Hooper was no romantic.
'The builders did not know the uses to which their work would descend; they made a new house with the stones of the old castle; year by year, generation after generation, they enriched and extended it; year by year the great harvest of timber in the park grew to ripeness; until, in sudden frost, came the Age of Hooper; the place was desolate and the work all brought to nothing; Quomodo sedet sola civitas. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
"And yet," I thought, stepping out more briskly ...'
Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
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"Hooper had no illusions about the Army - or rather no special illusions from the general, enveloping fog from which he observed the universe. He had come to it reluctantly, under compulsion, after he had made every feeble effort in his power to obtain deferment.He accepted it, he said 'like the measles'. Hooper was no romantic. He had not as a child ridden with Rupert's horse or sat among the camp firesat Xanthus-side; at the age when my eyes were dry to all save poetry - that stoic, redskin interlude which our schools introducebetween the fast-flowing tears of the child and the man - Hooper had wept often, but never for Henry's speech on St Crispin's day, nor for theepitaph at Thermopylae. The history they taught him had few battles in it but, instead, a profusion of detail about humane legislationand recent industrial change. Gallipoli, Balaclava, Quebec, Lepanto, Bannockburn, Roncevales, and Marathon - these, and the Battle in the Westwhere Arthur fell, and a hundred such names whose trumpet-notes, even now in my sere and lawless state, called to me irresistibly across theintervening years with all the clarity and strength of boyhood, sounded in vain to Hooper." Ibid.
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