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Waiting for Daylight,
H. M. Tomlinson, 1922



March 22, 1919. There is an astonishing number of books on what is called Reconstruction in the new publications of this spring. Reconstruction seems to be as easy as conscription or destruction. We have only to change our mind, and there we are, as though nothing had happened. It is the greatest wonder of the human brain that its own accommodating ratiocination never affords it any amusement. We use reason only to make convincing disguises for our desires and appetites. Perhaps it is fear of the wrath to come that is partly responsible for the clamour of the economists and sociologists in the publishers' announcements, almost drowning there the drone of the cataract of new novels. But it is too late now. The wrath will come. After mischievously bungling with the magic which imprisoned the Djinn, we may wish we had not done it; but once he is out there is nothing for it but to be surprised and sorry. The lid is off; and it is useless for the clever reconstructionists to press in upon us with their little screw-drivers, chattering eagerly about locks and hinges. When the crafty but ignorant Russian generals and courtiers got from the Czar the order for mobilizing the armies, and issued it, they did not know it, but that was when they released Lenin. And who on earth can now inveigle that terrific portent safely under lid and lock again?

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