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Studies in Socialism

the other they have to pass over the line of the equator, stretched taut and firm on the surface of the sea. No, the hue is never seen, and unless most minute calculations are made we cross it without having any idea that we have done so: in the same way we shall cross the Socialist equator.

"The revolutionaries of 1848, for whom you appear to cherish an affection, were generous but extremely annoying. They never spoke of the Future without a capital letter, and they contrasted the Past and the Present as though they were respectively an archangel of light and a demon from the pit. They were constantly feeling the breath of the future pass in their long hair, and thrill through their long beards. They looked for the man of the future, the society of the future, the science of the future, the art of the future, the religion of the future. I even believe they thought the modest sun that gives us light a very mediocre, very bourgeois, sort of star, and that they were looking for the sun of the future.

"It always seemed to them that souls inflamed and burning with zeal were going to raise up a new social order, as the internal fire in our earth can raise up new mountain peaks; and there was not a little pride mingled with this hope, because they had made up their minds beforehand that they were to be the managers or directors of the new society, and the new mountain-tops were to be their pedestal. What illusions of generosity! what chimeras of vanity! The main form of