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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

that our intensive training is nearly finished I am •
easing off a bit and allowing myself to enjoy books.
The result is that I immediately lose my grip on
soldiering and begin to find everything intolerable
except my interest in the welfare of the men. One
cannot be a useful officer and a reader of imaginative
literature at the same time. Efficiency depends on
attention to a multitude of minor details. I shall find
it easier when we get to the Line, where one alter-
nates between intense concentration on real warfare
and excusable recuperation afterwards. Here one is
incessantly sniped at by the Orderly Room and every-
one is being chivvied by the person above him. I have
never been healthier in body than I am now. But
under that mask of physical fitness the mind struggles
and rebels against being denied its rights. The
mechanical stupidity of infantry soldiering is the
antithesis of intelligent thinking.

Sensitive and gifted people of all nations arc endur-
ing some such mental starvation in order to safeguard
—whatever it is they are told that they arc safeguard-
ing. . . . And O, how I long for a good Symphony
Concert! The mere thought of it is to get a glimpse
of heaven.

June 14. At dinner this evening I was arguing with
young "StifFy", who has strong convictions of his own
infallibility. But it was only about some detail of
Lewis-gun training! Also he asserted that I'd got "a
downer" on some N.C.O., which I stoutly denied.
We got quite hot over it. Then the argument dis-
solved into jollity and fled from our minds for ever.
After all, we'd had a good feed, and some red wine;
to-morrow will be Saturday, an easy day's work; and
the others had come in to the meal flushed and happy
after a platoon football match. "Damn it, I'm fed up

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