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Title: Flames Author: Robert Smythe Hichens Release Date: December 4, 2004 [EBook #14253] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK FLAMES *** Produced by Suzanne Shell, Beginners Projects, Mary Meehan and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team FLAMES BY ROBERT HICHENS AUTHOR OF THE GARDEN OF ALLAH, ETC. COPYRIGHT, 1897, BY HERBERT S.
STONE & CO. This edition published July, 1906, by Duffield & Company BOOK I--VALENTINE CHAPTER I THE SAINT OF VICTORIA STREET Refinement had more power over the soul of Valentine Cresswell than religion.
It governed him with a curious ease of supremacy, and held him back without effort from most of the young man’s sins.
Each age has its special sins.
Each age passes them, like troops in review, before it decides what regiment it will join.
Valentine had never decided to join any regiment.
The trumpets of vice rang in his ears in vain, mingled with the more classical music of his life as the retreat from the barracks of Seville mingled with the click of Carmen’s castanets.
But he Mon Apr 03 02:05:34 2017 2 heeded them not.
If he listened to them sometimes, it was only to wonder at the harsh and blatant nature of their voices, only to pity the poor creatures who hastened to the prison, which youth thinks freedom and old age protection, at their shrieking summons.
He preferred to be master of his soul, and had no desire to set it drilling at the command of painted women, or to drown it in wine, or to suffocate it in the smoke at which the voluptuary tries to warm his hands, mistaking it for fire. Intellectuality is to some men what religion...

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