ised to his active imagination and what it gave. But notwithstanding he was able to look at himself from the outside and smile with amusement.

"By Jove, if I weren't flippant, I should hang myself," he thought cheerfully.

His mind went back to the answer he had given his uncle when he asked him what he had learnt in Paris. He had learnt a good deal more than he told him. A conversation with Cronshaw had stuck in his memory, and one phrase he had used, a commonplace one enough, had set his brain working.

"My dear fellow," Cronshaw said, "there's no such thing as abstract morality."

When Philip ceased to believe in Christianity he felt that a great weight was taken from his shoulders; casting off the responsibility which weighed down every action, when every action was infinitely important for-the welfare of his immortal soul, he experienced a vivid sense of liberty. But he knew now that this was an illusion. When he put away the religion in which he had been brought up, he had kept unimpaired the morality which was part and parcel of it. He made up his mind therefore to think things out for himself. He determined to be swayed by no prejudices. He swept away the virtues and the vices, the established laws of good and evil, with the idea of finding out the rules of life for himself. He did not know whether rules were necessary at all. That was one of the things he wanted to discover. Clearly much that seemed valid seemed so only because he had been taught it from his earliest youth. He had read a number of books, but they did not help him much, for they were based on the morality of Christianity; and even the writers who emphasised the fact that they did not believe in it were never satisfied till they had framed a system of ethics in accordance with that of the Sermon on the Mount. It seemed hardly worth while to read a long volume in order to learn that you ought to behave exactly like everybody else. Philip wanted to find out how he ought to behave, and he thought he could prevent himself from being influenced by the opinions that surrounded him. But meanwhile he had to go on

-316-

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Of Human Bondage
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • I 1
  • II 3
  • III 6
  • IV 11
  • V 15
  • VI 19
  • VII 25
  • VIII 28
  • IX 33
  • X 39
  • XI 43
  • XII 49
  • XIII 53
  • XIV 56
  • XV 62
  • XVI 69
  • XVII 76
  • XVIII 82
  • XIX 86
  • XX 91
  • XXI 96
  • XXII 107
  • XXIII 111
  • XXIV 117
  • XXV 119
  • XXVI 122
  • XXVII 130
  • XXVIII 136
  • XXIX 143
  • XXX 146
  • XXXI 153
  • XXXII 156
  • XXXIII 165
  • XXXIV 175
  • XXXV 181
  • XXXVI 190
  • XXXVII 195
  • XXXVIII 201
  • XXXIX 208
  • XL 213
  • XLI 221
  • XLII 230
  • XLIII 236
  • XLIV 244
  • XLV 252
  • XLVI 261
  • XLVII 267
  • XLVIII 277
  • XLIX 286
  • L 294
  • LI 302
  • LII 307
  • LIII 315
  • LIV 321
  • LV 327
  • LVI 334
  • LVII 339
  • LVIII 345
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  • LXV 387
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  • Cxv 716
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  • Cxx 750
  • Cxxi 756
  • Cxxii 763
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