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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 12

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THE TRUE TRAVELLER AND 'PROGRESS' 9 simile which is perhaps more respectable, and certainly equally true, we may say that the past is to him what an opera or an oratorio is to others. The present may strike his ears as a medley of objectionable discords ; but as it drifts away from him, and be-comes part of the past, its sound changes to the sound of a distant orchestra or of the sea, by turns august and plaintive with the burden of human destiny ; and each ruined marble temple, each desolate baronial banquet-hall, is a shell which murmurs with a fragment of the illimitable music. And now I think I must bring myself to make a certain confession. I have said that the pleasure in the past is not logically defensible. I doubt, how-ever, if such is wholly the case. I suspect that most of those who feel it have one logical reason for it ; only it is a reason which the modern thinker would consider far worse than none. I arrive at this con-clusion by reflecting that for myself individually the past in England begins before the first Eeform Bill, and on the Continent before the French Eevolution. I am also certain that if we discovered a new Pompeii, of which all the inhabitants had been radicals, no matter how perfect the remains might be—even if they comprised a complete file of a Latin ' Pall Mall Gazette'—the principal satisfaction the discovery would afford myself would consist in the feeling that all these people were dead. If then I may imagine myself speaking to those excellent leaders of men, and guides of popular aspiration, who make serious faces

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