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IDALIA

better, a surer, a more secret tool. To prevent the wild spirits that join us from following their brute instincts, and blundering headlong into unwise action would be impossible. You can do more than most; but I doubt very much if yon have not oftentimes roused tigers whom even you could not tame when once they had tasted of slaughter. The evil of every national movement is that the majority, once allowed to move at all, refuse to proceed by intellectual means, and loose themselves at once to physical violence, in which every good thing is lost, every temperate voice drowned. It is this sort of fatal misconception from which such criminal essays as that which attacked Sir Fulke Erceldoune proceed: it is impossible to avoid their appearing alike expedient and pardonable to a certain class of characters."

The explanation was given with graceful ease, with eloquent address: she heard it with courtesy, also with incredulity.

"Yes; and that 'class' serve as excellent weapons for brilliant intelligences which need to use them; excellent scapegoats for such intelligences when they do not care to appear in the intrigues they suggest."

He felt the thrust, yet he parried it with seeming tranquillity.