Mr. Britling Sees It Through eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 523 pages of information about Mr. Britling Sees It Through.

“If ever there was a bigger lie, my dear Daddy, than any other, it is that man is a reasonable creature....

“War is just foolery—­lunatic foolery—­hell’s foolery....

“But, anyhow, your son is sound and well—­if sorrowful and angry.  We were relieved that night.  And there are rumours that very soon we are to have a holiday and a refit.  We lost rather heavily.  We have been praised.  But all along, Essex has done well.  I can’t reckon to get back yet, but there are such things as leave for eight-and-forty hours or so in England....

“I shall be glad of that sort of turning round....

“I’m tired.  Oh!  I’m tired....

“I wanted to write all about Jewell to his mother or his sweetheart or some one; I wanted to wallow in his praises, to say all the things I really find now that I thought about him, but I haven’t even had that satisfaction.  He was a Poor Law child; he was raised in one of those awful places between Sutton and Banstead in Surrey.  I’ve told you of all the sweethearting he had.  ‘Soldiers Three’ was his Bible; he was always singing ‘Tipperary,’ and he never got the tune right nor learnt more than three lines of it.  He laced all his talk with ‘b——­y’; it was his jewel, his ruby.  But he had the pluck of a robin or a squirrel; I never knew him scared or anything but cheerful.  Misfortunes, humiliations, only made him chatty.  And he’d starve to have something to give away.

“Well, well, this is the way of war, Daddy.  This is what war is.  Damn the Kaiser!  Damn all fools....  Give my love to the Mother and the bruddykins and every one....”

Section 19

It was just a day or so over three weeks after this last letter from Hugh that Mr. Direck reappeared at Matching’s Easy.  He had had a trip to Holland—­a trip that was as much a flight from Cissie’s reproaches as a mission of inquiry.  He had intended to go on into Belgium, where he had already been doing useful relief work under Mr. Hoover, but the confusion of his own feelings had checked him and brought him back.

Mr. Direck’s mind was in a perplexity only too common during the stresses of that tragic year.  He was entangled in a paradox; like a large majority of Americans at that time his feelings were quite definitely pro-Ally, and like so many in that majority he had a very clear conviction that it would be wrong and impossible for the United States to take part in the war.  His sympathies were intensely with the Dower House and its dependent cottage; he would have wept with generous emotion to see the Stars and Stripes interwoven with the three other great banners of red, white and blue that led the world against German imperialism and militarism, but for all that his mind would not march to that tune.  Against all these impulses fought something very fundamental in Mr. Direck’s composition, a preconception of America that had grown almost insensibly in his mind, the

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Mr. Britling Sees It Through from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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