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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

that sort of thing. The intensity of my individual effort
to influence the Allied Governments had abated.

At intervals I reminded myself that my enormous
gesture was still, so to speak, "on show", but I un-
consciously allowed myself to relax the mental effort
required to sustain it. My "attitude" was, indeed,
unchanged; it had merely ceased to be aggressive. I
didn't even feel annoyed when a celebrated novelist
(for whose opinion I had asked) wrote: "Your posi-
tion cannot be argumentatively defended. What is
the matter with you is spiritual pride. The over-
whelming majority of your fellow-citizens are against
you." Anyhow a fellow-citizen (who was an equally
famous novelist) wrote that it was a "very striking
act", and I was grateful for the phrase. (How tan-
talizing of me to omit their names! But somehow I
feel that if I were to put them on the page my neatly
contrived little narrative would come sprawling out
of its frame.) Grateful I was, and not annoyed; never-
theless it was obvious that I couldn't perform that sort
of striking act more than once, and in the meantime
I acted on the advice of Rivers and wired to Aunt
Evelyn for my golf clubs, which arrived next day,
maybe accelerated by three very fully addressed
labels, all inscribed "urgent". Simultaneously arrived
a postcard from one of the overwhelming majority of
my fellow-citizens who kept his name dark, but ex-
pressed his opinion that "Men like you who are will-
ing to shake the bloody hand of the Kaiser are not
worthy to call themselves Britons". This struck me as
unjust; I'd never offered to shake the old Kaiser's
hand, though I should probably have been consider-
ably impressed if he'd offered to shake mine, for an
emperor is an emperor all the world over even if he
has done his best to wipe you off the face of the earth

634