Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/229
the thoughts familiar to Socialists took on fresh shape and meaning to me.
But ironic reality, that sometimes takes delight in a juxtaposition of events as fanciful as romance, recalled me quickly to the world of vain quarrels, sharp disputes, and misunderstandings. While I was rejoicing in a free impersonal pride the pride of the human race and of Socialism, and was looking with emotion on the spectacle presented by victorious man, master of nature and of himself, a knot of curious observers had been formed. They were watching the bold attempt and were nearly all enthusiastic and sympathetic. But I recognised one of my friends, a man whose conclusions often distress me, on the outskirts of the group. He is a rather excitable but perfectly sincere journalist who, when he is telling a story, only gets confused in the matter of names and dates, or so his editor says.
He alone remained sombre and doubting as though he were carrying the burden of a bitter secret.
"How strange!" he murmured; "here is a justification of all our suspicions. He could turn from right to left and he turns from left to right, the direction of every treachery."
The people who stood about were astonished.
"Will you never be able to see and understand?" he went on in a sharper tone. "After giving you all the ideas you have, must I explain
- The reactionary parties sit on the right in the French Parliament.