The galloping boom of the train began to change. It sounded hollower. With a final echoing roar, the Orient Express sped out into the moonlight and slackened speed.
As in the period that we call the Middle Ages, the great majority of men were agriculturalists to some extent; though minorities specialized completely, working in the factories, laboratories, and so on. In some districts specialism was more common than elsewhere. The different countries retained much of their characteristic pattern of life, but native customs were transmuted to accord with the general pattern and spirit of the new world. In some lands the ordinary village included, along with the houses of the village craftsmen, those of the local agriculturalists, who went to the communal or private fields each day by fly. Elsewhere the villages were populated mainly by craftsmen. The agriculturalists lived in scattered farm-houses throughout the countryside. In some countries there were few specialists, in others many. In some, agriculture was mainly individualistic, though subject to strict control by the state or the village; in others it was carried on by communal village enterprise. In some, where population was sparse, the grown sons would set up new farms in the untamed land. In others, densely populated, the sons might either decide among themselves who was to take over the paternal farm, or all might stay on in the old home with their wives and families, supplementing its produce by trade in handicrafts. Sometimes the individual homestead expanded into a clan village. Sometimes a dwelling-house would be little more than a dormitory, all social activity being centred upon the village. Sometimes the villages them-selves tended to be mentally dominated by some neighbouring town or metropolis. But even the greatest cities of the world were now organic clusters of villages, each making its own special contribution to the city’s life.
Outside the apartment house, a nondescript young man was tinkering with the engine of a black Opel Kapitan. He didn't take his head out from under the bonnet when Bond passed close by him and went up to the door and pressed the bell.
鈥業t is a characteristic of the Native character to have little sense of sin. A conscience seems a thing to be created. Q. does not seem to see how grievously he has sinned, is sinning. He is clearly denying the Lord Who bought him; and that for worldly gain. Darling Laura, have you quite realised the greatness of the sin? To my view it was a mistake to ask Q. to dinner. 鈥淲ith such an one, no, not so much as to eat.鈥 Until Q. deeply repents, he is not fit to sit at your table....
By now it was universally realized that fullness of life, though it involved ample material means, was not to be measured simply in terms of luxury, but rather in terms of bodily well-being and the higher ranges of bodily and mental skill. A rather sharp distinction was made in the new order between articles of mere luxury and articles needed for the development of body or mind. Industry was planned so as to make the former difficult to procure, the latter easy. Luxury was by no means condemned, but the unlimited power of the world-society to produce luxury articles was deliberately restricted, so that though every one could procure a certain amount of pure luxury with his ‘luxury allowance’, no one could gather to himself masses of choice articles which it was beyond his power to use or appreciate. Thus the more flamboyant kinds of clothing, though not banned, were produced in very small quantities; while simpler materials and patterns were plentiful and various. Essential foods were obtainable everywhere in lavish amounts. Luxury foods and the more precious kinds of wine were difficult to come by. Serviceable motor cars and aeroplanes were available for every citizen. Luxury cars and planes were to be obtained only by the fanatic who was willing to stint himself in all other respects. Choice jewellery was almost unobtainable, and was used mainly for communal rather than individual display, but simple trinkets, hand-made by craftsmen steeped in some local tradition or venturing upon new forms, were available for all who wanted them. In general the aim was to use the vast mechanical resources of the race not to complicate but to simplify life, and to bring all that was needed within the reach of all. Full use was to be made of machinery while ensuring that machinery should not dominate. In the old days the needs of ordinary people were catered for incidentally by enterprises undertaken for private profit. The result was a constant appeal to the more primitive and more insistent impulses of men, and a gross degradation of sensibility and integrity. But now that public need was the first claim it was necessary to decide what the public need really was, and which needs were most to be fostered. Industry had to be planned accordingly.
The bell pinged. `The game proceeds.'
'Letters!' cried my aunt. 'I believe he dreams in letters!'
I have already mentioned Carlyle's earlier writings as one of the channels through which I received the influences which enlarged my early narrow creed; but I do not think that those writings, by themselves, would ever have had any effect on my opinions. What truths they contained, though of the very kind which I was already receiving from other quarters, were presented in a form and vesture less suited than any other to give them access to a mind trained as mine had been. They seemed a haze of poetry and German metaphysics, in which almost the only clear thing was a strong animosity to most of the opinions which were the basis of my mode of thought; religious scepticism, utilitarianism, the doctrine of circumstances, and the attaching any importance to democracy, logic, or political economy. Instead of my having been taught anything, in the first instance, by Carlyle, it was only in proportion as I came to see the same truths through media more suited to my mental constitution, that I recognized them in his writings. Then, indeed, the wonderful power with which he put them forth made a deep impression upon me, and I was during a long period one of his most fervent admirers; but the good his writings did me, was not as philosophy to instruct, but as poetry to animate. Even at the time when out acquaintance commenced, I was not sufficiently advanced in my new modes of thought, to appreciate him fully; a proof of which is, that on his showing me the manuscript of Sartor Resartus, his best and greatest work, which he had just then finished, I made little of it; though when it came out about two years afterwards in Fraser's Magazine I read it with enthusiastic admiration and the keenest delight. I did not seek and cultivate Carlyle less on account of the fundamental differences in our philosophy. He soon found out that I was not "another mystic," and when for the sake of my own integrity I wrote to him a distinct profession of all those of my opinions which I knew he most disliked, he replied that the chief difference between us was that I "was as yet consciously nothing of a mystic." I do not know at what period he gave up the expectation that I was destined to become one; but though both his and my opinions underwent in subsequent years considerable changes, we never approached much nearer to each other's modes of thought than we were in the first years of our acquaintance. I did not, however, deem myself a competent judge of Carlyle. I felt that he was a poet, and that I was not; that he was a man of intuition, which I was not; and that as such, he not only saw many things long before me, which I could only when they were pointed out to me, hobble after and prove, but that it was highly probable he could see many things which were not visible to me even after they were pointed out. I knew that I could not see round him, and could never be certain that I saw over him; and I never presumed to judge him with any definiteness, until he was interpreted to me by one greatly the superior of us both — who was more a poet than he, and more a thinker than I— whose own mind and nature included his, and infinitely more.
'What is your handicap?'
'I daresay not. An interesting story. You seem to have shown resource. You are not tempted to continue in the same line of business?'
Lincoln writes to Grant after the fall of Vicksburg giving, with his word of congratulation, the admission that he (Lincoln) had doubted the wisdom or the practicability of Grant's movement to the south of Vicksburg and inland to Jackson. "You were right," said Lincoln, "and I was wrong."
Bond walked thoughtfully away and then turned to watch the shot. It was one of Goldfinger's best. It soared over a far shoulder of rough towards the green. Might just have caught the bunker on the right.