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Professor Theobald said that it was a dispensation of Providence which intended the human race for social life. Lady Engleton upbraided the author of the cynical utterance. "Which of us can dare to face his own basest self?" the culprit demanded.

The father, stripped of the præfecture of the East, was thrown into a dungeon; but the son, conscious that few ministers can be found innocent, where an enemy is their judge, had secretly escaped; and Rufinus must have been satisfied with the least obnoxious victim, if despotism had not condescended to employ the basest and most ungenerous artifice.

Your conscience will tell you a hundred times over what I need not say. One last word..." She went close up to him and said in his ear: "I have been able to refrain from using my deadliest weapon against you for the sake of keeping my word. Now you, if you are not the basest wretch living, keep yours, and save Hiram."

Does he not know, on the contrary, that whatsoever is basest in our common life tends irresistibly to the highest places, and that the selfish element in our nature is on the side of public order? As a matter of fact, I repeat, the best influences of the best literature have never been didactic, and there is no reason to believe they ever will be.

The palace was a sink of corruption, where eunuchs, concubines, spies, informers, freedmen, adventurers, struggled in the basest plots, each for his share of the public plunder. The senate only existed to register the edicts of their tyrant, and if need be, destroy each other, or any one else, by judicial murders, the willing tools of imperial cruelty.

But in writing, in letters, destined to never so brief and limited an existence, who puts on paper for the eye of another, for the review of that criticism which in the lowest, basest of mankind, stands in unimpeachable dignity, prepared to detect and pass sentence, and cry out as one aggrieved, on the least failure, or shadow of failure in the best who puts in writing, what tenant of Newgate will put on paper, when it comes to that, a deliberate display of meanness, what convicted felon, but will undertake in that case to give some sort of heroic colour to his proceedings some air of suffering virtue to his durance?

Consequently, the freedom which is defined as the negation of social duty and obligation is not true regal freedom, but is that worst and basest of all tyrannies, the tyranny of pure egotism, masked in the semblance of its divine contrary.

Yet somehow or other now that I saw all this so clearly, I found myself singularly reluctant to accept the logical conclusion that this gentleman of good lineage and standing and this attractive high-spirited girl were actually traitors of the basest sort, and murderous traitors too. "Hang it, I may be wrong after all!" I said to myself.

If persons of rank and property would read through the list of those, their equals by birth and wealth, who, after being seduced by the sophistry of impostors, dishonoured and exposed themselves by joining in the Revolution, they might see that none of them have escaped insults, many have suffered death, and all have been, or are, vile slaves, at the mercy of the whip of some upstart beggar, and trampled upon by men started up from the mud, of lowest birth and basest morals.

Sure this is more than I could ever have presumed to hope for. To be possessed of all that's good, and after such an interval of pain! My warmest wishes could never rise so high! 'Yes, my George, returned his lovely bride, 'now let the wretch take my fortune; since you are happy without it so am I. O what an exchange have I made from the basest of men to the dearest best!