The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69
Violate Every Principle of Justice
Violate Every Principle of Justice,
and perpetuate a succession of social slaveries to the end of time." Ladies and gentlemen, which track is our course of social life travelling upon? Few persons will, I apprehend, take objection to the abstract lines I have so far laid down. The self-conscious dishonesty of those who possess ill-gotten booty always apologises for itself that it has by its own acts prevented greater wrong being done, and we teach ourselves to look upon the mass of moral and physical human degradation induced by the glare of what we call civilisation as a better position of affairs than that which preceded it. If this progression exists there maybe some hope. Probably, few doubt that the present condition of France is better than that which obtained under the ancien regime. Then let us not talk about finality. Again I refer to the history of the past, to show how ready human nature is to take the shadow for the reality. A block of wood has been prayed to as if it were the divinity it is supposed to represent. A king is treated as reverentially as if he were the "all sorts and conditions of men," whose interests he is pledged to conserve, till at length, not being unconscious like the idol, he forgets that the homage addressed to himself is only respect paid through him to the millions over whom he reigns; nor are democratic rulers free from the danger of a similar misconception.