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The next morning, before Lord Canterville went up to town, Mr. Otis had an interview with him on the subject of the jewels the ghost had given to Virginia. They were perfectly magnificent, especially a certain ruby necklace with old Venetian setting, which was really a superb specimen of sixteenth-century work, and their value was so great that Mr. Otis felt considerable scruples about allowing his daughter to accept them.

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I began by saying that I called for the purpose of setting him right touching certain opinions of his concerning the place of my nativity:¡ªI was an American¡ªthank heaven!¡ªand wanted to convince him of the fact.

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caesar's empire free slot game£¬But that first comprehensive glance which took in those ten figures, with scores less conspicuous, rested but an instant upon them, as, impatient of the hubbub of voices, the visitor turned in quest of whomsoever it might be that commanded the ship.Yes, he was resolved to battle it out in his own solitary closet; though a strange, transcendental conceit of one of the more erratic and non-conforming Apostles,¡ªwho was also at this time engaged upon a profound work above stairs, and who denied himself his full sufficiency of food, in order to insure an abundant fire;¡ªthe strange conceit of this Apostle, I say,¡ªaccidentally communicated to Pierre,¡ªthat, through all the kingdoms of Nature, caloric was the great universal producer and vivifyer, and could not be prudently excluded from the spot where great books were in the act of creation; and therefore, he (the Apostle) for one, was resolved to plant his head in a hot-bed of stove-warmed air, and so force his brain to germinate and blossom, and bud, and put forth the eventual, crowning, victorious flower;¡ªthough indeed this conceit rather staggered Pierre¡ªfor in truth, there was no small smack of plausible analogy in it¡ªyet one thought of his purse would wholly expel the unwelcome intrusion, and reinforce his own previous resolve.The same considerations dispose of another reproach against the doctrine of utility, founded on a still grosser misconception of the purpose of a standard of morality, and of the very meaning of the words right and wrong. It is often affirmed that utilitarianism renders men cold and unsympathizing; that it chills their moral feelings towards individuals; that it makes them regard only the dry and hard consideration of the consequences of actions, not taking into their moral estimate the qualities from which those actions emanate. If the assertion means that they do not allow their judgment respecting the rightness or wrongness of an action to be influenced by their opinion of the qualities of the person who does it, this is a complaint not against utilitarianism, but against having any standard of morality at all; for certainly no known ethical standard decides an action to be good or bad because it is done by a good or a bad man, still less because done by an amiable, a brave, or a benevolent man or the contrary. These considerations are relevant, not to the estimation of actions, but of persons; and there is nothing in the utilitarian theory inconsistent with the fact that there are other things which interest us in persons besides the rightness and wrongness of their actions. The Stoics, indeed, with the paradoxical misuse of language which was part of their system, and by which they strove to raise themselves above all concern about anything but virtue, were fond of saying that he who has that has everything; that he, and only he, is rich, is beautiful, is a king. But no claim of this description is made for the virtuous man by the utilitarian doctrine. Utilitarians are quite aware that there are other desirable possessions and qualities besides virtue, and are perfectly willing to allow to all of them their full worth. They are also aware that a right action does not necessarily indicate a virtuous character, and that actions which are blameable often proceed from qualities entitled to praise. When this is apparent in any particular case, it modifies their estimation, not certainly of the act, but of the agent. I grant that they are, notwithstanding, of opinion, that in the long run the best proof of a good character is good actions; and resolutely refuse to consider any mental disposition as good, of which the predominant tendency is to produce bad conduct. This makes them unpopular with many people; but it is an unpopularity which they must share with every one who regards the distinction between right and wrong in a serious light; and the reproach is not one which a conscientious utilitarian need be anxious to repel.The simplest of all things it is to write in a lady's album. But Cui Bono? Is there such a dearth of printed reading, that the monkish times must be revived, and ladies books be in manuscript? What could Pierre write of his own on Love or any thing else, that would surpass what divine Hafiz wrote so many long centuries ago? Was there not Anacreon too, and Catullus, and Ovid¡ªall translated, and readily accessible? And then¡ªbless all their souls!¡ªhad the dear creatures forgotten Tom Moore? But the handwriting, Pierre,¡ªthey want the sight of your hand. Well, thought Pierre, actual feeling is better than transmitted sight, any day. I will give them the actual feeling of my hand, as much as they want. And lips are still better than hands. Let them send their sweet faces to me, and I will kiss lipographs upon them forever and a day. This was a felicitous idea. He called Dates, and had the albums carried down by the basket-full into the dining-room. He opened and spread them all out upon the extension-table there; then, modeling himself by the Pope, when His Holiness collectively blesses long crates of rosaries¡ªhe waved one devout kiss to the albums; and summoning three servants sent the albums all home, with his best compliments, accompanied with a confectioner's kiss for each album, rolled up in the most ethereal tissue.

If ever I write again, in the sense of producing artistic work, there are just two subjects on which and through which I desire to express myself: one is ¡®Christ as the precursor of the romantic movement in life¡¯: the other is ¡®The artistic life considered in its relation to conduct.¡¯ The first is, of course, intensely fascinating, for I see in Christ not merely the essentials of the supreme romantic type, but all the accidents, the wilfulnesses even, of the romantic temperament also. He was the first person who ever said to people that they should live ¡®flower-like lives.¡¯ He fixed the phrase. He took children as the type of what people should try to become. He held them up as examples to their elders, which I myself have always thought the chief use of children, if what is perfect should have a use. Dante describes the soul of a man as coming from the hand of God ¡®weeping and laughing like a little child,¡¯ and Christ also saw that the soul of each one should be a guisa di fanciulla che piangendo e ridendo pargoleggia. He felt that life was changeful, fluid, active, and that to allow it to be stereotyped into any form was death. He saw that people should not be too serious over material, common interests: that to be unpractical was to be a great thing: that one should not bother too much over affairs. The birds didn¡¯t, why should man? He is charming when he says, ¡®Take no thought for the morrow; is not the soul more than meat? is not the body more than raiment?¡¯ A Greek might have used the latter phrase. It is full of Greek feeling. But only Christ could have said both, and so summed up life perfectly for us.And when he had reached the shore of the sea, he loosed the cord from his hands, and took the seal of silence from his lips, and called to the little Mermaid. But she came not to his call, though he called to her all day long and besought her.She seemed surprised and offended, and, issuing an order in a commanding tone to several of her women, waved us out of the house. Summary as the dismissal was, court etiquette, no doubt, required our compliance. We withdrew; making a profound inclination as we disappeared behind the tappa arras.III.

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These evils, then¡ªgreat poverty, and that poverty very little connected with desert¡ªare the first grand failure of the existing arrangements of society. The second is human misconduct; crime, vice, and folly, with all the sufferings which follow in their train. For, nearly all the forms of misconduct, whether committed towards ourselves or towards others, may be traced to one of three causes: Poverty and its temptations in the many; Idleness and des?uvrement in the few whose circumstances do not compel them to work; bad education, or want of education, in both. The first two must be allowed to be at least failures in the social arrangements, the last is now almost universally admitted to be the fault of those arrangements¡ªit may almost be said the crime. I am speaking loosely and in the rough, for a minuter analysis of the sources of faults of character and errors of conduct [34]would establish far more conclusively the filiation which connects them with a defective organization of society, though it would also show the reciprocal dependence of that faulty state of society on a backward state of the human mind.

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I did not, however, covenant to remain in the vessel for the residue of the voyage; which would have been needlessly binding myself. I merely stipulated for the coming cruise, leaving my subsequent movements unrestrained; for there was no knowing that I might not change my mind, and prefer journeying home by short and easy stages.£¬¡®The next day I arrived at Park Lane punctual to the moment, but was told by the butler that Lady Alroy had just gone out. I went down to the club quite unhappy and very much puzzled, and after long consideration wrote her a letter, asking if I might be allowed to try my chance some other afternoon. I had no answer for several days, but at last I got a little note saying she would be at home on Sunday at four and with this extraordinary postscript: ¡°Please do not write to me here again; I will explain when I see you.¡± On Sunday she received me, and was perfectly charming; but when I was going away she begged of me, if I ever had occasion to write to her again, to address my letter to ¡°Mrs. Knox, care of Whittaker¡¯s Library, Green Street.¡± ¡°There are reasons,¡± she said, ¡°why I cannot receive letters in my own house.¡±¡£ And bright and early in the morning up came our old iron, as the sun rose in the East.¡£

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Thus I stood wrapt in cogitations.£¬Isabel with empty hands sat silent, but intently and expectantly eying him; while behind her chair, Delly was bending her face low over her knitting¡ªwhich she had seized so soon as Pierre had begun speaking¡ªand with trembling fingers was nervously twitching the points of her long needles. It was plain that she awaited Pierre's accents with hardly much less eagerness than Isabel. Marking well this expression in Delly, and apparently not unpleased with it, Pierre continued; but by no slightest outward tone or look seemed addressing his remarks to any one but Isabel.¡£But if this unobstructedness in an American fighting-ship be, at all hazards, so desirable, why not imitate the Turks? In the Turkish navy they have no mess-chests; the sailors roll their mess things up in a rug, and thrust them under a gun. Nor do they have any hammocks; they sleep anywhere about the decks in their gregoes. Indeed, come to look at it, what more does a man-of-war's-man absolutely require to live in than his own skin? That's room enough; and room enough to turn in, if he but knew how to shift his spine, end for end, like a ramrod, without disturbing his next neighbour.¡£

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Upon these occasions Jack Chase was often called out, and regaled us, in his own free and noble style, with the £¬No more did we think of the gale and the plague; nor turn our eyes upward to the stains of blood, still visible on the topsail, whence Jackson had fallen; but we fixed our gaze on the orchards and meads, and like thirsty men, drank in all their dew.¡£I had seen mention made of such things before, in books of voyages; but that was only reading about them, just as you read the Arabian Nights, which no one ever believes; for somehow, when I read about these wonderful countries, I never used really to believe what I read, but only thought it very strange, and a good deal too strange to be altogether true; though I never thought the men who wrote the book meant to tell lies. But I don't know exactly how to explain what I mean; but this much I will say, that I never believed in Greenland till I saw this Greenlander. And at first, hearing him talk about Greenland, only made me still more incredulous. For what business had a man from Greenland to be in my company? Why was he not at home among the icebergs, and how could he stand a warm summer's sun, and not be melted away? Besides, instead of icicles, there were ear-rings hanging from his ears; and he did not wear bear-skins, and keep his hands in a huge muff; things, which I could not help connecting with Greenland and all Greenlanders.¡£

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Ah! thou too noble and angelical Pierre, now I feel that a being like thee, can possibly have no love as other men love; but thou lovest as angels do; not for thyself, but wholly for others. But still are we one, Pierre; thou art sacrificing thyself, and I hasten to re-tie myself to thee, that so I may catch thy fire, and all the ardent multitudinous arms of our common flames may embrace. I will ask of thee nothing, Pierre; thou shalt tell me no secret. Very right wert thou, Pierre, when, in that ride to the hills, thou wouldst not swear the fond, foolish oath I demanded. Very right, very right; now I see it.£¬That hour of the life of a man when first the help of humanity fails him, and he learns that in his obscurity and indigence humanity holds him a dog and no man: that hour is a hard one, but not the hardest. There is still another hour which follows, when he learns that in his infinite comparative minuteness and abjectness, the gods do likewise despise him, and own him not of their clan. Divinity and humanity then are equally willing that he should starve in the street for all that either will do for him. Now cruel father and mother have both let go his hand, and the little soul-toddler, now you shall hear his shriek and his wail, and often his fall.¡£ YE OLDE GHOSTE¡£

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