A Modern Symposium

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: those whom we appear to control. We are permitted, like children, to lay our hands upon the reins; but it is a dark and unknown genius who drives. We are his creatures; and it is his ends, not ours, that are furthered by our contests, our efforts, our ideals. In the arena Remenham and I must play (' our part, combat bravely, and be ready to die when ithe crowd turn down their thumbs. But here in a 1'moment of withdrawal, I at least cannot fail to recognize behind the issues that divide us the tie of a common destiny. We shall pass and a new generation will succeed us; a generation to whom our ideals will be irrevelant, our catch-words empty, our controversies unintelligible. Hi motus animorum atque haec certamina tanta Pvlveris exigui jactu compressa- quiescunt.' "The dust of oblivion will bury our debates. Something we shall have achieved, but not what we intended. My dream may, perhaps, be furthered by Remenham, and his by me, or, it may be, neither his nor mine by either. The Providence whose purposes he so readily divines is dark to me. And perhaps, for that reason, I am able to regard him with more charity than he has always been willing, I suspect, to extend to me. This, at any rate, is the moment of truce. The great arena is empty, the silent benches vanish into the night. Under the glimmer of the moon figures more than mortal haunt the scene of our ephemeral contests. It is they which stand behind us and deal the blows which seem to be ours. When we are laid in the dust they will animate other combatants; when our names are forgotten they will blazon others in perishable gold. Why, then, should we strive and cry, even now in the twilight hour? The same sky encompasses us, the same stars are above us. What are my opinions, what are Remenham's? Froth on the surf...
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