A FRIEND of mine, pulling out a book on the Spanish Inquisition from my shelves, remarked casually that, after all, our own age was by far the bloodiest in history. Why bother about the Holy Office? The wars of religion and the Inquisition made only local blots if compared with the general soaking of the earth by modern statesmen, not for God's sake, but in the holy name of Security, Honour, or some other conception. He continued to run a close eye over my books, and at length included the lot, it would be more accurate to say he dismissed the lot, with a wave of his spectacles, which he had unhooked from his face. He chuckled, as sometimes an old man cruelly does when sending to limbo what younger people still desire to cherish.
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