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Date: August 19th 1916
"My Dearests"
Coningsby Dawson

August 19th, 1916.

My Dearests:

We haven't had any hint of what is going to happen to us—whether Field Artillery, the Heavies or trench mortars. There seems little doubt that we are to be in England for a little while taking special courses.

I read father's letter yesterday. You are very brave—you never thought that you would be the father of a soldier and sailors; and, as you say, there's a kind of tradition about the way in which the fathers of soldiers and sailors should act. Confess—aren't you more honestly happy to be our father as we are now than as we were? I know quite well you are, in spite of the loneliness and heartache. We've all been forced into a heroism of which we did not think ourselves capable. We've been carried up to the Calvary of the world where it is expedient that a few men should suffer that all the generations to come may be better. 

I understand in a dim way all that you suffer—the sudden divorce of all that we had hoped for from the present—the ceaseless questionings as to what lies ahead. Your end of the business is the worse. For me, I can go forward steadily because of the greatness of the glory. I never thought to have the chance to suffer in my body for other men. The insufficiency of merely setting nobilities down on paper is finished. How unreal I seem to myself! Can it be true that I am here and you are in the still aloofness of the Rockies? I think the multitude of my changes has blunted my perceptions. I trudge along like a traveller between high hedgerows; my heart is blinkered so that I am scarcely aware of landscapes. My thoughts are always with you—I make calculations for the differences of time that may follow more accurately your doings. I'd love to come down to the study summer-house and watch the blueness of the lake with you—I love those scenes and memories more than any in the world.

Good-bye for the present. Be brave.

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