.
The purgatory I'd let myself in for always came be-
tween me and the pages; there was no escape for me
now. Walking restlessly about the garden at night I
was oppressed by the midsummer silence and found
no comfort in the twinkling lights along the Weald.
At one end of the garden three poplars tapered against
the stars; they seemediike sentries guarding a prison-
er.   Across the uncut orchard grass. Aunt Evelyn's
white beehives glimmered in the moonlight like bones.
The hives were empty, for the bees had been wiped
out by the Isle of Wight disease. But it was no good
moping about the garden. I ought to be indoors im-
proving my mind, I thought, for I had returned to
Butley resolved to read for dear life—circumstances
having made it imperative that I should accumulate as
much solid information as I could. But sedulous study
only served to open up the limitless prairies of my
ignorance, and my attention was apt to wander away
from what I was reading. If I could have been candid
with myself I should have confessed that a fortnight
was inadequate for the completion of niy education
as an intellectual pacifist. Reading the last few num-
bers of Markington's weekly was all very well as a
tonic for disagreeing with organized public opinion,
but even if I learnt a whole article off by heart I
should only have built a little hut on the edge of the
prairie. "I must have all the arguments at my fingers9
ends," I had thought when I left London. The argu-
ments, perhaps, were epitomized in TyrrelPs volume
of lectures ("given to me by the author," as I had
written on the fly-leaf). Nevertheless those lectures on

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