Notebook

“Have you ever looked around the common room and seen what kind of men they are?”

“Of course,” said Traill; “but,” he added modestly, “I’m not observant, you know. I’m not at all a clever kind of chap.”

“Well, you would have seen what I’m telling you written in their faces right enough. Mind you, what I’m saying doesn’t apply to the first-class public school. That’s a different kind of thing altogether. I’m talking about places like Moffatt’s – places that are trying to be what they are not – to do what they can’t do – to get higher than they can reach. There are thousands of them all over the country – places where the men are underpaid, with no prospects, herded together, all of them hating each other, wanting, perhaps, towards the end of term to cut each other’s throats.”

Hugh Walpole, “Mr Perrin and Mr Traill”.

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