His ambition, his marriage, even the ordinary sensuous enjoyments of life, had crumbled as the mythical Dead Sea apples upon his lips, yet the failure of his own mere individual pursuit of happiness had in no-wise soured the sweet and finely flavored optimism of his nature.
The passages in the letter in question which refer to this business, then in the stage preceding his conviction, abundantly testify to the fact that the sentiments which had impelled him to act as he did were wholly and solely those of generous indignation at wrong done, in no-wise against himself, but against another, whom he deemed to be oppressed and unprotected.
The report was, that for a trifling circumstance, for which he was in no-wise to blame, the captain had fastened him with his belly to the deck, and that, in this situation, he had poured hot pitch upon his back, and made incisions in it with hot tongs.
Matters of principle were in no-wise to be voted upon, and each individual was allowed to accept or reject them according to his wishes.
"What makes you say all-powerful? Haven't you seen time and time again when good didn't prevail against evil, and don't you suppose He'd have helped it if He could? And why do you call Him all-wise? Is it because men are no-wise? That wouldn't prove it, would it? And about the miracles, what does a miracle prove?
"Yes, of course," said Barnabas. "A little old 'ooman wi' curls, as don't come no-wise near so 'igh as my shoulder!
But however this may be, proverb, poem, song, and popular speech to-day yield ample proof that the Japanese comparisons of women to trees and flowers are in no-wise inferior to our own in aesthetic sentiment. That trees, at least Japanese trees, have souls, cannot seem an unnatural fancy to one who has seen the blossoming of the umenoki and the sakuranoki.
What does it all, this "evidence," amount to? One writer, Tacitus, records that a man, called by his followers "Christ" for no one pretends that Christ is anything more than a title given by his disciples to a certain Jew named Jesus was put to death by Pontius Pilate. And suppose he were, what then? How is this a proof of the religion called Christianity? Tacitus knows nothing of the miracle-worker, of the risen and ascended man; he is strangely ignorant of all the wonders that had occurred; and, allowing the passage to be genuine, it tells sorely against the marvellous history given by the Christians of their leader, whose fame is supposed to have spread far and wide, and whose fame most certainly must so have spread had he really performed all the wonderful works attributed to him. But no necessity lies upon the Freethinker, when he rejects Christianity, to disprove the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth, although we point to the inadequacy of the evidence even of his existence. The strength of the Freethought position is in no-wise injured by the admission that a young Jew named Joshua (i.e. Jesus) may have wandered up and down Galilee and Judæa in the reign of Tiberius, that he may have been a religious reformer, that he may have been put to death by Pontius Pilate for sedition. All this is perfectly likely, and to allow it in no way endorses the mass of legend and myth encrusted round this tiny nucleus of possible fact. This obscure peasant is not the Christian Jesus, who is as we shall later urge only a new presentation of the ancient Sun-God, with unmistakeable family likeness to his elder brothers. The Reverend Robert Taylor very rightly remarks, concerning this small historical possibility: "These are circumstances which fall entirely within the scale of rational possibility, and draw for no more than an ordinary and indifferent testimony of history, to command the mind's assent. The mere relation of any historian, living near enough to the time supposed to guarantee the probability of his competent information on the subject, would have been entitled to our acquiescence. We could have no reason to deny or to doubt what such an historian could have had no motive to feign or to exaggerate. The proof, even to demonstration, of these circumstances would constitute no step or advance towards the proof of the truth of the Christian religion; while the absence of a sufficient degree of evidence to render even these circumstances unquestionable must,
It was good to lean back lazily in the chariot of the rich, dreamily watching the ever-shifting picture, soaking in the sunshine. It was good, too but in no-wise alarming to have beside him this pretty girl who knew when not to talk and in whose occasional smile was a new subtle flattery.
He could in no-wise comprehend it; but, taking it with other previous circumstances, he could not get quit of a conviction that he was haunted by some evil genius in the shape of his brother, as well as by that dark and mysterious wretch himself.