Schoolmasters never gave time. This was, it is true, rather the tone of English society in his time, but Americans were largely responsible for changing it, and Mr.
Source: Jeremy W. The world was there, staring them in the face, with all its chaotic conditions, and society insisted on its Unity in self-defence. The Progressives also applied new ideas about the individual. The habit of doubt; of distrusting his own judgment and of totally rejecting the judgment of the world; the tendency to regard every question as open; the hesitation to act except as a choice of evils; the shirking of responsibility; the love of line, form, quality; the horror of ennui; the passion for companionship and the antipathy to society--all these are well-known qualities of New England character in no way peculiar to individuals but in this instance they seemed to be stimulated by the fever, and Henry Adams could never make up his mind whether, on the whole, the change of character was morbid or healthy, good or bad for his purpose.
From Saint Augustine downwards the Church was never so unscientific as to admit of liberty beyond the faculty of choosing between paths, some leading through the Church and some not, but all leading to the next world.
To religious mystics, whose scepticism concerned chiefly themselves and their own existence, Saint Thomas's Man seemed hardly worth herding, at so much expense and trouble, into a Church where he was not eager to go.
This was their education. Every jury and judge, every lawyer and doctor, every legislator and clergyman has his own views, and the law constantly varies.
In a series of brilliant though still ironic chaptersAdams summed up what he had learned from his lifelong search for understanding of the world in which he lived.
Man's free choice — liberum arbitrium — falls easily into place as a predetermined contingency. What no one knew was whether the individual who thought himself a representative of this type, was fit to deal with life.