Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

had even troubled to wind up the pavilion clock.
Back in the station I searched the bookstall for
something to distract my thoughts. The result was a
small red volume which is still in my possession. It
is called The Morals of Rousseau, and contains, natur-
ally enough, extracts from that celebrated author.
Rousseau was new to me and I cannot claim that his
morals were any help to me on that particular journey
or during the ensuing days when I carried him about
in my pocket. But while pacing the station platform
I remembered a certain couplet, and I mention this
couplet because, for the next ten days or so, I couldn't
get it out of my head. There was no apparent relev-
ancy in the quotation (which I afterwards found to be
from Gowper). It merely persisted in saying:

/ shall not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau
If birds confabulate or no.

London enveloped my loneliness. I spent what was
presumably my last night of liberty in the bustling
dreariness of one of those huge hotels where no one
ever seems to be staying more than a single night. I
had hoped for a talk with Tyrrell, but he was out of
town. My situation was, I felt, far too serious for
theatre going—in fact I regarded myself as already
more or less under arrest; I was going to Clitherland
under my own escort, so to speak. So it may be
assumed that I spent that evening alone with J. J.

Next morning—but it will suffice if I say that next
morning (although papers announced Great Russian
Success in Galicia] I had no reason to feel any happier