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96
THE HALLIG.

must be opened which admits all without requiring
passport or other qualifications, and which affords
abundant room for the exercise of thought, and en-
larges the sensibilities by a contemplation of the weal
and woe of multitudes. For this reason I do not en-
tirely discard as mere loss of time these political dis-
cussions which have become so universal, and into
which we fall so unintentionally ; although politics, as
now taught and practiced by one state toward another,
seems to me only a monstrous deformity."
  "How," exclaimed Mander full of astonishment,
"must you not respect the statesman who weighs in
his mind the destinies of nations and countries, knows
how to combine the past, the present, and the future,
and often achieves more with a single stroke of his pen
than the most victorious armies, who guides the ship
of state through the rocks in the darkest storm, and by
a thousand windings brings her safe to port ?"
  "For aught I know," said Hold, "his wisdom may
be very admirable, but when I see that it is just his in-
trigues which have called forth the storm and conjured
up the rocks ; when I see him digging an abyss at his
own feet, while he self-complacently boasts of his deep
insight into the future ; when I see him playing with
truth and faith, with the sacredness of treaties, with
the laws of eternal right, as with empty shells, which
he throws away when the nutritious kernel has been
taken out, and perhaps picks up again to press out the
last remaining drop of oil ; when he bows one knee,
and prays with open mouth to God and all the saints
for the maintenance of his own righteous cause and the
punishment of treachery, while at the same time he