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THE BANQUET OF LIFE

civilization which had previously been attained, and which ought to have descended to them. It is easy to bring about such epochs of social disease and decline by human passion, folly, blunders, and crime. It is not easy to maintain the advance of civilization; it even seems as if a new danger to it had arisen in our day. Formerly men lived along instinctively, under social conditions and customs, and social developments wrought themselves out by a sort of natural process. Now we deliberate and reflect. Naturally we propose to interfere and manage according to the product of our reflection. It looks as if there might be danger soon lest we should vote away civilization by a plebiscite, in an effort to throw open to everybody this imaginary "Banquet of Life."