But when his endeavors could not divert the people from the war, nor get leave for himself to be discharged of the command, but the people, as it were, violently took him up and carried him, and against his will put him in the office of general, this was no longer now a time for his excessive caution and his delays, nor was it for him, like a child, to look back from the ship, often repeating and reconsidering over and over again how that his advice had not been overruled by fair arguments, thus blunting the courage of his fellow commanders and spoiling the season of action.
Over the general results of his action I have long deeply mourned, as blunting his natural tenderness and sacrificing his wisdom to the Letter, dwarfing men's understandings, contracting their hearts, crushing their moral sensibilities, and setting those at variance who ought to love: yet oh! how specious was it in the beginning! he only wanted men "to submit their understandings to God" that is, to the Bible, that is, to his interpretation!
She must avoid a kind of joking and badinage that should never be heard among well-bred young people in society that about courtship and marriage. Much harm, much blunting of fine sensibilities, much destruction of that delicate modesty which is the priceless dower of young girlhood, comes of such jesting and joking where it is permitted without restraint or reproof.
There is a quality in snow which it would be ridiculous to speak of as warmth; yet, as you may observe after a heavy fall ashore on top of a black frost, it seems to have a power of blunting the sharp edge of the cold, and the snow on this shore of ice being very abundant, though frozen as hard as the ice itself, appeared to mitigate the intolerable rigour I had languished under upon the water, in the brig and afterwards.
From the underworld up to the smart set, the trail of graft was the same, debauching and blunting all that it touched. Here we saw the making of a full- fledged scandal in one of the highest circles. We had scarcely recovered from our surprise at the startling disclosures of the vocaphone, when we heard two voices again above the music, two men this time.
Life had recovered its regular rhythm. "One must live!" said the people, and the struggle for existence filled their thoughts with its immediate urgency. Those whose relatives were in the army, were still thinking of them, but their occupations were so blunting the edge of memory, that they were becoming accustomed to their absence, regarding the unusual as the normal condition.
He contracted the peculiar disease of every country and climate he visited, and was frequently on what seemed his death-bed; but no experience of physical misery had any influence in blunting his intellectual curiosity or impairing the energies of his will.
But I do not call it clemency to be wearied of cruelty; true clemency, Cæsar, is that which you display, which has not begun from remorse at its past ferocity, on which there is no stain, which has never shed the blood of your countrymen: this, when combined with unlimited power, shows the truest self-control and all-embracing love of the human race as of one's self, not corrupted by any low desires, any extravagant ideas, or any of the bad examples of former emperors into trying, by actual experiment, how great a tyranny you would be allowed to exercise over his countrymen, but inclining rather to blunting your sword of empire.
Catching and mastering her, his wilder animation may be appeased, but his political life is threatened with a diversion of its current, for he will be uxorious, impassioned to gratify the tastes and whims of a youthful wife; the Republican will be in danger of playing prematurely for power to seat her beside him high: while at the same time, children, perchance, and his hardening lawyer's head are secretly Philistinizing the demagogue, blunting the fine edge of his Radicalism, turning him into a slow-stepping Liberal, otherwise your half-Conservative in his convictions.
They are blunting their higher feelings by repeating incongruous and nauseating figures of being "washed in blood," or they are carelessly singing sentiments they do not understand. What can the family do about this? It ought to assert its rights in the church.