Transcribed from pages 190-191 of the original 1863 Leipzig Bernhard Tauchnitz edition of Anthony Trollope's Rachel Ray, Volume II, Chapter XI, "Cornbury Grange."
But Rowan was a man more thoughtful than Cornbury, and was specially thoughtful as to his own position. He was a radical at heart if ever there was a radical. But in saying this I must beg my reader to understand that a radical is not necessarily a revolutionist or even a republican. He does not, by reason of his social or political radicalism, desire the ruin of thrones, the degradation of nobles, the spoliation of the rich, or even the downfall of the bench of bishops. Many a young man is frightened away from the just conclusions of his mind and the strong convictions of his heart by dread of being classed with those who are jealous of the favoured ones of fortune. A radical may be as ready as any aristocrat to support the crown with his blood, and the church with his faith. It is in this that he is a radical; that he desires, expects, works for, and believes in, the gradual progress of the people. No doctrine of equality is his. Liberty he must have, and such position, high or low, for himself and others, as each man's individual merits will achieve for him. The doctrine of outward equality he eschews as a barrier to all ambition, and to all improvement. The idea is as mean as the thing is impracticable. But within,—is it in his soul or in his heart?—within his breast there is a manhood that will own no inferiority to the manhood of another. He retires to a corner that an earl with his suite may pass proudly through the doorway, and he grudges the earl nothing of his pride. It is the earl's right. But he also has his right; and neither queen, nor earl, nor people shall invade it. That is the creed of a radical.