And I myself have had the sad privilege of witnessing the impressive stoicism of more than one English friend facing death. My fellow students, I noticed, were less frightened before exams than in Belgrade, and not so inclined to believe tales about incredibly difficult questions. And I soon realised that the sexual revolution in Britain was not only hedonistic but also heroic--it took place in cold bedrooms.
The main source of England's greatness was that it was an island, both geographically and in time. Its ideas, institutions and way of life were either more traditional or more advanced than in Europe or the US. Sometimes, most admirably, they were both. Now the English internal clock has become synchronised with the rest of the world--or at least the rest of the west. The millennium dome may become a symbol of a defeat worse than the one at Hastings.
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