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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/234

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XVI

MOONLIGHT[1]

 

I was walking the other evening in the country, and talking with a young friend who had just graduated among the first of his class at the École Polytechnique after having done very good work in literature, and who is as broad-minded as he is keen.

Our way led over a broad upland, shut in on the left by low rounded hills which were separated by ravine-like meadows. The full moon lit up the fresh clear space, and the pale distant stars shone with a tender sweetness. The road, white under the radiance, stretched out straight before us and was lost far away in the mystery of the horizon, bathed in light and shadow. It seemed to lead from reality to dreamland.

"Yes," I said to him, "the thing that angers me in our present society is not only the physical suffering that might be mitigated by another régime, but the moral suffering that is brought by a state of warfare and monstrous inequality.

"To labour should be a natural function and a joy; often it is nothing more than servitude and

  1. La Dépêche, October 15, 1890.