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My grandmother never allowed herself to sit in an armchair until the evening.Alcohol and tobacco were viewed with disfavor although stern conven- tion compelled them to serve a little wine to guests.I was taught a kind of theoretic republicanism which was pre- pared to tolerate a monarch so long as he recognized that he was an employee of the people and subject to dismissal if he proved unsatisfactory.
The Fren9h in their Revolution had com- mitted excesses which one must deplore, while urging, at the same time, that reactionaries had grossly exaggerated them and that they would not have occurred at all but for the foolish hostility of the rest of Europe to progressive opinions in France.
It might perhaps be admitted also that Cromwell had gone too far in cutting off the king's head but, broadly speak- ing, anything done against kings was to be applauded un- less, indeed, it were done by priests, like Becket, in which case one sided with the king.f The atmosphere in the house was one of puritan piety and austerity.
There were family prayers at eight o'clock every morning.
Although there were eight servants, food was always of Spartan simplicity, and even what there was, if it was at all nice, was considered too good for children.
She did, how- ever, give him the house in Richmond Park in which I spent all rny youth.
Wjmbibed certain political principles and ex- pectations, andp^vfe^on the whole retained the former in spite of being compelled to reject the latter.
I came also to disagree with the theological opinions of my family, and as I grew up I be- came increasingly interested in philosophy, of which they profoundly disapproved. Never mind." After some fifty or sixty repetitions, this remark ceased to amuse me.
Every time the subject came up they repeated with unfailing- regularity, "What is mind? When at the age of eighteen I went up to Cambridge, I found myself suddenly and almost bewilderingly among peo- ple who spoke the sort of language that was natural to me.
She said to him, "Perhaps some day you will have a parliament in Rus- sia," and he replied, "God forbid, my dear Lady John." The Russian Ambassador of today might give the same answer if he changed the first word.|The hopes of that period seem now a little absurd.
There was to be democracy, but it was as- sumed that the people would always be ready to follow the advice of wise and experienced aristocrats.