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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

cult and the most meritorious thing in life is to love
it in spite of all its undeserved suffering5'. But who
cares for Tolstoy's wisdom here? Only me, apparently.

During the day I watch the men lying about on the
decks in the sunlight, staring idly at the glittering
glorious blue sea and the huge boats ploughing along
in line—six of us, with about ten destroyers in the
offing. (Coming up on deck early this morning I saw
one of the^ destroyers firing at something, so I suppose
we are being chased all the time.) Leaning against
one another in indolent attitudes, the men seem much
nearer the realities of life than the average officer.

I must, however, put in a word for the Divisional
General, who has a very kind face and appears to be
the best type of reticent regular officer. He is also
reputed to be a good general. I watched him playing
bridge last night in the gallery above the dining-
saloon. He asked the band to play "The Rosary" a
second time. "It may be hackneyed," he exclaimed,
"but I love it!"

May 5. In the circular gallery above the dining-
saloon a few electric lamps glow with a subdued and
golden sobriety which reveals vulgar oak panelling
and carved balustrades, bilious green curtains, and a
tawdry gilt and painted ceiling adorned with mean-
ingless patterns. The skylight—an atrocity in blue
and green glass with the steamship company's crest
—is invisible owing to absence of light from above,
but the lunette wall spaces below are made alluring
by a pair of oleographic representations of simpering
sirens doing some dancing. Electric fans revolve and
hum, hurling dim whizzing shadows on the walls like
ghostly wings. The boat throbs and quivers and creaks
—straining onward as though conscious of her own
danger which keeps every light shrouded from exterior

745