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This last change, which took place very gradually, dates its commencement from my reading, or rather study, of M. de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America," which fell into my hands immediately after its first appearance. In that remarkable work, the excellences of democracy were pointed out in a more conclusive, because a more specific manner than I had ever known them to be, even by the most enthusiastic democrats ; while the specific dangers which beset democracy, considered as the government of the numerical majority, were brought into equally strong light, and subjected to a masterly analysis, not as reasons for resisting what the author considered as an inevitable result of human progress, but as indications of the weak points of popular government, the defences by which it needs to be guarded, and the correctives which must be added to it in order that while full play is given to its beneficial tendencies, those which are of a different nature may be neutralized or mitigated. I was now well prepared for speculations of this character, and from this time onward my own thoughts moved more and more in the same channel, though the consequent modifications in my practical political creed were spread over many years, as would be shown by comparing my first review of "Democracy in America," written and published in 1835, with the one in 1840 (reprinted in the "Dissertations"), and this last, with the "Considerations on Representative Government."
Bond went quickly over to the counter. "Goodbye, Tiffy. Hope I'll be coming by again one day. If anyone should ask after me, say I'm at the Thunderbird Hotel at Bloody Bay."
"Any news of the submarine, sir?" he asked.
Should he oblige the Bond man and be tidy? Join Mary in whatever place suicides go to? Or go through with it-the indignity, the dreary formalities, the headlines, the boredom and drabness of a life sentence that would inevitably end with his third coronary? Or should he defend himself-plead wartime, a struggle with Oberhauser, prisoner trying to escape, Oberhauser knowing of the gold cache, the natural temptation of Smythe to make away with the bullion, he, a poor officer of the commandos confronted with sudden wealth?
There was a ravine and an S turn over a bridge. They were coming out of the first curve over the bridge. Lights blazed at them from across the ravine. There was half a mile between the two cars, but the range across the ravine was perhaps only three hundred yards. Bond wasn't surprised to see the familiar blue flames flutter from the front of the car. Chips of granite from the overhang splattered down on the bonnet of the car. Then they were into the second half of the S bend and out of sight of their pursuers.
I told him no, and explained how it was that I had read it, and all those other books of which I have made mention.
"It sounds a good bet. I'll take the rest."