very decisive steps indeed to make its decrees heard and obeyed. And so the word duty began to be in the air.
Now, I hold it to be quite impossible that any such external command could create in the mind the sense that it is a matter of duty to obey it; nay, all law must have presented itself to the individual merely as part of that very external force which was originally, and is still liable at any moment to become, the natural enemy of his personal rights. And if I (that is to say, my ancestor of thousands of years ago) am merely forced by laws acting upon my fear of punishment to surrender my desire to slay another man, I may of course yield to superior force, but I cannot possibly thereby acquire the sense of duty, which may be defined as the pleasure resulting from intelligent acquiescence in self-sacrifice that makes self-sacrifice possible. But when the law appeals to a sense of right and wrong already existing, when the command "Thou shalt not kill" is met by a response in the conscience, "I know that this is true, for I had the thought before, or rather at the moment when, I became a social being," then there results the joyful sense of duty which makes obedience pleasant. "Wherefore," the conscience cries, "the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." It is welcomed as the interpreter of conscience, as that which explains a man to himself. And so through countless avenues of utility, and through as many sanctions of social opinion embodied in law, custom, or tradition, the conscience advances toward the perception of the rights of men and of a corresponding internal sense of duty toward them. And thus, as I think, we get an explanation of the pleasurable element in duty. For while the law is becoming more and more imperative, and sacrifice of self more and more exacting, and our personal rights more and more circumscribed, there goes along with us the sense that we are but finding our true selves and expressing our own convictions and obeying our own highest wills, and are thus enabled to experience the greatest possible delight in doing our duty. For what is this, after all, but the satisfaction of finding our life when we were willing to lose it?
6. The Ideal or Moral Stage. The next step in the history of conscience carries us a long way forward in the course of man's mental evolution, because it brings us to the time when he became capable of forming abstract notions. But it must be borne in mind that long before these notions were formed, the tendencies and impressions in which they culminated were busily, if silently, at work; hence it is possible to trace the line of advance along which the conscience passed from the primitive sense of rightness to the complete ideal state.
It is natural for men, under the pressure of social obligations, to fall back upon their personal rights and innate egoism, and to question the authority to which they have submitted more from a gregarious instinct than from any exercise of their reasoning powers. Questions like the following lie deep down in the nature and necessity of things, and ex-