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I say, `The testimony
leaves questions hanging -- ' and he,
`Hanging over the usual
confl icts of too-familiar
attitudes.' `No doubt,' I say,
`It seems I have heard it all
before, and in my own day.
It seems we make no progress
in opinion on all this.'
-- `Doubtless there's but slow progress
(if it's not just the changes
that happen, but slow progress)
in the situation; then
opinion's even slower;
it likes impassioned stalemates.
There are people whose lives are
opinion.' -- `The opinions
I hate habitually
are no more wearisome than
my own counter-opinions,'
I say. And he: `This is not
the world of ideas, nor
of action. Hence the tedium.
In the world of opinion
where the public life goes on
and all's partial and shifting,
events and ideas lose
their clearness and their quickness,
nothing happens cleanly, and
that is just as well, doubtless,
considering all interests --
and yet, and yet. I picture
the movement of a dull mass
of near-deadlocked opinions
like a mud-slide on a town,
a population dying