To be admitted into any degree of mental intercourse with a being of these qualities, could not but have a most beneficial influence on my development; though the effect was only gradual, and many years elapsed before her mental progress and mine went forward in the complete companionship they at last attained. The benefit I received was far greater than any which I could hope to give; though to her, who had at first reached her opinions by the moral intuition of a character of strong feeling, there was doubtless help as well as encouragement to be derived from one who had arrived at many of the same results by study and reasoning: and in the rapidity of her intellectual growth, her mental activity, which converted everything into knowledge, doubtless drew from me, as it did from other sources, many of its materials. What I owe, even intellectually, to her, is in its detail, almost infinite; of its general character a few words will give some, though a very imperfect, idea. With those who, like all the best and wisest of mankind, are dissatisfied with human life as it is, and whose feelings are wholly identified with its radical amendment, there are two main regions of thought. One is the region of ultimate aims; the constituent elements of the highest realizable ideal of human life. The other is that of the immediately useful and practically attainable. In both these departments, I have acquired more from her teaching, than from all other sources taken together. And, to say truth, it is in these two extremes principally, that real certainty lies. My own strength lay wholly in the uncertain and slippery intermediate region, that of theory, or moral and political science: respecting the conclusions of which, in any of the forms in which I have received or originated them, whether as political economy, analytic psychology, logic, philosophy of history, or anything else, it is not the least of my intellectual obligations to her that I have derived from her a wise scepticism, which, while it has not hindered me from following out the honest exercise of my thinking faculties to whatever conclusions might result from it, has put me on my guard against holding or announcing these conclusions with a degree of confidence which the nature of such speculations does not warrant, and has kept my mind not only open to admit, but prompt to welcome and eager to seek, even on the questions on which I have most meditated, any prospect of clearer perceptions and better evidence. I have often received praise, which in my own right I only partially deserve, for the greater practicality which is supposed to be found in my writings, compared with those of most thinkers who have been equally addicted to large generalizations. The writings in which this quality has been observed, were not the work of one mind, but of the fusion of two, one of them as pre-eminently practical in its judgments and perceptions of things present, as it was high and bold in its anticipations for a remote futurity.
'Me. Are you visible?'
The country was large, and the population small. Agriculture, which had been so carefully fostered by the new régime, now ceased to be possible, for the homesteads were bombed and machine-gunned, and the dams of the great reservoirs were destroyed. But the yak remained; the population reverted to a nomad pastoral life. Wandering in small groups, pitching their camouflaged tents in fresh places every night, they offered a poor target to the enemy. Fortunately the imperialists at first made no attempt to land troops by plane, for they believed that the whole country was infected with the strange disease that had frustrated the first land attacks. The Tibetans, meanwhile, were hastily spreading the precious virus throughout their territory. Its effect was to eliminate all who did not attain the necessary standard of lucidity to resist infection. Only a small minority were thus put out of action. These were cared for in special homes. A much larger number, but still only a minority, suffered from temporary mild attacks of the disease. The virus was now also spreading itself beyond the frontiers. There, of course, its effects were incomparably worse. Organization in the infected areas completely vanished.
The Lady was pleas'd with the Receipt, and bad Galesia return to her Story, of the Gentleman that had married her Kinswoman.
'I will not,' said Mrs. Micawber, finishing her punch, and gathering her scarf about her shoulders, preparatory to her withdrawal to my bedroom: 'I will not protract these remarks on the subject of Mr. Micawber's pecuniary affairs. At your fireside, my dear Mr. Copperfield, and in the presence of Mr. Traddles, who, though not so old a friend, is quite one of ourselves, I could not refrain from making you acquainted with the course I advise Mr. Micawber to take. I feel that the time is arrived when Mr. Micawber should exert himself and - I will add - assert himself, and it appears to me that these are the means. I am aware that I am merely a female, and that a masculine judgement is usually considered more competent to the discussion of such questions; still I must not forget that, when I lived at home with my papa and mama, my papa was in the habit of saying, "Emma's form is fragile, but her grasp of a subject is inferior to none." That my papa was too partial, I well know; but that he was an observer of character in some degree, my duty and my reason equally forbid me to doubt.'
As the plight of the race grew worse, feeling on both sides became more violent. The fundamental accord on which the world-community had for so long been founded began to fail. Matters reached such a pitch that civil war seemed once more possible. The scientific romantics and the classical humanists had settled their differences, but only to combine against the supporters of the forwards and their policy of ascetic dedication. Every village, every family was divided against itself, but in some countries one side was on the whole stronger, in some the other. Preparations were actually made for a war which would have had all the bitterness of the old wars of religion, but would have been waged with more formidable weapons than man had ever used before. For sub-atomic power could be easily directed to mass murder.
There was a faint luminosity ahead. Bond approached it carefully, his senses questing in front of him like antennae. It grew brighter. It was the glint of light against the end of the lateral shaft. He went on until his head touched the metal. He twisted over on his back. Straight above him, at the top of fifty yards or so of vertical shaft, was a steady glimmer. It was like looking up a long gun barrel. Bond inched round the square bend and stood upright. So he was supposed to climb straight up this shining tube of metal without a foothold! Was it possible? Bond expanded his shoulders. Yes, they gripped the sides. His feet could also get a temporary purchase, though they would slip except where the ridges at the joints gave him an ounce of upward leverage. Bond shrugged his shoulders and kicked off his shoes. It was no good arguing. He would just have to try.