The British, on the other hand, subject their normal human impulse to be greedy, and their educated craving to be gentlemanly white man's burden-bearers, to a process of compromise.
The craving of the public mind after novelty and effect is a false and uneasy appetite that must be pampered with fine words at every step--we must be tickled with sound, startled with shew, and relieved by the importunate, uninterrupted display of fancy and verbal tinsel as much as possible from the fatigue of thought or shock of feeling.
The seeming spiritual significance of such forlorn wastes of no-man's land had, I know, a specially strong appeal for Narcissus, and, in some moods, the challenge which they seem to call from some 'dark tower' of spiritual adventure would have led him wandering there till star-light; but a day of rambling alone, in a strange country, among unknown faces, brings a social hunger by evening, and a craving for some one to speak to and a voice in return becomes almost a fear.
On the eleventh day of this one's determination to sustain himself by the exercise of his literary style, he was journeying about sunset towards one of these spots, subduing the grosser instincts of mankind by reviewing the wisdom of the sublime Lao Ch'un, who decided that heat and cold, pain and fatigue, and mental distress, have no real existence, and are therefore amenable to logical disproof, while the cravings of hunger and thirst are merely the superfluous attributes of a former and lower state of existence, when a passer-by, who for some distance had been alternately advancing before and remaining behind, matched his footsteps into mine.
The craving for wealth was in their hearts, rendering them blind to everything else.
And this seems true, also, of some of our fundamental spiritual instincts; for example, that craving of the mind for an unified experience, which is at the root of all mental activity, and whose object is ever approached yet never attained; or, again, there is the social and political instinct, which has not yet formed a distinct and satisfying conception of what it would be at.