Letters from Mesopotamia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 120 pages of information about Letters from Mesopotamia.
which is an exaggeration.  But I can quite see how irritating Tennyson must be to ardent sceptics like Meredith and the school which is now in the ascendant.  To them a poet is essentially a rebel, and Tennyson refused to be a rebel.  That is why they can’t be fair to him and accuse him of being superficial.  I think that a very shallow criticism of him.  He saw and states the whole rebels’ position—­“In Memoriam” is largely a debate between the Shelley-Swinburne point of view and the Christian.  Only he states it so abstractly that to people familiar with Browning’s concrete and humanised dialectic it seems cold and artificial.  But it’s really his sincerest and deepest thought, and he deliberately rejects the rebel position as intellectually and morally untenable:  and adopts a position of aquiescent agnosticism on the problem of evil subject to an unshakeable faith in immortality and the Love of God.  This is a red rag to your Swinburnes.  That is why I asked you to send me Swinburne, as I want to get to the bottom of his position.  Shelley’s I know, and it is, in my opinion a much more obvious, easier, and more superficial one than Tennyson’s:  besides being based on a distorted view of Christianity.  Shelley in fact wanted to abolish Christianity as the first step towards teaching men to be Christian.

Of all the agnostics, Meredith is the one that appeals to me most:  but I’ve not read his poetry, which I believe has much more of his philosophy in it than his novels have.

P.S. I have just seen your appeal in the Hampshire Herald for L500 for a motor ambulance boat, in which you say the Red Cross have already sent us two such boats.  All I can say is that nobody in this regiment has ever seen or heard of these boats:  and they certainly have not been used for transporting sick and wounded either from Nasiriyah or from Kut.  If they were in Mesopotamia at all, it is incredible that we shouldn’t have heard of them.

* * * * *

AMARAH.

October 22, 1915.

TO L.R.

I don’t think there is any likelihood of Luly’s coming here.  For one thing our battalion 1/6th is too weak to afford another draft at present; and even if it sent one there are many officers who would be asked before Luly.  As a matter of fact we have just heard we 1/4th are getting large reinforcements from our proper resources, viz. 250 from 2/4th at Quetta and 50 from those invalided in the hot weather.

Your letter of September 5th arrived well after that of September 22nd.

I’m glad the ——­ are optimistic:  if Belgians can be we should be able to.  But I can’t help feeling the Government is lamentably weak and wanting in leadership:  the policy of keeping the nation in the dark seems to me to be insane.

There is no news to report here.  We still do very little work, but the weather is quite pleasant.  I am very well.

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Letters from Mesopotamia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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