a conclusion, the only logical conclusion—there was nothing

time:2023-12-02 23:34:14source:Yingge Butterfly Dance Netauthor:person

Mr. Stone paused, and looked into his cup. There were some grounds in it. He drank them, and went on:

a conclusion, the only logical conclusion—there was nothing

"'The fratricidal principle of the survival of the fittest, which in those days was England's moral teaching, had made the country one huge butcher's shop. Amongst the carcasses of countless victims there had fattened and grown purple many butchers, physically strengthened by the smell of blood and sawdust. These had begotten many children. Following out the laws of Nature providing against surfeit, a proportion of these children were born with a feeling of distaste for blood and sawdust; many of them, compelled for the purpose of making money to follow in their fathers' practices, did so unwillingly; some, thanks to their fathers' butchery, were in a position to abstain from practising; but whether in practice or at leisure, distaste for the scent of blood and sawdust was the common feature that distinguished them. Qualities hitherto but little known, and generally despised--not, as we shall see, without some reason--were developed in them. Self-consciousness, aestheticism, a dislike for waste, a hatred of injustice; these--or some one of these, when coupled with that desire natural to men throughout all ages to accomplish something--constituted the motive forces which enabled them to work their bellows. In practical affairs those who were under the necessity of labouring were driven, under the then machinery of social life, to the humaner and less exacting kinds of butchery, such as the Arts, Education, the practice of Religions and Medicine, and the paid representation of their fellow-creatures. Those not so driven occupied themselves in observing and complaining of the existing state of thing. Each year saw more of their silver cockleshells putting out from port, and the cheeks of those who blew the sails more violently distended. Looking back on that pretty voyage, we see the reason why those ships were doomed never to move, but, seated on the sea-green bosom of that sea, to heave up and down, heading across each other's bows in the self-same place for ever. That reason, in few words, was this: "The man who blew should have been in the sea, not on the ship.'"

a conclusion, the only logical conclusion—there was nothing

The droning ceased. Hilary saw that Mr. Stone was staring fixedly at his sheet of paper, as though the merits of this last sentence were surprising him. The droning instantly began again: "'In social effort, as in the physical processes of Nature, there had ever been a single fertilising agent--the mysterious and wonderful attraction known as Love. To this--that merging of one being in another--had been due all the progressive variance of form, known by man under the name of Life. It was this merger, this mysterious, unconscious Love, which was lacking to the windy efforts of those who tried to sail that fleet. They were full of reason, conscience, horror, full of impatience, contempt, revolt; but they did not love the masses of their fellow-men. They could not fling themselves into the sea. Their hearts were glowing; but the wind which made them glow was not the salt and universal zephyr: it was the desert wind of scorn. As with the flowering of the aloe-tree--so long awaited, so strange and swift when once it comes--man had yet to wait for his delirious impulse to Universal Brotherhood, and the forgetfulness of Self.'"

a conclusion, the only logical conclusion—there was nothing

Mr. Stone had finished, and stood gazing at his visitor with eyes that clearly saw beyond him. Hilary could not meet those eyes; he kept his own fixed on the empty cocoa cup. It was not, in fact, usual for those who heard Mr. Stone read his manuscript to look him in the face. He stood thus absorbed so long that Hilary rose at last, and glanced into the saucepan. There was no cocoa in it. Mr. Stone had only made enough for one. He had meant it for his visitor, but self-forgetfulness had supervened.

"You know what happens to the aloe, sir, when it has flowered?" asked Hilary with malice.

Mr. Stone moved, but did not answer.

"No," said Mr. Stone; "it is at peace."

"When is self at peace, sir? The individual is surely as immortal as the universal. That is the eternal comedy of life."

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