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7. Companionship H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

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Table Of Contents: The Secret Places of the Heart

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"Why not? Nobody is doing anything with the world except muddle about. Why not give it a direction? "

"You'd take it in your hands like clay?"

"Obdurate clay with a sort of recalcitrant, unintelligent life of its own."

Her imagination glowed in her eyes and warmed her voice. "I believe what you say is possible. If people dare."

"I am tired of following little motives that are like flames that go out when you get to them. I am tired of seeing all the world doing the same. I am tired of a world in which there is nothing great but great disasters. Here is something mankind can attempt, that we can attempt."

"And will? "

"I believe that as Mankind grows up this is the business Man has to settle down to and will settle down to."

She considered that.

"I've been getting to believe something like this. But-- . . . it frightens me. I suppose most of us have this same sort of dread of taking too much upon ourselves."

"So we just live like pigs. Sensible little piggywiggys. I've got a Committee full of that sort of thing. We live like little modest pigs. And let the world go hang. And pride ourselves upon our freedom from the sin of presumption.

"Not quite that!"

"Well! How do you put it?"

"We are afraid," she said. "It's too vast. We want bright little lives of our own. "

"Exactly--sensible little piggy-wiggys."

"We have a right to life--and happiness.

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"First," said Sir Richmond, "as much right as a pig has to food. But whether we get life and happiness or fail to get them we human beings who have imaginations want something more nowadays. . . . Of course we want bright lives, of course we want happiness. Just as we want food, just as we want sleep. But when we have eaten, when we have slept, when we have jolly things about us--it is nothing. We have been made an exception of--and got our rations. The big thing confronts us still. It is vast, I agree, but vast as it is it is the thing we have to think about. I do not know why it should be so, but I am compelled by something in my nature to want to serve this idea of a new age for mankind. I want it as my culminating want. I want a world in order, a disciplined mankind going on to greater things. Don't you?"

"Now you tell me of it," she said with a smile, "I do."

"But before--?"

"No. You've made it clear. It wasn't clear before."

"I've been talking of this sort of thing with my friend Dr. Martineau. And I've been thinking as well as talking. That perhaps is why I'm so clear and positive."

"I don't complain that you are clear and positive. I've been coming along the same way. . . . It's refreshing to meet you."

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The Secret Places of the Heart
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

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