Page:A Few Hours in a Far Off Age.djvu/12

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"I hope," interrupted Frederick, with tones of increasing interest, "you will tell us more of those brave women and wicked men."

To which she answers, with great nobility of expression in both face and voice:

"You must learn to think of those vain creatures as not wicked."

With a roguish smile, he replies:

"Well then, stupid men! Do let me call them something they merit for their ill-treatment of women."

"Nay, my son, not even stupid, except by unfair comparison with the more evolved minds of our age; many were highly intellectual."

"But," says he, with the air of gaining victory, "they evinced no logic, either in ethics or in natural philosophy—that is, judged by what I have learnt as yet. Ethics, indeed! why our Leoni shows more logic in his ethics! and he would neither crush nor maim us, although he has such great muscular power."

"Bravely argued, dear! But, like most young reasoners, more from sympathy than reason. In the first place, tigers are now more gentle than were men in the age under notice. Our pet would crush no persons, whether he loved them or not. In this he but acts according to his extent of benevolence, as did those apparently cruel men, who were only commencing to emerge from the anti-lucan age. Though intellect was coming to most of them, they were very deficient in the higher qualities of benevolence and conscientiousness. Thus they were neither wicked nor stupid, simply and sadly for all under their rule, very very ignorant—so ignorant that they knew not the wrong they were committing—consequently great truths were obscured from their