He removed his mask, revealing the face of a good-looking young man, rather pale, with a slight dark mustache and heavy, black, wavy hair. He closed the window, filled his pipe from the well-worn pouch which he took from his pocket, and began to write in a notebook, stopping now and again to consult some authority from the books before him.
A modern assailant of optimism would arm himself with social pity. There is no social pity in "Candide." Voltaire, whose light touch on familiar institutions opens them and reveals their absurdity, likes to remind us that the slaughter and pillage and murder which Candide witnessed among the Bulgarians was perfectly regular, having been conducted according to the laws and usages of war. Had Voltaire lived to-day he would have done to poverty what he did to war. Pitying the poor, he would have shown us poverty as a ridiculous anachronism, and both the ridicule and the pity would have expressed his indignation.
“Oh, Flora’s by no means on her back!” my interlocutress laughed.
Driving the spurs into our horses, we rushed at a gallop round thehouse, and in a moment we were among the ruffians. Sapt told meafterwards that he killed a man, and I believe him; but I saw no more ofhim. With a cut, I split the head of a fellow on a brown horse, and he fellto the ground. Then I found myself opposite a big man, and I was halfconscious of another to my right. It was too warm to stay, and with a simultaneous action I drove my spurs into my horse again and my swordfull into the big man's breast. His bullet whizzed past my ear-- I couldalmost swear it touched it. I wrenched at the sword, but it would not come,and I dropped it and galloped after Sapt, whom I now saw about twentyyards ahead. I waved my hand in farewell, and dropped it a second laterwith a yell, for a bullet had grazed my finger and I felt the blood. Old Saptturned round in the saddle. Someone fired again, but they had no rifles,and we were out of range. Sapt fell to laughing.
1. Loss of marks, termed in prison parlance, “remission on her sentence,” but without confinement in the penal ward.
“This is well enough,” finally remarked Victor, “but I don’t see the need of it. We did a good deal of traveling to-day, and if those Indians to the rear are friendly what’s the use of hurrying to get away from them?”
Bond shook Halloran by the hand. Dexter touched his elbow impatiently.
“What name is that?”
It appeared that he golfed. Therefore, I was an enthusiastic beginner, anxious to learn. Twice I invaded his office with a bag (M’Leod lent it) full of the spelicans needed in this detestable game, and a vocabulary to match. The third time the ice broke, and Mr. Baxter took me to his links, quite ten miles off, where in a maze of tramway lines, railroads, and nursery-maids, we skelped our divotted way round nine holes like barges plunging through head seas. He played vilely and had never expected to meet any one worse; but as he realised my form, I think he began to like me, for he took me in hand by the two hours together. After a fortnight he could give me no more than a stroke a hole, and when, with this allowance, I once managed to beat him by one, he was honestly glad, and assured me that I should be a golfer if I stuck to it. I was sticking to it for my own ends, but now and again my conscience pricked me; for the man was a nice man. Between games he supplied me with odd pieces of evidence, such as that he had known the Moultries all his life, being their cousin, and that Miss Mary, the eldest, was an unforgiving woman who would never let bygones be. I naturally wondered what she might have against him; and somehow connected him unfavourably with mad Agnes.
Perhaps it never did happen. That was the way the clan at first looked at it. No one had actually seen the man do it. The story had arisen among the Christians themselves.
“Now, now, don’t try to break the bridle, or I’ll tell your mother that you have been rude to me, and she won’t permit that.”
“Then I shall reprimand her before the whole crowd in 15 for not keeping better order in the house.”
“How can people be called honest, madam! who entertain strangers only to cut them up?”
The exertions of Locke, Hume, Gibbon, Voltaire, Rousseau, [Footnote: Although Rousseau has been thus classed, he was essentially a poet. The others, even Voltaire, were mere reasoners.] and their disciples, in favour of oppressed and deluded humanity, are entitled to the gratitude of mankind. Yet it is easy to calculate the degree of moral and intellectual improvement which the world would have exhibited, had they never lived. A little more nonsense would have been talked for a century or two; and perhaps a few more men, women, and children, burnt as heretics. We might not at this moment have been congratulating each other on the abolition of the Inquisition in Spain. But it exceeds all imagination to conceive what would have been the moral condition of the world if neither Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Calderon, Lord Bacon, nor Milton, had ever existed; if Raphael and Michael Angelo had never been born; if the Hebrew poetry had never been translated; if a revival of the study of Greek literature had never taken place; if no monuments of ancient sculpture had been handed down to us; and if the poetry of the religion of the ancient world had been extinguished together with its belief. The human mind could never, except by the intervention of these excitements, have been awakened to the invention of the grosser sciences, and that application of analytical reasoning to the aberrations of society, which it is now attempted to exalt over the direct expression of the inventive and creative faculty itself.
'Have no fear. It is totally respectable.'详情 ➢
Copyright © 2020