Portraits and Backgrounds

Portraits and Backgrounds

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Portraits and Backgrounds

Portraits and Backgrounds

Read FREE!

Excerpt

"IN the tenth century," said Stendhal, "every man wished for two things: first, not to be killed; next, to have a good leathern coat." Such limitation of desires implies hard conditions and a stunted development of the human plant. Difficult as it is to assign degrees to misery, in this aptly named "iron" age, when the first millennial period of Christianity was drawing to a close, mankind appeared to have attained the confines of its capacity for suffering, and to have entered the lowest infernal circle.

In the cell of the recluse, in the prayer of the ascetic, it was even whispered that the year ten hundred would see the annihilation of the globe. Limited as this belief was, and as powerless to influence action as it had been in the past, material causes for a failure of hope were many. The promise of the Church seemed falsified since its triumph; a decade of Christian centuries had almost passed away, and where in this blackest of the dark ages were the fruits of Christ's teaching to be found; the peace on earth, the purity of heart, the charity which is the greatest of all virtues?

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