We all surely remember one childhood memory: telling ghost stories until we were too frightened to go to sleep. Long years may have passed, but the other night, there was almost a comparison. Consoled by a good dinner, friends were discussing foreign affairs. We started off with the Netanyahu visit and there seemed no reason to banish gloom. By the end of the evening, we had talked ourselves into a mood of eupeptic pessimism. One of my favourite lines came to mind, and was hailed as appropriate: “The troubles of our proud and angry dust/Are from eternity and shall not fail.”