How much less
amiable I must have been than they thought me, how much less
amiable than I thought myself, to be so preoccupied with my own cheerfulness and contentment as to think that it only rested with me to put my dear girl right and set her mind at peace!
At length, Madame Aloise, who was not the less jealous because she was so for her daughter, addressed the dancer,--"Approach, little one.
Little one, little one;" resumed la Christeuil, with an implacable smile, "if you were to put respectable sleeves upon your arms they would get less sunburned.
This is what makes it evident that a drowning man is less free and more subject to necessity than one standing on dry ground, and that makes the actions of a man closely connected with others in a thickly populated district, or of one bound by family, official, or business duties, seem certainly less free and more subject to necessity than those of a man living in solitude and seclusion.
The second consideration is the more or less evident time relation of the man to the world and the clearness of our perception of the place the man's action occupies in time.
And the farther we go back in examining events the less arbitrary do they appear.
The better we are acquainted with the physiological, psychological, and historical laws deduced by observation and by which man is controlled, and the more correctly we perceive the physiological, psychological, and historical causes of the action, and the simpler the action we are observing and the less complex the character and mind of the man in question, the more subject to inevitability and the less free do our actions and those of others appear.
But if even one of the innumerable causes of the act is known to us we recognize a certain element of necessity and are less insistent on punishment for the crime, or the acknowledgment of the merit of the virtuous act, or the freedom of the apparently original action.
The responsibility appears greater or less according to our greater or lesser knowledge of the circumstances in which the man was placed whose action is being judged, and according to the greater or lesser interval of time between the commission of the action and its investigation, and according to the greater or lesser understanding of the causes that led to the action.
Then you will understand how helpless you are to alter by ever so little the existing state of things, and it will trouble you less.
She was down again in less time than seemed possible.
Little as she had always looked, she looked less
than ever when he saw her going into the Marshalsea lodge passage, the little mother attended by her big child.