A sensible man, my dear Christine, when he has been rightly brought up, never ventures upon such a question, because he is not only certain to displease, but also sure that he will never know the truth, for if the truth is likely to injure a woman in the opinion of her husband, she would be very foolish, indeed, to confess it."
The thought of it, as his autobiography shows, caused him some of his deepest searchings of heart, and noblest ventures of faith. He was content to suffer by the hangman's hand if thus he might have an opportunity of addressing the crowd that he thought would come to see him die.
On arriving at the gun-room, he merely glances, with a well-bred air of assumed indifference, at the apartment of the officers, with whose habits and arrangements he scarcely ever ventures to meddle. He next dives into the cockpit, which in a frigate is used only for the purser's store-room, leading to the bread-room, both of which he examines carefully.
And as for the infinity of time, may we not ask on what ground any one ventures to assert that time is infinite? No man can say that infinite time is directly given in his experience. If one does not directly perceive it to be infinite, must one not seek for some proof of the fact?
I see every one struggling after the unattainable, but I struggle not, and so spare myself the pangs of disappointment and disgust. I have no ventures at sea, and, consequently, do not fear the arrival of evil tidings. I have no desire to act any prominent part in the world, but I am devoured by an unappeasable curiosity as to the men who do act. I am not an actor, I am a spectator only.
To bestow upon Arthur a wife with two such fathers-in-law as the two worthies whom the guileless and unfortunate Lady Clavering had drawn in her marriage ventures, was to benefit no man.
The first hapless ventures in American planting, dominated by the idealistic and militant temper of the Elizabethan age, were initiated and directed in the spirit of the gentleman adventurer: in the spirit of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who identified America with the fabled Atlantis and lost his life in a pathetic attempt to establish an English colony in Newfoundland; in the spirit of Sir Walter Raleigh, whose famous lost colony, settled in the year 1587, exhausted his fortune and disappeared at last, leaving no trace.
The earth changes its appearance, and the decreasing rivers glide along their banks: the elder Grace, together with the Nymphs, and her two sisters, ventures naked to lead off the dance. That you are not to expect things permanent, the year, and the hour that hurries away the agreeable day, admonish us.
His power showed itself chiefly in the new and unlooked-for way in which he touched into life old truths, moral or spiritual, which all Christians acknowledge, but most have ceased to feel when he spoke of "unreal words," of the "individuality of the soul," of the "invisible world," of a "particular Providence," or again, of the "ventures of faith," "warfare the condition of victory," "the Cross of Christ the measure of the world," "the Church a Home for the lonely."
So that if all intelligent creatures were by some holocaust destroyed, up out of the depths in process of millions of years, intelligent beings would once more emerge." This passage shows what a speculative leap or flight the scientific mind is at times compelled to take when it ventures beyond the bounds of positive methods. It is good philosophy, I hope, but we cannot call it science.