Chapter XVI
BRIEF CANDLE

We must all in future be more political than ever before.

Farewell Address to Undergraduates of University College, Oxford, March 11, 1945.


I. Lighting of the Candle

A S my second Report -- on Full Employment -- neared completion in the spring of 1944, I began to think what I should do thereafter. My next subject for study and writing was settled; it was the question of how to make lasting peace. On our American journey in 1943, I had invented the security tripod -- peace, a job when one can work, an income when one cannot work. "Security is like a stool which will stand on three legs but falls to the ground if any of the three is missing or proves too weak." So I had written in a chapter added to the American edition of The Pillars of Security. Not content with one metaphor, I had gone on to a second one. "The different nations are like many families, large and small, living on a flat piece of country near the sea. For security of life and work, each family needs a wall to keep out floods from the sea, each needs a house and each needs furniture in the house." Full employment and Social Security I compared to the house and the furniture. "External security -- security against war-corresponds to the sea-wall. It must be built and maintained and watched jointly. It is absurd for each family to try to build its own private wall around its home, or to leave the job of keeping out the sea wholly to others, or to think that it lives so far from the sea as to be safe from flooding."1 Sea-walls have been part of my mental furniture ever since I read The Misfortunes of Elphin, and the Warden Seithenyn's defence after dinner of having some of his wall rotten: "the parts that are rotten give elasticity to those that are sound: they give them elasticity, elasticity, elasticity. If it were all sound, it would break by its own obstinate stiffness: the soundness is checked by the rottenness, and the stiffness is balanced by the elasticity. There is nothing so dangerous as innovation." We have all heard our

____________________
1
The Pillars of Security, American Edition, p. 222. The quotation that follows from Peacock The Misfortune of Elphin is in chapter ii (p. 30 of the Aldine Edition of 1894).

-334-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Power and Influence
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 454

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?