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in a transport of fury

This phrase stands with a startling contradictory purity against the elder De Lacey's amiable platitudes concerning "brotherly love" (2.7.8). Even worse, it undercuts all the ideals for which Felix has stood as well as the intellectual command by which he has restored his family's happiness and tranquillity. In a pinch Volney's ideal of an open, accepting humanity gives way to an unthinking recidivism, a protective and brutal tribalism, a masculinist belligerence, that is the moral equivalent of war.