I have just finished reading John Masefield’s Live and Kicking Ned. I am much impressed for I had not known Masefield as the novelist. And I am started by his story upon my own mental adventuring, for he speaks of a strange land within Africa, a nation of whites, the Kranois. If such existed (for they may be but his own creation) they give credence to the theory of “pleasure in adventure.”
We are spanning this world a shade too swiftly now for me to dream and will to adventure. I feel a little like a child who tries to see romance in an attic and holds tenaciously as long as he can to his conception, though he well recognizes the substance of object as a disinteresting tangle of old cloth and dust. Adventure, I well know, is in the heart, not in the view. But I find life unbearable under that concept and so refuse to recognize what I know.
The anatomy of adventure has been explored quite often. Young men are born with a will to it, rarely recognize their restlessness with clarity and usually succumb to the softness of Simmons beds and the warmth of a wife. Those who persevere wind up without much worldly reward, the majority inheriting chilblains from the north, malaria from the south and bad digestion from the Temperate Zone, their sole patrimony besides memory.
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