le, cheerful, and ready to believe the world a very good place, as indeed it is for people who are not too unlike their neighbours to enjoy it, or too unlucky to get some of its good things, or too weak to work, fight, and love, or too clever to be as satisfied with themselves as most men are. For plain, common, everyday happiness and contentment belong to plain, average people, who do what others do and have a cheerfully good opinion of themselves. Can a man make a good fight of it if he does not believe himself to be about as good as his adversary?
It had never occurred to Marcello that he might have to fight for anything, and if some one had told him on that spring morning that he was on the very verge of a desperate struggle for existence against overwhelming odds, he would have turned his bright eyes wonderingly to the prophet of evil, asking whence danger could come, and trying to think what it might be like.
At the first appearance of it he would have been startled into fear, too, as many
This is lesser Crawford. It is not a great work of literature. Towards the end of his career in fiction, his spirit flagged, perhaps drained by the historical research he did for his Italian histories.
But there was something I noticed about "Whosever Shall Offend" from its first page: it is as well written, in terms of prose style, as anything he wrote.
Yes, it is heavy on plot. Alas, it is not deep in character. There is incident. And there may be sentimentality.
But it is expertly done, and well told, and I won't say anything against it, other than to say that it is not great.
Accept as prose, which strikes me as no small amount of praise after all.