"Everyting okay." Quarrel repeated, his voice careful. "See yo as yo done said, cap'n."
‘“O change, O wondrous change!
'Yes, I likes it,' she replied. 'Good,' said the milkman. 'Then you won't have none tomorrow. D'ye hear? Not a fragment of milk you won't have tomorrow.'
Although I was deeply interested in this dialogue, I could not help observing my aunt, Mr. Dick, and Janet, while it was in progress, and completing a survey I had already been engaged in making of the room.
The period of human history that I have been describing may seem to have been one in which the will for darkness triumphed, but in fact it was not. It was merely as I have said, a phase in the long age of balance between the light and the dark. Neither of the two empires that now competed for mastery over the planet was wholly reactionary. In each great group of peoples a large part of the population, perhaps the majority, still believed in friendliness and reasonableness, and tried to practice them. When the sacrifice was not too great, they even succeeded. In personal contacts the form and often the spirit of Christian behaviour or of the ancient Chinese morality were still evident. Even in indirect social relations liberal impulses sometimes triumphed. Moreover in, both empires an active minority worked vigorously for the light, urging humane conduct and propagating the idea of a just social order in which all might find fulfilment. In fact on both sides the more intelligent of the adherents of the light confidently looked forward to a great and glorious change, if not in the near future, at least in the lifetime of their children. Even the rulers themselves, the military-political groups which controlled the two empires, believed sincerely not indeed in radical change, but in their mission to rule the world and lead it to a vaguely conceived Utopia of discipline and martial virtue. In neither empire was there at this time the ruthless lust for power and delight in cruelty which had for a while dominated Germany. Between the rulers of the two empires there was an ambiguous relationship. Though each desired to conquer the other by diplomacy or war, and though to each the social ideas and the forms of social behaviour propagated by the other were repugnant, yet, both agreed in regarding something else as more repugnant, namely the overthrow of their own state by their own progressive minority. Consequently their policy was guided not only by fluctuations in their power in relation to the enemy but also by the strength or weakness of their own progressives. Sincerely, and sometimes even with sincere reluctance, they used the plea of external danger to enforce stricter discipline at home. Yet at times when social upheaval seemed imminent they would not scruple to ask the external enemy to ease his pressure for a while. And invariably the request was granted; for neither of the ruling groups wished to see its opponents overthrown in revolution.
"So they tell me," said Drax evenly. "What of it?"
'Yes, yes, it is,' cried Mrs. Gummidge. 'I know what I am. I know that I am a lone lorn creetur', and not only that everythink goes contrary with me, but that I go contrary with everybody. Yes, yes. I feel more than other people do, and I show it more. It's my misfortun'.'