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[82] who were ready to accept any kind of a substitute for immediate emancipation.

There is a refreshing simplicity in hewing close to the line and in rejecting all temptation to casuistry. We blame the Jesuit writers of “confessional” literature as if they were particularly immoral men; but it was not their fault. The task of trying to determine how near a man may come to doing evil without hurting himself is in itself depraving. Fire point-blank at the sun, and the force of gravity will describe a parabola for you without your assistance. Try to describe a parabola with your projectile and you will signally fail. We are all climbers on the slope of a conical peak, much too steep to mount directly-striving to reach the top. Our rule is, “Climb straight up” ; and the man who comes the nearest to this impossible feat will get there first. It is a waste of time to speculate about angles and spirals. Our own inertia will take care of that of itself. And it is consoling to know that the world is going upward, ever more and more away from the plane of brute-force. In the education of children, the treatment of prisoners, the conduct of wars, in every field of life, we are becoming more and more civilized and humane and human. Who shall fix a limit to this advance? Who shall say that barbarism ceases at this point, and here

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