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'Honores fociunt et virtutes et vitia conspicua; itaque illas provocant, hsec refrsenant.
'Great place makes both virtues and vices conspicuous; accordingly it is an incentive to the one and restrains the other.'
'Non novit quisquam, quantum in virtutis cureu profecerit; nisi honores ei campum praebeant apertura.
'No one knows how far he has advanced on the road of virtue, unless public office affords him a field for action.'
'Honores daut fore potestatera earum rerum, quas optima conditio est nolle, proxima non posse.
• The things which are placed in a man's power by high office, are, for the most part, such as it would be the bat thing to want the wish, and the next best to want the power to do.'
'Honorum asoensus arduus, static lubrica, regressus prseoeps.
'The ascent to high office is steep, the summit dippery, the descent precipitous.'
'Qui in honore sunt, vulgi opinionem mutuentur oportet, ut seipsos beatos putent.
'Tlioee who hold high office must borrow the view which the vulgar take of them, in order to Uiink themsdsa happy.'
A work entitled The Bishop (by the late Dr. Cooke Taylor, but without his name\ contains so many appropriate remarks, that I take the liberty of giving several quotations from it. It consists of letters professed to be addressed to a recentlyappointed Biahop.
'Power to do good is the true and lawful end of aspiring.'
'Two classes of men occupy high station: those whose time has been spent in thinking how it could be attained; and those who have mainly bestowed their attention on the use that should be made of it when attained. Were there no world but this, the conduct of the latter would justly be reckoned preposterous; they would be regarded as 'seers of visions and dreamers of dreams.' When, however, they do by chance find themselves preferred, they are not only well disposed but ready qualified to use their advantages rightly; for the art of true obedience is the best guide to the art of true command. On the contrary, he who has thought only of the means by which he might climb, however good his intentions, is generally somewhat abroad when he has completed the ascent. He is like those whom we frequently meet, that have spent the best part of their life in making a fortune, and then do not know what to do with it. Eager to get up, they forget to determine the nature of the ground on which they stand, and they consider not how it is related to that which they desire to attain: when they have ascended, their former station is at too great a distance to he surveyed accurately, and the reciprocal influences cannot he understood, because one side is removed beyond the reach of observation.' (Page 329.)
'After a time set before thee thine own example.'
'There is a strong temptation to sacrifice the consciousness of individuality for the sympathy of the multitude. The peril of being seduced from our proper orbit is not less great, when we seek to join, than when we try to avoid others. There are those who are willing to err with Plato, and there are those who are unwilling to go right with Epicurus. A cause is not necessarily good because some good men have favoured it, nor necessarily bad because bad men have supported it; yet we all know that many well-meaning men voted against the abolition of the' slave-trade, because it was advocated by some partisans of the French Revolution. . . .
'It might at first sight appear that the absurdities of party, so obvious to every thinking man, would render the adoption of a right course a matter of no very great difficulty; indeed, an aphorism is already provided for our guidance, which apparently is as simple and easy as the rule of party itself: 'Steer clear of both parties; hold the middle course.' But simple and sound as the maxim may appear, its validity will be greatly weakened by a close examination. Both parties are not absolutely wrong; each is partially wrong and partially right; to keep always equidistant from both is to keep away from the truths as well as from the falsehoods, and to expose yourself to the chance, or rather to the certainty, of being influenced by each in turn.
'It is impossible for a man to realize the fable of Mohammed's coffin, and remain for ever balanced between equipollent attractions; but he may oscillate like a pendulum between the two extremes. In such a case, he will yield to both parties, be duped by both, and be despised by all. The truly independent course is to act as if party had no existence; to follow that which is wisest and best in itself, irrespective of the side which makes the loudest claim to the monopoly of goodness. No doubt, such a course will often approach, or rather be approached hy, the orbit of one party at one time, and the other at another, just as each of them chances to come the nearer to what is really right. Nay more, as each party does possess some truth mingled with its falsehoods, it is perfectly possible to be identified with one of two bigoted and opposed parties on some special question, and to be similarly identified with the other party on a different question
'These coincidences may be called the Nodes of the different orbits; and when they occur, the proper movements are most subject to disturbing influences. The attraction of party varies inversely as the square of the distance; when you are brought near a powerful and organized mass, there is a strong temptation to pass over the intervening space.' (Pages 46-48.)
'The demand on a great man's liberality is greatly increased if he holds himself aloof from party; for this offence, forgiveness can only be purchased by a very lavish system of disbursements; and, after all, he must be prepared to find that every shilling
bestowed by party-men is equivalent to his pound
It is not necessary to dilate on the merits of prudent economy, but assuredly nowhere is such a virtue more indispensably required than when demands on expenditure are regulated, not by realities, but by imaginations.
'Great as is the evil of having your expenditure of money and time measured by the imagination of persons who do not trouble themselves to investigate realities, the evil is fearfully aggravated by the diversity of objects to which each set of imaginings refers. Those who surround you seem to act literally on Swift's advice to servants, each of whom is recommended to do his best in his own particular department, to spend the whole of his master's property. Thus it is with your money and time: every person seems to expect that both should be bestowed on his favourite project to their extreme amount; and no one is disposed to take into account that there are other claims and demands which should not be abridged in their fair proportions. There will be a combination to entrap you into a practical exemplification of 'the sophism of composition;' men will say, you can afford this, that, or the other expense: forgetting that all together will ruiu you.' (Page 84.)
'Reform, therefore, without bravery, or scandal of former times and persons; but yet set it down to thyself, as well to ereate good precedents as to follow the m.'
'To warn a public man (says the author of The Bisltop) of ordinary sense, against innovation, is just as idle as to warn him against taking physic; he will have recourse to neither one nor the other, unless forced by necessity. The thing to be feared in both cases is, that he will delay the application of alteratives until the disease can only be cured by violent remedies. One of the finest mills in our manufacturing districts is also one of the oldest; the machinery in it has always kept abreast with the progress of modern invention, but it has never been closed a single day for the purpose of renovation or repair. I asked its proprietor the explanation of so remarkable a phenomenon; he gave it in one sentence, 'I am always altering, but never changing.' Men sometimes deal with institutions as Sir John Cutler did with his stockings; they darn them with worsted until, from silken, they are changed into woollen, while the stupid owners persist in asserting their continued identity. The cry of 'innovation' belongs exclusively to the Duncery; but reluctance to change is a feeling shared with them by sensible people.
'Among the many fallacies of the day that pass unquestioned, there is none more general nor more fallacious than that innovation is popular: the truth is, that a judicious innovator is likely to be, at least for a time, the most unpopular man in the oniverse; he will be hated by those who are satisfied with old evils; he will be disliked by the timid and the lazy, who dread the peril and the trouble of change; and he will receive little favour from those most conscious of the evil, because his remedies will not act as a charm, and remove in an instant the accumulated ills of centuries.
'Some persons are not aware of the fact, that in all men the love of ease is far superior to the love of change; in the serious concerns of life, novelty is never desired for its own sake; then, habit becomes a second nature, and it is only the positive pressure of evil that can drive us to alteration. We do find men occasionally rash and insatiable in changing; but this is only from their being impatient under the sense of real evils, and in error as to remedies. The violent vicissitudes of the first French Revolution were not the result of a mad love of experiments; they were produced by the national bankruptcy of France, and the starving condition of the people of Paris. An ignorant man suffering under painful disease will try the prescription of every mountebank, and without waiting to see how one quack medicine operates, will have recourse to another. A fevered nation, like a feverish patient, turns from side to sidenot through love of change, but because, while the disease continues, any fixed posture must be painful.. The physician who superintends his condition knows that his restlessness and impatience are symptoms of the disease: it would be well if those who superintend our political and ecclesiastical state. while they justly regard discontents and disturbances as evils in themselves, would also look upon them as certain signs that there is something wrong somewhere.' (Pages 315-318.)
'Embrace and invite helps and advices touching the execution of
'The dread of unworthy imputations of undue influence may often drive a worthy man into a perilous course. The fear of being deemed an imitator is scarcely less dangerous than that of being supposed to be led. We frequently see those who regard the course of a wise and good man with mingled affection and veneration, influenced by his example for the worse rather than for the better, by indulging their ruling passion for originality, and by their abhorrence of being regarded as followers and imitators. To avoid coincidences becomes the great labour of their lives, and they take every opportunity of ostentatiously declaring the originality and independence of their course. Nay; they will not only declare their originality, but they will seek to make or find opportunities of exhibiting it, though the course they adopt in consequence may be contrary to their own seeret judgment. A man who yields to this weakness, which is far more rife than the world generally believes, is the slave of any one who chooses to work upon his foible. The only thing requisite to make him commit any conceivable folly, is to dare him to depart from his friend's counsel or example. Miss