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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 4,784 pages of information about Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works.
whose educated charm had enabled him to marry an heiress and live by managing her estates.  All, all sapped of go and foresight and perseverance by a cruel Providence!  That was what he was really feeling, and concealing, be cause he was too well-bred to show his secret grief.  And I felt suddenly quite warm toward him, now that I saw how he was suffering.  I understood how bound he felt in honour to combat with all his force this attempt to place others in his own distressing situation.  At the same time I was honest enough to confess to myself sitting there in the cab—­that I did not personally share that pride of his, or feel that I was being rotted by my own position; I even felt some dim gratitude that if my powers gave out at any time, and I had not saved anything, I should still not be left destitute to face the prospect of a bleak and impoverished old age; and I could not help a weak pleasure in the thought that a certain relative security was being guaranteed to those people of the working classes who had never had it before.  At the same moment I quite saw that to a prouder and stronger heart it must indeed be bitter to have to sit still under your own security, and even more bitter to have to watch that pauperising security coming closer and closer to others—­for the generous soul is always more concerned for others than for himself.  No doubt, I thought, if truth were known, my distant relative is consumed with longing to change places with that loafer who tried to open the door of my cab—­for surely he must see, as I do, that that is just what he himself—­having failed to stand the pressure of competition in his life—­would be doing if it were not for the accident of his birth, which has so lamentably insured him against coming to that.

“Yes,” I thought, “you have learnt something to-day; it does not do, you see, hastily to despise those distant relatives of yours, who talk about pauperising and molly-coddling the lower classes.  No, no!  One must look deeper than that!  One must have generosity!”

And with that I stopped the cab and got out for I wanted a breath of air. 1911

THE BLACK GODMOTHER

Sitting out on the lawn at tea with our friend and his retriever, we had been discussing those massacres of the helpless which had of late occurred, and wondering that they should have been committed by the soldiery of so civilised a State, when, in a momentary pause of our astonishment, our friend, who had been listening in silence, crumpling the drooping soft ear of his dog, looked up and said, “The cause of atrocities is generally the violence of Fear.  Panic’s at the back of most crimes and follies.”

Knowing that his philosophical statements were always the result of concrete instance, and that he would not tell us what that instance was if we asked him—­such being his nature—­we were careful not to agree.

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