New PDF release: A last diary

By W. N. P. Barbellion 1889-1919

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It is impossible to say in what direction his undoubted literary powers would have found their true outlet. It is certain that if he had lived in the full enjoyment of normal health the Journal in its present outward form or as a narrative of his career and an unreserved record of his personal reflections would never have been published. It is equally certain that months before he resigned his appointment on the staff of the South Kensington Museum he was weary of his work there, and the bias of his mind was turning rapidly from the cause of biological science towards the humanities.

But P. is a ruthless imp and screams at her. I sat up in my chair to tea yesterday. It was all very quiet, and two mice crept out of their holes and audaciously ate the crumbs that fell from my plate. It is a very old cottage. In the ivy outside a nest of young starlings keep up a clamour. The Doctor has just been (three days since) and says I may live for thirty years. I trust and believe he is a damned liar. The prospect of getting the proofs makes me horribly restless. The probability of an air raid depresses me, as I am certain the bombs will rain on the printers.

Perhaps, like Semele, I shall perish in the lightning I long for! My dear E. has had a nervous breakdown —her despairing words haunt me. Poor, poor dear— I cannot go on. —A fever of impatience and anxiety over the book. I am terrified lest it miscarry. I wonder if it is being printed in London ? A bomb on the printing works ? When it is out and in my hands I shall believe. I have been out in a beautiful lane where I saw a white horse, led by a village child ; in a field a sunburnt labourer with a black wide-brimmed hat lifted it, smiling at me.

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A last diary by W. N. P. Barbellion 1889-1919


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