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By Nicholas Mosley

Returning to London from a visit to the West Indies, an aspiring author encounters a bewitching trio of neighbors whose magic lies of their skill to show any state of affairs into delusion. formerly misplaced on the earth, the narrator falls in love with the younger brother-sister pair of Peter and Annabelle, in addition to the older, extra political Marius. fact quickly encroaches upon the foursome, even though, within the kind of Marius's ill spouse, forcing the narrator to confront the darkish vacancy and worry on the middle of his friends' joie de vivre. during this, his moment novel—written within the '50s and not ahead of published—Nicholas Mosley weighs questions of accountability and sacrifice opposed to these of affection and earthly wish, the spirit as opposed to the flesh.

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23 Donne deepens his attack, moreover, by suggesting that both figures actually combine rather than avoid opposite extremes. ”24 His “abhorre[nce]” implies dread as much as hatred, however, and he is not only rash but also cowardly in giving up the search for “true religion” out of excessive fear. Donne’s comparison of Phrygius to one who “dares marry none” indeed makes him a “desperate coward” like those 28 CHAPTER ONE who “dare” to neglect religion in the first verse paragraph or those who “dare dye” in Donne’s paradox concerning suicides: he rashly denies himself the possibility of finding salvation within a true church because he is overly afraid of the possibility of being damned by the choice of a false one.

While Donne’s warning against spiritual sleep echoes Pauline admonitions like “Let us not sleep, as do others” (1 Thess. 5:6), his warning against running recalls classical, patristic, and humanist attacks on rash behavior that misses the mean. 8). 46 Donne’s descriptions of “runn[ing] away” from spiritual perfection in Pseudo-Martyr and of “running to death unimportun’d” in his paradoxes similarly associate running with foolish extremism. Donne’s conception of a skeptical mean is not wholly unique.

Yet Donne’s directives continue to employ the notion of a skeptical mean. 51 Donne adapts this skeptical method to argue that the individual must not relinquish true religion by accepting either of the extreme “contraries” espoused by opposing pseudo- DONNE AND THE PERSONAL MEAN 35 authorities: “Is not this excuse for mere contraries, / Equally strong? ” (ll. 52 Donne denies that men “stand / In so’ill case here” (ll. 89–90) that temporal rulers can dictate the religious choices of their subjects.

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