England's Ideal, and Other Papers on Social Subjects

By Edward Carpenter | Go to book overview

THE ENCHANTED THICKET.

"And the thorns sprang up and choked them."

IN gathering together the foregoing papers into one volume I would fain say a last word by way of appeal to you, the specially wealthy and respectable classes. The situation is so grave, the crisis hastens so, all over the civilised world. What are you going to do? What part are you going to play in the great drama on which the curtain is just rising?

As one walks through the vast polite wildernesses of the West End of London, and the endless suburban villa-regions of all our great towns -- in extent and wealth and standard of luxury visibly and rapidly increasing from year to year -- as one sips one's tea in the drawing-room, or listens to the after-dinner conversation over the wine and walnuts, there steals upon one I know not what sense of antediluvian slumber, of strange and may be fatal lethargy. All is so elegant, so easy, so finished -- one dreams on as in an enchanted palace, and the noise of the actual world dies out at last from one's ears. And yet, when a man comes to look into it, he sees that it is just here, in these enchanted palaces, that the danger and the disease of modern society lies. He cannot help feeling that these who live here are really, as William Morris calls them, the dangerous classes --

-166-

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England's Ideal, and Other Papers on Social Subjects
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Works by Mr. Edward Carpent *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • England's Ideal. 1
  • Modern Money-Lending, And The Meaning of Dividends. 23
  • Social Progress And Individual Effort. 55
  • Desirable Mansions. 75
  • Simplification of Life. 95
  • Does It Pay? 121
  • Trade. 128
  • Private Property. 139
  • The Enchanted Thicket. 166
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