The Loom of Youth
118 Pages
English

The Loom of Youth

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Published 08 December 2010
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Loom of Youth, by Alec Waugh This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Loom of Youth Author: Alec Waugh Release Date: July 18, 2006 [EBook #18863] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE LOOM OF YOUTH *** Produced by Kathryn Lybarger, Josephine Paolucci and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net THE LOOM OF YOUTH "Well, I mean there's Davenham now and—" "Davenham!" came the scornful retort. "What does it matter what happens to Davenham? He's absolutely useless to the House, rotten at games and spends his whole time reading about fossils. Who cares a curse about Davenham!" "Oh I suppose you're right, but—" "My dear ass, of course I am right. Meredith is a simply glorious fellow. Do you remember the way he brought down Freeman in the Two Cock? Why, the House simply couldn't get on without him." To Gordon all this conveyed very little. He had no idea who Meredith or Davenham were. The only thing he realised was that for those who wore a blue and gold ribbon laws ceased to exist. It was apparently rather advantageous to get into the Fifteen. He had not looked on athletics in that light before. Obviously his preparatory school had failed singularly to keep level with the times. He had always been told by the masters there that games were only important for training the body. But at Fernhurst they seemed the one thing that mattered. To the athlete all things are forgiven. There was clearly a lot to learn. [Pg 1] "To him who desireth much, much is given; and to him who desireth little, little is given; but to neither according to the letter of his desire." GILBERT CANNAN [Pg 2] The Loom of Youth ALEC WAUGH Methuen First published in Great Britain 1917 Reprinted July 1917, August 1917, September 1917 (twice) November 1917, January 1918, March 1918, October 1918, 1919, 1921, 1930, 1933, 1945 [Pg 3] [Pg 4] Cassell's Pocket Library, 1928 Penguin Abridged Edition, 1942 New edition reset and revised 1955 Reprinted 1972 This edition published 1984 by Methuen London Ltd 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE Copyright © Alec Waugh 1917 ISBN 0 413 54970 4 (hardback) ISBN 0 413 54980 1 (paperback) Printed and bound in Great Britain by Richard Clay (The Chaucer Press) Ltd Bungay, Suffolk This book is available in both a hardcover and paperback edition. The paperback is solid subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the Publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected in text. Dedicatory Letter to Arthur Waugh My Dear Father, This book, which I am bringing you, is a very small return for all you have given me. In every mood, in every phase of my shifting pilgrimage, I have found you ever the same—loving, sympathetic, wise. You have been with me in my success, and in my happiness, in my failures and in my disappointments, in the hours when I have followed wandering fires. There has never yet come to me a moment when I did not know that I had but to stretch out my hand to find you at my side. In return for so much, this first book of mine is a very small offering. But yet I bring it to you, simply because it is my first. For whatever altars I may have raised by the wayside, whatever ephemeral loyalties may have swayed me, my one real lodestar has always been your love, and sympathy, and guidance. And as in life it has always been to you first that I have brought my troubles, my aims, my hopes, so in the world of ideas it is to you that I would bring this, the first-born of my dreams. Accept it. For it carries with it the very real and very deep love of a most grateful son. A.W. [Pg 5] CONTENTS Preface BOOK I: WARP AND WOOF I Groping II Finding his Feet III The New Philosophy IV New Faces V Emerging VI Clarke VII When One is in Rome BOOK II: THE TANGLED SKEIN [Pg 7] page 9 15 21 31 44 52 62 69 I Quantum Mutatus II Healthy Philistinism III Tin Gods IV Through a Glass Darkly BOOK III: UNRAVELLING THE THREADS I Common Room Faces II Carnival III Broadening Outlook IV Thirds V Dual Personality VI The Games Committee VII Rebellion VIII The Dawning of many Dreams BOOK IV: THE WEAVING I The Twilight of the Gods II Setting Stars III Romance IV The Dawn of Nothing V The Things that Seem VI The Tapestry Completed 79 102 119 130 134 169 179 185 196 200 208 213 226 239 242 249 259 277 PREFACE TO NEW EDITION Books have their fates and this one's has been curious. I wrote it between January and March 1916, when I was seventeen and a half years old and in camp at Berkhamsted with the Inns of Court O.T.C. I loathed it there, everything about it, the impersonal military machine, the monotonous routine of drills and musketry, the endless foot-slogging, the perpetual petty fault-finding. I kept comparing my present life with that which I had been leading ten, eighteen, thirty months ago at Sherborne, as a schoolboy. My four years there had been very happy. I was the kind of a boy who gets the most out of a public school. I loved cricket and football and was reasonably good at them. I was in the first XV and my last summer headed the batting averages. My father had lit in me a love of poetry and an interest in history and the classics. More often than not I went into a class-room looking forward to the hour that lay ahead. I enjoyed the whole competitive drama of school life—the cups and caps and form promotions. As I marched as a cadet over Ashridge Park I remembered that a year ago I had been bicycling down to the football field for a punt about on Upper. As I listened to a lecture on the establishment of an infantry brigade, I thought of the sixth form sitting under that fine scholar and Wordsworthian Nowell Smith to a discussion of