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A LONDON STUDENT

occupied, insidiously replaced by alien, unsympathetic and irresponsible elements;—and withal ruling an adventitious and miscellaneous empire of a quarter of this daedal earth. Complex laws, intricate social necessities, disturbing insatiable suggestions, followed from this. Such was the world into which I had come, into which I had in some way to thrust myself and fit my problem, my temptations, my efforts, my patriotic instinct, all my moral instincts, my physical appetites, my dreams and my vanity.

London! I came up to it, young and without advisers, rather priggish, rather dangerously open-minded and very open-eyed, and with something—it is I think the common gift of imaginative youth, and I claim it unblushingly—fine in me, finer than the world and seeking fine responses. I did not want simply to live or simply to live happily or well, I wanted to serve and do and make—with some nobility. It was in me. It is in half the youth of the world.


§2

I had come to London as a scholar. I had taken the Vincent Bradley scholarship of the Pharmaceutical Society, but I threw this up when I found that my work of the Science and Art Department in mathematics, physics and chemistry had given me one of the minor Technical Board Scholarships at the Consolidated Technical Schools at South Kensington. This latter was in mechanics and metallurgy; and I hesitated between the two. The Vincent Bradley gave me £70 a year and quite the best start-off a pharmaceutical chemist could have; the South Kensington