A GRIEVOUS MISTAKE. 1881-82. ÆT. 61.
WHEN something like half the period covered by the last chapter had elapsed, there occurred an incident which led to the greatest disaster of my life--a disaster that resulted from doing more than I ought to have done.
During many years the materials for the Principles of Sociology in course of accumulation, had from time to time shown me the relation which exists between a militancy and a social organization despotic in form and barbaric in ideas and sentiments while they had simultaneously shown me the relation which exists between industrialism and a freer form of government, accompanied by feelings and beliefs of just and humane kinds, conducive in a higher degree to happiness. Near the end of Chapter LII, a passage I have quoted from a letter shows that in 1879 I had spoken to friends concerning the possibility of doing something towards checking the aggressive tendencies displayed by us all over the world--sending, as pioneers, missionaries of "the religion of love," and then picking quarrels with native races and taking possession of their lands. Sympathetic though our conversations were, they ended without result. Sometime near midsummer 1981, however, Mr. Frederic Harrison reminded me of these conversations, and asked me