The Master Key (Paperback) ~ L. W. De Laurence (Author) Cover Art

The Master Key,. (Paperback)

By: L. W. De Laurence (Author)

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER V. LESSON FOUR. THE GREAT GOSPEL OF OPTIMISM. There may spring up an objection that we are deluding ourselves by regarding things in this fashion. We see an emaciated, stooping figure, painfully crawling along one of our busy streets breathing with difficulty, the limbs trembling as with ague, and almost giving way with each step; the eyes seek the ground, the figure shrinks as though striving to escape notice. Drink, want, disease and vice have each imprinted their marks upon the creature. When we think of man and the marvellous things he has done in art, invention, science, literature, philosophy, commerce, engineering, transforming wilderness and deserts into beautiful cities, with stately architecture, the forces of Nature ministering to his numerous wants quickly and quietly—when we regard such a creature and identify him with man, are we honest? The tottering, shrinking wretch is real, but it would be a libel on humanity to admit him into the same class. While it is true that man is higher than the beasts it is equally true that he has the power to sink below them. The ideal man is as real as the despicable wreck we have been dealing with, and it only remains for the student to ask himself: Is it more common sense to take this poor wretch as an exemplar or the highest man history places before us? Which will give rise to the loftiest conceptions of humanity? It is obvious that if the mind becomes that on which it dwells and the majority of the slum dwellers in any city prove it by their features, bearing and gait—then we should ignore the caricature as such. If surroundings do not count why seek to abolish ugliness? Why lay out parks, provide art galleries, luxurious buildings, if refinement is not an adjunct to existence and somewhat abovethat lived by the...

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