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[145] lowed by our community here. And why is this? Because, as a community, we have so little lucidity, we so little see clear and think straight. And why, again, is this? Because our community is so little homogeneous. The lower class has yet to show what it will do in politics. Rising politicians are already beginning to flatter it with servile assiduity, but their praise is as yet premature; the lower class is too little known. The upper class and the middle class we know. They have each their own supposed interests, and these are very different from the true interests of the community. Our very classes make us dim-seeing. In a modern time, we are living with a system of classes so intense, a society of such unnatural complication, that the whole action of our minds is hampered and falsened by it. I return to my old thesis: inequality is our bane. The great impediments in our way of progress are aristocracy and Protestant dissent. People think this is an epigram; alas, it is much rather a truism!

An aristocratical society like ours is often said to be the society from which artists and men of letters have most to gain. But an institution is to be judged, not by what one can oneself gain from it, but by the ideal which it sets up. An aristocracy — if I may once

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