O life! Dark stream of swirling bogwater on which apple-trees have cast down their delicate flowers. Every sinful act is a thorn piercing His head. Today, a generation raised in the shadows of the Cold War assumes new responsibilities in a world warmed by the sunshine of freedom but threatened still by ancient hatreds and new plagues. Their presence had made him diffident of himself when he was a muffin Clongowes and it had made him diffident of himself also while he had held his equivocal position in Belvedere.