heartily reconciled to doing nothing. But with Theodore on one side--standing there like a tall interrogation-point--I honestly believe I can defy Mr. Sloane on the other. The former asked me this morning, with visible solicitude, in allusion to the bit of dialogue I have quoted above on matters of faith, whether I am really a materialist--whether I don't believe something? I told him I would believe anything he liked. He looked at me a while, in friendly sadness. "I hardly know whether you are not worse than Mr. Sloane," he said.
But Theodore is, after all, in duty bound to give a man a long rope in these matters. His own rope is one of the longest. He reads Voltaire with Mr. Sloane, and Emerson in his own room. He is the stronger man of the two; he has the larger stomach. Mr. Sloane delights, of course, in Voltaire, but he can't read a line of Emerson. Theodore delights in Emerson, and enjoys Voltaire, though he thinks him superficial. It appears that since we parted in Paris, five years ago, his consci