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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER
endless perplexity. What, after all, was the meaning of right and wrong, and obligation? (p. 307). What was the lordly 'attribute' of freewill but a mockery, if we have neither any real knowledge of what will do good, nor of why we should do it? He could, he says, 'unsoul by syllogistic words' the 'mysteries of being' which make 'of the whole human race one brotherhood.' It was in the name of the brotherhood that the revolutionary teachers appealed to him; and yet Godwin, as a prophet, ended by dissolving all society into a set of unconnected atoms. M. Legouis remarks that Wordsworth 'purged himself of his pessimism' after the fashion of Goethe, by putting it into a book. This, however, must not be taken to imply that Wordsworth ever shared the atrocious sentiments of his imaginary villain. The Borderers naturally recalls Schiller's Robbers, which had just been translated, and was not without influence upon Wordsworth. Wordsworth's villain and hero are contrasted much as Schiller's two Moors. But it could never have been expected that any young Englishman would, like the alleged German baron, have taken to the highway to realise Wordsworth's imaginary personages. The Borderers is not only