strangely enough, Williams's veneration for his oppressor has never declined. He declares that he is 'an atrocious and execrable wretch for ever inflicting upon Falkland an agony a thousand times worse than death.'
The book closes with this cheerful reflection, and suggests the question, what has become of the moral? How about the wickedness of government? The answer must be that it has passed out of sight. Something, indeed, is made of the social abuses of the time: there is a prison of the old pattern, and an innocent man who dies in it because he is too poor to pay for legal assistance; and an impossible band of robbers—imported apparently from the region described by Schiller—whose captain argues philosophically as to the rights of property with Williams. But such matters only supply accessories. Falkland, the centre of interest, is not the typical oppressor of the poor; and, whenever he is not murdering or concealing a murder, uses his influence for the best possible purposes. His mind has been poisoned, we are told, by the 'idle and groundless romances of chivalry.' He suffers from Don Quixote's complaint, but has managed to mislearn his lesson. The Don would certainly have felt