If that disposition be wanting, other causes, even were these absent, would continually rise up to call forth the malevolent passions into action. Differences of opinion, when accompanied with mutual charity, which Christianity forbids them to violate, are for the most part innocent, and for some purposes useful. They promote inquiry, discussion, and knowledge.
Nature has its restless moods, its storms and passions, like human life; but there are times of tranquillity and peace, even in March. How different was this scene from the aspect of our city street when I had taken my farewell look at a late hour the previous night! No grand sweeping outlines there, no deep quiet and peace, soothing and at the same time uplifting the mind.
The gods had body and soul, like men; they had bones, muscles, flesh and blood; they hungered and thirsted, ate and drank; they had our passions, griefs, joys and infirmities; and they were subject to age, decrepitude and death, though they lived very far beyond the term of life of men.
But here an important distinction is to be made. For the Soul must not be called upon to moderate those passions which are only an outbreak of the lower spirits of Nature, nor can it be displayed in antithesis with these; for where calm considerateness is still in contention with them, the Soul has not yet appeared; they must be moderated by unassisted Nature in Man, by the might of the Spirit.
We observe, in the greater number of them, uncommon and even supernatural powers of body, as well as of mind, united with the gross manners and fierce passions of barbarians.
Though Peregrine, in his heart, detested those abandoned courses, and was a professed enemy to the whole society of gamesters, whom he considered, and always treated, as the foes of humankind, he was insensibly accustomed to licentious riot, and even led imperceptibly into play by those cormorants, who are no less dangerous in the art of cheating, than by their consummate skill in working up the passions of unwary youth.
In the hours of domestic or social intercourse, does their conversation manifest the subject of which their hearts are full? Do their language and demeanor shew them to be more than commonly gentle, and kind, and friendly, free from rough and irritating passions? Surely an entire day should not seem long amidst these various employments.
Sparkling with truth as they are, these lines probably filled with light the dungeon, in the depths of which Mirabeau wrote them; and the keen observation which they bear witness to, although prompted by the most stormy of his passions, has none the less influence even now in solving the social problem on which we are engaged.
Though he could not phrase it, he believed that he guided the future of our race, and that, century after century, his thoughts and his passions would triumph in England. The dead who had evoked him, the unborn whom he would evoke he governed the paths between them. By whose authority? Out in the west lay Cadover and the fields of his earlier youth, and over them descended the crescent moon.
He must be as cold as a stone, and I never thought him so before, did you?" "No, and he isn't either, I tell you what, my dear girl, there is something pretty grim keeping those two apart, I am sure. She is the kind of woman who arouses the fiercest passions; and Tristram is in the state that, if something were really to set alight his jealousy, he might kill her some day."