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Was almost an impiety ('Era una casi impiedad')

Fishburn and Hughes: A quotation from the novel Rebellion in the Backlands (1902) by Euclides Da Cunha. The paragraph from which it is taken describes the religious fervour and asceticism of the followers of Antonio Conselheiro in Canudos. The author comments that their lack of concern for material things 'carried far enough...led to the loss of high moral qualities...': 'To Antonio Conselheiro...strength of character was something like a form of vanity, it was almost an impiety', for 'it implied a forgetfulness of the marvellous longed-for beyond. His depressed moral sense was only capable of understanding the latter in contrast to sufferings endured' (trans. Samuel Putnam, University of Chicago, 1944,150). Three Versions of Judas