Probably it was only an illusion.
“Have you, poor boy! What else can she do?”
in the direction of a sentimentalized naturalism, a Tolstoyan movement in the direction of a non-resisting pietism, which has not simply been confused with the Socialist movement, but has really affected and interwoven with it. It is not simply that wherever discussion and destructive criticism of the present conventional bases of society occur, both ways of thinking crop up together; they occur all too often as alternating phases in the same individual. Few of us are so clear-headed as to be free from profound self-contradictions. So that it is no great marvel, after all, if the presentation of Socialism has got mixed up with Return-to-Nature ideas, with proposals for living in a state of unregulated primitive virtue in purely hand-made houses, upon rain water and uncooked fruit. We Socialists have to disentangle it from these things now. We have to disavow, with all necessary emphasis, that gibing at science and the medical profession, at schools and books and the necessary apparatus for collective thinking,
There is, I know, nothing very unusual in this bare record as I have set it down; the unusual, indeed extraordinary, nature of this case is that before the war my friend had been a reserved, unadventurous but very capable bank clerk, quite undistinguished and apparently without ambition. But hidden fires must from his youth have been smouldering in his heart, and it required the war’s disturbance and excitement to blow these ashes into flame, and the war’s opportunity was needed to disclose of what fine material he was made. I flatter myself that I had always known his nature was fine and distinguished, for though he was a bank clerk one would never have guessed it from his conversation and demeanour. I also know that, generations ago, his forbears played a by-no-means ignoble part in our country’s history, and for that reason alone I felt that, though concealed, there were imagination and aspiration abiding in his soul.
"Bug-dirt," Hartford said. "Don't tell lies."
Though work filled the days, much of the nights were giv-en to books. In rough garb, deer skin shoes, with a blaze of pine knots on the hearth, A-bra-ham read, read, fill-ing his mind with things that were a help to him all his life. He knew how to talk and tell tales, and folks liked to hear him. He led in all out of door sports. He was kind to those not so strong as he was. All were his friends.
state of tension. I believe that a modest but complete statement of the Socialist criticism of the family and the proposed Socialist substitute for the conventional relationships might awaken extraordinary responses at the present time. The great terror of the eighties and early nineties that crushed all reasonable discussion of sexual relationship is, I believe, altogether over.
But in to-night’s cold moon she burns and glows;
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