BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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THE SUSSEX MUSE.                          247
advocates no mere mechanical fashion of reform. Neither wise laws nor benificent environment will suffice without the quick response of the intellect and the heart of mankind. When the British code of law was written in blood Shelley protested against capital punishment. When political power was in the hands of the few Shelley advocated the claims of the disfranchised many ; when the coarse tyranny of the privileged classes found a brutal expression in the Manchester massacre, he wrote that slavery
is to feel revenge, Fiercely thirsting to exchange Blood for blood, and wrong for wrong : Do not thus when you are strong.
The warfare of freedom is not to be like the warfare of tyranny. The freeman is cast in more heroic mould. Shelley, even when most indignant with wrongdoing, recognises that its evil effect is as great upon the tyrant as upon his victim, and for both he has the tenderest sympathy. Love is with him "the sole law which should govern the moral world." Nor did he denounce the vulgar ruffian and let the wealthy black­guard go without reproof. It needed courage and strength to draw this terrific picture of
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