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taken, under a feigned name, on the Cyclops, till he had told him who he really was.

So Shakespere makes Macduff, in his eager desire of vengeance on Macbeth, say,

'If thou he filain, and with no mcoril of mine,
My wife's and children's ghosts will haunt me still,'

'In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over he is superior^ &c.

Bacon, in speaking of the duty, and of the difficulty, of forgiving injuries, might have remarked that some of the things hardest to forgive are not what any one would consider injuries {i.e., wrongs) at all.

Many would reprobate the use, in such a case, of the word forgive. And the word ought not to be insisted on; though that most intelligent woman, Miss Elizabeth Smith, says (in her commonplace-book, from which posthumous extracts were published; that 'a woman has need of extraordinary gentleness and modesty to be forgiven for possessing superior ability and learning.' She would probably have found this true even now, to a certain degree; though less than in her time.

But not to insist on a word, say, instead of 'forgive,' that it is hard to 'judge fairly of and to 'feel kindly towards,'

(i.) One who adheres to the views which were yours, and which you have changed. This was, doubtless, one of the Apostle Paul's trials. But in his case the miracle he had exjierienced, and the powers conferred on himself, could leave no doubt on his mind. But the trial is much harder when you hear arguments used against you which you had yourself formerly employed, and which you cannot now refute; and when you rest on reasons which you had formerly shown to be futile, and which do not quite satisfy you now; and when you know that you are suspected, and half-suspect yourself, of being in some way biassed. Then it is that you especially need some one to keep you in countenance; and are tempted to be angry with those who will not, however they may abstain from reproaching you with apostasy.

Of course there is a trial on the opposite side also; but it is far less severe. For, a change implies error, first or last; and this is galling to one's self-esteem. The one who had adhered to bis system, sect, or opinion, may hug himself on his (co-called) 'consistency ;r and may congratulate himself—inwardly, if not openly,—on the thought that at least he may be quite right all through; whereas the other must have been wrong somewhere. 'I stand,' he may say to himself, 'where he was; I think as he thought, and do what he did; he cannot at any rate tax me with fickleness; nor can he blame anything in me which he was not himself guilty of.' All this is as soothing to the one party, as the thought of it is irritating to the other.

(2.) One who has proved right in the advice and warning he gave you, and which you rejected.

'I bear you no ill-will, Lizzy' (says Mr. Bennet, in Miss Austen's Pride and Prejudice), 'for being justified in the warning you gave me. Considering how things have turned out, I think this shows some magnanimity.'

(3.) One who has carried off some prize from you; whether the woman you were in love with, or some honour, or situation, —especially if he has attained with little exertion what you had been striving hard for, without success.

This last is noticed by Aristotle {Rhetoric, book ii.) as one great ground of envy (<p8ovo<;).

(4.) One who has succeeded in some undertaking whose failure you had predicted: such as the railroad over Chat Moss, which most of the engineers pronounced impossible; or the Duke of Bridgewater's aqueduct, which was derided as a castle in the air.

Again, with some minds of a baser nature, there is a difficulty, proverbially, in forgiving those whom one is conscious of having injured: and, again, those (especially if equals or inferiors) who have done very great and important services, beyond what can ever receive an adequate return. Rochefoucault even says that 'to most men it is less dangerous to do hurt than to do them too much good.' But then it was his system to look on the dark side only of mankind.

Tacitus, also, who is not very unlike him in this respect, says that 'benefits are acceptable as far as it appears they may be repaid; but that when they far exceed this, hatred takes the place of gratitude.' It is only, however, as has been said, the basest natures to whom any of these last-mentioned trials can occur, as trials.

In all these and some other such cases, there is evidently no injury; and some will, as has been just said, protest against the use of the word 'forgive,' when there is no wrong to be forgiven.

Then avoid the word, if you will; only do not go on to imagine that you have no need to keep down, with a strong effort, just the same kind of feelings that you would have had if there had been an injury. If you take for granted that no care is needed to repress such feelings, inasmuch as they would be so manifestly unreasonable, the probable result will be, that you will not repress but indulge them. You will not, indeed, acknowledge to yourself the real ground (as you do in the case of an actual injury) of your resentful feeling; but you will deceive yourself by finding out some other ground, real or imaginary. 'It is not that the man adheres to his original views, out that he is an uncharitable bigot:' 'It is not that I grudge him his success, but that he is too much puffed up with it:' 'It is not that I myself was seeking the situation, hut that he is unfit for it;' &c.

He who cultivates, in the right way, the habit of forgiving injuries, will acquire it . But if you content yourself with this, and do not cultivate a habit of candour in such cases as those above alluded to, you will be deficient in that; for it does not grow wild in the soil of the human heart. And the unreasonableness and injustice of the feelings which will grow wild there, is a reason not why you should neglect to extirpate them, but why you should be the more ashamed of not doing so.

It is worth mentioning, that your judgment of any one's character who has done anything wrong, ought to be exactly the same, whether the wrong, was done to you or to any one else. Any one by whom you have yourself been robbed or assaulted, is neither more nor less a robber, or a ruffian, than if he had so injured some other person, a stranger to you. This is evident; yet there is great need to remind people of it; for, as the very lowest minds of all regard with far the most disapprobation any wrong from which they themselves suffer, so, those a few steps, and only a few, above them, in their dread of such manifest injustice, think they cannot bend the twig too far the contrary way, and are for regarding (in theory, at least, if not in practice) wrongs to oneself as no wrongs at all. Such a person will reckon it a point of heroic generosity to let loose on society a rogue who has cheated him, and to leave uncensured and unexposed a liar by whom he has been belied; and the like in other cases. And. if you refuse favour and countenance to those unworthy of it, whose misconduct has at all affected you, he will at once attribute this to personal vindictive feelings; as if there could be no such thing as esteem and disesteem. One may even see tales, composed by persons not wanting in intelligence, and admired by many of what are called the educated classes, in which the virtue held up for admiration and imitation consists in selecting as a bosom friend, and a guide, and a model of excellence, one who had been guilty of manifest and gross injustice; because the party had suffered personally from that injustice.

It is thus that 'fools mistake reverse of wrong for right.' The charity of some persons consists in proceeding on the supposition that to believe in the existence of an injury is to cherish implacable resentment; and that it is impossible to forgive, except when there is nothing to be forgiven. It is obvious that these notions render nugatory the Gospel-precepts. Why should we be called upon to render good for evil, if we are bound always to explain away that evil, and call it good? Where there is manifestly just ground for complaint, we should accustom ourselves to say, 'That man owes me a hundred pence!' thus at once estimating the debt at its just amount, and recalling to our mind the parable of him who rigorously enforced his own claims, when he had been forgiven ten thousand talents.

There is a whole class of what may be called secondary vulgar errors,—errors produced by a kind of reaction from those of people who are the very lowest of all, in point of intellect, or of moral sentiment,—errors which those fall into who are a few, and but a very few, steps higher.

Any one who ventures a remark on the above error, will be not unlikely to hear as a reply,'Oh, but most men are far more disposed to judge too severely than too favourably of one who has injured themselves or their friends.' And this is true; but it is nothing to the purpose, uidess we lay down as a principle, that when one fault is more prevalent than another, the latter need not be shunned at all. 'Of two evils, choose the less, ' is a jnst maxim, then, and then only, when there is no other alternative,—when we must take the one or the other: but it is mere folly to incur either, when it is in our power to avoid both. Those who speak of 'a fault on the right side,' should be reminded that though a greater error is worse than a less, there is no right side in error. And in the present case, it is plain our aim should be to judge of each man's conduct fairly and impartially, and on the same principles, whether we ourselves, or a stranger, be the party concerned.

It may be added, that though the error of unduly glossing over misconduct when the injury has been done to oneself, is far less common than the opposite, among the mass of mankind, who have but little thought of justice and generosity, it is the error to which those are more liable who belong to a superior class,—those of a less coarse and vulgar mind; and who, if they need admonition less, are more likely to profit by it, because they are striving to act on a right principle. The Patriarch Joseph, for instance, whose generous forgiveness of his brethren is justly admired, went into a faulty extreme when he told them (Gen. xlv. 5)'not to be angry with themselves,' inasmuch as God had overruled for good the crime they had committed. If they were thence induced to feel no sorrow and shame, he had not done them any real benefit .

And a person of the disposition alluded to, will be liable to analogous errors in other matters also. For instance, he will perhaps show too little deference,—for fear of showing too much —for the judgment of those he highly esteems; and will do injustice to a friend, in some cause he has to decide, through over-dread of partiality. And perhaps he will underrate the evidence for a religion he wishes to believe, from dread of an undue bias in its favour.1

An actual case has been known of a person most of whose relatives were accustomed to speak of him much less favourably than they really thought; not from want of good-will, but from dread of being thought partial. And the impression thus produced was such as might have been expected. It was supposed—very naturally—that they were giving the most favourable picture they could, when the contrary was the fact. What

1 See Element* of Logic, app. i., article,' Indifference.' F

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