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sudden executions by the laws and manners of the country — such a nobility, I say, might throw off their allegiance, having nothing to fear from the too slow and too distant punishment. The sudden establishment of unlimited power is a remedy which in those cases may prevent a revolution. But how dreadful the remedy which, after the establishment of dominion, opens a new scene of misery. The rivers hasten to mingle their waters with the sea; and monarchies lose themselves in despotic power.
III. Of a Despotism.- A large empire supposes a despotic authority in the person who governs.
It is necessary that the quickness of the prince's resolutions should make up for the distance of the places they are sent to; that fear should prevent the remissness of the distant government or magistrate; that the law should be derived from a single person, and should shift continually according to the accidents which incessantly multiply in a state in proportion to its extent.
General Conclusions.- If it be, therefore, the natural property of small states to be governed as a Republic, of middle ones to be subject to a monarch, and of large ones to be swayed by a despot — the conclusion is, that in order to preserve the principles of the established government, the state must be supported in the extent it has acquired, and that the spirit of this state will alter in proportion as it contracts or extends its limits. Translation of Nugent.
3 ONTGOMERY, FLORENCE, a British novelist,
daughter of Admiral Sir Alexander Leslie
Montgomery ; born in 1847. She early displayed a taste for literature; and her first novel, A Very Simple Story, was published during her minority. This was followed in 1869 by Misunderstood,
and in 1872 by Thrown Together. Thwarted, or Ducks' Eggs in a Hen's Nest, appeared in 1874, and Wild Mike and His Victim in 1875. Her later works are Seaforth (1878); Peggy', and Other Tales (1880); The Blue Veil (1883); Transformed (1886); The Fisherman's Daughter (1888); Colonel Norton (1895); and Prejudged (1900).
On a sofa near the open window, in all the weakness of early convalescence, Gilbert Ramsay was lying.
He was quite alone.
He was lying there in his weakness and his depression, thinking over his position, and trying to realize it: thinking sadly of his strength sapped, and his work come to an end.
It required all his faith and all his submission to face and to bow to the prospect before him. His health was, for the time, wrecked.
He was thrown back months in his work: his income could not stand the strain which had been put upon it, and his home was uninhabitable.
He and his family, the doctor said, must remove. It was imperative that they should do so.
And he himself must have change, rest, leisure, and other impossibilities, for many months.
All this had dawned upon him recently. He had been too ill to know much till now; too weak to be allowed to worry himself with thought of any kind.
But convalescence had now thoroughly set in, and the future must, and would, be thought out.
There was nothing now to hinder the rush of sad and depressing thoughts which were sweeping over him.
For the moment they overpowered him.
It was just then that a maid entered softly, and said that Mr. Ramsay from the Manor-House was below, and wished to know if he would see him.
The sick man visibly shrank into himself.
he could hardly bear it. A feeling of repugnance come over him, with which he felt powerless to contend.
“I cannot,” he said to himself. He knew of course nothing that had passed all this time; not even that his brother had been living at the Manor-House. He knew his little boy to be with Mrs. Pryor, and he knew nothing further.
His brother meant to him only the John Ramsay of that painful and disappointing interview; and later on the John Ramsay who had totally ignored his appeal for help in averting the calamity which had since overwhelmed him.
He had been willing for long to think the best of his brother, and to put the most charitable construction on his behavior.
He had tried to give him credit for not having received, for having overlooked, or for not having taken in, the importance of his original communication. So after an interval he had written again, a more urgent letter than the first.
But when that second appeal met with the same treatment at his brother's hands he could deceive himself no longer.
He was forced to realize, however unwillingly, that his only blood-relation cared no more for him and his children than if they had been utter strangers; and that he was what he had half-suspected during their interview in London, a hard, cold, worldly, self-absorbed, miserly man.
There was no other conclusion to be drawn.
To a man like Gilbert Ramsay, who had lived so long in and for others: who had long ago dedicated his life to the service of his Master, which meant to the service of his fellow-men, this state of feeling was almost incomprehensible.
That state of insensibility to the affairs and feelings of others, in which it becomes at last an impossibility to detach yourself from yourself, and to throw yourself into other people, was to him unknown; he could not understand it. His brother and his brother's conduct was to him sealed books of an unfathomable mystery.
But he was a man of great toleration, and of unbiased judgment. He could always look on both sides of a question, and give each its due weight, even where it conflicted with his own view of the case.
He had, in the large manufacturing town in which he had spent half his life, come across every kind of character: and his knowledge of human nature was derived, not from books, but from the study of the living model itself.
He was always ready to make allowance for extenuating circumstances. It was not in his nature to condemn anyone unheard.
It was only for a few moments, therefore, that these feelings of repugnance overcame him.
His brother might still be able to explain away his conduct. His higher nature prevailed, and he said, very quietly, “Bring Mr. Ramsay up."
There was a short interval, and then the door was opened, and Jolin Ramsay advanced to his brother's side.
Both were shy and constrained. Gilbert held out his hand, and John took it in silence.
Then, in a few faltering words, John Ramsay said what he had long made up his mind to say: told his brother how bitterly he regretted his conduct, and asked his forgiveness. Clearly this was not what Gilbert had expected.
He looked up surprised, and the brothers' eyes met; they gazed at each other.
Something in the softened expression of the face he was looking at struck the sick man, and he exclaimed:
Why, John! you look a different man to when I saw
you last! ”
John Ramsay's lips were unlocked now.
All the child,” he said huskily; and then in answer to his brother's worylering, puzzled look of inquiry, in a voice which faltered at first, but grew stronger as he went on, he told his tale — told how the pure influence of a beautiful little life, lived out daily before him in all its simplicity, all its earnestness, all its guilelessness, all its love and charity, had humanized him, softened him, raised him. He painted vividly the state in which he had been previously living - heart, soul, and spirit, dead and buried — from which hideous incarceration the child had been the means of releasing him.
And he ended by begging his brother to show his forgiveness by allowing him to do anything and everything that was in his power for the future, both for himself and his family. And then he waited for his answer.
Gilbert Ramsay did not give it for some time.
He turned his head away to hide the tears that rose into his eyes.
He was more moved than he could almost bear in his presenť state of physical weakness by the thought of his child, and of all that that child had been the instrument, in God's hands, of accomplishing.
For a few minutes he could think of nothing else.
But he controlled his thoughts with a strong effort, for that was not, for the moment, the point on which he wished them to dwell. He continued to gaze thoughtfully out of the window, but his face grew calmer, and the current of his thoughts flowed into another channel. He was accustomed, as we said just now, to put himself (metaphorically) into other people's places, and to try to see things from their point of view; knowing well that from that stand-point other people's difficulties look very different to what they do from your own.
He was doing this now. He was trying to put himself into his brother's place at the time when his conduct seemed so heartless, so incomprehensible.
What had so puzzled and saddened him began to be more comprehensible. There came upon him a vivid realization of the state of utter desolation in which that brother had, according to his own showing, been living : the deeps and the darkness in which his heart and soul had been sunk.
He seemed to see it all with a flash. A man, who had quenched the Spirit, and was living with no hope, and without God in the world.
He had wondered much, but he wondered no longer. It all stood out clear.
He raised his eyes to his brother's face, and held out his hand, saying, “I see it all now: I understand.” And,