the hearts . . . charity
This a sentiment born of Enlightenment optimism that Mary Shelley would have heard echoed in her father's home as well as in the one she established with Percy Bysshe Shelley. It is based on a sense of the shared values of the human community. For it to be discovered a falsehood would profoundly affect normative ethical premises. The very blandness of this discourse testifies to our comfortable assurances and prepares the way for a devastating reversal of them.