'Well!' said Mr. Creakle, 'this is very gratifying. You have addressed Mr. Copperfield, Twenty Seven. Do you wish to say anything further to him?'
After this I read, from time to time, the most important of the other works of Bentham which had then seen the light, either as written by himself or as edited by Dumont. This was my private reading: while, under my father's direction, my studies were carried into the higher branches of analytic psychology. I now read Locke's Essay, and wrote out an account of it, consisting of a complete abstract of every chapter, with such remarks as occurred to me: which was read by, or (I think) to, my father, and discussed throughout. I performed the same process with Helvetius De l'Esprit, which I read of my own choice. This preparation of abstracts, subject to my father's censorship, was of great service to me, by competing precision in conceiving and expressing psychological doctrines, whether accepted as truths or only regarded as the opinion of others. After Helvetius, my father made me study what he deemed the really master-production in the philosophy of mind, Hartley's Observations on Man. This book, though it did not, like the Traité de Législation, give a new colour to my existence, made a very similar impression on me in regard to its immediate subject. Hartley's explanation, incomplete as in many points it is, of the more complex mental phenomena by the law of association, commended itself to me at once as a real analysis, and made me feel by contrast the insufficiency of the merely verbal generalizations of Condillac, and even of the instructive gropings and feelings about for psychological explanations, of Locke. It was at this very time that my father commenced writing his Analysis of the Mind, which carried Hartley's mode of explaining the mental phenomena to so much greater length and depth. He could only command the concentration of thought necessary for this work, during the complete leisure of his holiday of a month or six weeks annually: and he commenced it in the summer of 1822, in the first holiday he passed at Dorking; in which neighbourhood, from that time to the end of his life, with the exception of two years, he lived, as far as his official duties permitted, for six months of every year. He worked at the Analysis during several successive vacations, up to the year 1829 when it was published, and allowed me to read the manuscript, portion by portion, as it advanced. The other principal English writers on mental philosophy I read as I felt inclined, particularly Berkeley, Hume's Essays, Reid, Dugald Stewart and Brown on Cause and Effect. Brown's Lectures I did not read until two or three years later, nor at that time had my father himself read them.
The planet which had once and again haltingly attained the lucid mentality sank now for ever into torpor. For no species remained on earth capable of evolving to the human level. The torch which had fallen from the hand of man could never be picked up and carried forward by a fresh runner. For incalculable aeons, for a period immeasurably longer than the whole career of mankind, the terrestrial globe spun and circled, its surface possessed by a host of lowly creatures.
"Oh, being an insurance assessor. On a valuable property like this. Must be worth half a million dollars, I'd say. By the way, are either of you bonded?"
Derek didn't say a word until we were getting close to the car. Then he said matter-of-factly, "Mustn't let them get the number. I'll go and get her and pick you up opposite Fullers' on Windsor Hill. 'Bout ten minutes." Then he freed himself from my arm and went off up the street.
The page pushed open one wing of the tall doors at the top of the stairs and held it for Bond to go through. The long room was not crowded and Bond saw M. sitting by himself playing patience in the alcove formed by the left hand of the three bow windows. He dismissed the page and walked across the heavy carpet, noticing the rich background smell of cigar-smoke, the quiet voices that came from the three tables of bridge, and the sharp rattle of dice across an unseen backgammon board.
I imperceptibly jerked my head backward, bidding him to come in. "Well, the insurance men are here from the owner. I'll have to ask them. You wait there." Again I beckoned with my finger. Then I turned and took two steps inside, keeping close to the door so that neither of them could bang it shut. But they were standing back, hands in their pockets, looking different kinds of hell at me. The man in the raincoat had taken my hint, and he was now well inside. When he saw the two men, his face somehow sharpened, but he said casually, "I expect you heard all that. Any objection to my spending the night here?"
I looked at them both from behind the raised chair. Inside I was whimpering. These men were dynamite from Nightmare-Land. Somehow I kept my voice steady. "Who are you? What's this all about? Let's see those credentials. The next car that comes by, I'll break a window and get help. I'm from Canada. You do anything to me and you'll be in bad trouble tomorrow."
McClellan had his chance (and to few men is it given to have more than one great opportunity) and again he threw it away. His army was stronger than that of Lee and he had the advantage of position and (for the first time against this particular antagonist) of nearness to his base of supplies. Lee had been compelled to divide his army in order to get it promptly into position on the north side of the Potomac. McClellan's tardiness sacrificed Harper's Ferry (which, on September 15th, was actually surrounded by Lee's advance) with the loss of twelve thousand prisoners. Through an exceptional piece of good fortune, there came into McClellan's hands a despatch showing the actual position of the different divisions of Lee's army and giving evidence that the two wings were so far separated that they could not be brought together within twenty-four hours. The history now makes clear that for twenty-four hours McClellan had the safety of Lee's army in his hands, but those precious hours were spent by McClellan in "getting ready," that is to say, in vacillating.
I had myself some experience in Louisiana with the work of moulding plantation hands into disciplined soldiers and I was surprised at the promptness of the transformation. A contraband who made his way into the camp from the old plantation with the vague idea that he was going to secure freedom was often in appearance but an unpromising specimen out of which to make a soldier. He did not know how to hold himself upright or to look the other man in the face. His gait was shambly, his perceptions dull. It was difficult for him either to hear clearly, or to understand when heard, the word of instruction or command. When, however, the plantation rags had been disposed of and (possibly after a souse in the Mississippi) the contraband had been put into the blue uniform and had had the gun placed on his shoulder, he developed at once from a "chattel" to a man. He was still, for a time at least, clumsy and shambly. The understanding of the word of command did not come at once and his individual action, if by any chance he should be left to act alone, was, as a rule, less intelligent, less to be depended upon, than that of the white man. But he stood up straight in the garb of manhood, looked you fairly in the face, showed by his expression that he was anxious for the privilege of fighting for freedom and for citizenship, and in Louisiana, and throughout the whole territory of the War, every black regiment that came into engagement showed that it could be depended upon. Before the War was closed, some two hundred thousand negroes had been brought into the ranks of the Federal army and their service constituted a very valuable factor in the final outcome of the campaigns. A battle like that at Milliken's Bend, Mississippi, inconsiderable in regard to the numbers engaged, was of distinctive importance in showing what the black man was able and willing to do when brought under fire for the first time. A coloured regiment made up of men who only a few weeks before had been plantation hands, had been left on a point of the river to be picked up by an expected transport. The regiment was attacked by a Confederate force of double or treble the number, the Southerners believing that there would be no difficulty in driving into the river this group of recent slaves. On the first volley, practically all of the officers (who were white) were struck down and the loss with the troops was also very heavy. The negroes, who had but made a beginning with their education as soldiers, appeared, however, not to have learned anything about the conditions for surrender and they simply fought on until no one was left standing. The percentage of loss to the numbers engaged was the heaviest of any action in the War. The Southerners, in their contempt for the possibility of negroes doing any real fighting, had in their rushing attack exposed themselves much and had themselves suffered seriously. When, in April, 1865, after the forcing back of Lee's lines, the hour came, so long waited for and so fiercely fought for, to take possession of Richmond, there was a certain poetic justice in allowing the negro division, commanded by General Weitzel, to head the column of advance.