'No, no,' said my aunt. 'But Little Blossom is a very tender little blossom, and the wind must be gentle with her.'
And General Harmony conclude the Piece!
There was an ease in his manner - a gay and light manner it was, but not swaggering - which I still believe to have borne a kind of enchantment with it. I still believe him, in virtue of this carriage, his animal spirits, his delightful voice, his handsome face and figure, and, for aught I know, of some inborn power of attraction besides (which I think a few people possess), to have carried a spell with him to which it was a natural weakness to yield, and which not many persons could withstand. I could not but see how pleased they were with him, and how they seemed to open their hearts to him in a moment.
I didn't wait for James. I ran out into the road and began blazing away at the back of the car and heard some of my bullets wham into the metal. Then the hammer clicked on nothing, and I stood and swore at the thought of them getting away. But then came the steady crash of James's gun from the far side of the lawn, while fire spat back from the front window of the car. Until all of a sudden the black sedan seemed to go crazy. It made a wide swerve and looked to be heading across the lawn straight for James. For a moment he was caught in its great lights as he stood there, the sweat gleaming on his naked chest, and fired, in the classic stance of the dueler, as if at a charging animal. I thought he was going to be mown down and I began to run across the grass toward him, but then the car veered away and, its engine roaring in bottom gear, made straight for the lake.
My previous education had been, in a certain sense, already a course of Benthamism. The Benthamic standard of "the greatest happiness" was that which I had always been taught to apply; I was even familiar with an abstract discussion of it, forming an episode in an unpublished dialogue on Government, written by my father on the Platonic model. Yet in the first pages of Bentham it burst upon me with all the force of novelty. What thus impressed me was the chapter in which Bentham passed judgment on the common modes of reasoning in morals and legislation, deduced from phrases like "law of nature," "right reason," "the moral sense," "natural rectitude," and the like, and characterized them as dogmatism in disguise, imposing its sentiments upon others under cover of sounding expressions which convey no reason for the sentiment, but set up the sentiment as its own reason. It had not struck me before, that Bentham's principle put an end to all this. The feeling rushed upon me, that all previous moralists were superseded, and that here indeed was the commencement of a new era in thought. This impression was strengthened by the manner in which Bentham put into scientific form the application of the happiness principle to the morality of actions, by analysing the various classes and orders of their consequences. But what struck me at the time most of all, was the Classification of Offences, which is much more clear, compact and imposing in Dumont's rédaction than in the original work of Bentham from which it was taken. Logic and the dialectics of Plato, which had formed so large a part of my previous training, had given me a strong relish for accurate classification. This taste had been strengthened and enlightened by the study of botany, on the principles of what is called the Natural Method, which I had taken up with great zeal, though only as an amusement, during my stay in France; and when I found scientific classification applied to the great and complex subject of Punishable Acts, under the guidance of the ethical principle of Pleasurable and Painful Consequences, followed out in the method of detail introduced into these subjects by Bentham, I felt taken up to an eminence from which I could survey a vast mental domain, and see stretching out into the distance intellectual results beyond all computation. As I proceeded further, there seemed to be added to this intellectual clearness, the most inspiring prospects of practical improvements in human affairs. To Bentham's general view of the construction of a body of law I was not altogether a stranger, having read with attention that admirable compendium, my father's article "Jurisprudence": but I had read it with little profit and scarcely any interest, no doubt from its extremely general and abstract character, and also because it concerned the form more than the substance of the corpus juris, the logic rather than the ethics of law. But Bentham's subject was Legislation, of which Jurisprudence is only the formal part: and at every page he seemed to open a clearer and broader conception of what human opinions and institutions ought to be, how they might be made what they ought to be, and how far removed from it they now are. When I laid down the last volume of the Traité, I had become a different being. The "principle of utility" understood as Bentham understood it, and applied in the manner in which he applied it through these three volumes, fell exactly into its place as the keystone which held together the detached and fragmentary component parts of my knowledge and beliefs. It gave unity to my conceptions of things. I now had opinions; a creed, a doctrine, a philosophy; in one among the best senses of the word, a religion; the inculcation and diffusion of which could be made the principal outward purpose of a life. And I had a grand conception laid before me of changes to be effected in the condition of mankind through that doctrine. The Traité de Législation wound up with what was to me a most impressive picture of human life as it would be made by such opinions and such laws as were recommended in the treatise. The anticipations of practicable improvement were studiously moderate, deprecating and discountenancing as reveries of vague enthusiasm many things which will one day seem so natural to human beings, that injustice will probably be done to those who once thought them chimerical. But, in my state of mind, this appearance of superiority to illusion added to the effect which Bentham's doctrines produced on me, by heightening the impression of mental power, and the vista of improvement which he did open was sufficiently large and brilliant to light up my life, as well as to give a definite shape to my aspirations.
'Don't talk to me about the aborigines! What in hell do you think you know about the aborigines? Do you know that in my country there's a move afoot, not afoot, at full gallop, to give the aborigines the vote? You pommy poofter. You give me any more of that liberal crap and I'll have your balls for a bow-tie.'
Upon due Consideration, they suspected the Labourer, he being no where to be found; Hereupon Hue-and-Cries were sent forth, every way describing his Person, Age, and Cloaths: But all in vain; no News could be heard. The Manner of the Murder, they conjectur'd, was on this wise: That the Labourer was in the Barn, and when the good Man went to give his Beasts Fodder, the Villain fell upon him, and he resisting, caus'd the two Forks to be broke. The poor Woman sitting in the House with her Child on her Lap, hearing the Noise in the Barn, rose hastily, and clapping the Child in the Cradle, with its Clouts hanging loose about it, ran to the Barn, and dropt the Swath; which was found as aforesaid: And so met her poor Husband's Fate.
'Non,' said the Greek flatly.