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April 14, 1964 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1964-04-14

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Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in at; reprints.

Readers Comment on Abortion, Reviews

UESDAY. APRIL 14. 1964


The Civil Rights Movement
And the Southern Stand

TE SOUTH is fighting a losing cause.
That much at least is evident. But the
cause is not necessarily as perverted as
the massed propaganda sources of the
country would have us believe. It might
even, in fact, be legitimate.
The whole history of the United States
is based upon the philosophy of change,
the idea that if we change what we have
we might arrive at something better. It
all started with the eighteenth century
philosophers - Voltaire was one - who
spelled out the idea of rational progress.
This idea has supplied the very founda-
tion of our nation.
AND IT HAS PROVED a very resilient
foundation indeed. In a constantly
changing world of hairsbreadth escapes
from oblivion and ever-developing pat-
terns of social, political, philosophical and
economic ideas, the ability of a nation to
accept and adapt itself to these changes
is crucial. It is the main determinant of
how long a country is to survive, at least
in our Western civilization.
But the trouble is that no one has
ever proved that the eighteenth century
philosophers were right. We still aren't
sure that there really is such a thing
as progress or that the constant change
which masquerades under this name prog-
ress is really "good."
EMERSON made a valid point when he
said that "society never advances."
Progress in one area can easily be coun-
terbalanced by reversals in another. Much
of the South, the areas putting up the
greatest fight against civil rights, is closed
and static as a society. The system has
been refined and made to work. The peo-
ple within it see no reason why they
should have to change it to suit a social
philosophy developed elsewhere in the
Who can say that the goals of the Ne-
gro revolution are good per se? Who can
say for sure that when some Negroes find
they are no more liked by unprejudiced
white neighbors than by prejudiced ones,
they will be any happier than they are
now? Who can say that they will find a
hotly competitively world any easier to
take than a prejudiced one? There are,
after all, a great many unhappy white
clysmic expression of the Southerner's,
faith in himself and his society - the
South was brutally handled and then de-
serted by the North in a manner hardly
calculated to bring on desirable results.

The Southerner was left with a ruined
society which he had to rebuild and very
little to rebuild with. He quickly reverted
to a. tenacious .vision of the pre-Civil War
concepts of peach trees and Southern
hospitality, and it is there that much of
the South has remained to this day.
Florida, North Carolina in parts, At-
lanta, Tennessee and Kentucky to some
extent, and Texas are some of the excep-
tions. For the rest, white supremacy is
the law of the land, one of the major
building blocks for people that have very
little to biuld upon. Make no mistake
about it, most of the South is dismally
poor. There is everywhere the upper-
crust elite preserving the old white col-
umns and mint julips for the rest to pay
homage to, but for the rest there is prac-
tically nothing. The Negro has, perhaps,
his rights to gain, but there is next to
nothing that these rights can provide him
Enter now the North or, at the least,
Northern ideas. Concepts of ambition,
change and new political and social proc-
esses and ideas begin to intrude, threaten-
ing the society the Southerner has built
up and lived with for a hundred years. He
is told to build new schools, factories and
homes so he can compete in the feverish
world of the market economy. He is told
to change his political processes because
they are hopelessly outmoded. And most
importantly, he is told to change his re-
lations with the Negro because, for some
reason, his current system is somehow
IT IS HARDLY STRANGE, then, that he
reacts and fights back. What gallan-
try there may once have been in his de-
fense has long since been eclipsed by the
bitterness and nastiness engendered by
the struggle. Nevertheless he is fighting a
very real struggle for nothing less than
the preservation of his own society. He is
fighting it over a concept that the rest
of the country happens to have currently
espoused and wishes to force upon him.
In many parts of the South it will be
a struggle to the end. It will not be over
until the last Southerner of the old
South is made by federal marshals and
the National Guard to give up the last
tattered remnants of the flag of the old
Confederacy and surrender them to the
consecration of a dead history.
THE PRICE of trying to maintain the
status quo will prove very costly. In
the face of the Negro revolution, the old
South will not, in fact, survive.

To the Editor:
THE ARGUMENTS against le-
galized abortion presented by
both Mr. Williams and Mr. Gordon
seem to espouse as a moral ideal
the concept that one who enjoys
sex must pay the consequence in
children. This concept ignores any
issues of good or harm for the
child, the parent or society.
The argument that abortion
should be labeled murder is a
shallow one and only clouds the
real issues. The line of reason
which says that preventing the
development of an embryo is mur-
der would logically extend to say
that preventing the sperm and the
ovum from uniting is murder, and
this reasoning will lead to the con-
clusion that it is murder for un-
married people to not be promis-
cuous. Furthermore, our society
has never treated a miscarriage,
induced or otherwise, as a death.
The laws do not treat abortion as
murder. We don't have funerals
for miscarriage, and we start
counting the age of a human being
from the day of his birth and not
from nine months before.
* .* *
would be best treated by some sort
IT WAS also suggested that the
problem involved in abortion
of moral reform rather than a
legalization of abortion. The im-
plication was that if promiscuity
was eliminated there would be no
need for abortions. But this argu-
ment ignores the case of the
mother of seven children who can-
not afford to feed another, and
the case of the 12-year-old girl
who has been raped. It also ig-
nores the statistics that indicate
that as many, if not more, abor-
tions are done on married women.
To suggest that some sort of moral
reform will eliminate the need for
abortions shows a failure to view
the situation honestly or prac-
If it is morally wrong to not
punish a women for enjoying sex,
it would seem far more wrong to
force her to bring into this over-
populated world a child that she
and no one else wants. It is sug-
gested that we should learn to
adjust to the illegitimate child, but
the fact is that the child is not
wanted and will feel the resent-
ment from the parents and the
rest of society. Forcing the mother
to have the unwanted child often
results in serious emotional harm
to the parents and the child; it
also harms the society that must
support the misfit. A timely abor-
tion performed by a qualified doc-
tor is generally safer than a live
birth; yet enforcement of our pres-
ent abortion laws may create a
danger by forcing the pregnant
woman to go to a quack who has
no medical qualifications.
WHILE I DO NOT begrudge the
right of anyone to believe that
abortion is immoral, I do challenge
the right to impose this belief on
others. The raison d'etre of any
criminal law is that it prevents
some harm to society or to the
person committing the crime. No
law should exist solely because of
certain moral beliefs when the law
perpetuates a harm rather than
prevents one.
-Bruce Laidlaw, '66L
Symbol of Society
To the Editor:
IT IS CURIOUS that Mr. Haller,
who, in the past, has been at
such pains to defend the lives
of wild animals, should now under-
take so easily to dismiss the pos-
sible lives of human beings. I do
not necessarily oppose legalized
abortion itself-I suppose that our
society has no right to dictate
popular morals. What I do oppose
is the philosophical and psycho-
logical sickness which Mr. Haller's
widely held viewpoint signifies. It
may well be our political and legal
right to be sick; nevertheless the
sickness ought 0o be pointed out.

If human eggs are like chicken
eggs, then how are human beings
different from chickens? May we
then kill them and eat them as
Jonathan Swift once modestly pro-
posed? As to whether the human
foetus is a human being or not,
I think it is obvious that the only
thing which will prevent it from
becoming a human being is its
death. Adults, too, cease to be
human beings at death; unless
Mr. Haller can offer another cri-
terion of distinction, we must as-
sume that the foetus is "human."
THE REAL POINT, however, is
much more profound, much less
hazy. Whether or not foetuses are
human, Mr. Haller's casual at-
titude towards possible human be-
ings is the identical attitude which
underlies the philosophy that
makes all all punched-out com-
puter cards in our world. If our
criterion for the value of human
life, possible or actual, is its use-
fulness or convenience, it is easy
to see why, abortion is acceptable.
The illegitimate child or the child
born in poverty is likely to be in-
convenient. Therefore, let us be
rid of it.
It may very well be true that
human life, or the possibility of it,
is meaningless, particularly when

such as "legalized abortion" is dis-
cussed publically, as was the case
in the April 2 Daily, there will
appear loud, vehement cries of
protest from someone who has be-
come so emotionally involved with
the subject that he fails to gras
the ful significance of the dis-
cussion, and is protesting without
really understanding why. Such is
the case with both Miss Williams
and Mr. Gordon whose letters ap-
peared in the "Letters" column
of the April 8 Daily, and whose
short-sightedness and almost total
lack of realism readily exemplify
an emotional commitment to a
premise or premises which have
little, if any, bearing on the dis-
I concur with Miss Williams and
Mr. Gordon in that I feel that
abortion has, in fact, very much
to do with morality, but perhaps
not for the same reasons. Is it
"moral" to bring an unloved, un-
wanted, fatherless child into an
unsympathetic, in fact, contemp-
tuous world? Is it "moral" to
mark, maim and ruin the life of
a young girl who has no desire
whatever to become a mother? Is
it "moral" to allow a young wom-
an to bleed to death on the
kitchen table of some incompetent
"doctor?" These are the symptoms
of a neurotic society that the
legalization of abortion would help
erase. And yet, Miss Williams does
not want to treat the symptom
which "may arrest, but hardly
cure the illness." She wants, as a
solution, to "be puritanical enough
to emphasize that a woman is more
than a bundle of sex awaiting
the exploitation of man."
* * *
HOW CAN you be so naive?
Set aside your Victorian ideals for
a moment, Miss Williams, and look
at the reality of the world. Pas-
sion is real, sex is real, pregnancy
is real and abortion is real. You
want to change the American
morality, to "wage an all out
campaign against the double
standard of morals in our coun-
try." This in itself is certainly
commendable, but is this all we are
to do?
While you are waging your cam-
paign, several thousands of un-
wed mothers are going to produce
several thousands .of misunder-
stood, neurotic and vengeful chil-
dren; several thousands of young
girls are going to dies or become
permanently crippled at the hands
of irresponsible "do-it-yourself"
surgeons; and many thousands of
parents are going to die a slow
death submerged in their own
misery, never understanding what
it was that "they" did wrong. This
is real, Miss Williams. is it
"moral ?"
*. * *
Gordon attribute the moral issue
to the overused but highly emotive
notion of "murder." However, both
have made an unsupported and
therefore unjustified assumption.
They have both assumed that
"murder," a term which is usually
applied to human beings, can
equally well be applied to human
embryos, which they are including
in their definition of human be-
ing, i.e., homo sapiens.
The question as to when we
should begin calling a living or-
ganism a "human being" has been
thoughtfully answered for us by
Miss Williams who says, "If a
human being is killed at 20 days
or 20 years, just what is the dif-
ference?" The difference is every-
thing, Miss Williams; what makes
that 20-day old organism a "hu-
man being?" What qualities does
it possess which we normally as-
sign to our species that distinguish
us from other species? Does it
breathe? Does it talk? Does it
love? Does it (as Prof. White
would say) symbol? Does it re-
Clearly, there is no moral ques-
tion here. Morality is meant to

deal with and for people; it as-
pires to help them to live peace-
fully together in their respective
communities. It should do no more
than this, and an attempt to cor-
relate a humanistic term such as
"murder" with a non-humanistic
entity such as an embryo, and
further to attempt to apply this
to the social concept of "morality"
is to confound the original intent
of the word.
* * *
fully instituted, could make very
positive contributions both to the
individual and to humanity in
general. But legalized abortion is
no cure-all, no miracle. It is simply
a practical and moral solution to
a problem whichehas as its foun-
dation a vast set of ambivalent,
out-moded attitudes which char-
acterize our sex-ridden society. It
should be instituted in addition to
the moral reforms which both Miss
Williams and Mr. Gordon profess
to advocate ( however improctical
or difficult they might, in this
case, be).
However, to think that the
symytoms consequent to the il-
legality of abortion might be
eradicated by "increasing counsel-
ing servicesr to families and in-
dividuals," or "increasing social
services to unwed mothers," is

to attack the foundation of it by
the handing out of "spiritual help"
to the mothers of fatherless chil-
dren, is a failure to view the situ-
ation as it really exists. Sex is not
a problem for the church, Miss
Williams, it is a problem aecause
of it.
--James R. Benson, '64
Baseball, Trimester
To the Editor:
MR. BLOCK'S column of Wed-
nesday, April 8, indicated I
held the notion that the new tri-
mester system wil not be detri-
mental to the University of Michi-
gan baseball team and, in some
ways, may even be advantageous to
No doubt, I did not make clear
that my comments applied only to
the trimester schedule as it existed
for this year. It may well be that
any revision of this year's calen-
dar may result in the spring se-
mester ending earlier. If this de-
velops, the baseball team (as well
as other spring sports) will face
many insurmountable problems.
' Therefore, it was not my inten-
tion to imply that any new sched-
ule will benefit the team in seasons
after this one.
-Milby Benedict
Baseball Coach
Symbols in 'Silence'
To the Editor:
ROBIN DUVAL'S review of Ing-
mar Bergman's new film, "The
Silence," is perceptive in 'some
ways but, in others, totally inept.
His treatment of some of Berg-
man's symbols, for example, strikes
me as being particularly lacking.
Anna's feigned nymphomania
and Ester's fits of masturbation
and drinking are not symbolic of
anything. More correctly, they are
symptomatic of the sisters' inabil-
ity to communicate and their in-
dividual weaknesses.
This distinction does not amount
to hair-splitting, for symbols tra-
ditionally stand for something oth-
er than what is implied by their
face values. Nymphomania. and
drinking are not symbols, simply
because they stand for themselves
and nothing else. Rather, they are
symptoms of easily diagnosable
inner sickness. Nor . are these
symptoms particularly Freudian,
nor do they "run amuck" by dis-
tracting the audience. They are
pertinent and suggestive and con-
tribute to the unity of action in
the film.
MY OTHER objection to Mr.
Duval's critique is his sudden,
brief and transient mention of the
film's theme. With all his talk of
Bergman's many symbols, one
would expect Mr. Duval to arrive
at a conclusion which servesto
unify these symbols. Sadly, he does
not, and, rather than facing the
problem of theme squarely, he
sidesteps by saying that the theme
is "(broadly) the decay of-the in-
dividual under certain reasonably
normal stresses."
Mr. Duval seems to have dis-
missed the fact that the sisters
have already decayed fully at the
film's outset and that their action
reflects the depths of this decay
rather than its actual process..
Perhaps the film is more con-
cerned with the circular, self-
generating nature of isolation
and lack of communication.
"The Silence" is, as Mr. Duval
points out, different from Berg-
man's past films in that it relies

less on melodrama. In this re-
spect, it is superior to its predeces-
sors. At any rate, it is a good
film with, perhaps, "more memor-
able material" than Mr. Duval
-David Andrew, '65
To the Editor:
ALTHOUGH any person in his
right mind cannot, of course,
help but take frequent exception
to views expressed in The Daily,
especially in regard to the movie
reviews, I have nonetheless kept
my opinions to myself up to now.
Bergman's "The Silence", however,
deserves a better review than it
received and I have been strongly
enough moved by this movie that
I feel it worthwhile to dispute sev-
eral points brought out by your re-
viewer who, I feel, missed the main
significance of the picture.
I haven't read Betty Friedai's
"The Feminine Mystique" yet and
am no authority on the subject,
but I am pretty sure that the con-
trasts of this movie concern the
unresolved paradoxes involved in
the conventional roles of the sexes,
especially with the problems of
women. The two sisters are iso-
lated from each other all right,
but they also represent the conflict
between the so-called masculine
and feminine principles within
what might have been a single per-
The country they are moving
into is not, as your reviewer sug-
gested, Finland, nor does it pri-
marily symbolize isolation; but is
rather -the harsh war-like, unfeel-
ing world of traditional masculini-
ty. They do not know the lan-
guage in this country and it is
significant in this respect that the
sister embodying the most mascu-
linity is a professional translator.
THE MEN in the picture repre-
the same paradox. The man most
able to communicate with wo-
man exhibits selfless giving and
tenderness but is impotent. His op-
posite is found in the animal ag-
gressiveness and complete lack of
feeling of Anna's "lover."
Without going into a detailed
analysis to prove these points, a
few other things in the review
ought to be mentioned. To the
extent that she represents an un-
thinking point of view, Anna does
not necessarily, as the review sug-
gests, despise the man she "squan-
ders her magnificent body on." Al-
so Ester's "inherent humiliation"
has little to do with her drink-
The review also failed to make
the connection between the boy,
Johan, and the music of Bach. The
dwarves are not "evidently" sym-
bols of purity, but I think more
likely to have the function of a
chorus, Greek style.
I could go on in'this fashion, but
my idea in writing this is not to
tear apart a review, but rather to
call attention to a significance in
the movie, of which I think people
need to be awareand which was
completely evaded by the review;
probably because of the high emo-
tional content.
-Myron Brownie, '64
The Political Issue
To the Editor:
Hugh Holland's judgement that
"Dr. Strangelove" is one of the
greatest films of recent years-for

my own part I feel that it sur-
passes the French and Italian
films that I take as the Holy Text
-but I do feel that he did not
identify the political import of
this film which is the essence of
its greatness.
"Dr. Strangelove" is the first
and only film to deal adequately
with the overriding political issue
of our day. That the movie is such
great entertainment is evidence
that is has found the only re-
sponse that can cope with the
subject: total, anarchic, apocalyp-
tic humor.
THE PROBLEM is that our
technology has outstripped intel-
lectual and emotional capacities.
Just as the newsreels of the Nazi
death camps'numb the sensibili-
ties, so the contemplation of
"Megadeaths" obliterates our ca-
pacities for humane response.
Realism of ,the "On the Beach"
variety is inadequate; surrealism
as employed by "Dr. Strangelove"
is the adequate response to an
international situation that is an
inhumane nightmare masquerad-
ing as logic, reasonableness and
"Dr. Strangelove's" 'greatest con-
tribution is its demolition of the
liberal-internationalist belief that
men are reasonable and can con-
trol the bomb. In being logical,
reasonable and pragmatic the lib-
eral-internationalists have betray-
ed humanity and have capitulated
to the mightmare of mass an-
nihilation. The ineffectuality of
these men'is demonstrated in Peter
Sellers' marvelous caricature of
Adlai Stevenson as President Mer-
kin Muffley: "One of our officers,
he . . . uh . . . went and did a
silly thing."
branded subversive by conserva-
tives and irresponsible by liberals,
but it is the only document that
sweeps away the miasmatic Cold
War rhetoric and lodges an an-
archic protest in the name of hu-
-Sam Walker, '64
Hippler and Stone
To the Editor:
REGARDING R. Hillper's editor-
ial in the April 7 Daily, it may
be that he learned little in fresh-
man English; at least he ought to
know that, when quoting, one is
unlikely 'to footnote a reference as
"one obscure, left-wing anarchis-
tic journal." In fact, the quote
that Mr. Hippler uses is from I.
F. Stone's Weekly, March 23, 1964,
page 2. Further, the gist of his
entire editorial concerning "two
new innovations in . . . South
Viet Nam" is lifted, gently, from
the same issue of Stone.
I do not know whether Hippler's
indirect reference to Stone is
meant to be cute, but it is certain-
ly inaccurate. Describing Stone's
Weekly as "obscure" is a reflec-
tion on Hippler; not on Stone or
his paper. The,,use of the slurring
"left-wing anarchistic" needs no
MR. RIPPLER cannot have it
both ways; if Stone's opinions are
worthy, so is his name. Sadly
ironic, too, that someone named
R. Hippler finds I. F. Stone "ob-
-Robert McCabe, Grad
EDITOR'S NOTE: The quoted sec-
tion was from Stone. The editor-
ial director knew this, but thought
most readers would guess it. And if
you detected any real'scorn in my
semi-facetious editorial toward that
liberal and respected journal (see
Esquire's survey of the Washington
Press Establishment), yours is a
far subtler mind than mine.
R. H.
Dearborn Suit
To the Editor:

T HE ARTICLE by Barbara Sey-
fried in the April 4 Daily on
the recent suit instituted by the
Dearborn professor against the ap-
propriation of public funds to a
religious society, Religious Center
for the Dearborn Campus, Inc.,
was remarkably well done. In all
the controversy which has been
stirred up in the Dearborn com-
munity, little attention has been
fixed on the important area of
responsibility for such action. Miss
Seyfried put the matter most suc-
cinctly when she wrote: "Recently
the center's board of directors de-
cided the center needed a full-time
I do believe that in all the talk
about church-state relations this
important element in appointment
and responsibility has been lost.
One might think that the inaugur-
ation of a new position and an
expanded program would have
been decided by the academic
community - it would allegedly
serve, the faculty and administra-
tive officers of the college, and not
by the center's board of directors.
The fact that the religious center
made no presentation to the fac-
ulty or the religious organizations
presently serving the campus was
remarkably ungracious for a*group
whose ultimate success denends in




Couriers in a SumIer Camp

T IS A SUDDEN JOLT to the well-pre-
served, fully adapted college senior that
there is really such a world as "off-cam-
pus." It is a world far from the gaiety and
security of the University. It has none of
the attributes of this big year-round sum-
mer camp experience many students un-
dergo for four years. It's time to take our-
selves more seriously, for the world off-
campus is a cold, unfair and-much to the
shock of the naive student-offers very
difficult security.
The University provides a fine four-
year refuge from the world. It is a giant
playground of ideas, a bath-tub of bril-
liance where all "the best that has been
said and done" can saturate within all
students' unsuspecting lives. But for what
purpose? To insure a place of even greater
security after graduation, making this
whole thing a trade school for the ex-
pansion of the "firm?" Or to insure a
place in.one's own mind for the hope of a
spiritual attainment, the approach to
Universality, Individuality and an evolu-
tion of full consciousness?
AN INDIVIDUAL is a man who thinks
and creates, who seeks perfection and
who can even sacrifice the false virtues
of security for what he believes in. The
big problem for the University student is
to define what he believes in. Students
can spend innumerable hours discussing
sex, as if they are somehow compelled to
talk about it. They can spend hours at
meaningless TG's drinking barrels of

what?" has become the motto of this shel-
tered generation.
Is this what we actually believe in?
Would we rather go along with the crowd
for four years than forge our own indi-
vidual paths? Is this the kind of security
-indifference-we are so desperately
N OMAN CAN AFFORD to hide behind
the false security of indifference; this
only corrupts him as well as everyone he
encounters. If we do not revolt from
indifference now, we may be in that class
of individuals that are simply called ro-
bots. As Prof. McConnell of the psychol-
ogy department has said, "We are all
robots programmed to think that we are
Yet there must be someone to assume
the responsibility of programming these
robots. Though they can be useful to so-
ciety as a typewriter is, robots--like a
typewriter--are solely dependent on the
operator. The problem is to find enough
Individuals who can become operators
and lead us forward.
If this isn't done, we may very well
find ourselves hopeless, much like the
helpless people of Kafka's parable of the
couriers. Offered the choice of being kings
or couriers to the kings, no one would
venture to assume a king's responsibility,
and so all men became couriers and spent
their lives shouting meaningless mes-
sages to one another. Are we all becoming
couriers or are there perhaps a few who

Easily Maligned Film
Is 'Fun' at Own Level
At the State Theatre
T IS THE FASHION to malign Hollywood potboilers, as if they were
somehow a degenerate form of the cinema. But the cutting, photog-
raphy and general direction of even a second-grade spectacular like
"Kings of the Sun" is streets ahead of the Dino di Laurentiis-type
Goliaths, Gladiators, Hercules that issue in such abundance from
Europe. There is a professionalism, an organization of film with
an eye for exact utility which distinguishes Hollywood from its most
direct rivals.
Hollywood seems to have a much clearer preception of its chief
assets. Like a recent Italian confection called "Gladiators Seven,"
"."ings of the Sun" is an excuse to show off manly chests. But whereas
the former film squandered its opportunities on a flock of middle-aged
pigeons, "Kings" parades its manhood to a degree that-were it an
"art-film"-would be considered frankly pornographic.
.'* *
YUL BRYNNER'S BODY has never been displayed to such an
advantage. Most of the time he wears the most fragile apology for
a loincloth, he glistens with ersatz sweat, he lies prone on a mattress
while the camera lopes self-indulgently about him. When he walks,
his knees are turned slightly towards each other so that his upper
body seems subtly to sway upon its axis; the result is one of the most
explicit visions of motive sensuality I have ever seen.
The story is the feeblest kind of vehicle, about a central American
tribe (led by pretty George Chakiris) that flees an invader to start
life anew on the shores of Mexico. A local tribe, under Yul Brynner,
opposes it. There is a love interest, played with unsmiling boredom
and a North England accent by Shirley Anne Field.
* * * *
IT'S ALWAYS a good idea in a mass audience film, especially
one whose plot is as disjunctive as this, to leaven the action with
a bit of morality. Here there are all kinds of stirring references to
"m- ane -if -h n h aetity ofthe human nerson."Living


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