Page:A Mainsail Haul - Masefield - 1913.djvu/139

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CAPTAIN ROBERT KNOX 127

home mad; but it is plain that he came home with the crankiness of one who has Hved an ab- normal life during- many years. His crankiness showed itself in well-marked monkish ways, in a hatred of women (which was, perhaps, partly fear), and in an inability to mix on equal terms with his fellow-men. It is said that men who have been in prison for a long" term never really rejoin their fellows. The spiritual experience to which the outer world has no key, and that self-created world which has served the soul for world for so long- a time, forbid a perfect reunion. Knox came home from Ceylon with a world in his head, built up out of constant Bible-reading. Whenever he found that the men of the real world failed to understand him (and his constant quarrels and wrangles show that they failed pretty often) he turned to this imaginary world for justification and for solace. He sometimes moralizes very prettily on death, the futility of life, the vanity of human ambition, and the queerness of Fate's deal- ings. Bishops South and Atterbury did the like by us at even greater length. On the whole, Knox is better reading than the bishops, for at root he

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