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7. Companionship H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

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Her soft unhurrying voice halted for a time, and then resumed in the same even tones of careful statement. "I wasn't disgusted, not even with myself. About him I was chiefly sorry, intensely sorry, because I had made him come out of a life that suited and protected him, to the war. About myself, I was stunned and perplexed. I had the clearest realization that what you and I have been calling the bright little personal life had broken off short and was spoilt and over and done with. I felt as though it was my body they had shot. And there I was, with fifty years of life left in me and nothing particular to do with them."

"That was just the prelude to life, said Sir Richmond.

"It didn't seem so at the time. I felt I had to got hold of something or go to pieces. I couldn't turn to religion. I had no religion. And Duty? What is Duty? I set myself to that. I had a kind of revelation one night. 'Either I find out what all this world is about, I said, or I perish.' I have lost myself and I must forget myself by getting hold of something bigger than myself. And becoming that. That's why I have been making a sort of historical pilgrimage. . . . That's my story, Sir Richmond. That's my education. . . . Somehow though your troubles are different, it seems to me that my little muddle makes me understand how it is with you. What you've got, this idea of a scientific ordering of the world, is what I, in my younger, less experienced way, have been feeling my way towards. I want to join on. I want to got hold of this idea of a great fuel control in the world and of a still greater economic and educational control of which it is a part. I want to make that idea a part of myself. Rather I want to make myself a part of it. When you talk of it I believe in it altogether."

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"And I believe in it, when I talk of it to you."

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The Secret Places of the Heart
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

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