Love-making is going on sibilantly, seductively in the 
darker places of the room behind thick green curtains. 
Strolling sedately as if he were promenading a terrace 
beneath which the shires and counties of England lie sun-
bathed, the aged Prime Minister recounts to Lady So-and
So with the curls and the emeralds the true history of some 
great crisis in the affairs of the land. We seem to be riding 
on top of the highest mast of the tallest ship; and yet 
at the same time we know that nothing of this sort matters, 
love is not proved thus, nor great achievements completed 
thus; so that we sport with the moment and preen our 
feathers in it lightly, as we stand on the balcony watching 
the moonlit cat creep along Princess Mary's garden wall.

But what could be more absurd? It is, in fact, on the 
stroke of six; it is a winter's evening; we are walking to 
the Strand to buy a pencil. How, then, are we also on a 
balcony, wearing pearls in June? What could be more 
absurd? Yet it is nature's folly, not ours. When she set about 
her chief masterpiece, the making of man, she should have 
thought of one thing only. Instead, turning her head, look-
ing over her shoulder, into each one of us she let creep 
instincts and desires which are utterly at variance with his 
main being, so that we are streaked, variegated, all of a 
mixture; the colours have run. Is the true self this which 
stands on the pavement in January, or that which bends 
over the balcony in June? Am I here, or am I there? Or is 
the true self neither this nor that, neither here nor there, 
but something so varied and wandering that it is only when 
we give the rein to its wishes and let it take its way unim-
peded that we are indeed ourselves? Circumstances compel 
unity; for convenience sake a man must be a whole. The 
good citizen when he opens his door in the evening must 
be banker, golfer, husband, father; not a nomad wander-
ing the desert, a mystic staring at the sky, a debauchee in 
the slums of San Francisco, a soldier heading a revolution, 
a pariah howling with scepticism and solitude. When he