Family and the shadow of the past

Whenever I go home for too long or visit with the now marrying-and-otherwise-being-preoccupied brothers, once I get back I find myself waxing despondent, pricked a little with despair at the future prospects and pricked a little with regret at where the onrush of time has left not only my once heady, buckish and exuberant youth, but also what seems now to have been a golden and idyllic past in which I was not nearly as considerate, appreciative, or studious as I ought to have been. Didn't Uncle Charles say that Greatgrandfather always found it most hard when "all of the family would leave"?

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