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"Dead beat only," said Pryor; "but otherwise safe. I am going to have a kip now if I can."
“Thousands of years before man appeared on earth.”
"Lindsay," observed Owen.
"It's a handy tool for solving labour problems. We could do with you up at Frome."
In some early states of society, these forces might be, and were, too much ahead of the power which society then possessed of disciplining and controlling them. There has been a time when the element of spontaneity and individuality was in excess, and the social principle had a hard struggle with it. The difficulty then was, to induce men of strong bodies or minds to pay obedience to any rules which required them to control their impulses. To overcome this difficulty, law and discipline, like the Popes struggling against the Emperors, asserted a power over the whole man, claiming to control all his life in order to control his character — which society had not found any other sufficient means of binding. But society has now fairly got the better of individuality; and the danger which threatens human nature is not the excess, but the deficiency, of personal impulses and preferences. Things are vastly changed, since the passions of those who were strong by station or by personal endowment were in a state of habitual rebellion against laws and ordinances, and required to be rigorously chained up to enable the persons within their reach to enjoy any particle of security. In our times, from the highest class of society down to the lowest every one lives as under the eye of a hostile and dreaded censorship. Not only in what concerns others, but in what concerns only themselves, the individual, or the family, do not ask themselves — what do I prefer? or, what would suit my character and disposition? or, what would allow the best and highest in me to have fair play, and enable it to grow and thrive? They ask themselves, what is suitable to my position? what is usually done by persons of my station and pecuniary circumstances? or (worse still) what is usually done by persons of a station and circumstances superior to mine? I do not mean that they choose what is customary, in preference to what suits their own inclination. It does not occur to them to have any inclination, except for what is customary. Thus the mind itself is bowed to the yoke: even in what people do for pleasure, conformity is the first thing thought of; they like in crowds; they exercise choice only among things commonly done: peculiarity of taste, eccentricity of conduct, are shunned equally with crimes: until by dint of not following their own nature, they have no nature to follow: their human capacities are withered and starved: they become incapable of any strong wishes or native pleasures, and are generally without either opinions or feelings of home growth, or properly their own. Now is this, or is it not, the desirable condition of human nature?
YOU MAY SEE HER walking through your town or along the highway—asilver-haired woman dressed in navy blue slacks and shirt, and a short tunicwith pockets all around the bottom in which she carries her only worldly possessions.
“‘All the men in the city.’
Ralph shook his head.
I am perfectly sure that if such considerations as these were laid before any American soldier who still smarted under that taunt in London streets, his good American sense, which is our best possession, would grasp and accept the thing in its true proportions. He wouldn't want to blot an Empire out because a handful of muckers called him names. Of this I am perfectly sure, because in Paris streets it was my happy lot four months after the Armistice to talk with many American soldiers, among whom some felt sore about the French. Not one of these but saw with his good American sense, directly I pointed certain facts out to him, that his hostile generalization had been unjust. But, to quote the oft-quoted Mr. Kipling, that is another story.详情 ➢
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