I had been long an ardent admirer of Comte's writings before I had any communication with himself; nor did I ever, to the last, see him in the body. But for some years we were frequent correspondents, until our correspondence became controversial, and our zeal cooled. I was the first to slacken correspondence; he was the first to drop it. I found, and he probably found likewise, that I could do no good to his mind, and that all the good he could do to mine, he did by his books. This would never have led to discontinuance of intercourse, if the differences between us had been on matters of simple doctrine. But they were chiefly on those points of opinion which blended in both of us with our strongest feelings, and determined the entire direction of our aspirations. I had fully agreed with him when he maintained that the mass of mankind, including even their rulers in all the practical departments of life, must, from the necessity of the case, accept most of their opinions on political and social matters, as they do on physical, from the authority of those who have bestowed more study on those subjects than they generally have it in their power to do. This lesson had been strongly impressed on me by the early work of Comte, to which I have adverted. And there was nothing in his great Treatise which I admired more than his remarkable exposition of the benefits which the nations of modern Europe have historically derived from the separation, during the middle ages, of temporal and spiritual power, and the distinct organization of the latter. I agreed with him that the moral and intellectual ascendancy, once exercised by priests, must in time pass into the hands of philosophers, and will naturally do so when they become sufficiently unanimous, and in other respects worthy to possess it. But when he exaggerated this line of thought into a practical system, in which philosophers were to be organized into a kind of corporate hierarchy, invested with almost the same spiritual supremacy (though without any secular power) once possessed by the Catholic church; when I found him relying on this spiritual authority as the only security for good government, the sole bulwark against practical oppression, and expecting that by it a system of despotism in the state and despotism in the family would be rendered innocuous and beneficial; it is not surprising, that while as logicians we were nearly at one, as sociologists we could travel together no further. M. Comte lived to carry out these doctrines to their extremest consequences, by planning, in his last work, the "Système de Politique Positive," the completest system of spiritual and temporal despotism which ever yet emanated from a human brain, unless possibly that of Ignatius Loyola: a system by which the yoke of general opinion, wielded by an organized body of spiritual teachers and rulers, would be made supreme over every action, and as far as is in human possibility, every thought, of every member of the community, as well in the things which regard only himself, as in those which concern the interests of others. It is but just to say that this work is a considerable improvement, in many points of feeling, over Comte's previous writings on the same subjects: but as an accession to social philosophy, the only value it seems to me to possess, consists in putting an end to the notion that no effectual moral authority can be maintained over society without the aid of religious belief; for Comte's work recognises no religion except that of Humanity, yet it leaves an irresistible conviction that any moral beliefs concurred in by the community generally may be brought to bear upon the whole conduct and lives of its individual members, with an energy and potency truly alarming to think of. The book stands a monumental warning to thinkers on society and politics, of what happens when once men lose sight in their speculations, of the value of Liberty and of Individuality.‘Express my tender sympathy to your dear husband. God support you all.—Your loving
'As I saw from the man who fell into the moat. Then what do I do?'
Understanding, she smiled to herself and followed.
To this day he didn't know how he had made it to the jeep. Again and again the knots gave under the strain and the bars crashed down on the calves of his legs, and each time he had sat with his head in his hands and then started all over again. But finally, by concentrating on counting his steps and stopping for a rest at every hundredth, he got to the blessed little jeep and collapsed beside it. And then there had been the business of burying his hoard in the wood, amongst a jumble of big rocks that he would be sure to find again, of cleaning himself up as best he could, and of getting back to his billet by a circuitous route that avoided the Oberhauser chalet. And then it was all done, and he had got drunk by himself off a bottle of cheap schnapps and eaten and gone to bed and fallen into a stupefied sleep. The next day, MOB "A" Force had moved off up the Mittersill valley on a fresh trail, and six months later Major Smythe was back in London and his war was over.

However much astonished I might be, I was sensible that I had no right to refuse compliance with such a peremptory command. I hurried away a few paces, and called a hackney-chariot which was passing empty. Almost before I could let down the steps, my aunt sprang in, I don't know how, and the man followed. She waved her hand to me to go away, so earnestly, that, all confounded as I was, I turned from them at once. In doing so, I heard her say to the coachman, 'Drive anywhere! Drive straight on!' and presently the chariot passed me, going up the hill.
I thought he had too. I said, "Why didn't you just shoot them down? They were sitting ducks with those sets in their hands."
'Yes. Well, thanks, Marc-Ange. And the news from England is also good. See you tomorrow.'
For the hundredth time, since he had left his office that morning, he assured himself that his decision was right. If James Bond could be straightened out-and M. was certain that that supreme neurologist, Sir James Molony, could bring it off-it would be ridiculous to re-assign him to normal staff duties in the Double-O Section. The past could be forgiven, but not forgotten-except with the passage of time. It would be most irksome for those in the know to have Bond moving about Headquarters as if nothing had happened. It would be doubly embarrassing for M. to have to face Bond across that desk. And James Bond, if aimed straight at a known target-M. put it in the language of battleships-was a supremely effective firing-piece. Well, the target was there and it desperately demanded destruction. Bond had accused M. of using him as a tool. Naturally. Every officer in, the Service was a tool for one secret purpose or another. The problem on hand could only be solved by a killing. James Bond would not possess the Double-O prefix if he had not high talents, frequently proved, as a gunman. So be it! In exchange for the happenings of that morning, in expiation of them, Bond must prove himself at his old skills. If he succeeded, he would have regained his prevous status. If he failed, well, it would be a death for which he would be honoured. Win or lose, the plan would solve a vast array of problems. M. closed his mind once and for all on his decision. He got out of the car and went up in the lift to the eighth floor and along the corridor, smelling the smell of some unknown disinfectant more and more powerfully as he approached his office.
'Clara!' said Miss Murdstone, in her warning voice.
' Oh, if that's all, Master Copperfield,' said Uriah, 'and it really isn't our umbleness that prevents you, will you come this evening? But if it is our umbleness, I hope you won't mind owning to it, Master Copperfield; for we are well aware of our condition.'
Marc-Ange sat back with a sigh of satisfaction. 'It goes well,' he said. 'The whole team will receive good danger money. And they love a good rough fight. And they are pleased that I am coming to lead them.' He laughed slyly. 'They are less certain of you, my dear James. They say you will get in the way. I had to tell them that you could out-shoot and outfight the lot of them. When I say something like that, they have to believe me. I have never let them down yet. I hope I am right?'
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