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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER
Godwin, in any case, might well pass for a great philosopher. He dealt in what is called 'inexorable logic.' That is to say, that whenever he ran his head against a lamp-post, he calmly asserted that it did not exist. If the proper way of making a science of politics be to ignore all appeals to experience, his method was irreproachable. That happened to be precisely the opinion of a good many people at the time, and Godwin's Utopia, though liable to collapse at the first touch of common-sense, appeared to enthusiasts to be solid because self-consistent. Moreover, if we consider the merits of the exposition, apart from the validity of the theory expounded, it showed remarkable literary power. The style is simple and solid; the argument is well arranged; and, in short, the logical architecture leaves nothing to be desired if we will allow the architect to use for his material what is really mere moonshine. Nor can it be denied that he is appealing to the sense of justice and humanity of his readers; and that, if he is not impassioned,
order. That did not much matter till his readers became capable of drawing inferences, or till his doctrines were translated into terms immediately applicable to George III. and rotten boroughs.