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directions, that he is all the time laughing at his own folly! Aunt Nesbit, in Dred, considered Gibbon a very pious writer. "I am sure,” says she “he makes the most religious reflections all along. I liked him particularly on that account." This poor lady had some excuse. A vein of irony like Gibbon's is not struck upon every day; but readers of newspapers, when they laugh, ought to be able to perceive what it is they are laughing at. Logic is the prime necessity of the hour. Decomposition and transformation is going on all around us, but far too slowly. Some opinions, bold and erect as they may still stand, are in reality but empty shells. One shove would be fatal. Why is it not given?
The world is full of doleful creatures, who move about demanding our sympathy. I have nothing to offer them but doses of logic, and stern commands to move on or fall back. Catholics in distress about Infallibility; Protestants devoting themselves to the dismal task of paring down the dimensions of this miracle, and reducing the credibility of that one-as if any appreciable relief from the burden of faith could be so obtained; sentimental sceptics, who, after labouring to demolish what they call the chimera of superstition, fall to weeping as they remember they have now no lies to teach their children; democrats who are frightened at the rough voice of the people, and aristocrats flirting with democracy. Logic, if it cannot cure, might at least silence these gentry.
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