Another curious aspect of this degenerate culture was that, along with ‘the unconscious’, reason was deified; and this in spite of the bitter condemnation of the exercise of free intelligence. But sacred reason was nothing whatever like ordinary human reasoning. It was the occult rationality of the universe, forever inaccessible to man. Everything, it was said, had in the divine view its reason. Everything followed necessarily from the divine reason. In the human sphere free intelligence was an impious attempt to probe the divine reason. The true scope for man’s own divine spark of reason was not in the free exercise of intelligence but in the pious and unquestioning study of the metaphysical arguments of the inspired scriptures.
Under that Name, all Vertue's understood.
'Mr. Copperfield, my sister Clarissa and I have been very careful indeed in considering this letter; and we have not considered it without finally showing it to our niece, and discussing it with our niece. We have no doubt that you think you like her very much.'
One of the causes of this admiration of cruelty in the world-culture of this period was the widespread respect for ‘the unconscious’. The distinction between the conscious and unconscious motives, which had played such a beneficial part in an earlier psychology, had by now led to absurdities. The unconscious was now said to be the divine will working in us. The unconscious sources of action were therefore sacred. In a race in which, through unwholesome conditioning, the ‘unconscious’ was a tissue of perverted cravings, this meant that the perverse was deified.
It was quite a cavalcade that came sweeping up the road between the pines-a squad car with outriders, an ambulance, two other police cars, and a recovery truck that came toward me across the grass and went on down to the lake. Everyone seemed to have had their orders, and very soon the whole area was covered with moving figures in olive-green or dark blue.
I had a vague sensation of being, as it were, on view, when the maid opened it; and of wavering, somehow, across a hall with a weather-glass in it, into a quiet little drawing-room on the ground-floor, commanding a neat garden. Also of sitting down here, on a sofa, and seeing Traddles's hair start up, now his hat was removed, like one of those obtrusive little figures made of springs, that fly out of fictitious snuff-boxes when the lid is taken off. Also of hearing an old-fashioned clock ticking away on the chimney-piece, and trying to make it keep time to the jerking of my heart, - which it wouldn't. Also of looking round the room for any sign of Dora, and seeing none. Also of thinking that Jip once barked in the distance, and was instantly choked by somebody. Ultimately I found myself backing Traddles into the fireplace, and bowing in great confusion to two dry little elderly ladies, dressed in black, and each looking wonderfully like a preparation in chip or tan of the late Mr. Spenlow.
One coffin stood open, its lid up against the wall and its side hinged down. This seemed to be the one destined for Bond.
"Be a good chap and save two for dinner. Broiled with melted butter. And a pot of that ridiculously expensive foie gras of yours. All right?"
In the course of the same summer I fulfilled a duty particularly incumbent upon me, that of helping (by an article in the Edinburgh Review) to make known Mr Bain's profound treatise on the Mind, just then completed by the publication of its second volume. And I carried through the press a selection of my minor writings, forming the first two volumes of "Dissertations and Discussions." The selection had been made during my wife's lifetime, but the revision, in concert with her, with a view to republication, had been barely commenced; and when I had no longer the guidance of her judgment I despaired of pursuing it further, and republished the papers as they were, with the exception of striking out such passages as were no longer in accordance with my opinions. My literary work of the year was terminated with an essay in Fraser's magazine (afterwards republished in the third volume of "Dissertations and Discussions,") entitled "A Few Words on Non-Intervention." I was prompted to write this paper by a desire, while vindicating England from the imputations commonly brought against her on the Continent, of a peculiar selfishness in matters of foreign policy to warn Englishmen of the colour given to this imputation by the low tone in which English statesmen are accustomed to speak of English policy as concerned only with English interests, and by the conduct of Lord Palmerston at that particular time in opposing the Suez Canal: and I took the opportunity of expressing ideas which had long been in my mind (some of them generated by my Indian experience, and others by the international questions which then greatly occupied the European public), respecting the true principles of international morality, and the legitimate modifications made in it by difference of times and circumstances; a subject I had already, to some extent, discussed in the vindication of the French Provisional Government of 1848 against the attacks of Lord Brougham and others, which I published at the time in the Westminster Review, and which is reprinted in the "Dissertations."