Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/15

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XI
 

which as everybody knows, are perfectly moral things to write about."

Pure is the snow—till mixed with mire—
But never half so pure as fire.

There are graver reasons than any I have yet given why the truth should be told boldly. The time has come when those who are, as Shakespeare called them, "God's Spies" having learned the mystery of things, should be called to counsel, for the ordinary political guides have led mankind to disaster: blind leaders of the blind!

Over Niagara we have plunged, as Carlyle predicted, and as every one with vision must have foreseen and now like driftwood we move round and round the whirlpool impotently without knowing whither or why.

One thing certain: we deserve the misery into which we have fallen. The laws of this world are inexorable and don't cheat! Where, when, how have we gone astray? The malady is as wide as civilization which fortunately narrows the enquiry to time.

Ever since our conquest of natural forces began, towards the end of the eighteenth century, and material wealth increased by leaps and bounds, our conduct has deteriorated. Up to that time we had done the gospel of Christ mouth-honor at least; and had to some slight extent shown consideration if not love to our fellowmen: we did not give tithes to charity; but we did give petty doles till suddenly science appeared to reinforce our selfishness with a new message: progress comes through the blotting out of the unfit, we were told, and self-assertion was preached as a duty: the idea of the Superman came into life and the Will to Power and thereby Christ's teaching of love and pity and gentleness was thrust into the background.