Part Five. A Long Farewell
Chapter forty-one. The Dying Gladiator
...‘I think,’ he [Macmillan] went on, ‘Eton is a wonderful school. I think you learn there to take knocks. You learn not to make a fuss if you are criticized unfairly. Everybody at school is criticized unfairly some time or other. You learn to take it as part of the day’s work. You don’t write home to your mother and complain. You know, Alan Lennox-Boyd couldn’t have endured the last fortnight without that training.
‘I try to make the Cabinet laugh sometimes, to take things lightly. After all, it’s no use working oneself into a state. One just does one’s best, that’s all one can do.’
November 18, 1959
Clemmie greeted me cheerfully this morning.
‘You wouldn’t know anything had happened; maybe he is a little subdued. Adenauer expressed a great desire to see Winston if it was at all possible before he left London, and it has been arranged that he will come to Hyde Park Gate this afternoon. Oh, he has promised not to stay long.’
‘What happened?’ I enquired later of Clemmie.
‘Oh, Winston was thrilled with the interview. You see, Charles, I speak German, and I think that helped.’
‘Did Winston get very tired?’
‘No, not at all. The first quarter of an hour he was hesitant and his voice was not very strong, though his answers were all sensible. Then he blossomed. His voice got stronger, and he asked a lot of intelligent questions. They talked a lot about the Summit Conference. Adenauer does not trust Khrushchev. He wants to keep Russia out of everything. I think, Charles, it went off very well.’
It may have been an hour after this that I saw Winston.
‘I saw ... I saw . . . that man.’
‘Adenauer, you mean?’