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Full text of "The writings of Ivan Panin"



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1'* ° CP • ,% %. A^ ** 

The Writings of 
Ivan Panin 

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Printed for the Author by 

The Wilson H. Lee Company 

New Haven, Connecticut 

.:*. fc* ** 

Copyrighted, 1918 



Grafton, Mass., U. S. A. 

AUG -5 1918 

Copies may be obtained at cost, $2.50, from I. Panin, Graft 
Mass., U. S. A. 



The writer's estimate of his own work, of all 

literary work, will be found by the reader clearly 

enough enunciated in the following pages. But 

he writer's literary life of some forty years has 

•en lone ; and no soul has yet been found to whom 
*s paper doings could be committed with: "Here, 
lorsooth, are the embarrassing things. Do with 
*hem as thou deemest best, once I am laid 
away." And it is only seven brief days ago that 
an only child, a son of seven and twenty years, 
w^as laid away first .... 

Somehow the time has not yet come for these 
bits to be destroyed. And the speediest way to 
dispose of what now must be disposed is to 
rid oneself of them by handing them over to be 
printed .... 

What has thus been chosen, or rather what has 
been left from the writer's unsparing frequent 
housecleanings, is here gathered together into a 
book, with contents rather variegated, but all 
having one purpose, however dimly discernible 
in some of the pieces: to show forth that the 
thoughts and the ways of even the best equipped 
of this age are after all — foolishness; and that 
true wisdom is after all only one: the fear and 
knowledge of God, but the God of the Bible; the 


Jehovah of the Old Testament, revealed in the 
New as the Father of the Son, the Savior of men. 
This thought makes the unity of the book. 

The papers on Emerson and Tolstoy are the 
first and the last of a series of addresses on 
u Modern Teachers and Christianity/ 7 delivered 
in Boston about 1898. The others were Carlyle, 
Ruskin and Arnold. But the Introductory 
address and those on Carlyle, Ruskin and Arnold 
got themselves weeded out in due time : the real 
question being not whether they be saved, but 
rather whether the two remaining had not better 
also follow their companions into their allotted 

The several "Tribulations" recorded in what 
may seem a humorous way, were to the writer 
then and still remain — far from humorous. They 
are, however, a most effective commentary on 
Aphorism No. 542. 

Not everything in this volume represents the 
writer of to-day; but only as he has been at 

51 Cluny Avenue, 
Rosedale, Toronto, Canada 
June 14th, 191 7. 





Introduction . . ... . I- 18 


Of God . . . 

19- 54 


Letters and Art . 

■ 55" 86 


Of Pain . . . 

87- 90 


Of Sorrow 



Poverty and Riches 



Of Truth and Error 

1 1 7-1 36 


Parables . 



Faith, Love, Hope 



Of Judging . . 



The Ages .. . . 



Saint and Sinner 



Wise and Foolish 



Sub-Humans . 



Spirit, Flesh, World 



Of Happiness 



Heart and Head . 



Christianity, True Religion 



Philosophy, Science So-Called 



The Moderns .... 



Of Life .... 



Of Society 

301-31 1 


Men and Women 



Of Friend and Enemy 



Of Generosity and Giving 



Men and Things 



Aphorisms — Continued. pages 

XXVII. Of Speech and Silence . . . 357-361 

XXVIII. The State . . . . . . 362-365 

XXIX. Of Virtue and Vice .... 366-369 

XXX. Definitions . . . . . . 370-461 

XXXI. Conduct . . . . . . . 462-470 

XXXII. Paralipomena 471-473 


I. Emerson 476-506 

II. Tolstoy . . 507-532 


I. Of a B. I. 533-541 

II. Of a Student . . . . . . . 542-556 

Day Before Christmas in a New England 

Village . . ..... . . , . 557-564 

Inspiration of the Scriptures Scientifically 

Demonstrated 565-573 

Appendix: Preface to "Thoughts" of 1899 574-586 




The motives for writing are several, but the 
motives for publishing are in the artist only three : 
a desire for money, or fame, or both; a conviction 
that the artist has aught to say and give that 
the world needs; a craving for recognition, 


Samuel Johnson is reported to have said that 
no one but a fool ever wrote for aught but money. 
Quotations are ever treacherous things. Even if 
the words themselves be correctly reported, their 
other equally important part is hardly ever faith- 
fully rendered; the speaker's tone, the hearer's 
attitude, the place of both, and the time that is 
ever independent of either — who shall faithfully 
reproduce these? During a thunderstorm an 
eloquent divine took advantage thereof with 
telling effect in his discourse. He was forthwith 
requested to have it printed. He consented, but 
on condition that the storm be also printed there- 
with . . . 


But even if Johnson did thus speak, he for 
once spake here inadvisedly with his lips. He 
knew at least of certain six and sixty books 
(in some one of which he not a day but diligently 
read) that, for whate'er else they were writ, for 
money they were not writ. The five books 


of Moses were not writ for money, nor the 
three of Solomon, nor the four Major Prophets, 
nor the twelve Minor, nor the four Gospels, nor 
the one and twenty Epistles, nor the Psalms of 
David, and the rest . . . Pascal wrote not his 
books for money, nor Joubert his book, nor 
Amiel his, nor many another noble soul before 
Johnson's reported dictum or after. 


To make mere merchandise of thy truth, thy 
beauty of spirit, is no less ignoble than to make 
merchandise of thy beauty of flesh. And the 
writing for mere shekels is equally ignoble in the 
at heart upright and otherwise pure Walter Scott 
with the modern at heart vulgar novelwriting 
dame whose final standard of literary ' 'success' ' 
is abundant flow of publisher's checkdom into 
establishment set up thereby on the outskirts 
of ever aspired-to four-hundreddom. "Dollar 
Wheat" quoted right cheerily with satisfaction 
at the "prosperity" it betokens, is at least the 
reward of honest heaven-appointed toil. But 
dollar literature, begun in mire, it ends only 
in corruption. Irrevocable is the verdict there- 
on: Dust thou art, to dust shalt thou return — 
whether the dollarish scribe be man of genius 
or only the literary hewer of wood and drawer of 


Joubert the man and Joubert the writer 
are, what in Letters is in nowise frequent, only 
the two members of an equation — the one 
the exact equal of the other. The man Jou- 
bert is neither more nor less than the writer ; 


the writer Joubert neither less nor more than the 
man. But while his book is for the few, his 
life is for the many. He had lived to the allotted 
threescore and ten, with what was best in the 
France of his day at his beck, admired thereof 
and beloved. Yet this man Joubert is content 
to print of the accumulations of a life time naught 
during his life time. Much water instead is al- 
lowed to flow by ere his book at last gets itself 
into print : some fifteen years after his disappear- 
ance into the grave . . . The man who can 
thus live, thus write, is a unique species in the 
realm of Letters, a — Joubert. 


Schopenhauer, both as writer and man, displays 
a genius for making himself disagreeable, objec- 
tionable. To a gigantic faith in his philosophy 
as the last word of man concerning all the prob* 
lems of life raised by the mind of man (any 
"philosophy" being already an intrinsic piece of 
abiding worthlessness), there was added in him 
an unquenchable thirst for what he kept calling 
his Ruhrn, his "fame," — the real vulgar applause 
as much as fame — which in its unmanliness com- 
pares only with the craving of the sot for his 
bottle. His temper was bitter, his ambition 
ignoble, his philosophy worthless, his heart bad. 
Nevertheless, his whole being thus tending to- 
ward the nadir, and in nowise toward the zenith, 
there are some things about him that stamp him as 
a king, though a throneless king. For his dignity 
as a man of Letters he displays a truly royal 
concern. Not even the master passion for his 
Ruhm shall make him bend here even a barley- 


corn of his Imperial neck. His self -exalting, 
heaven-defying pride, his shaking as it were the 
red cloth into the very face of the Almighty, his 
perverseness of head and iciness of heart that of 
necessity go therewith, must indeed in nowise be 
forgot. But it is well to note the fact, the heroic 
fact, that when a publisher is after much search- 
ing at last found for his Life-Book, his chief 
concern in his contract with him is the one item : 
that his book be read by at least three scholarly 
proof-readers, and the proofs sent to him for 
final correction; and that not a line be in any wise 
finally printed until returned sheets had his ap- 
proval. The book, come what may — let pub- 
lishers perish, and the heavens fall — must be 
correctly printed, in large type, on good paper, 
and otherwise sent forth as becomes the child 
of a king. And the type setter, though all the 
world spell ahnen, must follow the manuscript, 
and spell ahnden, else the book is not to get itself 
printed at all. Arthur Schopenhauer — how to 
strike a bargain cannily with his publisher, this 
he knows full well, as well as Ralph Waldo Emer- 
son himself; and the contract is accordingly leng- 
thy, and its items numerous, but his heart, 
his toward men icy and bitter heart, here glows, 
and only for that one item : that if his book is at 
all to be sent unto men, it must be only as the 
ambassador of a king. 


But his masterstroke Schopenhauer deals out 

with giant's hand in the Preface to the first 

edition of his Life Book. Here is an octavo 

volume of some seven hundred pages on the ab- 


strusest o c things mundane and extra-mundane — 
Kantian Metaphysics. Yet Schopenhauer, barely 
thirty, longing, yearning, craving, even manipu- 
lating for recognition, calmly announces to the 
reader of the seven hundred page octavo of Meta- 
physics that this book must be read at least twice 
ere it can become unto him a piece of intelligi- 
bility. And that even thus no understanding is 
like to be had unless an equally abstruse, far other 
than thin, separately printed treatise be first read, 
with problematic title: "The Fourfold Root of 
the Proposition concerning Fundamentals,' - — 
a kind of analysis of everything in general and 
of all things in particular, with a discussion of the 
rest besides. The relation of this particular 
treatise to Schopenhauer's Life-work, "The 
World as Will and Concept," is about the same 
as a treatise on Logarithms is to Trigonometry. 

I confess I stand before this fact, unique in 
Letters, as before a Sublimity, a kind of Mount 
Everest among the Peaks. To write his life work 
thus, to demand and expect from the reader ab- 
solute compliance with such standard: "Reader, 
read on my terms, or else hie thyself hence!" 
— only an Olympian soul is capable of that. And 
when all else of Schopenhauer has at last found 
its final way into the limbo of inanity, whither 
because of the millstone round its neck it is 
surely gravitating, this fact alone must yet keep 
his memory green, and cheerily green, nobly 
green . . . 



Arthur Schopenhauer is a standing rebuke to 
the reported saying of Samuel Johnson that no one 
but a fool ever wrote for other than money ; and 
he is a swift witness against the whole race of 
modern. scribes who, because a dollarish market is 
readily found for their otherwise needless wares, 
lay forthwith claim for themselves to a divinely 
appointed place in the economy of Universe. 


The desire for fame is only less ignoble than the 
bid for literary dollars : since it assumes that not 
only does the fame craver deserve it, but also that 
the world owes it to him to know it. This per- 
sistent insistence on standing on one's rights, 
and claiming one's due, if one has here at all any 
rights and due, is the great element of all vul- 
garity in the otherwise by no means low. Every 
station in life has its own vulgarity, and this is the 
Shy lock trait of many a son of Power : with Schop- 
enhauer as a classic example thereof among the 
giants of men. Writing for mere fame — it too 
rises in the pit, and goeth into exile from heaven. 
The confusion of tongues was inflicted upon sinful 
men first for climbing heavenward by a tower of 
their own; but second, for saying: Go to, let us 
make a name for ourselves upon earth. The 
humble soul beats its breast in fear, Lest we 
forget! The uplifted, soul tears its hair in rage, 
Lest we be forgotten ! 

Napoleon, among his other nobilities, which lay 
in neighborhood close enough to many rather 


lamentable ignobilities, had also this notable one : 
When Flattery would fain derive his descent from 
Charlemagne himself, he gave answer, "I am 
myself my own first ancestor." I dislike about 
Corneille the reverse of this: his saying that 
has somehow got itself filtered across the cen- 
turies: "My renown" (Schopenhauer's ignoble 
Ruhm again) "I owe only to myself." And the 
ill-advisedest piece of service an editor ever did 
to an author he was introducing was to print 
among his otherwise highminded bits also this: 
"Of all that I write will aught survive? If 
renown I win, to what shall I owe it? To my 
Limousin Epic? To my Limousin Dictionary? 
To these Thoughts? I would like to know." 


"His This may be forgotten, his That may pass 

away, but his fame is secure!" Shallow wind 

up to the discussion of a great soul. If any worth 

was in him at all, he cared naught for his "fame." 

The "immortality" had by writers of fame is not 
worth having. For the immortality that is worth 
having one must be aught more than even a great 
writer, perhaps even something wholly different. 


The conviction that the world needs what one 

has to say thereto is delusion. When Omar left 

Alexandria's library to the flames with the words : 

"If what is therein agrees with the Koran, it need 


not be preserved; if it agree not with the Koran, 
it should not be preserved," he only wrongly 
applied to the Koran what is rightly applied only 
to another book, the BOOK. And if men heed 
not the Bible, neither will they heed thee, O 
man, whosoever thou art, if so be that thy 
message be unto life and not unto death. "If they 
believe not Moses and the prophets, neither 
will they believe though one rose from the dead." 

When Walter Scott, who himself had writ some 
threescore books, lay on his death bed, he asked 
his son-in-law Lockhart for "the book." "Which 
book, Sir Walter?" "There is only one book," 
he gave answer, and pointed to the Bible. Thus 
with one word — death here as elsewhere proving 
a rather stern eyeopener — he assigned their 
true place to his toil of a life time, his Waverleys, 
Marmions, Lake Ladies, and the rest. Already 
some fifteen decades before Scott one mightier 
than he had declared vociferously enough that 
there is only one BOOK worth reading, this self- 
same Bible. • . And what makes Pascal a 
greater than Scott is that he did not have to wait 
for death to open here his eyes, but saw at six 
and twenty what it took Sir Walter threescore 
years to learn, and only after bitter disappoint- 
ment and sorrow. 


But even the philanthropy of the motive to 
teach mankind is seldom aught but delusion. 
Rather is it apt to be a subtle working of the desire 
hid in the breast of every son of Adam to impose 
self upon his fellows, the ever-old conceit in one of 


its Protean forms: "I forsooth am wise enough 
to sum up in me the wisdom of the ages for my 
hapless fellows." For a tyrant is man, restless 
until he hath turned the very stars out of their 
course to swing their times to his own erratic 
oscillations. If he cannot impose upon Universe 
his knowledge, then at least his ignorance; and 
if not his competency, then at least his incom- 
petency ; and if Universe cannot be stirred by the 
lever of Archimedes, then at least by gentle tug 
of some wire pulling behind the bar room. This 
is the reason for the ubiquitous hunger for 
leadership, and unceasing attempts at shaking the 
eternal pillars of the heavens. Nay, the very 
philanthropist is ill at ease unless he can impart 
his liquidity for the woes of man in drops of his 
own rotundity and bottles of his own fragility. 

For every great thought sent forth from the 
depths there either already is, or surely shall be 
some soul born to receive it, though not necessarily 
in the same age. When this thought meets the 
one soul for whom it was writ, a marriage takes 
place, and thus it is that all that is truly great is 
perpetuated in offspring. 

Genius knowing that it creates for some one, 
errs in looking for its mate during its life-time, 
craving as it does for recognition, sympathy: the 
first law of man in genius as in all else being, It is 
not good for man to be lone. But Universe 


is pledged for the recognition of genius, it is not 
pledged for sympathy to its possessor. 

In his first stage Genius is sure that he will 
be appreciated by his generation: the craving for 
sympathy misleads him here. But the discovery 
is at last in all bitterness made that of all chases 
the vainest is after sympathy ... In the second 
stage he is sure that recognized he yet shall be: 
if not in his generation, then in some other. In 
the third stage he toils on, and even joys in his 
toil with a certain sadness, praising Heaven for 
the privilege of toiling, — sympathy or no sym- 
pathy, recognition or no recognition. 

It is a mark of divine power that it never tires. 

Lone is the path of Genius, and sore at times 
his heart, and bitter even now and then his soul. 
For one who hath beneath his waistcoat not a 
bit of cold stone, but a goodly portion of warm 
throbbing human flesh, it is already hard to see 
the priest of a Taster, and the Levite of a Senser 
pass by in silence. But to see them not only 
pass by, but with robe uplifted and fringe gathered 
in; the inward fatness glistening out of the eye, 
and the outward inflation displayed on the lip, 
publisher himself meanwhile patting him patron- 
izingly on the back, his broken back: "You are 
forsooth, dear fellow, a veritable genius; but on 
mature, careful, lengthy conscientious, and most 
sympathetic consideration of your most valuable 
doings, we feel painfully, most painfully, con- 


strained to leave thee, dear good Genius, to wallow 
in the ditch in thy life blood" — there is a, time 
when even Genius is weak enough (or is it really 
weakness?) to feel thereover a pang unutter- 
able . . . 


Kepler was great when he discovered the laws 
that go by his name. He was greater when he 
said: If God could wait six thousand years for 
some soul to discover His laws, I can wait six 
hundred for the appreciation of mine. 

I used to think meanly of the ostrich for hiding 
her head in the sand. I think better of her since 
I have learned that she leaves her eggs to be 
hatched by the sun. 

■ 24. 

For every beauty there is an eye somewhere 
to see it ; for every truth there is an ear somewhere 
to hear it ; for every love there is a heart somewhere 
to receive it. But though my beauty meet no 
eye, it still doth glow; though my truth meet no 
ear, it still doth shine, but if my love meet no 
heart, it can only break . . . 

In Letters above all it is true that it is not good 
for man to be lone. To the two indispensabili- 
ties of Genius for doing its best, native endowment 
and cultured application, there must ever be join- 
ed the third: the sympathy of the audience ad- 
dressed. But mayhap the one lesson needed to 
learn by those who would walk with God — and the 
bestowal of Genius is ever the invitation from on 


high : Come up higher, friend, into the third, yea, 
into the seventh heaven — is that for at least a 
goodly portion of the way they must walk 
lone even to the breaking of the heart. Only 
thus shall the lone pilgrim be enabled to keep his 
eye fixed upon heaven; and only then shall he 
hear the voice: "They that sow in tears shall yet 
reap in gladness." . . . 


It is the part of a wise soul to be indifferent 
to incompetent blame. It is the part of a delicate 
soul to be ill at ease before incompetent praise. 
I used to be pleased at the praise bestowed upon 
my work until I perceived how easily the work 
of others is praised. 

The man who has the literary instinct should 
write: — that is his nature. But he should seldom 
publish while still alive. There is then no oc- 
casion for vanity, money, delusion. 

Is naught then to be published save the work 
of the dead? No, only of the dead. But they 
need not always be the dead that are already 
under the sod. 


It is now some eighteen hundred years since 
there came into the world a book under auspices 
modest enough. No prospectus was sent forth 
months ahead to announce the forthcoming 


sensation; no posters were urging the passer by to 
read the book, since every one else was reading it. 
It was not thrown into the lap of passengers in the 
railway coaches, nor were pictures of its author 
displayed in the shop windows. The Gladstones 
of those days wrote no lengthy reviews thereof. 
It was not dramatized for the stage, and was 
talked of neither at reception nor at club. So 
little stir did it make at its entrance into the 
world of letters that the popular dry goods seller 
of the day did not deem it worthy of being made a 
premium for every dollar of hose disposed of. 
Softly, silently it came: like all that is great, 
like every true gift from the heavens, like the 
falling snow, like the rays of the sun; yea, like 
the voice of Him that speaketh unto the heart of 
man neither in the thunder nor yet in the earth- 
quake, but in the still small voice. 

So softly indeed did this Book glide in that 
even unto this day, some eighteen centuries 
thereafter, no adequate name has yet been found 
therefor at the hands of men. As in its highest 
moments, the soul confesses before God that He 
is the Great Unspeakable, the Great Unnamable, 
so have men in their highest wisdom had to con- 
fess that this Book cannot be named, and it has 
ever since remained simply The Book, The Bible. 

And yet this nameless Book somehow gets 
itself translated into every tongue, circulated in 
every clime; and read and studied, and lived by 
every age, every rank, and condition of life . . . 


Men are deceived about nothing so much 
as about their motives; and the question comes 
up now and then, But wherefore dost thou write? 
When at my lowest, I find, I wrote out some of the 
things seething within me because I wished to 
show men that I could write aught worthy of their 
attention. And these were precisely the things 
which, from the fondness of a parent for even a 
deformed child, were surely over-estimated. 

But the growing soul soon scrabbles out of 
such pit. The next height, however, was in no 
wise preferable to the preceding depth. There 
are dollars in writing acceptable things ; and even 
Thoughts, naked Thoughts, without the tinsel 
of dress, can surely be turned into gold, at least in- 
to silver . . . But this too, thank God, could 
be of only utmost brevity of time. But now with 
desire gone to have folk know that there is aught 
in thee, with desire gone to exchange thy thought 
for gold: desire instead becoming indeed intense 
enough the other way — to exchange gold for 
thought, where'er obtainable, at whate'er cost — 
what motive could there now be for writing? 
The esteem of even the competent ceasing 
to be of value; and with the new knowledge 
of the future life fame having become a mere 
bubble blown only for babes, and chased only by 
fools — what motive could there now remain for 
writing, writing, writing, day after day, week 
after week, month after month, year after year, 
decade after decade, without a word of cheer from 
a single soul dear unto thee, without a ray of 
hope for more than one sympathetic soul as an 
audience in mayhap a — century ? Why this con- 


stant tearing out this as unworthy of thine art, re- 
writing here, polishing there, filing now, adding 
anon, looking at this bit with the microscope, at 
yonder mass with the telescope, scrutinizing both 
with spectroscope — why this unceasing, loving, 
sad, lone, yet cheering, toil o'er these bits of 
thine, which only few are like to care for, and 
still fewer like to find what thou dost put therein? 
So after all, the true answer given years ago 
by the youth of five and twenty, must it be given 
also by the man of five and forty? Said the 
youth of five and twenty: - 'Wherefore do I write? 
I know it not. Wherefore doth the bird sing? 
Wherefore doth the tree bear fruit?" 

3 1 - 
Both the immature youth and the mature 
man, do they then thus indeed justify their 
writing? Pause thereat a moment. Say the 
youth and man: "Can the bird help singing? 
Neither can I help writing. Can the tree help 
bearing? Neither can I help composing. It is 
natural for the bird to sing, and it is only natural 
for me to write. It is natural for the tree to bear, 
and it is natural for me to bring forth. Song 
is the bird's God-given gift, and writing is mine; 
fruit is the tree's God-appointed end, and thoughts 
are mine" . . . Excellent all this so far. But 
the bird does not say, Go to, let me sing a song. 
The tree does not say, Go to, let me bear a fruit. 
The bird does not say: I have a God-given gift 
within me, and though I perish I must pour forth 
my divine song. The tree does not say: I have 
a God-given impulse upon me, and though I 
be stripped of mine all, I must bear my fruit. 


The bird sings because the great God hath 
made him to sing for purpose known little to 
bird and still less to man. The tree bears fruit 
for purpose known to tree not at all, and to man 
only partly. But thou, Oman, that hast penned 
the above excuse, youth of five and twenty, 
mature man of five and forty, canst thou gaze 
unabashed into the Holy Presence and say: 
"Lo, as thou hast made the bird to sing, the tree 
to bear fruit, the one to fly in the very heavens, 
the other to be rooted fast to earth, so hast thou 
made me, O God, to write, to print, to publish, to 
make a stir, to be discussed, to be projected 
into space as a Life ere I'm gone hence, to be pro- 
jected into Time as an Influence after I am gone 
hence. And here Judge of all Flesh, is my 
fruit, my song, my winged word, that is to speed 
itself henceforth across the ages"? ... Is it 
thus that thou comest here? Not thou, O worm! 

Wherefore then dost thou write? is no longer 
answered so lightly. But this is only yet a half 
view. The answer given also says: "I know it 
not." I enjoy the bird's song even though I know 
not the wherefore of its singing, and would only 
lose the enjoyment were I to ponder long over 
its Wherefore. I enjoy the tree's fruit, the un- 
eatable only less than the eatable. But the 
enjoyment of both would be speedily lost were I 
to ponder long o'er the wherefore of the blossom, 
the fruit. Thus I know not wherefore I write ; but 
since writing in me is, and thus I write, shall here 
too the Wherefore not be inquired into, lest aught 
be lost by unlawful prying into what is best 
left unpryed into ? 


Do I write then solely as sings the bird, as 
bears the tree ? Am I then — to take in the whole 
horizon of the likeness — writing as the lamb emits 
its bleating, because this is lamb-like; the ox his 
bellowing, becuase this is ox-like; the ass his 
braying, because this is ass-like; as the swine is 
grunting, because this is swine-like? Am I thus 
writing like unto all these just merely because 
writing is I-like? Clearly, neither is this yet the 
whole of the matter. 

A fragment I just picked up among my papers 
let it furnish the true and final answer about the 
wherefore of my writing, about the wherefore of all 
true writing : 


"In jotting down a few memoranda about my 
work as literary craftsman I wish it distinctly 
understood that from God's point of view, from 
the point of view of one whose burning desire is 
to glorify God by his life in every deed, word, and 
thought, the point of view of one who would fain 
be a mere doorkeeper in the house of God, or 
a mere hewer of wood and drawer of water for 
howe'er small a company of Christ's little ones — 
from the point of view of such a one, I do not 
think literary work for its own sake worth doing. 
Fiction and the drama, with even truth as their 
end, are so steeped in falsehood as to leave even 
the best thereof essentially unclean. And the 
prettier the lie's attire, the deadlier its snare. 
I take this life to be the preparation for another, 
and as fiction and speculation are surely not found 
there, I have no use for them here. 

"Poesy has been thrust out already even from 
wise Plato's high estate. And with fiction, drama, 


poesy, and oratory (a kind of bastard of drama and 
poesy), betaking themselves hence, literature is 
henceforth without spinal column. History, biog- 
raphy, travels, belong rather to the realm of pass- 
ing cyclopedia than to that of Letters; their 
store consisting solely of things not temporal, 
but of things eternal, of things of beauty that are 
joy for aye. Essays, which are mere comments 
on Life, Maxims, which are mere summaries of 
Life, and all that lies between, aphorisms, medi- 
tations, letters, are thus all that constitutes pure 
literature and undefiled. But to Christian even 
this is mere luxury, in nowise a necessity. And in 
a world that lieth in the Evil one, the busying 
with luxuries is hardly fit and sober occupation for 
the disciple of Him who For this purpose was made 
manifest that He might destroy the works of the 
devil. Not for me then is Literature as a life con- 
stancy. But in my Christian life I have been 
lone, and no occupation has been vouchsafed unto 
me by which I could feel that God is glorified in 
the labor of my hands. 

''My literary labors have therefore been with 
me mere pastime, which I would fain have left 
any moment for aught that I have deemed more 

"But being thus driven back to an occupation 
which from the highest point of view has to me at 
least hardly any value, I was bound to do the little 
I could with the best that in me was ; and this being 
the case, the world judging by its own standard 
must in time find much here worthy of its atten- 
tion even from its own point of view, as is bound 
to be the case with all work that is genuine, and 
deeply felt and truly felt." 




My early booklets began with the chapter 
on Sorrow. Forthwith I was advised never again 
to begin my book thus : It will not forsooth sell so 

Now men have indeed itching ears, heaping up 
teachers to themselves; and they say unto their 
prophets: " Prophesy unto us only smooth 
things!" For in the things of God folk prefer 
to be asleep, and prophets are disliked because 
they disturb the rest. And there has even arisen 
a new science so-called, yea, a Religion, whose 
cardinal preachment is: Think not that Sin, 
Disease, Evil, yea death itself, are. Just think 
that they are not, and lo, they cease to be!" 

All this, however, is only for silly folk. Sober 
souls know that sin is, disease is, death is, evil is. 
That by no manner of somersaulting, whether 
mental or otherwise, can these be gotten rid of. 
Through the mercy of God there is indeed escape 
here, but not by the turning of the head away 
therefrom; rather by giving all these first a manly, 
unflinching, full-eyed look. And the immediate 
result of such wholesome gaze is the equally 
wholesome — Sorrow. Not indeed the sorrow of 
the world that bringeth death, but the Godly 
sorrow that worketh repentance. 



Nevertheless, I follow the advice of those well- 
meaning folk, and this time begin my book not 
with Sorrow, though for a reason as far from theirs 
as East is from West. 


I begin not with Sorrow — even though Man is 
born unto Sorrow, as the sparks fly upward; 
even though Through many tribulations must 
we enter the kingdom of God — because Sorrow is 
after all not the Central fact of Life any more than 
Joy is its ultimate end. 

Happiness, misery, howe'er desirable the at- 
tainment of the one and the escape from the other, 
are after all life's episodes, they form in nowise 
its eras, its epochs. For as the ways to heaven 
and hell are travelled : the one by those who choose 
what they should, the other by those who choose 
what they would, so man's first lesson from his 
mother's breast must ever be that he is here not 
to be happy first, but to do his duty first; that he 
is here not to have what he would, but to do what 
he should. 


The four cardinal points of Life are: God, Love, 
Duty, Sorrow. But these form not a foursquare. 
Life is still a circle, but with God for its Centre. 
Love and Sorrow are only the two points which de- 
termine its arc. Duty is the path of the circle 
travelled by Love and Sorrow round the great 
God, the Centre. 

Accordingly it is with God that I begin. 

OP GOD 21 

One of the fatal vices of the modern mind is 
the revival of Don-Quixoteism : the rushing against 
every windmill as a foe of the race: changed in 
our modern conditions to the starting of "prob- 
lems" where no problem is. The "problem" of 
the origin of the universe is of this sort. To the 
question, Who made the world? only two answers 
are possible : Either it made itself, or a maker made 
it — God. The wise of all ages have ever shown 
their wisdom not only in uniformly maintaining 
that the world was created by God, but also in 
hardly even entertaining the thought that the 
universe made itself. Things do not make them- 
selves, they are always made out of aught else. 
It is the modern wise men, the philosophers, that 
have started the "problem :" How can a world that 
is clearly made have been made by one, when we 
forsooth, the wise men, fail to see that one? This 
is the modern "insoluble problem" as to the origin 
of the universe. 

Now the modern problem raiser is irrational; 
though not necessarily in asserting that the 
Creation of the universe by God does not give the 
final answer to the questioning of man as to the 
origin of things. For on being told that God made 
the world, the question is not irrational, But who 
made God? It is admitted that the question can 
be raised, and that it presents a difficulty. But 
the unreasonableness of the modern problem 
raiser consists in ignoring the vital fact that a mere 
difficulty is not sufficient to be set against a 
manifest absurdity. The question as to the origin 


of God presents a difficulty. The answer that 
the world made itself, even though disguised in 
the form of having thus existed forever, is an ab- 
surdity. A difficulty the human mind may 
indeed confess and accept; an absurdity it can 
only repudiate, and promptly dismiss. And the 
fatal vice of the modern mind is the readiness to 
accept as an "explanation," or "solution," a mani- 
fest absurdity for the sake of evading a mere 

It is a fact that in the universe to-day Intelli- 
gence is: in beast, in man. It either always was 
therein, or had a beginning sometime. If it 
always was — before man, before beast — we have 
God, the eternal God at once. But if the intel- 
ligence now seen in the universe had a beginning, 
then starting with a mass of stocks, and stones, 
hay, stubble and mud, and water and gas, we at 
last, without any adequate source or cause, get 
intelligence out of rocks; life out of death, matter 
out of space. If this is intelligible or intelligent 
to any let him believe it if he likes; but sober folk 
waste no time therewith. 

With God, therefore, men must start, do what 
they may. What then about God? Whence 
He? Well: Seeing that turn as I may, I must 
accept Him, I frankly confess: I do not know; 
and am therewith content, for the simple reason 
that it is not mine to know. God being the maker 
of all, He is mine too. But the thing made cannot 
comprehend Him that makes, except in so far 
that He chooses to make Himself comprehensible. 

OF GOD 23 


My cat comprehends me, even though she be 
my inferior; but only up to the point that I choose 
to make myself comprehensible to her. Were I 
to stand motionless before her, heedless of her 
mewings, I would be to her that much stone. 
My petting her, feeding her, and speaking to her, 
raises her up to me for some comprehension. But 
even this can be accomplished only within certain 
feline limits, and these limits I can narrow by 
refusal to communicate to her. 

And the relation of man to God is not unlike 
that of the cat to man. If God chooses to reveal 
Himself to men, they can (and often do) compre- 
hend Him, but solely within the limits set herein 
to man. The Creator of man must needs be 
the Superior of man, and man can never compre- 
hend God wholly until made His fellow. And 
unto this man has assuredly not yet attained. 
Now how God came at all to be is one of those 
matters about which God has not seen fit to 
communicate with man; and the ''problem" 
about His origin, seeing that His existence has 
to be accepted anyhow, is simply an — imperti- 
nence; in God's language a piece of — folly. Hence 
it is that in God's book (assuming that God 
would have a book of His own) the wise men 
of this age, the philosophers, who think themselves 
entitled to raise thp question at all, are called 
bluntly and unceremoniously — fools . . . 

If my cat began to "reason" about me beyond 
her milk and meat that I give her, and the oc- 


casional pat — (which is all she is ever like to know 
of me in relation to her) — in the same manner as 
the wise of this age, the philosophers, * 'reason' ' 
about God, and went on to mew out in cat books 
to catdom her notions of me, she would be sent 
not to the cattery, but to the chloroformer. 

That God does not forthwith send jthe ' 'phil- 
osophers" either to the Asylum (as in the case 
of Nietsche) or to the grave (the final destiny 
of the rest) is what distinguishes Him from the 
mere master of the cat. The one is a mere 
worm of a man, the other is GOD, long-suffering 
and merciful to the foolishness of man, to the 
arrogance of " philosophers." 

The central fact in the history of man is Christ ; 
the central fact in the life of men is God. 

The world itself and its history is only con- 
fusion; one thing alone brings order therein — the 
thought of God. All else only adds to the con- 
fusion and makes it at last chaos. 

Without God all is riddle. With God all is 
not yet indeed intelligible, but what is intelligible 
is at least intelligent. 

Godliness — the oculist par excellence. 

Nothing is great without God, nothing is small 
with God. 

OF GOD 25 

Faith in God makes all things possible ; hope in 
God makes all things endurable; love to God 
makes all things enjoyable. 

To depart from God is indeed a calamity; but 
there is a greater: to part with God. 

The sea has many names, but is everywhere the 
same salt water. Vice has many appellations, 
but is everywhere the same departure from God. 

The greatest sorrow is not to be appreciated 
by men; the greatest misfortune, not to appre- 
ciate God. 

Not to appreciate men is our great loss in this 
life. Not to appreciate God is our great loss also 
in the next. 

The crying sin toward men is unkindness, 
which is only inappreciation of them. The crying 
sin toward God is ingratitude, which is again in- 
appreciation of Him. 

"Were the oxen to represent their God they 
would make Him jwith horns!" Possibly; but 
friends, have you asked the oxen? 

The pantheist is an atheist with a little bash- 


I have known noble folk, but without God. 
The color of the peach was there, and much of its 
flavor; but the bloom was lacking, and the worm 
was within . . . 


In the first chapter of Romans God has a con- 
troversy with those who know or ought to know 
Him, and give not the glory due unto His name. 
But in all Scripture He hath not a word of re- 
monstrance with those who say There is no God. 
"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" 
is His verdict upon such, and with fools it is idle 
to remonstrate. 


My neighbor tells me, There is no God! I 
give him his dinner — this much I owe to him.. I 
keep an eye on my spoons — this much I owe to 


The two great certainties of life are: God in 
heaven, sorrow on earth. Who knows not yet 
sorrow is still an ignoramus. Who is still un- 
certain about God is already a fool. 

6 3 - _ 

The great end of man is to know; the great 
end of God is to be known. 

Who knows God less than what is in the 
Bible will not understand Him. Who knows 
God more than what is in the Bible will misunder- 
stand Him. 

OF GOD 27 

To know the world one must know God; to 
know God one need not know the world. 


True worship enjoys God, true religion pos- 
sesses Him, true science finds Him, true philoso- 
phy seeks Him. 


Two men please God: who loves Him with all 
his heart because he knows Him; who seeks Him 
with all his heart because he knows Him not. 

God is unknowable, but only to those who will 
not to know Him. God is invisible, but only to 
those who will not to see Him. God is unsearch- 
able but only to those who wish to find Him out, 
not to those who wish to find Him. 

The surest way to possess God is to lay hold of 
Him. The surest way to lose Him is to try to 
grasp Him. 

To have God we need not even understand Him. 
To lose Him we need only try to define Him. 

The godly are apt to err in thinking that they 
can know all about God ; the ungodly err in think- 
ing that they can know nothing of God. 

Man's work is not understood till His intention 
: is known. God's work is never so misunderstood 


as when His whole intention is deemed to be 

The more a thing is in sight the less apt it is 
to be seen. But God can only then be seen when 
He is constantly looked if not at, at least for. 

To see God in nothing — that is atheism. To 
see God in everything — that is pantheism. Only 
to see God over everything, to look for Him in 
anything — that is true godliness. 

Familiarity with the noble breeds contempt 
thereof; a reason why God, ever ready to reveal 
Himself to man is also ever hiding Himself from 


The vice of metaphysics is its frantic attempt 
to touch the so-called " thing itself," the German's 
will-of-the-wisp das Ding an Sick. But Nature 
resents actual touch, as the pure Virgin resents 
unhallowed embrace. The stove warms at an 
interval, it burns when touched. It is the very 
nature of God that while He ever strives to reveal 
Himself, he ever hides Himself enough to remain 
the invisible one. Cloud and darkness are round 
about Him even when as at Sinai He speaks with 

To believe the evidence about God is not yet 
to believe God. 

OF GOD 29 


God is not understood alike by the wise and the 
foolish. But the wise are in the dark only about 
the punctuation, the foolish misread also God's 


Creation proves the existence of the Creator ; its 
beauty and perfection show forth His power and 
wisdom. The misery of His creatures displays 
His holiness. Only their happiness can show 
forth His love. And their misery is but too often 
their needful preparation for the true happiness. 

In Creation we see a God of power; in Provi- 
dence, a God of wisdom; in the Law, a God of 
Justice; in the Gospel, the God of love. 


God is to be feared because of His power, He is 
to be depended on because of His justice, He is 
to be trusted because of His wisdom, He is to be 
loved because of His mercy, He is to be adored 
because of His majesty. 

Power is honored by submission; merit, by 
respect; and beauty, by admiration. In God the 
three are to be honored by worship. 


God is entitled to faith from men because of 
the little they know of Him. He demands faith 
from men because of the much they know not of 


8 4 . 

God's commands presuppose His wisdom; 
man's obedience can always prove it. 


From Nature we learn that God cares for the 
mass. From Revelation we learn that he cares 
also for the individual. 

The book of Nature is the evening edition, the 
book of Revelation is the morning edition of 
God's message unto men. But in both as in the 
newspaper the editorial page is the same. 


Nature is best studied in things natural; God, 

in things spiritual; and then there is order. It is 

when God is confined to the natural, and nature 

imported into the spiritual that confusion begins. 

From God men may keep away, they cannot 
get away. 

Who plans not with God plans not therefore 
without God. 

Now and then a desperate chessplayer loses 
his queen early in the game, yet keeps on playing 
hoping against hope yet to retrieve the game. 
Every one who starts out in life without -God is 
such a desperate player. 

OF GOD 31 


In his efforts to escape his misery apart from 
God man is like the moving railway engine: 
travel it never so fast it cannot leave the smoke 
behind without new smoke ever hovering about. 

The remedies for the ills of men that have no 
Christ in them are like the lights that glow in the 
field on summer nights: beautiful in the dark, 
until daylight reveals them to be only — bugs. 

We smile at the Chinese for bringing up their 
women with club feet. But our education which 
leaves God out brings up not only our women 
but also our men with club feet . . . 

The most comfortable place for the child is the 
bosom of the mother; the most natural place for 
the man is the bosom of the Father. And as 
much of the babe's restlessness is due to separation 
from the bosom of the mother, so all of man's 
restlessness is due to his absence from the bosom 
of the Father. 

The Father — the Divine over men; the Son — 
the Divine for men ; the Spirit — the Divine in men. 


As long as He was God of the Jews only, Je- 
hovah was content to be known only as the One 
Who Is, Jehovah the one God. The Jews were 
not metaphysicians, and raised no silly questions. 
But when He becomes also the God of the Greeks, 


He condescends to make Himself known as 
God Triune. The Greeks were metaphysicians. 
His Unity is God's revelation of Himself to man 
simple, natural. His Trinity is God's condescen- 
sion to man complex, artificial, God's long- 
suffering with man even when raising silly 


When put under a tree to enjoy its shade and 
shelter, to eat its fruit, and gather in for winter 
comfort its shed leaves, and chop up its withered 
branches both for heat and exercise, and draw off 
the sap when flowing, and munch its bark when I 
have a cold — I will not fritter away my time with 
speculations as to the exact metaphysical re- 
lation between the root, the trunk and the 
branches: whether the three are one, or the one is 
three; or whether each separately is the tree, or all 
together. I leave this ''discussion" to such folk as 
enjoy this sort of a thing. To me, it is unattract- 
ive, because I think it mere trifling, even if I 
did not know that the "discussion" is sure to end 
in spoiling for me my beloved and useful tree . . 

When my head and a post are in collision, 
it is a delicate metaphysical question whether I 
hit the post or the post hit me. But the discussion 
thereof immediately after the hitting would mark 
me for the Asylum. I fail to see why the dis- 
cussion in the abstract should not land one there 
as effectually as in the concrete. 

Now the discussion of the Trinity as a mere 
piece of arithmetic strikes me as on par with the 

OF GOD 33 

9 8. 

In their relation to God men are of three kinds : 
who love not God — these are the atheists at heart, 
whatever they be in name; who love their God — 
these are the idolators at heart, whatever their 
name. Only those who love God — these are His 
servants at heart, whatever their name. 

In their relation to God men have ever been 
divided into two classes: those who recognize 
His presence and walk in accordance with this, 
and those who ignore His presence and walk in 
accordance with that. Philosophers may divide 
men into theists and atheists, into deists and 
pantheists, into positivists or agnostics. But 
unrefined simple division is ever between the 
Godly and the unGodly, between him that 
hath regard to God, and f eareth Him ; and Him 
that hath no regard, and thus despiseth Him; 
between him that putteth his trust in God 
because he knoweth his own weakness, and him 
that putteth his trust in himself because he ex- 
ulteth in his own strength. 


Think not too little of others, and be saved from 
judging your fellows. Think not too much of 
yourself, and be saved from judging God. 

Tears before men are a mark of weakness, tears 
before God are a mark of strength. 

By falling before God we rise toward Him. 



By soaring we may rise toward the heaven, only 
by stooping do we rise toward God. 

Man is not great till he beholds his own littleness. 

Folk measure greatness by its ability to walk 
erect. But God's great men are those who have 
learned first to bow and then to remain stooping. 

By realizing our unworthiness of God's love we 
become worthy thereof. 

To have our eyes open unto men we must shut 
them before God. 

The crying sin toward man is selfishness ; toward 
God, self -righteousness. 

Only he can love God who loves others and 
hates himself. 

It is not true that Nature loves a vacuum, but 
God does. 

Men's chief mistake is in their ledger. They 
treat God as one of their debtors, He is only their 

To those who confess that God owes them noth- 
ing He becomes debtor for everything. 

OF GOD 35 

To be filled man must come to God as the bucket 
comes to the well — empty. And like the bucket 
must be content to be first turned upside down. 

We must come to God as children if we are to 
walk as men. 

With men we can afford to be children some- 
times. With God we must be children always. 

A man's satisfaction with himself is to God's 
satisfaction with him as the arms of the scales are 
to each other: when one goes up the other goes 

Two men please God: who prays confidently for 
his need because he trusts God, who prays timidly 
for his need because he distrusts himself. 

Tears of pain may draw men to God. Tears 
of penitence draw God to men. 


In judging others the great desideratum is love ; 
in judging ourselves, humility. Love is justice to 
man, humility is justice to God. 

Men think of God as like themselves, and only 
show thereby their ignorance of God. It is a 
mark of knowledge of God when men see them- 
selves as most unlike God. 



Furrows are cut in your heart — then give God 
the opportunity to sow there the seeds of grace. 

Keep thyself a bruised reed. God will make 
thee a polished shaft. 

Loneliness among men may lead to self-destruc- 
tion, loneliness with God only leads to self -cruci- 

There can be no true peace with self without 
the death of Christ ; no true peace with God with- 
out the death of self. 

Earth is empty without God, and still more 
empty with God . . . 

Satan brooks no superior, God has none. 

God asks little of men, but always their best. 

God gives men the right beginning and assures 
them of the right ending if they but do the right 

God is ready to turn our water into wine, us He 
expects to keep it from turning into vinegar. 

God sees to it that there be enough inspirers, 
if men but see that there be enough inspired. 

OF GOD 37 


God goes before and ploughs, it is for men to 
follow and plant. And the secret of all jar and 
discord in life is that men walk with one foot in 
the furrow's crest, with the other in its hollow. 
The walking is jaunty, and the seed falls into the 
wrong place . . . 


Of their income God often deprives His children, 
but never of their capital. 

The more one knows the less he speaks; the 
All-Knowing One is thus the Great Silent One. 


God is silent for centuries — this is His forbear- 
ance. He forgets not for a moment — this is His 


God is almighty. He can crush out sin and 
rebellion and wickedness in an instant. And if I, 
worm that I am, suffer so much from the sight 
and presence of wrong about me, how much more 
must He who is Holiness itself suffer, at the sight 
of sin, rebellion, wickedness? Yet He tolerates 
wrong, and the most terrible crimes, not only 
against Himself, but even against innocent vic- 
tims of lust, greed, pride, selfishness. He has 
tolerated the crime of crimes against His only, 
well-beloved Son. If He can prevent and does 
not, is He doing what is right toward wickedness? 
Is He doing His duty therewith, if man can at all 
measure God's duty? Is not God as it were, 
partaker of wrong by permitting it? . . . 


But what if, by permitting wickedness, and at 
least for a time winking thereat, and thus, in a 
measure, becoming responsible therefor, He 
meant to show that there is aught in the Universe 
higher even than — Justice ? What if it prove that 
Mercy and Love being higher in God's sight than 
even Justice, He doeth violence to His own 
holiness, and endures wrong, suffers under it, 
willing even to be held responsible for it as One 
who could crush wrong with a mere nod? What 
if this be the true meaning of the otherwise dark 
saying that before God Mercy rejoiceth against 
Judgment ? 


The mystery of Evil? I let it alone, as long as 
there is, thank God, no mystery whatever about 

God does not always hearken, He always hears. 

God often shuts every door about us, never the 
door above us. 

Can God be moved? Certainly, but only in 
proportion to the readiness with which you let 
Him move you. 

God assures folk that He will fulfil his promises, 
but not how. 

God never deceives a man. He does not always 
undeceive him. 

OF GOD 39 


God condemns men for what they are. He 
punishes them for what they do. 

God's justice may be expected to help those 
who help themselves. God's love may be trusted 
to help those who cannot help themselves. 

God knows what we do not know — this is our 
consolation. We know not what God knows — 
this is our hope. 

Man loves God for what He can receive from 
Him. God loves man for what He can give to 

Human love lives on what it receives, divine 
love on what it gives. 

Men look upon the quantity of their sorrow. 
God, upon its quality. 

Men measure a man's riches by what he has. 
God, by what he has had. 

Men draw the color-line at black, yellow and 
brown. God draws it only at scarlet. 

Man is satisfied if he has done good. God is 
not satisfied until man has done well. 


Man is not satisfied as long as the charity is 
only in the heart. God is not satisfied as long as 
the charity is only in the hand. 

Men measure a gift by its value to the receiver. 
God measures it by its value to the giver. 

To be wise before men love must act below what 
it feels; to be wise before God it must act above 
what it feels. 

When we are light-hearted God lays his burden 
upon us, and we become heavy-hearted. After- 
ward He gives lightheartedness over that. 


For the tears of men God has no uniform 
bottles, their size is adjusted to the exact amount 
of bruising and crushing each may need. 

Whenever we have a need for the satisfying 
of which we have not the means we may be sure 
that it is not real. For what is really needful God 
sees to it that it be supplied. 

The common man sees, if at all, only the pres- 
ent; the uncommon man sees in the present also 
the past. God alone sees it also as the future. 


Polished one may be by men, cleansed he must 
be by God. 

OF GOD 41 


Most of men's misery is due as much to per- 
version of head as perverseness of heart. The 
kindly therefore ask charity for them. But God 
sees in perversion of head some perverseness of 


I used to doubt God. Now I only doubt my 
knowledge of Him. 

x 161. 

I used to wonder what use God had for the 
wicked. But since I learned that hardly a page 
can be printed without the slanting Italics, I no 
longer ask that question. 

Two things pass my comprehension: God in 
His wisdom, man in his folly. 

What God does not give man can never gain. 
What God does give man can still lose. 

. 164. 
Every vessel holds that best for which it is 
made. Man alone holds God worst. 


All are tied to God by elastic tethers. Many 
stretch theirs not enough, and fail to obtain much 
that is theirs. More stretch theirs too far, and 
break them — losing their all. 

The one talent we all have from the least to 
the greatest, is for slamming the door in the face 


of Heaven-sent messengers when once mayhap 
in a decade they do come along to one perchance 
in a hundred . . . . 

Every one is at first as God made him, then 
much worse. At last God has to remake him. 

Man's relation to God is that of a funnel. 
At the brim the inspiration may be wide enough, 
but man lets out as if he received only at the point. 

Men treat God as the dog treats his master: 
run before, run after him, but have him seldom at 
their side. 

Love is passion for the creature. It becomes 
religion when it is passion for the Creator. 

Only that is true love to God which enables us to 
love our enemies and pity His. 

True love to man comes only after a cruci- 
fixion: true love to God, only after a resurrection. 

Nearly everything can be handled with the 
proper gloves. The love of God shed abroad in 
the heart by the Spirit covers the hands with such 


True love to God brings our hearts nearer to 
men, but removes our heads further from them. 

OF GOD 43 


Hatred of Satan is a part of religion; but the 
underpart. Love of God is the upper. 

It is a mark of a walk with God when one is 
slow to take offence at any and quick to give 
offence to many. 

True piety praises God even for His judgments : 
like the sandal wood, which imparts its fragrance 
even to the axe which cuts it down. 


Who clings to life has not resigned his own will. 
Who courts death has not yet submitted to God's 


By doing wrong you become God's debtor; 
by suffering wrong you becoma God's creditor. 

In prosperity men ask too little of God. In 
adversity, too much. 

We can oft afford to do in the sight of God what 
we can not afford to do in the sight of men. We 
can never afford to do in the sight of men what we 
cannot in the sight of God. 

There are two kinds of law: law and lawlessness 
under the name of law. The former is everywhere 
an expression of God, the latter is always an 
expression of Satan. And it is for men to dis- 
cern law from law. 



Demons also believe in God, Saints trust Him. 


When hot iron is touched it is the heat that is 
felt rather than the iron. When the man of God 
is blessing it is the spirit of God that gives the 
blessing, not the man himself. 

One is haunted by the image of the sun for some 
time after because of gazing too long thereon. 
But when the thought of God follows one where'er 
he be, wbate'er he do, it is not because He has 
been gazed upon too long. 


Do not expect to know God's mind if you know 
not your own. 


Only he can afford to trust men who trusts God. 

To be delivered from all fear we must have one 
fear — of God. 

To leave joy where'er you go is to be faithful 
to man; to find joy where'er you go is to be faith- 
ful to God. 

To see God in the things He gives you is to have 
Him with you. To see God in the things He 
takes from you is to have you with God. 

OF GOD 45 


Man must first display his love and then his 
holiness. God first displays his holiness and then 
his love. 


In coming to God the Soul is under the opposite 
law as the railway train; which may at times be 
late, but must never be too early. 

In what they know of God men agree readily 
enough. It is in what they know not of God that 
I they so disagree. 


Man's business is to stay at the centre; God's 
to see that the circumference be widened. And 
the closer man keeps to the centre, the wider his 


Two things are unchangeable : God's holiness, 
Man's sinfulness. 


The light of the head is cold — mere electric dis- 
play. The light in the heart is warm — a burning 
fire. The Light of God as mere Light makes 
atheists at the start. The Light of God as mere 
warmth makes atheists in the end. Only when 
the icy holiness of God is recognized, along with 
His consuming Love do folk remain poised. 

Both God and the world disapprove of discord 
in man. But the world is content with mere 
rhythm. God requires also harmony. 



To gain this world much trust in self is needed. 
To gain the next, a little trust in God is enough. 

To be happy in the world one must learn to 
let go; to be happy in God one must learn to 
hold on. 

When man finds nothing in the world to satisfy 
his heart God is ready for him. When man finds 
nothing in his heart to satisfy the world, he is 
ready for God. 

Deserved praise exalts in man's sight. Unde- 
served blame exalts in God's sight. 

Man's business is to do the right; God's, to see 
that it prevail. 

To be at peace with mien we can not afford to 
have decided opinions on any thing; to be at 
peace with God, we must have decided opinions on 
many things. 

When man confides his secret unto us we are 
restless unless we keep it. When God confides 
His secret unto us we are restless unless we 
divulge it. 

I have love when I feel as God feels. I have 
truth when I see as God sees. I have not yet 
justice when I judge as God judges. 

OF GOD 47 

206. l 

In three things men can afford to be unlike God : 
tho' God never hopes, man must ever hope; tho' 
God does not forever love, man must ever love; 
tho' God must sometimes judge, man must never 


The love that can be repaid is more acceptable 
than that which cannot be repaid. Hence divine 
love finds less response than human love. 

What cannot be helped men endure, and this 
they have in common with the beast ; what might 
be helped men bear, and this is peculiar to them- 
selves ; only what ought to be helped men forbear, 
and this they have in common with God. 

The carnal man lives unto self; the moral man 
may live also unto others ; the spiritual man lives 
only unto God. 

The fool's problem is solved when he is satisfied 
with himself; the wise man's problem is not 
solved till he is satisfied with God. 

The freest man is he who is made a captive of 
God and is then captivated by God. 

Two things hide the stars: the clouds of the 
night, the light of the day. Two things hide God : 
deep adversity, high prosperity. 



A joke is the lowest kind of wit because God 
never jokes. 


Atheism also has its hell for those it damns; 
only it is of ice instead of fire. 


Some things we know to be for God's glory — 
these we must do. Some things we know to be 
not for God's glory — these we must not do. Some 
things are apparently indifferent and make neither 
for nor against God's glory — these we may do, 
but only after praying that these also prove unto 
God's glory. 


I read of a man who was in search of information 
about Napoleon. He went to a library, and looked 
at the card catalogue. At " Napoleon" he was 
told to look under "Bonaparte." At "Bonaparte" 
he was told to look under 'Buonaparte." At 
"Buonaparte" he was told to look under 'French 
Revolution.' Under "French Revolution" he was 
told to look under "France." Under "France" he 
was told to look under "History." When he at 
last got to "History," he had the satisfaction of 
seeing that here, at least he would not have to 
go to something else; for here were indeed the 
countries arranged alphabetically. Here were 
America, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, England and 
— France? No. France by some mistake was mis- 
placed into another part of the catalogue, and the 
inquirer after Napoleon had at last to ask an at- 
tendant for the book he desired. This he at last 

OF GOD 49 

got in a fraction of the time it took him to look 
in the catalogue. 

The man was of course much vexed at the an- 
noyance caused by what he branded as stupidity 
on the part of the library authorities. Being 
rather good-natured, he after a while laughed at 
the incident as he told it to others. But being also 
somewhat of a philosopher he reflected a little on 
the matter, and found soon that, whether there be 
here tragedy or comedy, most men are acting out 
the same occurrence in their own lives, where, 
however, whatever else it may be, comedy it 
surely is not. 

Here is a man running, running very hard, 
running for a train. He catches his train as it is 
just rolling out of the station; is dragged along a 
little, as the train goes already rather fast; the 
kind brakeman helps him in, and at last he is 
seated in the car, out of breath, all in perspiration. 
Took risk of heart disease in running, takes risk 
of pneumonia now in sitting. 

"Well, friend, glad to see you have caught your 
train. What were you running for so? 
"O, I wished to get home, of course!" 
"And what will you do when you get home?" 
"Eat my supper and get rested from my day's 

' 'And what when rested from your day's work?" 
"Why, I shall be able to work to-morrow, of 

"O, I see; but what do you work for to-morrow, 

"Why, to earn a living, of course." 
"Ah, I understand. But may I ask, if I be not 
deemed intrusive, just what is it that you are 
— living for?" 


And the man is rather nonplussed. 

You, dear reader, are not, of course, so foolish 
as to run for trains and incur heart disease by 
running and pneumonia by sitting. You take 
things more coolly; you are calmly arranging 
your tie before the glass. Yes, it is excellent, that 
tie, I mean; and well tied it surely is; but pray 
tell me, what are you tying that tie for? 

"O, to be dressed, to be sure." 

' 'And what do you wish to be dressed for, pray ?" 

"To keep warm, of course, and to appear well.'" 

"Exactly; but what are you so anxious to keep 
warm for?" 

"Why — don't you see? — to keep well." 

"That is so, stupid that I am ; but, if you please, 
just what is it that you wish to keep well for?" 

"You don't mean to mock me; why, I strive to 
keep well, because — because I wish to live." 

"0, I see, but just what is it that you are so 
anxious to live for?" 

And here also the answer is not so ready. 

Those library officials were, after all, only hu- 
man. When they at last got to France, they for- 
got to put it in the right place; and, when most of 
us get to our France, we are apt to forget to put it 
in the right place, too. 

"What is the chief end of man?" was the first 
question in the stern old catechism; and the 
equally stern answer was, "Man's chief end is to 
glorify God, and enjoy Him forever." Glorify 
God, and enjoy God, and forever — rather strange 
words in these days; but the Bible standard still 
is, "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatso- 
ever ye do do all to the glory of God" ALL. 

OF GOD 51 


The great secret of walking in white with God 
is not to stagger at His exceeding great promises. 
Stagger not at a walk as the Master walked; 
we are exhorted thereto; nor at a purity as He 
is pure ; it is expected of us ; nor at perf ectness as 
the Father is perfect; it is commanded us; nor 
at being filled with the Spirit ; it is enjoined upon us. 

If the Master saith, "All things are possible 
to him that believeth," believe it; if He assures 
that thou shalt do even greater works than His 
own, believe that too. If the Spirit saith, "All 
things are yours," stagger neither at this. If 
thou find it writ, " Whoso is begotten of God 
doeth no sin, because his seed abideth in him, 
and he cannot sin, because he is begotten of God," 
believe it, because " whatsoever is not of faith 
is sin." 

You may not understand this; it matters 
naught; believe it. You may not see this; 
it matters not; believe it. You may not feel 
this; no matter; believe it. For without faith 
it is impossible to please God. Christian is to 
be born by faith, live by faith, walk by faith. 

The method of the children of this age is, I 
see; therefore I believe. The method for the 
children of the age to come is, Believe, and thou 
shalt see. The blessing of the risen Lord is pro- 
nounced not upon him who hath believed because 
he hath seen, but upon him who hath believed 
even though he hath not seen. And to the ques- 
tion, " What must we do that we may work 
the works of God? " the answer comes, " This is 
the work of God that ye put your trust in Him 
whom He hath sent." 


Distrust your friends: the Lord Himself 
trusted Himself to no man, for that He knew 
what was in man. Distrust your own self; the 
heart of man is desperately sick, and deceitful 
above all things. Distrust your own senses, if 
need be; these with all else that is visible shall 
pass away; but do not distrust the word of Him 
who hath said, " Heaven and earth shall pass 
away, but my words shall not pass away." 

The silence of God is Christian's most perplex- 
ing and hence sorest trial. When in this valley, 
one easily believes that the great God hath 
turned His face away for aye. There then remains 
only the consolation that He was silent also 
to the Syrophenician woman, and called her even 
dog. Yet the cry of her heart was answered the 
very next moment. Not easily understood is 
Christian's God; and one may as well accept 
Him with all His ways past finding out though 
they be ; and keep on still — trusting. ' ' Impossible 
it is to please Him without — trust" .... 

The main thing is to be at all times sober, and 
above all — true. When the great, good yet 
Holy God does give a stunning blow, let us be 
manly about it, and honestly own that His 
hand it was that smote, and not some interloper's, 
while the Great God Himself was on His vacation 
or asleep. And neither must we stultify ourselves, 
and perchance even mock Him, and cast away 

OF GOD 53 

both divine dictionary and human by calling a 
stunning blow a love pat from Father's hand. 
Much foolish chatter there is hereabout in 

When Peter found himself denying his Lord, 
or convicted of dissembling, he hardly turned his 
face upward with a " Well, in everything give 
thanks! " even though there is a time when one 
can be thankful for even sin. And when Paul 
found at last his thrice uttered prayer unanswered, 
he hardly forthwith clapped his hands in joy 
with: " Well, rejoice alway! " 

Beware then against working oneself up into 
a pitch of sanctified, or rather sanctimonious 
stoicism, the strength in the mere flesh and wor- 
ship of will, where it smacks much of that notorious 
(anti) " Christian Science " with its ostrich 
behavior toward disease and pain. No, the God 
of sober Christian is first of all the God of Truth ; 
of love and mercy only afterwards .... 

God has a way of afflicting folk rather un- 
expectedly when certain prayer is being offered 
for their welfare. Perhaps this, is what they need 
first: a pruning away of all mere wood; a cutting 
of all the tendrils that hold them to this life, a 
throwing out of the ballast that hinders the rise 
heavenward. " Whom the Lord loveth He 


" Dost thou curse thy fate for thy misfortune? 


But where stands it writ that thou shalt be happy ? ' ' 
This the mature author who finds it among his 
youthful doings, marks worthless. Even apart 
from reasons of style, La Rochefoucault's "We 
all have sufficient strength for enduring the mis- 
fortunes of — others " would alone suffice to bid 
one discard such heartless bit of exhortation. But 
the thought that the Great God, at least in this 
dispensation not of works but of grace, hath 
nowhere pledged Himself to give man happiness: 
which means only things as you would have them 
— is to be held on to. And if commonplace it be, 
it is but too often forgot : like much else that we 
constantly fail to see because it is so much in 
our sight. 

True piety praises God even for His judgments: 
like the sandal wood, which imparts its fragrance 
even to the axe that cuts it down. 




The highest criticism — must it be occupied more 
with the pointing out of defects than of merits, 
more of blemishes than of beauties? I answer 
'Yes' but only for to-day; in nowise for all the 

The living room has its beauties, and even the 
death chamber hath its beauties. But by no 
manner of even the saccharinest charity can real 
beauty be evolved out of the sick chamber. That 
ever remains esthetically only a mere endurability. 
Clean and sweet it may be kept, but ever with 
reminder of carbolic acid, if not chlorides of lime, 
or even sulphur itself. Wise physician, faithful 
nurse, even gentle patient himself, are here of but 
little .avail ; sick-chamber ever remains what it is, 
a mere aspiration toward estheticity, a bare hope, 
too oft, alas! a beclouded hope for yet better 

Now our age is essentially a sickly age, in Letters 
and Art even a sick age. And the highest criticism 
simply takes due note of that mournful fact ; and 
its tone is, of necessity, not that of the athlete 
joying in the exuberance of health and beauty, 
but rather that of the bland physician with his 
pellet and instrument case, that of the cheery 
nurse with her bottle and spoon 



But this rather undesirable attitude of the high- 
est criticism applies only to the smaller half on 
one side of the line, not to the larger half on the 
other side. The advent of the Christ into the 
visible Universe not only rearranged the map of 
the world whose things pertain unto heaven, but 
it also erected a most revolutionary standard for 
all the things pertaining unto earth ; and little as 
it may appear on the surface, the advent of the 
Lord Christ established among other things also 
a new era of Criticism in Letters and Art. 


For at night the stars do indeed differ in glory : 
There is Sirius and Procyon, Vega and Arcturus, 
Capella and Aldebaran; Rigel and Betelgeuse; 
these shine with a magnitude of their own, and 
are in the first rank. Then there is Arided in the 
Cross, and the Dipper Stars in the Bear; these, 
with others, shine in the second. There are still 
others in the third, fourth, down even to the sixth 
rank, still discernible to the naked eye. But once 
let the sun rise, and the sixth, and the fifth, and 
the second, and the first magnitudes, yea, even 
Jupiter and Venus themselves, forthwith pale into 
uniform vanishing, with utter disregard of their 
respective claims as to brilliancy in relation to one 
another. Now in the pre-Christian night, Homer 
and Plato, Aeschylus and Demosthenes, Herodo- 
tus and Thucydides, Virgil and Cicero, Terence 
and Livy, Tacitus and Aurelius, are indeed stars 
of the first magnitude, and right nobly do these 
fulfil their part in giving light to the darkness 
about them. 



Looking for defects here is ungracious indeed. 
These have faithfully held to the task assigned 
them, and the critic can well joy in the cheery, as 
well as chivalrous task of pointing out their honest 
work, their starry size. For the so-called classics, 
therefore, the highest criticism has only one voice : 
praise where praise can be given; silence, where 
praise must be withheld. 

But with the rising of the Sun of Righteousness 
with healing in His wings, an Eternal standard is 
erected; an Everlasting Gospel is proclaimed, to 
which all that lives in sight thereof is henceforth 
bidden rather sternly at the peril of its life to 
conform, and take the consequence if conform it 
does not. And were modern Letters and Art to 
hold to mere Letters and Art, it were indeed well 
with them. But far other is the case. For Homer 
and Virgil never pretend to be aught more than 
poets; Aeschylus and Terence are only drama- 
tists; Plato was a mere philosopher; Herodotus 
a mere historian. Each of these accepted the 
Universe and its order as he found it. None of 
these undertook to turn Universe back in its course 
in order to make^ it keep time with their own 
pocket time-pieces. But Shelley is not a mere 
singer; Emerson is not a mere plier of needle and 
thread, a stitcher together of aphorisms into 
"Essays." Lessing is not a mere critic; Arnold is 
not a mere elevator lifter in the coal-mine ; Goethe 
is not a mere Giant of a Jack of all literary trades. 
Even our own impotent piece of genialty is not 
content to remain a mere teller-forth of his endless 


tales. Each of these in his own way attempts with 
rather high pretense to be a guide of the blind, 
a teacher in Israel, a world reformer, a new Joshua 
crying unto the Sun, ''Stand thou still upon 
Gibeon;" and unto the Moon, "Be thou silent 
over Aijalon's Valley," till Universe hath reversed 
its course at my bidding, and hath at last moored 
itself at its berth of my assigning. 

Forsaking as these do the realm assigned them 
as unquestionably theirs in the elaboration of 
essays, aphorisms and diverse rhythmic lines, and 
betaking themselves to prophesying, at times 
even in the name of the Most High, they forthwith 
challenge the highest criticism to look into their 
lordly pretensions; and need I say, that with the 
standard once for all set up by Him who is Truth 
Incarnate, short work is readily made with all 
such. Tenderly, but firmly, they are all shoved 
back into the naught whence they came : Gently, 
but emphatically, they are told: Friends, in the 
harmless realm of rhythm, cleverness and bril- 
liancy, frolic indeed at your heart's content; but 
as to this trespassing of yours into the domain 
divine of teaching Truth apart from Him who is 
the Truth — thus far shall ye go, but no farther. . . 

Now hardly a modern artist but he is a gigantic 
trespasser upon a domain not his, and in a manner, 
moreover, which can only end in a rather uncere- 
monious hustling out. And what highest criticism 
is doing is the giving of notice to Rousseau and 
Voltaire ; to Spinoza and Spencer ; to Goethe and 


Lessing; to Shelley and Kant; to Tennyson and 
Browning; to Emerson and Carlyle; to Ruskin 
and Arnold; to Hugo and Tolstoy, that even for 
such trespassers upon unlawful domain there is 
unceremonious hustling off in store. This is, 
indeed, doing a rather disagreeable piece of police 
work under the orders of — Truth. And though 
the task of serving as Truth's Policeman is, at 
best, a thankless one, it is something to be even 
this, if only against these veritable field-marshals 
in the Empire of Error 

232. ; 

Genius is talent concentrated. Talent is genius 

Everyone may have a flash of genius once a 
year. The man of genius husbands these rare oc- 
casions, focussing them in due time upon the one 
great occasion. 

Genius is like the cask at the top of a hill : with 
but gentle push rolls of itself. Talent is like the 
load on the roadway: will not forward unless 

Talent may be buried in a napkin ; genius cannot 
be choked under a mountain. 

Can he write in a palace as well as in a hovel? 
Then he has genius. Can he write better? Then 
he has only talent. 



The half genius makes the new discovery. The 
whole genius invents also the method for making 
it effectual. 


Talent is only a tool, the genius is in rightly 
using it. 

The genius is the man of talent ; only he makes 
ten therewith. 

The genius is the man not of one talent but of 
several; only he is like the Pullman train, which 
consists of separate coaches, but vestibuled to- 

The genius is the man of exceptivity. The man 
of talent knows when to apply the rule, the man 
of genius, when to make the exception. 

Talent uses opportunities; genius makes them. 

The man of talent can oft be a leader, the man 
of genius will not always be a guide , oft only a 

A man's talent is as often his spiritual failure as 
his temporal success. 

Even the small talent becomes great with much 
use; even the great talent becomes small with a 
little abuse. 



Every man of talent is a kind of coal mine with 
the decision for him whether it shall send forth 
warmth and light, or only soot and smoke. 

Most men are mere tendencies all their lives; 
it is the mark of a man of genius that he is an ac- 
complished fact from the moment he is born. 

Of two men dressed alike a slight tip of the hat 
oft determines the difference in their station of 
life. And the difference between the clever 
writer and the man of genius is chiefly in the tip 
of the hat. 


That is a man's passion which he cannot let 
alone; that is a man's genius which lets not him 


The man of Wit emits only sparks, a genius 
must emit flashes. Of sparks even many make a 
poor light, of flashes even one may light up the 


To do great things with the same ease as small 
things, to do small things with the same care as 
great things — this is genius. 


Genius is common sense in full dress. 

Genius the capacity for taking pains? But 
folk take as much pains to make themselves 


miserable as to make themselves happy. Genius 
is the capacity for taking the right pains. 

An axiom is indefinable truth; the genius is the 
axiomatic, indefinable man. 

That is genius which does naturally and easily 
what talent does acquiredly and laboriously. 

No true artist can b2 a bad man; unfortunately 
the bad man speedily undoes the artist. 

A gentleman will not clear at a bound what 
he can traverse by a walk. The artist must not 
traverse by a walk what he can clear at a bound. 
Is the artist then not a gentleman? Yes, indeed, 
but he is allowed to bound because he is — 

In every art there is what any one may attain 
to — this makes the craftsman. In every art 
there is what he alone can attain to — this makes 
the artist. 

The tailor makes the garment out of the whole 
cloth; the artist, even out of fragments. 

The artist builds a house for his thoughts; 
the bungler, a tomb. 



The artist must be like the fire-fly; which no 
sooner spreads its wings than it glows. 


It is for the artist to express himself first truly 
and then beautifully. It is for the audience to 
receive it first reverently and then lovingly. 


Nature is art displayed. Art is Nature re- 


The Creation of beauty must indeed begin 
in passion, it can continue only in repose, it is 
completed only in ease. 


Edgar Allen Poe gives somewhere a dismally 
mechanical account of how ''The Raven" came 
to be " constructed. It was duly and orderly 
joined, dove-tailed and cemented together. In 
that account the foundation is laid before the 
reader's eye, with plumbline, drill, mortar, and 
the rest ; and the very clink of the iron against the 
stone is heard. Yonder is meanwhile put to- 
gether the upper portion; when lo, at the push of a 
button a crane turns, and the huge fabric is seen 
to swing and roll gracefully toward the founda- 
tion, and settle at last placidly but firmly thereon. 
The several highly wrought yore, Leonore, o'er, 
door, more, are at last safely lodged on that solid 
masonry of — Nevermore. 

Now I take the Raven to be a true poem, and 


therefore born in Poe's soul and nursed from his 
breast, and writ with the life blood of his heart, 
rather than laboriously ground out through his 
mechanical intellect. I take therefore the poet's 
account thereof to be an afterthought: just 
as Schiller's Letters on Don Carlos, which are 
parallel with this account of the Raven, are a 
production of the metaphysical professor Herr 
von Schiller, whereas Don Carlos itself is the 
work of the poet Friedrich Schiller. For a work 
of genius comes ever forth, like Minerva from 
Jupiter's head, fully armed. In minor details it 
may indeed bear a touch here, a touch there; 
but when forth it comes, it is already fused, 

In fact the difference between Talent and 
Genius is here: Talent can build a machine 
such as Cincinnati is reported to have: where a 
live hog is put in at one end, and out comes a 
sausage at the other. While Genius merely 
unfolds in fulness what has ever been there in 
embryo : like the plumtree at my window. It will 
take some months to make them visible, but the 
plums are already in the tree, and visible enough 
to the eye sufficiently microscopic. 

In composition labor and toil can improve only 
the form, not the thought itself. The thought 
is the soul, which ever remains a unit, with naught 
to be added thereto; the form is the flesh, the 
tabernacle large or small, for the thought to 
dwell in. No great work is indeed ever done 
without toil, but it is not the thought that requires 


the pains. To a noble heart the noble thought 
comes as the friend to the feast — uninvited. 
It is the expression that is oft the stranger, and 
needs to be coaxed. 


The meatman when selling the juicy steak 
first cuts off the whole slice for which he charges 
full weight. He then proceeds to cut off the bone 
and the fat, and delivers to his customer some half 
of what he paid for; and both buyer and seller 
are content. This is the relation between or- 
dinary discourse and Aphorism. 

The aphorism is the clear, juicy meat, ready to 
eat, with the trimmings of the continuous dis- 
course cast away, without however any price 
being set upon them. 


The brilliant remark- in consecutive discourse — 
what is it but the lightning flash in the natural 
course of the storm, a mere accompaniment, an 
incident? The great aphorism is the shining star. 

I do not complain of the star-lit sky that its 
suns are not in apparent orderly array. I am too 
content with the assurance that I am dealing 
here with immense worlds, immense lights, 
fires . . . 

I have a friend who oft remarks at some 
striking thought, "But this is not original!" 
She has no farm of her own, and buys her butter. 


But I never heard her ask the dealer whether he is 
raising his own cows ... 

Where did I get my thought? Ah, friend, if 
you could only tell me from what ox I got my 

Have others said before me what I say here? 
Then so much the better for them as well as for me. 


Originality I take to be one of those mischievous 
expressions which like self-respect, liberty, progress, 
refinement, are the brooms in the hands of the 
dwellers in the sandy desert wherewith they raise 
a dust storm of their own. And its use becomes 
a kind of passport by which every third, fifth, 
tenth grade of intellect attests itself as a denizen 
of cloud and mist land. A discussion about 
originality makes memorable at least one of the 
otherwise worthless doings of a rather loud popular 
literary wag. Said he to an elaborately discours- 
ing bishop: "Sir, I have a book at home which 
contains ever}^ word of your discourse." The 
astounded prelate vehemently denies plagiarism, 
and demands that the remarkable book be forth- 
with produced. The book is produced, and the 
charge proves true; the book is the— Diction- 
ary . . . 


As long as the axe which the prophet made to 
float, and the penny with which the Lord con- 
founded the Pharisees, were borrowed, you can 
safely ignore the taunt, "But this is not origin- 


al!" The maker of candles — must he be ever 
raising his own tallow? 

A thought is certainly mine if old to me, and 
assent makes it mine even if new to me. 

Who seeks to say what is new will surely repeat 
what is old. But who earnestly reaffirms the old 
can hardly help saying aught new. 

The original man is the most uncommon man. 
But what makes him original is that he has most 
in common with men. 


The great writer borrows when he reads, 
but returns it when he writes. The small writer 
also borrows when he reads, but merely turns it 
when he writes. 


The great writer also borrows when he reads; 
but he borrows the gold in the bullion and returns 
it as coin ; the small writer borrows the copper and 
does not return it even as pennies. 

Ideas taken from others are like ice-cream best 
taken cold ; and like ice-cream should become part 
of our blood only on being raised to its tempera- 



All that is noble has been thought before. 
All that is good has been said before. But every 
age has its own need of rethinking the noble, of 
resaying the good ; and every individual stands in 
need of redoing it for himself. Blessed he who 
so doeth; for only by thinking it for himself 
can he resay it unto others ; and thus the one be- 
comes the spokesman of the many; the individual, 
of the age. 

In addition to the beauty common to all ages 
every age has beauties of its own. Homer's epi- 
thets so beautiful to the Greeks have lost much of 
their beauty to us. While the saying, "What are 
churches but the white poles of the trolley lines 
to tell us that here the Holy Spirit regularly stops, 
and the chariot of heaven is best boarded there ?" 
has a beauty of its own to be perceived only in 
trolley days . . . 

Generations change as well as rulers. Hence 
the occasional need of restamping truth as well as 

Every generation is ere long sure to fall into 
the errors of its predecessors; and must ere long 
relearn the old Truth for itself. 

Two writers are great: who expresses mankind's 
wisdom after making it his own by his reflection ; 
who expresses his own wisdom to become in time 
mankind's by their reflection. 


That is the great saying which has for its body 
the wisdom of many; for its dress the wit of one. 

That author does most for the reader who is to 
him what the wall is to the match: which by 
rubbing against it strikes fire. 

To do much for me the author should make me 
think little of himself; to do more, he must make 
me think still less of myself. 

A truth is best stated if the bearer is left with 
the feeling that he could have told it equally well. 

A thought like a river is then most impressive 
when its depth is transparent. 

The great writer is he who has aught to say over 
the heads of his hearers. His wisdom must be 
shown in saying it down to the heads of his hearers. 

The small writer seeks to cover his pages with 
lightning; the great writer, with light. 

The small writer is busy with the novelties of the 
day; the great writer, with the antiquities of the 

The small writer may have much extension in 
space; the great writer has it also in time. 



The small writer is content with a market if 
only it be large; the great writer is satisfied only 
with an audience, even though small. 

The small writer gives his readers what they 
wish; the great writer, what they want. 

Great writers imitate others when young; 
small writers also imitate others when young, but 
they in addition imitate themselves when old. 

The great writer is also a fisherman; but one 
who can afford to wait for the fish to come to 
him from the lake even while he himself sits on 
the mount. 

The great writer can afford to speak of common 
things, but he must tell them in an uncommon, 
noble way. Wordsworth told of common things 
in a common way and thus remained the great 
commonplace. Whitman told of common things 
in a common but vulgar way and so remained the 
great Boor. 

■To do common things in an uncommon way is 
a mark of derangement. To speak of common 
things in an uncommon, noble way is the mark of 
genius. It is thus that each writer or speaker has 
his style, which stamps the man. The great 
writer is thus the man with the style, the noble 



vStyle is to the book what the Smile is to the 

Only he can express the expressible who has 
felt the inexpressible. 

The merely brilliant thought captivates, the 
great thought holds. 

306. ; 
The merely brilliant thought, like a mere curi- 
osity, loses its force after the first acquaintance; 
the great thought, like a friend, grows upon 
further acquaintance. 

The final difference between writers is mainly in 
the color of their ink : the many write in black; the 
chosen few in red. 

That is true writing where life goes forth from 
you in writing it. That is great writing where life 
goes into you while reading it. 

Always write with your inkstand full, but with 
some red in the ink. Always use a steel pen, but 
with a golden point and a feathered handle. 

The difference between the mere writer and the 
man of Letters is solely in dignity: the one parts 
with his thoughts for gold; the other with his 
gold for thoughts. 



The difference between the classic writer and 
the mere scribe is that where both use the world 
folks y the classic writer has ear enough to omit 

It is a vice in commerce to give the picture to 
sell the frame. It is a vice in Letters to say aught 
just to bring in the fine phrase. 


A great vice in art: to paint the flame for the 
sake of the furnace. 

3iS : 
A great mistake: to write with diluted ink. 

"He has exhausted his subject!" No, only the 

The aphorist is the one who makes little 
phrases say great things. 


The aphorist should be so charged with cos- 
mic dust that every time he strikes earth a meteor 
should flash out. 

The aphorism can afford to have, like the 
comet, a small head; but must also, like the comet, 
have a wide sweep in the tail. 

Even at its best the essay is only expanded 
aphorism. It is the mark of the great aphorism 
that it is a condensed essay. 



The essayist takes a text for his essay ; the apho 
rist makes his text the essay. 

It is a mark of every genuine thought or feeling 
that it lives even after being out of sight ; like the 
grain of wheat which bringeth forth much fruit 
after it is buried. 

One of the marks of the great thought is that 
if for you it will flash upon you like the lightning 
out of the cloud. If not for you, all you see is the 

The essence of a great thought is that it give 
the reader what he already has. Only it must 
have hitherto remained a secret between writer 
and reader. The reader knows when he reads 
that the thought is his also, the writer only knows 
as he writes that some soul somewhere at some 
time shall also share with him his truth. 

The ocean is an assemblage of drops. 

The ocean may be seen in a drop ; the world, in a 

The shorter the word the longer its reach; the 
weightier the word the easier it floats. 


Crumbs do not make a loaf, but they can be 
as nourishing. 


3 2 9- 
The vulgar writer pleases the herd ; the mediocre 
one pleases the mass ; the great writer pleases a set, 
though understood by only one here and there. 

The great writer first weighs his words, and 
then counts them. 

In youth we create, in maturity we judge. 
He is therefore the great writer who in youth has 
the judgment of age; in old age the creativeness of 

Every great book makes a few wise men 
wiser, many fools more foolish, the rest it leaves 
about where they were. 

It is the mark of a great reader that he finds 
in the book more than is put therein. 


Men seldom put forth into writing all that in 
them is, unless mayhap in spontaneous letters. 
And as only the whole represents the man — all 
else having a good chance of effectually misrep- 
resenting him — pen and ink do seldom more than 
just falling short of misrepresenting him. Is the 
great writer then doomed to be forever misunder- 
stood? There yet remains the reader: whose part 
it ever must be to draw forth by his insight and 
love what is indeed before him, but in cypher as it 
were, and betwixt the lines. The reader must 
thus receive a writing from a friend — and the 


great writer is the reader's friend indeed — as if 
writ in invisible ink to which he is to apply the 
proper agent to bring it into view. But while for 
bringing out the hidden ink the application of 
an acid is needful, for bringing out the hidden 
thought the application of a sugar is enough. 

The blotting of the ink is due as likely to the 
poverty of the paper and to the vileness of the 
pen as to the wateriness of the ink. 


Every book has at least two readers for neither 
of whom it is writ : The typesetter who reads it 
only to spell it out again; the proofreader who 
reads it only to find flaws therein. Every great 
soul has at least two followers neither of whom he 
profits: the thoughtless admirer and the equally 
thoughtless detractor. 


To reject earnest work merely because it does 
not interest or appeal to you, is not yet a good 
reason, unless in the realm of anarchy : where his 
own likes are everyone's law unto himself, and 
his own will everyone would fain impose as law 
upon others. To be rational, you must show that 
it rationally does not interest or appeal to you. 


With healthy folk the mere fact that what sets 
up as a work of art does not appeal to them at once 
justifies their dislike thereof: health of spirit 
being the final standard here as elsewhere. 

But who are the healthy? Well, first, not the 
inmates of hospital, asylum or prison; second, 


those equipped to go to these and minister unto 
them, as nurse, physician, comforter. 

The author should remember that to weigh gold 
the scales need not be gold themselves. The critic 
should remember that even to weigh dross the 
scales must be exact. 

Holding the book upside down perverts not its 
sense, but yours. 

A paradox is always true as seen by the writer. 
It is the art of expression to make its truth seen 
also by the reader. 

"I see nothing in this particular thought!" 
And neither, friend, do I see much in .the moun- 
tain till I travel toward it. 

Of insects give me the bee : which when sting 
it must, does it only at the cost of its life. 

The wolf resembles a shepherd dog more than 
any other. 

Critics were meant to be like bees: choosing 
their honey from even homely flowers; they are 
apt to be wasps ; producing neither the sweet nor 
the useful, but ever ready to sting. 

The genius quarrels with the critic because he 
is not a genius himself. But the gold lock may 


yet be opened by an iron key. The critic becomes 
contemptible only when in relation to the genius 
he deems himself a gold key opening an iron lock. 

The ass is not the wiser for being loaded with 

There is a certain Nemesis in the fact that it is 
asses' milk that proves such a restorative to many 
an ailing man of letters. 

Fiction, if it deceive not the reader, is bad art ; 
if it deceive the reader, it is bad morals. 

Many profound remarks have been made over 
the fact that Socrates wrote no book. But the 
matter is quite simple: he had no home to 
write in. 

35* f 

The book that only makes you forget yourself 
is only fit to make its author forgotten. 

Obscurity may not always be a sign of lack of 
sense on the part of the writer in writing it. It is 
always a sign of lack of sense on the part of the 
reader in reading it. 

Clearness is not always a sign of depth; ob- 
scurity is never so. 

Who shall say that the preservation of a book, 
however mean, is not as much a matter of Provi- 


dence as the number of sparrows that shall fall 
to the ground, or the number of the hairs upon 
the heads of men, none of which are without the 
Father's ken? Some useful and loveable folk are 
oft cut off in their prime, while many a helpless, 
burdensome, and even loathsome personage is 
kept lingering on long after old age. And as these 
lives are surely not unordained, who shall say that 
the preservation of, say, Manetho's poems, rather 
than of Livy's missing books, is not equally — 

Poetry is the language of heavenly childhood, 
prose the speech of earthly manhood. Verse is 
the utterance of heavenly childhood lost and 
earthly manhood unattained. 

Literature also has its drones, its uselessnesses, 
its idle bellies : the metaphysician, the philosopher 
of history, science; the social reformer, the writer 
of fiction (disguise for lying), drama. These have 
only one use, that of the naval target at sea : to be 
fired at for practice and then knocked down. . . . 

Poetry was meant to be Truth in its Sunday 
clothes. It has become Fiction in stage dress. 


The highest poetry is only truth clad in beauty. 

Nothing is poetry that is not dream or vision. 
But it must be the dream of a wise man, the vision 
of a good man. 



The poet is the whole of the writer; the rest is 
merely the cyclopedia maker, if not the downright 
mischief maker. 

Two great faults in a poet : to have words too 
grand for his matter; to have words not as grand 
as his matter. 


The final value of every book is in its prologue 
left unwritten by the author, in the epilogue acted 
out by the reader. 


The distance words will travel depends first 
upon the depth from which they have come, and 
then upon the depth to which they go. 


The small writer writes to make others know; 
the great writer, only to become known: the one 
writes for his inferiors; the other, for his equals. 

The abundance of pictorial illustration illus- 
trates only the decay of Imagination. 

The aphorism is herein like the beautiful wo- 
man ; its charm is ever enhanced by its becoming 

Where fullness of heart leads a critic to look at 
a small writer thro' magnifying glasses, his empti- 
ness of head is likely to lead him to look at a great 
writer thro' diminishing glasses. 



When literature becomes largely a matter of 
style, and art of technique, it is already a period 
of darkness. Fireworks are best displayed at 


Profitable reading must be the result of your 
emptiness; profitable writing, of his fullness. 


Style is the man ; but as each man is a separate 
indefinability, style is indefinable. Its only char- 
acteristic is that which makes it readable or un- 


The average reader's dislike for aphoristic 
writing is only a translation into terms of taste 
of the German's wish at his glass of beer : ' 'Would 
that my throat were a mile long!" 

The critic should remember that the shade of 
the ink depends also on the kind of pen used. 


The greatest men write nothing. The smallest 
men write much; only they, too, write nothing. 

The rhetorician polishes his phrase; the artist 
his thought. 

Every other weapon is fondly wielded. The 
pen alone has not its wielder's love. The man of 
letters loves the thought before writing, the satis- 
faction after writing ; but all between is drudgery. 



The golden fruit, the green leaf, the graceful 
branches, the solid trunk, are seen of all and duly 
admired and praised. But the sustaining roots — 
who heeds them? .... 

I was about to discard this as a perhaps com- 
monplace observation, when I remembered that 
after all many a root is not only heeded but even 
diligently sought out and dug up ; but it is by the 
commercial soul and for gain 


Dismiss nothing as a truism until you have ex- 
hausted its truth. 


Few men are good judges of their own work, 
often overestimating it because of their own ig- 
norance, and underestimating it because of the 
ignorance of others. 


Let the author beware how he casts away what 
he thinks he has outgrown. The garment now 
too small for thee may yet be large enough for one 
who has not yet attained to thy size. He does 
well with his book who does therewith what the 
Great God does with His. In the same meadow 
the ox is permitted to find his grass, the stork his 
lizard, the bee its honey, and man his flower. 

Your cherished thought so new to yourself may 
be only commonplace to others ; and even to-day's 
truth may be only to-morrow's truism. This may 
well humble, but need not discourage. You once 
had the ambition to write only for the best, the 


few. But it turns out that the best in one is after 
all what he has in common with the many. And 
the commonplace is only a truth of which we have 
become weary. 

Much of his earlier work oft strikes the mature 
author as rather trite. But. even those sayings 
that now may be striking even to the maturest — 
are not they too commonplace to the one mind 
that is superior to all these? And to the spiritual 
being of a higher order, to say nothing of the 
Great God Himself, all our profoundest thoughts 
are only commonplaces of the tamest sort; since 
the deepest thought of man can accomplish no 
more than to get a peep now and then into what 
is to us indeed God's mysteries, but to Him His 
everlasting open verity. So that the fresh and 
the trite, the profound and the tame, the original 
and the commonplace, are they not after all mere 
matters of degree? 

381. _ 

Those New England Attics where all manner 
of apparently useless lore is so carefully stored 
away for decades — I used to laugh at the foolish- 
ness of those old-fashioned New England house- 
keepers. I now have profound respect for these 
same old-fashioned New England dames with their 
mixed multitudes of attics. 

There are ever two reasons for rejecting what 
is set up as a work of art: first, that it is not art; 
second, that if art it is, it is unworthily employed. 

Profitable reading must be the result of your 
emptiness, Profitable writing must be the result 
of his fullness. 



To prune the sentence to make it stronger can 
be done safely only by the master hand. He 
trimmed the vine to let in the sun. It only with- 
ered the grapes. 


The aphorism is to the essay what the bit of 
landscape seen thro' a small opening is to the 
whole. It brings out the beauty of this particu- 
lar bit hitherto lost in the whole. 

That author does most for the reader who is 
to him what the wall is to the match : which by 
rubbing against it strikes fire. 

The merely brilliant thought captivates; the 
great thought holds. 

The small book first intoxicates the reader and 
then fails to sober him. The great book first 
sobers the reader, and then keeps him sober. 

Who translates another without wronging him 
wrongs himself by being only a translator. 

It needs much talent to write new maxims, and 
quite as much to practice the old. 

The merely brilliant thought is writ with the 
sweat of the brow; the profound thought is writ 
with the blood of the heart. 



Who can write a novel may be a great man. 
Who writes a novel is seldom one. 

The power of expression— the more it gives off 
the stronger it grows, and it feeds on what it gives 
off. Like the double reel, the slimmer the one 
end, the stouter the other. Hence the mere gift 
of expression, often the chief stock in trade of the 
orator and the poet, is a most dangerous gift, 
treacherous to good taste. The production of one 
work makes easier the production of others. But 
while the first may be a work of genius, the rest 
are like to be the mechanical result of mere 
knack of talent; the imitation of the former 
success, oft a mere echo of the whilom nobler self. 

Water in the glass, where it can be seen pure, 
is not beautiful: it is clear, it is transparent, but 
to become beautiful it must be shaded by its 
bottom, colored by the sky, tinged by the salt. 
Water in the glass is not so much beautiful as 
free from ugliness. Air in its purity is not even 
seen; to be seen as the blue sky, an inverted 
ocean in repose, it must be alloyed with the dust 
of earth. vSunlight of itself is not yet beautiful, 
it is simply faultless. But sunlight in the rain- 
bow, in the clouds, even in the smoked glass, is 
beautiful. We thus arr've at the certainly false 
paradox that there can be no beauty without 
a tinge of what is foreign thereto, a kind of ugli- 
ness, since ugliness is merely beauty away from 
home. And yet this paradox is only false in 


the ideal, in the real it is true enough. The 
profoundest statement of the law of beauty is not 
found in Lessing, or Burke, or Ruskin, but in an 
incidental statement of One who though he 
shrank not from making the largest claims for 
himself, and truly spake as man never spake, — 
beauty is the one word never found in his vocab- 
ulary: even as laughter is never once recorded of 
him who came to give the peace and joy which 
the world can neither give nor take away. The 
incidental statement is: " Moses because of the 
hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away 
your wives, but from the beginning it had not 
been so." It is the sick that talk most of health; 
the poor that talk most of wealth. Among the 
wealthy the comforts of life are not discussed, 
among the well-bred good manners are not talked 
of, and in heaven pure spirit, beauty and virtue, 
— shall these be much talked about? The very 
idea of holiness is set apart, set apart from evil. 
The thrill which attends the perception of beauty 
is at bottom only the pang of hunger, and 
"When I awake in his likeness I shall be satisfied." 
God is called Truth, Light, Life, Love, he is 
never called Beauty. 

And here is a reason why the promised Seed of 
the woman, who is to bruise the serpent's head, 
is made to descend from the third son of Adam. 
Cain was a murderer, and from him the Messiah 
could not descend; but from the righteous Abel, 
wherefore not from him ? Because Abel belonged as 
yet to the beginning when things were yet so. Of 
Abel it is not witnessed that Adam begat him in 
his own likeness. It is witnessed of Seth: "And 
Adam begat in his own likeness after his image." 


From Abel, the pure Adamic sunlight, the Son of 
Man must not descend: for bearing away the sin 
of the world he must come from Seth, Son of 
Adamic light, but already broken into rainbow 

He reads essays on taste to improve his taste, 
but he knows better than to read essays on 
cookery to improve his appetite. 

Science needs a collection, art only a selection. 

The abundance of books may cause as much 
ignorance as their scarcity. 

The picture or poem that needs explanation is 
only a riddle in paint. But life has enough of 
real riddles, and can well dispense with painted 

Carlyle — praising silence with the voice of a 

Carlyle — chiefly thunder with little lightning. 
Emerson — chiefly lightning with little light. 

Talent may faithfully reproduce nature. 
Genius is nature reproducing itself. 



Healthy philosophers ask whether pain is an 
evil. Sick laymen do not ask the question: they 
know pain to be an evil. And the sick philos- 
opher? He too would then acknowledge it to be 
an evil; but he would thus cease to be a — 
philosopher ! 


The mystery of pain? But there is no mystery 
about pain. It is all explained in the third chapter 
of Genesis in connection with verses 16-17 of 
the second. Man (as compared with animals 
being clothed) was created naked, dependent, in 
order to remind him of his helplessness, that thus 
he ever keep his face Godward and acknowledge 
his need. But man, instead of being humbled by 
this exceptional condition, is not ashamed, and 
acknowledges not his need. Here as elsewhere it 
is : " O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if thou hadst known 
the hour of thy visitation ! but now are the things 
that make for thy peace hid from thy sight." . . 
And the Son of God weeps thereover. The 
tempter is thus sent to reveal to Adam his own 
nakedness, and Sin at last reveals to him what his 
pride had concealed from him. And Pain is 
God's verdict upon Sin, "The way of the trans- 
gressor is hard" .... 

The only mystery connected with pain is that 


men reject this the only satisfactory explanation, 
and keep running after others which require 
more credulity to accept than the one they 
reject. And this mystery is also amply explained 
in that very account : that man is ever by nature 
a sinner, a pervert, a fool: ever running after 
the silly where the wise is close by. 

It is impossible in such things to be exact. 
But with this allowance made pain is related to 
sorrow as affection is related to love. The differ- 
ence between them is only in stage, in rank. The 
beast has pain and affection in common with 
man, but this still leaves it a beast. It may also 
have sorrow and love in common with man, but 
this already makes it aught less than mere beast, 
at times even aught more than some humans .... 

Sorrow is pained spirit; pain is sorrowing flesh. 

vSorrow is either noble or ignoble. Pain is 
neither. It is ever its own self: just pain. 

Sorrow can also collect us, pain only distracts us. 

Sorrow teaches folk silence; pain does not 
teach folk to speak, but it oft does promote much 


Great joys spoil folk for little pleasures. Great 
sorrows still leave folk vulnerable to trifling pains. 



Our comforts come from God, our sorrows 
from ourselves, our pains from both. 

Men are apt to belittle others' sorrows and 
magnify their own pains. 

Man's capacity for joy dies with others; his 
capacity for pain dies only with himself. 

To give high joy great things are needful; to 
give pain little things are enough. 

The pain of what we miss lasts longer than 
the joy of what we have. 


Continuance dulls enjoyment, but not pain. 

A joy lost can become a lasting pain, a pain 
lost is never more than temporary joy. 

Great susceptibility gives extraordinary en- 
joyment rarely; extraordinary pain often. 

The pleasures of life are short, not so its pains. 

The pleasures of life are oft increased by 
others not enjoying likewise. The pains of life 
are seldom diminished by others suffering likewise. 



All can be taken from life, but not the pain of 


Of all else the more we have the less it becomes 
to us. The increase of pain alone fails to diminish 


"Pain is still a sign of life; the dead suffer no 
pain." Vain consolation. Pain is the one un- 
welcome harbinger of death, and the one thing 
that makes death preferable to life. 

Pain, when the result of goodness, is a privi- 
lege; when the result of badness it is a punish- 
ment only when it has failed as a mercy. 

One way of avoiding pain is to take pains. 

To fear pain is natural ; to fear pleasure is 

To escape unendurable physical pain we must 
become unconscious of self; to escape unendura- 
ble spiritual pain we need only become conscious 
of God. 

Physical pain is a sign that aught dying within 
us needs resurrection; spiritual pain is a sign 
that aught living within us needs crucifixion. 




Of all else we know the taste from a single 
swallow : of life alone the taste can be known 
only after it has been drunk to the dregs. 

The ship's destination is the haven: its destiny 
the ocean. The soul's destination is rest: its 
destiny, the storm. 

Where'er we go we shall be surrounded by 
water. It is only a question on how large an 
island we shall dwell. 

43 2 - 
There is more sea than land, and all the sea 
is salt. 

Men ever seek to sail an obstructed river 
and smooth; but the voyage is thro' a series of 
canals: to be first locked in and then dropped 

Man enters the world weeping, while all 
around him smile; man leaves the world with 
all around him weeping, and he himself does 
not smile. 


Before coming into life we must go thro' a 
baptism of water; before going into death we 
must go thro' a baptism of fire. 


Man is never so near the Satanic as when he 
laughs; never so near the angelic as when he 
smiles; he is never so truly human as when he 


In Nature even the longest winter is followed 
by a spring; in man the longest winter, if not 
broken into by Grace, is followed only by a still 
longer one. 

438. _ 

Disease runs its course either by killing or by 
recovery. Sorrow also runs its course, but by 
doing neither. 

t 439- 
Men are divided into those who know their 
misery, and those who know it not. And the 
latter are not the less miserable of the two. 

Of happiness there are many kinds, but hardly 
any degrees. Of misery there are also many 
kinds, but innumerable degrees. 

Two things are equally real in life: love and 
sorrow; but the joys of love are fleeting, the 
pains of sorrow are abiding. 

Joy shared is doubled, sorrow shared is halved. 


The highest mirth must be sober, but the 
deepest sorrow cannot be cheerful. 

Joy is seldom as high as it seems. Misery is 
but too often deeper than it seems. 

Their good fortune men overestimate — they 
know not its littleness. Their misfortune men 
underestimate — they know not its greatness. 

Misfortune brings other miseries besides its 
own. When the elephant is sunk in the bog, 
even a frog can croak on his head. 

The anticipation of joy is often more joyful 
than the joy itself: the anticipation of sorrow 
is seldom as sorrowful as the sorrow itself. 

Appreciation of our good fortune does not 
make it appear greater. The perception of our 
misfortune does not make it appear smaller. 

Prometheus at the rock is the type of the 
sorrow of him that knows. Pegasus in his yoke 
is the type of the sorrow of him that feels. Ma- 
zeppa on his steed is the type of the sorrow of 
him that works. The ancients have depicted 
them, the moderner has depicted him. Only the 
sorrow of him that lives has not yet been depicted, 
for he is chained to a corpse. 



The rose fades, its thorns do not fade. 


Philosophy reasons with sorrow, but the sorrow 
that can be reasoned with is only ignorance. 
Friendship consoles sorrow, but the sorrow that 
can be consoled is only hunger. True sorrow 
accepts neither argument nor consolation, but 
the reality that, Man is born unto trouble as the 
sparks fly upward; and, Thro' many tribulations 
must we enter the Kingdom of God. 

Job's friends showed their sympathy in coming 
so far; their wisdom in keeping silent so long. 
It is when the silence is broken that they change 
from good sympathizers into bad comforters. 

It is shallow to console the afflicted as blessed 
in disguise. The flour is not yet bread, its value 
is in its being capable of becoming bread. 

Sometimes the superwise heart amuses itself 
with lecturing the agonized soul under the guise 
of comforting it. I myself have sinned thus 
when I wrote: "We strike the barrel to see 
whether it be empty or full, and shall not we 
submit to the same treatment at the hands of 
God?" But, O, my heartless player at comfort, 
are you so sure of God's need to pound away at 
your barrel to discover whether it be empty 
or not ? 


The plaster for the scratch; but for the wound 
■ — my friend, do not waste your time with your 
reasonings, consolations and the rest. The only 
balm for grief is hope; and if you bring not hope, 
stay if you like, only be sure to hold your peace. 

The power of mind over body is real, and to 
this extent: that even imaginary ills may become 
real thro' delusion. But it does not extend enough 
to make real ills imaginary. And here is the whole 
fallacy about much well meant teaching with 
desire to comfort. Real ills are ills, not benefits. 
A brave soul displays its power of mind over 
body and bears the ills, but does not deny them. 

The noblest sorrow has no antidote. It can 
only have a counterpoise. 

In their care to escape great misfortunes men 
fall into small ones; and these make their mis- 
fortune truly great. 

Futile as is the search for perpetual motion, 
the search for perpetual rest is still more so. 

Great joys are, like the waterless clouds, fleeting; 
great sorrow is, like the scorching sunshine, sta- 

Joy lasts only for hours, happiness hardly 
more than weeks; anxiety keeps on for months, 
miserv can live for years. 



Sorrow like the wine cask is tested by its sound ; 
the fuller it is the less it resounds. 

Who speaks of his miseries has certainly not 
yet died to them. It is only a question whether 
he has already been born to them. 


The joy that is not increased by sharing it with 
another is not yet the purest; the sorrow that 
is diminished by recounting it to another is not 
yet the deepest. 


Both the wise man of the world and the man 
of God soon discover the vanity of this life. But 
the man of the world rests not until he has ex- 
pressed his woe in words; the man of God rests , 
not until he ceases from words. 

To complain of undeserved misfortune is to 
prove yourself unwortlry of undeserved good 

They tell me that misery loves company. If 
so, it is true only of those who in addition to 
being in misery are themselves also miserable. 
The miserable do like company, and this con- 
stitutes part of their misery. 

Of all chases the vainest is after sympathy. 



Better be unable to rise above sorrow than to 
be unable to rise to it. 

To mirth one must stoop, to sorrow one must 


There is a sublime sorrow, but only a high 
joy and an innocent mirth. 


The tree is clad in spring with leaves and 
blossoms, and in summer with fruit. And when 
the fruit is ripe, it is dropped in silence. And in 
the autumn when 'tis time to shed the leaves, 
these too are shed in silence. And all winter 
tree standeth naked, amid blast and chill. Still 
tree is silent. This is only a tree; and thou, 
O man? .... 


The value of the tree is in the shade it gives in 
summer, the fruit in the autumn, the beauty in 
the spring, the fuel in the winter. The beauty, 
the fruit, the shade — these it can give without 
losing its life. But to give the heat, it must be 
cut and chopped, and go into the fire. And all 
the while it is winter .... 

Thou goest into the jewelry store and seest 
pearls and diamonds and jewels. They are not 
for thee, thou say est — and covetest them no 
longer. Thou goest among men and seest com- 
panionship, sympathy, love; neither are these 
for thee, thou say est — shall these also then be 
coveted no longer? .... 



The part of the conductor is to collect fares; 
of the brakeman to call out the stations; of the 
fireman to watch the fire; of the engineer to 
guide the train; and the part of the passenger is 
to sit still and be carried. Great the confusion 
were the conductor to apply the brakes, the engi- 
neer to collect fares, the passenger to guide the 
engine, and the brakeman to sit still and be 
carried. Thus in life too each hath his part : one 
to rule, the other to obey; one to rejoice, the 
other to grieve; one to enjoy, the other to suffer. 
Thou who wouldest fain have it otherwise, be- 
cause it is thine to suffer, learn to sit still and be 
carried. It is thou that art the passenger . . . 


Sorrow is at its deepest when it is love in 
preparation; love is at its highest when it is 
sorrow in action. 

The sorrow that has never rejoiced has not 
yet reached its depth; the love that has never 
mourned has not yet reached its height. 

We are not truly mellowed until we can behold 
two things with a sad joy: others' joy, our 
sorrow . . 

To understand sorrow one may learn from only 
reading Job; but to love the sorrowing one must 
have been in Job. 



The drinking of the bitter cup twice is not 
escaped by breaking it after drinking it once. 

The wrinkles dug by passion are ugly, but 
there are wrinkles that have been paths for 
tears, and these are not ugly. 

The countless rays held in one drop of water 
are fit type of the countless sorrows compressed 
in a single tear 

The sorrow that runs easily to tears is apt to 
run off as easily as tears. 

One laugh is worth a dozen groans, but not 
yet one sigh. One smile is worth a dozen sighs 
but not yet a single tear. 

There is an acidity in the salt of tears that 
washes away many a stain. 

The highest joy finds expression in silent tears. 
The deepest sorrow in tearless silence. 


It is the empty boiler that explodes, not the 
full one. 

Tears form for the eye one veil, they remove 



The glass lengthens the vision only when held 
before the eye. Tears widen the vision long 
after they are wiped off the eyes. 


The work of tears is not yet done until they 
veil our eyes to others' faults and open them to 


It is a question whether life was meant to be 
hard, it is certain we make it so. 

It is not the water without the ship that sinks 
it but the water within it. 

The axe has such power over the forest because 
it is the forest that furnishes the handle. 

Misfortune, like a cloud, rises not from one 
direction but from all sides at once. This because 
misfortune is less in circumstances than in us. One 
mishap dimming our sight causes much else to 
appear as mishap. 

That the smallest cloud hides the stars from 
us is due not to their smallness, but to ours. 

Th e ills of life are nearly always our invited 
guests, and then we proceed to eject them as 


Th e secret of sorrow is, Men think God has a 
plan for them: He only has a plan thro' them. 

The sharpest thing of sorrow is the question: 
Why must it be thus? But sorrow is meant to 
teach us not to question. 

Our greatest misfortunes befall us either before 
or after their arrival, seldom at their arrival. 

The danger from lightning is past when the 
thunder is heard: the worst is over when mis- 
fortune has arrived. 

The lightning is brightest when the cloud is 
darkest: the wire sings clearest when the storm 
is fiercest. 

Calamities are the fires kindled by a merciful 
God for consuming the rubbish we have not 
courage or zeal enough to burn ourselves. 

It is the severe scouring which shows whether 
the pot is gold or only gilded. 

Like the shoe man can be made to shine only 
after being blacked first and then brushed. 

Sorrow is meant to be a sort of Midas, and 
change all it touches into gold. 



It is the driest wood that gives the quickest 
heat; it is the wrung-out heart that gives the 
speediest relief. 

To be hardened, the iron must first be softened. 

To burn brighter the candle ^nust be snuffed. 

Small men may also expand, but only like 
mercury : when 'tis warm. Great men expand like 
water, also when freezing. 

The steak to be made the tenderer, must be 

The more shaded the plant, the tenderer it is. 

The hardness of fate hardens hard hearts and 
softens tender hearts. 

The moon which shineth with borrowed light 
can indeed be seen by day as well as by night; 
but to see the stars, which shine by their own, 
you must be in darkness. 

The cloud is fit symbol of sorrow in that it 
draws from salt water to give it back as fresh. 



Prosperity does to life what the tempest does 
to the ocean: blurs the clearness of its depth. 
Adversity does to life what the sun does to the 
ocean: attracts its waters to raise them towards 
its height. 


Who wishes to walk by the sun must give up 
the stars. Who wishes to walk by the stars must 
give up the sun. Only in the twilight can both 
be had. 


Plants and beasts profit most by the light 
which shineth by day. Man profits most by the 
light which shineth by night. 


Shells we find on the beach ; for pearls we must 

Howe'er hard thy fate, it is not too hard if it 

soften thee 

The hardness of fate seldom softens the heart: 
the softness of fate often hardens it. 

Where the hardness of the lot has not softened 
the heart, it is because the lot is not yet hard 


The pupil of the eye contracts in the light and 
dilates in the dark: suggesting the need of ex- 
panded vision in the presence of all darkness. 



The healing herbs are generally the bitter herbs. 


The Nadir is under each man's feet, but the 
Zenith is also over each man's head. 


The hurricane which blows down all that 
stands up before it passes over what stoops 
under it. 

Bear up under suffering, and it will soon bear 
thee up. 

Adversity does for the heart what the fire 
does for the city streets: enables it to become 

In the furnace gold is melted, clay is hardened. 

It is in the winter that the view of the land- 
scape is clearest. 

A man's best qualities are those which like 
birds' nests are hid from view in summer, but are 
easily beholden in winter. 


Constant rain rots, constant sunshine withers. 

In prosperity, I learn the depravity of others, 
in adversity I learn also mine own. 


533- $ 

To yield his best, man, like the soil, must be 
first torn up and then turned over. 

To find yourself you must first lose yourself. 

Even the volcano, tho' glowing w T ithin, may 
be ice -clad without if only high enough. 

The largest planet has its sun, the smallest 
hair casts its shadow. 

Misery feeds as much on doubt as on certainty. 

To be mindful of your folly is already part of 
wisdom, to reckon with your weakness is already 
part of strength, to be content with your poverty 
is already part of riches. Accept your sorrow, 
it may yet become part of joy. 

. 539- 
The first step in the art of painting is to learn 
the value of shadow. A first step in the art of 
living is to learn the value of misfortune. 

It is well to remember that no rose is without 
thorns, better still to remember that even near 
thorns roses are found. 

It is easy to endure the great misfortunes, not 
so easy to endure the little misfortunes. 



Even an evil may become a good if we make the 
best thereof. 

The surest escape from tribulation is to move 
right on. The smoke hovers long over the engine 
that stands still. It is left speedily behind the 
one running ahead. 

Every sorrow can be gotten over; it is only a 
question whether it had better be gotten over. 

The great blessing of real ills is their speedily 
curing us of imaginary ills. 

In misery the weak seek relief in lamentation , 
the strong in action, the wise in hopeful resigna- 
tion, the saintly in adoring submission. 

The two certainties of life are sorrow and 
illusion. But the remedy for illusion must be 
found only in this life; the remedy for sorrow 
chiefly in the next. 

A bitter sorrow: to have your help rejected by 
those you love — a sorrow even a God may suffer. 

Sorrow is best dealt with as the telescope: 
which looked at reveals only itself, looked thro' 
reveals shining worlds. 



Misfortune is best dealt with as the pill is 
dealt with: swallowed, rather than chewed. 


For thee, many alas! must suffer. It is thine 
to see that none suffer through thee .... 

Two souls shed no tears: who has not yet 
begun to live, who has already ceased to live. 

Two sorrows are without help: the sorrow 
which comes from being overestimated by our- 
selves; the sorrow which comes from being 
underestimated by others. 

The highest joy in life is when one can say, 
It is done; the deepest sorrow, when one has to 
say, I am done. 

Our deepest sorrows are caused by our in- 
feriors whom we love, by our superiors who 
love us not. 

To stand at the grave closed over your hopes 
— memory at least casts a halo round them. But 
to stand at their ever open grave 

The clouds hide the sun from those beneath, 
not from those above them. 


In storms the feather flies higher than the 
stone. Be then a feather if you like. I prefer 
to be an oak, even tho' in the same storm it is like 
to be uprooted sooner than the vine it supports. 

559- ; 
The surest remedy for the ills of life is : patience 
with others, impatience with ourselves. 


Life is indeed sad when truth is only half at- 
tained ; it is no less "sad when the whole truth is 
attained. After the whole revolution the wheel 
is no more right side up than after half a one. 
But the sadness of half-truth brings no joy with 
it ; the sadness of the whole truth does bring a 
certain joy therewith. 


Fortune is best treated by us as the wheel- 
barrow is treated by the farmer: pushed from 
us when full, only dragged behind us when empty. 

We laugh at things too tragic to weep over, 
we grieve over things too ridiculous to laugh at. 


The sorrows of the noble are fewer in number 
but greater in kind. The sorrows of the ignoble 
are small in number and as small in kind. 

Every worthy life is a tragedy. It is only a 
question whether a noble tragedy or an ignoble. 
Your work bravely done spite of the tragedy en- 
nobles it. Your work left undone because of the 
tragedy, demeans it. 



The rivers do not raise the ocean's level, they 
only keep it from sinking. Man's own efforts 
cannot make him happy, at best they can only 
keep him from being wretched. 


One of the best teachers of a foreign tongue is 


Men seldom need our sympathy so much as 
when we find their sorrow ridiculous. 

Those whom enjoyment unites are easily sep- 
arated, not so easily those whom sorrow unites. 


Who think they suffer need our compassion as 
much as those who do suffer. Imaginary sorrow 
is still sorrow. 


There are folk who have only their misery to 
commend them, but this is enough; since it is 
man's misery that is his strongest claim upon 
our love. 


Learn from the fowl of the air; which, howe'er 
low they descend by day always perch high at 

Learn from the nail: which, the more 'tis 
hammered, the firmer it holds. 

Learn from the candle: which, tho' it be held 
downward, still sends its flame upward. 


Learn from the rose: which, tho' its root be 
in dirt and darkness, yet sendeth forth grace and 

Learn from the river: which, the more it is 
dammed, the wider it swells. 

Learn from the sea: which is grand in storm 
as well as in calm. 

Learn from the tree : which shades others while 
scorched itself by the sun. 

Of all creatures man alone can contemplate 
his misery: this is his wisdom; of all creatures 
man alone rejects the true remedy for his misery: 
this is his folly. 

It is the ripest fruit that falls when the tree is 
shaken. That would be a consolation if only it 
were not equally true of the poorest also. 

Anticipation of joy halves it; anticipation of 
sorrow doubles it. 

Tears are sorrow's safety valves. Who can no 
longer laugh can still cry; but who can no longer 
cry ..... 

The shed tears can still have a kind of sweet- 
ness in them. It is the unshed tears that remain 
unspeakably bitter. 


Both rich and poor work with the sweat of their 
brow. But the poor work hard for their bread; 
the rich toil equally hard for their salt. 

Poverty and misery are relations, riches and 
happiness are only connections. 

Folk are never too poor, but often too rich to be 

Unhappy with poverty? Then you will hardly 
be happy with riches. 


Poverty is apt to dispossess the man; riches, 
to possess him. 


It is from pride that folk wish not to be thought 
poor. It is not from humility that they wish not 
to be thought rich. 


The poor are accountable only for themselves; 
the rich are accountable also for the poor. 

Who has still a want is not yet rich; who has 
still a duty is not yet poor. 



The satisfied man is the richest and alas! also 
the poorest. 


The only real advantage the rich have over the 
poor is the one the poor should never crave: the 
ability to purchase rogues. 

"If only riches were mine, what good would not 
I do therewith!" Well, friend, is there then no 
good thou canst do without — dollars? 

To become rich, to remain well is not always 
in our power. But to become good, to remain 
true is ever in our power. 

Men think it is their present riches they put 
away in the safe. It is only their future poverty. 

To think oneself rich is not yet to be rich. 
To think oneself poor is to be poor. 

To crave more than one needs — that is poverty. 

Not poverty degrades, but neediness. 

Poverty may yet be a blessing; neediness is 
always a curse. 



Our necessaries are ever supplied us by a 
gracious God, if we take account of Him. It is 
for our luxuries that we are made to pay. 

All riches is sure to be lost in time. Its pos- 
sessor's chief concern is that he be not lost there- 
with also for eternity. 

Among the rich there are ever two kinds: the 
golden few, the guilded many. 


Of the many ignorances of the rich the fatallest 
is their ignorance of the poor: ignorance of their 
standards, needs, worth . . . 

The tragedy of the rich consists in the abund- 
ance of bread with but little capacity to digest the 


I used to pity the rich until I saw many incap- 
able of receiving aught but riches, and then I was 
thankful for at least this gift to them. 

Who have too little need our sympathy; who 
have too much may need our pity. 

Wealth supplies few needs, it creates many 



Wealth is a life preserver : put on rightly it will 
save you ; put on wrongly it will drown you. 

I do not object to riches having wings and flying 
away. If they only fly upward and carry me with 
them . . . 

Two men are foolish: who prizes riches, who 
despises riches. 

Who teaches how to get riches teaches much; 
but more he who teaches how to part therewith. 

Temporal riches is obtained by acquiring, 
eternal by renouncing. 


To have much, yet prize it little; to have little, 
yet prize it much — this is true riches. 

Poor indeed the man to whom sympathy is no 
longer of value. Yet it is only then that he 
attains to his true riches. 

He is truly rich who has nothing left to be de- 
prived of. 

Riches is measured by what we own where'er it 
may be. The richest man is thus, who appre- 
ciates most, admires most . . . 



There is much sentimental chatter about riches 
being a trust, a special trust for being useful to 
your poor neighbor, for doing much good there- 
with in the world. Well, my friend, riches is a 
trust. But so is health, so is intelligence, skill, 
talent,, and even mere opportunity. Dear senti- 
mental chatterer, by all means ever consider thy 
wealth as a trust ; but do not for a moment forget 
that it is thy whole life that is the trust, and the 
proper use of riches is only a mere incident 
therein . . . 


Pity the man whose burden is greater than he 
can bear; but not less pitiful he whose burden is 
less than he can bear .... 

A common mistake of the rich : to cling to the 
dross after extracting the gold. A common mis- 
take of the poor: to reject the dross before 
extracting the gold. 

Both rich and poor are often vulgar. But in 
the poor it is the vulgarity of ignorance; in the 
rich the vulgarity of conceit .... 

Our riches tempts others, our poverty tempts us. 

A peculiar snare of the rich : to descend from 
their superiority by reminding the poor thereof. 

Every station in life has its own mode of illu- 


mination: the rich use electric candles, but 
dimmed by ground glass; the comfortably off use 
kerosene, but with Rochester burners; the poor 
must get on with flickering matches. . . . 

It has fallen to my lot to know not a few rich 
folk, with a goodly opportunity to look deeply 
into their lives. Hardly one of them would have 
been better off in poverty; but not a single one 
was the better off for the riches. My lot fell 
chiefly among the serious, philanthropic rich. Of 
honest aspirations and brave attempts at making 
the most of the opportunities of riches there was 
an abundance; but the almost invariable end 
was: the mountain labored and brought forth a 
mouselet. And even the mouselet proved a 
vague, shadowy thing. But the vexation of spirit, 
the life-weariness (where it was not balanced by 
delusion) was but too real .... 


On the other hand it is to be said of the poor: 
that nearly every one would have been a gainer 
not indeed by riches but by the relief from the 
pinch of poverty. Few, however, but would ere 
long have been found again where they were 



Money may place a man upon his feet, righteous- 
ness alone will keep him there. 

Few perish from the lack of money; many, 
from the love of money. 



As I stand on the shore and gather pebbles, the 
horizon with its unbroken silent circle limits all 
I can see. But though mine eye of flesh would 
fain tell me this is all, mine eye of spirit tells of 
much beyond. And if I enter my skiff, and sail 
boldly forth to the confines of the circle, lo, I am 
in sight of another circle; and advance I never so 
far I am still as ever in the centre of the same 
vast circle. 


In youth Truth is beholden as a circle, with only 
one point as its centre, and every point on the cir- 
cumference equidistant therefrom. Its aspect is 
thus simple, round. But the mature man be- 
holds Truth no longer as a circle, but as an 
ellipse, with every point on the circumference no 
longer equidistant from one centre, but from two 
foci. And now the aspect is no longer so simple, 
so round . . . 


To be in error on some one thing is to be slave 
in some one spot. Truth alone makes free, and 
the whole Truth alone makes wholly free. And as 
men ever live as they think, to think wrongly on 
some one thing is to do wrongly at some one time, 
if not at many more. Hence the all-importance 
of Truth at any cost. Let happiness go, let life go, 
let friends go, let all go, but Truth, God's Truth, 
let it be had at whate'er cost . . . 



Like the high-spirited heiress Truth must be 
wooed solely for her own sake. The riches that is 
hers, the happiness she bestows, must not bribe 
the suitor into the love of her. Truth must be 
loved not for what she has, but for what she 
is. She does not therefore mind to appear for 
a time in homely garb, even uninviting. But her 
richest treasure is bestowed only upon those who 
take her even thus — for her own sake. 

Truth is ever ready to be wooed, but only 
by those who would rather dwell in Gehenna 
with her than in paradise without her. 


Virgin truth is apt to appear cold and hard. 
It is the part of its marriage to the soul to disclose 
her as warm and tender. 

All else owes its beauty to its coloring. Truth 
alone loses its beauty when colored. 


Where there is a struggle between light and 
darkness, there is color. Color is thus a milestone 
on the way. It is not yet its end. 

The banknote is prized even if soiled much. 
Truth cannot be prized if soiled ever so little. 

Truth is like the coin : unfitted for legal tender 
with the smallest hole therein. 



There is a medium between all things, but 
not between truth and error. 

Yes and No stand at the extremities of Truth. 
Between these there is a world of half-truths, 
quarter-truths, tithes of truths, and the rest of 
the series of the infinity of falsehoods. 

Even the inferior man recognizes that every- 
thing has its two sides. The superior man recog- 
nizes only the right side and the wrong side. 

Every truth has its contrary: the wise man 
looks to the truth; the fool, to the contrary. 

Truth is like the cork: howe'er often submerged, 
it rises again. 

Truth is like dust: trodden under foot it rises 
and soils your head. 

Truth is moral dynamite; and like dynamite, it 
can be laid down with ease, but thrown down 
only with an explosion. 

Truth is like the taper: which even though 
smothered, still emits white smoke. 


Men have to find truth not because it is lost, 
but because they are lost. 



Nothing is more common than truth, what is 
rare is the knowledge how to get it. The ocean 
has plenty of gold, the problem is how to extract 


Truth has ever these two marks. It can always 
be perverted by the competent few, it is seldom 
inoffensive to the incompetent many. 

The cold truth? Then it is not yet the whole 

The truth that only discourages is not yet the 
whole truth. 

Truth also intoxicates, hence the need of so- 
briety as well as truth. 

Fanaticism is truth alcoholised. 

Enthusiasm is to the cause of truth what water 
is to fire. A little quickens it, much puts it out. 

Enlisted in the cause of Truth Indignation does 
not help it. Eloquence endangers it, Irony and 
Ridicule seldom serve it, Persecution always 
hurts it. 

vSatirists may spare themselves the trouble. 
Truth, naked truth is the real satire. 



Truth has more to fear from friends who lose 
their charity in its defence than from foes who lose 
their sense in their attack. 

The cause of Truth fails as often through the 
injudiciousness of its friends as through the 
judiciousness of its enemies. 

Truth is loved by few, lived by still fewer. 

The common man only sees truth, the uncom- 
mon man also prizes it. 

Even the rogue regards truth, the honest soul 
loves it. 

All men love to see truth prevail in their 
neighbor's yard. 

Who follows truth is ever in sight of her, how- 
e'er far ahead she be. Who goes ahead of truth 
soon loses sight of her, howe'er close behind she be. 


Who loves Truth even in the little will soon 
love her as a whole. Who hates truth even in the 
little will soon hate her as a whole. Even a small 
hole, close to the eye, gives the whole landscape. 
Even a speck upon the eye shuts off the whole 


6 5 8. 

To convict him the truth need.be only in your 
mind; to convince him it must be also in his. 

Truth is a searchlight: in the hands of those 
wielding it it illumines; those who would fain hide 
therefrom it confuses. 

Truth is uncompromising even to harshness. 
What little it does relent is for the sole purpose 
of becoming more palatable: the pill not being 
the worse for its coat of sugar. 

The path of truth to lead to complete happiness 
should be like that of the planet: ever round its 
sun, never away therefrom, but never approaching 

Man is miserable until he finds truth, and is only 
less miserable when he has found it. 

To see the whole objectively apart from self, to 
see self objectively as part of the whole — this is 
the genius of truth. 

Every truth is useful, but not necessarily the 
whole truth : the blanket covering the rest of your 
body keeps you warm; covering the head also, it 
may smother vou. 

We must deal with Truth as we deal with our 
reading : which is best done by attending to the 


words as a whole rather than to the letters sep- 

Who looks beyond a truth has not yet reached it. 

Nothing hinders so much the seeing into a thing 
as the eagerness to see through it. 

A truth is best stated if the hearer is left with 
the feeling that he could have told it equally well. 

All martyrdom is merely paying the price of pos- 
sessing truth in advance of others. 

Who loves the light even without the heat must 
still be ready to burn away his life in its flame. 

Always speak truth, do not always tell it. 

Be slow to give others your truth; they are 
ready only for theirs. 

Consistency is the surest mark of truth, but love 
of consistency is not yet a sure mark of love of 

Men entertain truth as inn keepers entertain 
guests; who price them high when transient, but 
keep them at reduced rates when permanent. 



Two dangerous things: to give voice to new 
truth, to exact compliance with old truth. 


Who loves men only is apt to be loose with 
Truth. Who loves Truth only is apt to be rigid 
toward men. To be loving to men without dis- 
loyalty to truth, to be loyal to truth without 
unlovingness to men — this is to reach the mark. 

Genius and Truth are always roommates, but 
only occasional messmates. 


Peace and Truth are Siamese twins : united in 
separably, though not always joyously. Happi- 
ness and truth are solderwork: hold together well 
enough, till melted apart by the first fire. 

Peace and truth are like the stars : always shine 
together. Happiness is to truth like the moon: 
shines sometimes with the sun by day, sometimes 
with the stars by night, and is at times absent 

Who cannot argue for his truth can still live for 
it, and thus truly argue for it. 

The constant search for new truth is largely the 
unconscious desire to escape the need of practising 
the old. 



Into truth men must be led; into error they 
fall themselves. 


There are no mediators between the soul and 
truth — it is straight from the factory to the con- 
sumer. Error has its numerous middlemen: 
travelling agent, retailer, purveyor, peddlar. 

All like truth, few love it. 
Familiarity with falsehood makes it at last a 
truth to us. Familiarity with truth only makes it 
a truism. 

Who loves truth only because it is useful will 
not always hate falsehood even when useless. 

It is a waste of politeness to be courteous to the 
devil. Only too much care cannot be taken for 
his indentification. 

The best way to deceive a knave is to tell him 
the truth. 

Time always brings at last a lie to light. It 
does not always keep truth from being obscured. 

The many who hate a lie nearly always hate also 
the liar, the few who love truth do not always love 
also the truth-teller. 



For its foundation Society must have truth. 
Its superstructure's consistent with much fiction. 

692. N 

Who tells falsehood about me misrepresents me, 
but who tells mere truth about me does not yet 
represent me. To represent me he must indeed 
tell truth, but truth told in love. 

Every error held in good faith by the many has 
some truth. It is for the large-minded to search 
it out. 

Every truth is eternal; but may become a 
falsehood in time. 

Truth can be had without being sought. 
Possessed it can be only after being sought. 

Falsehood only deludes; truth both sobers and 
intoxicates. At the last it disenchants. 

Even error satisfies when it enchants. It is the 
glory of Truth that it still satisfies even when it 

A lie has no feet and cannot stand? But it has 
wings, and can fly. 

A lie is like a wasp: stings even when dead. 
Truth is like the bee: its honey is still sweet, even 
if the bee do sting. 



A man is divided by falsehood and united by 
truth. Men are often divided by truth and 
united by falsehood. 


All slang was once pure speech. Every error 
had once some truth. 


The preparation of truth in the pill needs little 
skill. It is the coating that requires art. 

All hate a lie, not all hate the liar. 

Illusion lost is never recovered, truth found is 
not always retained. 

In clouds we must all be. It is only a question 
whether we shall in the end find ourselves above 
or below them. 


Slander travels by express, the truth follows 
in an ox-cart. 


Naked truth is seldom the whole truth. Truth 
must be clad; only not in fiction, but poetry. 


The most important truths are oft arrived at by 
mere happy hits : but they are the hits of the fall- 
ing hammer — falling for some time in the pre- 
pared groove. 


709. • 

"What is Truth?" asked Pilate, and the Christ 
was silent. But the philosopher speaks: "Truth 
is correspondence with reality." 
"What is a garden, father?" 
"A garden, my son, is a place fenced in." 
"And what is a Cathedral, father?" 
"Oh, it is a tall building made of stone." 
Philosopher dear, it was the greatest of your 
guild that defined man as a biped without feathers, 
to be instantly refuted by the wag with a plucked 
fowl in his hands. 

Dear philosopher, do you now see why He who 
said I am the Truth was silent when asked 
what is Truth? 

Philosophy may seek for what is Truth. Re- 
ligion finds Him who is The Truth. 


Philosophy is of value only when it is Truth in 
a frock coat; Poetry is of value only when it is 
Truth in full dress. 


Error does for the soul what the root does for 
the tree: assimilates all that is underground, in 
the dark. Truth is to the mind what the leaves 
are to the tree : seeks light and air for itself, and 
gives shade to all else. 

Error fishes with a net; truth, only with a hook. 

Error has its sole strength in obscurity: like 
the firefly which shines only in darkness. 



Error intoxicates the soul as wine does the body. 
But wine allures by its clearness; error, by its 


Error is like smoke: dissipates at last; but not 
before darkening a wider area than the opening 
whence it issues. 

> Errors are really few in number, only they differ 
in appearance. A line moving round a point gives 
a circle of countless points, but it is the same line. 

Errors are the only possessions we must pay to 
be rid of them. 

Errors are the same in all ages, but disguised in 
every age by a new suit of clothes. 

Error vanishes before truth, but only like water 
before the sun: to reappear again as cloud above, 
as flood below. 


Because folk seldom know both at once: what 
is Truth, and how to tell it, Truth is seldom told: 
by men, because they seldom know the truth; by 
women, because they seldom know how to tell it 
even when they have the truth. 


Deceit is the egg, suspiciousness is its hatched 



Every error soon finds its champion, since 
every error can be made to appear plausible, and 
there are always folk able to make things appear 
plausible . . . 


Imagination rules the world by deceiving it. 
Truth rules the world only by remaining invisible 
— giving the imagination ample play. 

In error we have many companions. It is with 
truth one must walk lone. 

It is the mark of error that when brought to the 
fire, it does not burn, but brought to the light it 

To start out with doubt in search of Truth is 
to go forth to furnish a house with only dust pan 
and broom . . . 

Never is lack of faith in one's cause shown so 
much as when willing to lie for it. 

Both truth and error keep open house; but the 
many visitors of error call when it is day ; the few 
visitors of truth call in the night. 

One can ride two horses at a time, one can serve 
two masters for a time; one can even love two 
women at alternate times ; but one cannot see the 
two sides of a truth at the same time. 



Repetition strengthens a lie, but is apt to 
weaken truth. 

73 2 - 

Ornament ever adds to a lie, nakedness never 
detracts from truth. 

Ornament is apt to disguise truth; nakedness 
is apt to disguise error. 

The common mind first sees your error, the 
uncommon mind first looks at your truth. 

. 735 Y 
The craving for fiction is due as much to the 

hunger for truth as to the loss of truth. 

The great propagator of error is talk; its great 
preserver is silence; its great foe is discussion. 

The hideousness of sin fails to frighten its vo- 
taries; the plainness of truth suffices to scare its 


The majority alone can sustain truth, the minor- 
ity alone contains it. 

There is no error but what will soon unite folk ; 
no truth but what will soon divide them. 

The ignorance of the learned is a malady 
peculiar to the craft. Who labors too near the 
light must expect to get off with weak eyes. 



Soaring high does not increase your light; div- 
ing deep does increase your darkness. 


The truth we owe to those who have injured 
us can best be told in anger. It is best told in 

The wounds inflicted by error can be healed by 
truth. The wounds inflicted by truth can be 
healed only by grace. 

To disillusion folk without giving them aught 
to take the place of their delusion is to crack their 
nuts for them only to show them that they have 
only worms. 

To maintain a truth, a thorough mastery of it 
alone suffices. To maintain a lie the mastery of 
several others is needful. 

To save our eyes we must not look too steadily 
at the sun, to save our hearts we must not look 
too steadily at truth. 

To the spiritual man truth is like steam — 
even when not readily visible, yet hot. To the 
common man it is like water — can be cold, can 
be hot, but fluid at all times. To the man of 
culture it is like ice: solid enough, but frozen. 

Truth adorned only borders on falsehood; false- 
hood naked almost passes for truth. 



Truth shines even in darkness, error prospers 
only in darkness. 

Truth for the worldling is like cod-liver oil: 
taken best disguised. 

Truth must indeed be as transparent as ice, but 
it need not therefore be as cold. 

To study error for the sake of refuting it is to 
marry a bad woman for the sake of beating her 

A great catastrophe: the collision of a truth- 
seeker with a loaf -seeker. 

The truth every age must learn for itself ; error 
is handed down from generation to generation. 

Truth is always true, extending as it does back- 
ward and forward as well as in the present. Its 
friends need ever to remember that it extends also 
forward. Its enemies, unable to deny its extent 
in the past, comfort themselves with ignoring its 
extent into the present. 

Truth is always beautiful. But naked truth is 
apt to be loved for its own sake. Adorned truth 
is in danger of being loved only for the sake of the 


Truth is a vast pyramid with its base in the 
ocean. Only its small apex is seen by those sail- 
ing the wide sea. Only the bold diver is permitted 
to sound its vast depth and breadth underneath. 


Truth is brought to naught as much by mis- 
pronouncing it as by renouncing it. 

Truth should fit the head as the shoe fits the 
foot : which if too snug swells it ; if too loose chafes 

Men first discern the truth, they then discover 
the arguments for it. 

Truth is seldom divorced, but too often jilted. 

Truth has two enemies : the whole liar and the 
one per cent, liar— with the latter as the not less 
dangerous of the two. 

Only the divinely commissioned are the ones 
to say with Nathan, Thou art the man! Others 
best witness to Truth by leaving each to cry for 
himself, I am the man ! 

The best way to defend your error is to confess 



None deceive so successfully as the self-de- 


Error is like green chestnut wood: easy to split, 
but hard to burn. 

A great mind beholds truth; a great soul lives 

A whole lie is Satan in the open. A half truth 
is Satan in disguise. 

Light blinds more fatally than darkness. 

The sun drives one oft into shelter from both 
its heat and light. The moon, with no light of 
its own, and without heat, drives one into no 
shelter. From the moon only thieves have to 
hide . . . 

The liar needs two things: a long. memory, a 
short tongue. 

The printer reminds me that owing to this 
page being supplemental, the next one will be 
left blank if not provided for. Dear printer, he 
is concerned only with the provision against mere 
typographical impropriety; little aware that he 
meanwhile teaches the poor author a most unex- 


pected lesson: The original, unbroken order of 
the pages has been departed from; and forthwith 
is adopted the apparently harmless or even clever 
expedient of supplemental paging, numbering. 
And all goes on quite well, until that unex- 
pected — blank. . . . Every human expedient, 
(once a departure has been made from the 
heaven-ordained order), be it never so clever, 
never so successful in the sight of men, brings 
with it in due time the unreckoned-with — blank ; 
with its relentless demand to be duly filled 
in. . . . 

And the folly of all human Systems of Truth 
is this ever-recurring attempt to fill in there- 
with these from their very nature unfillable 
blanks. . . . 


Left out in the rain the cask swelled and burst 
its hoops. There, at last I am rid of those wretch- 
ed bands, thought the cask. But when the sun 
came out it fell to pieces. 

The dove when flying observed that it had to 
beat against the air. It prayed to be spared its 
resistance. The dove had its prayer answered, 
and was put into a vacuum. But on trying to 
fly it fell to the ground. 

The acorn wished to become a mighty oak. 
But when thrown into the damp and darkness it 
demurred, and it was released. Now I shall at 
least be a clean acorn, it said, once more basking 
in the sunshine. But it did not bask long. A 
stray hog came along, and readily put an end to 
acorn's further career. 

The vine weary of clipping at last prayed to be 
delivered therefrom. The kindly husbandman 
heeded her request, and its growth ran all into 
wood. But when next year the new owner came, 
he cut down the unprofitable vine. . 

"Which did you like best, the one that sang 


soprano, or the one that sang alto?" "I liked 
best the one who sang solo." The youth on com- 
ing to manhood became a metaphysician. 

"My papa has a piazza on his house, yours 
has not." "And mine has a mortgage on his, 
which yours has not." When these children grew 
up, the one gave birth to a professor of Ethics, 
the other to a professor of Political Economy. 

An ass hearing the nightingale extolled decided 
to hear her for himself. The nightingale put 
herself out, and sang at her best. Most excellent, 
cried the ass, but if you will allow me a sugges- 
tion, a few lessons from my friend the cock would 
greatly add to your accomplishments. You will 
find him scratching on the dunghill. This critic 
dates only from Krylof's time, but he has an an- 
cient pedigree and numerous offspring. 


A man was met of God in a hay field, and was 
there converted. Full of joy he meets his neigh- 
bor. "Have you found the Lord?" "Yes, praise 
His name, long ago." "Where did you find 
Him?" "One day in my chamber." "You are 
mistaken, friend. A man cannot truly find God 
unless in a hay field." This man afterwards be- 
came a theologian. 


The inhabitants of a quiet village were once 
alarmed by the cry of Wolves ! They rush to the 
town hall. They debate, discuss, deliberate. At 
last they decide that each go home and get his 


gun. But as they rushed out they were met at 
the door by the wolves. They had all been hon- 
est agnostics. 

'T tell you I once succeeded in taking in a 
whole town!" "Indeed! And how did you do 
it?" "You see, my name is Smith, and I told 
them it was Jones." When this man found 
himself, he became a successful writer of fiction. 

A cat was caught by its mistress eating its 
dainty fish. "O, you thief, skitch, skitch!" The 
cat still eats. "Well, did you ever! You beast, 
skitch, skitch!" The cat still eats. "You nasty 
thing, I will make you ashamed of yourself," and 
she grabs the poker. The cat now does start 
away, only to finish the fish in the shed instead 
of the kitchen. The husband of the owner of the 
fish was a writer on Education. 

On arriving at the summit of Vesuvius the 
rest of the party admired the view. He alone 
saw the lava, and observed, What a fine spot for 
baking potatoes ! In due time he became the an- 
cestor of a race of financiers. 

A belated owl found itself in daylight before 
it had time to return to its haunt. The glare 
hurt its eyes, and it prayed that the good Lord 
would be pleased to put out the sun. The Lord 
heard its prayer, but instead of putting out the 
sun He merely transferred it to its dark abode. 
Ever after the owl has had much to say about un- 



answered prayer. Too- whit, too who! Two-whit, 
too who! 

A man was arrested on the charge of stealing a 
cow; but on proving that he owned the animal 
ever since it was a calf he was discharged. A 
fellow-prisoner, who was charged with stealing a 
gun, on hearing this, set up as his defence that he 
had owned the gun ever since it was a pistol. He 
was sent to prison, but he reformed, and in time 
became a successful lecturer on Evolution. 

A traveller ascended a high mountain carrying 
a parrot in a cage. When they came to the sum- 
mit, an eagle flew by. "Well, well," exclaimed 
the parrot, "who would have ever thought that 
the parrot and the eagle would at last be soaring 
over the same heights! " 


All strength for action consists of two halves: 
faith and hope; love makes it shine. 

Faith, hope, love, is the order of their longevity. 
Faith may die in the autumn, hope may live into 
the winter, love lives through the winter. 

Faith designs the bridge, hope throws it across 
the gulf, love crosses it. 

The great end of life is love; its great means, 
hope; its great method, faith. 

The door of faith cannot be shut without shut- 
ting also the door of hope. And between the two 
love also is tightly shut in. 

Want of faith springs from too much knowledge ; 
want of love, from too little; want of hope, from 

Which first, Faith, love, hope? I conceive 
them as an equilateral triangle: at every turn 
each of the three points is at the top. 



Pure faith can dwell only in a clean heart ; pure 
love, only in a clear head. 


Faith is the sixth sense added to the natural 
man from above after he surrenders the other five. 

Anxiety and faith have the same ancestry: 
ignorance of the future; but faith takes account 
of the ever Present One. 

Shut the door against faith, in comes credulity. 

True faith is like the sunflower: keeps ever 
sunward even when not shined upon. 

It is a low faith that moves mountains. The 
higher faith crosses them, the highest lets them 


It is faith never to despair, and it is still faith to 
toil on even in despair. 

Reason is the eye; faith, the telescope where- 
with to see the things beyond the range of reason. 

Probability of speculation as a guide of life is 
to the certainty of Faith what the odors of the 
roast are to the roast itself: they may stave off 
starvation for a while, they cannot sustain life in 
the end. 


8o 5 . 

There is an opposition between Faith and Rea- 
son, but it is the opposition of Upper and Under, 
of Right and Left, of Light and Shadow; each 
part of the other, distant but not separate. Faith 
is grounded in reason, reason rests on faith. 

Faith is that firm assurance of the verities 
which discards their proofs even to the point of 
being forgotten. 

Faith is a realization not so much that you feel 
better toward God — this is only repentance; as 
that He feels better toward you. 

True love betwixt human folk — not that silly 
thing betwixt the sexes that has stolen away all 
the glories of the genuine love of fellow-man for 
fellow-man of whate'er sex — is such a delicate, 
frail thing, so easily wounded, crushed. And yet 
its very glory consists in fluttering on, and beating 
on, and bleeding on, maugre the wormwood and 
gall that oft it receives for its support. 

The one thing in which human nature shows its 
greatest skill is in misknowing the true friend. 
The one thing few are able to receive, few able to 
understand, is disinterested love, where it is not 
clannish. (For the clannish love, even at its 
noblest, like that of the mother for the child, is 
only still a phase of my, though its beauty is as- 
sured by its having the divine stamp.) But dis- 


interested love, nobler even than that of the 
lover for the unworthy maiden — it is not even 
misunderstood; it is simply not understood. 

Such a love is the only divine love. Blessed he 
who loveth solely because he loves to love; and 
the test of such love is the readiness with which is 
accepted its inevitable wage — bitter sorrow. Few 
are worthy of such love, and so seldom are even 
those few found that only disappointment can be 
its portion. Mayhap this was ordained to teach 
such divine souls to have fellowship with Him who 
is the great unappreciated, neglected Lover of 
men. God is the great Misknown Friend of man; 
unheeded, un-understood .... And not until one 
is born from above in the only God-appointed 
way is one able to bestow it, or fit to receive it. 

The soul has a skin as well as the body. But in 
the carnal it is self-will, or self-love; in the spiritual 
it is this divine Love. Both are easily wounded. 
But when self-love is wounded, it feels also re- 
sentment; when divine love is wounded it can 
feel only pain. 

What is loveable does not yet fully deserve our 
love as long as we see therein only what we do see. 
What makes it loveable is that it contains much 
more than we see therein. 

All may dispense love, no one can dispense 
with love. 



All greatness must begin with an uncommon 
head, it can continue only with an uncommon 

Appreciation is sight, admiration is love. Folk 
do not appreciate because they have not head 
enough; they do not admire because they have 
not heart enough. 

Argument seldom even convinces, and this with 
many words. Love may even convict, and this 
with few words. 

Both love and hatred are blind; but love is 
blind to faults; hatred to merits. 

Both love and hatred prove themselves by 
telling the truth. But love tells it in love; hatred, 
in hatred. 

By loving the loveable you show forth their 
worth; by loving the hateful you show forth 

Even the small soul can love in return, only the 
great soul hates not in return. 

Every lover has a literature of his own writ by 
his heart on the trees among which his beloved 
hath trod, on the stones on which she hath sat. 



Men may see best with closed eyes, they may 
hear best with closed ears, they may even speak 
best with closed lips; but they can love best only 
with open hearts. 


Men seldom love those they agree with merely 
because they agree; they often dislike those they 
disagree with because they disagree. 

Open mouth and open ears seldom go together ; 
open heart and open hands must go together. 

The great love what they find in the beloved; 
the small, what they get from the beloved. 

Two loves are not yet love: the love that does 
not dare, the love that does despair. 

True love is known by its kinship ; it must have 
knowledge for its parent; discretion for its child. 

The pains of love survive the love itself. Love 
is thus an annuity: yields an income long after 
the departure of the principal. 

The highest love is like the lightning rod, which 
shields those beneath by receiving the bolt itself. 

The only way to attain to your superior is to 
love him. 



The ministry to self-consciousness either in 
yourself or in others is the business of the vulgar. 
Noble it is only in lovers. 

The love that has stood one year's separation 
may stand twenty. But the love that has stood a 
thousand miles of separation may not stand a foot 
of nearness. 


Two wounds are long in healing: the wound 
from our love for others, the wound to our love of 

Do many love you? The merit is probably 
theirs. Do many hate you? The fault is probably 
yours as well as theirs. 


True love has these two marks : it is first tender, 
then enduring. 


True love to men reverses the housekeeper's 
way, and opens the windows to the setting rather 
than the rising sun. 

To be in love is to carry about a piece of coal in 
the belief that it is a diamond. To walk in love is 
to be ever transforming the coal into diamond. 

To love man is not necessarily to love men . . . 



To love the loveable is human, to love the 
despicable — this is divine. 


Pure love is proof against all the deadly poisons 

but one: deliberate, protracted cruelty at the 

hands of the beloved — this alone kills a pure love, 

but solely because it kills also the beloved oneself. 

Love sees because it loves, hatred hates because 
it is blind. 

When the heart is given away, it is henceforth 
mortgaged with a veritable pledge of death. Shall 
we then not love? Not if peace is a higher prize 
than love. But if peace be the highest prize, then 
the graveyard is the one prized spot on earth. 


Nothing so bitter as injustice from those we 
love. Since mere justice we expect from all, from 
those we love we expect also partiality. 

When the heart changes lovers it is because it 
has not yet been in love with a soul, but only in 
love with love. 

Who loves only some men will be loved by 
many. Who loves all men will be loved by some 
and hated by many. 

Who is loved by many will surely be hated by 
some. Who is hated by many will not necessarily 
be loved by any. 



Our hearts were meant to be so filled with love 
to God and man, that every time we think of 
man we think of both : praying the One to bless, 
the other to be blessed .... 

High love with one's own heart is rare. Deep 
hatred with the heart of others is frequent. 

Unrequited love is hunger unsatisfied, thirst 
unquenched, sorrow unconsoled, agony unrelieved, 
misery that cannot be drowned. 

To rise you must love your superior; to keep 
from falling you must love also your inferiors. 

8 5 i. 

When we like others it is chiefly because we 
know not yet enough of them. When we dislike 
others it is chiefly because we know not yet 
enough of ourselves. 


Man is a natural lover when he lives either in 
the basement or upstairs. He is a hater only 
when he lives on the ground floor. 

Who is able to help is not yet poor, who is able 
to love is not yet old. 

Who has not known sorrow has not yet begun 
to understand life; who has not loved, has not 
yet begun even life itself. 


To become beloved one needs only to be able to 
give; to remain beloved one must also be able to 
receive. _ 

8 S 6. 

We love in others as much what we bring to 
them as what they bring to us. 

Love, like the sea, levels all things by covering 
them with itself. 

Love is the only possession of which the more 
one gives the less thereof he parts with. 

Love makes copper look like gold. Gold makes 
love look like copper. 

A great love shows itself even in little things; 
a great hatred is more politic and waits with its 
display for the great things. 

Fever consists of cold and heat : it is measured 
by the heat. Life consists of indifferences and 
loves: it is measured by its loves. 

Folk are liked chiefly for what they are; they 
are loved for what they have. 

Friendship is more like the echo, returning 
only what is given. Love is more like the pump : 
returns by the pail what it receives by the pint. 



Humility removes the cataract, love renovates 
the eye. 

If you have talents, love will enhance their 
presence; if you have none, love will make up for 
their absence. 

It needs as much charity to let folk be miserable 
in their way as to make them happy in yours. 

Justice without love is only hard, wisdom with- 
out love is foolish. 

Love has seldom much to learn, but always 
much to forget. 

Love is a flame ; and like the flame loses naught 
of its own by lighting a thousand others. 

Love is an epoch before marriage, it is apt to 
be only an episode after marriage. 

Love is a passion which comes folk seldom 
know how. It goes — they but too often know 


Love is a vine: produces in abundance, but will 
not do its best till twined round another. 



Love is friendship dressed for a reception. 
Friendship is love fresh from God's hand: like 
Adam in Paradise, and equally — innocent. 

Love is like the seat in the coach; made only 
for two; friendship is like the settee, made for 

Love is indeed the greater of the three; since 
in addition to itself it is also faith and hope com- 

Ice can be made even by means of heat; hatred 
can be evoked even by love. 

Love will not speak evil of any, but neither 
will it speak good of all. 

Man is a natural lover. It is experience and 
culture that make him a hater. 

One may think best in English and feel best in 
German; one may chat best in French and sing 
best in Italian ; one may scold best in Russian and 
pray best in any tongue; but love is best uttered 
only in silence. 

Only he can truly love men who has first learned 
to despise man. 

Our borrowed hatreds are apt to be more nu- 



Precept stakes the path out, experience hoes it 
o'er; sorrow rakes it about, religion smooths it off; 
love tramps it down, and thus makes it good 

Scientific charity — I know not how much good 
it does to those who receive it ; but I do know the 
harm it does to those who give it. 

Men love their neighbors either when they know 
much of God or little of men. 

Some one has slandered Love by saying it is 
blind. Foolish love is blind, like all folly. But 
genuine love has keen enough sight. Only what 
makes it genuine Love is that it refuses to look 
at what is best not seen. 


Some souls are made for science, some for art; 
others for adventure, exploration, invention, af- 
fairs. Others again are made for farming, sports, 
fishing, sailing, animal love. But the pure, ethereal 
soul is made for just — love. Love is the element 
wherein such soul revels. What air is to the fowl, 
water to the fish, fire to smoke, the ether to light, 
the very heavens to the mind of God — that is love 
to such soul: love of the beautiful, the true, above 
all love to beauty in souls, to beautiful souls. 

And the lover, alas! is seldom good for aught 
else than making love. 



Sternness is the best mode of instructing human 
nature, but as omniscience alone sees all the re- 
sults thereof, love is for man the safest way. 

The fog enveloping the lover becomes the halo 
round the maiden. 

There is a kindness which is the ashes of love; 
but unlike ashes has no fertilizing value. 

There is no true friendship without much love ; 
there is much love without true friendship. 

Those who love us most we seldom appreciate ; 
those we appreciate most seldom love us. 

We must love the wicked : not because of what 
goodness is yet in them, but because of what bad- 
ness is yet in us. 

When the need of love has been burnt into the 
soul it is fit for this life. When the need of pa- 
tience has been burnt into the soul, it is fit for the 


Who loves too much does not yet love enough. 

True love is like the poplar: however old it ever 
looks young. 



To know men you must love them; to know 
the world you only need to have loved it. 


To know men you must love them ; to love them 
* it is not always best to know them. 

Charity should steer our lives as the rudder 
steers the ship, and like the rudder should be 
keep not in front, but behind. 

Knowledge may lengthen hands and feet; love 
adds wings. 

Lovers, the wider their separation, the nearer 
they are. 

Self-love is an excellent critic: but only of 
others and not of oneself. And this vitiates the 
criticism of others. 

To go through life without love — who would 
travel through the world with the curtains of the 
carriage drawn over the windows, to be shielded 
from sun and wind? 

Both selfishness and love have keen sight: but 
selfishness looks through a microscope, and sees 
only what is small or near; love looks through a 
telescope, and sees what is great or far. 




The discovery that I must beware of those who 
hate me came early, and this I found in nowise 
costly. The discovery that I must beware of 
those I love came later, and this I found very 
costly . . . 


Friendship is a well : however deep it never 
overflows. Love is a fountain: however narrow 
it always overflows. 


The Christless in his better mood knows that 
the best remedy against paralyzing pessimism is 
love. Christianity furnishes that love. 

The carnal man knows only Thou shalt love 
thy neighbor as thyself. The moral man knows 
also We ought to lay down our lives for the 
brethern — loving them more than ourselves. The 
spiritual man knows a love that is to be measured 
not even by a superlative : Thou shalt love the 
Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy mind, 
and all thy soul, and all thy strength. 

Honesty is shown in the manner in which 
creditors are remembered; love is shown in the 
manner in which debtors are remembered. 

A great mind is content if he have but one 
great thought in the day. A great heart is not 
content until it has a great love throughout the 



The knowledge which does not make us love is 
not yet the highest; the love which does not 
make us know is not yet the deepest. 

Love is the one talent within reach of all. 

The envious by their envy confess their inferi- 
ority; the appreciative by their appreciation 
display their equality; the forgiving by their 
forgiveness show forth their superiority. 

The love that only covers defects is like paint 
and putty : useful, indeed, but equally superficial. 


The lesson the unsaved need burnt into them is 
the unceasing need of love. The saved need the 
same lesson, but with the additional need of 


Many are the cures for a good lover; none for 
a good hater. 


God is Love ; this is the character He gives of 
Himself in His Book. And love is that which 
can be comprehended by all. The mother has 
hers; the husband has his; the friend, the kindly, 
the compassionate — they all have theirs. Even 
the slave has his for the master, which love is 
duplicated even among the sub-humans in the 
devotion of the dog to his. But none of these 


loves give yet even a glimmer of the love of 
God — the love of God shed abroad in the hearts 
of the regenerate by the Spirit. Only those be- 
gotten of the Spirit know it, only they compre- 
hend it. 

And but for one statement concerning it in 
Holy Writ it would remain mere sound to the 
unregenerate. " Like as a father pitieth his 
children so doth Jehovah pity them that fear 
him " furnishes them with at least a clue thereto. 
No mother would ever give her child in order to 
save thereby that of another except in war, 
where the case is complicated by the atmosphere. 
But God did give His only-begotten Son that 
others through Him be saved. Among all 
earthly loves — all noble (because heaven-or- 
dained), in their way — the love of a father for 
a child stands forth unique: the only love to 
which the love of the Father can at all be likened. 
It is this alone that made David's cry " O 
Absalom my son, oh my son Absalom, would I 
had died for thee !." at all intelligible. And 
Absalom was his father's enemy. . . . God's 
hatred of sin, His holiness is measured by the 
fact that even His Son must die as long as sin 
was (not in Him but) upon Him. God's Love to 
even His enemies is measured by the fact that 
even His Only-begotten Son is given over to the 
shame and death of the Cross as long as this 
is the only means whereby to save perishing 
men . . . 

Love sees faults, hatred looks at them. 



Two souls lose our affection after gaining it: 
who progresses not with us ; who has progressed 
beyond us. 

Love sees what is good in a friend, charity sees 
it also in the enemy. 

Charity is like the sun : which makes even the 
mud to shine. 



Who sees most censures least. 

Only look far enough, and even parallel lines 
at last merge into one. 

By all means expect no one to be without fault, 
only be sure not to be on the lookout for that 

It is always safe to judge a man from one good 
deed; it is never safe to judge him from one bad 
deed. A bad man is always himself; a good man, 
not always. 

Of my neighbor tell me only what is good. 
What is bad I can find out for myself. 

You see him act meanly? Be patient — that is 
his heritage. You see him act nobly? Date him 
from this act — now he is himself. 


A frequent but great blunder : judging the qual- 
ity of the honey by the sting of the bee. 



Praise is not so sure a proof that you already 
see all. Censure is a proof that you as yet see not 


If you find out your neighbor's character all at 
once, it is because either he is a fool or you are 


In fighting unreasonableness, we are in great 
danger of becoming unreasonable ourselves. 


It is certain that no one is wholly good. Not 
so certain that any one is wholly bad. 

It is on the whitest cloth that the spot is most 

"It is the poorest fruit that falls when the tree 
is shaken!" Not so fast, friend. It is the ripest 
also that falls then. 

It is the sweetest wine that gives the sourest 

Men are never so forgetful of what they should 
do in their own place as when telling what they 
would do in another's. 

It is at the sweetest fruit that the birds are 


Half of what we hear is seldom so, the other 
half is not exactly so. 

A man may easily be judged from the kind of 
friends he makes, from the kind of books he likes. 
Not so easily from the kind of occupation he 
chooses, from the kind of wife he has. 

Condemn not one until you have been in his 

Condemn no one. If repentant, he has already 
judged himself. If unrepentant, God shall surely 
judge him. 

"Even the sun has its spots, you know." Yes, 
but they can be seen only through smoked glasses 


Laugh at the ass's bray to your heart's con- 
tent, only do not let it prejudice you against his 
long ears. 


One of the hardest things to remember is that 
mankind consists of only men and women. 


One of the hardest things to remember: that 
your neighbor's blood is as red as yours. 

Who dwells with pleasure on the faults of others 
only shows forth his own. 



"The curtain is imperfect, it has a rent!" But 
it proves only to be the opening between its two 


Hardly a noble piece of work but some flaw 
could be found therein. But our eyes are so made 
that they profit more by looking at the beauties 
than for the blemishes. 

There is a lesson in the Sun: its light and heat 
are to be enjoyed by all, its spots are to be looked 
at by the few. 

To remember his fault after his repenting there- 
of is to punish one man for the mischief done by 

What makes even just condemnation so un- 
just is that folk are seldom condemned for what 
they do without being condemned at the same 
time for what they are merely thought capable 
of doing. 

The weaknesses of others if dwelt upon become 

Persistent condemnation of another is sure to- 
ken of some subtle condemnation of self. 

To hate the unworthy is to punish yourself for 
their unworthiness. 



To judge the individual by the race is unjust 
to him ; to judge the race by the individual is un- 
just to yourself. 


To praise one for not being as bad as he might 
be is unintelligent charity; to blame one for not 
being as good as he should be is equally unintelli- 
gent policy. 


Who speaks evil of others thinks he is describ- 
ing them — he is only photographing himself. 

Before sitting down at his trial, make sure that 
you are at least his peer. 

Who has an eye for the weaknesses of others 
has seldom one for his own. 

It is well to see the littleness of others, only in 
theirs we must see also ours. 

Of all faultfinding the silliest is with what is 

When Satan fails in driving folk into their own 
Sin, he succeeds in setting them to judge the sins 
of others. 

To gaze long on the exceeding sinfulness of 
ourselves makes us weaklings ; to gaze long on the 
exceeding sinfulness of others makes us tyrants. 



Only he has a right to reproach who is ready 
to correct or relieve; and even he had best not 
avail himself thereof. 


I never judge methods three thousand miles 
away, said Wendell Phillips once in my hearing. 
After nigh forty years I am compelled to add, I 
never judge motives even an inch away. Men 
seldom know even their own motives, and are 
still less competent to understand those of others. 

We need much time to learn that we are greater 
sinners than we think. We need more time to 
learn that others are not so great sinners as we 

Were we to spend our leisure in improving our 
own ills we should have none left for dwelling 
upon those of our neighbors. 

We must ever carry two standards: one for 
judging ourselves; the other for judging our 

Two things we are safe in not believing: half 
the good said of us; nearly all the ill spoken of 

The ill , in folk is discerned more readily than 
the good. Does this then prove his corruption? 
Possibly; but it surely proves yours. 



The vessel that holds not water may still hold 
grain. It matters not so much what one cannot 
do as what one can do. 

Shadows indicate the presence of light as well 
as its absence. 

Hesitation is the sign as much of the abundance 
of ideas as of their scarcity. 

We need much time to learn that we are greater 
sinner than we think. We need more time to 
learn that others are not so great sinners as we 

I hear it often said, "You cannot live on air," 
but hardly ever, "You cannot live without air." 
Deficiencies are more striking than merits. 

The pupil of the eye contracts in the light and 
dilates in the dark : perhaps to teach us the need 
of enlarged vision in the presence of all darkness. 

However dark the wall, the match can still be 
lighted thereat. 

If anything grows in ashes, something may yet 
be made to grow by ashes. 



Lay not up against your neighbor the sin of 
yesterday. He may have repented thereof today. 

A man's work may be freely criticised; his 
actions, not so freely. 

A great desideratum: an imagination as active 
in finding excuses for others' imaginary offenses 
as for our real ones. 

. 981. 
Not in vain are only men's faces exposed, but 
not their hearts. Only he is fit to judge men's 
motives who has X-Ray eyes, able to look thro' 
the waistcoat. But none are apt to be so blind 
as those who deem themselves to have X-Ray 
eyes . . . 

The good things about folk are not believed 
till we see them for ourselves. The bad things 
about folk are readily believed long before we see 
them for ourselves. 



At twenty one feels wiser than at fifty, but at 
thirty one feels only wiser than at forty . . . 

It is a wise youth that keeps accumulating 
for future use. It is a wise man that keeps 
ridding himself of the accumulations of youth. 

The child learns only from loveable teachers; 
he is not a man till he learns also from hateful 


The child pets the lamb ; the man eats the sheep . 

Parents expect children to be grateful for what 
they have done for them. Foolish parents, you 
have been getting your reward while doing for 

Parents' love is best shown by timely severity; 
their wisdom by timely gentleness. 

Certain vices in the young may be only virtues 
in blossom. Certain virtues in the aged may be 
only vices in decay. 



In youth the days are short and the years are 
long; in old age the years are short and the days 
are long. 


Old age complains that youth shows no respect 
for age. But my aged friend, have you taken 
pains to make old age venerable to youth? 


With men we can afford at times to be children. 
With children we must ever be men. 

With the child the first motive should be 
fear; with the youth, duty; with the man, love. 

Who wishes not to break the heart of the man 
must not fear to break the will of the child. 

The younger grow wise chiefly by learning ; the 
older, by unlearning. 

Good men stay good with age ; bad men do not 
stay bad, they grow worse. 

To retain the simplicity of the child with 
the power of metamorphosis in old age — this 
is the essence of the higher life. 

In youth one has tears with transient grief; in 
mature life one has abiding griefs without the 



Laughter may preserve to old age. Tears 
alone restore to perennial youth. 

The child should always survive in the man; 
the boy only at times. 

1 00 1. 
The unknown is apt to rouse fear in the child, 
curiosity in the youth, indifference in the man. 

To be a good child he needs but little of the man 
in him; to be a good man he needs much of the 
child in him. 

A child may oft be left to play alone; children, 
hardly ever. 

Age needs a critic; youth, only a model. 

A good child is surely to its parents' credit; a 
bad child is not so surely to its parents' discredit. 

All wish for long life, few know that it means old 

A man is more a child of his age than of his 

An easy art : to keep young ; a most difficult art : 
to grow old. 




Any life worthy of the name is spent: in youth, 
losing its illusions; in manhood, sobering from 
delusions ; in mature age, regretting the loss of both 
yet desiring the return of neither. 

At twenty one is apt to be infallible. Happy if 
at thirty one is only about to become so. 

Children are happiest when their future is 
made present; old folk, when their past is made 

Children do not appreciate enough their parents, 
and the parents do not remember enough that 
this is because they are children. 


Even the common man may grow old in a night. 
It is the uncommon man that keeps young in the 
midst of years. 

Imitation is surely wisdom for the young, but 
only for the young. 

In youth I used to look for the hidden genius 
in every man. I now have to look for the hidden 
man in every genius. . 

In youth we hope to avoid errors; in mature 
age we are content if we have succeeded in cor- 
recting them. 



That there is an ape in man is true, but only 
of healthy childhood and sickly manhood. 

Openhandedness the child learns much later. 
To clinch its little hand it knows almost at birth. 

To be the complete man the boy must die in 
him wholly, the child must survive in him much. 

To love a story is the mark of healthy child- 
hood ; to love fiction is the mark of sickly manhood. 

To value things more than their worth is the 
folly of childhood; to value men less than their 
worth is the folly of womanhood. 

The danger of youth is to be led astray by the 
abundance of passion; the danger of age is to be 
led astray by its scarcity. 

The child laughs at the ludicrousness of the 
scarecrow; the youth laughs at the crow's folly 
in being scared thereby. It is for the man to learn 
from the scarecrow that it watches for others 
the corn it cannot itself enjoy. 

The child must have right living before right 
thinking; the man cannot have right thinking 
without right living. 



Flesh and blood makes the child; 'tis the heart 
that makes the parent. 


Older folk are best controlled by holding out to 
them some pleasure and much fear; the young 
are best controlled by holding out to them much 
pleasure and some fear. 

How should old age be venerable to youth when 
every one is frantically striving not to grow old? 

Stories for the young, maxims for the old. 

The language of a people is the history of its 
past ; the language of a child is the history of its 
present ; the language of a man is the history of his 

Two great mistakes: to think oneself young at 
thirty; to think oneself old at fifty. 

103 1. 
It is always wise to accommodate ourselves to 
our surroundings. It is not always wise to 
accommodate ourselves to our age. 

And so you have concealed your age? but not 
your folly. 

Men born the same day are hardly ever of the 
same aee. 



Every age walks by its own light: youth, by 
sunlight; middle age, by moonlight; old age, by 


Ignorance in old age is a vice; vice in youth is 
mostly ignorance. 


The child is not complete without a certain 
manly roughness; the man is not complete with- 
out a certain feminine tenderness. 

The child's education is not finished till it 
has learned to obey; the man's, not till he has 
learned to command. 

Indulgence to children is seldom more than 
indulgence to ourselves. 


This life is only a preparation for the next, 
hence education does not end with any age, but 
is meant to last through every age. Only in 
childhood and youth education consists in learn- 
ing; in middle age it has, alas! to consist chiefly 
in unlearning. Blessed he who in his old age 
needs no longer to unlearn yet can keep on 
learning . . . 


The cyclopedia that is never outgrown, the 
text book that never becomes out of date, that 
meets the requirements of every department of 
life, of every age in life is after all the — Bible. 


The pseudo-scientist glories in the discovery that 
his " science" contradicts the Bible. The true 
scientist (who, however, is not yet in sight) , will 
find that only that is science which is found sup- 
ported by the Bible. And it is the utter failure 
of our modern education to appreciate this fact 
that makes our race a miseducated race: fit for 
everything except the one thing it is designed for : 
the future, eternal life; the relentless great certain 
Beyond, which our modern education makes for 
its but too well u educated " elders even at best 
only a huge Perhaps . . . 



By nature men are sinners; by grace, saints; 
by inclination they are both. 

A sinner one is born and this without his con- 
sent. A saint is made; and this only with his 


To make a sinner not even one other is need- 
ful; to make a saint it needs at least three. 

Men can change a saint into a sinner, but not a 
sinner into a saint. The chemist can reduce 
the diamond to carbon. He cannot make the 
carbon into diamond. 

The saint abstains from sin for lack of desire; 
the sinner only from lack of occasion. 

Sinners do their greatest harm when alive; 
saints can do their greatest good also when dead. 

The sinner needs to learn that it is wrong to 
live only for the day ; the saint needs to learn that 
it is wrong to live other than in the day. 



The sinner is not safe as long as he condemns 
not himself; the saint is not safe as long as he con- 
demns others. 


The message to the sinner is, Come down lower; 
to the saint : stay below, and thou shalt be taken 
higher . . . 


The sinner needs to look for the truth of the 
Bible only within himself; the saint can afford 
to look also without. 


The sinner needs to know first God's holiness; 
the saint can afford to look first at God's love. 


The sinner needs to learn that God can be a 
merciful judge; the saint, that He can also be a 
stern Father. 


The saint has no reason to complain of God's 
ways, the sinner has no right to complain. 


The sinner blunders in demanding an explana- 
tion of God's w T ays; the saint, in endeavoring to 
furnish an apology for God's ways. 

God's wisdom even the sinner can see; His love, 
only the saint ; but His justice only he can see who 
has been both sinner and saint. 



The capacity for getting highly displeased is the 
only thing in common between the great-hearted 
saint and the low-minded sinner. 

The images of saints have a better market and a 
higher price than the saints themselves ; and saints 
in marble the world permits to be more potent 
than saints in flesh. 

That they are sinners few are willing to deny; 
that they are sinning, few are ready to admit. 

When a man confesses that he is a great sinner, 
he is already a smaller one. 

Who talks much of sin still finds time to commit 
it. Who talks much of virtue has seldom time to 
practice it. 

Sin grows fat on the w^ant of three things: a 
loving heart, an elastic head, a pliable will. 

Sins like a spot can be washed out in blood; 
sin like a stain, can be burnt out only in fire. 

Sins like writing in pencil can be rubbed out; 
sin like writing in ink can only be scratched out. 

Into sin man is born, into righteousness he 
must be brought. 



The bad seldom deserve all the hatred they 
get, the good seldom deserve all the love they get. 

The bad man makes enemies, the good man 
already has them. 


The good as well as the bad take comfort from 
the knowledge that others have suffered as they. 
But the good are encouraged from seeing others 
conquer; the bad, from seeing others fail. 

The honest man can hardly understand the 
knave; the knave cannot at all understand the 
honest man. 


Good men are seldom loved when all is known 
about them, Bad men are often loved even 
when all is known about them. 

Many remain bad without growing worse. No 
one remains good without growing better. 

A bad man is known from the manner in which 
he bestows censure; a good man from the manner 
in which he receives it. 


To be a bad man, he need only work out what 
is already within him. To be a good man, he 
must work out what is put into him. 



Bad men are often worse than they seem, good 
men are seldom as good as they seem. 

No one is as good as he should be; hardly any- 
one is as bad as he can be. 


It is not so difficult to do the right as to 
abstain from doing the wrong. 


To do right one needs help from above. To 
do wrong he needs none from below. 


Two men soon find the world too small for 
them: the saint and the rogue. 

The honest man errs in thinking all to be as 
good as he; the knave, because he thinks all as 
bad as he. 


The honest man is deceived most about others; 
the rogue, also about himself. 

There are two kinds of sinners: who do not 
the right, and do the wrong, — these are the 
wicked sinners; who do the right, but do it wrong 
— these are the righteous sinners; and it is their 
self -excuse here that makes them also wicked 
sinners . . . 



Carlyle somewhere invites folk to contemplate 
the fact that there is actually somewhere the 
foolishest man on earth. But this rests on a mis- 
conception of folly, which is distance from God. 
From God the centre to the fool on the circumfer- 
ence of the furthest circle, every radius is equi- 
distant, but the number of the radii is endless. 

Men are wise enough as long as they seek wis- 
dom, they are not so wise when they think they 
have found it. 

The only way to avoid the sight of fools is to 
remain in one's chamber, and break the mirror. 

The highest wisdom has this mark: after re- 
maining for a while the wisdom of the few, it ere 
long becomes the folly of the many. 

The wisdom must be in both: him that com- 
mands and him that obeys. But who commands 
must be wise for both; who obeys needs to be 
wise only for himself. 


All rascality is foolishness, all foolishness al- 
ready verges on rascality. 



Hardly a man but he has much wisdom for 
others, the wise man has the most thereof for 


It is as difficult to hide our wisdom as it is easy 
to disclose our folly. 


Silence may sometimes be foolish before the 
wise, it is always wise before the foolish. 


The fool is a rogue incomplete, the rogue is a 
fool complete. 

Yesterday's folly if not speedily put away, be- 
comes to-day's precedent, to-morrow's vested 


The apparent foolishness of others is seldom 
more than our own want of either head or heart or 


It requires courage to be always your best self. 
It requires wisdom not to be it at times. 

Two men live only in the present: the very 
foolish, the very wise. 


Two men are wise : Who knows how to live his 
failures into successes; who sees even in his suc- 
cesses possible failures. 



There are no consummate wise men, there are 
consummate fools. Most men are combinations 
of both wisdom and folly, with folly in the lead 
and wisdom bringing up the rear. 


There are two kinds of fools : Who do not what 
is wise because they know it not; who do not 
what is wise even though they know it. The one 
is an honest fool and little hope there is of him. 
The other is a dishonest fool, and still less hope 
there is of him. 


There are three kinds of eyes : Who see the pin 
and keep away before it pricks them — these are 
the wise. Who see the pin and keep away after 
it pricks them — these are the simple. Who see the 
pin and keep not away after it pricks them — these 
are the fools. 

1099. , 

We learn more wisdom by renouncing than by 

1 100. 

The wisdom of the wise is often greater than 
they think, the folly of the foolish is seldom less 
than they think. 

1 1 o 1 . 

To be purified water must be boiling; to be 
drunk it need be only warm. The very wise man is 
unendurable to men. To become enjoyable he 
must be wise in much, foolish in not a little. 

The wise man thinks himself even if he makes 


not others think. The fool makes others think 
even if he think not himself. 


The wise and the fool are alike in at least this: 
each fails to understand the other. 

1 104. 
The wise man is known more by his likes; the 
fool by his dislikes. 

A great misfortune: never to have been unwise. 

Among the wise it is dangerous to speak what 
you do not know. Among the foolish it is danger- 
ous to speak what you do know. 

A piece of wisdom: To make sure of your 
getting off at the right station by getting ac- 
quainted also with the last station but one. 

Before the wise half our wit suffices, before the 
foolish the whole is not enough. 

Both wise and foolish of the world are foolish 
in the long run. What makes the fool is that he 
is foolish also in the short run. 


Both wise and foolish make mistakes. But the 

foolish try to prove their mistakes to have been 

the best that could have been done. The wise 

try to forthwith make the best of their mistakes. 



Common wisdom rests after tiring. Uncommon 
wisdom rests before tiring. 

Even the wisest are seldom wise in their own 
affairs. Most wisdom is spent chiefly in noting 
the follies of others. 


From the School of Wisdom no one ever gradu- 
ates. The most attained therein is that its ablest 
scholars are given professorships while still re- 
tained as pupils. 


His ignorance the fool has in common with the 
wise. What marks him as the fool is that he 
alone insists upon imposing it upon others. 

In controversy the fool has this advantage 
over the wise man. It needs but few words to 
assert folly, it needs many to refute it. 

It is easy to tell what a wise man will do, the 
difficulty is in telling what a fool will do. 

It is safer to hide our wisdom than our folly. 

It is safer to reveal our folly before the wise 
than our wisdom before the foolish. 

Men are distinguished chiefly by their punctua- 
tion marks: the wise look at what is beyond 


them and make liberal use of commas; the fool 
looks not even at what is before him, and makes 
liberal use of periods. 

Men are divided into wise, foolish and rogues: 
with the difficulty of drawing the line between 
the last two. 


Men attain their ends as often through others' 
blunders as through their own wisdom. 

No folly but can be made plausible by partiality ; 
no wisdom but can be made to appear foolish by 

Our follies even a fool can see; our wisdom, not 
always even a wise man. Fools are all on a level; 
of wise men there are degrees. 

Silence is necessary for the wise often, it is 
good for the fool always. But what makes the 
fool is that he cannot be silent always. 

1 1.2 5 . 
The choice of wise counsellors is a mark of 
wisdom in those who as yet have none. The 
choice of foolish counsellors is the mark of folly 
in those who already have some. 

The discovery that a thing is beyond his reach 
kills the desire for it in the wise, but raises it all 
the more in the fool. 


1 1 2 7 . 

The folly of the fool is a wiser teacher than the 
wisdom of the wise: even fools perceive the folly 
of fools; only the wise perceive the wisdom of 
the wise. 


The crowd calls two persons fools: him who 
has very little wit, and him who has very much. 

The folly of casting pearls before swine is only 
equalled by that of trying to persuade them that 
the mire they so love is filthy. 

The fool dislikes equally the wise with the 
foolish. In a vacuum the gold piece and the 
feather fall with equal swiftness. 
1 13 1. 
The fool is easily definable, not so easily the 
wise man. It takes many things to make a wise 
man; only one to make a fool. 
The wise man is never so near becoming a fool 
himself as when trying to instruct one. 

The wise may bring the world round to their 
wisdom in the long run, the fools are sure to bring 
the world round to its folly in the short run. 


The foolishest personage — I had long thought 
it was never given to any mortal to meet just that 
one. Well, I have met her: one who had not 
heart enough to be generous, yet not head enough 
to be consistently cruel. 




The wise word should never be thrown away, 
the kind word is never thrown away. 

The wise man learns even from a fool ; the fool 
not even from a wise man. 

The fool's favorite weapon is a sword; the wise 
man's, a shield. 

The fool takes his umbrella when it rains; the 
wise man also when it shines. 

The gods fight in vain against folly? What 
makes the fool is that he obliges God to cease 
fighting against him, and leave him to his folly. 

1 140. 
The lack of two things makes fools : the lack of 
sense, the lack of sensibility. 

The politic man gets on with all. What makes 
the wise man is that he will not get on with some. 


The wise act in the present with reference to 
the future; the foolish wish for the future with 
reference to the present. 


The simpleton has no judgment of his own : he 
becomes a fool when he refuses to borrow it. 



The wise man has his thoughts in his head; the 
fool has no thought even on his tongue. 

The wise also begin with Nature, fools alone 
end with Nature. 

The wise man changes his mind sometimes: 
the fool either always or never. 

The wise man has rarely a friend ; the fool has 
hardly one; but he has the advantage over the 
wise man in not knowing it. 
The wise man walks into danger, the fool runs. 

1 149. 
The wise see even without their eyes; the 
foolish, hardly even with their ears. 

The world would be full of sages if all could be 
as wise for themselves as they are for others. 

To contradict you can learn even from fools. 
Only from the wise you can learn to affirm. 

Who waits with his wisdom for others to do 
wisely will remain foolish long after others have 
ceased to be foolish. 

Wisdom consists in the knowledge of great 
things, but only when coupled with due apprecia- 
tion of the little things. 



Your attention even the fool can compel; your 
reflection, only the wise man; but your action 
can be compelled sooner by the fool than by the 
wise man. 


The wise man makes us first weep and then 
laugh; the fool makes us first laugh, and then 


The wise man must be like the sponge : absorb 
without pressure, but yield only after pressure. 

Wise men borrow their experience, common 
men buy it, fools pay for it without using it. 

IIS . 8 '. 
The wise hold their opinions, fools are held by 



The wise man prints his opinions, the fool 

stereotypes them. 

1 1 60. 

The wise man sees in the pillar a support for the 

house; the fool, only something to lean against. 

The rich man is he who though he has little 
thinks he has much. The wise man is he who 
though he knows much thinks he knows little. 

The wise host entertains so that on leaving the 
guest feels more pleased with himself than with 
his host. 



One should never be assumed foolish till proved 
foolish — in justice to him. He should never be 
assumed wise till proved wise — in justice to us. 

Selfishness makes at last a fool of one who with- 
out it would be wise indeed. 

All things move. It is the part of a wise man 
to find his rest while moving with them. 


Foolish nearly all are. Only the wise strive to 
be otherwise; the foolish think they are other- 


The fool also has abilities ; the wise man makes 
right use of them. 

The fool wishes for all he sees, believes all he 
hears, tells all he knows, spends all he has. 

Intelligence is shown in the choice of means; 
wisdom, in the choice of ends. 

Learning in the fool is like snow on ice: much 
covers it; a little makes it only more slippery. 

Men are seldom as wise as they look, but often 
as foolish. 



The fool is oratorical in his conversation; the 
wise man is conversational in his oratory. 


The wise man can understand all men except 
a fool. 

1 1 74. 

A man should never be assumed foolish till he 
has proved himself foolish — this we owe to him. 
A man should never be assumed wise till he has 
proved himself wise — this we owe to ourselves. 

A word will show our folly; to show our 
wisdom it needs more than a word or — less. 

Even a wise man makes a mistake once; what 
marks the fool is that he makes it twice. 

Breadth of base and narrowness of top — the 
strength of the pyramid, the weakness of the fool. 

Even the fool recognizes necessity as a master; 
the wise man turns her also into a servant. 

1 ±70. 

Even the fool soon learns to take others as 
they are. It is only the wise man that learns to 
take himself as he is. 



Two great fools : who always goes by his own 
watch; who corrects his watch by every clock he 


Even the fool may know how to use riches, 
only the wise know how to use poverty. 

Fools are of no particular age, and there is an 
abundance of them in all ages. 

Two men live only in the present: the very 
foolish and the very wise. 

How great the number of fools in the world 
one does not realize until he meets them. 

From the wise man we scarcely need hide even 
our folly. From the fool we must hide even our 

When a man confesses that he is a great fool, 
he is only a small one. 

Wearisome as is the fool without brains, the 
fool with brains is still more so. 


The fool ever expects more than what is there ; 
the wise man ever sees more than what appears 



What makes the fool is that he is fit for noth- 
ing. What makes the common man is that he is 
only fit for something. What makes the wise 
man is that he is not fit for everything. 


The fool vexes at all times, like the coal : touch 
it hot, it burns you; touch it cold, it blackens 


Both the wise man and the fool yield to neces- 
sity; but the wise man yields first, the fool last. 



Animals are never cross-eyed, it is men that are. 

There may of course be some cross-eyed ani- 
mals. If so they have the good sense of never 
letting themselves be seen. 

Animals, when once they have gained our affec- 
tion, never lose it — they cannot talk. 

Naturalists tell of a parrot with a tongue longer 
than his body — once more suggesting the possi- 
bility that every inferior creature is type of some 
species of a superior sort . . . 

Vanity over personal appearance is displayed 
only among certain birds — another confirmation 
that the fowl of the air are type of the hosts of the 
Prince of the powers of the air. 

His vanity over his personal appearance man 
has in common with certain sub-humans ; and it 
is uncertain whether even this they have in com- 
mon with man. 



The owl is therefore the bird of wisdom, be- 
cause even a fool can see when it is light ; it is the 
wise man that can see when it is dark. 

1 199. 

Animals do what is right for them without re- 
flection — instinctively. Man's highest attain- 
ment is to have wisdom and righteousness become 
suchwise that "he too should do what is right for 
him — instinctively . 


Animals neither laugh nor cry. The one keeps 
them from being Satanic, the other prevents them 
from becoming angelic. Man both laughs and 
cries — he was only meant to smile and weep. 
Hence though he cannot yet become angelic, he 
can already become quite Satanic. 

Animals we can afford to imitate in several 
things, but chiefly in this: their character is the 
same in the dark as in the light. 

All other animals strive to make life agreeable 
to themselves; man alone invents much that is 
injurious to himself. 

Do sheep ever follow a stranger? Yes, but only 
when they are sickly. 

Even the lion must crouch before the victori- 
ous spring. 



He wags his tail at every passer-by. Poor 
beastie, he has only lost his teeth. 

The woman that imprisons the bird to hear its 
song is the real prisoner. The bird shows its true 
freedom by singing even in the cage. 

The worm you may crush today might feed on 
you tomorrow. 

The goose to be enjoyed must be plucked. 

We cannot teach beasts to speak, we can learn 
silence from them. 

The eagle does not stoop after a grub and would 
starve where the barn-yard fowl thrives; but this 
because he is an eagle and not a barn-yard fowl. 

12 II. 

The penalty of walking among apes is an occa- 
sional cocoa-nut shot at your head. 

The dog, though whipped many times, licks 
his master's hand again if petted but once. And 
shalt thou upbraid, thy God who hath fed thee 
twenty times where he hath left thee to sorrow 
but once? 


"He has great physical courage, great domestic 
virtues!" Glad to hear it, friend. But there is 


not a single virtue of this sort wherein even the 
best of folk may not be equalled by even vicious 
or dull beasts. "He was so good to his children!" 
Well, so is the cat, the hen, the buzzard, the tiger. 
But if you wish to talk of his human virtues, tell 
me not of his animal virtues, not even, if you 
please, of "self-sacrifice" for others, as long as 
every dog with a master is like to shame therein 
many a human. 

I heard the other day a tragic-comic tale of a 
faithful member of dogdom, which is character- 
istic as well as instructive. He was proudly carry- 
ing home his master's prospective dinner in a 
basket betwixt his teeth when he was set upon by 
other dogs with socialistic propensities. He 
fought bravely for some time in protection of his 
master's belongings. But when he saw at last 
one piece after another of the chunky roast car- 
ried off, he too grabbed at what was still within 
his reach, made off therewith into a corner by 
himself and there dined thereon in peace. Poor 
beastie, how like the modem business man, who 
accepts all manner of distasteful crookedness with 
the plea, "But they all do it!" 

On seeing Bucephalus reined in by Alexander 
the crowd thought: " What a fine rider to tame 
such a horse ! " If there was a wise man nigh, 
he surely added : " What a fine steed that is tamed 
by only such a rider ! " 



The flesh is indeed to be satisfied first, but the 
spirit should be provided for first. 

For health in the flesh a cool head must be 
joined to warm feet. For health of the spirit it 
must be joined to warm hands. 

In every one there is strife betwixt flesh and 
spirit. In the common it is the flesh that lusteth 
against the spirit ; in the uncommon it is the spirit 
that lusteth against the flesh. 

Physical heights once climbed are reascended 
easier than before. Spiritual heights once de- 
scended are hardly ever reclimbed as easily as 

Physical strength is measured by what one can 
carry; spiritual, by what one can bear. 

Physical enemies are best fought at close range ; 
spiritual, at long range. 

When the body is exhausted man is best pros- 
trate on his back. When the spirit is exhausted, 
man is best prostrate on his face. 



Where the presence of life is uncertain hold the 
mirror over the face. Life in the flesh then an- 
nounces itself by moisture on the glass. Life in 
the spirit, by moisture in the eye. 

Whether the body be on its knees at prayer is 
a matter of convenience. That the spirit be on 
its knees even when not in prayer is a matter of 

To remain hungry after being fed is the sign of 
a sick body. To be satisfied after being fed is the 
sign of a sick spirit. 

There is a strength of body that comes from 
strength of spirit, and this is genuine. There is a 
strength of spirit that comes from strength of body, 
and this is spurious. 

The wounds of the flesh are sooner healed by 
its indulgence; the wounds of the spirit, by its 
mortification. m . 

Overwork starves the flesh, underwork the spirit. 

With the deaf in the flesh it may be well to be 
loud; with the deaf in the spirit it is best to be 

Of the body the pulse is felt in the wrist, and 
the temperature is taken at the tongue. Of the 
soul the reverse is the case. 



Water will not mix with oil, but neither can it 
sink it. Water is the symbol of the world, oil of 
the spirit. 


Temporal blessings make us joy in life; spiritual 
blessing makes us joy also in death. 

Knowledge of the world is mostly knowledge 
of the evil therein. 

The ambition of all worldlings is summed up 
in one word : to have a large tomb in exchange for 
a small life. 

It is futile to try to conciliate the world to us. 
We can only reconcile ourselves to the world. 

The world is ever ready to prescribe the cut of 
your coat, but leaves you to pay the tailor's bill. 

To a purse the world is willing enough to help 
a man. It is the filling thereof it leaves to himself. 

The world cheerfully offers a prop to him that 
can stand alone. 

The world does not change, it is only your 
world that changes. 



I know an affectionate child who never cuddles 
up to his papa without mischievously tickling him 
— striking illustration of the world's kindness to 


The world consists of day-dreamers and night- 
dreamers. And the day-dreamers are not the less 
harmful of the two. 


The world is ever in conspiracy against the best, 
not by patronizing the bad, but the good. 

The world is governed neither by right nor by 
wrong, but by an inextricable mixture of the two. 

The world pays those it owes most in debased 
coin, but it is the best it has. 

In the world even the best dissipate their lives, 
it is only a question of the kind of dissipation. 

You who are making such a fuss because you 
have to conform to the world — it is to your pride 
that you conform, not to the world. 

The world loves a man as much for the bad 
qualities he has not as for good qualities he has. 

The pleasures of the world are like the leaves 
of the tree : shelter only in summer, and even then 
only in fair weather. 



None are so weak for helping the truly needy 
as the great of the world. 

The world is an inclined plane: downward 
things go therein of themselves ; to be kept where 
they should be they must be held up. 

The worldly wise man finds fewer sages than 
he expected; the spiritually wise man is apt to 
find more fools than he expected. 

The only way to conquer the world is to for- 
sake it. 

The world has use only for those who let them- 
selves be used by the world. 

Those to whom the world appears to be grow- 
ing worse do become better without it, those to 
whom the world appears to be growing better do 
not grow better with it. 

To be successful in the world a man's life must 
be rather wise as a whole, rather foolish in detail. 

To be successful in the world one needs only to 
float with the current; to be successful in the 
kingdom one must intelligently handle the oars. 




To be wise in the world we need only suspect 
men as much as they deserve. To be wise in the 
kingdom we must love them more than they 


To know the kingdom you must have at least 
begun to be in it. To know the world you must 
have ceased to be of it. 

In the world our highest ambition is to make 
others like ourselves. In the kingdom to make 
ourselves like the One Other. 
To make the world it took only six days, to give 
the law it took forty ; this perhaps to teach us the 
relative value of both. 

To succeed in the kingdom one must have no 
vices. To succeed in the world he needs only a 
few virtues. 


To succeed in the world you must know how to 
assert yourself. To succeed in the kingdom you 
need only to know how to deny yourself. 

To succeed in the world you need a past to 
cling to; to succeed in the kindgom you need 
the past only to break from. 

In the world the original man is he who imi- 
tates none. In the kingdom only he is original 
who is ever a copy of the One. 



To shine in the world it is enough if another's 
light rests upon you. To shine in the kingdom 
the light of only One other must burn through 


To gain this world much trust in self is needed. 
To gain the next a little trust in God is enough. 

The good learn early that there are wicked folk 
in the world ; the bad learn late that there are good 
folk in the world. 

The world tolerates even sins if they are only 
on a scale large enough. 

The world that it takes all kind of people to 
make is a bad world. To make a good world it 
takes only one kind. 

The worldling distrusts men at first because he 
knows them not as yet. Christian distrusts men 
because he knows them already but too well. 


The worldling is apt to err in deeming himself 

coachman charged with driving and sitting in 

front. Christian is apt to err in deeming himself 

mere passenger: to be driven and sitting behind. 

The worldling who at first loves men ere long 
learns to despise them. Christian soon learns to 
despise men, and then — loves them. 



The earth turns once a day : to teach us that it 
is not for man to set the world aright. 

Rest in the world is got by first enduring and 
then striving. Rest in the kingdom, by first 
striving and then enduring. 

For walking in the world nothing short of a lan- 
tern will do; for walking in the kingdom flashes 
of lightning must suffice. 

In the kingdom no success can be attained with 
even a trace of delusion; in the world no success 
can be had without at least some delusion. 


What if the world know thee not ? Enough if 
He knoweth thee who made the world. 

The great reliance of the worldling is strength 
from within; of Christian, strength from without, 
from above. 

There is only one way to avoid the desperate 
need of an occasional escape into the higher world 
— to stay therein constantly. 

To be fit for earth you must first know what 
you can do. To be fit for heaven you need first 
only know what you cannot do. 



To see earth we must open our eyes, to behold 
heaven we must shut them. 

To know how to use every one is the height of 
earthly wisdom. To know how to be of use to 
every one is the height of heavenly wisdom. 

True success is attained in the world by at all 
times holding on; in the kingdom, by first letting 



To remain hungry on being fed is the sign of a 
sick body; to be satisfied after being fed is the 
sign of a sick spirit. 


In the world men are strong in proportion to 
their feeling themselves strong. In the kingdom, 
in proportion to their feeling themselves weak. 

In the world the great desideratum is to know 
how to distinguish yourself; in the kingdom, how 
to extinguish yourself. 

For success in the world a man's wisdom must 
first be hid; for success in the kingdom his folly 
must first be manifest. 

The fish in the net darts aimlessly up and 
down, the bird sings even in the cage. The fish 
lives in the water, type of the world; the bird 
lives in the air, type of the spirit. 



In the world success is measured by the amount 
of good-will obtained from men; in the kingdom 
by the amount deserved. 

In the world men are dissatisfied first with 
what they are not, and then with what they are ; 
in the kingdom men must be dissatisfied first with 
what they do, and then with what they don't. 

The growth of the flesh is only increase; the 
growth of the spirit must be also transformation. 

To outgrow one's clothes is a sign indeed of 
healthy physical growth, but of unhealthy spiritual 


In the world the great desideratum is to know 
how to distinguish yourself; in the Kingdom, 
how to extinguish yourself. 

Discontent is a mark either of your not yet 
having found your place in the world, or of your 
having already lost it in the Kingdom. 

In the world success is measured by the ability 
to go up; in the Kingdom, by the ability to come 


There are in the world no good folk; there are 
only the bad and the not so bad. There are in the 
Kingdom no bad folk; there are only the good 
and not so good. 



The envy happiness causes is always real, the 
happiness itself is not so real. 

Singers are best enjoyed when not looked at; 
happiness is best possessed when not contem- 

' 'Happy am I, for I do what I like!" And so 
does the — beast . . . 

To deserve happiness we must keep our eyes 
open; to have it, we must keep them shut 


Only fo.ols and philosophers go through life 
happy; and the philosopher, to keep happy, 
must at last also become a fool. 


To happiness the shortest road is generally the 

Much happiness comes to men from what 
they know; more from what they are kept from 

The surest way to leave happiness behind is to 
run after it. 



Happiness itself is indeed of some importance, 
but the important matter is to — deserve happi- 


Your concern is only that you deserve happiness. 
That you have it, is God's. All misery of spirit 
is due chiefly to the transposition of these two 


The joy of happiness is like the rubber on the 
pencil: which never lasts as long as the pencil 


And so you are not happy? Well, you will 
stay so as long as you remind yourself thereof. 

Men are happiest when least aware of happiness. 

Folk are seldom as happy as when they bore. 

Men are made as unhappy by the ills they fear 
as by those they suffer. 

Only he can serve men who is happy, only 
he can love men who has been unhappy ; only he 
can know men, who has been both. 

Who has got so far as never to be unhappy, can 
he really be happy? 


To be happy one needs very much mind or very 
little, with the chances much in favor of the very 


To be happy one needs to know but little, to 
be good one must know much; to be useful, one 
must know neither much nor little. 


To make us happy one must surely be good; 
to make us miserable he need not be bad. 


Who has happiness without the peace is farthest 
from Christ. Who has the peace without the 
happiness is nearest to Christ. Who has neither 
the happiness nor the peace is meant to be on the 
way to Christ. 


The only way to be less unhappy is to become 
more so. 


In its ultimate analysis unhappiness always 
comes from laying claim to what one has no title. 

There are two kinds of happiness : the possession 
of the beautiful and the admiration of the noble : 
and this second is also a possession of the beautiful. 

We cannot make ourselves happy, we can make 
ourselves perfect. We cannot make others perfect, 
we can make them happy. 



Whether you shall be unfortunate depends also 
on others. Whether you shall be unhappy de- 
pends mostly on yourself. 

Happiness easily purchased is like installment 
goods: found rather high-priced in the end. 

The senses are only tyrannous, logic is merciless. 
Now we often need emancipation from the senses, 
we rarely need succor against the mercilessness of 

Perfect happiness! But what makes it im- 
perfect is that it cannot last. 

The only successful search for happiness is that 
which begins with looking for it just where you are. 


The noblest happiness is being happy in that 
of another. Unfortunately this we cannot have 
until happy ourselves. 


Life to be made happy must be made so by God, 
since human nature has made it a tragedy long ago. 

It is a low happiness that comes from doing only 
what you would; a higher comes from doing what 
you should; the highest from doing what you 



The one thing happiness will not stand is — 
close scrutiny. 

The only truly happy folk are found in the 

Two things make for the happy life: inde- 
pendence from those by whom we are not loved, 
independence with those by whom we are loved. 


There are two kinds of happiness : one given by 
surroundings, occupation, friends — this men often 
have, but seldom profess ; the other derived from 
elevation of thought — this men often profess, 
but seldom have. 


"Man has his source of happiness within him." 
Unfortunately the happiness that is only from 
within is merely a feigned escape from misery. 

It took men long to learn that happiness is 
found not without but within; it will take them 
longer to learn that neither can it be found within, 
but above. 

It is not a great mistake never to commit one. 
It is a great misfortune never to be unhappy. 

To make one happy many things are needful, 
to make him miserable one thing is enough. 



To destroy one's estate it needs a conflagration, 
to rob him of his peace a mosquito is enough. 

There is only one sure way to be happy, and 
that is not to be thinking of happiness .... 


The mountains are therefore type of the 
Promised Land, because from the distance they 
charm with the view of themselves; from their 
own summit they delight with the view off them- 


We must learn to detach ourselves from all 
that can be lost that we may become attached 
to the only one that is ever ready to be found. 

Life is too short for regrets, and for mourning 
it is only long enough when its tears fertilize the 

Every earthly hope is an egg, but the serpent 
hatches thence as often as the dove .... 


Only hard diamond cuts hard diamond; but 
the hardest heart can be cut only by the tenderest. 

The head can never form a good heart, but 
it can rule an evil one. 

The head should always be kept old; the 
heart, never. 

The mouth should seldom be open; the ears 
often; the heart always. 

There is no question as to the uncovering of the 
head indoors; the question is as to the uncovering 
of the heart out-of-doors. 

By all means keep your head covered in cold 
weather, but keep your heart uncovered in all 

The mind may be changed as oft as needful; 
the heart must be changed only once. 

The passions can seldom be trusted; the head 
oft, the heart nearly always. 



The key to the heart of others is carried within 
our own. 

The head needs for its growth new things, the 
heart, only old truths. 

All noble joy is due to the heart; every ignoble 
pain, to the head. 

We all need smooth heads. It is in our hearts 
we can afford a few folds. 

Where explanations do not explain it is because 
they are addressed from head to head, whereas 
they should be addressed first from the heart to the 
head, and then from the head to the heart. 

Where prosperity turns the head it shrivels also 
the heart. Where adversity enlarges the heart it 
in nowise shrivels the head. 

Head and heart move on parallel lines only with 
fools or rogues. With the wise and honest they 
soon enough converge. 

An obstinate head is surely a defect; an obsti- 
nate heart, not so surely. 

A noble heart will be resigned to all troubles, 
even to that of being a trouble. 



A great mind may be content with one great 
thought in a day. A great heart is content only 
with one great love throughout the day. 

An uncommon head is nearly always an enjoy- 
ment ; an uncommon heart , only rarely. 

A pure heart surely makes for transparency, a 
clear head not so surely. 

Be sure to put the heart in the right place, that 
of the head will come of itself. 

Hardly a man but is at times cruel. But half 
of mankind is cruel from lack of heart ; the other 
half, from lack of head. 

Contempt which may spring from a clear head is 
compatible with a pure heart. But hatred which 
springs only from a foul heart is incompatible 
with a clear head. 

Corruption of the heart — confusion of the head. 

I have seen a well-written letter by one who had 
neither hands nor feet. I am yet to see a good 
deed done by one who has neither head nor heart. 
What the President is to nominations and the 
Senate to their confirmations, the heart and the 
head should be to our intentions. 



When her favorite cup was broken her heart too 
was broken. Well, she had just heart enough to 
be held by the cup. 


A black heart is after all a misfortune as well 
as a fault, and needs our pity as well as condemna- 
tion: only condemnation first, pity afterwards. 

Who addresses the head may write in black. 
To reach the heart he must write also in red. 

The great fact for the heart is sorrow ; the great 
problem for the head is submission. 

To gain entrance into the hearts of others we 
need only the opening of theirs ; to abide in the 
hearts of others we need also the opening of ours. 

The journey from head to heart may be long; 
the journey from heart to hand must be short. 

Ready habitual assent in conversation is a 
mark of either a weak head or a corrupt heart. 
Ready habitual contradiction is a mark of both. 

All greatness must begin with an uncommon 
head; it can continue only with an uncommon 



1378. _ 
Much of Christian's tribulation is due to 
misapprehension of the nature of his journey. 
He deems himself passenger in the coach, to be 
carried to his destination. He is meant to be 
conductor : getting on and off at every station. 

Like the candle Christian also must be con- 
sumed in giving out his light ; but unlike the can- 
dle he must keep on shining after he is consumed. 

Like the Master's, Christian's visage will also 
be marred, and the world will see no beauty in him 
that is to be desired. Christian is in his service 
to the world like the chimney which is lined all 
over with black, but long after the house is 
burned it alone stands. 


When a man begins to fear for himself he is 
ready for Christ ; when he ceases to fear for himself, 
Christ is ready for him. 


The magnetic needle vibrates only as long 
as two opposing forces affect it; it rests soon 
enough when one is withdrawn. But its very 
vibration is due to its faithfulness to the north 
star. The needle is only type of the vibrations 
of Christian. 




Two things are required of a well: it must not 
freeze in winter, it must not run dry in summer. 
Two things are required of piety: it must not 
be chilled by adversity, it must not wither with 


Christianity was mature in its childhood; 
Christendom is childish in its maturity. 

It is the sun that raises the fog which obscures 
it. It is the munificence of Christians which 
sustains agnostic professors. 

Humanitarianism is like the car detached from 
the engine: may shelter, but cannot move you. 
Christianity is the car with the engine on. 


Christianity has suffered little from those who 

bear not the name of Christ, it has suffered 

much from those who do. The sun is obscured 

not by other stars, but by the fog it raises itself. 

Folk tell me my religion, the Christian religion 
is narrow. But they see only the fence round my 
garden, while I am after the flowers raised therein. 

To bear the Master's image, Christian also like 
the wax, must first be melted. 

The secret of Christian's life is to walk upon a 
narrow path with a wide heart. 



The true Christian is like the figure 6. Turning 
it upside down, only increases its value. 

The puddle does not contain the heavens, 
but it can reflect them. What if I have not 
the Master's power? I can still reflect the 
Master's image. 

The pagan is sincere enough if he believes 
what he maintains; the Christian is not sincere 
enough till he also maintains what he believes. 

A Christian has been defined as a fulfilled man. 
If filled with the Spirit, yes; otherwise Christian 
is first of all an emptied man. 

Since the blood of Christ has been shed for 
us we need not always condemn ourselves; but 
since the blood of Christ yet pleads for us we 
must ever still suspect ourselves. 

Christian has God for his silent partner, who 
furnishes the capital, but leaves it to man to 
carry on the business. Man was meant to double, 
fivefold, tenfold his endowment, but only by the 
mercy of God does he barely escape bankruptcy. 

The non-Christian must either conquer circum- 
stances or be conquered by them. Christian 
must live in circumstance. 



Wise prayer asks that in the supplicant's case 
two and two ever remain four. Foolish prayer 
asks that they become at least five. 

Man's daily task is to diminish what he has in 
common with the beast, to increase what he has 
in common with God. 


Keep on rising — you will at last find yourself 
alone, but with God. Keep on sinking — you 
will at last find yourself not alone, but with 

1 40 1. 

The Bible, like the star, was not meant to dis- 
pel the darkness, but it was meant to guide the 


To believe all the Bible tells needs only a 
little faith, to do all the Bible bids needs much 


The Bible is the only book that furnishes not 
only a photographic gallery for every one of the 
race, but also a list of the stations on whatever 
road one may be travelling. The gallery is 
indeed a rogue's gallery, but the way it leads on is 
from Satan's prison unto God's throne. 

Waters in Scripture symbolise the powers 
of the world, because they run down hill; never 


up. Water in scripture also symbolises the word 
of God : because it descends earthward in visible 
showers, and ascends heavenward in invisible 


The most helpful commentary on the Bible is 


Literature, is my gymnasium — I only go there to 
stir up my blood. The Bible is my pantry — I go 
there for something to eat. 

Washed you may be in water, cleansed you 
must be in blood. 

Many a preacher is to the kingdom what the 
bell is to the Church: calls others to come, but 
enters not itself. 

For a long time I could not believe that preachers 
of the Gospel could themselves be unbelievers 
until I observed that the spoon can convey the 
soup it cannot taste. 


The Gospel, long after it has lost its power 

in the heart of man still lingers in his life: like 

the accompaniment which continues to be 

played some time after the song itself is ended. 

Higher criticism is a torrent : which rising in the 
mountain may be harmless to the mountain, but it 
is sure to bring devastation to the valley. 



True religion should enable us not so much to 
overpower our enemies as to win them; like the 
wings of the ostrich: which enable it to overtake 
what it pursues, but not to fly over it. 

That is true science which teaches that we do 
not know; that is true religion which teaches us 
that we do know. 

Two great enemies of pure religion: forms, 

Education does not even mend nature, religion 
changes it. 

To die for their religion many are ready ; to live 
for it, few. It is easier to die bravely than to 
live bravely. 

Men are religious naturally, they are Christian 

Religion offers no immunity from storms, 
it does offer an anchor in the storm. 

Morality is a vestibule to religion, but with the 
door bolted inside. 

Mere morality is a pyramid : broad where earth 
is touched, a mere point heavenward. True 
religion is the reverse: touches earth at a mere 
point, but its vast base is grounded in heaven. 



It may cost much to be religious now. It will 
cost more later not to be. 

Many things give zest and flavor to food, 
religion alone gives zest and flavor to life. 

Religion alone truly separates from the world, 
religion alone truly unites to the world. 

When born religion rushes through the head to 
get to the heart. When it dies religion lingers 
in the head long after it has left the heart. 

Religious incredulity is only misdirected cre- 

When Theological bric-a-brac becomes useless, 
and is to be removed, science engages the bull, 
literature the monkey ; religion calls in the house- 


Religion must begin with binding us to the 
power of God, but it must not end till it binds 
vis to the frailty of man. 

True religion is to be filial toward God, fraternal 
toward man. 


Men truly pray only for what they persistently 
work for. 



No prayer reaches the height without a groan, 
no groan reaches its depth without a prayer. 


In the street you may learn his manners; at 
home, his breeding; at church you may learn his 
creed; in the shop, his religion. 


None are in such need of change by religion as 
those eager to change the Christian religion. 

To be fit for earth you must have once been in 
the heavenlies. 

For heaven's opportunities men are too slow; 
for heaven's rewards men are too fast. 

Where heaven is you need not know till later. 
Where your heaven is you must know at once. 

What are we to do with an eternal life if 
we know not how to use best our brief life here? 

To be on the way to heaven is already to be 
partly in heaven. 

The way to the heavenly sublime is through the 
earthly ridiculous. 

Heaven for those who merely think thereon? 
It is not yet even for those who merely sigh there- 
for. Heaven is for those who first die for it and 
then live for it. 



Two things hide the stars : : the light of the day, 
the clouds of the night. Two men forget God: 
the prosperous Christian, the failed worldling. 

It is the mark of true holiness that it at once at- 
tracts and repels. 

Earthly prizes men mostly lose because of 
the worthiness of others ; heavenly prizes men lose 
always only because of the unworthiness of them- 

Covetousness of the earthly is a vice; of the 
heavenly, a virtue. 

To be truly holy a man must have known 
sin as deep as holiness is high. The height 
of the tree is in proportion to its depth. 

The theologian is apt to be made by his temper- 
ament, the man of God becomes one in spite of 
his temperament. 

When you can greet a stranger with an inward 
God bless you ! the blesser is not far off. 

For witnessing two are needful, three are 
enough. "At the mouth of two or three witnesses 
shall every word be established." But as only 
that is truly enough which is a little more than 
enough, a fourth is added. Hence four Gospels 
where one was not sufficient, two are needful, and 
three were enough. 



Men are seldom as good as their religion, always 
as bad as their irreligion. 

Their religion men are apt to use as they use 
their life preservers: only during the storm. 

To shed judiciously one's blood for men after 
Christ has done it is now quite easy. To shed 
one's ink judiciously for men after the Bible 
has been written is now quite hard. 

I45 1 - 
True religion like the rope of the Royal Navy 
is distinguished by the scarlet thread which runs 
through its every part. 

Christian, like the miser, always lives poor that 
he may die rich; but unlike the miser, Christian 
takes his riches with him. 

Christian is like Cyprian wine: purest indeed 
when white; but becomes such only after being 

Men clamor for religious liberty; they mean 
irreligious liberty. 

The town in which the writer lives bears the 
name of Grafton; some five miles southeast 
therefrom is the town of Upton, and a railroad 
called the Grafton and Upton connects them. 


One day the superintendent of the railway had 
occasion to write to the inspector of steam roads. 
In reply he received a letter giving the needed 
information, but signed " Grafton Upton." The 
Grafton and Upton railway, being some twelve 
miles long, is the smallest in the State of Massa- 
chusetts, and its officials are frequently joked 
about the size of the road. The superintendent, 
on receiving the communication signed Grafton 
and Upton, at once sat down and warmly remon- 
strated with the inspector for so far forgetting 
his dignity as to sign an official communication 
with ' ' Grafton Upton . ' ' 

A reply came, stating that neither joke nor 
discourtesy was intended; that the inspector had 
simply the good or bad fortune of having for his 
name actually Grafton Upton. 

The mistake of the superintendent was natural ; 
the chance that a man's name would have the 
same combination as that of the very road he was 
officially to inspect, seems, a priori, infinitesimal. 
Yet that chance did occur; a striking lesson of 
the foolishness of judging on any evidence short of 
actual knowledge. 

To overestimate one's merits is conceit; but to 
underrate them is not yet modesty, it is only igno- 
rance. Modesty is only that which appraises 
one's own merit at its true worth. Newton did 
not disparage that genius of his which discovered 
gravitation, but he did describe his work as merely 
gathering pebbles on the shore of the ocean of 



It is a mark of the heavenly origin of the re- 
ligion of Christ, that its God permits Himself to 
be painted therein, as Cromwell wished his por- 
trait to be painted — with the wart on. That 
which so repels mere man, the Cross, the Blood. 
which, in order to win men, a man-made God 
would fain leave out, is made the chief est of its 


The chief value of great men is in reminding us 
that by no manner of means can we become like 
them. That, if we are to be great ourselves, it 
must be not in their way, but in ours. The great 
man whose like I can become is not yet the great 

If you are a modern St. Bernard, then, my 
friend, I had better learn what you are about to 
teach me, not from you, but from St. Bernard. 

If your book is, as the critics tell me, a modern 
chapter from ''The Imitation of Christ," then I 
can safely leave your book with the critic's opinion 
about it, and betake myself to "The Imitation of 
Christ" instead. 

In so far as you remind me of anyone else, how- 
ever strong, however skilful, in so far you are 
weak. Your strength must lie only in the fact 
that none other is like you. "Never man spake 
thus," was the true literary criticism of the dis- 
courses of Christ. They did not remind His 
hearers of Rabbi Hillel, or Gamaliel. "Since the 
world began it was never heard that anyone 
opened the eyes of a man born blind," was sounder 
criticism than "A new Elijah has arisen." 

There is only One into whose image we are to be 



fashioned. And we are to be fashioned into His 
image, not because He is the greatest of men, but 
because He alone of all men was also at the 
same time God. 

Without the word of God man is only a traveller 
wandering without map or guide in a strange land 
in search of hid treasure. If by some good fortune 
he at last reach it at all, it is only after much 
aimless wandering and search. With God's word 
man is a traveller who carries with him the map, 
with the chief features of the lands he is to traverse 
carefully noted. Earthly maps may still omit 
much, or even be inaccurate, and thus cause the 
wandered now and then to be out of his way ; but 
even thus the map itself soon apprises him thereof, 
and affords the means of correcting the very error 
caused by its own imperfections. But the map 
from heaven, the word of God, has not even this 
imperfection therein. 

Right and wrong are in nowise fixtures; and 
whatever rhetorical force there be in the phrases 
Eternal Verities and Everlasting Righteousness 
can well bear a goodly microscopic look thereat. 
Right and wrong must ever remain mere relative 
terms if the wisdom of man is to be the sole 
standard. The only fixity here is, that to violate 
the known and revealed will of God, known in 
nature, revealed in Holy Writ — this is surely 
wrong. All else is mere metaphysical suspense, 
mere drifting. What is right to-day may be 
wrong to-morrow; what is right here may be 
wrong there ; what is right for thee may be wrong 


for me. Nay, the great God Himself commands 
in His Book as right one day what He forbids as 
wrong in another. Even the same deed may be 
right and wrong ; right for God to ordain ; wrong 
for man to carry out. That His Son be crucified 
God surely foreordained; that Judas carry out 
what is foreordained concerning himself and the 
Christ only sends him to his own place. "It must 
needs be that offences come" is God's right. 
"But woe unto him through whom they come" is 
man's wrong. God's purpose is ever right. His 
own appointed man's carrying out may oft be 


Thus it comes to pass that apart from Holy 
Writ — obedience to which, when once understood, 
is paramount — it behooves men to walk rather 
softly in the matter of right and wrong. With 
yourself you can afford to be exacting even to the 
last drop of blood; but with others — beware lest 
even the one superfluous drop exacted cry out 
against thee on the great and terrible day of the 
Lord. If wrong makes cowards of men in the end, 
pseudo-right makes tyrants of them at the start. 
And of all tyrannies, that of self-satisfied being in 
the right, unfortified by Holy Writ, is the most 


The horse is the ideal Mohammedan; when 
whipped, it submits. The Mohammedan submits 
because he has to; Christian submits because he 
wishes to. The Hindu is resigned because he is 
hopeless, Christian is resigned because he hath 



The first thing implanted into those newly born 
of the Spirit is a hitherto unknown joy in the ap- 
prehension of the Truth, in the newly found 
knowledge of God. This joy does not always 
abide; but its whilom presence is the reason for 
faith during those seasons when joy, at best only 
■a rare visitor, has taken her but too frequent 


God nowhere promises that if men obey Him 
evil shall cease. He does promise that if men 
obey Him, evil shall cease for — them. Reformers 
ever start out to what they call make the world 
better, a rather problematic undertaking for aught 
short of omnipotence. Whereas every one can 
diminish the number of evildoers by beginning, 
not with the world, but with himself. God has 
declared that the world cannot be made better 
from within. Whate'er mending so far done 
herein had to come not from within, but from above 
the world. The world itself is not Light, but 
darkness; "I am the Light of the world," had to 
be said by Him who is not of the world. And all 
the disciple can do is not to make the world other 
than it is — Darkness — but to become himself a 
light of the world. Christian is here first to keep- 
himself alive in the midst of death around him, 
and by his life be a witness unto the One Way of 
Life for such as recognizing their own death, yearn 
for the Life which is Life indeed. 

With all the evolution and progress of species, 
Human Nature ever remains the same Pandora 


Box with its lid only temporarily on; the same 
volcano with only the night-cap on. And no 
civilization, no science, no art has yet been dis- 
covered that can prevent the lid from now and 
then coming off, the volcano-cap from periodical 
blowing off. So that Jew-baiting in darkest 
Russia is matched by negro hatred in brightest 
America; Armenian massacre under the un- 
speakable Turk, by Congo chopping-off of hands 
under highly European Belgians. 

Christianity at once gives notice unto men that 
unless their eyes be anointed they cannot see its 
truth, unless their ears be circumcised they cannot 
hear its truth, unless their hearts be humbled 
they cannot appropriate its truth, unless the will 
be surrendered they cannot continue in its truth. 
Christian therefore can indeed belong to the 
multitude and be with the myriads that follow 
the Master because of His mighty works, or even 
the loaves and the fishes. But to be His disciples, 
His learners, receiving from Him not the things 
which He dispenseth to all freely as He goeth 
about, but to the fewer as He sitteth down — they 
must follow Him up to the mount, even at the 
expense of some weariness of the flesh. 

Christianity, whose first law is that man walk 
not by sight but by faith, does not pretend to give 
answer to the problems of life that press for solu- 
tion. The problems are indeed real, but the 
answer thereto in man's way is not ever needful. 
As for fevers Christianity offereth not quinine, 
but cleansed blood which makes fevers impossible, 


and quinine needless, so it offers not so much 
solutions of problems, as a trustful spirit before 
God — before Him, in whose presence problems 
vanish. Christianity thus offers a clue which if a 
man follow will in time lead him out of the laby- 
rinth; but if he follow it not, he is doomed for aye 
to wander, and to be devoured by the monster 
dwelling therein. But the following of the clue is 
slow, and the journey through the labyrinth long; 
while man, ever pressing onward from sheer 
restlessness would fain take the gates of heaven 
by storm. But heaven is to be stormed neither 
by the Self -Reliance of Emerson, nor by the self- 
abandonment of Carlyle ; neither by the humani- 
tarianism of Ruskin, nor by the culture of Arnold, 
nor even by the self-effacement of Tolstoy. 
Heaven is to be stormed solely by self-abasement 
before God through Christ, by self-abandonment 
unto God in Christ. 

Christianity is indeed a democracy where all 
are equal, but it is an equality before God, not 
men; it is equality not so much of rights as of 
duties, not so much of privileges for enjoying as 
of privileges for enduring; as much of dying for 
one another as of living for one another. Democ- 
racy is a manner of rule where each shall be able 
to get the most out of the other, Christianity offers 
a mode of life where each shall endeavor to put 
the most into the other; remembering the words 
spoken : It is more blessed to give than to receive. 

Christianity indeed commands its disciples to 
toil: Let each, says the Spirit through Paul, labor 



with his hands that which is good. Let each man 
— not some men; let each labor' — not sit in idle- 
ness; let each earn his bread, not so much by his 
wits, as by labor of his hands; and let each labor 
with his hands, not so much that which is use- 
less, or even hurtful, like cannon balls and battle- 
ships, but that which is good . . . 


The ancient sage in answer to the question of 
the passer-by, How long will it take me to get to 
Athens, could only answer: Go! Since the first 
requisite to the proper answer was a knowledge of 
the gait of the inquirer. In contrary thereto the 
first demand of Christianity assumes that re- 
gardless of station in life and intellectual equip- 
ment, or native endowment, all are headed the 
wrong way, are facing the wrong point of the 
compass, are going down the broad road that 
leadeth to Destruction. And so Christianity 
lifteth up its voice unto men in the palace and in 
the hovel, to the ruler and to the slave, to the 
exalted and to the despised — "Whithersoe'er, O 
man, thou art going — Stop !" God ever cries unto 
men : Halt ! The road of man is a veritable high- 
way which every now and then displays unex- 
pectedly a gigantic "Stop!" before him. "Danger 
ahead. Look out for the steam cars, Look out for 
the electric cars, Look out for the steam-roller, 
State Road is building ahead, Dangerous passing 
through here! Beware, O man, Stop, Look, Lis- 


Christianity is indeed an account of Christ, a 
theory about Christ; it is indeed a faith in Christ, 


a witness unto Christ, and a love for Christ: but 
that which makes the history of Christ probable, 
and the theory about Christ plausible, that which 
makes a faith in Christ reasonable and a witness 
unto Him possible, that which makes the love for 
Christ intelligible, is that the blood of Christ has 
been poured out for men, that the risen life of 
Christ be put into men. 

Philanthrophy without love unto Christ does for 
men what the towel does for the soiled glass; it 
wipes off indeed the dust, but it leaves behind a 
lint, which obscures the vision through the glass 
only less than the dust itself so that the wiping 
by the towel must be followed by that with linen 
kerchief. The wiping away of the filth of man by 
mere philanthropic effort leaves the lint still on 
men ; and needs to be followed by the pure linen 
kerchief of Christ to make them thoroughly 

Men cannot be made to move by trying to push 
their shadows. Move the man, and the shadow 
moves also. To reform man's doings without re- 
forming the man is to attempt to make powder 
less explosive by making it merely smokeless: 
But it is not the smoke that makes the powder 
explode. All proposed remedies for the ills of 
men- — Socialism, Nationalism, Associated Chari- 
ties, Single Tax — begin with the pushing of the 
shadow. All these are honest attempts to put out 
the fire by turning the bellows against the smoke. 
Hence, though poor human nature hath never yet 
lacked right earnest philanthropy, philanthropic 


Dame Partington is ever still kept busy sweeping 
away Atlantic Ocean with mop and broom. 

To remedy the ills of men, not circumstances 
must be changed, but men : and for changing men 
is needful, not best equipped earthly machinery 
(even though it be run by pity and love) , but that 
grace from heaven which is given in answer to 
bended knees rather than to full hands. Christ 
alone can change men, and only those who through 
Christ have been cleansed by His blood from the 
past, have died through His cross unto the pres- 
ent, have risen through His resurrection unto the 
newness of life in the future. All else is mere en- 
deavor to retard the earth in its swiftness of course 
as it rolleth on some one thousand miles an hour. 

The sole trouble with all optimism is that it has 
not yet seen sorrow, has not yet seen sorrow 
enough. And in God's great universe, whate'er 
else is unreal, sorrow is real. If the babe as he 
cometh into the world may be uttering his cry, if 
not of immediate pain, at least of prophetic sor- 
row, the mother at the incoming of every man 
into the world knoweth with the proof of the bit- 
terest agony that the command "I will greatly 
multiply thy pain and thy conception. In pain 
thou shalt bring forth children," was not the 
mere raving of an oriental tribal God, as the 
Harvard Professor, with his eyes gazing upon the 
motto on its every wall — Veritas, Christo and 
Ecclesiae — so flatulently styles Him; but every 
mother knows that this is the ever recurring, 
never ending verification of the word of Him 


whose goings forth are from Everlasting to Ever- 
lasting. Optimism is all well, when Jeshurun is 
fat, and he can indeed kick; and gambol as the 
calf in the stall; but when there is need of bitter 
crying and tears, lest otherwise the heart break 
for silence, then, indeed, bridge whist may drown 
the sorrow for an hour, the bare-bosomed prima- 
donna for two, and be-swallow-tailed Browning 
lecturer for two and one-half hours, but the lasting 
comfort is not to be found until the soul can cry 
out triumphantly: 

Thou art my refuge, Thou art my God; 

In Thee alone do I put my trust. 

Next to the science of keeping well, is the science 
of getting well. As a practical science, therefore, 
medicine, covering as it does both needs, is indeed 
the needfullest; yet, after some sixty centuries of 
experience with the ills of flesh, Wendell Holmes 
can still say unto men : If all the medicines were 
cast into the sea, mankind would be much the 
better off, though it would be so much the worse 
for the fish. And after some centuries now of real 
experimental science, and the therapeutics and 
anatomizings and inoculations, Christian Science, 
so-called, can still vociferate, not without some 
show of justice, that the seat of bodily ailments is 
after all not so much in the flesh as in the spirit . . . 


And the Sarsaparillas, and the pills, and the 
pellets, and the powders and the waters, for the 
Spirit are not to be discovered in the chemist's 
laboratory, or on the anatomist's table, or in the 
current through Ley den jars . . . 



Man hath indeed been driven out of paradise, 
but the gate of paradise hath in no wise been shut 
against him. The tree of life in the midst of the 
Garden hath in nowise been allowed to wither. 
Rather the contrary : the tree of life is still in the 
midst of the garden, and the garden is still open 
unto men, only it is to be entered not in man's 
way, but in God's way; not through the broad 
road, but by the narrow path ; not through many 
gates, but through the one gate, that of the East, 
past the cherubim; and the tree of life can be 
reached only through the flame of the sword that 
turneth every way . . . 

But man has ever been prone to follow not 
God's ways but his own ways. 

Adam covers his nakedness not with the heaven- 
supplied goatskin got through the shedding of 
blood; but with his own made fig-leaf with no 
blood therein ; and the law of heaven is : Without 
shedding of blood is no remission. Cain offers 
not the firstling of the flock, with the shed blood, 
but the bloodless fruit of the ground ; and the law 
of heaven is: Without the shedding of blood is 
no remission. The builders of the Tower of 
Babel say, Come, let us make us a name, and 
climb to heaven in a way other than the God- 
appointed one ; but the law of heaven is : Without 
the shedding of blood is no remission. And so the 
history of man is ever : God calling unto men to 
follow His way, the way of the cross; men ever 


seeking to reconquer Paradise in their own way, 
the way of the crown. But God ever calls unto 
men: "As the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so are My ways higher than yours. As the east 
is far from the west, so are my ways removed 
from yours." 


Christianity, like Omar of old, can also afford 
to burn the whole of the Alexandrian library, and 
for precisely the same reason. If. the books are 
against the Bible they are useless; if they cor- 
roborate the Bible, they are needless. But there 
is this difference between the spirit of Mahomet 
and the spirit of Christ. Omar, for this reason, 
good in itself, forthwith burns the library, thus 
becoming the executor of his own wisdom. Chris- 
tian is content to leave to God the execution of 
this corollary of his own thought, and considers 
this useless library as part of the great world of 
which he is no wise part, however much he be in 
it. A world, which even he in due time may yet 
use, if so it be that he abuse it not. The Moham- 
medan is thus stern because he still fears what is 
not useful to his truth. Christian is equally stern, 
but he has no fear for his truth; and with that 
perfect love which casteth out fear he can well 
afford to be liberal even to the books that oppose 
his Book. 


The Capitol at Washington cannot be exploded 
by a bundle of matches, though a goodly quantity 
of dynamite may. And the Christian religion has 
hitherto been assailed only with matches. The 
explosive that alone can shatter its fortresses has 
not yet been discovered, though for some eighteen 


centuries folk have been busy with the invention 
thereof. Let them go on seeking, they shall not 
find, for He that hath said: "Upon this rock I 
build my church and the gates of Hades shall not 
prevail against it," was also the one of whom it 
abideth eternally true: " Heaven and earth shall 
pass away, but my words shall not pass away." 


Men are hardly ever brought to Christ by ex- 
ternal evidence. "No one cometh unto me except 
the Father draw him," is the primary law, and 
the external or historical evidences of the truth of 
Christianity are thus at best not the compelling 
power itself but the line along which the com- 
pelling power works. The evidences that appeal 
to the reason, to the emotions, to the will, are not 
yet the moving current itself, but only the wave 
along which the current runs. Our hearts, like 
that of Lydia of old, have first to be opened by 
the grace of God, ere the evidence can at all have 
lodgement within them. 

We know that had we, left to our own selves, 
been waiting for proof, evidence, and the rest, we 
should still be waiting for it till now. We thus 
know that if we believe on our Lord to-day it is 
because God drew us unto Himself through His 
Son, and it was by Him that our hearts were first 
opened to receive the Word of Life ; and our eyes 
opened, so that we can say, Whereas before we 
were blind, we now do see. We, in short, though 
all outward evidence were to fail us, have the 
evidence within that Christ is the Son of the 
Living God, since flesh and blood cannot reveal 
this rock of the Christ's church, this goodly con- 


fession, but only the Father which is in heaven. 
We have the witness within, the Spirit bearing 
witness with our spirit that Christ is the Saviour 
from sin, that the Bible is His book. 

But howe'er sure this subjective experience of 
ours, it cannot be binding upon others. They 
must have reasons binding upon them, or they 
must have the same subjective experience as our- 
selves. Our faith to be proved unto them as true 
must be proved unto them not by reasons which 
are only subjective to us — in which case they 
would only be resting upon their trust in us — but 
also objective to them. Now, believers are in 
danger of magnifying their own subjective evi- 
dence; unbelievers are in peril of minimizing the 
objective evidences for the truths of Christianity, 
which if candidly examined are enough to be 
decisive even in a case of a capital crime before 
a jury. 


The objective reasons are as compelling of 
assent as the corollaries of the propositions of 
Euclid. And while it is true that when the present 
gainsayers of the faith are at last convinced, 
it will, like our own whilom conviction, be 
brought about by subjective experiences like our 
own, rather than by external evidences ; by light 
from above rather than by conviction from with- 
out; yet when the truth is rejected by them 
these reasons, compelling as they would be to an 
unsullied heart, will testify against them on the 
great day of the Lord ; and their defence : I for- 
sooth sought light, but it came not nigh me, was 
not brought to me — is forever barred. 



Unlike the millionaire benefactor who gives a 
million on condition that another million be 
raised by their own efforts, God's grace is at first 
offered free and unconditional. It is only when 
man has already become alive unto God through 
the acceptance of that gift, that God becomes no 
longer unlike the millionaire, but like him, and 
offers His new million on condition that the re- 
ceiver now raise his own million. The Holy 
Spirit, the one talent, is entrusted that more tal- 
ents be made therewith, ten if need be, five if 
possible, but at least one other as the minimum. 

The law is : First the natural, then the spiritual. 
Men must indeed begin with obeying even the 
letter of the Sermon on the Mount — even to the 
extent of giving to the child the razor it asks for; 
but this only so long as you also are a child, and 
know not as yet how to discern the things that 
differ. But when thou too art become a man, 
then thou art free, being now led of the Spirit, 
and then thou canst afford no longer to obey the 
letter which killeth . . . This distinction 
Tolstoy who ever remains a babe has not learned. 

The idea of a Christian state before the return 
of Jesus to reign in person rests on a misunder- 
standing of Christianity as well as of the state, 
Christianity recognizes the state, but only as 
something different from itself, at times even 
hostile to itself, and therefore it commands to 
pray for the state, just as it commands to pray 


for enemies. The state is appointed of heaven to 
bear the sword, Christianity threatens that those 
who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 
Michael and Satan belong to opposing hosts. 
But Michael recognizes Satan, and when rebuke 
him he must, he rebukes him only in the name of 
the Lord, giving him his due as one who has re- 
ceived his authority from God. 


Tolstoyism, Socialism and even Fors Clavigera, 
are at bottom only zealous attempts to bring in 
everlasting righteousness without the Righteous 
One; Peace without the Prince of Peace; the 
Kingdom without the King ; an attempt to make 
man Lord of Creation without Him who is Lord 
of Lords. 

Peace, blessed be God, there is indeed already 
now on earth, but it is only for those of whom it 
hath been said Thou wilt keep him in perfect 
peace whose mind is stayed on Thee ; and, Great 
peace have they that love Thy law. This for the 
individual; and there is also a peace for the mass ; 
but not until He reigneth of whom it hath been 
foretold that a King shall reign in righteousness. 

Christian Socialism is an attempt on the part of 
many who profess the name of our Lord, to bring 
about worldly comforts for all by means of the 
spread of the teachings of the Master, so that all 
shall have abundance of food, raiment, shelter, 
leisure, books, theatres, lectures, culture — worldly 
happiness in short. But to make His disciples 
"comfortable" in food, raiment and shelter, as 
the world understands comfort, never was the 


intent of the Master. He Himself had no place to 
lay His head, though the foxes, and the birds of 
the air, who without Him were not created, have 
their holes and nests. He bids His apostles go 
forth without purse, scrip or change of garment. 
And, moreover, He promised that the poor we 
shall always have with us, so that the abolition of 
"poverty," as the world understands poverty, was 
not what the Master came for. He expressly told 
His disciples that in the world they shall have 
tribulation. He makes His disciples rich by 
making them care little about comforts whether of 
body or mind, and they thus cease to be a factor 
in Christian life. If a disciple of the Master is 
called into a palace, he praises the Lord; if called 
into a hovel, he praises likewise. If fed three 
meals a day, the disciple giveth thanks; if fed 
once, the disciple giveth thanks likewise. For 
our Father knoweth the things we are in need of. 
If Christians have no ' 'comforts," it is because 
their Father knoweth that of these they are not 
in need. 

Christian Socialism is, therefore, a movement 
based on a fundamental misconception of what 
our Lord came to do and to teach. If this earth 
were to be man's permanent abode as he now is, 
the search for comforts and for the means of 
bringing about universal happiness would be to 
the purpose. But this earth is for Christian a 
mere passenger station the disciple is here a mere 
sojourner, until the Lord come to take His own 
into the mansions prepared for them. "My king- 
dom is not of this world," says our Lord; and the 
church of Christ says with Paul : "Our citizenship 


is in heaven." So that the energies spent by 
Christians in endeavoring to establish now be- 
fore the Lord come (when there shall indeed be a 
new earth) an age of physical and intellectual 
comforts for all, are devoted to the things of the 
flesh, and the Lord Christ came to enable men to 
walk in the Spirit which ever lusteth against the 

What marks the Christ as the greatest psychol- 
ogist is among other things, the order of His five 
"Ye have heard's" in the Sermon on the Mount. 
He is there indirectly showing the impossibility of 
mending the natural man, the old man : that what 
is needed is not a mending, a patching up of flesh 
with spirit, but a new birth, a new creation from 
above, preceded by a death, not only to our bad 
selves, but also to our good selves. Accordingly, 
the first three "Ye have heard's" deal with the 
need of dying to the bad self — anger, lust, corrup- 
tion of heart as attested by idle words. But re- 
sisting wrong, and hatred of enemies, the sub- 
jects of the last two "Ye have heards," are not 
vicious things, they are virtuous things. Without 
the one it is impossible to assert oneself as* a man ; 
without the other it becomes impossible to assert 
oneself as a citizen. And mere human society 
would at once collapse without these two virtues. 
But the Christ came to found not an earthly so- 
ciety, howe'er ideal, but a heavenly one; hence, 
He insists that these men must die even to their 
best selves, for even the best of earth is still earth 
and not heaven. For heaven things must become 
altogether new. Old wine in old wine skins, but 
new wine in new wineskins. 



Indignation, therefore — the root of the last two 
"Ye have heards" — as a mere earthly thing, is 
rather laudable; at its best it is even a noble 
thing, for it is then essentially only love inverted, 
or wrong end to. But even this bit of excellent 
earth is unfit for heaven, since oftenest it is the 
combination of two of the most heinous sins of 
man; of anger, the greatest fault of the heart, 
(it being embryonic murder) ; and of condemna- 
tion, the greatest fault of the head, since it is a 
sort of full-fledged self -righteousness. The one is 
the sin against Love, the supreme law betwixt 
man and his fellow; the other is the sin against 
Humility, the supreme law between man and his 

But, even at its best, Indignation is still es- 
sentially a judgment, a condemnation. For all 
indignation with men, even when most righteous 
is due largely to the expectation of better things 
from them; so much so that if men but knew it 
they would consider indignation against them a 
kind of -compliment to them. As soon as we see 
that what we look for is not there, we are no 
longer indignant, we only pity. I am not indig- 
nant with the ox for chewing his cud, howe'er 
graceless the motion of his jaw, though I am in- 
dignant with my masculine fellow for chewing his 
weed, and with my feminine fellow for chewing 
her gum. The ox is only doing what is ox-like; 
these are not doing what is manlike, womanlike. 
Of the ox, I expect only oxy things; of men and 
women I expect human things . . . 



I used to be indignant with the hard, cold, self- 
satisfied Philistine. I now almost love that dear, 
hard, cold, self -satisfied Philistine. It is only the 
ox chewing his cud . . . 

Religion is the one land that cannot be visited 
for mere sightseeing. One must move thither for 
permanent abode. 

A Christian metaphysician is a mesalliance be- 
tween a good intellect and bad piety. 

All other nations have made their gods. Zeus 
was a Greek; Mars, a Roman; Thor, a Norse. 
The Jews alone did not make Jehovah : the God 
of Mercy and Vengeance. The God who uttered 
upon His chosen people the curses of Leviticus 
and Deuteronomy was not made by a Jew. 

Barbarian, Greek, Jew, Christian: The bar- 
barian had no wisdom; the Greek had its ele- 
ments; the Jew had its substance; Christianity 
has its perfections. 

A man is not fit for heaven till he finds earth 
too large for him first, too small for him after- 

A man's religion may not always be a comfort 
to himself, but if true it will always enable him to 
be a comfort to others. 



As to their worldly station mankind consists of 
those in the blue book and those without. As to 
their heavenly station, the division is between 
those in the red book and those without. 

The distance from earth to heaven is infinite 
and can be bridged only by God. The distance 
from heaven to earth is but a span, and can be 
reached by any suppliant hand. 

Eternal life can be gained only by recognizing 
God. It may be lost by ignoring Satan. 

The door to heaven must be forced. The door 
to hell needs no forcing. It opens of itself as soon 
as man places his whole weight thereon. 

The light of Christ in the disciple is like the 
screen in the banker's window; enables those 
within to look out, prevents those without from 
looking in. 


The road to heaven is equally long from every 
point. The road to hell equally short. 

There is certainly the divine in man. It is only 
a question whether the divine is in every man. 

Happy he who hath a friend in need; but 
happier he who hath Him for friend that maketh 
friends needless. 



Greatness in the world is like the lofty mount : 
can be seen from afar, with glories of sun and 
cloud playing thereon, but without refreshing the 
weary. Greatness in the Kingdom is like the 
deep well : can be seen only close by, with only a 
bit of sky playing therein, but it quenches the 


True religion adorns a man's life, his life cannot 
demean the true religion. The flower gives frag- 
rance to the pot ; the meanness of the pot detracts 
nothing from the flower. 

That is true religion which enables even the 
poor to become givers, even the rich to become 


All that is bad in us is ours. All that is good in 
us is only a loan from above to become ours with 
interest by good use of the principal. 

In our talk to men we need a smiling face to 
show forth our love. In our talk to God we need 
first, a tearful face to show forth our fear, and then 
a cheerful face to show forth our trust. 

The Christian life is also a profession to be 
learned. Acknowledgment of one's ignorance is 
its primary school; willingness to obey, its gram- 
mar school ; and diligence in the pursuit of the goal , 
its high school. 




The evidences of Christianity that were never 
meant to be out of print are the lives of Christians. 


Christian's life was meant to be not so much 
like the European Station where the agent is 
settled with his household ; rather like the Ameri- 
can Station, planned only for the passengers' 
getting on or off. 

The less men know the harder they find it to 
believe the natural; the more they know the 
easier they believe the supernatural. 

True health requires a healthy soul in a healthy 
body. It is a mark of man's fallen state that 
many a soul can be kept healthy only while con- 
fined in a sick body. 

To see earth we must open our eyes ; to behold 
heaven we must shut them. 

To the unregenerate the Bible is a mere checker- 
board with squares of alternative black and white. 
But the regenerate is taught of the Spirit which 
are the squares to be played upon. 

The non-Christian must either conquer circum- 
stances or be conquered by them. Christian must 
conquer in circumstance. 



The difference between true Christianity and 
its counterfeit is this : both recognize sin and the 
need of washing it away. But the one demands 
for it nothing short of Blood; the other is content 
with rosewater. 


To be a miniature Christ is the only way to be 
a great Christian. 

i5 2 4. 
"You cannot guide the multitude without de- 
ceiving it," said the wisest of the Greeks. And 
truly enough, if it is to be guided without com- 
mission from above. It is a mark of the divine 
commission of Moses and the Christ that the one 
did guide God's chosen visible host, that the other 
does guide God's chosen invisible host — without 
deceiving . . . 

Every un-Christian teacher, howe'er high his 
aim, is at best only a kite: flies and soars, and 
even dashes now and then straight for the heavens 
— but that string ! . . . 

Culture is like a fire in the grate : shines, and 
warms your front, but leaves cold your back. 
Religion is like the oven wall; the fire is out of 
sight, but one can lean against the wall, and be 
warmed from head to foot. 

Both culture and religion may leave a man 
angular; but culture leaves him a mere triangle; 
religion doubles him, and leaves him four-square 
for awhile, rounds him out at last. 


I S 28. 

Culture makes the round man, religion the 
square man. Culture, like a sphere, rests on only 
one point. Religion, like a cube, rests on a whole 


The dear critics — they mean well! — ask me to 
give up Moses to save John. Well, Philip of 
Macedon asked the Athenians to give up the dogs 
to the wolves to save the sheep. And he too, dear 
Philip, may have meant it quite well . . . 

In the early centuries Christianity suffered 
most from its avowed enemies; in the last, from 
its professed friends. 

Are you tempted? Prayer will sustain you. 
Have you yielded? Prayer will restore you. Are 
you disheartened? Prayer will encourage you. 
Are you at last in peace? Prayer will keep it 
for you. 

i53 2 - 
You will have to believe sometime. It is only 
a question whether it shall be before sight is lost 
or after. 

The simplest way to get to the top of the tall 
building is to step into the elevator, and there stand 
while lifted on high. The simplest way to get to 
the heights of heaven is to step into Christ, and in 
Him stand while He too lifts you on high. 



All the spiritual ills of men have only two 
causes, the confounding of things that differ, the 
sundering of things that belong together. 

Does the jury declare the prisoner innocent be- 
cause he has been untried? No, rather because he 
has been tried and found innocent. Do I believe 
Christianity true because it remains untried? No, 
rather because I have sat at its trial and have 
found it true. 


My friend of the world, whoso you are : Either 
Jesus Christ was mistaken or you are. The answer 
that neither might be is only evading the issue, 
not settling it. But the ages have decided that 
Jesus Christ was not mistaken. It is for you to 
decide whether you shall continue to be. 

Where the wisest of the heathen says: To be 
very good and very rich is impossible, the Son of 
Man saith with poise only: How hardly shall 
they that have riches enter into the kingdom of 
the heavens. 


I am not averse to humanitarianism, but it is 
not Christianity, not even Spirituality. Many a 
dog has more humanity to him than perhaps two- 
thirds of the folk I know. But this does not make 
the dog a Christian, though there very likely are 
many Christians among these two-thirds. 



Christian like the statue must also ever keep 
to his pedestal, only he must not remain equally 


The boundaries of the Spartans were on the 
points of their spears, and these took them if need 
be to the ends of the earth. The boundaries of 
Christian are on the points of his prayers, and 
these take him to the heights of heaven. 

The typical land of Christian is Switzerland. 
He can afford to be as cold as its mountains, if only 
as high; as narrow as its valleys, if only as fertile. 

In all else man does well to hold the important 
matter back to the last. In his religion alone 
Christian must be otherwise. Here he must be 
like the notice which at once announces itself that 
it is a Notice. 

In the Kingdom there are things permitted, 
things forbidden, things tolerated; the last, like 
smoking on the cars: only on the rear seats. 

Grace at meat may easily become a cordial. 

I used to wonder at the striking resemblance 
of some of the false religions to the true, until I 
learned that the difference between the goose and 
the swan is only a few inches of neck. 



Why are the dead raised no more ? Presumption 
says, Because the dead do not rise. Meekness 
suggests, Because there is no more faith to raise 
the dead with. The One who alone could say, 
I am the Resurrection and the Life, explains, If 
they believe not Moses and the prophets, neither 
will they believe though one rose from the dead. 

The Bible must be read through at least twice : 
first with eyes shut, then with eyes open. 

No binding to the Bible is lasting that is not 
sewn together with scarlet thread. 

Unitarianism is the religion of topheaviness par 

Which is true, optimism or pessimism? It is a 
mark of the heavenliness of the religion of Christ 
that, while in the world one must be adherent of 
either, Christian must adhere to neither at any 
time, to both at all times. 

Religion is man forcing himself upon God, 
Christianity is God implanting himself in man. 

Christianity does indeed demand from men 
belief in its truths; but it is content for a while 
with only asking of men doubt of the grounds for 
their unbelief. 



Religion, if it make men no better than it finds 
them leaves them worse. 

The blood of Christ cleanses if accepted; stains, 
if rejected. 

Heaven is where'er there is rest from earth 
with God. 

Heaven has only one door, though many gates. 
The believer errs in limiting the number of the 
gates ; the unbeliever, in multiplying the number of 
the doors. 

Folk think Sunday the day for religion. Sunday 
is indeed the day for worship. It is the other six 
that are for religion. 

Folk think the object of the thought of heaven 
is to improve earth for us. But the thought of 
heaven is meant to improve the earth for others 
and to spoil it for ourselves. 

In the Kingdom all is God except man. In the 
world all is God except God Himself. 

The strings which pull men earthward are 
stronger than the ropes which tie them heaven- 



The paper entering the press white, but leaving 
it black, to begin its usefulness only then — sad 
symbol of man's career. 


Paradise begins only in the next life; hell may 
begin already in this. 


Of him who has once been in the heavenlies only 
the risen baloon is apt type; can return to earth 
again only with a collapse. 


In the world when one thinks he can do much 
he can at least do something. In the Kingdom 
one can only then accomplish something when he 
feels that of himself he can do nothing. 

It is a mark of truth that Jesus cries "Thy will 
be done!" before "My God, my God, why hast 
Thou forsaken me?" Invention would have re- 
versed the cries. 


Christianity does not change night into day, 
but it does dispel the clouds and restores the stars. 

Black we all are ; only some are bleached blacks. 



Everyone begins with what God has made him ; 
he ends with what he makes himself. 

In his anchor as in all else Christian is the op- 
posite of the world. The anchor of his hope is 
upward, not downward. 


The heavenly journey is measured not by the 
number of miles travelled, but by the height of 
the mountains climbed. 


The conditional, the optative mood, are frequent 
in the Bible, but not the doubtful tenses. 


Education furnishes only a sword, which is, 
however, two-edged. Legislation only clips the 
beast's claws, but leaves it still wild. Morality 
furnishes clean garments, but these may still 
cover a foul heart. Christianity alone cleanses 
the heart, tames the beast and wields safely the 


Both Arion of Herodotus and Jonah of the 
Bible are thrown into the sea; but Arion is saved 
on a dolphin's back; Jonah, out of the fish's belly. 
The dolphin's back is the mark of fiction; the 
fish's belly the mark of truth. Invention must 
furnish a likely means of escape. Truth can afford 
to furnish the farthest from likely. 



Analogy and simile are the most pleasing kind 
of writing, because Nature itself is only a type, 
and God speaks chiefly through symbols. 

Between heaven and hell is a gulf that cannot 
be bridged ; but on earth they may be so near as to 


The modern disease is megalo-Kephalitis ; 
a classic Greek, truly orthodox medical term: 
in English, big-headedness; in Yankee speech 
(which seldom fails to hit the nail on the head, 
though often splitting the board at the same 
time) swelled head. The disease began articu- 
lately enough in the mild, suave, velvet-covered 
Channing, but he merely chattered, though at 
times he also chirped, of the — Dignity of Man. 
In Emerson, however, this dignity of man began 
to pipe itself out, with an occasional deep, 
hollow basso accompaniment, as the Divinity 
of Man. Both Channing and Emerson, however, 
had still a goodly number of quarts of honest 
Gospel blood in them; generations of Christ in 
them still keeping down the self-glorification 
that would fain burst to the surface of even these. 
Whitman had no such restraint. His was other 
blood than theirs. Channing and Emerson had 
at least aristocratic, blue blood in their veins, 
pulsating therein rather swiftly, with some sort 
of noble tumultuousness. Not so Whitman. 
His was the skimmed blood, the viscuous gravy 
blood; the unadulterated plebeian, democratic, 
vulgar blood, with corpuscles of brick red, and 
Pittsburg-fog-gray, but without a speck of blue 

Channing and Emerson had at least a certain 


jungle dignity and beauty about them; and like 
the whole family of felines are ever interesting 
to behold in their moments of peace, as long as 
they display no mien of transforming their human 
beholders into that much steak and chop for 
feline supper. On occasion the frail Channing and 
gentle Emerson could roar, but their roar had at 
least some awe therein. But Whitman . . . 

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is justly praised 
as a noble piece of architecture, a kind of cathedral 
of Divisions, subdivisions, sections, paragraphs, 
and parentheses, of diverse dimensions and 
statures — if all this were only a peptic piece of 
utility. If the ailment of Society, butterflydom, 
is that it lacks seriousness, the ailment of me- 
taphysical owldom is that it takes itself with 
altogether too much seriousness. And here as 
elsewhere extremes meet. If the frivolous remind 
one of the antics of monkeys, metaphysicians can 
only remind us of circus — gymnasts. But gym- 
nastics, however startling its evolutions, are 
after all only antics ; and the metaphysics of even 
a Kant are only so many intellectual antics. 
Kant, however, was still sober, from a goodly 
remnant in him of the sense of religion; and the 
insanity of soul, is in him only embryonic. But 
what is embryonic in Kant becomes fullfledged 
in his diverse intellectual offspring of Schelling 
and Hegel, Schopenhauer and Hartmann and 
Spencer and James. The graceful play of the 
kitten in Kant becomes the capering antics of 
the goat in his successors. But, whether harmless 
kitten or china-smashing bull, the net sum of 


the performance of either is — emptiness. And 
life is in nowise meant to be kept empty with 
metaphysical windbag fulnesses . . . 

Philosophy has surely its use, as in fact every- 
thing conceivable has. The saddest of all 
emptinesses, the freshly dug hole in the ground, 
with the waiting casket for its fulfilment, has at 
least the use of supplying the undertaker with his 
porridge and ale. But this does not make grave 
digging a desirability in the life of man. Nay, 
rightly looked at Gehenna itself has its use . . . 
And metaphysics, which has its origin in some one 
having made a hole in heaven shortly after that 
episode of the Tree of Knowledge, has simply ever 
since had for its business the filling in of said hole 
in the heavens, with occasional making of new 
ones, when it is seen that the old ones cannot be 
filled in. Philosophy has indeed high pretension, 
its ultimate goal, on paper, is to be a sort of Science 
of Science, the Theory of Theory; but in practice 
nearly the whole of Philosophy and by far the 
largest part of Science, have become a kind of 
imperial eagle with two heads ; both supported by 
the same body — illegitimate curiosity: the one 
peeping uselessly into Universe Invisible, the 
other prying needlessly into Universe Visible. 

So-called Science is a body without a head; 
philosophy is a head without a body; the one 
has feet of gold without a head of even clay; the 
other is a head of brass without feet even of iron. 
But the combination of the two far from being a 
head of brass over feet of gold is, as in Spencer's 


case only a torso; head gone, arms gone, feet gone. 
All attempts at the Scriptural Image of a head 
of gold o'er a trunk of silver on feet of iron by 
science and philosophy are vain; since this 
image is molten only in the crucible of Christ. 


Philosophy has so far been only a vast pyramid 
upside down: and the slightest breeze blows it o'er. 
It has so far been only a series of card houses 
which fall first one against another, and then all 
together as soon as even one is seriously touched. 
Aristotle leans on Plato, Abelard on Aristotle, 
Leibnitz on Abelard, Kant leans on Descartes, 
Schopenhauer on Kant, Dr. Abbot on the rest; 
when lo, touch at one end, touch at other end, 
touch at middle, touch anywhere with the mere 
tip of Reality's finger, and forthwith as sys- 
tems they collapse with the speed of inflated 
industrial stocks on a Black Friday . . . 


Metaphysics is like climbing of Alps or chasing 
the North Pole. If the risk of life and limb is 
incurred for profitable scientific result, it is indeed 
heroic. But if undertaken from, sheer love of 
adventure, from sheer Pandoraness, from sheer 
desire to do what none else have done before and 
thus get a name for oneself, it is but a vain thing, a 
dead thing. 

Now much of the theology of the day, nearly all 
of the metaphysics, and not a little of its science 
is wholly of the latter, ignoble sort. 



Savage is hardly my attitude toward Meta- 
physics. As far back as my Sophomore year, 
I was already Vice-President (who veritably 
vice-presided) of the Harvard Philosophical Club. 
And for many succeeding years I was a faithful 
attendant upon the lectures of America's might- 
iest metaphysician delivered all to myself, at 
times far into the wee hours of morn, going over 
the length and breadth of its vast domain; from 
the isingness of being to the finalities of the finities, 
and even to the infinitudes of the Infinities, and 
the Everlastingnesses of the Eternities. So that 
in the inextinguishable fraternity of philosophers 
I am in nowise a first year student, rather a sort 
of adept of the thirty and third degree. Speaking 
thus from the inside I solemnly assure you, my 
friend, that Metaphysics is essentially the science 
of putting questions which the healthy do not ask, 
the wise do not take up, and the metaphysicians 
themselves, after elaborately putting them, do not 
answer. Thus where the first plain sick man you 
meet knows that pain is an evil, the healthy meta- 
physician discusses the question, What is Evil? 
Where the first plain man you meet tells you 
that if he is useful it is reason enough for his 
being here, the metaphysician elaborately dis- 
cusses the question, wherefore is man here at all? 

At its best philosophy seeks to establish 
by reason what is already known from Revela- 
tion: God, Immortality, Duty. It thus seeks 
to swim the Mississippi at the very spot where a 
bridge already is. But philosophy is seldom thus 


at its best. Its ordinary business is to give new 
names, where science gives new facts; while 
religion proves itself ever sufficient by putting the 
new facts, where they belong, under the old names. 
Metaphysicians have thus honestly tried to re- 
move some dust, they have raised new clouds. 
And how little of genuine substance is to be 
found therein is best seen from this: The utter 
impotence of Philosophy with its huge apparatus 
in the presence of a single sorrow — the one moment 
in life where it could be of utmost use, were any 
use at all therein. ' 'Philosophy — guide of Life," 
is its claim. But Philosophy is ever triumphing 
over only future, not present ills. Where religion 
supports the man, his philosophy has ever to be 
supported by the man. At the pangs of childbirth 
philosophy is silent, at the grave it is dumb. In 
the presence of sin, sickness, of the success of the 
wicked, the failure of the righteous, in the pres- 
ence in short, of every true problem of Life, 
Philosophy ever hobbles bandaged about with 
all manner of verbiage. And if perchance a 
crumb is handed out at last by it, and a wordlet of 
Life does escape its lips, it is invariably found that 
these come not from its own store — it has none — 
but were taken from the ever abundant store-house 
of — Religion . . . 

Metaphysicians are thus to the soul what flies 
are to summer; they buzz much, they annoy much, 
but they disappear with the cold. At the first 
real, deep sorrow, the most enamoured meta- 
physician puffs away his metaphysics like so many 
bubbles, if like Gulliver of old, he has not yet 
been irremediably laid low by the innumerable 
fine threads wound about him by the pigmies . . 




My whole quarrel with Philosophy and Meta- 
physics is here: The one thing Truth Incarnate 
came to bestow upon man is the restored ap- 
proach to the bosom of God where he at last may 
once more — rest. "Come unto me, all ye that 
labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you — 
rest. Learn from me, and ye shall find — rest 
unto your souls," is still the call of the ascended 
Christ, as in the days of yore it was the call of the 
descended Christ. But our modern activities 
based at bottom on false metaphysics are of the 
tumultuous, restless sort. And it has become 
the fashionable disease of men as well as of women 
to be so busy with their multitudinous activities 
as to leave hardly time for even the ordinary 
humanities. And the cause thereof is only one: 
men have weaned themselves from the bosom of 
God where the soul of man belongs as naturally 
as the babe at its mother's breast. And meta- 
physics is merely the indulgence of the soul of man 
in the for the moment rather intoxicating rest- 
lessness . 

Not in vain are the birds of the air, specially 
those of the seaside, type of the Adversary's host. 
Behold them restless: most of the while on the 
wing: fly, fly, fly. Mostly too with wings large, 
body but little, feet scarcely visible: sailing, sail- 
ing, sailing; circling, circling, circling, hardly ever 
seen resting. True emblem this of business 
and society which is dissipation with the crowd; 
and science and philosophy, which is dissipation 
apart from the crowd; but with the crowd or 
without the crowd, it is still dissipation, the dissi- 
pation of restlessness. 



As I cross Harvard Bridge betwixt Boston 
and Cambridge, and watch the gull in its flight 
over the waters, methinks I see philosophy in its 
white garment, with only the tip of its wings 
just blackish ... It soars and circles; and 
circles and soars; now and then it even dives, but 
it is ever aimless, it ever remains accomplishing 
naught, but catching some poor unwary fish. 


The presence of the so-called Science of Ethics 
betokens the decay of Integrity; since Ethics has 
become the science of proving that the association 
can do with a clear conscience what the individual 
can do with only a guilty one. The presence of 
the so-called Science of Political Economy be- 
tokens the decay of Love ; since Political Economy 
is essentially the Science of making Nature the 
scapegoat of man's selfishness. The abundance 
of so-called Fiction in Letters and Art betokens the 
decay of Truth; since the working of Fiction is 
only an unblushing confession that one is lying; 
so likewise the presence of Metaphysics only 
betokens the decay of true reverence and worship. 

Religion draws men; literature cattle; science, 
freight; philosophy, empty cars. 

Religion rounds out the man; literature broad- 
ens him; science lengthens him; philosophy flat- 
tens him. 



Religion smooths out the wrinkles; science 
discovers them; literature describes them; phi- 
losophy looks at them. 

To the devout soul the world is a mirror to 
reflect the glory of God in ; to the artist the world 
is a park — a place to walk in; to the scientist the 
world is a pond- — a place to fish in; to the meta- 
physician the world is a bed — a place to dream in. 

Religion ever furnishes a blanket adapted to the 
bed, and covers the whole man, while both science 
and philosophy furnish blankets that are too 
short. Science covers the feet, and leaves the 
head to shift for itself ; philosophy pulls it over the 
head, and leaves the feet to flounder for them- 


Religion at last furnishes the house within and 
without, which science and philosophy start to 
build. But science gets at least as far as the roof. 
Philosophy stops at the staging. 

Science is a kind of magician's borrowed hat 
from which he produces all at once yards of reel- 
ing tape, boxes of candy and a live duck. Meta- 
physics picks up all these things and frantically 
endeavors to put them all under one hat. 

Two men are in equal darkness: who dives be- 
yond his depth, who soars beyond his height. 


The modern scientist is apt to do the one; the 
metaphysicians of all ages have been doing the 


Said General Sherman: The only good Indian 
is the dead Indian ; I venture to say : Even the best 
philosophy is a dead philosophy. For philosophy 
is essentially a business of furnishing grounds for 
things that either cannot or need not stand there- 


Metaphysicians are essentially folk, who like 
the sages of the East, meditate in the Jungle on 
the Immensities and Eternities by fixing their eyes 
for days and weeks on the tip of their' — -nose. 
And like these Sages they seldom get farther than 
the tips of their noses. But whether they get far- 
ther or not, the result is ever cross-eyedness for 
aye . . . 


Metaphysics is essentially a business of furnish- 
ing either poor reasons for facts which no one 
disputes, or still poorer reasons for disputing 
what every one else knows to be indisputable. 

Philosophy, like drinking, smoking, card- 
playing, theatre going, dancing, is in nowise 
forbid in the Book of God, being of itself neither 
right nor wrong. But the whole tendency of these 
with all their surroundings is downward; and as 
such is ever deadly. And so with speculation, 
metaphysics. Philosophy — its whole tendency 
is never upward, always downward. Occupation 
therewith is a most gentle incline asylumward, 


a sober, solemn search after perpetual motion in 
the region of spirit. And every system of 
philosophy is thus like the ever recurring dis- 
covery of perpetual motion, which works admir- 
ably on paper, but fails wretchedly with the real 
wood or brass . . . 


After all has been said, it is not I that declare 
Philosophy and Religion to be at eternal war. 
That great arch-enemy of God, Schopenhauer, has 
done it before me. Says he: 

"Positive Religion usurps the throne that 
belongs to Philosophy. Philosophers will therefore 
make war against her." What makes Schopen- 
hauer the great philosopher is that he of all 
philosophers recognized the eternal conflict, and 
unflinchingly faced it . . . 

A theory is to facts what the string is to the 
pearls: good only to hold them together. The 
folly of all system-makers is the gathering of 
pearls for the sake of the string. 

Of course I believe in Science, which is simply 
a high-sounding name for — Knowledge. Only it 
must be Knowledge, not guessage. The "Science" 
that influences the thought of the day is not 
Science at all, it is only the guesses concerning 
things they do not know by the men who are 
accepted as authorities in Science because of 
the things they really do know. But the mere 
guesses of folk, of even scientific folk, are after 
all not yet knowings, they are still mere guessings. 



Modern philosophers consist of two distinct 
species of foxdom: the tailless and the betailed. 
Who have lost their own tails would fain persuade 
the rest that taillessness is the eternal law of all 
respectable foxdom; and that those who are still 
possessed of this token of uncompleted evolution 
had best forthwith divest themselves thereof by 
patent chopper or otherwise. The betailed ones, 
however, stoutly maintain that foxdom minus 
rear-bushiness is a gross sin against the eternal 
spirit of truth; and that to apply these surgics 
to fox's rear with or without anesthetics might 
seriously derange the now established Kosmos. 
But what is true, they go on to affirm, is: that 
though grapes are indeed luscious, and ripe enough 
to be eaten, they are in relation to foxdom forever 
sour, since they are being so high, and beyond the 
reach of even tailful foxdom . . . 

When Harvard Philosopher No. i. tells me 
that Truth is only relative, temporal, evanescent, 
and can in nowise be known, even if there be such 
a thing as Truth, which latter fact is as yet not 
established, at least at Harvard, I say: Friend, I 
pity thee from the bottom of my heart; for thou 
art a liar at heart; thou has lost thy heart as a 
man, and thy tail as a fox; and now thou wouldst 
fain persuade the rest that they too had best part 
with their tails ... 


When Harvard Philosopher No. 2. tells me that 
Duty is a relative term, a kind of elastic rubber 
band, with an ill smell thereto when thrown into 


the fire; that the sole "duty" that is at all clear in 
life is to meditate on the exposition of the Dutiless- 
ness of Duty — I say again: I detest, philosopher, 
thy philosophy from the bottom of my heart; 
thou art a thief to thy very bone, thou hast indeed 
still thy tail; and the luscious grapes are still 
hanging above thee ; but . they are too high for 
thine elastic conscience, and they remain for 
thee — sour grapes . . . 

Civilization polishes the savage into a barbarian. 
Religion shapes him into a man. 

Culture creates many desires; religion, only one 

Science needs religion as the bicycle needs 
the man: which without him cannot even stand; 
with him not only runs itself, but even carries 
the rider along. 


Philosophy would fain vie with religion in 
alleviating the ills of men. But religion furnishes 
a tonic; philosophy, hardly even a plaster. 

Education lengthens the man, culture broadens 
him; experience colors him, religion ripens him. 


Philosophy seeks for what is truth. Religion 
finds Him who is the Truth. 



I have a clock which instead of keeping time 
for me obliges me to keep time for it — sad ex- 
ample of the help so far given by science to 

The comet — true type of the metaphysician: 
dragging a long nebulous tail behind a solid but 
slight head. 

The value of science is seldom disputable, its 
price often is. 

The metaphysician is like the moth: hovers 
round the light, but only to be scorched therein. 


Two men have no need of philosophy ; who has 
no leisure for it, and who has. 

The light given by science is like that of the 
lantern: may still leave its bearer in the shade. 


Both Nature and Creation are each a whole. 
But Creation can always be seen as a part. 
Nature is at best beholden only as a fragment. 

I used to have great respect for all manner of 
science until I found that my business with the 
Chinaman is to get my linen clean, not to watch 
him handling it in the washtub. 



Metaphysics transgress against the great law 
of conduct which is: Nothing too- exact — the \ 
great rule of art, of life. 

All other intoxications reveal the true man. 
Metaphysics alone chokes the true man. 

The metaphysician seeks to discover the 
meaning of life. Poor soul: he lost it long, long 

The metaphysician like the rest of men has 
also his pillar of fire to lead him through the 
desert, but he speedily converts it into an ignus 
fatuus . . . 

Piety comes seldom from theology; goodness, 
rarely through ethics; and knowledge alas! not 
yet always from science. 

Metaphysicians like volcanoes throw up a great 
deal of smoke and stones, only they are not so 

The trouble with metaphysics is : though aspir- 
ing to be winged biped, it is only corner sexaped. 

A system of philosophy is a pyramid upside 
down : a vast structure built upon a point. Hence 
a little wind blows it down. 



A system is for thought what the horn is for 
the powder. It keeps it well — confined. 


Perhaps the best use of a system is that of the 
band around the garments when carried about: 
good only to hold them together when they are not 
to be displayed. 


A theory is to fact what the string is to the 
pearls; good only for holding them together. 
The folly of all system-making is the gathering 
of pearls for the sake of the string. 

When folk speak of not accepting things 
"contrary to reason," —as if there were a universal 
reason laid up somewhere like the standard yard 
or pound at Washington — they mean their own 
reason: but what appears wholly unreasonable 
to one appears most reasonable to another who has 
had wider experience. To speak, therefore 
of rejecting some things as "contrary to reason," 
is generally to confess one's own ignorance in such 
matters; and there is an educated ignorance as 
well as an uneducated ignorance; only unedu- 
cated ignorance believes too much; educated 
ignorance believes too little. 

It is blessedly true that reason is supreme, only 
it must not be your reason. 


Revelation is to reason what the telescope is 
to sight: an aid, not a substitute. 



Only that is true science which increases not 
my doubts but my faith. 

Who writes out his system only exposes it to 
argument. Who lives it out can prove it. 

Philosophy is to religion what tissue paper is to 


It needs much knowledge to doubt intelligently, 
and as much to believe intelligently. 

Who doubts may be using a broom against the 
dust. Who remains a doubter stays in the dust. 


The highest attainment of reason is to know 
not its competence but its incompetence. 


The Gossip: "Just think, I did not of course 
see the sun last night, but I did see the moon 
this morning." 

The Scientist: "It is a matter, friends, of uni- 
versal experience that the sun is never seen by 
night, — but the moon is sometimes seen by day. 
It thus constitutes a law of nature." 

The Philosopher: "It is, ladies and gentlemen, 
an a priori law of the mind that it shall not per- 
ceive the sun by night, but may perceive the 
moon by day." 

The Fool: "Well, what of it, anyhow?" And 
the fool is not the foolishest of the four. 



To give out most heat the soul like the stove 
must have its upper door shut. 

The spider in the garret in the delusion that he 
is a winged eagle soaring heavenward — this is 
the metaphysician. 


The only way to solve the problem of life is to 
live it. Metaphysicians only guess at it. 

Credulity slays its thousands; unbelief, its ten 


Unbelief is at bottom only ignorance, but ignor- 
ance of one's own ignorance. 

The difference between false science and true: 
a Darwin ignores revelation; a Newton writes a 
Commentary on Revelation. 

The difference between all false teaching and 
the true is in one word: Philosophy says, Stand! 
Science (so-called) says, Go! False Religion says, 
Do! Christ alone makes all these possible by 
prefacing them with, Come! 

Reason alone is seldom content with fact alone, 
it seeks also the reason for that fact. And it is 
this that makes mere reason often so unreasonable. 



The light given by Science is like that of the 
lantern, which may still leave its bearer in the 


Metaphysics is the art of bringing illegitimate 
offspring to birth with things. 

The metaphysician is a man who having through 
trifling lost the meaning of life sets about in all 
seriousness to account for life. 

Every system of philosophy is like the ever- 
recurring discovery of perpetual motion: works 
well enough on — paper. 

Both Metaphysics and Science have legitimate 
fences around them. Science breaks them down 
and finds itself lost: Metaphysics vaults over 
them and is caught hanging in the air. 

There are two kinds of superstition: of faith, 
of unbelief. Faith is at times superstitious as to 
incidentals ; unbelief is always superstitious as to 


Credulity believes without evidence; faith 
knows that the evidence is forthcoming. Cre- 
dulity only believes with insufficient reasons; 
faith trusts for sufficient reasons. 



Both faith and doubt give reasons for them- 
selves ; but faith gives the reasons it found before 
believing; doubt gives those it finds after doubt- 


The metaphysician starts out with questioning 
what little knowledge he has. He ends with losing 
it altogether. 


The wise man is concerned with the fact that 
the Universe is administered; the philosopher, 
with whether it is administered; the fool, with 
how it might be administered. And here for once 
the fool is only as foolish as the philosopher. 

Idolators and metaphysicians have this in 
common : the God of both is man made ; but the 
idolator's God is an ideal; the metaphysician's 
is only an idea. 

The metaphysician suffers from having more 
wing to him than body. 

The metaphysician suffers from a peculiar mis- 
fortune: his pillar of fire becomes for him an 
ignis fatuus. 



i66 S . 

Modern Art, Science and Letters have become 
largely a habit of using volcanoes for boiling eggs 
and roasting potatoes, and earthquakes for shak- 
ing out mice. 


The temper of Modern Science is : If you study 
God's ways you are only a mystic. If you study 
Man's Spirit, you are a metaphysician. If, how- 
ever, you study man's flesh, you are already a 
physiologist. But if you study worms and bugs 
out-of-doors, and ill-smelling gases indoors, you 
are true scientist . . . 


Modern Science consists of a few newly-dis- 
covered facts with many exploded theories : the 
theories being largely deemed to be the Science. 


Nature is the mirror of God. The fundamental 
error of Modern Science is in forgetting that mir- 
rors are not for the blind. 

Modern Science is afflicted with the cataract of 
the eyes, and now it expounds the eclipse of Faith. 

Of the numerous marvels of the Twentieth 
Century, not the least is the ease with which folk 


persuade men, after putting out their own eyes, 
that now they can help men to see all the better. 


The men of Babel strove to climb heaven by 
means of a tower; the men of to-day are scaling 
the heavens with telescope and spectroscope. 
Prometheus stole fire from heaven by mere cun- 
ning; the men of to-day play with the fire from 
heaven in their laboratories by sheer wit. The 
men of Babel met with confusion of tongues and 
were scattered abroad. Prometheus was given an 
eagle to tear his liver, after being chained to a 
rock. The men of to-day are meeting not only 
with confusion of tongues, but also with confusion 
of head and heart ; they are not scattered abroad ; 
they are left where they are, and not even chained. 
But their vitals are left to be eaten whether abroad 
or at home . . . 


Modern Science is to the Soul what the mor- 
ganatic wife is to royalty; offspring legitimate 
enough, but cannot be crowned. 

The storm in the city begins with dust and ends 
with mud, the rain having gone between. Modern 
Science begins with mud and ends with dust, 
leaving the man between. 


Modern Scientific men are apt to be like the 
gaspipe: which conveys illumination, but ceases 
not thereby to be dark itself. 




Modern Art and Science have become true 
yokefellows: Modern Art, strives to make the 
mean appear ideal. Modern Science makes the 
ideal mean. 


Education and Science have so far only length- 
ened man's hands and feet, they have elongated 
his ears, and sharpened his eyes. But they have 
not enlarged his heart, nor even expanded his 
vision. The same healing art which gives quinine 
to the fevered and ether in surgery, practices 
vivisection if not on paupers' babes in hospitals, 
at least on defenceless beasts in the laboratory. 
The spread of intelligence has made roguery more 
successful, honesty more difficult. It has added 
many luxuries that make for loss of stamina in 
soul as well as body, but have not made the strug- 
gle for existence less fierce. And the railways that 
take us across continent in a few days are operated 
only with the slaughter or maiming of some one 
hundred thousand human beings a year, some two 
thousand a week, some three hundred a day, some 
dozen every hour, one soul during the few minutes 
that this paragraph is being written, during the 
very time it takes you, dear reader, to read it . . . 

The wrong is not in possessing the hot water 
but in letting it scald others. Modern Civilization 
to the cry of the scalded flesh only answers : But 
I have a right to my hot water ! 

Theoretically, Modern Civilization is supposed 


to enable every man to make a wise man out of 
himself. Practically, it only leaves him free to 
make a fool of himself. 


The difference between the old so-called super- 
stition and the modern so-called emancipation is : 
In the days of old folk feared to go to the theatre 
lest they roast after they die. In the days of 
to-day folk brave going to the theatre even with 
the reasonable chance of roasting before they die. 


No prince of ancient times was ever known to 
be eager to prove that he was the son of a — hod- 
carrier. On the contrary, the hod-carrier's son, 
once he got into power, was eager to prove himself 
the son of a god. But in Modern Science the men 
who had hitherto been held to be the offspring of 
God are more than eager to prove that they are 
really descended from a tail-carrier . . . 


A product peculiar to the Nineteenth Century, 
and its prolongation, the Twentieth, is a literary 
man losing his head in his youth, and then going 
about the rest of his life to establish the beauty 
of headlessness. 


In an evil moment Lessing said that Raphael 
would still have been a great painter had he been 
born without hands. Ever since, many an artist 
who has lost his head still continues in the belief 
that he is a great artist. 


l68 3 . 

Our literary men are now chiefly hodmen for 
publishers (just as editors of periodicals are chiefly 
clerks in the upper story for the counting room in 
the lower) who are long of dollars, tho' short of 
wit and taste. These in turn are chiefly hodmen of 
readers who are long of ennui and short of aims in 
life, and need to be — amused . . . The nations of 
Canaan were hewers of wood and drawers of 
water to at least God's chosen people, but these 
have not even this consolation. "The public 
wants this, the public wants that !" Madame Ro- 
land would now cry instead : "0 Public, how many 
the literary Follies committed in thy name!" 

The chief characteristic of modern book-making 
is first, their outward voluptuousness, and then 
their inward leanness. Superficial wealth covering 
abject poverty. 


At first the appearance of books was padded, 
now it is their contents. 

The modern ambition in letters seems to be: 
To tell without genius in a big book what has 
already been told with genius in a small one. 

Old Midas touched paint and it became gold. 
But poor Midas, soon saw that he was under a 
curse. Our modern painters also touch paint, and 
it becomes gold. But they do not yet see them- 
selves under the curse . . . 



A special product of the Nineteenth-Twentieth 
Century is the man whose wisdom decreases as 
his knowledge increases. Our learned men are 
many of this sort. The Chicago professor who 
discovered that our modern Rockefellers are really 
the whilom Shakespeares was dismissed : not, how- 
ever, because he thought foolishly, but because 
he spake foolishly . . . 


Some of our recent religious movements remind 
one of the bicycle tandem, which is a treadmill 
with the poetry of riding taken out. 

So-called Christian Science is a cult devised by 
a woman, and largely for women. Accordingly, 
only a womaii could sum it up most neatly as "a 
splendid institution for those who have not brains 
enough to exert their will power without joining 
a sect." 


A male Christian Scientist is generally a femi- 
nine man. A female Spiritualist is generally a 
masculine woman. 


The cry for young ministers is rebellion not so 
much against gray heads as against gray hearts. 

The craving for fiction is due as much to the 
hunger for truth as to the loss of truth. 
The abundance of pictorial illustration illus- 
trates only the decay of imagination. 



Commerce is becoming the art of convincing 
folk that they need what you don't. 

Metaphysics betoken the decay of religion ; 
Ethics the decay of Integrity, Political Economy 
the decay of Love, Fiction the decay of Truth. 

Once Charity covered a multitude of sins. 
Now it is not even the money given for charity, 
but "success" that covers every sin committed in 
attaining it. 


Fashions were meant originally to change only 
with the climate and the person. Now they 
change only with the tailor and milliner. 


The ancient women sat at the loom : the mod- 
ern sit at the piano at home, and in the committee- 
room (if not at the bridge table) abroad. And the 
difference is between weaving cloth and weaving 


Society was first made by men; it then began 
to be ruled by women : it is now about to consist 
of and for children. 


The modern complaint: How shall we get the 
time? is uttered largely by those whose chief 
burden is, How shall we spend the time? 



It was not ever thus; but now they may well 
have music at a wedding. Soldiers are led into 
slaughter also with music. 

A modern Virtue: Contentment with the 
bitterness of the river at its mouth because of its 
sweetness at the head. 

In the modern struggle for existence failure 
from our own weakness is certain; and success 
without the weakness of others is problematic. 

Speak that I may see you! could be said by the 
ancient sage. See, that I may speak with you! 
must be said by the modern one. 

. ; 1706. 

There is expansion by growth and by bloating. 
Modern expansion is chiefly by bloating. 

It used to be: Like priest, like people. It is 
now: Like people, like priest. 

No one nowadays is free without money. It is 
only a question whether there are any free with 

The discussion whether our age is better than 
former ages or worse is only an academic one. No 
age was ever as good as it could be, and every age 
is worse than it need be. 



The symptom best attesting the wide degeneracy 
of the present is the entire lack of real admiration 
or even appreciation on the part of even those 
capable thereof. Every one thinks himself com- 
petent to have an opinion on everything, to sit in 
judgment over everyone, each deeming himself 
the peer of the best. This temper begins in self- 
sufficiency, continues with self-conceit, and ends 
in self-deceit. 


A modern bugbear: the cry, But this is not 
original! AH good thoughts are sure to be old; 
and all new thoughts are not so sure of being good. 

Said the Scotchman on his death-bed : My Son, 
make money: honestly, if you can, but — make 
money. The apocryphal Scotchman was a rogue ; 
the real modern Philosopher is only a — Pragma- 

Modern Science is very patient with the un- 
tying of the knot ; and toward the end it deliber- 
ately' — cuts it. 

Without God modern civilization is as fatal as 
ancient barbarism. The fire of the noblest oak 
burns as fatally as that of the meanest scrub. 

Old age complains of the times, that youth 
shows no respect for age. But, my aged friend, 
have you taken pains to make old age venerable 
to youth? 



How shall old age be venerable to youth when 
everyone is frantically striving not to be old? 


Brass may not resound louder than gold in 
Nature. It always does in contemporary Letters 
and Art. 


Their social certificate folk nowadays carry 
mostly in their purse; a few still carry it in their 
head. I prefer mine in the heart. 


Modern Science often invites folk to throw a 
firebrand into a keg of powder, with the assurance 
that no harm will come therefrom. Unfortunately 
it has hitherto failed to prove that the experiment 
has ever been successful. 


There is much groping these days for the guide, 
when all that is needed is to get into the path. 


They make it their special business to live' for 
man — I am somewhat suspicious of them. It is 
just possible that they have turned philanthropists 
after finding themselves unable to live with men. 


The woman that sits nowadays for her portrait 
displaying her teeth — beware of her, as you do of 
that other animal that displays his teeth . . . 



For meeting the mean a short walk is long 
enough. For meeting the noble even a long 
journey seldom suffices. 


The ancients wrote aphorisms; the moderns 
write essays. And the distinction is characteristic. 
But the moderns do not wholly repudiate the 
aphorism. Only they give the matter a new turn..; 
So that if your disconnected paragraphs are sep- 
arated by numbers or dashes, you are an aphorist. 
If they are joined together without marks of 
separation, you are an — essayist. 


All literature so far consists chiefly of two kinds : 
truth as groundwork with vast supersturcture of j 
fiction ; fiction as centre with occasional bits of I 
truth around it. 


A great victory may prove only less disastrous 
than a great defeat. The modern victory of man 
over Nature and the elements is one of those dis- 
astrous victories . . . 


My quarrel with modern so-called art is that 
its messages are seldom worth delivering; and 
when they are, too much liberty is taken with the 
dotting of the i's and the crossing of the t's. 

A great mistake : to expect fruit from seed re- 
gardless of soil and weather. Modern education 
is powerless about the seeds, heedless of the soil, 
and wholly ignorant as to the weather. 



In every age evildoers have had their apologists. 
In our age the monopolistic corporations have 
theirs. The Standard Oil folk have forsooth given 
us cheaper oil. And I begin to feel as if I ought to 
cultivate a new admiration for the despised worm. 
The dear worm, he has use for even a corpse. It 
is his paradise, in fact, it is! . . . 

We wonder at our ancestors who warred against 
each other for the sake of a religion of love. Our 
descendants will wonder at us for going to war 
for the sake of peace. And we must wonder at 
ourselves for refusing help to our fellows in the 
name of Scientific Charity. 


- "Know thyself!" The ancients needed this 
exhortation in the objective case. The modern 
man needs it also in the nominative. 



Two men have hardly yet begun to live: who 
is already weary of life, who has not yet wearied 
of life. 

The problem of life ? The very use of the phrase 
by you shows that you either have not yet even 
grasped the meaning of life, or have already lost it. 

Life is a tragedy to the poor, a comedy to the 
rich; to the wise it is both, to the fool it is neither. 
And herein is the fool for once wiser than the wise. 

Life itself is little, it is its duties that make it 

Length of life is measured by the number of 
days lived by us ; breadth of life by the number of 
folk known to us; depth of life by the number of 
sorrows borne by us ; height of life by the number 
of folk loved by us. 

Fear not lest thy life come to an end; rather 
lest it ne'er begin. 

Life is small if measured by what may be gotten 
out of it. It is great enough if measured by what 
can be put into it. 

OF LIFE 295 


Life is measured not by its horizontal but by- 
its vertical extent. Pressure is determined not 
by the breadth of the column but by its height. 

This life is only a parenthesis of eternity. 

The secret of life is to turn on a small pivot over 
a wide circumference. 

The secret of life is that each must learn it for 

The great end of life is love; its great means, 
hope; its great method, faith. 

The art of life consists in keeping earthly step 
to heavenly music. 

Signboards are good during the journey. It is 
the art of life not to carry them about after the 

The art of life consists in putting ourselves first 
in the place of those we do not understand; and 
then in the place of those who do not understand 

Every real need is supplied us. It is the art of 
life ever after to hold thereto. 



Enjoyment in play consists in recognizing the 
limits which must not be passed. Enjoyment in 
life consists in recognizing the limits which can 
never be reached. 


That is the great life which is equal not only to 
its great opportunities, but also to its small duties. 

The ideal life is like the ideal book : which must 
be of the best paper, clearly printed, and strongly 

That is the great life which though having 
nothing to hide has yet much to disclose. 

That is the great life which is like the clock in 
the tower : its very usefulness distracts the atten- 
tion from its great size. 

Every life has its tunnels: if short they only 
chill you; but if long they freeze you. 

That is the longest life which consists of short 


You cannot begin a new life, it is begun for you. 
You can only continue it. 

The first part of life is wisely spent in endeavor 
to become somebody. The second is spent still 
more wisely is learning to stay a nobody. 

OF LIFE 297 

Life without religion is like the open street car : 
not built for stormy weather. 

In life the parts are always greater than the 

"Thay or coffay ?" "I will have some tea, if you 
please." "We ain't got no thay, you will have to 
take some coffay." We smile at the scene in the 
restaurant, but every choice we make in life is 
perhaps equally free, though not equally humor- 


The life of most folk consists in reading a dull 
text for the sake of a few piquant notes. 

Common folk wish for more of life, the uncom- 
mon wish for more in life. 

In the lottery the more tickets you hold the 
greater your chance of winning. In life the more 
tickets you hold, the greater the chance of losing. 

For two things life is too short: for hatred, for 


Life is too short for regrets; and for mourning 
it is long enough only when its tears fertilize the 



Mournful the fate of him that hath swerved to 
the right of his ordained path, and pitiful the fate 
of him that hath swerved to the left of his or- 
dained path. But pitifullest the fate of him who 
is a living pendulum: swerving now to the right, 
now to the left : ever returning to his centre, never 
abiding there. And all that is left is to thank 
God for the centre, which maugre all swerving 
cannot be gotten away from . . . . 

The rule to pass out in front and enter by the 
rear is well observed all through life as well as in 
the cars. 

A pure life is like the sky : the clouds' pass over 
it, even hide it, but never stain it. 

It is difficult to know one's place in life, and 
far more difficult to keep it after knowing it. 


It is urged by several reputedly wise folk, 
Goethe among them, that we be either hammer 
or anvil. I intend to be neither: certainly not 
hammer; and anvil I must be only when it is God 
who holds the hammer .... 

Your words tell what you hold, your life tells 
what holds you. 

The sermon is the man discoursing, the life is 
the man preaching. 

OF LIFE 299 


To have nothing worth more than life is to have 
a life worth nothing. 

Even the best life can only make the best of 

Amusements may do for the filling in of the 
chinks of life; for filling in the spaces labor alone 
will do. 

The advantage of being dead is that for once 
folk know where you are. 

The sick at heart death seldom takes. Instead 
he prods them oft with the point of his scythe. 

Who leaves not death behind him, need not 
fear death before him . 

To be truly dead folk must die not only to their 
bad selves, but also to their good selves. 

Beautiful the thought that even the godless 
are laid away so that they too look up to heaven. 

The dead ashes improve the field, the living 
crops exhaust it. 

We do not learn to die by helping others to die. 
we do learn to live by helping others to live. 


300 OF LIFE 


The display of strength after a heavy fall is 
seldom more than the natural rebound. The art 
of life is to prepare during that rebound for the 
unavoidable return downward . . . 

We must all die once without our consent, let 
us die once with our consent that we may live the 
life which, once obtained, cannot be lost without 
our consent. 

All men at first merely live; the many soon 
outlive; same revive; the few survive. 


The most apt type of man is the moon, which 

is full only two or three days, and is dark only two 

or three days, but is partly bright and partly dark 

the rest of the month, and its realm is the night . . 



The ideal society is the one in which everyone 
has his work and is given his due. 

Society is organized largely for the mutual 
maintenance of self-complacency. 

Circulating decimals — the chief constituent of 
fashionable society. 

Fashionable society is faulty chiefly in its gram- 
mar. It knows no them, only us. 

In a democracy every city has its own "soci- 
ety"; but there is no society in the nation; unless 
contiguous but separate ant-heaps with now and 
then a path from the one to the other can be 
called national society. 

Every field of life has its fatal mistake. In 
society it consists in mistaking the beanpole for 
the stalk. 


Yes, my society friends; gold also can be made 
to float ; but only when beaten thin or as a hollow 
tube .... 


What makes society folk is that they are most 
at home when not at home. 

The safest bond of society is confidence; its 
most dangerous is familiarity. 

Two great calamities: when society unfits us 
for sober pursuits; when sober pursuits unfit us 
for society. 

In society a man is measured first by what 
others take him to be, and then by what he takes 
others to be. 

In society, folk like the moon, always present 
us the same face. 

Even merciless law is more charitable than 
' 'society." Law holds one innocent till proven 
guilty, and gives him the benefit of the doubt. 
Society treats the accused as guilty till proven in- 
nocent, and gives him the benefit of — suspicion. 


Where society between folk of different sta- 
tions in life is found it is not because of the su- 
periority of the inferior, but because of the need 
of the superior. 


The insincerity of speech in French society 
comes from loving folk more than the truth. The 
insincerity of speech elsewhere is apt to come from 
loving neither. 



It is the empty house that has its blinds always 
shut. The exclusive display by their exclusive- 
ness only their emptiness. 

To be fit for circulation the gold must be al- 


There are folk with whom, the living together 

not only wears off the fuzz of their own velvet, 

but they cover us, like the brown-tail moth, with 

a fuzz of their own which irritates and poisons. 

The true aristocrats are only three: who toils 
honestly with his hands, who thinks clearly with 
his head, who loves forgivingly with his heart. 

Of a new acquaintance I always ask first : Is he 
on the lookout for appreciation? And then, Is it 
appreciation of himself or others. 

The small soul out of society is like the fish out 
of the water, darting hither and thither, though 
only for a time ; the great soul out of its society is 
like the bird without air — choked at once. 

A man is best known when seen apart; he is 
best understood when seen as a part. 

To pass true judgment on ourselves we must 
be in society, to pass true judgment on others we 
must be in solitude. 



Against vexation by things the. one remedy is 
patience ; against vexation by folk patience is also 
a good remedy, but the patience born of love. 

I am never so much alone as when looking to 
my fellows by day. I am never so much in soci- 
ety, as when looking to the stars at night. 

A great tragedy : for copper to be passing for 
gold; but there is a greater: for gold to be taken 
for copper. 


The vice of low breeding is obliviousness of 
what is above it; the fault of high breeding is a 
certain scorn of what is beneath it. 

1813. . 
The brute is indifferent to what is below him; 
the boor, to what is above him; the refined man, 
only to what is beyond him. 

The superior man is content even among his 
inferiors ; the inferior man is content only among 
his equals. 

By hating our inferiors we sink to them, by 
loving our superiors we rise toward them. 

By hating our inferiors we descend to them; 
by persecuting them we sink below them. 



It is the mark of a great man that while his 
height above his fellows makes him small in their 
eyes, their distance below him does not make 
them small in his. 


From others to ourselves we must ask only jus- 
tice; others from us have a right to expect mercy. 

All need our pity. It is only a question to 
whom we should also give our sympathy. 

All have a right to expect others to do their 
duty; few have a right to demand it. 

Unlike steam and trolley roads folk cross each 
other best not above grade or below grade, but 
at grade. 

The esteem of folk is gained more by what is 
said of them than by what is done for them. 

It is easy to gain notoriety, and as easy to lose 

Confiding in another is not always a sign that 
you trust him. It may be the sign that you 
cannot be trusted yourself. 

Our dislike of folk can be destroyed by reason. 
Our liking of folk cannot be built up by mere 



It is only Nature that never loses its charm 
by our familiarity therewith. Familiarity with 
man's work, however beautiful, causes loss of at 
least vital interest. 


The pleasure of finding folk agreeing with us is 
seldom due to finding ourselves confirmed in the 
truth; oftener it is in the confirmation that we are 
so wise. 


A searching test : whether you like him as much 
for the things about which you agree as you dis- 
like him for the things about which you disagree. 

Who cannot endure the society of the bad has 
seen too little of the world; who can has seen too 

An insult is only mud thrown at you; and like 
mud is best brushed off when dry. 

A simple test : whether you are more distressed 
by the wrong you do than by the wrong you suffer. 

As long as every one dislikes you there may yet 
be hope. It is when every one likes you that 
your case is most desperate. 

The man who is content in solitude is a remark- 
able man, but chiefly from the fact that he is an 
abnormal man. 



Forgetfulness of names is a sign of incipient 
decay of mind; forgetfulness of persons is a sign 
of incipient decay of heart. 

The ideal man, though nowhere at home him- 
self, will make every one at home with him. 

It is futile to try to conciliate the world to 
us. We can only reconcile ourselves to the world. 

Of Pegasus and the ox is only Pegasus to be 
pitied? No, the ox also. Only the fate of Pega- 
sus is one to make angels weep ; the fate of the ox 
is only one to make oxen bellow. 

The surest way to win men's hearts is by frank- 
ness and sincerity, but also the surest way to lose 

Every one is interesting enough for a time at a 
distance. Few are abidingly so at close range. 

In the upper classes it is chiefly the embroidery 
that is fine, while the texture is rather indifferent. 
In the lower classes, it is the reverse. 

Society and specialism in learning have th's in 
common: both create an artificial state of mind 
which makes impossible both the perception of 
truth where it is not had, and its right expression 
where it is had. 



Of all the figures the zero is the most pleasing 
to the eye because it has no angles. And that is 
why it is always safer to take the place of zero in 

Rank is to the person what the stamp is to the 
coin: adds nothing to its value, but aids its circu- 

It is a great hardship to be an exile from one's 
country, a greater hardship to be an exile in one's 

The vulgar mind is not given to admiring ; the 
refined soul is not given to being admired. 

All have some hairy clothing ; but the few have 
silk hair, the rest have goat's hair; happy their 
case if it be not swine's bristles. 

The foundation of all society is the craving for 
company; the foundation of all noble society is 
the craving for companionship. 


vSincere we must be with all; confiding, hardly 
to any. 


High society — high satiety: with constant 
search for an appetite. 


l8 5 0. 

It is in society as with money; the precious 
metal is hid in the vault. What circulates is apt 
to be mostly printed rags with values stamped 


Their social certificate folk nowadays carry 
mostly in their purse ; a few still carry it in their 
head. I prefer mine in my heart. 

The possession of what we need is compara- 
tively inexpensive. It is the possession of what 
others like that is so expensive. 

There are two kinds of lonely folk: who really 
are above their fellows; who only fail to recognize 
their fellows. 

Who sharpens his wit against others is only 
sharpening their memory against himself. 

Folk in society are like the advertisements in 
the street cars : all that is best in the articles you 
learn there: but the other side — that you can 
learn only in the privacy of home use. 

Geese keep together by nature, the fellowship 
of souls must be cultivated. 

My exclusive friend- — even the cold car becomes 
readily heated when packed with people enough. 


l8 5 8. 

To despise the common is the vulgar error of 
the cultivated. And the good is not so common \ 
among them because they despise it as common. 

The butterfly, to spread its wings, needs the 
sunshine of the day; the owl gets on with the 
darkness of the night. Not in vain is the one 
symbol of society; the other, of wisdom. 


The two meanest souls on earth — I have known 
them both : one, the wife of a loving husband who 
in all the score of years of their wedded life saw 
naught in him to praise, and nearly all to blame; 
the other, the maiden of the lover who in all the 
twenty years and five of his passionate devotion 
unto her was meted out scant cheer only rarely, 
but stern reproach nearly alway. There is no 
question as to these two being the meanest souls 
under heaven. The only question is which is the 
meaner of the two. 


Petty interests only freeze men together; com- 
mon interests glue men together; noble interests 
melt men together. 


A great misfortune: to be so busy with the 
great duties to man as to neglect the small duties 
to men. 


It is a mark of weakness to be unable to endure 
the imperfections of others; and it is a cause of 
weakness to endure them. 



By humanitarianism I understand for the pres- 
ent all those well-meant theories of whatever name 
which start out with the hope of regeneration 
of society; of lifting man from his acknowledged 
selfish depth to a noble height by means of philan- 
thropic effort, but without the great God and His 
annointed Christ; to make man taller by means 
of his own hand-made stilts; to lift man to heaven 
by means of his man-made pulleys, to ascend 
thereto with his own-built ladders. In temper 
Philanthrophy is thus not superior to the Post- 
deluvians with their: " Go to, let us build us a tow- 
er that shall reach unto heaven." If not so gross- 
ly presumptuous, it effects the same inevitable 
confusion of tongues and scattering among men. 


The other night a man came here to lecture on 
the Life Saving Service, and illustrated it with 
the stereopticon. He came to make others see 
some interesting things ; but he himself was — blind. 

I have a friend who is successfully giving his 
life to the healing of the sick, though he himself is 
an invalid much of the time, walking on crutches 

And thus it ever is: Sinful folk devoting their 
lives to the turning of their neighbors into saints ; 
ignorant folk eager to enlighten their fellows, un- 
happy folk devoting their lives to making others 

But the audience of the blind man was wiser 
than the lecturer. It did not come to be made to 
see some things by him : they paid their quarter 
of a dollar to see how a blind man would make 
others see. 



A boy is not a boy as long as he is much of 
a girl; the man is not a man until he is not a 
little of a woman. 

A man is not complete until he has not a little 
of the woman in him. A woman is not complete 
as long as she has much of the man in her. 

A feminine man — something may yet become 
of him; the masculine woman — what, pray, is 
here to become of her? 

A foolish man is apt to talk more of himself; 
a foolish woman is apt to talk more of others. 
He is vain, she is curious. 


A man likes you for what he thinks you are; 
a woman, for what you think she is. 

A great woman can afford to be only unknown. 
A great man must afford also to be misknown. 

Men's eyes are in their heads; women's in their 



A man sells himself at times from his love for 
others; a woman sells herself nearly always from 
love of self. 


A man's second advice is apt to be better than 
his first, a woman's is seldom as good. 

When a man loves a woman beneath him he 
seldom descends to her; when a woman loves a 
man above her, she seldom rises to him. 

A woman is no longer herself when she has 
ceased to be given to tears. A man is not yet 
himself as long as he is not yet given to tears. 

The woman is at her best when given habitually 
to smiles ; the man is then only not yet at his worst. 

It is always well for a man to have a woman's 
heart ; it is hardly ever well for a woman to have a 
man's head. 


Men fall easier into love, women into hatred. 


It may be true that woman is man's inferior 
in logic. But she is oft his superior by being less 
in need of logic. 


A man's love for a woman is best shown by 
his wishing to share his wealth with her. A 


woman's love for a man is best shown by her 
readiness to share his poverty with him. 

Women are more likely to love those they hate 
than those they deem ridiculous. Of the ridicu- 
lous we deem ourselves the superiors. Those we 
hate are seldom our inferiors. 

Not even indifference will drive out from a 
woman's heart a certain tenderness for the man 
whose love she does not reciprocate. But for the 
man who has lost her love she seldom has aught 
but hatred. 


Pity for a man is in a woman love embryonic ; 
friendship for him is generally love truncated. 

Where the lover has no eyes, the husband may 
need putting them out. 

Where the lover is blind to real faults of the 
maiden, the husband may yet be looking to the 
possible shortcomings of the wife. 

The husband needs at times to be blind, the 
wife needs oft to be deaf; both need much of the 
time to be dumb. 

The lover may easily be judged from his maiden ; 
the husband not so easily from his wife. 




The tragedy of most marriages consists in folk 
embracing more than they can carry. 

A woman ceases to be half when she becomes 
a wife; she becomes complete only as a mother. 

In choosing a friend always go up. In choosing 
a wife never go down. 

Were the husband as blind to the faults of the 
wife as the lover is to those of the maiden, fewer 
unhappy marriages would follow the happy 


I know a soul that in her relation to him con- 
sists of ninety parts vinegar and ten parts oil; 
and oft she wounds him that loves her, and out 
she pours the oil and the vinegar. But the 
vinegar she pours into the wound by the quart; 
the oil she applies, of course, but by the drop . . 

Women are mostly made of glass, but it is apt 
to be ground glass. 

I used to be a woman suffragist as long as I 
saw in woman only delicate spirit. I am still 
a woman suffragist, even though I now know that 
there is to her also much coarse flesh. 

The mission of woman is either to make happy 
and be happy therein, or to make unhappy and 
not be unhappy therein. 



l8 97 . 

Few women have great understandings ; but the 
good woman makes up her lack of head with 
abundance of heart; the bad woman adds to her 
lack of head also a deficiency of heart. 

I can get on with the kind and the true and the 
strong. I can still get on, though not so surely 
with the hateful, the deceitful and the weak. 
I find somewhat trying those who are neither true 
nor false, neither kind nor hateful, neither strong 
nor weak. But there are folk who can at the same 
time be both: true and false, weak and strong, 
loveable and hateful. They are mostly women, 
and these I have not the least idea how to get on 


A man seldom loves a woman before he knows 
her; a woman loves a man long after she knows 


Of the many claims of Socrates to the title of 
the wisest of the Greeks not the least is his answer 
to the question Is it better to marry or remain 
single? He might have argued right ably for 
either, and thus left a record of himself as a great 
advocate. But he only answered You will regret 
whichever you do. 


Marriage halves men, parentage doubles them. 



There is a friend who only gives, and there is a 
friend who only takes. My friend must be one 
who gives and takes. 

Asking a favor may secure a friend as readily 
as bestowing one. 

Who longs for a friend is worthy of one ; not so 
he who is ever seeking a friend. 

Folk keep on their shelves many boxes labelled 
Friendship, but only one contains the sweetmeats 
with the flavor of the divine . . . 

Two men cannot be your friends; who is not 
friend to himself, who is friend only to himself. 

One boon is ever granted us: so to serve our 
friends that when they are laid away we may 
lament only our loss and not our delinquency. 

Friendship with a man is friendship with his 
virtues or your vices. 



Faithful friendship is like the needle: which 
speedily repairs its punctures with the thread 
in its wake. 


Letters between friends are always necessary, 
answers often, replies hardly ever. 

Who shows me his fault may be my friend. 
Who shows me mine is my friend. 

Disappointment in friends is its own consola- 
tion, if it draw us closer to the One Friend . . . 

Happy he who hath a friend in need, but 
happier he who hath Him for friend who maketh 
all other friends needless. 


Friendships were meant to be like radii of a 

circle: straight from circumference to center. 

They are mostly like spokes of the hub ; touching 

the circumference everywhere, the centre nowhere. 

Acquaintances are valued most when new; 
friendships, when old. 

Putty friendships : those founded on a common 

The moon, earth's constant companion, turns 
only one side to us, and we never see the other. 


Friends have oft to turn to us only their one side, 
and then we wonder why they are so one-sided. 

And the one-sided friends are generally, 
like the moon, of most service only when it is 
night . . . 

We think we trust another. It is only our 
judgment of him we trust. Not your friend has 
deceived you, you have been deceiving yourself. 

A species of cruelty in which even the best 
friendship can indulge: overloading one already 

' 'That person knows me best!" Not yet, sir, 
he only misknows you least. 

Friendship with the opposite sex is risking 
unlimited capital for limited profits. 

Platonic friendship is an agreement to surrender 
the walls in the vain hope of keeping the enemy 
from the city itself. 

Our best friend is only without us, our worst 
enemy is both without and within us. 

What ought to surprise us is not so much why 
we have so many enemies as why we have so 
many friends. 

32o Aphorisms 

We make more enemies by our tongues than 
friends by our hearts ; and as many by the things 
we do not as by those we do. 

Two things we may ever believe to be sincere: 
praise from our enemies, blame from our friends. 

It is easier to forgive an enemy than a friend. 

A foolish friend is only less dangerous than a 
wise enemy. 

A man's friends may not alwa3rs.be a credit to 
him; his enemies always should be. 

Who has many friends is probably a good man, 
who has many enemies is almost surely one. 

A man will have friends as long as he can still 
harm; he will not lack enemies as long as he can 
only benefit. 

"I have not an enemy in the world !" is either 
a boast or a delusion. If you are a very good man 
or even, only a good man, you already have 
enemies. If you are a bad man, you will surely 
yet have them. 

Your enem3 T will misunderstand even your 
speech. Your friend must not misunderstand 
even your silence. 



Two things I find it highly profitable to study : 
the failings of my friends, the virtues of my 


When you make enemies by the dozen you will 
find them real enough. When you make friends 
by the dozen you will find them not so real. 

With your grief even your enemy can sympa- 
thize; with your joy, only your friend. 

What is bad about us we surely learn from our 
enemies. What is good about us, not so surely 
from our friends. 

There are four ways of overcoming an enemy : 
the first is love — show it to him; the second is a 
gift — take it to him; the third is separation — 
impose it upon him ; the fourth is force — leave it to 
God to apply it to him. 

However bad a man, he will surely have some 
friends; however good, not so surely. 

To mean all you say is a sure way of making 
friends. To say all you mean is a surer way of 
making enemies. 


The eyes of our friends cost us as much as the 
tongues of our enemies. 



Friendship may speak where love would be 
silent. It will be silent where love often speaks. 

Is he my friend who loves me? He may yet 
not understand me. Is he my friend who under- 
stands me? He may yet not love me. But who 
understands me because he loves me, who loves 
me because he understands me — he is my friend. 

There is no true friendship without much love; 
there is much love without true friendship. 

No enemy is more dangerous than the fool : 
against a straw even the giant pounds in vain. 


Three men are my friends : who loves me, who 
hates me, who is indifferent to me. Who loves 
me teaches me tenderness, who hates me teaches 
me caution, who is indifferent to me teaches me 


A good cause seldom fails through the judicious- 
ness of its enemies; oftener through the inju- 
diciousness of its friends. 



The mark of a generous soul : to give as an act 
of justice what is really a favor. The mark of a 
mean soul : to give as a favor what is only an act 
of justice. 

It may need as much generosity to take as to 

Generosity is not always a part of giving. It is 
often part of taking. 


Are you my debtor? Not if I gave cheerfully. 
And certainly not if I gave grudgingly. 


Who gives only what he can spare pays only a 
debt. A gift is what you cannot spare. 

He gives truly who makes the receiver , the 

It needs only distress to know how to receive. 
It needs more than kindness to know how to give. 

It needs a little care to know to whom to give, 
it needs much care to know from whom to receive. 


Our most expensive possessions are often those 
received as gifts. 

The receiver should measure a gift by its value 
to the giver. The giver by its value to the 

The quantity of the gift is in its quality. 

The richest part of the gift must be in that which 
money cannot buy. 

A man can receive only what he already has. 
He can give only w^hat he can never lose. 

By giving men often pay debts and as often 
contract them. 

The greater the gift, the louder its call to be 
used nobly. 

It may not always require generosity to give; 
it may oft need grace to withhold. 

You who make the sacrifice consider the hard- 
ship of having to accept your sacrifice. 

Sacrifice is a misnomer. If you do not get 
something better in return you have made no 



The one word the world has no right to is — 
sacrifice. Sacrifice is what is laid on the altar, a 
gift to God, a voluntary return to Him of what has 
ever been his, the loan being now only called in. 
Sacrifice, then, to be worth aught must be made 
cheerfully, yea joyfully. The scarifice rendered 
with screwed up mouth, after lengthy parleyings 
with heaven, is not yet sacrificing, but only the 
getting ready therefor. It is the breaking of the 
shell, out of which the nut shall ere long roll out of 
itself without further hammering. 



It is easier to live for men than with men. 

Man is God's crowning work in visible nature, 
but even with the best of men we may at times 
be offended; with nature, never. Nature offends 
not our self-love; while man, the more God-like 
he is, the sooner he offends our self-love. 


Men are meant to become fountains sending 
forth refreshing waters; most of them are apt 
to become vortexes drawing in all the mire around 


Men are never so forgetful of what they should 
do in their own place as when telling what they 
would do in another's place. 

Men are restless until they revolve around 
their centre. Most men create it for themselves: 
the superior man seeks until he finds the one 
made for him. 

Men crave more the certainty of having things 
than the things themselves. 
Men differ from themselves only less than from 
one another. 



Men dislike more those frojn whom they differ 
than they like those with whom they agree. 

Men do little from reason; much from passion, 
and most from neither. 

Men first seek their own good; they then per- 
suade themselves that it is for the good of others. 

Men often underestimate themselves con- 
sciously; they never thus overestimate them- 

Men own only what they use, they inherit only 
what they give away. 

Men sigh for calm till they have it; and then 
they sigh because it is calm. 

Men view their own actions and those of others 
with the same telescope, but from its opposite 

Men wear their plus sign in front of them; for 
their minus sign you have to look in their rear. 

It is with men as with oranges: the thinner 
their skin, the finer their flavor. 



Most men are like onions: a small core with 
a number of layers': with what pungency there is 
being only in the layers. 

Nature's work is justified by its results; man's 
must be justified by his intentions. 

Of four things every man has more than he 
knows: of sins, of debts, of friends, of foes. 

The crystal gets its lustre and display of color 
from the presence of its corners. Man can dis- 
play his lustre only in their absence. 

The fish is made for the depths, the bird for 
the heights. Man is made for both and for all 
that is between. 


The greater, the man, the plainer is his greatness 
in sight, and the harder it is seen. 


The heart of man is made first for accepting 
sorrow, then for giving love, and only lastly for 
receiving love. The will of man seeks to reverse 
this order. 


Mankind consists of the wise, the foolish, and 
the semi-wise (or semi-foolish). The wise — 
what little they do know they know that they 
know ; and the much they do not know they know 


that they do not know. The fools — what little 
they do know, they know that they know; and 
the much they do not know they know that they 
know. The semi-wise, the vast majority of folk, 
know what little they do know, but are wholly 
ignorant of the much they do not know. 

The freer the man the more ties he has. 


The merely kind man gives alms to the living; 
the delicate man provides also a tomb for the 

Man has perhaps, therefore, been given two 
ears that he might hear both sides, not one. 


" The individual must give way to the mass! " 
But the mass consists only of that very individual 
and others like him . . . 

The least each can do is to add one more good 
man to the world; and yet this is essentially his 
whole task. 

Two men are not yet themselves : who has too 
little of self, who has too much. 

Most men first wish, then believe, then prove. 

To be kept good man must ever grow better. 



Men can defile one another, they cannot 
cleanse one another. 


Two things we ere long find sadly true: that 
every man's fate is no more than he deserves; 
that every man's opportunity comes at least once 
to him, but is rarely made most of. 


Two men are to be pitied : who cannot get 
what he ought to have, who at last gets what he 
ought not to have. 


Three things are needful to make the complete 
man: to see things truly, to estimate their value 
rightly, to use them properly. 


Against mere sand even the hammer strikes in 


A great art : to hold your umbrella in the direc- 
tion of the wind. 


A great fraud : to extract all the good and pass 
it off as a sample of the rest. Most reputations 
are frauds of this sort. 


A great landscape can be seen through a small 


A great misfortune: for one person to need 
two to wait upon him. 



All thinking men have the same chest of 
drawers, but they differ in the classification of 
their contents. 


A man is hardly ever as good as his own praise 
of himself; he is nearly always as bad as his own 
condemnation of himself. 

By two things a man is known : by his manner 
of bestowing praise, by his manner of receiving 


A man is seldom his own best friend, often his 
own worst enemy. 


A man of narrow views deserves our pity; the 
man of wide views needs it. 

A man's faults appear most in his presence; 
his merits in his absence. 

A man's shadow seldom disappears with him- 

A miscalculation: that because two heads are 
better than one, half a head is better than none. 

A man is not fit for heaven until he finds earth 
too small for him first, too large afterwards. 




A needful lesson in geography : that the far is 
reached only through the near. 


Physical enemies are best fought at close range; 
spiritual, at long range. 


Peace may be obtained by yielding to another; 
only strife by yielding to ourselves. 

Physicians' houses are built on the heads of the 
careless; lawyers' houses on the heads of the 

Teach men only what to think and they never 
learn how to think. Teach men how to think, 
they will soon learn what to think. 

That a man's future is God's secret is as it 
should be. That a man's past be only his own 
secret is not as it should be. 

The best way to hear a man is to see him. 

The fear of doing wrong may keep one from 
doing wrong. The fear of not doing right will 
keep one from doing right. 

The fragrance of the wood adds naught to its 
heat! Well, mayhap the fragrance was meant 
to save it from being used for mere heat . . . 



The ill brought on us by ourselves is oftenest 
done wittingly ; and this is what makes it sad. The 
ill brought on us by others is oftenest done un- 
wittingly, and this is what makes it still sadder. 
The ill in folk is disliked more intensely than 
the good in them is liked. 

The less men know, the harder they find it to 
believe the natural; the more they know, the 
easier they believe the' supernatural. 

The less we know, the less we have to teach; 
the more we know, the fewer we have to teach. 

The more we know the more things we can 
believe, the fewer folk we can trust. 

" The light attracts those miserable moths! V 
Well, friend, you cannot have the one without 
the other. And it is for thee to choose : darkness 
without or light with moths. 

The most can be known only of those of whom 
there is little to be known. Who have much in 
them to know are little known even to those who 
know them most. 

The greatest difficulties are found where least 
expected; the greatest successes do not come 
whence they are most sought. 



The finest glass can be broken by a pebble. 

There are heads that have an abundance of 
ideas on all manner of subjects, only they need 
canals to unite them. 

There are times when the least one can do is to 
do much; and the most one can do is to do little. 

On two occasions I put my hands to my ears: 
when the voices are too high, when the tempera- 
ture is too low. 

There is more hope for one who does the wrong 
thing rightly than for one who does the right 
thing wrongly. 

The value of the coin is determined by its metal 
and size; but the size is determined by the metal, 
not the metal by the size. 

The void of what we miss is greater than the 
space it would fill. 


Those we overestimate cause us speedy sorrow ; 
those we underestimate cause us only slow regret. 

To be faithful to one's standard is to be a man 
of integrity; to cling only to one's standard is to 
be a man of anarchy. 



To live according to one's own law is only an- 
other way of drifting without law. 

To be of true service you must know two 
things : his need, your capacity. 

To see what is bad in a thing you must possess 
it. To see what is good in a thing you need only 
to wish to possess it. 

To think clearly we must entertain many useless 
thoughts. To feel finely, we need only one noble 


To use ends as a means is the sin of the deceiver. 
To use means as ends is the sin of the deceived. 

Two men equally err: who corrects his watch 
by every clock he passes; who always goes by 
his own watch. 

Two souls lose our affection after gaining it: 
who progresses not with us, who has progressed 
beyond us. 

Unlike the trainload men are better pushed 
than pulled. 

We must laugh as children and weep as men. 



We reach out after that piece of polish to grasp 
it; and lo, it is full of pricks. 

What is bad in us is ours ; what is good in us is 
only a loan from above to become ours with 
interest by good use of the principal. 

What is had to be. It is only a question whether 
because of God's wisdom or your foolishness. 

Easy as it is to attract the attention of the 
world ; it is still easier to be forgotten by it. 

When others are deaf, must I shout? No, I 
will not even whisper. 

Who is all honey attracts only flies. 

Who looks only downward will ere long find 
himself walking on graves. Who looks upward 
finds himself walking under the stars. 

Who never expects to rise never will rise. Who 
never expects to fall will surely fall. 

Who regretfully lives in the past wastes himself 
away. Who fearfully worries over the future 
wears himself away. Who thoughtlessly lives 
only in the present fritters himself away. 



Who squints sees double, but not therefore 
twice as much. 

Who steps not upon a worm will not tread upon 
a serpent. 

Who walks on tiptoe is a little taller thereby, 
but he touches earth at fewer points. 

Why shall I admire in a copy what I do not 
admire in the original? 

You may not always be better than others. 
You can always be better than yourself. 

You who are so ready to inform God of the 
remedy best for your ailment, tell me — are you 
the physician? 

Who wishes to enjoy the mildness of the vale 
must be content to stay below. Who wishes to 
dwell on the mount must be ready for the chill 

With an unwounded hand even poison may be 
touched ; with a wounded hand hardly even what 
is not poison. 

The only thing worth looking into, to go into 
its very depths, is a human soul. Now most folk 
being starved for the sight of a soul contrive to 


put one of their own make into some soulless 
thing; with result indeed of temporary satisfac- 
tion, but only to find ere long that froth quenches 
no thirst, however much of liquidity it hath in 

Imaginative minds stumble over analogies, 
logical minds over syllogisms. 

What men do not wish they easily prove to be 

Every man has his demon within him, his 
angel only nigh him . The demon, to be conquered, 
must be fought. The angel, to be driven away, 
need only be neglected. 

Every man is a binary star visible as one to the 
naked eye, but the telescope soon reveals the dark 
body with which it has a common motion. 

Everyone has a weakness, but it does not be- 
come his weakness until it ceases to be hated. 

For doing good even the best are often helpless ; 
for doing ill even the meanest are ever able 

"I am the ashes of sandal wood" ! If only you 
were more fragrant than any other ashes! 



"I have power to disturb thee!" — Well, so has 
the mosquito.' — "I have power to destroy thee!" 
— So has the microbe. 


They have tied the tongue of the bell and it 
cannot ring. Then throw a stone at it and it 
will ring. 


Things are best judged the nearer we approach 
them; men, the further we recede from them, 


Those whom we think worse off than ourselves 
generally are so ; those whom we think better off 
are seldom so. 


I read biography and history rather than fiction 
and poetry because I prefer to be with men rather 
than things, and to deal with facts rather than 

It is easy enough to live for the many beyond 
us, the difficulty is in living with the few around 


It is easy to see what another should do because 
we look at him as standing in our place. But 
what is needed is for us to stand in his. 

It is on rough paper that the writing rubs out 



To be ever preparing for the storm is a misfor- 
tune only inferior to being in the storm. 

To do more than we need is to run the risk of 
doing less. 

It is the laden bough that hangs low. 

It is the sweetest wine that gives the sourest 

It is the little sticks that set the great log on fire. 

'Tis the loaded tree that is stoned. 

It is not enough to carry a compass ; we must 
also keep the magnet away. 

It matters little how widely swelled are the 
sails, it matters much how firm is the mast. 

It matters not a little whence you come, and it 
matters much where you are ; but it matters most 
whither you are bound. 

It may require years to keep what may be ac- 
quired in a moment. It takes but a moment to 
lose what it took years to acquire. 



Know your own worth — the world will soon ap- 
praise you at your true value. Live out your own 
worth — the world will soon take you at your own 


To know a man it is enough that he visit me; 
to understand him I must visit him. 

Two cold hands can rub each other warm. 

Two things are equally hard: to speak of a 
man's merits in his presence with discretion, to 
speak of a man's faults in his absence with love. 

Two things make a speaker powerful: his 
hearers' feelings which they bring with them, his 
own doings which he has behind him. 
2 10 1. 
Two things men ever find easily: the duty of 
others, the excuse for not doing their own. 
Not only the chill from without mars the clear- 
ness of the pane, but also the warmth from with- 

Of importance is not so much that something 
be done as that one be rightly doing something. 

There are folk who lament that they cannot 
reach unto the moon, and it is generally those who 
cannot keep even their feet on earth. 



There are things one likes to see broken — they 
can then be thrown away. 

The lover of goodness cannot but be a good man, 
the lover of beauty can still be a bad man. 

What is insinuated into our system lasts longer 
than what is hammered in. A screw holds faster 
than a nail. 

What is willingly done may sometimes have to 
be regretted. What is reluctantly done has nearly 
always to be regretted. 

Where one is reviled only one is to blame ; where 
one is offended, probably two are to blame. 
While being done the mischief seldom seems as 
great as it is. After it is done the mischief is 
seldom as little as it seems. 
Who begins with talking much of self-respect 
will end with acting much from self -admiration. 

Who does right without being able to help it 
has risen to the height of man. Who does wrong 
without being able to know it has sunk to the 
depth of the beast. 


Unqualified praise may be injudicious, unquali- 
fied blame surely is. 



Useful we all must be, only we need not be 
mere utensils. 


We all wear the same garments ; it is the roads 
we travel that determine their stains. 

We are vessels without responsibility for shapes 
and sizes. Our part is only to keep them full and 

2 1 1 7 . 
Welcome the day, prize the hours, respect the 
minutes, mind the seconds — and the eternal years 
may yet be thine. 

Were heaven to rain only gold pieces we should 
soon note only the rattle on the roof. 

What counts against a man is not so much what 
he is not as what he does not try to be. 

Let earth and moon war over the tides as best 
they may. The wise mariner runs out with the 
moon and runs in with the earth. 

Let it be proclaimed from the housetops of the 
rich, the educated, the refined, that it is the 
higher branches that are meant to take the scorch- 
ing, and to shade the lower . . . 

Men attain their ends less through their own 
wisdom than through the blunders of others. 



Men hear only what they understand; they 
see only what interests them ; they feel only what 
touches them. 


Men learn to like even the distasteful bitters. 
Shall we then not learn to like the disagreeable 
duties, which are, after all, so many bitter — 
tonics ? 


Most people's noses are too short; their 
tongues too long. 


Our eyes are set in front rather than in the back 
of our heads for several reasons ; but the obvious 
one is that we be looking forward rather than 


Every age seems to its saints the most corrupt, 
and this justly. For every age is bad enough, and 
theirs is the worst they know. 


Every generation has its own golden calves, 
and they are invariably made of the trinkets of 
the common people. 


Their religion men are apt to use as they use 
their life preservers: only during the wreck. 


One of the most needful arts is to know when to 
accomplish most by doing — nothing. 



One side can be heard with both ears ; both 
sides must be looked at with a single eye. 

Only he is fit to go to the top who can if need be 
descend to the bottom. 

The greatness of a soul is marked by the amount 
it is first eager to know, and then content not to 


The greater the man the more he sees of God 
without himself, the less within himself. 

The greater the man the more he is like the 
railway engine: which varies the pitch of its 
whistle with the distance from which it is heard. 

The only man of genius is the man of heart; 
all else is cleverness, ability and talent. But this 
is sail and tackle, not ship. Happy the case if 
they prove not to be mere barnacle . . . 

It is the mark of a great mind that he forgets 
what the common mind remembers, and remem- 
bers what the common mind forgets. 

To discern things that differ shows an acute 
mind. To discern their good and evil marks the 
upright mind. 



Not a man but he is untrustworthy because 
the verdict hath gone forth: There is none good, 
no, not one. But it is the glory of the human 
heart that though we know this to be true of 
man we yet approach folk as if they were trust- 
worthy, and are highly surprised and grieved and 
even angered when, true to their record, they 
disappoint or even deceive us. 

To be upset by praise is surely the mark of 
a small soul ; but to be upset by censure is not so 
surely the mark that one is not a great soul. 

No one is great who places the wrong value 
upon space and time. 

It is the mark of a small soul to be most anxious 
to give what is not in him to give. 

The wish to possess not what we need but what 
others like stamps the small soul. 

Not all hunger is a sign of want of food. Not 
all ambition is a sign of power to carry it out. 

Not all closed eyes are signs of sleep. Not all 
open eyes are signs of sight. 

Folk love in others mostly the reflection of 
themselves. " I like him " means I am like him. 



A gentleman is one who always remembers 
others and never forgets himself. 

The generous man is he who feels himself most 
in debt. 


Three things make the complete man: the 
strength of a man, the tenderness of a woman, the 
simplicity of a child. 

What one is apart from his environment — that 
is he. Unfortunately it is then that most folk 
prove to be just zeroes. 

The one little failing he cannot overcome, the 
one great passion that overcomes him — this is 
after all the man . . . 

" This is his one failing, and so small at that!" 
Beg pardon. No one failing but causes failure in 
other things ; and it is this that makes the failure 
so great. 

" It is surely a gigantic passion that could 
master such gigantic spirit! " Not at all. The 
bull is controlled not by huge fetters around his 
limbs but by the small ring in his nose. 

One drop shows the salt of the ocean, one deed 
shows the taste of the man. 



One drop shows the quality of the ocean, 
but not yet its extent. One deed shows the 
character of the man, but not yet his size. 

So valuable a thing is human goodness that the 
true measure of life must after all be our moods : 
the golden moments rather than the brass days, 
the royal hours rather than the plebeian years. 

" He is beside himself! " No, not beside his 
deepest self ... 

Only he is himself who has no longer any self to 


It is the irony of life that though the heart is 
above the stomach, it is the stomach that sup- 
ports it. 


A man's temperament can only hinder his suc- 
cess, his talent may even prevent it. Hence, the 
more frequent failure of the more gifted than the 
less gifted. 


Both the bad man and the good man have to 
be undeceived about folk by bitter experience. 
The bad man, because he thinks all as bad as he. 
The good man, because he thinks all as good as he. 

Character like the ocean should be measured 
not by the height it attains during the storm, but 
by the level it retains during the calm. 



Common sense is only a sense of proportion. 

Familiarity breeds contempt only for the noble ; 
familiarity with the mean breeds contentment 

Few can tell what they know without also 
showing what they do not know. 

Foolish as is foolish censure, foolish praise is 
still more so. 

For declaring a thing beautiful the voice of 
one is enough; for declaring a thing ugly the 
voice of at least two is needful. 

Good hearing consists not so much in hearing 
all sounds as in hearing the necessary sounds. 

It is easy to know a man from the manner in 
which he praises; not so easy to know him from 
the manner in which he censures. 

I used to be anxious to accomplish much good 
in the world. I am now content if I do but little 

Do ill to men — they will surely hate you. Do 
good to men — they will not so surely love you. 



I used to have much faith in the indiscriminate 
spread of knowledge until I learned that the 
utility of candles ends at the powder magazine. 

Jealousy is love standing on its head. 


Jealousy consists in much love for the other, 
and still more for self. 

Many are able to fill a high place; few are 
worthy thereof. 


Nature teaches the great soul to shrink from 
being seen ; experience teaches the great soul to 
shrink from seeing. 


Next to the strength for action, I pray for the 
strength to endure inaction. 


None are so unreasonable as those who always 
exact reasonableness. 


Not only the chill from without mars the 
clearness of the pane, but also the warmth from 


Of importance is not so much that something 
be done as that one be doing something. 


One's integrity may stand in the way of success 
in small matters. One's lack of integrity will 
stand in the way of success in great matters. 

Our own eyes cost us little; 'tis others' eyes 
that cost us much. 

Tact is momentary love even for the common; 
taste is abiding love only for the beautiful. 

Talents are a man's guard of honor when he is 
dead; his prison sentinels while he is alive. 


The best remedy against annoyance from 
small things is to battle with great. 

The cry for young ministers is rebellion not so 
much against gray heads as against gray hearts. 


The envious fire with an inverted gun : the 
kick goes from them, the shot goes into them. . 


The progress of the soul is measured as much 
by what it parts with as by what it acquires. 


There are two ways of rising above the water: 
by swimming and by — corruption. 



The shallow see aught ridiculous in almost 
everything; the profound in hardly anything. 

To be a good root, feeling must be passionate; 
to be its good fruit, its expression must be dis- 


The surest way to reveal your weakness is to 
hide your motives. 


The swollen arm is not the stronger for its size. 

The too serious are easily forgiven, not so 
easily the too witty. 


To change iron into gold you need only work 
it into hair-springs. 


To destroy one's estate it needs a conflagra- 
tion; to rob him of his peace a mosquito is enough. 

To do evil that good may come is to climb to 
heaven by way of hell. 

To keep the medium in all things is the true 
mark of what is not mediocre. 

To shine the gem must be polished. 



To know the good is not yet the blessing, to 
know the bad is already an injury. 

To make good use of great abilities is easy; 
the difficulty is in making good use of the small 


To remain as good as we are, we must ever 
strive to become better than we are. 

To see things as they are is running the risk of 
becoming insane. To insist on having all things 
as they should be^is to be already insane. 

Uniform gentleness of manner is like pure rain 
water, but often as insipid. 

Unspeakable bitterness : to arrive at a piont 
where the stranger is shunned because he is not 
known; the acquaintance because he is known. 

While being done the mischief seldom seems as 
great as it is; after it is done, the mischief is sel- 
dom as. small as it seems. 

Who is condemned by all is only worse off than 
he who is praised by all. 



Who keeps his purse in his pocket does well; 
better he who puts it into his head ; best he who 
deposits it overhead. 

Who strikes out a new path must be content to 
be lost. 

The small man in time also discovers the 
greatness of man. It is the discovery that he 
himself is small that marks the great man. 

In knowledge the important thing is not so 
much how you know as what you know. In life 
the important thing is not so much what you live 
as how you live it. 


Patience has a bitter bark, but a sweet fruit. 

Selfishness is only another name for short- 


Self love makes men keen about others, but 
keeps them blind about themselves. 

Sobriety to be truly divine must be cheerful; 
mirth to be truly human must be sober. 

The surest way to win a victory is to push on; 
the surest way to enjoy it is to stop short. 



To see a thing best you must no longer see it. 

To understand me he need not be my equal; 
but to misunderstand me he must be my inferior. 


There is an eloquence in the originals that can 
be easily reproduced in portraits, but there is an 
eloquence in portraits that is seldom observed in 
their originals. 


There is a greatness which is only like the oasis ; 
gaining its distinction from the desert which sur- 
rounds it. 


The penalty of walking among apes is an oc- 
casional cocoanut shot at your head. 

The possession of what we need is comparatively 
inexpensive; it is the possession of what others 
like that is so expensive. 


The fall itself may be even a blessing, at most 
it is only a misfortune. The catastrophe is in the 
inability to rise. 


To be happy one needs to know but little; to 
be good he must know much; to be useful he 
must know neither too much nor too little. 



The greatest difficulties are apt to be found 
where least expected, the greatest successes come 
only after being much expected. 

Two minds are quickly made up: the very 
great, the very small. 


Law is always a necessity; freedom, seldom 
more than a luxury. 

Whoever wishes to become richer is not yet 
rich. Whoever wishes to become better is al- 
ready good. 

Two things will ever be contradicted: what is 
reasonable and what is unreasonable. 

True progress consists more in diminishing our 
needs than in increasing our wants. 

To be interested only in little things is the 
mark of a small soul. To be interested even in 
little things is the mark of a great soul. 



Only that is speech which is better than silence. 

To learn to speak several languages is easy; 
the difficulty is to learn to be silent in one. 

"Bah, bah!" To sneer you have to open your 
mouth wide. "Hm, hm!" To sympathize you 
need not even open your lips. 

The more deeply one feels the more he speaks ; 
the more profoundly one knows, the more silent 
he is. 

The unspoken word may yet become your 
servant; the spoken word is already your master. 

The silent are nearly always wrong in the short 
run; they are seldom wrong in the long run. 

To say anything merely for the sake of saying 
something is a sure way of saying nothing. 

Two words where one will do weakens the 
effect of even that one. 



Who says little has said enough ; who says much 
has said but little; who says all has hardly said 
anything yet. 


Where I am understood nothing more need be 
said; where I am not understood nothing more 
can be said. 


Of dialects we may need several ; of tongues we 
need only one. 


We learn to speak more from the use of our 1 
ears than from the use of the tongue. 


Who does not learn to speak from the use of his| 
ears will have to unlearn it from the use of his 


Men have two ears — they hear mostly with one;| 
they have one tongue — they speak mostly with 


Long speeches make short patience. 


"Talk is cheap!" Beg pardon, idle talk is cheap, 
and even this only in the short run. All talk is 
dear in the long run. 


A little seeing saves much looking; a little 
speaking saves much talking. 



Go to the oyster, thou prattler, and learn to be 
useful only with thy mouth pried open. 

A much forgotten truth: that light travels a 
millionfold faster than sound. 

The empty cask rattles when rolled. Empty 
folk do not wait with the rattling till they are 

Smooth speech does not betoken a smooth heart, 
not even a smooth head. 

You do not sweeten your mouth by saying 
honey. You do not grow virtuous by talking 

To build up by your words what your deeds are 
breaking down is to pump by the cupful into a 
leak by the barrel. 

Folk seldom see with their own eyes, they 
always speak from their own heart. 

Two things are equally hard: to speak of one's 
merits in his presence with discretion ; to speak of 
one's faults in his absence with love. 

In action we often need exuberance; in speech 
we can never dispense with restraint. 



Many a fine sermon doth nature preach 
on the ever-neglected text of silence. Not the 
roaring thunder smites, but the silent lightning; 
and gravity which bindeth worlds together, and 
light which flasheth from star unto star, are ever 
silent. Prettily too doth the silent snow cover 
the ground, and make it like a table spread for a 
feast; unlike the noisy rain which after making 
goodly puddles quickly runneth off. 

There is a hesitation of speech more eloquent 
than many a passionate outburst. 

To be misunderstood is easier in your own 
tongue than in a foreign one. 

Speech may not always be wise, but silence is 
never foolish. 


Know all you say, say not all you know. 

To be communicative is nature; art is to be 
judiciously communicative. 

To contradict conceit in order to instruct it is 
to pour oil on the fire in order to put it out. 

An argument generally begins with the wish of 
only proving that you are right. It ends with 
the wish to prove that the other is wrong. 



Discussion is about differences, conversation is 
about different things, talk is about indifferent 


The narrower the minds, the louder their dis- 
cussions; like the railway trains: the narrower 
the view therefrom, the louder its rattle. 

To enter into a dispute is to risk a double eagle 
for the sake of gaining a mill. 

To dispute against a man is to show that you 
do not yet understand him. 

Never try to change a man by argument from 
what he was led into by aught else than argu- 

Dispute first hardens the heart, then darkens 
the mind and deafens the ear; and last, shuts 
the mouth? No, it only opens it the wider. 


It is always vital to hold right opinions ; not so 
vital always to uphold them. 


It is the reasons not given that are usually 


Two men do not yet understand a matter : who 
laughs at it, who disputes about it. 



A bad government, like all else that is bad, is 
sure to fall sometime. It is only a question 
whether by the people or with the people. 

A constitution may be better than the people 
for whom it is established, it is never any stronger. 


Bad laws surely injure. Good laws benefit 
not so surely. 


Every democracy has what constitutes its 
worm membership: takes interest in public 
matters only when the inward corruption is to 
come to the surface. Then every one is there to 
vote, to vote for the bad thing. These are the 
worms, crawling to the surface when it rains: 
appearing in mass when putrefaction has set in. 

In a democracy it is like people, like rulers. 
In an autocracy is it, Like rulers, like people? 
No, it is still, Like people, like rulers. 

Tyranny can indeed make slavery, but only 
slaves make tyrants. 



During the French Revolution there was only 
one man, Napoleon; only one nation of men, 
England. And the nation as ever was too much 
for the man. 


National corruption begins with the many 
not living up to their duties. It ends with the 
few living beyond their privileges. 

Holding the reins is not yet driving. In a 
monarchy the well meaning rulers are apt to push 
the state, the incompetent are apt to drag it. 

The abuses of freedom can always be corrected 
in freedom. The abuses of oppression cannot be 
corrected in slavery. 


The virtues of a man's private life may easily 
become the vices of his public life. 

It is by reason alone that the errors of reasoning 
are detected. It is by freedom alone that the 
ills of freedom are corrected. 

It is with nations as with shoes : worth mending 
only as long as the uppers are good. 

The minority is always the real majority: the 
spirtual minority always; the intellectual, often, 
the physical hardly ever: except among the de- 




To be convicted the public mind needs at least 
a hundred arguments ; to be convinced it may be 
content with only one event. 

There are two kinds of mobs : the leaden and the 
golden; the one may burn you, the other is pretty 
sure to freeze you. 


In democracy the tail ever seeks to swing the 
head, and if not successful, then to sting it. 

The demagogue counts the votes, the statesman 
weighs them, the politician just — gets them. 

The politician appeals to living men already 
dead; the statesman to living men as yet unborn. 

Individuals pay for their extravagance in their 
■ own generation; nations pay for it also in the next. 

The population of the United States consists so 
far in these days of whites and blacks. But the 
only black man so far has been the white man. 

The best way to uncolor the negro's skin is to 
uncolor the white man's heart. 

The state may be best ruled by threats and 
punishments; the individual, by encouragements 
and rewards. 



The wisdom of the founders of the American 
Republic is seen in their laying a ^foundation as if 
for a tower, though building for their imme- 
diate need only a hut. The folly of their descen- 
dants is in keeping on laying foundations as if for 
a hut when actually building a tower. 




Men are apt to be liked more for the vices 
they have not than for the virtues they have. 


We make as many enemies by our virtues as 
by our vices. And if we have no enemies we had 
better look to our virtues. 


The same vices always unite men, the same 
virtues, not always. 


There are no petty virtues, and certainly no 
petty vices. 


Virtues spring from real needs. Vices chiefly 
from imaginary ones. 


Repetition makes vice a habit, virtue only a 
pleasure, and even this becomes ere long only a 

2 305- 

Vice always makes men hateful, virtue does 
not always make them lovable. 

Vice deliberately hid is still vice. Virtue de- 
liberately displayed is no longer virtue. 



Vice without measure is only intensified, 
virtue without measure is weakened. 

All have virtue; but rogues have it in their 
heads. Honest folk have it in their hearts. 

To seek virtue for the sake of happiness is to 
dig for iron with a spade of gold. 

2 3io. 
Who ever wishes to become richer is not yet rich. 
Who ever wishes to become better is already good. 

A neglected but highly profitable study: the 
virtues of those we dislike. 

The flower plucked for enjoyment begins to 
wither; virtue practiced for reward begins to 

2 3i3- 
Many succeed because of the virtues they have, 
and as many because of the virtues they have not. 

We cannot live on last year's food. We can 
remain virtuous on last year's virtue. 

Who talks much of sin may still find time to 
commit it. Who talks much of virtue finds little 
time to practice it. 



Virtues repay only the principal. Vices repay 
it with compound interest. 

A common blunder: mistaking its platform for 
virtue itself. 


Virtue like perfume is pleasant only as long as it 
is not prominent. When obtrusively strong it 


Virtues like angles must have their comple- 
ments, else they come nigh being vices. The 
just must also be generous, else he is hard. The 
generous must also be just, else he is soft . . . 

In their pursuit of virtue, men may learn 
even from the miser: who loves his gold not for 
what it brings, but for itself. 
Gold on a farm unbeknown to its owner is of 
no value to him. Virtue in a man unbeknown to 
him is of much value to him. 
All pay tribute to virtue : honest men with their 
hearts; rogues, only with their heads; the politic 
man — who without being honest dares not be a 
rogue — pays his tribute only with his hands. 

23 2 3- 
The path of most men to virtue is like that of 
the dog when out with his master : forward and 
backward over the same track; hence they tire 
oft before the end of the journey. 



To strive for virtue is not yet being virtuous, 
but it is next to it. 


The defects of our merits, the vices of our 
virtues, spring largely from some overcharge in the 
virtue or merit. Men therefore quarrel with the 
overcharge. But it is only a case of the oil in the 
lamp: of which there ever must be just a little 
more than the flame at the moment requires. 

Who leaves his vices will not be long pursued 
by them. Who is left by his vices will still be 
long pursued by them. 

The vices of individuals after keeping them to- 
gether at last separate them. The vices of society 
always keep it together. 

The vices of men surely keep them from God, 
they not so surely keep men from each other. 



" Help yourself!" Do with mine as if yours. 
" Help yourself! " I can do naught for you, 
carry your own burden. The one the height of 
kindness, the other the acme of unkindness. 
Such are words ... 

Every word has two senses: one given thereto 
by the dictionary; the other put thereon by our 
mood that is upon us, the atmosphere about us. 

2 33i- 
The thunder that crashes into our very ears, 
the lightning that flashes into our very eyes, the 
storm that lashes o'er our very heads, sending 
us swiftly to shelter and cover — how fascinating 
a spectacle when seen from the shelter raging 
over others. 

In the Hebrew and the Greek, the tongues in 
which is writ the Book of God, word and thing 
are designated by the same word. This is 
Heaven's definition that words are meant to be 
things. The relation of words to things is thus 
that of the silver and gold certificates: currency 
accepted as silver or gold because the specie they 
represent is actually in the vaults ; quite different 
from the ordinary bank-notes which are mere 
promises to pay, without specie behind them. 



Essential and non-essential — I am beginning to 
revise my dictionary here. Is only the front 
essential, and the back non-essential? Only the 
upper and not the under? He was a wise as well 
as great artist who to the question, why do you 
finish the back as elaborately as the front, 
answered: " Because God sees the back also." . . . 
With God nothing is inessential. 

My impressionist painting friend, my Rodin- 
esque sculptor friend, do you now see why, though 
you may have the making of a great artist in 
you, you are after all a mere bungler of a lazy, 
if not of a dishonest artist? 

What is truly done is beautifully done; and 
if it is not beautifully done, it is because it is not 
yet truly done. 

The attempt to define unfamiliar things is 
proof that they are not yet understood. The 
attempt to define familiar things is proof that 
they are no longer understood. 

2 337- 
Seeing folk are not given to the discussion of 
what is Light; nor righteous folk to discussing 
of what is Right. Truthful folk are not given to 
discussing what is Truth, nor loving folk to dis- 
cussing what is Love? But those in darkness are 
apt to query: Light — what is it? Those who 
tamper with truth are apt to ask, Truth, yes, 
what is Truth? And incipient heartlessness asks 


readily enough, Is it Love to be kind alway? 
And embryonic rascality shelters itself behind the 
question, What is right anyhow? . . . 

It is the sick that talk most of health ; the poor 
that talk most of wealth. 

2 339- 
Anatomical dissection is ever proof that Life 
has already departed. When Truth is being 
dissected, and folk ask, what is Truth? they only 
testify to their loss of truth. When happiness is 
being dissected, and folk are asking, what is 
happiness? they may know comfort, they may, 
know distraction, they may even know peace, 
but happiness they know no longer. When folk 
begin to ask whether it is never wrong to tell 
untruths, by putting the question at all they 
witness that the lie is already knocking at a half 
willing heart with the assurance that it will 
in no wise be indignantly driven away, yea, will 
mayhap yet be installed in the vacancy left by 
Truth fled. And when folk betake themselves to 
the discussion of what Religion is, Christianity, 
Divinity, it is time not for pausing at the dis- 
cussion, but for double-barring the gates and 
locking the doors against the sneaks and the 
thief s and the burglars that are sure to flock ere 
long to such forum . . . 

Pure light has no color — pure truth has no 
prejudice. Pure water has no taste — pure love 
has no passion. Pure air has no odor — pure 
worship has no sensuality. 



To learn from all — that is wisdom. To over- 
come self — that is strength. To be content with 
what you have — that is riches ; to believe what 
you cannot see — that is faith. 

To be forbearing to all — that is love. To be 
relentless toward self — that is justice. To be 
content with what one has — that is riches. To 
be discontent with what one is — that is piety. 

There is one remedy for all ills — time; one 
balm for all pain — patience; one peace ending 
all strife — death ; one light for all darkness — hope ; 
one fire melting all hearts — love . . . 

To recognize the vanity of this life is the first 
step toward the true life. To perceive our ignor- 
ance is the first step toward true knowledge; to 
acknowledge our folly is the first step toward 
true wisdom; to behold our misery is the first 
step toward true happiness. 


The pessimist looks backward; the optimist 
looks forward ; the theorist, inward; the practical 
man, outward; the good man, the wise man 
looks — upward . 


The merely shrewd man keeps his thoughts 
in his head, the fool has them on his tongue; 
the honest man carries them in his face, the kind 
man puts them also into his hands. 


The first requisite of the mind is elasticity and 
keenness ; of the heart steadiness and tenderness ; 
of the eye, clearness and depth; of the hand, 
thoroughness and dispatch. 


Death is not the greatest ill ; life not the greatest 
good; happiness not the noblest end. 

The greatest ill is to die without having lived; 
the greatest good, to live only after having died. 

The noblest end is to fulfil one's part, the most 
precious boon is to know one's part. 

The greatest earthly boon is to be rightly 
employed ; it becomes the greatest earthly blessing 
when one is also cheerful at it. 

The greatest earthly blessing is congenial useful 
work in health; and if this is not to be had, then 
thankful endurance of illth. 

2 353- 

A necessity is what we cannot afford to miss, 
a luxury is what we can afford to lose. We can 
afford to lose our lives, we cannot afford to miss 
our duties. 


Duty is conforming thyself to Universe, happi- 
ness is conformity of Universe to thyself. By all 
means, therefore, set thine heart upon happiness 
if assured indeed of Universe conforming to 


Only he is free who is a slave to duty. 

Who does his duty only has not yet done it. 

Only he is good enough who is more than just 
good enough. 

Folk call enough as much as they need, but 
they are mistaken : one never has enough until 
he has just a little more than enough. 

The higher the bell is hung the clearer its tone 
to those below; the loftier the man, the obscurer 
his speech to those beneath. 

The wider the man the narrower his place. 

The greatest men are like the bells: which 
never give their sweetest tones to those nearest 
to them. 

In every one there is strife betwixt flesh and 
spirit. But in the common it is flesh that lusteth 
against the spirit; in the uncommon it is the 
spirit that lusteth against the flesh. 

When the natural in man has risen to the 
spiritual, and the spiritual has to him become 
natural — then indeed has he reached his goal. 



Folk pride themselves upon being a unit, but 
the one thing that characterises man is that no 
unity is in him. Every one has at least, two 
men in him. Happy he who finds in himself only 


Folk think themselves fiddlers designed to 
improve by playing. They are only fiddles de- 
signed to improve by being played upon. 

Folk think they grow old by living; but they 
grow old rather b}^ not living. 

Folk think they can gain aught at another's 
expense, but true gain is only at our own. 

I dislike the commercial streak in " It is better 
to be right than safe." It is good to be right and 
it is good to be safe. But it is idle to build a canal 
between goodness and safety. 

There is only one aristocracy, and it is as old 
as Paradise, as wide as the earth, and as enduring 
as the race : the aristocracy of talent and goodness. 

The definition of man as a biped without wings 
was instantly rebuked by producing a plucked 
fowl. But the definition is untrue in spirit as well 
as in letter. All have wings, only men first fail 
to use them, and then forget how to use them. 



The righteous are called stars in Scripture, 
never comets. They are meant to shine and be 
steady, not be dragging a giant tail behind a 
pigmy head. 


The small soul lives itself in, the great soul 
lives itself out. 


The small soul also in time discovers the great- 
ness of man. It is the discovery that he himself 
is little that marks the great man. 

To be interested only in little things is the mark 
of a small soul. To be interested even in little 
things is the mark of a. great soul. 

To have many desires is the mark of the small 
mind. To have but one longing is the mark of 
a great soul. 

The great man is at home only among his 
equals. What makes the small man is that he is 
at home also among his inferiors. 

The difference between the great soul and the 
small is that while both defy conventional law, 
the one does it according to the higher law; the 
other according to his own law. 

Not to wish to be improved even by oneself 
is the mark of the fool. Not to wish to be im- 


proved by others is the mark of a small mind. 
To cease at last wishing to improve others is the 
mark of a great mind. 

The test of greatness is how it deals with 
littleness. The proof of littleness is that it deals 
only in one way with greatness. 

To deal with small men without growing 
thereby smaller yourself; to deal with large folk 
without their growing thereby smaller to you; 
to deal with both large and small without losing 
the true estimate of either — this is greatness. 

Two marks of a royal soul: to be never in a 
hurry, to be ever on time. 

The foundation of all greatness is a large faith : 
its working power — a still larger hope ; its noblest 
fruit — an inmeasurable love. 

Avarice is thrift gone to waste. 

The bigot is one who can see no beauty in the 
sunset because sometime in the day the sun has 
been uncomfortably warm. 

Foolhardiness is unsuccessful bravery. 

Celebrity is being known mostly to folk one 
little cares to know. 



" I cannot " on the tongue means mostly " I 
will not " in the heart. 

Chance is the name given to our ignorance of 


Character is will put into shape. 

Climbing is upward creeping. 

Condemnation is a kind of ignorance; harsh- 
ness is a kind of cowardice. 


The coward is he who fears not what is danger- 
ous, but what is not dangerous. 

Delusion is anemia of spirit; fanaticism is its 
plethora. The one accordingly perishes from 
starvation; the other dies from apoplexy. 

Despondency is enthusiasm upside down. 

Dissipation is pleasure to the straining point. 

Doubt is the tax paid for useless knowledge. 



Egotism is occupation with self; selfishness is 
occupation for self. Egotism is content to be 
occupied alone with self. Selfishness is not con- 
tent till it sees others also occupied for oneself. 

Fanaticism is truth alcoholised. 

Flattery is homage to a spirit not yours. 

Forgiveness is the crown of justice. 

Not he is free who can do what he wishes, but 
who wishes only what he can do. 

Only he is free who is a slave to duty. 

Gossip is putting two and two together and 
making it five. Slander is putting two and two 
together and still leaving it two. 

Harmony is only proper relation : perceived by 
sense it is beauty; by intellect, it is truth; by 
feeling, it is love. 


History is not fable agreed upon, but truth 
disagreed upon. 


The idealist is one whose wings are developed 
at the expense of his feet. 



Incense is smoke with a reputation. 

Insanity is incompetent eccentricity. Genius is 
eccentric competency. 

Law is systematized common sense, with the 
system but too often prevailing over the common 


Laziness is stupidity of will. Anger is stupidity 
of heart. 


Obstinacy is the mask under which weakness 
hides its lack of strength. 

What is a pearl but the momentary beauty of 
a drop of water in sunshine made permanent? 


The rainbow is only rain permeated with sun- 

Pity is already half piety, but only half. 

Only he possesses a thing truly who under- 
stands it. 


Repentance is doubling one's track upon 
oneself, but not for the sake of deceiving. 



Fame is reputation in finery when one is still 
alive, or in a tomb when one is already dead. 
Notoriety is reputation in rags. 

The optimist is one who refuses to look at the 
wind until he sees it a gale. 


The pessimist is one who has had more exper- 
ience than is good for him, the optimist is one 
who has not yet had experience enough. 


To see the good nowhere — that is pessimism, 
and this is easy. To see the good everywhere — 
that is optimism, and this, too, is not difficult. 
But to behold the ill everywhere, yet ever to find 
the good somewhere — this is sobriety, and this 
is in no wise easy. 


The pessimist is one who first chews the pills 
he was only to swallow, and then settles down in 
the tunnel through which he was only to pass. 

The originality of the past is the commonplace 
of the future. Someone's whilom brilliant 
thought is only today's proverb. 

Passion possesses the soul, devotion fills it. 

True resignation is strength of soul yielding 
with a smile. 



Reverence is the soul on its wings. 

To be even more than half right is still to be 
altogether wrong. 


To be wrong in one thing means to be wrong 
in many more. 


Rudeness is cruelty with the label off. 

Rumor — a stuffed bird with live wings. 

Selfishness is only another name for short 

Sentimentality is sentiment without depth; 
it becomes cant when it is also without truth. 

Sighs are the zephyrs that waft us heavenward. 

Stupidity is only laziness of mind ; folly is also 
disease of heart. 

Suspiciousness is the formation of the cataract ; 
hatred is its completion. 

A truism is dessicated truth, a commonplace is 
withered originality. 

Worry is wasted forethought; regret is wasted 



Most men are mere tendencies all their lives. 
It is the mark of a man of genius that he is an 
accomplished fact from the moment he is born. 

The test of meekness is more in the manner in 
which blame is received than praise. 

The faults of the great are best seen while they 
live; their merits when they are dead. Fire is 
beholden by night from its flame, by day from 
its smoke. 

The highest enthusiasm is not so much like the 
glowing furnace; rather like the volcano, glowing 
within may be ice-clad without. 

All vulgarity is essentially an overestimate of 
self, an underestimate of others: which two are 
the front and rear, the upper and the under of the 
same vice. Hence, meekness is the first virtue of 
man, as conceit, the vulgar form of pride, is his 
first vice. And as in carpentering, who has done 
much therein is authority against him who has 
done naught therein; as in love who hath loved 
much is authority against him who has loved not 
at all or little — so in religion, which is the science 
and art of walking with God, who hath walked 
with God is authority against him who hath not 
so walked. For the non-carpenter to dispute 
about his trade with the carpenter is an imperti- 
nence manifest to all. But even the otherwise 
courteous sceptic, how insensitive is he here to his 


own boorishness! Your Socinian, who knows 
naught of my Christ — how ready he to lecture 
me out of my Lord and God, and to scorn me as 
superstitious because I cleave to Him who hath 
been tested so oft and found true! 

The vulgar man has no heroes, no reverence, 
not even admiration — this is his vulgarity. The 
common man, capable of reverence, has some ad- 
miration, only he looks upon large folk with a 
minifying glass, upon small folk with a magnifying 
glass— this is his commonness. 

To look for faults sooner than merits, to look at 
faults longer than at merits — this is vulgarity. 

There is no such thing as an accurate, exhaustive 
definition of anything. The nearest one can come 
to here is to furnish aught definite about the 
thing to be defined. 

The truly great are for a long time unknown, 
for much of the time misknown, and only seldom 

Our actions influence our reasons more than 
our reason influences our actions. 

Nothing keeps so much from delusion as activ- 
ity, and nothing keeps so much in delusion. 



Much of advice asked is only approbation 


Much advice is given from indulgence to others ; 
more from indulgence to ourselves. 

It needs much wisdom to take advice, and more 
to give it; but most to abstain from giving it. 

I like about the air specially these two things: 
though ever-present it is never in the way and 
seldom obtrudes; though reaching unto the heav- 
ens it lets itself be breathed even by the worm . . . 

To be ever alone in the chamber is bitter 
enough; but not so bitter as to be ever alone in 
the crowd. 

A not ignoble ambition: to be if even only a 
mote in the sunbeam. 


Viewed from the mountain top, the oak is as 
slight as the shrub: only rise high enough, and 
the highest ambition appears as small as the 
petty desire. 


The ambition to rule is not ignoble, neither is 
the ambition to please. But the ambition to 
rule by pleasing is ignoble. Noble is only the 
ambition to please by ruling. 



The anarchist is often such from sheer dislike 
of lawlessness, and the real anarchist is as often 
the excessive stickler for the law as the deliberate 
defier thereof. 


Once in a life time the angels knock at every 
one's door, but always first in beggar's guise. 

Th e question whether one should ever be 
angry is an academic one. The vital question is 
whether there is anything at all worth being 
angry about. 

The best remedy against annoyance from small 
things is to battle with great. 

No answer is also an answer. 

Silence is seldom a good answer, but often the 
best answer. 


The best answer to an inconvenient question is 
asking another. 

Gain first thine own approval, that of others 
will follow. 


We may seldom be able to do one great deed 
in a day, and not oft may it be given us to 
think one great thought in a day, but at least 
one high aspiration we may have every day. 



Ready habitual assent in Conversation is a mark 
of a weak head or corrupt heart. Ready habitual 
contradiction is a mark of both. 

To attract attention it needs only the bark of 
a dog; to repay it it must be the song of the 

For the dog to bark is proper — that is his 
nature. It becomes conceit when he thinks his 
bark is music. 

To behold the beautiful without becoming the 
more beautiful for it yourself is to become less so. 

Simple and appropriate — the essence of the 
highest beauty. 

I used to lament the deceitfulness of beggars 
until I had reason to fear that but for them I 
would be guilty of giving the honest beggar too 


To make the best of a bad day is to make it 
a good day. 


Even the best of folk have the coarse occasion- 
ally circulating within them ; but what marks them 
as the best is that like the sieve they withhold 
the coarse and let through only the fine. 



Extravagant praise is a sign of power, but 
misdirected. Extravagant blame is seldom a 
sign of aught but impotence. 

It is easy to know a man from the manner in 
which he praises, not so easy to know him from 
the manner in which he censures. 

Not he is blind who cannot yet see, but who 
can no longer hear. 

Their own blindness men ascribe to Fortune. 

There is a boldness natural to ignorance, there 
is a timidity natural to knowledge; there is a 
blindness peculiar to strength, there is a sight 
peculiar to weakness. 

Nothing discolors blue blood so readily as the 
application of biblical scarlet. 

Others' blunders men measure by their results; 
their own, by their intentions. 

The blush in the face betokens the purity of 
the heart, and alas! also its shame. 



Men are ruined by borrowing, and as rmicii 
borrowing ideas as money. 



Both the borrower and the lender are apt to 
lose in the transaction. But the lender loses 
only his money along with his friend; the borrower 
loses also his self-respect. 

The highest bravery is to be a martyr; the 
next highest is to confess one's incapacity for 
becoming a martyr. 


It is the unseen burdens that are carried, 
I was about to say the lightest; but no, they are 
really carried the heaviest. 


The only effectual Thou shalt not is Thou canst 
not. The only effectual Thou canst is Thou 


When a weak-minded person does not wish to 
do aught he says ,'T can not do it." The strong- 
minded says: "I must not do it." The one lays 
the impossibility to the weakness of the flesh 
which is real; the other to strength of spirit — 
which is not so real. 

The cards are badly shuffled only when we 
have a bad hand. 

It is the chains that do not rattle that hold 
the fastest. 



Chance has three suitors: one waits for it, 
and is apt to miss it; another takes it, and is 
apt to lose it; a third makes it, and generally 
wins it. 


Riches may be due to fortune; beauty, to 
parents, but character you owe only to yourself. 

To do great things we must indeed learn to do 
small things ; but the surest way to unfit yourself 
for what is great is to be ever engaged in what is 

A straight line cannot be determined from only 
one point. Character may be determined from 
only one deed. 

Seldom does one show his true character so 
much as when bestowing praise or blame. 

We constantly pray to have our circumstances 
changed. But what are we to do with new circum- 
stances that are strange, when we know not how 
to get on with the old that are familiar? 

The rundown clock deceives as much by its 
having been right before as by being wrong now. 


Twice in twenty-four hours even the stopped 

clock points aright: once by day, and once by 

night. Twice a day even a fool may be deemed 

wise: When silent by day, when asleep at night. 



In clouds we must all be. It is only a question 
whether in the end we shall find ourselves above 
them or below them. 


The common man dislikes evil because of 
what it does. The uncommon man hates evil 
because of what it is. 


The common man is interested only in what is 

on his own level ; the intelligent man is interested 

also in what is above his level. Only the kindly 

man is interested also in what is below his level. 

The common mind appreciates hardly even 
the great things, the great mind appreciates 
even the little things. 

Common sense derives its name not from its 
own commonness, but from that of the things 
it is exercised upon. 

To be communicative is nature; to be ju- 
diciously communicative is art. 

The misfortune is not in being born incom- 
petent — all are born thus. The misfortune is in 
remaining incompetent when we might be other- 
wise, in deeming ourselves competent when we 
are otherwise. 

The only noble competition is with oneself. 



Four things are required of the complete man: 
an orderly mind, a steady will, a patient temper, 
a loving heart. 


The highest compliment is imitation, and this 
can be paid unconsciously ; the lowest is flattery, 
and this is paid only consciously. 

Who has too much confidence in himself may 
yet succeed, who has too much in others will 
surely fail. 

What concerns us and what concerns us not 
we do not see alike. The one we behold as the 
headlight of a train rushing toward us ; the other 
as the end of a train departing from us. 

Why shall I conform to fashion? It was 
adopted in my absence. 


It is the dead fish that are carried down the 


To conquer a matter is as often to lose it as 
to win it. 


Conscience is our only part whose health is 
proved by its pains. 

2 5i3- 

Few like the responsibility of their own con- 



Antinomies of mind — only theorists know them. 
Antinomies of conscience — happy the practical 
soul that has not to know them. 

Man has nothing in himself that is wholly 
trustworthy, not even his conscience; that is 
only the least untrustworthy. 

Conscience, compass of the soul, is herein like 
the compass of the ship in that it too may point 
wrong if its magnet be high enough or powerful 
enough. And the disturbance is all the more 
mischievous when in addition the magnet is 
out of sight. There is thus an aberration of 
conscience, as there is an aberration of light, of 
mind, of what is called the personal equation. 
Overuse also of conscience, as in all else, may be- 
come abuse, with confusion, morbidness, in its 
train. By being allowed more than its due it 
becomes, like the swollen arm, only weaker 
for its size. Conscience should preside, not 
tyrannize; rule not hold despotic sway. A healthy 
conscience has regard for other things beside 
itself: for age, conditions, atmosphere. 


Conscience is an automatic bell: the more it 
is heeded the louder it rings; unheeded it at last 
ceases to ring. But with the answer to the bell 
at the door, the part of conscience ends. Con- 
science tells that some one is at the door, it does 
not yet tell as to his admission into the house. 
That you must see for yourself. It may be the 


welcome guest; it may be only the book-agent, 
the peddlar. 

It is important to do the right, but as important 
to do it right. Now conscience tells to do the 
right. It does not always tell how to do it right. 
And to do the right wrongly is only less harmful 
than to do the wrong rightly. 

Conscience is the best guide we have, but it is 
not good enough unless certified of God in His 
Book. The individual check is good, but its 
final safety is secured only when certified to by 
the bank. 

As good taste at times requires that one insist 
not on the best of taste, so the right oft requires 
that one insist not on the strictest right. None 
are so unreasonable as those who always insist 
on reasonableness. And none so easily fall into 
wrong as those who ever insist on the exact 
right. Here, as elsewhere, as in metaphysics, 
science, the caution must ever be: "Gentlemen, 
above all, not too exact!" . . . 

To go against one's conscience is surely wrong. 
To go according to one's conscience is not neces- 
sarily right. 


A simple recipe for contentment : to remember 

that the years consist of summers and winters; 

that the weeks are made up of days and nights; 

that the days bring only sunshine and shadow. 


Two things will ever be contradicted: what is 
reasonable and what is unreasonable. 


Conversation is a constant attempt to discover 
and establish harmony between the speakers. 
When that is done conversation ends and fellow- 
ship begins. 


Folk think that conversation is the great end 
of society. It is only its great means. When 
the final level between folk is found, conver- 
sation becomes needless, and silence between 
them becomes equally enjoyable. 

Who wishes to convince himself may begin with 
doubting, who wishes to convince others must 
end with affirming. 


To be a copy of others may make you better, 
to be a copy of yourself surely makes you worse. 

The worst that can be said of one is that he is 
a copy of some one else. And yet most folk are 
either bad copies of others or still worse originals. 

The worst corruption is that of the best. 

The only legitimate covetousness is that of 
another's virtues. 



Even the brave man may run from danger, 
the coward runs also from duty. 

253 2 - 
Only who walks into danger can afford always 
to run from it. 

Into danger it is best to walk, through danger 
it is best to run. 

The critic must have two things: an eminence 
to stand on, a flag to stand by. 

Weeds grow of themselves, crops must be hoed. 

The lack of culture is shown by two combi- 
nations: open mouth and closed eyes; hot head 
and cold heart. 

Culture is valued because of its increased sen- 
sitiveness, openness to more pleasures: can now 
enjoy Browning's verse, Wagner's music, Im- 
pressionist painting, Rodinesque sculpture, Cub- 
ists' puzzles. But what about the decreased 
sense at the other end, the closedness to other 
pleasures? Culture can no longer enjoy the 
nursery rhymes, the rag-time strains, playing tag, 

and merry-go-round rides You smile, 

dear reader? But the whole problem of human 
knowledge and happiness is wrapped up in this 
simple question. 


^538. . 

To express our feelings is nature, to understand 
the feelings of others is culture. 

To see the most in the world, to get the most 
out of the world, to leave behind you the best 
of yourself in the world — that is culture. 

The highest culture is attained by learning 
first from the living, then from the dead, and 
then from both. 


It is the good customer that has to pay for 
the bad. 


Even the cypher, worthless at the head, ten- 
folds a number when it takes the rear. 

Cyphers can also stand at the head, but only 
of fractions. 

There are two kinds of darkness: the one due 
to the absence of light — the darkness of the 
ignorant, the low; the one due to the interception 
of light — the darkness of the learned, the high. 

2545. . 
There came a time when the chief characteristic 
of the Holy Roman Empire was that it was 
neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire. Those 
were its darkest days. There comes a time in 
the life of every sober soul when he is neither 
himself, nor alive, and is thus anything but sober. 
Those are its darkest days. . . . 



Howe'er retired you live you cannot escape 
being a debtor. 


He deceived me — that was his triumph. But 
he has also undeceived me — that is my triumph. 

None deceive so successfully as the self- 

Nothing so tiring as decisions, nothing so 
restful as decision. 

Our good deeds are the feathers which make 
us wings. 

The inability to suffer because of the evil 
around us marks one who is already degenerate. 
The inability to bear the evil around us marks 
one about to become degenerate. 

The most delicate web becomes coarse under 
the microscope. 

The desire to be known is proper to man; 
only it must be after one knows, not before. 

In helplessness one can yet do even his best 
work; in hopelessness one can yet do at least 
some good work, but in despair one can only do 
his worst. 


Despondency and enthusiasm express the same 
quality, but with opposite algebraic signs in front. 

Despondency is enthusiasm upside down. 

There is no objection to despotism — of the 
right sort. Truth is despotic, so is reason, so 
is duty. 

"The science of mind has dethroned the 
devil!" No, friend, it has only enthroned him 
more firmly. 


The diamond is easily changed into coal; 

the coal is changed into diamond only at a cost 

greater than the diamond — a branch of Chemistry 

to be studied with special profit by the — critics . . . 

Who differ from us are easily endured, not so 
easily who differ with us. 

The wish to be different from what you are 
generally means that you wish to be better. 
The wish to be different from where you are 
generally means that you wish to be worse. 

Discontented all must be. Only the good are 
not content with what they do; the bad are 
discontented with what they ought to do. 



Discoveries are made as much thro' the micro- 
scope as thro' the telescope. 

To be ill with the same disease as some one 
else is not indeed health, but it is a kind of help. 

The sight of a monster is remembered longer 
than that of a beautiful creature. Dislike has a 
longer memory than like. 

I used to lament the much I wished to do but 
could not do. I now lament the little I ought 
to do but cannot do. 

I used to be anxious to accomplish much good 
in the world. I am now content if I am kept 
from doing harm. 

All other occupations become easier with 
practice. Doing nothing is the only occupation 
that grows harder with practice. 

The dollar becomes of final value only when 
about to be parted with. Sad type of the value 
men set upon most of their blessings. 

Doubt as a stage is taking a bath in the sea. 
Remaining a doubter is to be drowned therein. 



The only drawback to a man's good piece of 
work is that it draws after it also many a poor 
piece of his. 


Few of men's ills are due to their wickedness; 
many to their dullness. Unfortunately dullness 
ere long makes for wickedness. 

A genius one can hardly be in more than one 
thing, a dunce one may easily be in many things. 

Every speck of dust is big with infinity. 

Dust blown to heaven is still dust, a star 
fallen to earth ceases to be a star. 

You can do. another's work, you cannot do 
another's duty. 

One place is ever safe — that of duty. 

The best instruction we can give others about 
their duties is to practice our own. 

The one thing man really needs to do he can 
always do — his duty. 

The knowledge of their duty nearly all have, 
the strength for doing it, most have; the will 
to do it many have. The wisdom to do it, few 



Duty should hold us not like the nail, which 
has to be clawed by its head ere it can release 
what it holds; nor yet like the screw, which has 
to turn backwards to loosen its hold. But rather 
like the axle, which tho' it securely holds, gives 
yet the wheel ample play. 

Who is occupied most with the duties of 
others is a meddler, who is occupied most with 
the duties to himself is a robber. 

"Eagles make no more noise than pennies !" 
Exactly, just because they are gold. Moreover, 
eagles are not coined for the noise they make. 

The lesser lights also suffer an eclipse, but it 
is only the eclipse of the greater lights that is 

Who is not economical from choice will soon 
be so from necessity. 

Any education is good enough which fosters 
pleasure in virtue and abhorrence of vice. 

That is education which teaches whom to 
love and what to hate. 

That is education which fits folk for all the 
duties it shall be theirs to perform. 



Only that is true education which remembers 
that boys will some day be husbands and fathers 
and citizens, that girls will some day be wives 
and mothers. 


Education is not yet finished until it enables 
one to recognize merit with the label off. 


Education has not yet done its best if it has 
not widened your ignorance while adding to 
your knowledge. 


The education or culture which tries to give 
one what is not already his does not transform 
him, nor even color him. It paints him over, 
oftener it daubs him. 


Education is more to learn how to learn than 
to learn. And happy the case indeed where it 
does not mean the need to unlearn. . . . 


The child's education is not finished till he has 
learned to obey; the man's not till he has learned 
to command. 


"To what do you hold, to free grace or to 
election?" To both, friend. To free grace while 
you are unsaved ; to election, as soon as you are 


A man is seldom eloquent till his life is part of 
his voice. 



Not a little of eloquence consists in speaking 
out boldly what others feel strongly, but are 
unable to express. 


The best school of oratory is that which teaches 
how to say what must be said, how not to say 
what need not be said. The one is learned from 
necessity without preparation ; the other is learned 
from bitter experience, and after long preparation. 

Endurance may become the end of suffering, 
and even the beginning of enjoyment. 

Who can bear all things is already fit for 
heaven; who can endure all things is not yet 
fit even for earth. 

Your enemy thinks he is your enemy — he is 
only his own. Whether he shall really also be 
yours depends as much on yourself as on him. ' 


You can often conciliate an enemy by hating 
those he hates; not quite so often by loving 
those he loves. 


Enjoyment is the only thing all can overdo, 
and hardly any underdo. 

Underdoing enjoyment hardens folk. And over- 
doing enjoyment — does it soften folk? No, it 
only effeminates them. 



A sure way of increasing enjoyment is to 
decrease expectation. 


All enthusiasm rests on much knowledge and 
not a little ignorance. 

We see sparks when aught light falls before 
us, when aught dark falls upon us. The enthus- 
iast mistakes the one for the other. 

The envious fire with an inverted gun: the 
kick goes from them, the shot goes into them. 

Nothing grows so slowly and fades so quickly 
as true esteem; like the century plant: grows its 
flower only in a hundred years and loses it in 
a night. 


A little etymology does chase away large 


Our paraphrastic euphemisms do not change 
the metal of the coin; they only obliterate the 


Evil to be conquered in the end must be 
resisted in the beginning. 

We cannot begin to hate evil without becoming 
hateful ourselves, only we must not end therewith 



We cannot escape association with evil but 
we can imitate the flower: which imparts its 
fragrance to the pot, but absorbs none of its 


To abstain from returning evil for evil is the 
only way to make up for our inability to always 
return good for good. 


To do evil that good may come is to climb 
to heaven by way of hell. 

Even an evil may become a good to us if we 
make the best thereof. 

A thing can be done best only once. When 
an improvement upon excellency is tried it can- 
not make it better, it does make it worse. 

For finding excuses for themselves men use 
a searchlight ; for finding excuses for others they 
are slow to use even a match. 

Excuses like mortgages are often necessary and 
even useful; but like mortgages they are better 
off than on. 


Experience, like manna, spoils on our hands 
if not used at once. 



Our experience was meant to be a bridge for 
others. Most men use it hardly even themselves. 

Their experience men prefer to buy; their 
opinions they prefer to borrow. 

It is not experience folk are short of, but the 
inability to profit thereby. 

Extremes do not meet ; they only sit back to back. 

The great own their eyes, the small borrow 


Nothing so stubborn as a fact, nothing so 
tractable as figures. 


Facts are like worms: cutting them into two 
does not destroy them; it leaves two where 
before was only one. 


The first failure can always be a blessing, the 
second may still be a test, and the third is already 
a warning. The fourth is the sure proof. 

There is a failure that is only short of success, 
there is a success that is actual failure. 

One can still be a success without having suc- 
ceeded. One can still be a failure without having 



The success to which others have not contrib- 
uted is not yet final success. The failure to which 
others have contributed is not yet final failure. 

A man's life may be a success long before he 
dies, it is not a failure until he dies. 

Failure is not yet failure if it teach us these 
two things: If our endeavor has been faithful 
it may be success in God's sight. And even if 
it be failure also in His sight He yet giveth time 
to try again; and this lesson of perseverance 
once learned is not failure. 


The failures of the eminent may be as much an 
inspiration as their successes. 

Few deserve fame who have it not, fewer still 
deserve all the fame they have. 

Familiarity with the mean at last contents 
men therewith. Familiarity with the noble only 
makes them indifferent thereto. 

Familiarity with the noble does not reconcile 
the ignoble therewith. 

The concealing of one fault is apt to result 
only in the revealing of others. 



It is idle to remember your faults against 
yourself; highly profitable that you remember 
them for others. 

Not the faults with which folk are born should 
count against them, but those that are borne 
along by them. 

All are reconciled to the end of the plot. It is 
the uncertainty of the next chapter that makes 
fear in life. 

To find much you have to reject much as well 
as to seek much. 

The secret of finding is as much in determining 
the depth to which one is willing to dig as in 
knowing the depth at which the treasure is 
. buried. 

Who wishes to start the fire must not mind 
the smoke. 

The surest way to set on fire what is not 
intended is to strike into the coals. 

Who blows into the fire must expect sparks 
in his face. 

Join fire to iron and both are beaten. 



Flattery is like mud in that it sticks; but 
should, unlike mud, be brushed off before it is 


It is the mark of flattery that it only pleases ; 
of praise, that it also helps. 

Has he really made a fortune? Not until he 
has learned to enjoy it. 

It may be true that men are freed by making 
a fortune, it is certain they are enslaved by 
seeking it. 

Fortunes are like promises: easier made than 

The only real advantage of a large fortune is 
that it enables one to do just what he likes — 
the very thing he should not do. 

Our good fortune is never as great as others 
deem it. Our bad fortune is never as great as 
we deem it. 

The dog runs after those that run from him; 
fortune is apt to run from those who run after it. 

The more one is, the greater his freedom; the 
more one has, the greater his bondage. 




Folk are ever looking for fresh points of view. 
Return, friends, to the old paths, they will prove 
fresh enough. 

Of the future man knows least, about the future 
man worries most. 

By fixing all our thoughts on the present we 
degrade the future as well as the present. 

By two things is man's happiness promoted: 
by his knowledge of the future, by his ignorance 
of .the future. 


Glasses may help sight, but nearly always at 
the expense of light. 


Most folk wear their glasses all the time. I 
prefer to wear mine only at inspections. 

Men plead for patience with the weaknesses of 
others — they mean their own. 

Who carries only gold with him will suffer from 
the embarrassment of not having ready change. 

Gold sinks, smoke rises. 

Gold sunk into the sea is still gold: smoke rising 
to heaven is still smoke 



It is well to remember that not all is gold that 
glitters; but better still to remember that there 
is much gold that does not glitter. 

An ignoble error: that a load of gold is lighter 
than one of lead. 


The silver dollar and the gold are of the same 
value, but the gold is easier lost . . . 

Flies are caught by a sweet, gold is proved by 
an acid. 


That brass resounds more than gold may not 
be true of the metals, but it is certainly true 

The purer the gold, the softer it is. 

A nail of gold holds no better than iron. 

Some goodness may be in us all, but it is the 
goodness of the last bit of the pencil; has lead 
enough if only it could be handled. 

Others' goodness you may behold with joy; 
your own, only with suspicion. 

When others' goodness differs from ours, we 
are apt to suspect theirs. 



Folk learn to like poisons if they be sweet, and 
anon even if they are bitter. 


A good cause seldom fails thro' the in judicious- 
ness of its enemies. Oftener thro' the judiciousness 
of its friends. 


However good a man, from the moment he 
deems himself good, he is not so good. 

Do not believe the good in life is given you 
solely for your own sake. It is sent you first 
as a companion, to be entertained ere long as 
a mere visitor, and sent away at last as a 


It is not possible to attain to a goodness that 

satisfies God. It is equally impossible to attain 

to a goodness that satisfies man. But God does 

not lay up this impossibility against us, man does. 

Goodness is to knowledge what the telescope 
is to the eye: it increases its range, but is no 
substitute for it. 

The grain falls, the chaff rises. 

To expect gratitude is to forfeit it. 



When I hear folk charge one another with 
ingratitude, or profuse with thanks for trifles, 
I say with the Eastern sage, Do good, and throw 
it into the sea. The fish know it not, but God does. 

To feel gratitude without showing it is only 
better than to show gratitude without feeling it. 

Gratitude is the only virtue prized as the bank 
note is prized: without regard to the specie 
behind it. 

Nature teaches the great soul to shrink from 
being seen; experience teaches it to shrink from 

He is great who remains undisturbed when 
men take note of him, but greater he who remains 
undisturbed even when men take note of him. 

To do great things, we must indeed learn to do 
small things; but the surest way to unfit yourself 
for what is great is to be ever engaged in what 
is small. 

The great act in the present with reference to 
the future ; the small wish for the future with 
reference to the present. 


The small man is bold after success; the great 
man even after failure. 



However small the number it can still be 
halved; however great the man he can still be 


Others may see your greatness, but it consists 
in seeing your littleness. 

Greatness may be attained by climbing, it is 
retained by descending. 

Wait for great occasions? My friend, you will 
then do no less than what you are doing on 
little occasions if you are an honest soul; and no 
more, if you are a dishonest soul. 

A great life is to its contemporaries an Aeolian 
harp: they hear hardly even the fine sounds; 
posterity perceives also the melody. 

Habit is like wine: its strength grows with age. 

Habit makes machines of us. It is for us to 
put soul into them. 

Half of what we hear is seldom so. The other 
half is seldom exactly so. 

"I think as my hammer thinks" he said when 
he became a great blacksmith. "I think as my 
anvil thinks," he added when he became a great 



The hardest thing to learn is that we can do 
nothing. The next hardest is after learning it 
to — remember it. 


Hay you can make only when there is no 
storm. Your housecleaning you must do, and 
often best, during the storm. 

It is a mark of healthy nature when experience 
removes its prejudices but restores its precon- 

The only rational way to care for your health 
is to treat it as not your own. 

Health thinks of the future, disease worries 
over it. 

Good hearing consists not so much in hearing 
all sounds as in hearing all the necessary sounds. 

"Help yourself!" an excellent motto for you, 
but a problematic preachment to others. 

I am dissuaded from helping others because 
forsooth I have duties to myself. Well, I have 
no duties to myself that can prevent me from 
helping others. 



It is easy to live when hope and reward beckons 
on ; but to give up even the last hope yet lingering 
in the soul, to take up life again when nothing 
beckons; darkness ahead, regret behind, pain all 
over; to live, to bear, to endure, to praise God 
therefor — this is bravery, this is heroism. 

Hesitation is the sign as much of the abundance 
of ideas, as of their scarcity. 

There is a hesitation of speech more eloquent 
than many a passionate outburst. 

Hesitation may be a sign that one sees too 
much. Precipitation is a sign that one sees too 

Many are able to fill a high place, few are 
worthy to hold it. 

The great historian is he who distinguishes 
between what is done and what happens. 

History like the eclipses in the heavens, is 
sure to repeat itself; and, like the eclipses, hardly 
ever at the same time and place. 

The mouse is the thief, the hole is the inciter 
to the theft. 



To try to hold more with hands already full 
is to lose all. 

A great tragedy: to be at home only when 
away from home. 


Both the honest man and the rogue distrust 
each other. But the honest man distrusts the 
rogue because he knows him to be a rogue; the 
rogue distrusts the honest man because he thinks 
him a fool. 


The Italians say: 'Tor an honest man half his 
wits are enough; the whole is too little for a 
knave." This may be true in Italy. In America 
the honest man needs the whole of his and 
much besides. 


Honesty is tested as much by our pleasures 
as by our business. 


Honesty keeps one seemingly on a long walk, 
but it is the shortest in the long run. 


Honesty could hitherto be likened only to a 
diamond, which adorns the wearer; it can now 
be likened to radium which makes even jewels 
more beautiful. 


Faith can be defined, love can be defined, hope, 
duty, can be defined. Honor alone cannot be 
defined; just as an atmosphere cannot be defined. 
Honor is an atmosphere. 



To pursue honors is only to drive honor from 

Man is never above himself, often beneath 

There is no humility natural to pride, there 
may be a pride natural even to humility. 


Men prize humility more than devoutness in 
another. Devoutness bows before God. Hu- 
mility, bows also before men. 

True humility consists in thinking ourselves 
inferior not so much to others as to our best selves. 

A great comfort: the sense of humor; a great 
snare: the sense of the ridiculous. 

To the intelligent few, life would be intolerable 
but for a saving sense of humor. To the unin- 
telligent many, life is tolerable just because they 
lack this saving sense of humor. 

Ice rises as well as steam. 

It needs but little courage to confess one's 
ignorance, it needs much knowledge to know it. 



Of all imitations the worst is that of oneself. 

It is a sign of immaturity when only few 
interest you; and alas! also of — maturity . . . 

The immodesty of mind is more fatal than 
that of the body: it is not so repulsive . . . 

What folk do not wish they readily prove to 
be impossible. 

Impulse is nature, but unbridled it is bad 

I have observed that when the washline is 
hung out conspicuously it is like to be the only 
sign of life about the house. It is the mark of 
indelicate folk that their existence is made known 
chiefly from the washline. 

Injuries are best never mentioned, often for- 
got, always forgiven. 

Folk are apt to be indifferent to injustice unless 
it is against themselves. 

Who can bear injustice is unfit for this life; 
who cannot, is unfit for the next. 



To see things as they are is surely running the 
risk of becoming insane. To insist upon having 
all things as they should be is to be already 


The most important acts of their lives folk at 
times do without exactly knowing why. They 
are thus clearly inspired. It is only a question 
whether from above or from beneath. 

One's integrity may stand in the way of success 
in small matters. One's lack of integrity will 
stand in the way of success in great matters. 

Two men are not to be fully trusted: who 
knows not how to obey, who knows not how to 

Two men indulge in introspection: the very 
healthy and the very sick; but with this differ- 
ence: the healthy can afford it, the sick cannot. 

Strike indeed the iron while it is hot; better 
still, strike the iron until it is hot. 

It is the hot iron that is beaten, not the cold. 

The worst about a jest is that after all it is 
not a jest . . . 



Things are best judged the nearer we approach 
them; men, the further we recede from them. 

In their absence we are apt to judge folk 
more by our reason when it is well with us; in 
their presence, more by our feelings, when it is 
ill with them. 

The road to justice leads as often through 
injustice as out of it. 

It is the glory of a king that the gems in his 
crown are held to be genuine even when seen 
from afar. 

The great king is he who rules himself, and 
only reigns over others. 

A king's coffin need be no larger than a beggar's. 

' 'That dull knife— just good for nothing!" 
Tut, tut; for cutting paper it is even better than 
a sharp one. 

I used to prize the knots in the wood as its 
strongest parts, until I learned that they are 
easiest knocked out of their place. 

It needs much knowledge to doubt intelli- 
gently, and more to believe intelligently. 



The more one truly knows, to the fewer he 
can speak; the more one truly has, to the fewer 
he can give. 


I used to have much faith in the indiscriminate 
spread of knowledge until I learned that the 
utility of candles ends at the powder magazine. 

Every premature knowledge is some embryonic 
sorrow. Every useless knowledge is some em- 
bryonic vice. 

There is no such thing as waste in possessing 
knowledge. There is far too much waste in 
the acquiring thereof. 

Who knows everything about everything knows 
as yet nothing about anything. Only who knows 
everything of something is ready to know some- 
thing of everything. 

To know a thing you must see it as a part, 
to understand it you must see it as a whole. 

True knowledge consists of two halves: the 
knowledge that we know, the knowledge that we 
do not know. 

What counts against a man is not so much 
what he is not as what he does not try to be. 



Gross ignorance may keep one poor, refined 
knowledge is apt to make him poor. 

The more we know the more things we can 
believe, the fewer folk we can trust. 

The less men know the harder they find it 
to believe the natural. The more men know, 
the easier they believe the supernatural. 

Who sit under the tree of life are in danger of 
underestimating the tree of Knowledge. Who 
sit under the Tree of Knowledge are apt to 
mistake it for the Tree of Life. 

There is danger in living below what one knows, 
there is danger in living above what one knows; 
but the greatest danger is in living only in what 
one knows. 

Who knows two languages is not yet thereby 
twice a man, but who knows only one is not yet 
a whole man. 

Language and music are not found in nature. 
Language is what connects man at present with 
heaven. Music, is it the reminiscence of man's 
past tie with heaven? 



The language of a people is the history of its 
past; the language of the child is the history of 
its present ; the language of the man is the history 
of his future. 


Law is always a necessity, freedom is seldom 
more than a luxury. 


Laws should be upheld because of their in- 
trinsic justice. And in a plight indeed is that 
community which upholds bad laws solely be- 
cause of the injustice that may result from 
unmaking them. 


The Law is the light which only makes the 
darkness darker; grace is the light which enables 
us to walk therein. 


There are two kinds of law : law and lawlessness 
under the guise of law; the former is everywhere 
an expression of God and must be obeyed; the 
latter is Satan's counterfeit, and is often best 


' 'John Jones, M. D." when giving account of 
oneself, and "Dr. John Jones" when addressed 
by others' — there is wisdom in this bit of con- 
ventionality. By yourself your learning is best 
placed behind you. Others can afford to see it 
in front of you. 


Who has to learn his lesson twice hardly 
learns it even once. 



The genius learns with very little labor; the 
dullard, only with very much. The rest .who are 
neither geniuses nor dullards, — do they ever 
really learn anything? 


Leisure is the mother of nearly all that is 
thoroughly good, and the father of much that is 
thoroughly bad. 


Leisure is the mother of all art; spontaneity, of 
all grace ; sincerity of all beauty. 

Mature minds prefer to learn what they do 
not know. Immature minds prefer to learn 
mostly about what they already know. 


Men measure by their admiration, they are 
measured by their censure. 

To keep the medium in all things is the true 
mark of what is not mediocre. 
Two men need long memories: the borrower 
and the liar. 

To remember a good turn is to deserve it; 
to remember an ill turn is to deserve it still more. 

The forgetting of what we should remember 
is only a misfortune; the forgetting that we are 
forgetful — this is the calamity. 



What can be remembered only with an effort 
is seldom worth remembering. "I always re- 
member the man that kicked me last" was 
Samuel Johnson's efficient receipt for a good 


Trouble not thyself about method : if thou hast 
aught worthy within thee it will find its own 
method outward. 


Two minds are quickly made up: the very 
great, the very small. 

Matter out of place is rightly called dirt, 
Mind out of place — a more serious affair — is 
only called special learning. 

The going thro' the mire is not always our 
responsibility, the letting the mire stick to our 
clothes is. 

When the mirror reflects a distorted likeness, 
the distortion is false, is the mirror's. When 
it reflects a beautiful likeness, the beauty is real. 

We may learn even from the miser : who values 
his gold not for what it can bring, but for itself. 

Catching the ball only to throw it again — to 
see no sport therein — this is the miser's fatal 



Men seldom misrepresent themselves so much 
as when calling things by their right names. 

For two things folk need no training: for mis- 
representing others to themselves; or misrepre- 
senting themselves to others. 

To report one's words without his tone and 
mien, — is it really to report them? 


To confess boldly mistakes that can be cor- 
rected is bravery. To stand bravely by mistakes 
that cannot be corrected is heroism. 

To be misunderstood is easier in your own 
tongue than in a foreign one. 

To be misunderstood is only a sorrow, to mis- 
understand is a misfortune. 

Judicious saving keeps money : judicious spend- 
ing may make it. 


Who believes that money will do all, will soon 
do all for money. 


Who needs only money to place him on his 
feet will not remain long standing without it. 

is to 



The surest way to reveal your weakness i 
hide your motives. 


The highest music is within the reach of all, 
since every one can make his life a great liturgy. 

Music is like wine: the longer it has stood in 
our memories the better it tastes. 

Of mystery there is as much in the known as 
in the unknown. 

To find a good place for the nail in the wall 
you must hammer also at where you do not 
want it. 


I am yet to meet the broad-minded soul whose 
view extends to the horizon of all the four points 
of compass of the known, with the honest con- 
fession that at any moment a new sun may arise 
from the vast unknown beyond that shall at 
once pale into darkness all that he now so clearly 
sees. All the rest that has not this breadth is 
narrow-mindedness : which even unwittingly tends 
to wickedness, so that with the best intentions a 
narrow minded man cannot be a good man. 

Wind and wave are ever on the side of the ablest 
navigator, said Gibbon, and he said what is 
not true. What makes the ablest navigator is 
that he is ever on the side of wind and wave. 



Needs are apt to awake men; conpanions to 
make men; occupations, to break men. 

The possession of what we need is comparatively 
inexpensive. It is the possession of what others 
think we need that proves expensive. 

The nightingale feeds on the glow worm; but 
it is not the glow worm that makes it sing, it 
does not even make it glow. 

For meeting the noble a journey is needful: 
for meeting the mean a walk is enough. 

That a note pitched too high is equally in- 
audible with one pitched too low is true only 
in Physics. In morals only the note pitched too 
high is inaudible ; the one pitched too low reaches 
but too speedily many an ear. 

Who expects others to obey him should be 
most like God. He is usually least. 

To look at objects too long is to turn them 
into objections. 


In obstacles may yet be gain: throw the ball 
into the field, and it leaves thee. Cast it against 
the wall — back it comes to thee. 



Our obstacles are put up to enable us either to 
conquer them or to acknowledge our defeat by 
them. And this latter may be a victory inferior 
only to the former. 

The problem of occupation is settled when we 
know how to use our worktime and not to abuse 
our leisure. 

The occupation you choose for your hand 
decides also the thoughts of your head, and oft 
alas! also the feelings of your heart. 

I prefer the old clocks about the house to the 
new, if only for the reason that I have to wind 
them daily, have thus oft to do to them. They 
thus become in solitude a sort of companion. 
Dear old maid neighbor of mine! Oft I have 
looked askance at thee. I do so no more, I now 
understand why you look so forward to the 
bath you are to give to your poodle dog. 

The opening of the eye is of no use unless it 
bring about first an opening of the heart, then 
an opening of the hand and lastly an opening 
of the mouth? No, but a — shutting thereof. 

Folk ask your opinion about others — they are 
trying to form their opinion of you. 



Folk either know you or they know you not 
If they know you, their opinion of you is just 
and should not disturb you. If they know you 
not, their opinion of you is unjust and shall it 
disturb you? 


All have opinions, few can give the grounds 
for them. 


The opinions of most folk are borrowed; and 
the tenacity with which they are held is generally 
inversely to the amount of ownership had in them. 

The opinions of most men are mortgaged : 
with serious objection to having the mortgage 

Two men are indifferent to the opinion of their 
fellow men: Who is below them, who is above 

The opinion of others about you is only their 
affair. Your affair is to see that it affect not your 
opinion of them. 


Who neglects opportunities is neglected by 


The surest way to create new opportunities is 
to utilize the old. 


From others to myself I ask only justice, but 
others from me have a right to expect mercy. 



Who is too particular about the seasoning is 
not yet hungry enough. 

Passion is itself only heat. Unfortunately it 
oftener scorches than warms. 

Our passions are our only enemies we cannot 
change into friends by indulging them. 

Passion persuades, and as often the speaker 
as the hearer. 

Passion may sometime enlarge the small soul, 
it always belittles the large soul. 


The soul's health is manifested more in free- 
dom from passion than in victorious struggle 
therewith. And the wisdom of heaven shapes 
men's lives so that they do not properly live 
unless they have passions, but are not content 
until they conquer them. God thus gives folk 
plenty to do, and what most folk need is — plenty 
to do. 


Every passion carries its check. Many have 
the passion with the check gone; not a few carry 
the check with the passion already departed, or 
not yet arrived. 


Two things men ever find easily: the duty of 
others, the excuse for not doing their own. 



Men plead for patience with the weaknesses 
of others, they mean their own. 

Patience has a bitter bark, but sweet fruit. 

Two frames of mind lead to true peace: that 
which hopeth for all things, that which hopeth 
for nothing. 


To make peace after the quarrel surely needs 
two; to keep it before the quarrel may need 
only one. 


To be at peace with ourselves we must first 
war much with ourselves, and not a little with 
others, and then with neither. 

Shells are found on the beach; for pearls one 
must dive. 

The folly of casting pearls before swine is 
equalled only by that of trying to persuade them 
that the mire they so love is just filth. 

The pedant carries always his knowledge 
with him. The scholar is content to keep it 
where it can be easily got at. 

With the cyclopedia at hand I would as soon 
think of carrying a multitude of diverse facts 


in my mind as to load myself with the whole ox 
when the jar of beef tea can be put into the satchel. 


It is the pedestal that makes the statue im- 


Perfect work requires not so much the perfect 
man as the whole man. 

There was insight in making the most rounded 
out figure a mere zero. The complete man will 
not be the rounded out man with the straight 
line touching him only at one point; but the 
square man: with four sharp corners to him 
against the demons from the four corners of the 

The possession of the sense of perfection is apt 
to be a hindrance to perfection in the greater men. 
Its absence is a sure hindrance to perfection in 
the smaller men. 

The perfect man needs all three: vinegar, salt, 
sugar. But of vinegar a drop is more than e nough ; 
of salt a pinch suffices; of sugar he can never 
have too much. 

The question whether there is perfection for 
man here is an academic one. What is certain is 
that there is such a thing as daily growing less 

The two great causes of wrong doing : the desire 
to please self, the desire to please others. Two 


great motives of right doing: the desire to please 
One other, to satisfy oneself. 

The difference between innocent and guilty 
pleasures is that the latter cost more than they 
are worth. 


To seek pleasure and profit at others' expense 
is boorish. To be ever seeking to bestow pleasure 
and profit at our expense is indeed fine, but just 
a little superfine. But to bestow pleasure and 
profit upon others, we finding therein our own 
at the same time — this is indeed the normal, 
hence the true way. 


"The poker has no sensation!" — But that is 
precisely why I can stir the fire therewith ! 

I do not object to polish; only it must not 
make my walk slippery; all the more so when 
the polish is to be on my shoes rather than on 
the floor. 


Politeness is to the heart what the shell is to 
the nut, and covers as often a worm as sound 

I dislike politeness which is only a mask for 
courtesy. But I flee thereto in the one case where 
courtesy is impossible. When the fool is upon me 
and I cannot escape him, I hold thereto as a kind 
of distance stick between us: he holds its one 
end, I the other. And like two men walking each 


on a rail of the track, we each hold to his own 
rail; ever opposite each other but never nearer 
to one another. 

Men ever clamor for more power. Step off the 
insulator, friends, and power will soon enough go 
through you. 

The secret of power is to draw from the depths, 
but not quite to the surface. 

Much of men's praise of others is only an in- 
direct way of sounding their own. 

True praise cannot be given, it must be won. 

To be praised by all may be more satisfactory 
than to be condemned by all, but only in the 
short run. In the long run it is found to be 

Prejudice is a sign of life, partiality of death. 

Pride dislikes pity; but only the name, not the 

Pride is that refinement of selfishness which 
sacrifices even self for selfishness' sake. Selfish- 
ness would have a debt unpaid. Pride is rest- 
less until it is paid. 



The art of printing has widened intelligence, 
but has not deepened it. 

In prison we all are : only some are the keepers, 
others the prisoners. A few chosen ones are out 
either on leave or on parole. 

Probity and skill do not always go together, 
but probity is already a kind of skill. 

Who procrastinates thinks he gains time, he is 
only losing it. 

Are you progressing ? Not till you have learned 
to dispense to-day with what you needed yes- 

Progress is measured as much by what we part 
with as by what we acquire. 

True progress consists not in increasing our 
needs, but in reducing our wants. 

Men are apt to be less provoked by seeing 
others act differently from themselves than by 
hearing them think differently. 


To the pure all things are pure, and alas! also 
to the impure. 



Others may see your greatness, but it consists 
in your seeing your littleness. 

The purse is best tied in four ways: toward 
yourself — with a cord; toward your neighbor — 
with a string; toward your friend — with a hair; 
toward your enemy — with a spider's web. 

The first blow only invites the quarrel, it is 
the second that makes it. 

The questions man is called upon to answer 
are those put to him, not those put by himself. 

Do you ask who recommends him? Then you 
are an echo.^ Do you ask what recommends him? 
Then you are a voice. 

The fear of losing what we have is more power- 
ful than the hope of gaining what we have not. 
And herein it is that the reformer is at a disad- 
vantage before his antagonists. 

The tragedy of all reformers is that in cleaning 
the stables they have to leave the oxen inside 

The best remedy against annoyance from small 
things is to battle with great. 



Drastic remedies are apt at first to make the 
disease appear worse. The weak look to the first 
consequence; the strong, to the second. 

Repentance is doubling one's track upon one- 
self, but not for the sake of deceiving. 

% 2897. 

Two things are easy : to gain notoriety, to lose 
a reputation. 

Fame folk seldom gain wholly through their 
merit. Reputation men seldom lose except 
through their demerit. 

The common man is content with a horizontal 
reputation; the uncommon man, with a vertical 

A great fraud : to extract all the good and pass 
it off as a sample of the rest. Most reputations 
are frauds of this sort. 

Men's lives give weight to their words, their 
reputation adds wings. 

Reputation must be gained by many deeds, it 
can be lost by only one. 

Most reputations are only notorieties with 
some little incense about them. 



Resignation, the great remedy of Goethe and 
Carlyle, taught through so many chapters, for 
so many years — get tired enough, friends, and you 
will soon be resigned . . . 


The great virtue of Renunciation praised so 
much — what is it but the restatement of the fact 
that folk ever have strength enough to endure 
the ills of others ? The great prophets of Renun- 
ciation, Goethe and his herein disciple Carlyle, 
renounced only in ink, not in blood. When it 
came to the real renouncing, in life not in books, 
Goethe could not rest until the cup of Unresigna- 
tion had been drained to the dregs; and Carlyle 
remained a peacelessness for some two score 
years of his clamorous preachments on Resigna- 
tion to the end of his joyless days . . . 


I used to think Renunciation was aught to 
give up, to let go. I now find it to be only aught 
to accept, to hold to. Accept thy lot, whate'er it 
be. Hold, and hold to God's will for thee, rather 
than to thy will for Him . . . 

Who deliberately starts out to win the respect 
of his fellows is on the way of losing his own. 

To expect more respect than one deserves is to 
forfeit what respect one does deserve. 



One need not always be worthy of respect, one 
should always be capable thereof. 

The best reward of an excellent piece of work 
is the satisfaction of having done it, even if it 
remain its only reward. 

Intercourse with the rich in purse does not 
make you richer. Intercourse with the poor in 
spirit may not make you richer, but it will not 
leave you poorer. 

Men are seldom so entertaining before men 
and so abominable before God as when ridiculing 

Right means straight. All bending of the 
measuring rod shortens the length it measures. 
And it is thus that wrong cheats. 

Where two persons on opposite sides are equally 
able and sincere, it is certain that both cannot 
be right. It is not so certain that either is right. 


To take our rights by storm before men is to 
forfeit them before God. 

Men are seldom so near endangering the right 
as when insisting upon their rights. 




You cannot solder right and wrong — a truth 
forgotten in public life, seldom remembered in 
private life, recognized at times in the closet, its 
neglect at last atoned for from the housetops. 


That one is never right in the opinion of others 
may yet be a hopeful sign. That one is never 
wrong in his own is the hopeless sign. 

We are only right when we disapprove wrong 
in others. We become righteous when we con- 
demn it in ourselves. 


Keeping to the right will not always save you 
from being run into, but it will save you from the 
reproach of having been run into. 

The best praise of the righteous is their censure 
by the wicked. . 


, Ripe fruit must not remain long unpicked. 

To rise is easy. It is only a question whether 
to the clouds or through them. 

However great the river, its beginning is ob- 
scure. However small, its end is clear. 

Who robs me of what is mine may make me 
richer thereby, himself he only makes poorer. 



The value of rules lies not so much in their 
power to lead us to right action as in their di- 
recting our attention to right action. 

It is as easy to lay down rules, as it is difficult 
to keep them. 

The sand resists the shell where the rock yields. 

The safety of the spire is not in the thinness of 
the top, but in the solidity of the bottom. 

By judicious saving men keep money, only by 
judicious spending do they save it. 

Seamanship may avail much in the storm; it 
avails but little in the calm. 

Many things we fail to see because they are so 
constantly in our sight. 

To expect gratitude is to forfeit it. 

Who is unconsciously selfish is not so dangerous 
as he who is consciously selfish: the former be- 
trays himself; the latter conceals himself. 


Selfishness surely makes folk stupid, 


stupidity as surely makes folk selfish. 



philosopher therefore asks : Which first, stupidity 
or selfishness? As usual, philosopher dear, your 
question is an academic one. Neither is first, 
since they are both one and the same. Only 
selfishness is stupidity of heart, stupidity is 
selfishness of head . . . 

Nothing so keen as selfishness, nothing so dull. 

The highest courage is to dare to appear what 
you are. The highest selfishness, always to show 
that courage. 

There is a time for even selfishness. When iti 
protects your growth: for only the full-grown 
can bear the ripest fruit of unselfishness. 

The phrenologists have hit it right in at least 
one thing: they place the organ of self-love in 
the back of the head. 

Self-love is an excellent critic, but only of 
others, not of oneself. 


Self-love makes men keen about others, but 
keeps them blind about themselves. 


Who has little sense himself displays his lackj 
nowhere so much as in the suspicion that others 
also have no more. 


To keep many servants is only to be the in- 
voluntary servant of many. 


The highest service has its joys as well as its 
sorrows. But what makes it highest is that it 
looks neither to the one nor away from the other, 
though it may see both. 

Shadows indicate the presence of light as well 
as its absence. 


No shadows to-day? Then there is no sunshine. 

The loftier the mount, the longer its shadow, 
and deeper. 

To leave the shadow behind you need only 
turn to the sun. 

The only way to escape your shadow is to get 
out of the sun. 

A man's shadow does not always disappear 
with himself. 


The shallow see aught ridiculous in everything ; 
the profound in hardly anything. 

Both the profound and the shallow merely 
scratch the surface. But the shallow leave the 


furrows as they find them; the profound cover 
them with layers of their own. 

Into sin men may be led by others ; to holiness 
they must go themselves. 

Trust may not always call out sincerity, but 
distrust nearly always calls out insincerity. 


There is a sort of sincerity that objects even 

to the sugared coat of the pill. But to this they 

hold only in the sickness of others; the objection 

is apt to vanish in case of their own sickness . . . 

However mistaken, he is at least sincere ! But 
so is the mosquito, the wolf, the rattlesnake. 

Nothing so convincing as sincerity, and nothing 
so deceptive. 

There are certain marks of sincerity which 
like the signs of masonry are recognized only by 
the initiated, the great brotherhood of the sincere. 

The insincere betray themselves by nothing 
so much as by asking concerning one they do 
not understand whether he is sincere. 

Two things we may always believe to be sincere : 
praise from our enemies, blame from our friends. 



Sincere we must be with all; confiding hardly 
to any. 


The notes you may pick up in the crowd. 
To learn to sing you must be alone. 

The slanderer works with truth for a handle, 
with falsehood for a blade. 

The slanderer puts the butter on the table, 
the listener spreads it on the bread. 

The slanderer only throws dust in the air, 
but to find it ere long all over himself. 

Great slowness to cast off what has once been 
its is a high virtue in the heart. Even little such 
slowness is a dangerous vice in the head. 

The smoker's true drawing room is his cigar; 
the drinker's, the bar. 

Smooth surfaces are hard to glue together. 

Sober we must nearly always be; sombre, 
hardly ever. 


The best reply to inopportune wit is sobriety; 
to inopportune sombreness, wit. 



Sobriety, to be truly divine, must be cheerful. 
Mirth, to be truly human, must be sober. 

The "Spirit of the Age," whatever it is, is 
always wrong, and a man of spirit is given spirit 
expressly for resisting it. 

It is on the whitest cloth that the spot is most 

The advice to hitch your wagon to a star is 
old; not so old the caution not to hitch your 
star to a wagon, but equally needful. 

The stars that fall are only those out of their 

Who seeks for only flowers may be content 
to be looking down. Who seeks for stars must 
be looking up. 

In storms a feather flies as high as the eagle, 
and the oak is uprooted sooner than the vine it 

The deep stream is not heard until opposed 
by some obstacle. 

Who trusts his own strength is but little 
stronger than he who fears his weakness. 



Self -distrust is already a kind of strength; self- 
reliance is already a kind of weakness. 

Who fears his weakness may be weaker for a 
time than he who trusts his strength. He is 
sure to be stronger in the end. 

The strength to uproot weeds is had by 
nearly all, but the great need is to distinguish 
them from the crops, flowers. 

It needs strength to undertake work when 
rested, and it needs strength to abstain from 
work when tired. 

To trust one's strength adds much thereto, 
but not so much as to be trustful in weakness. 

Is it weakness alone that needs support? 
Strength needs it more . . . 


He is so strong, he is always so cheerful. 
Well, mayhap God knows that were a single 
sorrow to hang upon one of his limbs, it would 
break clean off. 


The strong can afford to be weak at times, 
his weakness may easily become tenderness. 
The weak can ill afford a certain strength — it 
may easily become obstinacy. 



All love justice, few love the just. 


The sublimity of the mountain is not in the 
mountain but in us. 

Futile attempt: to extemporise success. 

Great he who succeeds, greater he who can 
dispense with success. 

Success is full of promise till we — get it. 

Success is only facilitated by talent, it is 
conditioned by temperament, and assured only 
by character. 

Success men ascribe to themselves; failure, to 

The sun is visible for some time before and 
after rising. We cannot like the sun be of service 
before we are born, we can be of inspiration 
after we die. 

The sun sets the example of imparting painted 
glory to the very clouds that would fain obscure it. 

Let us imitate the sun: which shows its greatest 
and most pleasing countenance when lowest down. 



The same sunshine which ripens the fruit also 
withers it. 


Sunshine conies only from one quarter at a 
time, clouds may come from all quarters at once . . . 

The superfluous is as necessary as the needful ; 
only it can be dispensed with where the other 

The superior man will ever keep out of sight 
two things: others' faults, his own merits. 

A mark of superiority: to see the whereabouts 
of your inferiority. 

Where folk fail to see the superior man it is 
because they think they see over him. 

Suspicion is seldom on time. It is apt to be 
either too early or too late. Hence I have no use 
therefor. I prefer caution instead. 

The swollen arm is not the stronger for its 

There are two ways of handling a sword: by 
the hilt and by the blade. 


Sympathise with the great: it lifts you up to 
them. vSympathise with the small: it does not 
drag you down to them, 

Taste appreciates the noble, talent ignores the 

Taste may be had without brains, it is tact 
that must be had with brains. 

Tact deals with others' feelings; taste, with oursj 

For appreciating the work of others, the in- 
dispensable thing is sympathy : to estimate aright 
ours, the needful thing is taste. 

Tact is love improvised. 


Tact is momentary love even for the common ; 
taste is abiding love only for the beautiful. 


Who prides himself upon his talents should be 
able to show what he had done before his birth 
to deserve them. 


The very arrangement which keeps the wheel 
on the track prevents it from service off the 
track. Misapplied talent is only a wheel off 
the track. 



Taste is only appreciation of the temporal and 
local; and hence is ever changeable in its very 
nature. Tact is kindliness even for the temporal 
and local, and is changeable only in its application. 

Two great drawbacks to talent: to be so poor 
as to be dependent; to be so rich as to be inde- 

Talents are a man's guard of honor when he is 
dead; his prisoner sentinels while he is alive. 

3019- %. 
The tall reach higher, and have to — stoop lower. 

Your teacher the shallow man also can be — 
he needs to know the only next step beyond 
yours. Your guide must be the profound man 
—must have gone all the way before you. 

"His defects are only those of temperament!" 
But temper is part of character. 

"That passage brings tears to my eyes" ! And 
so does the — wind . . ; 

3° 2 3- 
To enter any temple we must fall on our 


The temple itself few are able to build, but all 
are able to furnish its stones. 



Every true temple is like Solomon's reared 
in silence. 

Against temptation the surest victors are those 
who run away. 

To go into temptation to find how strong you 
are is to go before a mirror with closed eyes to 
find out how you look when asleep. 

. 3 . 028 ' 
From temptation it is easier to get away then 

to keep away. 


Others' goodness you may behold with joy; 

your own, only with suspicion. 

The test of a good intention is that you can 
ask God's blessing upon its becoming a deed; the 
test of a good deed is that you can thank God 
for its not having remained a mere intention. 

A searching test: to ask God to deal with you 
to-day as you dealt with others yesterday. 

The test of greatness of soul is the readiness 
with which beauties are perceived in what is 
plain, and blemishes ignored in what is beautiful. 

The test of the highest heroism is the readiness 
to appear ridiculous to others rather than to 



The hardest step is over the threshold, and 
this is what makes it the longest. 

No time is more lost than that spent in hating 
the errors of others and regreting our own. 

3°3 6 - 
Men divide time by days, weeks, months, 
years. But there are only two essential divisions 
of time: the present which is ours, the future 
which is God's. 

To-day is seldom sane. It is safe from the asy- 
lum only when it has become yesterday. 

Of trees give me the evergreen, which dresses 
the same summer and winter. 

It is the trees on the hilltop that show the 
prevailing winds. 

Cut the trunk, the branches fall of themselves. 

"We are both branches of the same tree!" 
But what if you are only a sucker? 

The enduring trunk casts a shadow, the 
fading leaf gives the shade. 



The troubles of life are like the mountains: 
imposing enough when looked at or up to, but 
insignificant enough when looked down from 


Two men are not to be fully trusted: who 
knows not how to command himself, who knows 
not how to obey others. 

I hear the virtue of unconsciousness of one's 
own merit praised. But if blindness to my 
neighbor is no merit, neither is blindness to my- 
self. Not the being conscious of the merit is 
the vice, but the priding oneself thereon. 

To understand me he need not be my equal; 
but to misunderstand me he must be my inferior. 

Uniform gentleness of manner is like pure 
rainwater, and often alas! as insipid. 

Men are never so near being unreasonable 
themselves as when fighting unreasonableness. 

It is easy to be truthful to liars, loving to haters, 
noble to the mean, tolerant with the intolerant. 
Only to be reasonable with the unreasonable- 
there is the difficulty. 

Even the useless life may become useful by 
patient endurance of its very uselessness. 



When am I most useful? When like the 
hassock: got only for a foot-rest, but serving 
also, if need be, for reaching to the top shelf. 

The greater the vacancy, the swifter the rush 
of wind to fill it. 

The price of things is easily got, it is their 
value that is problematic. 

Everything has two values: its eternal which 
is fixed, and is either priceless or zero ; its temporal 
which fluctuates from zero to pricelessness, the 
price varying inversely to its value. 

The ear is more discriminating of sound than 
the eye is of color and size. The voice is thus a 
better index of the man than his face. 

The making of a vow is a confession of future 
weakness. The breaking of a vow is a confession 
of present weakness. 

Want may be easily endured, not so easily 
the fear of want. 

For rinsing dishes cold water may do; for 
washing them it must be hot. 

Smoke is a sign of waste of fuel, noise is a sign 
of waste of power. 




Weakness has two excuses: its own existence, 
the existence of strength in others wherewith 
to help. 


Few are cheated by the scales they use; many 
by the weights they put into them. 

All know that weights are hard to bear for 
one. Few know that compact weights are carried 
easier by one than by two. 

3 o6 3- 
The wind extinguishes the match, but fans the 


The wind prostrates the plant, and sows the seed. 

The first windfalls are apt to be wormy. 

The wing on the bird upholds it; off the bird 
it falls of its own weight. 

The too serious are easily forgiven, not so the 
too witty. 

Like the astronomer the professional wit also 
looks at great objects; but with his telescope 

Wonder has an humble ancestry, but illustrious 
progeny; it is the daughter of ignorance, the 
mother of knowledge. 



The greatest value of most work is that for 
the time it keeps folk busy. 

Who has no pleasure in work will have to 
make hard work of pleasure. 

All are eager for the kernel, but worth is tested 
at the breaking of the shell. 

Two well-known but unheeded facts: that 
anxiety is no baker and produces no loaves; 
that worry is no tailor, and makes no coats. 

Familiarity with wrong reconciles us to it. 

The fear of doing wrong may keep one from 
doing wrong. The fear of not doing right will 
keep one from doing right. 

To be more than half right is still to be alto- 
gether wrong. There is no medium between 
right and wrong any more than between truth 
and falsehood. 

Better a kind No than a harsh Yes. 

; 3078. 

Yes is a whole third longer than No. 



The surest way to win a victory is to push on. 
The surest way to enjoy it is to stop short. 

Make your work as small as you please, only 
give it broad wings. 

Perfection is the one unattainability we must 
yet ever strive to attain. 

If censured look to yourself; if praised, look 
to him. 

To hold sound principles is only the small 
part of conduct. To use sound judgment in ap- 
plying them is its great part. 

We should eat and drink below our means, 
dress according to our means; give beyond our 

Always remember to hold up the highest 
standards in theory, but never forget in practice 
that a note pitched too high is equally inaudible 
with one pitched too low. 



As long as in giving light you still burn yourself 
out, you are only a candle. Be patient, it may 
yet be thine to be a star . . . 


And so the rule of conduct is to be : the great- 
est possible happiness of the greatest possible 
number for the longest possible time? 

My abused, cheated, homeless Indian friend, 
I will forthwith contribute to at least thy greatest 
possible happiness for the longest possible time. 
So here I am — do with me for thy pleasure as 
thou wilt ! 

But, alas! I have only one scalp, and it takes 
only a few seconds to scalp ma . . . 

The greatest possible happiness of the greatest 
possible number for the longest possible time . . . 

Be gentle! The sea is held in check by a beach 
of sand as much as by a wall of rock. 

By all means have your way, if you wish to 
lose your way. 


By all means let well enough alone, only let 
also ill enough alone. 


By all means strive for the crown; only be 
ready to wear its thorny rim first. 

Cover your head if you wish not to catch cold ; 
uncover your heart, if you wish to catch heat. 


Do everything f ourwise : do it cheerfully, do it 
zealously, do it thoroughly, do it simply. Cheer 
makes the task a pleasure, zeal makes it success, 
thoroughness makes it perfect, simplicity makes 
it beautiful. 


Fail in everything, only be not a failure your- 


For information it is well to read the newest 
books; for culture, the oldest. 

Forgive all — in justice to him. Forget not 
quite all — in justice to yourself? No, but in 
justice to others. 

Has he wronged you? Give him time to forget 
it by forgetting it yourself. 

Hate not the useless, they are for thee to be 
useful to. 

Have a pocket for your successes, and keep it 
tight, lest they issue thence ere long as failures. 
Have a pocket for your failures, and keep it open, 
till they issue thence as successes. 

Have patience with the foolish: even to the 
lot of geese it may befall to save a Capitol. 



Have your holy of holies, but also some high 
priest to enter it at least once a year. 

Hold strong ideas, but not strongly. 

Humility by all means before your superior, 
and by all means also before your inferior. 

It is not enough to carry a compass, we must 
also keep the magnet away. 

Learn from the funnel, which though wide at 
the inlet, is narrow .at the outlet. 

Learn from the river, which when it cannot go 
through the mountain goes around it. 

Look not for a scorpion under every stone, but 
look for a viper under every pleasure, even that 
of giving. 

Make the best of yourself, no one else will. 
Stand up for yourself, some will soon stand with 
you. Believe in God for yourself, many will soon 
believe in you. Deny yourself, a host will soon 
follow you. 

Never be independent unless you must. 



No master but duty, no servant but thyself, 
no creed but truth, no enemy but a liar, no family 
but mankind, no country but the world. 

No one can live without being a debtor; no one 
should live without being a creditor. 


Not the going through the mire is blameworthy, 
but the leaving of its dirt on the clothes. 

Of importance is that we believe; of next im- 
portance, what we believe. 

Praise only to encourage, blame only to prevent. 

Put on indeed your best clothes on Sunday, 
but think your best thoughts also on other days. 


Of the tree the roots must be many, the trunk 
need be only one. With man it is the reverse; 
the outward deeds may be many, the underlying 
purpose must be one. 


However good a man, from the moment he 
considers himself good he ceases to be good. 


The surest way to win men's hearts is by 
frankness and sincerity, but also the surest way 
to lose them. 



To make others feel you need only feel your- 
self. To make others think, you must feel as 
well as think yourself. 


To please your audience, give them what they 
know; to instruct it, give them what you know. 

You can do another's work. You cannot per- 
form another's duty. 

To see, open your eyes; to see more, close them. 

To sow you may stand ; to reap you must stoop. 

To start the fire you must not mind the smoke. 

The architect builds many houses for others 
which he never inhabits himself. This is the 
profession by which he lives. Let it also be ours 
in which we live. 

To those who hunger now give bread ; to those 
who may hunger later, give only seed. 

Never try to cure a man of his fault till he is 
ready for it. The time for a funeral is only after 
a death. 



To yourself give what you need; to your 
neighbor what you can. 


Strike the iron while 'tis hot; but better still: 
strike the iron until it is hot. 

Take heed what ye hear, means to shut your 
ears as well as to open them. 

The furrows are made for us ; ours is to put in 
the seed and cover it. 

Upon our destination we need only keep our 
eyes. The arrival there is not always in our 
power; but the proper care of our conveyance 
during the journey — this is properly our part and 
in our power. 

Some are slow with their ticket and fare, and 
wait therewith till the conductor is tried, dis- 
pleased. Let us so live that when called to pay 
our last fare, we be not found fumbling, but 
ready therewith in hand . . . 

Some there are like the serpent : which, though 
it drink milk, yet speweth forth poison. God grant 
us to be like the cloud which though it riseth from 
the salt water returneth to earth as fresh. . . 



We should go through the world with one hand 
empty, ready to take; with the other full, ready 
to give. 


We should imitate in life what we do in the 
railway train; look placidly at what is nigh, 
leaving what is far to come toward us of itself. 

3*37 ■ 

We are put here to do not what we like but 
what we must. Let us then learn to like what 
we must. 


Reject no precept as a commonplace as long as 
its practice is uncommon. 

What was said of you in anger probably mis- 
represents him — this forget. But it also probably 
truly represents you — this remember. 

There are two ways of getting your chestnuts 
open: by pounding them yourself, by waiting 
for the frost to crack them. 

3 J 4i. 
Sunshine, cultivate sunshine. It turns even a 
drop of water into a jewel. 

There are no limited partnerships in Ethics. 
Your guilt, like your capital, may be small or 
great, but the investment must be all yours. 
You cannot be half innocent and half guilty at 
the same time. 



Humility will exalt you only as long as you 
keep low: like the swing which raises you from 
the ground only as long as you keep in touch 
with the ground. 

3 J 44. 

Who has too much faith in himself may yet 
succeed; who has too much faith in others will 
surely fail. 



" You cannot guide the multitude without de- 
ceiving it," said the wisest of the Greeks. And 
truly enough, if it is to be guided without com- 
mission from above. It is a mark of the divine 
commission of Moses and of the One greater than 
Moses that the one did guide God's chosen, 
visible host, that the Other still guides God's 
chosen, invisible host — without deceiving . . . 


Man has a body, a soul, and a spirit. The 
needs of the body were meant to be supplied by 
nature, and this is the field of true science. The 
needs of the soul were meant to be supplied by 
the wisdom of man, and this is the field of true 
art. The Bible has much of science, and still 
more of art, but only incidentally. The needs of 
the spirit were alone meant to be supplied neither 
by science nor by art, but by a written revelation, 
and the Bible is this revelation. 

Men are short, not of experience, but of the 
ability to profit thereby. 

Earthly peace may be obtained by imprisoning 
our passions; heavenly peace, only by exiling 



Earthly tonics leave men feeling better than 
before. It is a mark of heavenly tonic that it 
leaves men feeling themselves worse than before.. 

With the small their lives are often better than 
their thoughts. With the great their thoughts 
are ever better than their lives. 

A man's words should be measured only by the 
truth that is in them; his deeds, by the spirit 
that is in him. 

3i5 2 - 
He is great who remains poised when men take 
note of him; but greater he who still remains 
poised even though men take no note of him. 

Prometheus chained to the rock is his punish- 
ment; the eagle daily plucking at his liver is the 
merciful distraction therefrom. Who can steal 
fire from heaven suffers more in being chained to 
the rock than from a hole in his liver. Of the two 
I would choose the heartache rather than the 
toothache, said Heine, in a moment of shallowness. 

Even the wisest are seldom wise in all their own 
affairs. It is a proof of man's fallen state that a 
man's wisdom consists chiefly in his ability to 
note the follies of others. 



The great man is apt to make two serious mis- 
takes: first, in thinking that others are like him; 
and then in treating them as if they were so unlike 

Dislike — what is it but merely being unlike? 
Mere dislike is therefore hardly ever in itself an 
evidence of the justice of the feeling, unless one 
can challenge the Universe to show that one never 
dislikes aught but the mean and ignoble. Per- 
sonal dislikes, which are so oft palliated with the 
name of uncongeniality, constitutional antipathy, 
are oftener a sign of a not wholly healthy indivi- 
duality; and it is the art of Life to learn to dis- 
like only what is wrong; and to like only the 
right, whether it be agreeable or not. The fatal- 
lest intellectual somersault is to seek for reasons 
that condemn a thing which would never be 
sought but for those cherished dislikes. Aesop's 
Wolf and the Lamb, who tho' drinking down 
stream, was yet to die because it muddled the 
waters of the wolf who had been drinking up- 
stream, remains ever a modern as well as an 
ancient instance. And the same is true of likes — 
in the reverse direction ; but with this difference : 
Wrong likes seldom harm any but him who in- 
dulges therein. Wrong dislike may ruin both 
him against whom it is harbored as well as him 
that harbors it. 





Among American men of Letters, Emerson is 
easily the principal figure; nay rightly under- 
stood, he is perhaps the only American man of 
letters. In a recently gotten together series of 
American Men of Letters, one volume was devoted 
to a cyclopedia editor, and another to a maker of 
a dictionary. On such a view of literature some 
rather notable postman might also some day 
find his place yet among men of letters. But 
literature is something more than the handling of 
a pen, or perchance of a type-writer, for some six 
hours daily, preceded by a call at the club in the 
morning, followed by walk on the avenue in the 
afternoon, and concluded by roast goose and 
onion in the evening. 


Now with the exception of the literature of the 
anti-slavery days, when the dilettante colors had 
at last to be wiped off the literary glasses for aye- 
American men of letters, where they are not mere 
exchangers of written commodities for dollarish 
things, are not so much American writers, as 
cosmopolitan writers. America's great histori- 
ans, Bancroft, Prescott, Motley, make the word 
' "America" in their case a mere geographical 
expression. America's classic Irving; its singers 
like Longfellow and Lowell, are no more American 
than is its philosophy, its science, or what little it 
hath of culture. They are mostly cosmopolitan, 


or rather they are palimpsests: European texts 
covered with American script. Of the few excep- 
tions to this nigh universal rule, Oliver Wendell 
Holmes was, for wholesomeness, far too conscious 
of the physiological fact that men in addition to 
their weeping apparatus are also endowed with a 
laughing apparatus. And to appeal solely to the 
Democritus in man is to descend to the mere 
amuser. Nay when even the fine-grained Lowell 
doffs for brief time his Eurpoean dress, and en- 
deavors to don an American garb, he seldom gets 
further than that pointed cap which in the Middle 
Ages was worn by those privileged folk, who, 
under the guise of jest, could afford to tell truth 
to royal ears without risk of cap and head rolling 
off together at the block. When even Lowell 
leaves his European seriousness to become an 
American humorist, he becomes a piece of Ameri- 
can scenery ; a kind of Yellowstone Park on the one 
side, and a strip of bad lands on the other; a 
Virgilian Pastoral scene on the right, and a 
twenty-foot Quaker Oat -meal advertisement on 
the left. 

The only other truly American man of literary 
genius, Nathaniel Hawthorne, was betrayed into 
accepting fiction as the expression of his art, and 
has thus spent a life-time in digging for iron with a 
spade of gold. Emerson, however, is a genuine 
American, a veritable Yankee. In extravagance 
of a certain kind, he too indeed is in nowise 
wanting. But his is not American extravagance, 
his is not Yankee extravagance. While his 
literary shortcomings are only those of the 
human mind, his literary virtues are those of the 


Yankee blood. The extra drop of nervous 
fluid which infused into the Englishman's phleg- 
matic temper makes the American, becomes in 
Emerson a nervous battery, and makes his 
sentences become a series of electric shocks. 
Emerson is indeed a dozen ancestors rolled into 
one. He has much of Adam, and not a little of 
Cain before, and of Noah after the flood. He 
has a great deal of Plato and Montaigne, and 
somewhat of Budda and Zoroaster. But he 
has most of all that in him which makes Eli 
Whitney restless until he has abbreviated the 
making of cotton by his gin. He has that in 
him which makes Fulton restless until he has 
relegated the two and thirty winds into the bag 
of Aeolus, there to remain useless because of the 
use of steam. Emerson has that energy within 
him which makes the manufacturer restless until 
he has hitched his wheel to the falls of Niagara; 
the economist restless until he has transferred the 
fire of the volcano into his own oven, wherewith 
to bake his bread. He has that energy within him 
which makes the Sozodont owner restless until he 
has announced its merits to every passenger train 
from the roadside ; that restlessness which heaps 
societies into associations ; associations into com- 
binations; and combinations into trusts. Fine- 
grained souls justly shake their heads at the trusts, 
and ascribe their rise to the universal hunger for 
gold. But the evil itself has its root in less 
ignoble soil ; not so much in the universal hunger 
for gold, as rather in that universal American 
hunger for the gigantic, which has found expres- 
sion in Emerson's own right noble phrase, Hitch 
your wagon to a star. 


Accordingly, the first characteristic of Emerson 
is that though he has not only the eagle's eye, but 
also the swiftness of his pounce; he has in addi- 
tion thereto, that balancing practicalness of the 
American, that saving shrewdness of the Yankee, 
which keeps him as a man of letters from many a 
grievous error of his kin. He is caught in Man- 
chester at a banquet of saw-dust-meally kind of 
folk, and is awaited to open his mouth in public 
speech. Archibald Allison presides, and unlike 
Parliamentary Presider, does in nowise keep 
silent. Cobden is there, Punchman is there, and 
Dickens makes himself visible by a letter. All 
these notabilities must, in some way, be taken due 
note of, when this Pegasus, stalled for .once with 
wingless oxen, has at last to spread his wings, 
else the proprieties of the notable occasion shall 
be rudely disturbed. Emerson therefore begins, 
banquetish enough. 

"Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: It is pleasant 
to me to meet this great and brilliant company - 
and doubly pleasant to see the faces of so many 
distinguished persons on this platform. But I 
have known all these persons already. When I 
was at home, they were as near to me as they are 
to you. The arguments of the League and its 
leader are known to all the friends of free trade. 
The gayeties and genius, the political, the social, 
the parietal wit of "Punch" go duly every fort- 
night to every boy and girl in Boston and New 
York. Sir, when I came to sea, I found the "His- 
tory of Europe" (by Archibald Allison) on the 
ship's cabin table, the property of the captain — ; 
a sort of programme, or playbill, to tell the sea- 


faring New Englander what he shall find on his 
landing here. And as for Dombey, sir, there is 
no land where paper exists to print on, where it is 
not found; no man who can read that does not 
read it; and if he cannot, he finds some charitable 
pair of eyes that can, and hears it." 


As one listens to these words, as one reads them 
on printed page of his collected works, one rubs 
his eyes in wonder. Is this Emerson, the great 
Emerson? Ralph Waldo Emerson? Even 
Homer sometimes nods, but his is not nodding: 
this is snoring. For with the sole exception of 
that fine, truly Emersonian phrase — "If he cannot 
read, he finds some charitable pair of eyes that 
can, and hears," every word of the speech so far 
might have well come from the lips of Mr. Chaun- 
cey Depew, so proper, so after-dinnerish, so 
swallow-tail like. " Great and brilliant com- 
pany;" "So many distinguished persons on this 
platform;" "Every boy and girl in New York and 
Boston reading Punch;" "No man that can read 
that does not read Dombey," — is this the voice of 
Jacob? Are not the hands here of Esau? Hath 
Saul fallen among lying prophets? Pegasus, 
hast thou too become a stalled ox, or per- 
chance, a fatted, foolish calf? No, Pegasus has 
not become an ox, stalled or otherwise. In an 
instant he breaks the shackles of earth; he spreads 
his wings, and up he soars; for Emerson goes on: 

"But these things are not for me to say, these 

compliments, though true, would better come from 

.one who felt and understood these merits more. 

I am not here to exchange civilities with you, but 


rather to speak of that which I am sure interests 
these gentlemen more than their own praises; of 
that which is good in holidays and working days 
the same in one century and in another cen- 
tury : That which lures a solitary American in the 
woods with the wish to see England, is the moral 
peculiarity of the Saxon race, its commanding 
sense of right and wrong, the love and devotion 
to that — this is the imperial trait which arms them 
with the sceptre of the globe," and then goes on 
with an apotheosis of England which might have 
well fallen from the lips of Demosthenes himself. 

And this shrewd Yankee wit which delivers 
him so successfully when entrapped into Free 
Trade Banquet Speech serves him in equally 
good stead where the affair is more serious even 
than banquet : And this is the manner in which he 
is delivered: "Do not tell me," he says, "as a good 
man did today, of my obligation to put all poor 
men in good situations. Are they my poor? I 
tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I 
grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to 
such men as do not belong to me, and to whom I 
do not belong. There is a class of persons to 
whom by all spiritual affinity I am bought and 
sold; for them will I go to prison if need be; 
but your miscellaneous popular charities; the 
education at college of fools ; the building of meet- 
ing houses to the vain end to which many now 
stand; alms to sots, and the thousandfold Relief 
Societies — though I confess with shame I some- 
times succumb and give the dollar, it is a wicked 
dollar, which by and by I shall have the manhood 
to withold." 



Lastly, this shrewd Yankee wit saves him most 
effectually, not only from the accidental pitfalls 
which lie in the way of the literary man, but it 
saves him also from the one pitfall into which all 
other philosophers have hitherto fallen most 
successfully. For Emerson is first of all essen- 
tially a philosopher, but that which makes phil- 
osophers a weariness to ordinary flesh, is in 
Emerson nearly wholly wanting. The hereness 
of the there, and the thereness of the here; the 
thisness of the that, and the thatness of the this; 
the howness of the why, and the whyness of the 
how; the beingness of ising, and the isingness of 
being — these he slyly left to his transcendental 
companions. Whatever interest he too had in the 
treeness of the tree, and the thought ness of the 
thought ; the ideaness of the idea, and the ought- 
ness of the ought; the willness of the shall, and 
the shallness of the will — the elaboration thereof 
into verbiage he left to his friend Alcott; and 
whatever charm the subjectivity of the subject, 
and the objectivity of the object may have for 
him, he leaves the discussion thereof to Samuel 
Taylor Coleridge. Now and then he indeed does 
fall into the strain of the metaphysician, but he 
quickly recollects himself. Emerson sometimes 
nods, but sledom as philosopher. Even in his 
little volume called Nature, where he apparently 
starts out like a lusty system builder with all the 
apparatus of cause and effect, and inifnitude, 
and sublimitude, and wherefore and therefore, 
and hence and thence — like an uncoupled engine 
he speedily escapes from his load, and he ends at 


last with faring like Saul of eld, the son of Kish; 
he starts out to seek asses, and lo! he finds a 
Kingdom ! 

Out of this shrewd Americanism of Emerson 
springs his second characteristic; his fragmen- 
tariness; his systemlessness ; his great virtue of 
philosophic inconsistency. For a system of 
philosophy is at best a pyramid upside down: a 
vast structure built upon a point, hence a little 
wind blows it down. The great metaphysicians 
of the ages have ever been a kind of North-Pole- 
Passage-Seeking Company. No sooner had one 
bold explorer gone forth with his expedition than 
another must be sent after him, if not indeed al- 
ways to bring back his corpse, at least to thaw 
him out. Franklin has to be followed by Kane: 
Greeley by Peary; Andree by some one else. So 
likewise Plato must be followed by Aristotle; 
Descartes by Spinoza; Locke by Berkeley; Kant 
by Fichte; Hegel by Schelling. Each system is 
indeed in its own eyes as unupsettable as the 
rock of Scylla; but the opposing system is in its 
own eyes equally unupsettable; as unupsettable 
as the rock of Charybdis. And the poor seeker 
after truth among the metaphysicians, caught 
thus between Scylla and Charybdis, is crushed; 
crushed indeed now right ideally, and now right 
materially; now right noumenally, and now right 
phenomenally; now right transcendent ally, and 
now right experimentally, but crushed he is all 
the same relentlessly, even though it be done 
with right exquisite consistency. 


It is the great merit of Emerson as a philoso- 
pher that he is a philosopher without a system, 
that he is consistent in his very inconsistency. 
He had early learned the lesson meant to be con- 
veyed by the placing side by side of the two 
verses in Proverbs: "Answer not a fool according 
to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. 
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be 
wise in his own conceit ?" 

"The other terror," he says, "is our consistency; 
a reverence for our past act or word because the 
eyes of others have no other data for computing 
our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to 
dissappoint them. But why should you drag 
about this monstrous corpse of your memory, lest 
you contradict somewhat you have stated in this 
or that public place? Suppose you should con- 
tradict yourself? What then? . . . Trust your 
emotion. In your metaphysics you have denied 
personality to the Deity, yet when the devout 
moments of your soul come, yield to them heart 
and life, though they should clothe God with shape 
and color. Leave your theory, as Joseph his coat 
in the hand of the harlot, and flee. A foolish 
consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored 
by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. 
With consistency a great soul has simply nothing 
to do. He may as well concern himself with his 
shadow on the wall. Out upon your guarded 
lips! Sew them up with pock thread, do. Else, 
if you would be a man speak what you think today 
in words as hard as cannon-balls, and tomorrow 
speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, 
though it contradict everything you said today. 


Ah, then, exclaim the aged ladies, you shall be 
sure to be misunderstood! Misunderstood! It 
is a right fool's word. Pythagoras was misunder- 
stood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and 
Copermicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every 
pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be 
great is to be misunderstood." 

It is this systemlessness that saves him as a 
man of letters ; that saves him from the usual fate 
of the systematizing philosophers. A musician 
without fingers; a painter without hands; a racer 
without feet quickly loses his artisitc skill; 
Emerson gains by his very loss. Though he has 
the mystic outlook of Swedenborg, he has not his 
illusions : though he has the eagle eye of Napoleon, 
he has not his brutality ; though he has the poise 
of Goethe, he has not his frivolity. He is an 
American; but a Yankee American; he is a 
Puritan; but a 19th century Puritan; he is a 
Christless Plato, but a Plato rolled out into an 
American Benjamin Franklin. 

Out of this systemlessness, out of this frag- 
mentariness springs Emerson's third characteris- 
tic: his well-nigh matchless economy of artistic 
expression. Emerson has indeed, a most nu- 
merous artistic ancestry, and I have already stated 
that he is a dozen ancestors rolled into one. But 
what he has least of all in him is the Frenchman. 
And yet, in spite of this, his most unFrench 
Americanism, no one, in the whole range of letters, 
has more of the economic French housewife in him 


than Emerson; nay, with the sole exception of 
Turgenef no one has perhaps even scarcely as 
much. No housewife can make the leavings of 
today's dinner go so far towards tomorrow's 
breakfast as the French-woman. And so Emer- 
son knows how to gather up even the minutest 
filings of words into most powerful magnets by 
the sheer charge through them of his own nervous 
fluid. Accordingly in the power of expression, 
concentrated expression, which indeed is alone 
worthy of the name of literary art, Emerson stands 


When at his best he is not content until his 
paragraph has been compressed into a period; 
the period into a sentence; the sentence into a 
phrase ; the phrase into an expression ; the expres- 
sion into a word; the word into a syllable; the 
syllable into a letter; the letter into an apostrophe. 
Emerson is not content until he sees the three 
words "in spite of" reduced into the one word 
"maugre," and he rests not until he cramps the 
four letters of the two words it is by means of the 
apostrophe into the three letters of the one word 
'tis. Critical folk, who are rather slow to find 
beauties where beauties are, but swift to find 
blemishes where blemishes are not, have con- 
demned Emerson's "maugre" and "'tis" as 
affectatious, as pedantic. ' But for whate'er else 
Emerson may justly incur censure, for pedantry 
and affectation he cannot be censured. He is 
at times archaic, but not pedantic; he is sometimes 
stiff, but never affected. These concentrated 
expressions are as much part of Emerson as his 
matchless saying, matchless in its intense com- 


pression. "Commit a crime, and the world 
is made of glass." This passion for concentra- 
tion takes him at times to the verge of obscurity 
even for those happy sons of Adam to whom 
Browning is an ever-open book. But this because 
he is essentially a great literary artist, filled herein 
with the spirit of Him that commandeth after 
feeding the five thousand that the broken pieces 
be gathered up lest aught be wasted. 


Emerson has come herein right close to the 
heart of the great God who numbereth even the 
hairs of our head as well as the sands of the shore ; 
who weigheth the hills in the balance, and the dust 
in the scales. Emerson has herein come nigh 
to the method of him who hath said, Every idle 
word that men shall speak they shall give account 
thereof in the day of judgment, for by thy words 
thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou 
shalt be condemned. Emerson is thus a literary 
Economist of the highest order. This has indeed 
the disadvantage of being enjoyable, not to say 
acceptable, only to the few; but these few are of 
the class of whom Aesop's lioness spake, when 
chided for bringing forth only one offspring: 
"One, but a— lion." 


Emerson is a match which does not yield 
its fire unless rubbed; and rubbed not so much 
against the coarse sandpaper as against the smooth 
velvet. But the human kind of these two cen- 
turies is not given to the slow process of striking 
matches by rubbing. It prefers to get the light 
by pressing a button instead ; and Emerson is not 


an easily touched, pressible button, Emerson 
remains, as he ever was, the infinitely repelling 

Emerson is to a thought what the spider 
is to its victim. As the spider fastens itself 
upon the fly and sucks and sucks thereat until all 
that is left thereof is a mere shell, so Emerson 
fastens himself upon a thought and presses and 
squeezes and sucks thereat until he hath ex- 
hausted it to dryness. 

And thus we arrive at Emerson's fourth charac- 
teristic, his greatest characteristic, that he is 
primarily an aphorist, not only a thinker, but a 
sayer of thoughts, and among these only Pascal 
can be placed worthily by his side. He had 
indeed fed much on Montaigne, and the legiti- 
mate successors of Montaigne in France are 
Rochefoucault, La Bruyere, Joubert, Vauvenar- 
gues. But giants though these be in their field, 
Emerson is among them a Goliath. Dame Part- 
ington with her broom sweeping at the Atlantic 
gives but a faint impression of the difference in 
power betwixt these and Emerson. " Language," 
he says, "is fossil poetry." "Give me health and 
a day," he cries, "and I will make the pomp of 
emperors ridiculous." His genius is most at home 
as a maker of phrases, and in striking sentences 
like these he is unsurpassed, and in volume per- 
haps unapproached. On reading him you feel 
as if you had laid hold of Humbolt's South Ameri- 
can eel, with consequent series of electric shocks: 
"Set a hedge here," he says; "set oaks there, 


trees behind trees; above all, set overgreens, for 
they will keep a secret all the year round." "No 
man is fit for society who has fine traits. At a 
distance he is admired, but bring him- hand to 
hand, he is a cripple." "We pray to be conven- 
tional. But the wary heaven takes care you shall 
not be if there is anything good in you. Dante 
was very bad company, and was never invited to 
dinner. Michael Angelo had a sad, sour time of 
it." "We sit and muse and are serene and com- 
plete, but the moment we meet with anybody each 
becomes a fraction." "Society we must have, 
but let it be society, and not exchanging news, or 
eating from the same dish. Is it society to sit 
in one of your chairs? I cannot go to the house 
of my nearest relatives because I do not wish to 
be alone." "I find out in an instant if my com- 
panion does not want me, and ropes cannot hold 
me when my welcome is gone." "Assort your 
party or invite none. Put Stubbs and Coleridge, 
Quintilian and Aunt Miriam, into pairs and you 
make them wretched. 'Tis an extempore Sing- 
Sing built in a parlor. Leave them to seek their 
own mates, and they will be merry as sparrows." 
"All conversation is a magnetic experiment. I 
know that my friend can talk eloquently; you 
know that he cannot articulate a sentence: we 
have seen him in different company." These 
seven sayings are all from one single essay out of 
his hundred. 

Emerson is thus an aphorist, and an aphorist 
of the highest order. I will go further and say 
that in so far that he has literary life at all, it is 


because of his aphorisms,, rather than because of 
the Emersonism so dear to his admirers. 


Emerson is false, and will have to go as all 
falsehood has to go. But while Shakespeare 
without his playableness is no more Shakespeare, 
since his dramatic garb is as inseparable from the 
man as the coat in the fable which comes off only 
with the flesh — while Goethe without his sing- 
ableness is no more Goethe, but a George Eliot 
in speech, and grandpa'ish Novalis in thought; 
while Carlyle without his groan becomes a kind 
of Benjamin Franklin whistle, Emerson is at his 
best when stripped of all his Emersonism. He is 
an eagle from whom each master in the various 
fields of life can pluck a feather. The meta- 
physician can show flaws in his philosophy, and 
out comes the philosophic feather. The his- 
torian finds a hole in his theory of history, and 
out comes the historic feather. The scientist 
has a right lusty pull at his doctrine that a horse 
is but a running man, a tree but a rooted man, and 
out comes the scientific feather; lastly the Chris- 
tian jerks most relentlessly at his whole theory 
of life, and out come wing feathers, breast feathers, 
head feathers, and divers other feathers. And in 
the end we behold him lying before us all plucked, 
a plucked eagle. But while ordinary eagles when 
plucked, are not readily distinguishable from 
plucked geese, it is Emerson's singular fortune 
that he is then most his literary self, when de- 
prived of all that makes him great in the sight of 
his disciples. For Emerson is only then truly 
found, when he is first wholly lost. 



After listening to the ravishing playing of 
Paganini on his violin, Heine complimented the 
artist for his marvellous performance. "But 
I pray you, tell me," asked the disappointed 
violinist, "how did you like my bows to the 
audience?" And even of Napoleon it is reported 
that he was more concerned with the opinion folk 
had of the shape and tinge of his hands than of the 
art with which he fought his battles. Some such 
misrelation seemed also to exist between Emer- 
son's true art and what he had accepted as his 
true vocation in life. For not in fragmentary dis- 
course alone was Emerson master. I have 
already spoken of his words at Manchester ban- 
quet, that as an orator even the strain of De- 
mosthenes is not wanting to him. His letters 
to Carlyle, the narrative portion of his "English 
Traits" show clearly that even in continuous 
discourse he can be a lion among beasts, a whale 
among fish, a sun among planets. But Emerson 
has not only renounced continuous discourse 
where he would be a cloudless sun, he has breathed 
over his aphorisms vapors so foreign to them that 
the artist becomes a beclouded moon. 

For it is the last and chief characteristic of 
Emerson that he is not only a protestor against 
the falsehoods of Christendom, but he is also a 
teacher against the truth of Christianity, and 
here he has fared like all those who have gone be- 
fore him, be they emperor, be they scientist, be 
they literary man. Not a century, scarcely a 
decade, has indeed passed but a right vigorous 



canonade of all manner of artillery has been 
directed against that Gibraltar of the ages, the 
cross of Christ. But the powder has proved to be 
only that for firecrackers, and the shot has proved 
to be only peas; and while the glare has indeed 
been at times rather brilliant, and the rattle rather 
loud, Gibraltar still stands, and like a granite 
cube, however often overturned, the cross of 
Christ is ever found right side up. 

For Christianity has indeed enjoined upon men 
to hold fast that which is good; but it has also 
enjoined upon men to prove not some things, 
but all things. Christianity has indeed enjoined 
upon men to be filled with the spirit of God, but 
it hath also enjoined upon men to try the spirits 
whether they be of God. Christianity has indeed 
enjoined upon men to contend earnestly for the 
faith once for all delivered unto the saints, but it 
has also enjoined upon men to be ready to give 
unto every one that asketh a reason for the faith 
that is in them. Christianity does indeed com- 
mand the disciple to walk in the full assurance 
of the blessed hope, but it also commands 
the disciple to examine himself whether he be in 
the faith. Christianity is thus a scientific re- 
ligion, with constant exhortation to apply thereto 
the scientific methods, with constant appeal to 
the law of evidence, upon which modern science 
professeth so much to repose. 


But while Christianity is thus scientific, and 
never asks man to accept aught but what can be 
proved, Christendom has adopted a method far 
other than scientific. As it holdeth no longer fast 


to that which is good, it can no more prove all 
things whether they be good. As it is no longer 
filled with the Spirit of God, it can no longer 
try the spirits whether they be of God. As it 
contends no longer earnestly for the faith once 
for all delivered unto the saints, it can give no 
longer a reason to every one that asketh for the 
faith that is therein. As it no longer walks in 
the assurance of the blessed hope of the return of 
the absent Lord, it can no longer examine itself 
whether it be in the faith. Christendom has 
thus substituted the traditions of men for the 
word of God; authority for experience; conformity 
for conviction. And against this unscientific, 
unchristian method of Christendom it is that 
Emerson felt called upon to enter his protest with 
the strength of a Samson, with the voice of a Stentor. 

And had Emerson been content to pause 
here, my task would here be done. But Emerson 
has not been content to pause here. The true 
protestor became a false teacher; to a false auth- 
ority he opposes an equally false self-reliance. 
And this non-conformity, this self-reliance forms 
accordingly the warp and woof of Emerson's 
being. It is the burden of his song, the strain 
of his various themes.. 

The key note to Emerson's message unto man 
is Self -Reliance. Look only to thyself, for thou 
art God. This doctrine of Self-Reliance is not 
so very new, as his worshippers would fain make 
men believe. It was in nowise born with Emer- 
son; was old already some centuries before him. 


Francis Bacon — who had openly confessed as his 
Lord the same Christ whom Emerson patronizes 
as a merely misunderstood fellow-seer in the realm 
of Self -Reliance — -had already talked in a similar 
strain. The stoics had already said this much, 
even before Bacon, and a certain Babylonian 
King, Nebuchadnezzar by name, had even become 
quite exalted in his own sight as an ample piece 
of Self -Reliance. And long before even Neb- 
uchadnezzar, a certain dame, Miriam by name, 
had been a rather eloquential exponent of Emer- 
sonian doctrine; "Hath the Lord spoken to Moses 
only V ' Nay, if we go to the bottom of the matter, 
we find the enunciation of Emerson's doctrine of 
Self -Reliance as far back as in Paradise itself: 
"If ye, O Adam and Eve, only disobey God — ye 
shall be yourselves as God!" 

But who shall say that it was not this tampering 
with the truth of Christ that made the otherwise 
pious Bacon a corrupt judge? Nebuchadnezzar 
had to eat grass like an ox ere he could be healed 
of his delusion; and Miriam had to become a 
leper ere she could be healed of hers. And in 
paradise our parents became indeed like Gods, 
but with the rather sad result of making Emerson 
indispensable henceforth to all who like him be- 
come self -uplifted Gods 


As the whole law and the prophets hang 
upon the two commandments Thou shalt love the 
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy 
soul, and all thy mind, and all thy strength, 


and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, 
so the whole dozen volumes of Emerson re- 
volve round these two foci; Conform to none, 
on the one hand — to none, not even to Christ; 
trust thyself, on the other, whosoever thou art, 
if even a gosling, since thou too, man, art 
God. And this, his anti-christian teaching at 
once suffuses a glow of consistency through 
every page of this master of inconsistency. The 
philosopher quarrels with Emerson for his in- 
consistency; the scientist quarrels with him for his 
oracular positiveness, his orphicity. But having 
along with Christendom rejected Christianity, 
having with the water of the bath thrown away 
also the child it contained; having thus cut 
himself off from what alone makes life consist- 
ent; from what alone brings order into chaos, 
even the cross of Christ, Emerson could become 
consistent only as a apostle of inconsistency. But 
he is inconsistent solely because having espied 
the true evil, he offers the false remedy. In like 
manner he is oracular because having once re- 
jected the Christ who is alone The Truth, it was 
part of true wisdom not to pause midway, but 
to go to the end; and to oppose to every Thus Saith 
the Lord, an equally positive Thus Saith Emerson- 
ian Ralph Waldo. 


In his singularly inadequate paper on Emerson, 
Matthew Arnold complains of him, that though 
he belongs to those who are helpers in the Spirit, 
he must deny him a place among the great writers, 
because he lacks texture ; because he lacks uniform 
greatness of style. And it must be confessed 


that the charge, as thus stated, is just enough. 
Abounding as he is in noble paragraphs and brave 
sentences, Emerson does indeed lack uniform 
texture. He abounds in pages that are half true, 
quarter-true, not at all true. He abounds in 
pages of which the sense cannot be got through the 
grammar, the meaning hardly even through the 
dictionary. So that logical head of New England 
Bar can only exclaim with right royal disdain:"/ 
don't read Emerson, my girls do." Requested 
once to explain a passage, he frankly owns that 
he must have known its meaning once, but in 
nowise now. But surely, Matthew Arnold, who 
could deal so justly with Joubert, would not thus 
have been misled by Emerson's style had he once 
understood that the literary Emerson is not to 
be judged as a writer of continuous discourse, but 
rather the man Emerson, the enemy of the Cross ; 
that the literary Emerson was a writer of de- 
tached thoughts, a gigantic Joubert, just as Jupiter 
though like the earth only a planet, is still a 
gigantic earth. But as mere aphorist Emerson 
could not overthrow the cross of Christ by hurling 
epigrams against it, just as the Capitol at Wash- 
ington cannot be exploded by a mere bundle of 
matches. Of dynamite for granite palace there 
is indeed abundance enough, but dynamite for 
exploding the Cross, there is none to be had in the 
market at any quotation. Accordingly in de- 
fault of dynamite, Emerson has to take to rags 
wherewith to feed the fire of his beautiful matches. 
Rags, however, instead of burning themselves, 
put out the matches instead, with net result of 
a logical Judge vociferating "I don't read Emerson, 
my girls do!" 


28. ' 

For by a grim kind of divine irony, this anti- 
christianity of Emerson becomes a veritable 
Waterloo to that marvellous literary art of his. 
As Walter Scott met his Waterloo in his Life of 
Napoleon; as Matthew Arnold has met his 
Waterloo in his essays on Emerson and Shelley, so 
Emerson himself has met his Waterloo in his 
doctrine of Self -Reliance. For his false system of 
Self-Reliance must be supported by the still 
falser doctrine that man is God. And the 
theory that man is God must be upheld even 
though the right lovely babes of aphorisms 
have to be suffocated under a heap of phil- 
osophic verbiage. To give plausibility to the 
theory, the picture must be given a frame; 
the jewel must be given a casket; the casket 
crushes the jewel, the setting shears the gem of its 
beams. The numerous discourses in which Emer- 
son's precious sentences are well-nigh hopelessly 
entombed form a kind of Barbarossa armor to 
them: instead of protecting, they drag down. 
The very setting in which his gems are encased, 
that which is most trusted to float his treasure, 
sinks them; the setting to his maxims has proved 
a life preserver wrongly put on. Instead of keep- 
ing the head out of the water, it sends up the 
feet instead. Emerson's literary art is thus a 
child in the hands of a tender but incompetent 
nurse; suffocated by its very wrappage. And the 
treatment Christianity received at the hands of 
Emerson is likely to be his own at the hands of his 
future readers: the child is like to be thrown 
away with the water in which it was bathed. 



This it is that poor Matthew Arnold is so 
hopelessly struggling to put into speech about 
Emerson. He had rummaged through all the 
pigeon-holes of literature and found no place for 
Emerson, just, as Noah's dove finds no place for 
the sole of her feet. He goes among the poets and 
finds no place for Emerson here. He goes among 
the philosophers, and finds no room for him there. 
He goes among the great writers, and lo! here 
also, he cannot stow away this elephant of a Ralph 
Waldo. In despair he at last patches him on to 
the imperial purple of Rome; coupling thus the 
steam-engine to the truckman's dray-beast. Mat- 
thew Arnold, not beholding in Emerson the 
matchless aphorist could only fumble about with 
his criticism, but his instinct was wiser than his 
canon, and his condemnation of Emerson's tex- 
ture, however ill-motived, was nevertheless abid- 
ingly just. 

But however right Arnold be in the condem- 
nation of Emerson's style, the vice lies not in his 
maxims, nor in his aphorisms but solely in his 
consecutive discourse in the clothing of his maxims 
in the wrappage of his aphorisms. When, for 
example, he says: "This life of ours is stuck round 
with Egypt, Greece, Gaul, England, War, Coloni- 
zation, Church, Court, Commerce, as with 
so many flowers and wild ornaments grave and 
gay," he utters not only a profound saying, an 
admirable thought; he utters even a painted 
image, feasting the soul not only with a truth, 


but with a picturesque truth: offering not only a 
thought to the mind, but a bouquet to the 
imagination. But apart from even this sentence 
suffering somewhat from more than needless 
share of evening trail to the reception gown, he 
introduces this otherwise admirable sentence with 
the remark that time dissipates into shining ether 
the solid angularities of facts. Well, a fact that 
has angles and solid angles suggests a table; 
and while it is indeed rather difficult to behold 
a table dissipated, and dissipated into ether, 
and into shining ether, and all this done by time — 
yet the love which covereth all things could well 
cover this also, all the more so in Ralph Waldo 
Emerson. But he follows his saying about this 
life of ours being stuck round, with these words: 
"I will not make more account of them: (Egypt, 
Greece, Gaul, etc). I believe in eternity. I 
can find Greece, Palestine, Italy, Spain, and the 
Islands — the genius and creative principle of each 
in my own mind;" and forthwith he opens the 
Pandora box for all manner of legitimate off- 
spring of such Self -Reliance : forthwith he opens 
the Pandora box for the American youth in the 
village crying to Elisha: "Go up, go up, thou bald- 
head;" he opens the Pandora box for the anar- 
chist in the city/ who objects to the comb and 
brush of the law as well as to the comb and the 
brush of the hair; he opens the Pandora box 
for that godless self-sufficiency upon which the 
sacred writer passes such terrible sentence 
with the words: In those days there was no 
King in Israel; every one did what was right 
in his own eyes." 



And as in his essay on Self-Reliance he lays 
the foundation for Anarchy, so in his essay on 
Compensation, he lays foundation for that Chris- 
tian Science which is neither Christian nor scien- 
tific, just as the numerous New England straw- 
berry hills are distinguished chiefly for having no 
strawberries and for being no hills. "Existence," 
he says, "or God, is not a relation or a part but the 
whole. Being" — and here for once the shrewd 
Ralph Waldo Emerson fails to escape the hereness 
of the there, and the thereness of the here; 
the isingness of being and beingness of ising — 
"Being" he says, "is the vast affirmative, ex- 
cluding negation, self-balanced, and swallowing 
up all relations, parts and times, within itself. 
Nature, truth virtue, are the influx from thence. 
Vice is the absence of departure of the same. 
Nothing, Falsehood, may indeed stand as the great 
night or shade on which as a background the 
living universe paints itself forth; but no fact 
is begotten by it ; it cannot work, for it is not. It 
cannot work any good, it cannot work any 
harm." On which unintelligible passage the only 
intelligible commentary is that heroic treatment 
which requires the patient to sit in silence at 
one dollar an hour, and to meditate on the un- 
reality of toothache at $10.00 a course. 

And hardly an essay of his but contains some 
such winged insect with the head indeed of harm- 
less locust, but with the sting in its tail, with ulti- 
mate torment to those that come nigh them, with 
ultimate destruction to those that flee not from 


Emerson was an optimist, and much of his 
power over men he owes to this optimism of his ; 
to this cube-like unupsettiblity of his at the sight 
of the ills of men. But his was a most eupeptic 
digestive apparatus; the aches of the heart, the 
sorrows of the soul, the pains of the flesh — 
he knew them not. Friends had not forsaken 
him, malice had not o'ertaken him. It is easy 
to be an optimist when one floats in the rotundity 
of his own fat, when oysters give not the colic, 
and mince pie gives not the nightmare. But the 
universe takes on far other appearance to man 
when the extra ounce of bread lies upon his breast 
as a Kosmos upon the shoulders of Atlas; when 
a lone cup of tea at eventide lengthens out 
the wakeful night into another day. To be 
an optimist then, it is no longer Emersonian 
self-reliance that suffices here, but wholly un- 
Emersonian. God-reliance. 

Thus it comes to pass that Emerson to do 
battle with Christianity was obliged to furnish 
his shafts with a beam; but the clumsiness of the 
beam deflects the shaft downward, instead of for- 
ward, and the weapon turned out of its way at 
last falls ignominiously to the ground, piercing 
nothing but the sand. 

The great vice of Emerson's teaching then, 
his Self-Reliance on the one hand, and his 
divinity of man on the other. But the human 
heart is right prone to listen to this siren song of 
the native divinity of man. 



The small man makes a God out of only one 
man — himself ; the great man makes all men God : 
the one is the small heathen, the other is the great 
pagan. Now Emerson sails out as the great 
pagan, but lands (and this in spite of himself) 
with the small heathen: self -uplifted, self-cen- 
tered. That he does not sink with Whitman to 
the self -occupied he owes not to his philosophy, but 
to the seven generations of the blood of the Lamb 
flowing in his veins. Man is not God, not 
even a god: he is a worm, and worse than a 
worm ; the worm made to crawl has never attempt- 
ed to strut; man being given eyes wherewith 
to see God above him, puts them out; and then 
professes to see Him even while only groping 
after Him. The worm has never rebelled against 
God, man has. In a world without a Christ 
Emerson is a magnificent ladder; takes straight 
up to the peak, only to find it ice-clad. And if 
perchance the benumbed mountaineer bestirs 
himself, and attempts to return, lo, the rungs have 
disappeared; and what is left is an icy peak, two 
parrallel poles, and a benumbed man . . . And that 
the benumbed man, perishing thus on the peak, 
is at last rescued is due solely to another ladder, 
a Jacob's ladder, upon which angels descend and 
ascend. For the Son of Man came to seek 
and to save that which is lost, lost even on Emer- 
sonian peaks. 

I need not know how kind-hearted a man 
Emerson was: seven generations of honest gospel 
blood cannot be drawn off all at once even in 


transcendental pails, and his heart was wiser than 
the philosophic infinitely repelling particle of his 
own description. Men are always better than 
their creed, though seldom as good as their 
religion. But loving though Emerson surely was, 
Emersonism has not been loving, any more than 
Stoicism is loving, any more than any self- 
sufficiency can be loving; and — Who loveth not 
abideth in death. Singularly barren has been 
Emerson's teaching. Where Tolstoy is an ox, 
with narrow range, but patiently serving; where 
Arnold is a swan, with equally limited range, 
but gracefully floating; where Ruskin is a lion, 
ranging wide, and Carlyle is a whale, diving deep, 
Emerson is an eagle, soaring high. But beside 
the thrashing whalishness of Carlyle Emerson 
is a gentle dove. Yet whalish Carlyle leaves 
behind him a Ruskin and Froude, the gentle 
Emerson leaves behind him a handful of teles- 
copic moons — eclipsed. The transcendental 
movement — who is not reminded here of those 
western roads which begin so magnificently as 
boulevards, and end a few miles off as squirrel 
tracks? It has even had its historian, but like 
Roman civilization it was decayed before it was 
ripe, and it has all been carted off into a kind of 
ignominious valley of Hinnom; movement, asso- 
ciation, satellites, historian, and all. 

All that is left of the commotion is Emerson 
himself, a lone eagle on the bare crag. He 
had hatched what were to be eaglets; and they 
only proved ducklings, which took to the water 
at the first opportunity, and there he is alone . . 


And yet but for the divine veto, thou didst deserve 
better things, thou and thy satellites, O Ralph 
Waldo! for among them were of the salt of the 
earth ; if only they had been boiled out from sea 
water into the rock salt. 

With all his whalishness Carlyle was a hungry, 
and therefore loving heart. Emerson could not 
have written Past and Present, Fors Clavigera, 
What to Do. Past and Present is not Carlyle, 
it is the cry of the human heart through Carlyle. 
Fors Clavigera is not Ruskin, it is the woe of 
the human heart through Ruskin. What to Do 
is not Tolstoy, it is the protest of the human 
heart through Tolstoy. But the cry, the woe, 
the protest, Emerson did not utter, could not 
utter, because the woe was not in him at all, the 
protest got no farther than his head, the cry went 
not beyond his chamber. Emerson's home was 
on Mount Olympus, but from that mount Zeus 
came down only to seek a concubine ; from another 
mount comes down another God to go to the cross 
for those who spit in his face. This is Love, 
and love is a gift directly from above, whereas 
even genius may be loaned from beneath. 
A man can indeed receive nothing except it 
be given him from above. But "To thee will I 
give all this authority and the glory of them, 
for it hath been delivered unto me, and unto whom- 
soever I will I give it." Love and Truth alone 
have not been delivered unto Satan to give unto 
men, for a liar is he, and a murderer from the 
beginning. And that priceless gift of love is 
withholden above all from the self-sufficient. 


Man is sick, and a wise physician has been sent 
unto him, but they that are whole need him 
not. Carlyle, Ruskin, and Tolstoy were given 
that love, because they had not barricaded them- 
selves with a philosophy of Self -Reliance. Long- 
suffering and patient is our God with the sons of 
men. Seeing that they are but flesh, his Spirit 
doth not strive with them for aye; and he wit- 
nesseth the spitting upon even his well-beloved 
son, without hurling down instant wrath. But the 
one thing he will not pass over is the sight of 
a worm of a man shaking as it were his red cloth 
in the face of heaven, and shouting from on tip- 
toe, I too am God! Isaiah, on the eve of his 
embassage for King of kings, and Lord of lords, 
is permitted a glimpse of the glory of God; 
forthwith he cries: "Woe is me, I am undone, for 
I am a man of unclean lips, and dwell in the midst 
of an unclean people. ■ ' And thou, Ralph Waldo 
art — really God? Job, of whom it is witnessed 
by the Spirit that he was perfect, has too, like 
Emerson, an experience, but only to cry out at 
the end thereof: "I have heard of thee with the 
hearing of mine ear; but now that mine eye seeth 
thee, I am vile and repent in dust and ashes." 
And thou, O Ralph Waldo, art really — God? 
Daniel, the well-beloved in heaven, no sooner 
doth he ope his mouth in prayer, than forthwith 
is Gabriel caused to fly swiftly to bring cheer to 
his troubled heart. The prayer of a righteous 
man availeth much in its working. But this 
Daniel, at whose prayers the very angels have to 
fly, humbleth himself before his God for one and 
twenty days; and the burden of this faultless 
Daniel is: Lord, righteousness belongeth 


unto thee, but unto us confusion of face." And 
thou, O Ralph Waldo, art really — God? Lastly, 
the well-beloved Son himself, when as mere man 
he is addressed as Good Master, giveth answer: 
"Call no man good: One is good, God." And 
thou, O Ralph Waldo, art verily Go(o)d? Not 
so; far other is the language of the truly godly 
soul: "I am poor and needy, I am a worm, and 
not a man." The soul that spake thus had 
tasted God, and shall we, wormlings that we are, 
speak otherwise in the presence of God? 


Channing's Dignity of Man has in Emerson 
become the Divinity of Man, and with all such 
the Lord God, who is a jealous God, hath a 
stern controversy. And instant was his judg- 
ment. Thou shalt have the gift of Midas, and 
whatsoever thou touchest shall turn into gold, 
but bread O, Ralph Waldo, it shall in nowise 


And out of his own mouth was he judged, this 
son of earth. In a deeper sense than meant by 
himself he was to remain for aye and infinitely 
repelling particle. The pagan imagination could 
devise no severer affliction than Prometheus at 
his rock and Sisyphus with his stone. Emerson, 
falling into the hands of Christian's God, 
was graciously allowed only to journey in a 
parabolic curve; ever approaching God, never 
reaching him. 



By the banks of the River Nyeman, which 
divides Russia from Germany, man stands 
forth like an imperial eagle; the body is indeed 
single, but the head is double; and of these two 
heads one is turned toward the West whither 
hath been flowing for ages the sinking wisdom of 
the past; the other is turned toward the East, 
whither is bound to flow the rising wisdom of 
the future. Accordingly, where Germany hath 
hitherto travelled to England, and Italy to 
France, and these in their turn across the Atlantic, 
Russia has turned Eastward, to Asia; not to 
pause in its journey onward until it hath met 
once more the parted stream across the Pacific. 
The River Nyeman is thus a kind of modern 
Peleg, of whom we are told that in his days was 
the earth divided; and at the extreme ends of 
modern civilization thus stand its two youngest 
political powers : Russia at the one end, America 
at the other; the one a head without a body; the 
other a body without a head; where the one 
is a head of gold with feet of clay, the other 
is feet of gold with head of clay. Russia is thus 
the strongest type of autocracy, America the 
strongest type of democracy; and the two 
countries are thus each at the end of the one 
chain of mankind; but while America began in 
the spirit and ended in the flesh — while the 



flower of American civilization which began in 
the ever God-acknowledging puritanism, is self- 
reliant, man-uplifted, Christ-denying Ralph 
Waldo Emerson — Russia, which began in the 
flesh, is like to end in the spirit, and the flower 
of its civilization, which begins with the heaven- 
defying French encyclopaedists, ends in Leo 
Tolstoy, who, while beginning indeed likewise with 
dethroning the Father, ends with something only 
short of abasing himself before the Son. 


Emerson and Tolstoy are thus the two extreme 
peaks in the mountain-chain of mankind, while 
between them rise as connecting range, Carlyle, 
Ruskin, and Arnold; and as such peaks they 
overlook not only America and Russia, but also 
whatsoever lieth between. Just as Emerson is 
more than an American, so is Tolstoy more than 
a Russian. Carlyle indeed is also not wholly 
British; Ruskin indeed is also not wholly English; 
and Arnold indeed is also not wholly insular. 
Carlyle besides being a Britisher, has indeed 
much of the German in him; Ruskin besides 
being an Englishman, has indeed much of the 
Italian in him; and Arnold besides being an 
islander, has indeed much of the Frenchman in 
him. But from the Germans Carlyle has taken 
chiefly only his elephantine clumsiness, his 
sauerkraut heaviness; from the Frenchman 
Arnold has taken mostly only the brilliant 
sparkle of his wine; while from the Italian 
Ruskin takes often indeed his sunniness, but he 
takes also along with it the fine hand of the 
Italian with the Italian's cold steel therein. 
None of these, however, are yet wholly cosmo- 


politan. Emerson and Tolstoy, are alone of the 
five men before us truly cosmopolitan; and as 
Emerson is the fruit not only of many climes 
but also of many ages, so is Tolstoy the voice 
not only of many lands but also of many cen- 
turies. But while the chief characteristic of the 
most cosmopolitan of Americans is that he is 
Yankee of Yankees, it is the chief characteristic 
of this most Russian of Russians that he is most 
cosmopolitan of cosmopolitans. 


For the first characteristic of the Russian is: 
that where the German is first of all a German 
man, and the Englishman an English man; 
where the Frenchman is first of all a French man, 
and the American an American man; where, 
with these, in short, geography is first and man- 
kind last, and duties are determined more by 
the map than by the commandment of God, the 
Russian is first of all a man, and a Russian only 
afterwards; with him mankind is first and 
geography last; his text-book of duties is made 
up more of equity and rectitude, than from longi- 
tude and latitude. Hence Russia, though it hath 
indeed a right rich literature, hath as yet no 
national literature ; though it hath a right trans- 
latable literature, it hath as yet no original 
literature. Hence, where an Englishman learns 
a foreign tongue chiefly in order the better to 
travel; where a German studies a foreign tongue 
chiefly in order the better to understand com- 
parative grammar; where an American learns a 
foreign tongue, if not indeed always the better 
to sell his locomotives and pills, at least the better 


to translate the latest foreign sensation; the 
Russian — such is his native sympathy with man 
that the acquisition of foreign tongues is to him 
almost a kind of natural gift. Where the feud 
betwixt Englishman and Irishman has been 
carried on for decades; where the bitterness 
betwixt German and Frenchman has been 
fomented for centuries; the Russian, even though 
he has warred for years against the Pole, the 
Swede, or the Tartar, has no ill-will toward these. 
Whatever sorrows the numerous foreign nation- 
alities had to endure on Russian soil have ever 
been due to the hands of the government, never 
to the hearts of the people. Accordingly, where 
in Germany and France the Jew is despised 
because of his race; where in America the negro 
is shunned because of his color, and the Irishman 
is patronized only because of his vote ; in Russia 
the only one that reminds Alexander Pushkin 
of his negro blood is the poet himself; and the 
only man that reminds Obrutshef of his Irish 
descent is the general himself; and if, perchance, 
the Russian takes at last to the mobbing of the 
Jews, it is not as in Europe because of their race; 
it is rather because he is incited thereto by their 
usury-bled victims on the one hand, and by 
priestly or revolutionary zealots on the other. 
Accordingly, where the Frenchman studies the 
religion of Christ to find therein a basis for a new 
system of society; where the German studies 
the religion of Christ to find therein a basis for 
a new system of metaphysics ; where the English- 
man studies the religion of Christ to find therein 
the basis for a new system of theology; lastly, 
where the American studies the religion of Christ 


to find therein the basis for a new denomination; 
Tolstoy, the Russian, studies the religion of Christ 
first of all to find therein a basis on which to live 
the better himself, from which the better to help 
his fellow man. Accordingly, where Emerson's 
remedy for the ills of men is self-reliance ; where 
Carlyle's remedy for the ills of men is occupation 
in self-drowning work; where Arnold's remedy 
for the ills of men is culture; where Ruskin's 
remedy for the ills of men is reorganization of the 
machinery of life — all these, however, providing 
no further than for the comfort of self; Tolstoy's 
remedy for the ills of men is not that which hath 
its centre in self, but rather that love of his kind, 
which ever hath its centre in aught beyond self. 

And as Tolstoy's first characteristic is thus his 
Russian universality, so his second characteristic 
is no less Russian. For Tolstoy's is that Russian 
intensity, which as it fears nothing, also yields to 
nothing, and likewise shrinks from nothing; for 
the Russian is nothing if not intense. When he 
loves, he loves with all his heart; when he adores, 
he adores with all his soul; when he submits, 
he submits with all his being; when he rebels, 
he rebels with all his force. Now Christianity 
expects from its followers their utmost devo- 
tion; Christ exacts from His disciples their 
intensest trust. He, too, like Shylock, exacts 
from His follower the pound of flesh even to the 
thousandth part of an ounce, and He will be put 
off with nothing short of total self -surrender. 
Father, mother, brother, sister, houses, wives, 
lands, are to be laid on the altar of their Lord 


as relentlessly as Isaac was laid at the hands of 
his father. All these are to be as naught when 
compared with the devotion of Christian unto 
his Master. "If any would follow after me let 
him deny himself, and take up his cross daily 
and follow me," is the condition of discipleship 
from the lips of the Master Himself. " Think 
not," He says, " that I came to bring peace on 
earth. I came not to bring peace, but a sword; 
for I came to set a man at variance against his 
father, and the daughter against her mother, 
and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in- 
law; and a man's foes shall be they of his own 
household. Who loveth father or mother more 
than me is not worthy of me; and who loveth 
son or daughter more than me is not worthy of 
me; and who doth not take his cross and follow 
after me is not worthy of me." Accordingly when 
a Russian of Russians like Tolstoy finds in the 
words of Christ the words of life — -where the 
German pauses to investigate whether they be 
of Christ, where the American pauses to consider 
whether they be practical — Tolstoy pauses for 
nothing ; he lays hold of them with the passion- 
ateness of a mother for her babe, with the devo- 
tion of a lover for his maiden, with the tenderness 
of a father for his absent child. He contends 
therefor with the zeal of a partisan during a 
campaign; he clings thereto with the pertinacity 
of a politician to his office. Of obstacles there is 
indeed abundance enough here for this man 
Tolstoy; but lions in the the way, serpents in 
the path, mountains in the road, they are naught 
to him. The lions he is ready to pass by as if 
they were chained, the serpent he is ready to 


pass over as if it were fangless, the mountain he 
is ready to pass through as if it were about to 
be sunk in the sea. And great as the outward 
difficulties be, the inward hindrances are in no 
wise few. His dame of a wife is indeed in the 
new life but little of a help-mate, rather much 
of a hinder-mate. Of the fruit of his loins all 
indeed honor the mother, not all honor the father. 
Youth hath fled, middle age is gone; gray his 
hair, lone his path; his friends few, the mockers 
many. Yet, he goeth onward, this man Tolstoy, 
on his chosen path, with the heart of a lion, 
with his face as of flint. Such is the intensity 
of this man Tolstoy! 

Out of this hurricane-like intensity springs 
Tolstoy's third Russian characteristic, his relent- 
less consistency. When the Emperor Nicholas 
I. learned that the location for the railroad be- 
tween St. Petersburg and Moscow was being 
influenced by bribes, he took a ruler, drew there- 
with a straight line between the two capitals of 
his empire, and said to his Minister of Public 
Works: •< I wish the road to be built so." And 
the road was built so, even though large cities 
be left miles from the road. The railroad between 
St. Petersburg and Moscow is thus a monument 
of Russian consistency as well as of Russian 
method. And of such consistency Tolstoy is the 
most fearless exponent. Thus, William Lloyd 
Garrison and Ralph Waldo Emerson in America, 
and John Ruskin in England, have each, in their 
warfare with the darkness and confusion about 
them, had to contend with some of the very 
difficulties with which Tolstoy has to contend. 


Thus Garrison was like Tolstoy, also a non- 
resistant. Emerson was like Tolstoy, also a 
determined foe of all manner of conformities to 
a dead past. And Ruskin like Tolstoy, also thinks 
the taking of interest upon loans a right deadly 
sin. But with all his non-resistance Garrison 
could still applaud a John Brown; with all his 
denial of the cross, Emerson can still attend 
church, and bow his head at prayers in the name 
of Jesus; with all his stern words against interest, 
Ruskin can still draw with ease his five per cent. 
Garrison doeth indeed violence to his convictions 
right impulsively; Emerson doeth violence to his 
convictions right thoughtfully, and Ruskin doeth 
violence to his convictions right conscientiously. 
All, however, do here violence to themselves ; 
all are here equally inconsistent; all here, instead 
of remaining single-eyed, become double-eyed. 
Not so Tolstoy. Once he beholdeth what is to 
him the truth, and he swerveth neither to the 
right, nor to the left; though scorners scorn, 
and mockers mock; though friends forsake, and 
foes attack. America's right popular novelist 
comes, like Tolstoy, also to the conclusion that for 
him at least writing dollarish novels is no longer 
fit occupation; but American novelist, like Moses 
of old, looketh about first to the right, and then 
to the left; he putteth his ear to the ground, 
and lo, from across the Indiana prairie he heareth 
from the Lilliputian's lips, as he standeth on 
tiptoe, vociferously clamor to this Gulliver- 
Tolstoy, Crank, crank! and forthwith American 
novelist writes more distasteful novels, and 
cashes more distasteful checks. Tolstoy also 
heareth Lilliputian's voicelet with its Crank! 



rank! but still he changes coat for blouse, still 
he changes shoes for basket work, still he changes 
novelistic pen for shoemaker's bodkin. 

Accordingly, though, as we shall presently see, 
it is impossible to commend Tolstoy's doings as 
a whole, this intensity, this consistency forms 
Tolstoy's great strength before men. For while, 
indeed, the strict obedience unto the Sermon on 
the Mount, which is so central to Tolstoy, is no 
more the true centre of Christian's life than the 
Capitol at Washington or the Stock Exchange of 
New York is the true centre of American life, 
men are now feeling the great need of such obe- 
dience in their hearts, however little they be ready 
to practice it in their lives. For never has there 
been such wide departure of practice from pro- 
fession as now ; never has the Bible been so much 
studied and so little followed as now; never has 
the Lord Christ been so highly revered and so 
little obeyed as now. Christianity has become a 
kind of lusty babe buried by officious nurses in 
a mass of swaddling clothes; and what is heard 
now is no longer the gentle cooing of the playful 
child, but rather the scream of the agonized babe. 
Christianity is now a diamond that, in the hands 
of the miserable artists has been cut and cut 
so much, that all that is left thereof is the lustre 
projected on the stereopticon screen, while the 
diamond itself has been frittered away in constant 
filings. Christianity has become a ladder unto 
heaven from which the rungs have been taken 
out, and all that is left are the two side-poles, 
with which men are left to vault themselves 


heavenward as best they may. The Lord Christ 
is, in fact, faring in the Christian world as Tolstoy 
himself is now faring in his own native land. 
The Emperor asks indeed his advice, and kisses 
him on the one cheek; the censor suppresses 
his books and thus smites him on the other. 
The Sermon on the Mount has become in the 
hands of Christendom a kind of Dudleian lecture 
at Harvard. The foundation of the lectureship 
is indeed welcomed, and its fee right gladly 
accepted, but the founder's will is not only most 
quietly ignored, it is even most blandly disobeyed. 

Dante tells of a strange encounter between a 
certain man and a serpent. For a time the 
enmity is right intense, and the foes stand 
glaring at each other. All at once a cloud sur- 
rounds them, and then a marvellous change takes 
place; each becomes transfigured into the like- 
ness of the other. The tail of the serpent divides 
into two legs, the legs of the man intertwine 
into a tail; the body of the serpent puts forth 
arms, the arms of the man shrink into his body. 
At length, the serpent stands up and speaks, the 
man sinks down a serpent, and glides hissing 
away. Some such transformation hath taken 
place in the relation of Christianity and the 
world. Instead of gazing fixedly into the face 
of the Master, and becoming thus transformed 
into His likeness from glory unto glory, Christen- 
dom has been gazing steadfastly upon the prince 
of this world, becoming thus transformed into 
his likeness from shame unto shame. The church 
has not succeeded in reforming the world, the 


world has succeeded in deforming the church; 
the church has failed in raising the world to itself, 
the world has succeeded in dragging down the 
church to itself; the church has but little purified 
the world ; the world has much tainted the church. 
The church in its relation to the world has fared 
almost like the sole missionary sent by the 
Socinians to the Hindus. He sets out to convert 
the Hindus; he returns a converted Hindu 

In so far, therefore, that Tolstoy is a protester 
against Christendom's crying sin of calling unto 
Christ, " Lord! Lord! " without doing His com- 
mandments, Tolstoy stands on right firm ground. 
He is not yet here indeed a life-saving boat 
approaching the drowning, but he is at least 
here a beacon light warning the mariner against 
the threatening danger. In so far, therefore, 
that Tolstoy right vociferously clamors for stern 
obedience to the word of Christ, for strict sub- 
mission to the authority of Christ, he is more 
Christian than Christendom, he is more a child 
of light than the opponents of the ruler of dark- 
ness by profession, he is a more faithful inhabitant 
of the kingdom of heaven, though not even 
naturalized therein, than many a child of the 
kingdom which claimeth the right of one born 


Out of this thorough-going consistency of Tol- 
stoy, which makes his protest so effectual before 
men in their disobedience of Christ, springs the 
fourth characteristic of Tolstoy as a religious 


writer, his simplicity of method with which he 
is enabled to do battle against the falsities of 
modern life — a simplicity so stern in all its sincerity 
as to enable him to do away with even all the 
arts of the writer, with all the graces of style. 
Where before as the writer of fiction he had been 
artist of artists, when he becomes a writer for 
truth he fares like an American President at the 
expiration of his term. As such a one is hence- 
forth no longer President, but only an ex-Presi- 
dent, so Tolstoy as a religious writer is no longer 
the artist, but only the ex-artist. Accordingly, 
though in his criticism of modern life he is as 
relentless as Carlyle, though in his exposition of 
modern self-deception he is as merciless as 
Ruskin, though in his warfare against modern 
self-satisfaction he is as persistent as Arnold, 
he brings to his task none of Carlyle's piquancy 
of scorn, none of Ruskin's eloquence of sorrow, 
none of Arnold's vivacious playfulness. While 
these bring to their warfare a right goodly supply 
of all manner of literary ammunition and baggage, 
Tolstoy comes to the fray wholly unarmed. 
Where these are Goliaths, with helmets of brass 
and coats of mail, with greaves upon their legs 
and javelins upon their shoulders, Tolstoy is a 
kind of David, who approaches his adversary 
with only sling in hand and pebbles in his bag. 
Where Carlyle lays bare the modern much dis- 
guised rottenness with right volcanoish pictur- 
esqueness, Tolstoy does it with the dryness of the 
surgeon, with the coldness of the bare steel. 
Where Ruskin brings to his task a pathetic 
humor which draws indeed the twinkle into one 
eye, but the tear into the other, Tolstoy, like 


a soldier on parade, remains sober and stiff 
throughout. Where Arnold stabs modern society 
with all the elegance of the French duelist — who 
first shakes his antagonist's hand, and then 
apologizes for the necessity of having to smite 
him under the fifth rib, Tolstoy brings with 
him the matter-of-fact way of the Yankee duelist, 
who, being unable to handle either pistol or 
sword, offers his antagonist instead two pills, 
of which one is harmless and the other a deadly 
poison; but, though his logic is as cold as a 
Supreme Court decision, and his style as bald 
as a statistical table, such is the native purity 
of his zeal that it mocks adornment; such the 
native power of his thought, that it can spare 
the literary paraphernalia. What he lacks here 
in art he makes up with his life; what he lacks 
here in grace he makes up with his truth. 

Out of this simplicity of Tolstoy springs his 
last Russian characteristic, his childlikeness. 
For, however great the intensity of the Russian, 
his is not so much the disciplined, tempered 
intensity; his is rather the undisciplined, child- 
like intensity. For while the intensity of the 
Western people has been tempered by the ages, 
the Russian's is untutored, untempered, inex- 
perienced intensity. Accordingly, when Peter 
the Great starts out to reform his subjects it 
must be done in a day, and when the Revolution- 
ists undertake to free their country from despotic 
rule, it must be dynamited into freedom in a 
night. When Napoleon is to be defeated, sacred 
mother Moscow is unhesitatingly given over to 


the flames. When rebellions are to be crushed, 
whole villages are to be given over to the mines. 
Accordingly when Tolstoy beholds what is to 
him new truth, Christian truth, he lays hold 
thereof, indeed, with right Russian intensity; 
but it is with immature intensity, with the inten- 
sity of a child for its latest plaything. For where 
the Frenchman loves Christian truth like a 
mistress, ready to part with her at any moment 
for another, where the Englishman loves Christian 
truth like his wedded wife, ready to divorce her, 
if need be, on rather stern occasion, where the 
German loves Christian truth like his old grand- 
mother, ever providing for her, though not always 
living with her, while lastly the American loves 
Christian truth as one loves a rich uncle, ever 
expecting at some future a goodly income there- 
from, the' Russian clings to Christian truth as 
the child clings to his plaything; whether it be 
gold, whether it be brass, it matters but little to 
him, if only it give the longed-for joy, if only it 
furnish the promised peace. 


This childlikeness serves Tolstoy indeed in 
excellent stead, as long as he remains a mere 
protester against the disobedience of Christen- 
dom, as long as he remains a faithful witness 
to the blessings that come from obedience unto 
Christ. But the half -grown child undertakes the 
work of a man ; the feeder on milk undertakes to 
be the dispenser of meat ; he that had just begun 
to sit at the Master's feet undertakes to become 
a teacher in Israel. Accordingly he meets with 


the doom appointed unto all such; and when he 
becomes an expounder of Christianity, when, like 
Uzzah of old, he undertakes to steady with un- 
hallowed hand the ark of God, he loses nearly 
all the virtues of childhood, he acquires nearly 
all the vices of childishness. The child with 
man's hat over its eyes, and man's boots over its 
feet, can only shuffle and stumble and fall; the 
uninvited steadier of the ark can only be smitten 
with speedy death. Accordingly when he ceases 
to be a critic and becomes a preacher, when he 
ceases to be a witness and becomes a teacher, 
Tolstoy can be as meaningless as an explanation by 
Herbert Spencer, as confused as a metaphor by 
Longfellow, as obscure as a definition by Mill; 
he can become as involved as an oration by 
Choate, he can become as dry as a botany text- 
book. The German rationalists, for instance, 
as well as Matthew Arnold, have also endeavored 
right earnestly to dispose of the New Testament 
histories in a manner reconcilable with their 
own hungry imaginings, much as the wolf likes 
to dispose of the lamb, much as the fox likes to 
dispose of the chicken; but these do so at least 
with some pretence to biblical scholarship; these 
do so at least with some regard to plain cyclo- 
paedia facts. Tolstoy, however, with a simplicity 
that is indeed childlike, but with self-confidence 
that is hardly other than childish vaults over 
the New Testament facts as a gymnast over a 
fence in his way, and dismisses the ordinary 
cyclopaedia data with the unconcern of a Tam- 
many chief over public opinion, or of the evo- 
lutionist over the persistent absence of the much 
desired missing link. Learning and research, 


exactness and care, he casts it all off as a cumber- 
some load like to impede his onward commenta- 
torial march. In his fear of becoming entangled 
in the jungle of the forest, he omits to note the 
single trees; in his eagerness to escape the 
blinding snow storm, he shuts his eyes even against 
the single flakes. As in their eagerness to get 
to the front, our late warriors in Cuba threw 
away their blankets and rations only to find them- 
selves shortly shivering and starving, so in his 
childlike eagerness to get at what is to him the 
meat of Christ, the core of Christianity, Tolstoy 
casts away all that was meant to clothe him, 
all that was meant to feed him. With his con- 
tempt for dogmatics and homiletics, of liturgies 
and hermeneutics and apologetics, he casts away, 
also, the plain historical facts of Christianity, 
the simple truth about Christ. Accordingly, 
what Christian science is to true religion, what 
friend Jasper's theories are to astronomy, what 
friend Kipling's verses are to poetry, what our 
dollarish novels are to literature, that is Tolstoy 
to historic Christianity. 


Like all the wise and prudent of this age, for 
instance, concerning whom it hath been decreed 
that the wisdom of God, as revealed in the cross 
of Christ, shall remain foolishness unto them, 
Tolstoy also rejects the miraculous birth of the 
Lord, His signs and wonders, His rising from the 
dead. In common with the wise of this age, 
Tolstoy also casts away the depravity of man and 
his need of being born anew; he casts away the 
judgment of the wicked and the reward of the 


righteous, the great and terrible day of the Lord, 
and the wrath to come from which men are warned 
to flee. In common with the wise and the prudent 
of this age, Tolstoy, also, finds himself in no 
need of a Saviour that shed His blood for him. 
He rejects, in short, with all the wise men of the 
West, all that is truly essential to a right knowl- 
edge of God, all that is truly essential to a right 
steadfast hope for man. But while the wise men 
of the West reject all these things at least with 
some show of reason, Tolstoy does not deem it 
needful to hold to even what little is left of 
reason in modern unreasonableness. He tells 
us, for example, that Jesus taught that " all 
men have a common impulse toward good and 
toward reason," as if He had never said to some 
folk: " If God were your father, ye would love 
me. Ye are of your father, the devil, and the 
lusts of your father it is your will to do." Tolstoy 
affirms with right firm confidence that Jesus 
" called all men sons of God," as if Christ had 
never uttered the sentence: "And this is the 
judgment that light is come into the world, and 
men loved darkness rather than light." As the 
adventurous counts and princes who seek their 
fortune in foreign lands boast of their fictitious 
titles as if no Gotha Almanachs were at hand 
wherewith to test their lordly pretensions, so 
Tolstoy puts sayings into the mouth of Jesus 
as if no New Testament were at hand to show 
that the words of Christ are far other than these. 
Not only, says he for example, did not Jesus rise 
from the dead, He never said even a serious 
word about His rising from the dead. And if 
learned Christian folk, scientific Christian folk, 



are here totally at fault it is because they fail 
to read a little Greek aright under scholarly 
Tolstoy's instruction. The New Testament 
signs and wonders fare a like fate at his hands. 
He is confident that the New Testament, if but 
rightly understood, tells of no signs, tells of no 
wonders; that its withered arms, if arms at all, 
are certainly not withered; that its lame feet, if 
feet at all, are certainly not lame; that its blind 
eyes, if eyes at all, are certainly not blind. And 
that all that is needful here to see aright, accord- 
ing to Tolstoy, all that is needful here to decide 
betwixt the plain sense of nineteen centuries 
and these new though ever old imaginings of 
this latest of commentators, is a new edition 
of Professor Goodwin's " Greek Moods and 
Tenses," duly annotated at Tolstoy's country 
home at Yasnaya Poly ana. 

The difficulty of dealing with such criticism 
of Christianity is not so much the strength of 
the exposition; there is no strength here. It is 
rather the difficulty of becoming childish one's 
self in order to meet such juvenile method of 
criticism. The best reply to inappropriate wit 
is not so much wit as sobriety; the best reply 
to inappropriate sobriety is not so much sobriety 
as wit. But childishness cannot always be met 
by manliness. It is difficult to discuss the calculus 
with one who has not yet mastered the multi- 
plication table. For catching a mosquito even the 
lion is weak; for knocking down a straw even a 
giant may strike in vain. 



And yet, even with all his childish treatment 
of Christianity, Tolstoy has succeeded in getting 
a peace therefrom he had not hitherto known. 
Tolstoy has succeeded in getting a joy therefrom 
he had not hitherto tasted. Hitherto he had for 
some fifteen years of his mortal life gone about 
with despair in his heart, with thought of self- 
murder in his mind. All at once he gets 
even a distant glimpse of the truth as it is in 
Jesus, and lo! he is henceforth a changed man. 
Not only hath the hitherto loathed existence 
new meaning for him, he cannot even rest until 
he hath pointed others unto this newly found 
way. Accordingly, when one first approaches 
Tolstoy it is with the feeling of dim-eyed Isaac 
towards the disguised Jacob. The hands and 
the neck have, indeed, the required hairiness; 
and though the voice is rather puzzling, sup- 
planting Jacob at last carrieth off the blessing; 
but this is not so much because of Jacob's truth, 
but rather because of Isaac's eagerness to bestow 
the blessing. Accordingly, the peace and joy 
of Tolstoy are due not so much to the fact that 
he has at last laid hold of the Truth, but rather 
because he hath gotten even a glimpse of the 
Truth. For it is the glory of Christianity that 
whoso setteth himself faithfully to abide by the 
words of the Master, however few these be, is 
ever rewarded with a peace he knows not before, 
is ever rewarded with a joy he finds not elsewhere. 
The witness of Tolstoy herein is abidingly true, 
the witness of the Quakers is here unimpeachably 
firm. But all this not because the Sermon on 
the Mount is all that is to be learned from Christ, 


not because all that is to be done is to be a servant 
of Christ, but rather because such is the heavenly 
riches of the Son of God that whoso toucheth if 
but the hem of His garment, getteth away there- 
from in no wise empty-handed, departeth from 
Him in no wise unblest. But outward obedience 
to a few of the precepts of Christ is not yet 
Christianity, outward submission even to the 
authority of Christ, is not yet faith in the blood 
of Christ. 

Accordingly, like the young ruler in the gospels, 
Tolstoy is, indeed, not far from the kingdom of 
God, but he is not yet in the kingdom of God. 
To him, also, must be said, as it has been said 
unto the youth of old, One thing thou lackest 
yet. He has come just near the Sun of Righteous- 
ness to feel His rays, but he has not come near 
enough to be swallowed up in Him — which alone 
it is that giveth the Truth. Tolstoy is a comet; 
had just got near enough to the great orb, only 
to start off again for the depths beyond. He has 
accepted the Master as his teacher; this is a 
deliverance. He has not accepted Him as his 
Saviour, and thus misses the deliverance. Hence, 
though Tolstoy uses the words of Christ, he is 
deprived of the fruits of Christ. His is the 
position of the chemist, who knoweth, indeed, 
how to change diamond into carbon, but can 
in no wise turn the carbon into the diamond. 
Like that ingenious Jerseyman he can change 
the corn meal, water, and lime into eggs that 
deceive even the gourmand, but as they have 
no life in them they do not hatch. Follow Christ, 
obey Christ, imitate Christ, these words are, 


indeed, better than naught, but for opening the 
gates of heaven they are as yet of no avail. 
" Open Wheat, open Barley," cries Cassin in 
the Arabian tale; but the doors open not to 
Open Wheat, open Barley, but only to Open 
Sesame. Even thus, imitate Christ, obey Christ, 
might make, indeed, better men; but to make 
out of the children of men sons of God, for this, 
trust in the blood of Christ is the only Sesame that 
opens the enchanted door. The acceptance of 
Christ as teacher is thus to the acceptance of 
Christ as Lord, what ordinary rose water is to 
the attar of roses: where the one is but a diluted 
mixture, the other is the packed essence. 


The great error of Tolstoy is thus, first of all, 
in supposing that all Jesus Christ came to do 
was to make men happy, and, therefore, all that 
is needful here for men is to obey the Sermon 
on the Mount. But already, at the very outset, 
Tolstoy betrays the weakness of his cause by 
neglecting the words of Christ in the very dis- 
course he so highly exalts before men. For in 
that same Sermon on the Mount from which 
he chooses only five commandments to obey, 
there is another, a sixth, which begins : " When ye 
therefore pray, say, our Father which art in 
heaven, hallowed be Thy Name." Concerning 
this commandment which places the seeking of 
the glory due unto His Name, even before the 
request for daily bread, Tolstoy is silent. The 
worship of God, which, in the estimation of 
Jesus, is after all the chief end of man — for this, 
Tolstoy has no place in his scheme of life. But 


the Son of man came not so much to make 
happy men out of unhappy men, but rather to 
make God-like men out of brute-like men. The 
Son of man came not so much to assign potato- 
patches to the poor and vineyards to the needy, 
as to make children of light out of children of 
darkness, to make into sons of God those who 
are servants of Satan. 


Accordingly, the inevitable result of such a 
partial view of the Prince of Life is that life 
itself becomes to Tolstoy something almost 
petty; his remedies for the ills of life become 
something almost quacklike. Niagara is set to 
the turning of children's play wheels, the volcano 
is used to roast eggs with, the great writer becomes 
a dispenser of panaceas. To his talk on non- 
resistance and non-divorce is shortly added talk 
on having a wife for only one day in the year; 
and his folk tales on love become supplemented 
by a Kreuzer Sonata. He thus takes his place 
beside those well-meaning folk who see in the 
abstinence from salt and featherbeds a sure 
remedy for the ills of private life, who see in the 
single tax a sure remedy for the ills of national 


The error of Tolstoy, however, has likewise 
become the error of much that is otherwise truly 
well-meaning in Christendom. Peace upon earth 
and good-will among men — upon these words 
men linger in these days right tenderly, as if 
happiness, contentment, were all men need to 
strive for. And yet, even if all men were to 


become Tolstoys, even if all men were to become 
Socialists or Quakers, even if all the poor were to 
become willing disciples in the hands of their 
Associated Charity visiting friends, they would 
perhaps attain, indeed, unto peace at last; but 
it would be a peace no higher in its kind than 
the peace of the mire-loving sun-basking, four- 
footed thing as it grunteth right universal good- 
will toward pigdom because of abundance of 
wash in the trough. " The swine! " exclaimed a 
colored philosopher, as he sighed with our modern 
reformers for happiness, " the swine need not 
work for a living, the swine comes and goes when 
it pleases, the swine has its food brought to its 
trough, the swine is a — gentleman! " The error 
that after some sixty centuries of struggle for 
existence, progress of species, and survival of 
the fittest, men are at last to arrive where pigdom 
already is without struggle for existence, evolu- 
tion of species, and march of ages — this is what 
forms the tragedy of the Socialisms, Peace 
Unions, Associated Charities, Single Taxes, and 
the numerous other unions of zeroes that clamor 
so loudly for adoption, that hope so pathetically 
for the predicted results that never arrive. 


And these results, so patiently waited for, so 
lovingly toiled for, never can arrive, because 
the ailment of man is not so much in his wrong 
relation toward man, but rather in his wrong 
relation toward God; and all attempts to help 
men for other than a brief time without first 
helping them to God, is merely to re-enact the fate 
of Sisyphus of old. No sooner does he, after 


much toil, roll his stone to the top of the hill, 
then down it comes again, and the weary task 
has to be begun anew. 


Now it is the glory of Christ that He alone in 
all history offers unto men, first of all, to reconcile 
them unto God. It is the glory of Christianity 
that it alone of all religions promises unto men 
first of all that life which is life indeed. Thus 
Emerson, Carlyle, Ruskin, Arnold and Tolstoy 
all sadly confess with Christianity that man is 
lame; but where Emerson offers stilts, and 
Carlyle offers crutches; where Ruskin offers a 
wheeling chair and Arnold offers heeled shoes; 
lastly where Tolstoy offers his own back even, 
whereon to carry the lame, Christianity offers a 
new pair of feet. Where modern reformers are 
right busy with helping the fevered with quinine, 
Christianity offers no quinine; it furnishes that 
in its stead which makes fevers impossible, 
quinine needless, namely, cleansed blood. Modern 
reform finds that the human tiger hath claws 
and teeth; that the human adder hath fangs; 
that the human wasp hath a sting; and being 
charitably inclined it forthwith sets about to 
unclaw the tiger, to unfang the adder, to unsting 
the wasp. But the clawless tiger is still a rave- 
nous beast; the fangless adder is still the hissing 
serpent; the stingless asp is still the annoying 
fly. Not so Christianity: Christianity takes the 
boar out and puts the lamb in; so that the lion 
eateth straw like the ox, and the wolf and the 
lamb lie down together. 


Accordingly, though Christian looketh also 
with the sighing reformers for new heavens and 
a new earth, though he also looketh for a time 
when sorrow and pain shall be no more and tears 
shall be wiped out of every eye, and sickness and 
death shall be no more, he looketh for these to 
be brought about not by the well meaning effort 
of sinful man, but rather by the revelation from 
the heavens of the sinless Son of God. Christian 
also looketh for that day when men shall not 
labor in vain, nor bring forth trouble; when 
they shall not build and another inhabit; when 
they shall not plant and another eat. Christian 
also looketh for that day when the eyes of the 
blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf 
shall be unstopped; when the lame man shall 
leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall 
sing. But this will not come to pass until men 
cease from trusting in the arm of flesh, and cast 
away their own doings; until men turn their 
eyes heavenward, and cry, " Oh, that Thou 
wouldst rend the heavens, that Thou wouldst 
come down, that the mountains might flow at 
Thy presence." When men have at last taken 
their eyes off themselves, and have turned them 
unto Him, who hath said: " Look unto me, ye 
ends of the earth, and be ye saved," then, but 
not till then shall it come to pass that men shall 
say: " Lo, this is our God, we have waited for 
Him, and He it is that will save us." When the 
law goeth forth from Zion, and the word of the 
Lord from Jerusalem, then, but not until then, 
shall they beat their swords into ploughshares 
and their spears into pruninghooks ; then, 


indeed, shall nation not lift up sword against 
nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 
But ere the Judge of the quick and the dead 
become unto men the Redeemer from Zion, they 
must give heed unto the commandment: " Cease 
ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for 
wherein is he to be accounted of ? " 



You will of course, dear reader, kindly excuse 
me from explaining to you just what a B.I. is, 
since I am still burdened with a goodly share of 
t half Asiatic and one-quarter European modesty, 
the remaining quarter being a mixture of various 
other geographical ingredients. But if you care 
to go to the office of the Associated Charities 
on Chardon Street they will tell you that a 
B.I. is a benevolent individual (they write, it, 
however, in capitals) — a man with a good-sized 
heart inside of him, and an at least fair-sized head 
on top of him. I belong to that class, however, 
by sheer courtesy, so to speak. For while about 
the size of my heart there may be no doubt, 
there is some dispute as to the necessary quali- 
fication of my poor head. Be that as it may, 
I have had but few of the joys of a B.I., but a 
goodly number of his tribulations; and just now, 
to tell truth, I need a little sympathy; so bear 
kindly with this bid for fellowship on the part of 
other B.I.'s. 

On Saturday, May 12, I left Cleveland, at half 
past three in the morning, to cross nearly the whole 
of the state of Ohio, from north to south. I was 
awake at least an hour earlier; already two days 
before I had to leave Syracuse at an almost 
equally early hour, having been on my way from 
Worcester since Monday. I had spoken in Syra- 
cuse thrice, in Cleveland once; had had hardly 


sufficient rest at night, had travelled some one 
thousand miles, and here I was at last in a small 
village in Southern Ohio at about one in the 
afternoon, having had neither sleep since two in 
the morning, nor food since seven Friday night. 

But I was a — B.L 

And being a B.L, accordingly I found among 
the letters awaiting me here the following : 

Boston, May 8. 
Dear Sir: — 

Learning of you may I seek you as possible kind 
means of assistance? 

Not long ago my husband, a successful druggist and 
chemist, lost his all financially by explosion in labor- 
atory connected with his drugstore. Insurance com- 
pany proved the explosion was the result of careless- 
ness on part of husband's partner, and no insurance was 

This sudden and complete loss of means of support 
proved to be such sorrow as overthrew reason of my 
good husband. He died a raving maniac. I have been 
battling to become a successful wage-earner, seeking 
to utilize my practical knowledge of French and German 
as a teacher. 

Suffice it to say not yet is success mine, and I am 
"falling by the wayside" from sorrow and ill success. 
Knowing of you as an author, it occurs to me that you 
may have it within your power and in your heart to 
suggest some means by which I may help self during 
the summer until the season for teaching shall return. 

That you may know a little of me, or rather of my an- 
tecedents, may I mention that I am a niece of (a 

celebrated American author now dead), whose name 
may be familiar to you. In teaching I resume my 
maiden name, as husband's death occasioned notoriety. 

So long has been my struggle for legitimate support, 
and so bitter my failure and present helplessness, that 
any encouraging word from you or your wife would 
infinitely relieve. sincerely, Mrs. 



"Husband" without an article, and the "in- 
finite relief of sincerely Mrs." rather staggered 
my grammatical as well as rhetorical piece of 
Paninity; but though my B.X.'s head was inclined 
to shake, my heart did flutter a little; and I was 
a mile and a half from a post-office with no im- 
mediately available means of locomotion other 
than my own pair of terminal facilities. I was 
worn and tired. But this was Saturday. If I 
wait even an hour the mail would go, and then, 
good-by help for distressed dame, at least till 
Monday, and this must in nowise be. Her letter 
was dated May 8, and here it was already May 1 2 ! 

Well, I sat down and wrote : Above all not to be 
discouraged; that God is nearer folk than they 
think; pointed her beside to a personal Christ if 
she at all knew him ; and enclosed in addition some 
unavoidable dollars which, though not directly 
asked for, were here clearly a decided piece of 
propriety. I had to confess, however, that I was 
a sufferer from a singular case of heart disease, 
for which there is as yet no known cure : namely, a 
most melancholy disproportion between the size 
of heart and — purse : the relation of the two being 
essentially that of a pyramid's base and its top. 
Heart is indeed broad enough to cover a goodly 
number of square miles, but purse is ever a kind 
of pointed thinness, with net result of attending 
chronic emptiness, usually experienced only either 
by a certain kind of dyspeptics, or by a certain 
kind of — scribes, though in the latter case the 
emptiness is more in the head than elsewhere. 


Having thus attended to the distressed dame 
and walked to the post-office to mail the letter, I 
returned to the lone farm to muse. I was indeed 
to speak twice the next day, but that distressed 
dame was once upon my mind, and I must have 
her off therefrom ere aught else can be done. So I 
wrote to one of Boston's brave dames to call on 
her, enclosing her letter; asking at the same time 
to do what she could. Wrote in addition to 
another friend, with notes of introduction to two 
Back-Bay folk before whom the distressing case 
might be laid; lastly I suggested to Mrs. Panin 
that perhaps an invitation to spend a week or more 
in the country might be advisable to "Mrs in- 
finitely relieve sincerely." In that household of 
three (minus the absent traveller) two are indeed 
invalids, and the absent head of the household is 
indeed sorely missed because of his dishwashing 
utilities when present; and an additional per- 
sonage in that household would indeed be much 
of a burden; still — it might be worth while to 
think thereof; so this too was suggested. 


The case then stood thus: Within a few hours 
from the receipt of her letter some unasked for 
dollars were already on their way; at least three 
well-to-do lovers of their kind were already writ- 
ten to about her ; a fourth personage was requested 
to look up both the woman and her record, while a 
fifth was asked to consider the advisability of 
giving her a country home for a brief period of 

And now I could go on in peace with my work. 



But alas ! peace on earth is not unstinted even to 
poor B.I.'s, and my tribulations speedily began. 
Sunday I was too busy to think about the poor 
distressed dame. Monday I was rather tired. 
Still both on that day and Tuesday I went to the 
lone church on the hill and commended her to 
God, fearing especially a case of suicide. 

But on Wednesday my tribulations began in 
earnest. My wag of a host whose laughing 
capacity is somewhere in the neighborhood of a 
ton to the square inch, to whom I mentioned the 
case when seeking advice, suddenly asked me 
that morning whether that woman might not after 
all be a fraud. As he said this he was looking at 
me through his glasses. I was looking at him 
through no glasses, but I dare say my look was 
glassy enough. But we here parted our ways: 
he to his hammer and saw, and I to that hilltop 
and its church. 

From the church I went to the post office. 
Four letters awaited me there. One from a direc- 
tor of an astronomical observatory; the other 
from * 'infinitely relieve sincerely Mrs:" the third 
from Mrs. Panin, the fourth from Boston's brave 
dame who spends most of her days in associated 
charities. With my incurable heart disease 
described above it was difficult to delay the read- 
ing of the infinitely relief-needing dame's letter. 
So I read it at once, and right glad did it make me. 
For it read thuswise : 

May God bless you for so kind encouraging helpful 
words and acts. To be so eager to give me hope 


and relief, an entire stranger to you, as to write me when 
you from travelling were so fatigued, is truly God -like. 

You state that you have passed through all kind of 
depths, and so understand my condition, yet you have 
the strength to exhort me not to despair. I am begin- 
ning to feel that my afflictions may be benedictions in 
disguise. As a Unitarian I have not believed in 
Christ as you do. It may be that my bitter ordeal is 
to awaken me to the truth that Christ is divine, as help 
has come to me in time of bitter need. 

Infinitely grateful am I to you for your generous 
offering so unexpected. I had heard that your wife 
was interested in the study of French and German, and 
that you had greatly interested yourself in a lady 
conversant with these languages. Thank you heartily 
for your thoughtfulness and interest. Trusting in 
your wisdom from bitter suffering, believe me, please, I 
shall seek by prayer for light that I may early see the 
truth. Again thanking you for so prompt and heart- 
felt a response, believe me most gratefully, 


All the way from the post-office to the farm- 
house I kept thinking of this godsend of a letter. 
How triumphantly I could now refute my wag of a 
host with his doubting Thomas of a pair of glasses ! 
How I would brandish that letter in his face, and 
tell him that it would have been worth hundreds 
of dollars to have thus the privilege of turning the 
look of that poor deluded Unitarian soul to a 
crucified and bleeding Christ. I felt much like a 
glass of freshly drawn soda water, and could have 
effervesced skyward in visions of magnificent 
Christian missionary work by means of one 
thousand-mile travelling bits of epistolarities. 

I had in my triumphant joy almost forgotten 
that the other letters were still unread. But not 


even the astronomical letter could chase away 
the hydrogen-balloon feeling that kept me as if 
I were screwed to a pair of corkish legs walking on 
the water. And, dear reader, I was for a few 
moments very, very happy. 


Suddenly in an evil moment I espied that 
fourth letter. It was from my hard-headed, 
unromantic, practical, twenty-year manager in 
the much-decried associated charities of Boston, 
who though rich herself has the problematic habit 
of looking twice at a penny spent by her in 
charity, even though the amount reaches into 
thousands of dollars a year. 

The letter was prosy enough and rather dry 
reading. But singularly enough it had the effect 
of wetting me nearly all over. Here it is. 

Mrs. — has been known for many years in district 8 of 
the associated charities as Mrs. N. (another name than 
that given me). Her husband died some years ago in 
Sing Sing prison. 

She has since lived with a man of more than doubtful 
character; she has sometimes called herself by his name 
but they have never pretended to people who really 
know them that they were married. 

About the time she wrote to you she wrote to Rev. — 
(one of Boston's well-known B.I.'s) for money to go to 
New York, so as to attend to the affairs of this man, who 
she said was ready to commit suicide because of his busi- 
ness troubles. I have an impression that the man told 
our agent that he wishes no more to do with her, but I 
am not sure. 

She really is a relative of * * * and some of her rel- 
atives have helped her through the associated charities. 
Many efforts have been made to help her to a respec- 
table life. Her begging letters are often sent to the 
associated charities. Her story to you is a new one. 




Dear reader, B.I. or otherwise, what with my 
wag of a host, what with my prosy, hardheaded 
correspondent, and the associated charities, whom 
years ago, before my wisdom teeth were grown, I 
used to belabor rather vigorously in public, I feel 
decidedly crestfallen; and I too feel like ending 
my letter with a request for sympathy that 
"infinitely relieve sincerely" your crestfallen 
fellow B.I. 

x 3- 
To "Infinitely Sincerely Mrs." 
Madame: — 

Since answering your letter asking for help I have 
received three letters from you: one asking for a loan 
of ten dollars, to be paid out for treatment of a physical 
infirmity of yours. As I was then not sure of the 
urgency of the case I was waiting in silence for further 
developments. The second letter incidentally in- 
formed me that you were "through God's mercy" 
already receiving the treatment for which you asked 
the loan. The third letter is, I am sorry to say, a rather 
incoherent self-defence against the report of the 
associated charities about you as seen by you from my 
lettter to the Boston Newspaper. 

Let me then tell you at once that I am still your 
friend. The fact that you may be untruthful makes 
you need God's love all the more, and whatever good 
will I may have for you is only of course a reflection of 
what love I know God has for you. So, pray, do not 
feel troubled about any "bad opinion" I may have of 
you. Only it is unfortunate that I simply cannot treat 
you now with the same trust that I had about your case 
before doubts were raised about you from the associ- 
ated charities. Now that you tell me that you have 
been misrepresented by them I will gladly for your sake 
suspend my judgment, and will assume for a while that 
there may be some misunderstanding about your case 
on their part. I have indeed no reason to suppose 


that they are likely to leave much room for even mis- 
understandings in their reports about individuals they 
investigate. But if there be even one chance in a 
thousand that for some cause their report has done you 
injustice, I am willing to give you the benefit of that 
one chance, and on the strength of that one chance 
to suspend my judgment for a while. You sure- 
ly must see that more than this it is impossible for me 
to do just now. 

It is unfortunate that your case needs investigation, 
but since it does need it, will you not for a while bear 
the burden bravely and cheerfully? If you are innocent 
you surely need fear nothing; investigation will only 
establish your innocence all the firmer. On the other 
hand, if you are guilty of having tried to enlist my sym- 
pathy by false statements, I can only say to you that 
however black you might be, you would have lost 
nothing and gained much, by being perfectly frank 
with me about your past, its errors, and even sins. 
For if in such case you are willing to mend your ways, 
I would have gladly offered you what help there were 
within my inextensive reach. And if you were not 
willing, I would have told you plainly that neither man 
nor angel can help one that is not willing to mend; and 
this would have saved us both much trouble. 

From a distance of a thousand miles it is difficult 
to do anything in such a case. If you really care for 
my "better opinion" of you, I will gladly call upon you 
in all friendliness when I return to Boston (d. v.) and 
cheerfully hear whatever you may have to state truth- 
fully about your case. I hope that you will not be a- 
fraid to tell me even the worst about yourself, if there 
be anything bad, provided you are really desirous of put- 
ting it away. I will listen not only without condemna- 
tion, but even with sympathy. Only be perfectly frank 
with me. If you are not frank it will come out sooner or 
later, and this will of course, make all further inter- 
course impossible. 

I do not expect to be in Boston for some weeks. If 
such suspense is a trial to you, you may write me if this 
is any satisfaction to you. 



Having occasion to verify tlie statements of a 
writer about eclipses I betook myself to Camille 
Flammarion's chapter on Eclipses in his " Wonders 
of the Heavens;" translated by Mrs. Norman 
Lockyer. Of the scientific standing of the author, 
and the translator's husband there is no need of 
saying aught. It is of the highest. The attain- 
ments of the translator herself, being the mate, 
evidently the scientific mate, of Mr. Lockyer, are 
presumably also high. So with great reverence I 
turned to the fifth chapter of the fourth book, 
with pencil in hand, to mark everything that is 
worth remembering about eclipses. 

The first statement that surprised me was this : 
Eclipses ' 'return nearly in the same order at the 
end of eighteen years and ten days, a period 
known to the Greeks under the name of the 
Metonic Cycle." Without being an astronomer 
I happened to know that this eclipse period consist- 
ed of 223 months, and was called the Saros, 
whereas the Metonic Cycle consisted of 235 
months and its length is not eighteen years and 
eleven days, but some two hours over nine- 
teen years. Ignorant folk naturally confound the 
two periods; and it is for such that Denison 
Olmstead, writing his Astronomical Letters as 
far back as 1840, puts in this warning; "The 
Metonic Cycle has sometimes been confounded 


with the Saros, but it is not the same with it; nor 
was the period used, like the Saros for foretelling 
eclipses, but for ascertaining the age of the moon 
at any given period. " (p . 1 9 2 ) . 

Here then, is a distinction in an elementary 
matter of astronomy with which an ordinarily 
educated man is supposed to be familiar found 
to be unknown to scientists like Flammarion and 
Mrs. Norman Lockyer. 

Well, after all, this might be a slip of the pen on 
Mr. Flammarion's part, and a slip of the eye on 
Mrs. Lockyer's part in overlooking it when trans- 
lating the passage. So I paid but little attention 
thereto, all the more as I had just marked with 
intense eagerness the sentence immediately pre- 
ceding. ! 'There cannot be less than two eclipses 
a year and not more than seven. When there 
are only two they are both eclipses of the Moon." 
Here was something I clung to: when there are 
only two they are both of the Moon. I had been 
unacquainted with this fact about eclipses, that 
there may be a year when no Solar eclipse can take 
place. This fact I was eager to hold fast, because 
it has a bearing upon the chronology of years 
which have .been fixed by the record of eclipses 
in ancient writers. Thankful over this important 
fact, I was ready enough to be very charitable 
about that Saros turning into a Metonic Cycle. 

It happens however, that the article ! 'Astron- 
omy" in the Encyclopedia Britannica is written 
by an astronomer of equally high repute with 
Flammarion, namely R. A. Proctor. The article, 
which is really a treatise on Astronomy, has a 


chapter, the nth, given to eclipses. It would, of 
course, be unscholarly not to read this chapter 
also, as long as I am in search of facts about eclip- 
ses. Near the end of the chapter, Mr. Proctor 
tells us, after giving a very elaborate account of 
eclipse-seasons, "when there are only two, each 
eclipse is solar and central." 

As the writer — well I may as well go back to the 
first person — as I always preached the scientific 
method even when the question came up what to 
do with a man who asked you for something to get 
bread with, I was — well, to put it mildly, aston- 
ished enough when I found these two astronomical 
giants encamped against one another about a 
simple matter of fact which can be decided at any 
moment by reference to the — almanac. A priori 
it was impossible to tell who blundered here, 
the Frenchman or the Englishman: on Flam- 
marion's side was Mrs. Norman Lockyer who 
evidently upheld the original which she trans- 
lated. On Proctor's side was the great weight 
of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It was indeed 
quite humiliating to have to go to the proverbially 
put-away last year's almanac, for information 
of which the Encyclopedia Britannica, R. A. 
Proctor, Camille Flammarion, and Mrs. Norman 
Lockyer are close at hand. Still, to the almanac 
I went. But, alas, last year's almanacs are not 
commodities of which the supply and demand per- 
form those see-saw movements to which econo- 
mists have given the name of law. Supply is 
here plentiful enough, indeed, but the demand 
being somewhat zeroish here, the exact locality 
of supply becomes more or less problematic and 
it was only after some researches in the archives 


of a patent medicine manufacturer that an 
almanac for 1893 was at last found — a year which 
had only two eclipses; and these, says the al- 
manac, were both of the Sun, March 15th, and 
October 9th. In the court, then, of Mr. School- 
boy's information, the celebrated astronomer, 
Mr. Camille Flammarion, plus Mrs. Norman 
Lockyer, was found guilty of an ordinary dic- 
tionary blunder. And in the court of Last 
Year's Almanac with R. A. Proctor and En- 
cyclopedia Britannica as plaintiffs, he is found 
guilty with his assistant, Mrs. Lockyer, of an — 
astronomical blunder. 

The surprise, I confess, was not a pleasant one. 
To find a celebrated scientist to be after all only 
a mere blunderer even in his own special field, does 
not tend to strengthen one's faith in the accuracy 
of scientific men; it rather places them among the 
class of men not unjustly despised by them: 
theologians and poets, not unjustly if you once 
grant them that scientific men are naturally only 
men of facts, and not of theories. 

Still Mr. Flammarion is only one of hundreds : 
and even the Sun has its spots, so one black sheep 
might reasonably be expected among the many 
white sheep men of science. Mr. Proctor, then, 
having been found trustworthy as over against 
black-sheepish Flammarion, I concluded to take 
up for study his work called " Light Science for 
Leisure Hours." 

Of leisure hours I indeed had next to none; 
but I was desirous to learn all I could about Eclip- 
ses; and the Essay in that book on "Our-Chief- 


Time-Piece losing Time" looked promising. So 
with pencil in hand I set out to read this paper. 
The explanations of the motions of the earth here 
are highly interesting, and the pencil was kept 
busily marking, until, until — well, you see, he got 
to talking about old Xenophon and his Anabasis. 
Now I well remember the porings over that book 
in my preparation-for-college days. And Mr. 
Proctor's words set me a thinking. For Mr. 
Proctor says: "Mr. Layard has indentified the 
site of Larissa with the modern Nimrod. Now 
Xenophon relates that when Larissa was besieged 
by the Persians an eclipse of the Sun took place 
so remarkable in its effects (and therefore un- 
doubtedly total) that the Median defenders of the 
town threw down their arms, and the city was 
accordingly captured. And Hansen has shown 
that a certain estimate of the moon's motion 
makes the eclipse which occurred on August 1 5 th, 
310 B.C. not only total but central at Nimrod." 

The calculation of this eclipse, the reader must 
now be told, is an important element in the 
"proof" that there is such a thing as acceleration 
of the Moon. 

What struck me here first was that there is 
evidently here a misprint of 310 for 510, since in 
310 Xenophon was already dead; had been dead 
for some fifty years ; and 5 10 is about the right date 
for the battle mentioned above. Now, a misprint 
in a date is always unfortunate ; in the calculation 
of an eclipse for the purpose of proving an astron- 
omical theory it is doubly so. Still, misprints are 
what may be called by poetic, though not by 
scientific license, "an unforeseen accident." But 
on turning to Xenophon (and as Mr. Proctor gives 


no reference, I had to be looking for a pin in a load 
of hay) Book 3, chapter 4, I find Xenophon's 
words as follows: "The sun, obscured by a cloud 
disappeared, and the darkness continued.' ' 

Now the longest possible time for a total eclipse 
is five minutes ; three minutes is its ordinary 
length. The continuance of the darkness, if Mr. 
Proctor had read the passage, should have already 
warned the celebrated astronomer that perhaps 
Xenophon is dealing here with something else than 
an eclipse. But Xenophon's words are "obscured 
by a cloud." We are all familiar with a piece of 
protoplasm in the mud becoming evolved by a 
newly discovered (in the scientist's imagination) 
scientific law into say — a celebrated physiologist. 
But no imagination, scientific or otherwise, has yet 
ventured to soar to a height (or is it a depth?) 
where an ordinary cloud becomes transformed 
into a solar eclipse by which the acceleration of 
the moon is proved. 

The upshot of my perusal of this essay in "Lei- 
sure Hours" was that even Mr. Proctor has hardly 
a better claim upon my leisure hours than Mr. 
Flammarion in matters where the strictest possible 
accuracy is required, in other words, in science 
truly so called as distinct from science falsely so 

Discouraging as these experiences were with 
two men of science (really a kind of two and a 
half, if we add Mrs. Lockyer) there seemed as yet 
no sufficient reason why I should give up my 
search for information about eclipses, even if 
another black sheep has to be added to the one 
already found. So I concluded to get my in- 


formation at first hand; that is, I started out to 
make a list of all the eclipses that are recorded 
as having been observed on certain days. I 
turned to Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia, to find 
for each year its noteworthy eclipses. 

For 1868, the article "Astronomy" tells me 
that on August 17th there was a great total eclipse 
of the Sun in India; and that some folk from 
England actually journeyed and voyaged some 
thousands of miles to get a peep at the Sun for 
some three minutes of time. Out comes notebook 
and pencil; and down is put: "Solar Eclipse, Aug- 
ust 17th, 1868." But alas, the path of the true 
lover (even if only of eclipses) is far from smooth. 
For I had hardly written down August 17th, when 
I read further in the letter of the observer, who 
speaks of it as having occurred on the morning of 
the 1 8th. This time it was the rubber that had 
to come out instead of the pencil; but alas! my 
hand was stayed. Who was right here anyhow? 
The observer or the reporter? Again I had to 
leave the Annual Cyclopedia and go back to the 
Cast-off last year's Almanac. The eclipse proved 
to have been on the 18th and the almanac became 
once more an exalted thing in my eyes. But as to 
the Annual Cyclopedia — its score of volumes 
became useless to me in this inquiry, since I never 
could feel sure again that there isn't some error 
in its dates, however numerous the dates given. 

Flammarion (plus Mrs. Lockyer) Proctor, 
Annual Cyclopedia — I had to lay them aside. 
However valuable for their purposes — for my 


special purpose they became just so much waste 
paper. Only waste paper could not have beguiled 
me to spend my time thereon, but these men and 
that thing by their pretence did. Still I kept 
on. There is the Encyclopedia Britannica, the 
arsenal whence all the Goliaths draw their 
weapons in their challenges of the superstitions of 
the Davids. Its article on astronomy had already 
done me good service in setting me on my guard 
against black-sheepish Flammarion. And surely, 
whither could I fly from the treacherous errors 
of the Annual, if not to the Britannica? 

Behold then the Eclipse searcher going forth 
through its pages in quest of the eclipses enumera- 
ted therein. Quickly then with pencil and note- 
book, for here volume 2, p. 788, is a total solar 
eclipse for June 18th, i860. 

All the way from the library to my house I was 
munching, so to speak, this my find of an eclipse 
for June 18, i860. I was very happy therewith, 
for nowhere else is this particular eclipse recorded. * 
But my joy was only brief; for coming home and 
looking over some other data in comparison with 
the new, I found that by no manner of means could 
an eclipse be June 18th, i860. The heavens 
would first have to be torn asunder; while all is 
natural enough with the eclipse on July 18th, 
where the cast-away almanac rightly places it. 

Of course my cast-off almanacs rose in value 
thereafter with the buoyancy of a Wall street 
bull-market. But the Encyclopedia Britannica, 
the great Britannica, in the one thing alone I 
needed it, proved about as worthless as friends 
Flammarion, plus Mrs. Lockyer, and Proctor and 
the Annual Cyclopedia. 



The defection of the Britannica, Britannica the 
Great, was a blow to my eclipsical ambition. 
Must I then in very deed begin life over again, 
and become a special student of Astronomy in 
order to be able to verify a single statement I find 
in my reading? For it was with this that I had 
started. The Germans say, Alter guten Dinge 
sind Drei: We never know the true value of a 
thing until we have given it three trials. I had 
tried Appleton's; I had tried the Britannica; there 
was still one encyclopedia I had not tried. So I 
concluded to try Johnson's Cyclopedia. 

The new edition of this work is superior to its 
first edition. Its astronomical articles are gen- 
erally by Simon Newcomb, who is justly esteemed 
as having no superior as a practical astronomer. 
And indeed his article on Eclipses is far superior in 
its treatment to anything I had hitherto met in my 

Among the things I carried off from this article 
in that Cyclopedia was that the length of the mean 
Synodical month was 29 days, 12 hours, 43 min- 
utes, 57 seconds. Here was a veritable feast for 
me. In all my previous calculations I had used a 
month six seconds longer. The difference is 
enough to affect seriously the calculation of 
eclipses, especially those of say, two thousand 
years ago. As this Cyclopedia was dated in the 
last decade of the 19th century, it surely gave the 
latest known data; and this correction of six 
seconds seemed an invaluable find. 

The glee with which I pocketed this piece of 
information can be likened only to that of Frank- 
lin when he came home with his whistle. But 


Franklin's glee was, as we all know, shortlived 
enough. And alas! so also was mine. After 
going through numerous figurings of all sorts, 
I wrote in an evil moment some inquiry to the 
United States Naval Observatory, and mentioned 
Professor Newcomb's value of the month. In reply 
came the following statement from the director 
of the observatory: "The value you quote from 
Johnson's Cyclopedia is erroneous. I asked Pro- 
fessor Newcomb about it, and he says it is due to 
some mistake that he cannot explain." 

Reader, when the Greek artist wished to show 
forth the utmost intensity of pain he represented 
the sufferer's face as — hidden. To express it was 
beyond his art ; so he left it to the imagination of 
each to picture it to himself. My astonishment, 
my dismay on reading this letter — bombshell, 
thunder clap from clear sky, go to the dictionary 
and gather all such descriptions: and a goodly 
baker's dozen of them Strang together may give 
you a hint for the picture you may form of my 
poor condition. I have ever since been going 
about much like a dog who has just had a sound 
beating, and in my innerest innermost I feel 
singularly crestfallen. 


The above was all written out. In another evil 
moment I sent it to Simon Newcomb himself to 
read it over. His reply is as follows: 

"I have glanced over your 'Tribulations' with 
much interest. You do not make sufficient 
allowance for the difficulty of excluding all errors 
from exact astronomical statements. So far, as- 
tronomers have no more succeeded in doing this 


than policemen have in keeping burglars out of a 
city. It is a very good thing to have them hunted 
up and pointed out as you have done, but for every 
one you run down a new one will come in the 

I hardly know whether to take you seriously 
when you speak of Flammarion and Proctor as 
eminent astronomers. It is not to be expected 
that the public should be able to distinguish 
between a working astronomer and a popular 
writer on astronomy; but you seem to have 
reached a stage in which the difference should be 
perceptible. You measure the productions of 
these writers by altogether too exact a standard. 

Why should a popular writer, or the translator 
of a popular book, distinguish between the Met- 
onic Cycle and the Saros ? It makes no difference 
to the public which name you call them by, and 
they write for the public.' ' 

And now I am more crestfallen than ever. 

To Professor Wm. Harkness 

Director of the Observatory at Washington, 
D. C. 

My temper has always been what I must desig- 
nate as scientific, and though brought up in a 
strictly religious land I became an agnostic early, 
and remained one till about ten years ago. Now 
I am an evangelical Christian, who does not 
shrink from accepting even the verbal inspiration 
of the Scriptures. And yet, all the while, I have 
not for a moment given up the demand upon 
myself as well as upon others for most exact 
scientific methods in investigation. The reason 


I wrote out that account of the Eclipse Investiga- 
tion (which you are good enough to say you have 
read "with a good deal of amusement") was that 
it was to me very instructive, and was written 
with anything but amusement to myself. I am 
now forty-four years old; but having been a hermit 
for the last ten years I have really lived in the 
world only some thirty brief years. But I had 
all along been led to suppose that it is only babies, 
women, metaphysicians, theologians and poli- 
ticians who make a specialty of loving the scientific 
method when they look at it with their — backs. 
That eclipse experience has taught me (and it 
was for poor me a rather bitter lesson) that 
even scientific men will also bear the strictest 
watching. Since then, my mind being once open 
to that conviction — I have found this true in 
some astounding instances. In looking up Op- 
poltzer's Kanon der Finsternisse, of which you 
speak, in the Boston Public Library, I came across 
another publication by the same scientific Acad- 
emy which published the Kanon, in which booklet 
the scientific author undertakes in all seriousness 
to "calculate" the eclipses named in the Bible 
(I quote the details from memory of about four 
years ago.) One of the eclipses for which he gives 
the exact moment is from Genesis 15: 12, 13. 
"And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep 
fell upon Abram, and lo, an horror of great 
darkness fell upon him." This, the author says, 
was surely an eclipse of the sun, and then he 
calculates it, and establishes thereby the exact 
date of the occurrence. And a whole Academy 
(of. which for aught I know you and Professor 
Newcomb may be honored members) actually 


sits down and deliberately votes it to be printed 
among its own memoirs . . ; 

The above is only one of several performances 
of that kind. The Larissa Eclipse, concerning 
which you express a fear that I have gone astray, 
is fully on par with that kind of "work." The 
largeness of literature thereon, which you think 
an argument for its genuineness, would only show 
that astronomical snowballs also increase the more 
they are rolled. Though in deference to your 
doubt I will go over the ground again. 

You may not have heard that some one once 
undertook to calculate seriously the ' 'eclipse' ' 
which occurred at the Crucifixion. The Greek 
in Luke " rov r/Xiov eKXeinovros" is the tech- 
nical expression for eclipses, though literally it 
simply means, "the sun failing." But after a 
great deal of labor the calculator had to learn at 
last that the narrative places the Crucifixion 
on the 15th of the lunar month, and therefore 
at — full moon!* 

Kepler is, of course, an astronomical giant. 
Well, Matthew in his second chapter speaks of a 
star, a3rr/p } going before the magi, not asrpov, 
constellation. But Kepler labored hard and 
proved that a remarkable conjunction of some 
three bodies took place around Bethlehem about 
B.C. 7. (Matthew says the star went before the 
magi some distance.) Ludwig Ideler, royal 
astronomer at Berlin in 1825, and as fine a 
scholar as well as astronomer as ever lived 
(perhaps the only rare combination of the two) 
whose handbook on chronology is a classic, went 

*An eclipse of the sun can take place only at new 


over the whole matter after Kepler and agress 
with him that this is most probably the "explana- 
tion" of Matthew; though the plain meaning of 
the Greek is as if, when you sign yourself Wm. 
Harkness I should set about to prove by calcula- 
tion that you really signed it Phineas Tomstick. 
Ideler thus with Kepler sets the birth of Christ 
in 7 B.C. Here are two great astronomers 
settled on a date, one of whom is a profound schol- 
ar in addition: settled by means of the whole 
apparatus of calculations, conjunctions, and what 
not. But Ideler adds that the conjunction was 
vSuch (a moon's diameter separating two of the 
conjuncting bodies!) that a person with weak eyes 
would see them as one star. Now I am only a plain 
man, and my eyes, Heaven knows, are weak 
enough. But thank God, my head is not yet 
weak enough not to rebel at once against three 
magi being suddenly struck with weak eyes to 
see planets a moon's diameter apart as one. But 
I am only a plain man, and even strength of head 
would count here but little against giant astron- 
omers. But Mr. Prit chard, who happens to be an 
astronomer, also rebelled, or rather his suspicions 
were aroused by that unlucky weak-eyes remark. 
Accordingly, he recalculated the whole, and he 
now shows conclusively that while Kepler and 
Ideler are right about the conjunctions, the road 
from Jerusalem to Bethlehem is such that much 
of the way the planets must have been behind 
the magi instead of going before them, as Matthew 
expressly says it did. 

I have studied Ideler faithfully, lovingly, be- 
cause he is a classic; his work is beautifully done. 
But even he — needed watching. 



Knowing as I do human nature, the next thing 
to expect is that some archeologist will make the 
discovery that the road from Jerusalem to 
Bethlehem was originally such that the planets 
were before the magi all along the way. 

Taxes, corporations, and "scientific" errors 
never die, however often buried. 


December 24th. 


To-day there are two funerals in our village 
of some 1500 souls; the first is directly across 
the street. A year ago, about this time, we were 
all startled to see in mid-winter a force of men 
go to work to shingle, to put on a piazza, and 
more of the like carpenters' work, out of doors 
and in zero weather. Mr. Dockwell had sold 
his place in the valley, about a mile from here, 
where he had been prosperously farming it for 
years, and keeping boarders in the summer. 
The neighboring millionaire who had been wishing 
to round out his estate, offered him ten thousand 
dollars for his farm of some fifty acres. It was 
a godsend to the farmer and his hard-working 
wife. On the income of ten thousand dollars 
the rest of their days could be spent in comparative 
ease. So the farm was sold, and this house on 
the hill bought for their last home; the house 
itself had already had its owp. tragedy. Thirty 
years ago it became the home of one of the two 
grocers in town. He prospered, accumulated. 
Became duly selectman, trustee of savings bank, 
and the rest. Then one thing after another 
began to go amiss. A slight disagreement with 
his landlord, who owned the only available spot 
for a second grocery-store ended in his having 


to seek a new, inconvenient place. The business 
went down. Then he went into the lumber 
business at great expense ; and ere long he had the 
experience which he at first lacked, and his 
customers whom he had to trust, had the money. 
Then he began to speculate in stocks. Here too, 
after a while, a very brief while, he had the 
experience, and the bucket shop keeper had the 
money. At home also things were going wrong; 
wife, the combination of Eve and Xantippe; 
son, the only son, a trial as well as constant 
financial drain because of his unexpected esca- 
pades. And it all ended in the man being found 
dead by his wife one morning in the loft of his 
barn — by hanging. . . . The well-kept place 
assessed for $5,000 was sold to any one who 
would take it quickly. The widow could not 
stay there, and would not if she could. It fell 
into the hands of a peddler, to whom it was 
knocked down at auction for less than $2,000; 
and he promptly plowed up the fine lawns, planted 
it with potatoes, raspberries; poultry began to 
scratch up not only the few acres of the place 
itself, but also the neighbors' lawns. After some 
six years of unsightliness and neglect, the owners 
found themselves unable to keep the place. And 
Mr. Dockwell in the nick of time took it off their 
hands for some $3,000. 

And now in the middle of the winter he under- 
took to tear out the insides and rebuild the house 
with all the modern improvements; steam heat, 
electric lights, modern plumbing, ba,th rooms; 
so as to make it attractive the very next summer for 
— summer boarders 

The poor wife cried .... all to herself however — 


bitterly, when she saw the havoc wrought with 
what she had come into as her — home. The 
confusion lasted for months : not until May was 
the house done; but this was the least of the 
trouble. She had worked hard all the best years 
of her life, as only a New England's thrifty 
farmer's wife can work; all for the sake of a 
comfortable rest in her advanced years. And 
here the advanced years were upon them; both 
in the latter sixties, and it was all to begin over 
again; boarders, cows, a horse, small fruits, and 
the never-ending chores. 

But even this was not all. Her husband was 
afflicted with severe asthma. His coughing had 
been keeping awake at least one of his neighbors ; 
and I myself, though some 300 feet away from 
his house, had often heard that never-heard-before 
hollow metallic cough, cough, cough, which 
lasted at times for minutes at a time. She well 
knew that he might choke any day to death, and 
yet over half of the money got for the farm went 
into the house, some $7,000 in fact. The good 
woman thought and wept ; and wept and thought, 
but never a word to her husband, only a whisper 
now and then to a sympathetic neighbor. And 
thus things went on since May. Boarders came, 
at ten, twelve dollars a week. It was hard, hard 
work — for the woman. Part of the house could 
fortunately be rented. All, at last, began to go 
well. She had become used to the new situation, 
the husband kept busy; and with the exceotion 
of that resounding metallic cough, cough, cough, 
otherwise quite satisfied and well. Sunday he 
went to the city to a brother-in-law, who never 
saw him so well as then. Tuesday, however, he 


was suddenly taken ill. He had been chilled on 
the way. The valley physician when sent for 
was not in. The hill physician came, prescribed, 
expecting the valley physician to come during 
the night. The latter, learning that the hill 
physician had already been there, expected him 
to come during the night. Thus neither came 
until the morning, just in time for both being 
able to pronounce him— dead. And so the 
funeral is to-day at one, and I am watching it. 
By a strange fatality, the only time in the history 
of the town when there are two different funerals 
on the same day (a father and his daughter were 
once buried on the same day, but from the same 
house and at the same time) the regular under- 
taker gets neither. This one is in charge of the 
city undertaker, eight miles away. And so here 
they are: the hearse, and six coaches. The 
sixth is being sent back, as two relatives who 
came from a neighboring town in their own 
team, are going back therein, and this coach is 
for them. So off they start; the hearse black, 
with black horses, drivers in black; five coaches, 
all uniform, black, with black horses, well- 
groomed, sleek; everything comme il faut — a fine 
procession; but the procession winds up with 
two persons in a buggy, with brown robe, and a 

white thin horse, with its ribs in sight 

I went over this morning across the way to 
the widow to bring her just one word of cheer, 
and I found her hanging out her clothes on the 
washline. A sister from some distance who had 
come to the funeral was inside at the wash-tub. 
And on the whole it was the wisest as well as 
the bravest thing to do: on Christmas, on the 


morrow of her life-mate's funeral, to keep right 
on at work .... She had been expecting such an 
end for years, yet when it came, as is nearly 
always the case thus, the shock was just as if 
the event had never been expected. 

She stretched out her hands to me with tears. 
" I suppose it is all for the best," she said. " God 
knows what is best." 

A neighbor whispers: " To think that that 
man should spend so much on that house in his 
condition ! His poor wife will have to sell the 
house at a sacrifice," and more of the like. The 
wife, doubtless, now and then thinks the same; 
but never a word of complaint shall pass her 
lips. And her grief is genuine. And the washline 
is the real answer now to every problem 

The ultra religious see even here a case very 
much like that of the prosperous farmer in 
Scripture who was to build himself new barns 
but was told: " This night they require thy soul 
of thee! " But the widow honestly mourns, as 
honestly faces the tragedy, and is at the — wash- 
line the day after the funeral, and at Christmas. 
Brave, noble dame, thou hast made no presents 
to any this Christmas, but thou hast left some- 
thing more lasting to thy fellows: thy — wash- 


December 25th. 

The second funeral yesterday was at 2 :3o, 
an hour and a half after the first. This man also 
died of asthma; and was, not exactly a neighbor, 
but almost one. Till recently he lived in the 
next house to mine on the same side of the street. 
The first death was almost sudden, but peaceful. 


This case was one of long suffering, and frequent 
attacks of choking. When the owner of the 
second grocery-site died, the store came into the 
market again, and this man took the store, but 
with small capital. He eked out from it some 
sort of living for himself, wife and a boy and a 
girl. But the sickness at last compelled him to 
have a man take his place on the team; this took 
most of the profit. Himself ill abed most of the 
time, the wife keeping house upstairs, tending 
store down stairs, a bell calling her down whenever 
the door was opened, the children were sent to 
school during school hours, but helped in the 
store out of school hours. 

Mr. Pond was of Scotch descent; the wife was 
from Nova Scotia; a faithful, clear-headed, 
plodding, overworked wife and mother. But the 
two children grew up with strong faces, delicate 
build, and winsome manners. 

Last summer the girl of some twelve years was 
taken ill with typhoid fever; they had moved 
away about a mile from town to have a home, 
rather than an up-stairs over a store, with only 
a stoop to sit out on. And they took comfort 
in having a place with a country outlook, and a 
bit of green to sit out on during the hot days. 
But something was wrong with the new place, 
and ere long the popular, innocent, dear Ethel 
was announced to her old village friends as — dead. 
Bouquets were sent by the dozen; every heart 
was touched; the sickness of the father, the 
faithful toil of the wife and mother, the perfect 
companionship of brother and sister — the tragic 
death laid at once to the moving, thus laying 
an additional burden of remorse upon the parents 


— human nature is here quick to return to its 
godlikeness, from which it has fallen, and duly 
came forward here with deep, heartfelt sympathy. 
But the blow was of the sort for which there is 
no human help. The day before the child's 
funeral, when a word of sympathy was sent over 
the telephone, there came in response a tender 
appreciation of all kindness shown, but the 
broken voice and the tears which could be plainly 
heard even at the telephone told clearly enough 
of the helplessness of man at such times. During 
the funeral the father lay ill up-stairs, And he 
never recovered thereafter, until at last he too 
died the same day with Mr. Dockwell, and was 
laid way the same day with him. 

And, now, the poor woman has a boy to bring 
up — it was the father's hope to see him through 
the High School — and herself to support. The 
townfolk will be kind, but in the end she will 
have to provide for herself. 

At one time he was in financial straights, his 
wagon and horses had to be sold for the creditors. 
A Roman Catholic Irishman, a stable-keeper, 
bought them for him, to enable him to go on with 
the business. He being an undertaker at the 
same time — for the Roman Catholics — it some- 
how came natural this time that this Roman 
Catholic Irishman be the one for the first time 
in the history of this town to bury a Protestant; 
and take him to the Protestant Cemetery, after 
listening to Protestant prayers and Scripture 
read by a Protestant clergyman, and Protestant 
songs by a Protestant choir. 

Thus one loving deed by a plain, kind hearted 
stable keeper had made possible what dozens 

564 THE DAY BEFORE CHmu.. £ 

of Conferences betwixt the heads of different 
religious bodies are most unlikely to accomplish. 
And as I was talking with him only the day before, 
he was wholly unaware that he had brought 
about aught extraordinary ...... 

My dear Panin: 

This is very remarkably well done — very lightly 
and delicately put on the canvas but it is all very sad 
and very discouraging. I do not feel that such a minor 
note is needed in our present state of mind. Drop the 
note of depression. Men look for encouragement and 
stimulus to endure the tragic ills of life which need no 
enlargement by your skilful pen. Your grace of style 
is inimitable. You ought to be remembered for it 
and you will be. — E. P. U. 

[Comment by " my dear Panin": Hml] 


Scientifically Demonstrated. 

To the Editor of The Sun, New York City : 

Sir — In to-day's Sun Mr. W. R. L. calls for a 
" champion of orthodoxy" to "step into the arena 
of the Sun'' and give him some "facts." Here 
are some facts : 

i. The first 17 verses of the New Testament 
contain the genealogy of the Christ. It consists 
of two main parts: Verses 1-11 cover the period 
from Abraham, the father of the chosen people, 
to the Captivity, when they ceased as an inde- 
pendent people. Verses 12-17 cover the period 
from the Captivity to the promised Deliverer, the 

Let us examine the first part of this genealogy. 

Its vocabulary has 49 words, or 7X7. This 
number is itself a multiple of seven (Feature 1), 
and the sum of its factors is 2 sevens (Feature 2). 
Of these 49 words 28, or 4 sevens, begin with a 
vowel; and 21, or 3 sevens, begin with a con- 
sonant (Feature 3); seven end with a vowel, and 
42, or 6 sevens, end with a consonant (Feature 4). 

Again : these 49 words of the vocabulary have 
266 letters, or 7X2X19; this number is itself 38 
sevens (Feature 5), and the sum of its factors is 
28, or 4 sevens (Feature 6). Of these 266 letters, 
moreover, 140, or 20 sevens, are vowels, and 126, 
or 18 sevens, are consonants (Feature 7). 

That is to say: Just as the number of words 
in the vocabulary is a multiple of seven, so is the 


number of its letters a multiple of seven; just as 
the sum of the factors of the number of the 
words is a multiple of seven, so is the sum of the 
factors of the numbers of their letters a multiple 
of seven. And just as the number of words is 
divided between vowel words and consonant 
words by sevens, so is their number of letters 
divided between vowels and consonants by sevens. 

Again: Of these 49 words 35, or 5 sevens, 
occur more than once in the passage; and 14, or 
2 sevens, occur but once (Feature 8) ; seven, occur 
in more than one form, and 42, or 6 sevens, occur 
in only one form (Feature 9). And among the 
parts of speech the 49 words are thus divided: 
42, or 6 sevens, are nouns, seven are not nouns 
(Feature 10). Of the nouns 35, or 5 sevens, are 
proper names, seven are common nouns (Feature 
11). Of the proper names 28 are male ancestors 
of the Christ, and seven are not (Feature 12). 

Morever, these 49 words are distributed alpha- 
betically thus : words under as are 2 1 in number, 
or 3 sevens; Z-k } 14, or 2 sevens, m-X, also 14. No 
other groups of sevens stopping at the end of a 
letter are made by these 49 words, the groups of 
sevens stop with these letters and no others. But 
the letters as 8, k la x are letters 156101222 
of the Greek alphabet, and the sum of these num- 
bers (called their Place Values) is 56, or 8 sevens 
(Feature 13). 

This enumeration of the numeric phenomena of 

-these 11 verses does not begin to be exhaustive, 

but enough has been shown to make it clear that 

this part of the genealogy is constructed on an 

elaborate design of sevens. 

Let us now turn to the genealogy as a whole. 


I will not weary your readers with recounting all 
the numeric phenomena thereof: pages alone 
would exhaust them. I will point out only one 
feature : The New Testament is written in Greek. 
The Greeks had no separate symbols for express- 
ing numbers, corresponding to our Arabic figures, 
but used instead the letters of their alphabet: 
just as the Hebrews, in whose tongue the Old 
Testament is written, made use for the same 
purpose of theirs. Accordingly, the 24 Greek 
letters stand for the following numbers: 123 
4 5 7 8 9 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 100 200 300 
400 500 600 700 800. Every Greek word is thus 
a sum in arithmetic obtained by adding the num- 
bers for which its letters stand, or their numeric 
values. Now the vocabulary to the entire gen- 
ealogy has 72 words. If we write its numeric 
value over each of these 72 words, and add them, 
we get for their sum 42,364, or 6,052 sevens, dis- 
tributed into the following alphabetical groups 
only: ot-fi have 9,821, or 1,403 sevens; y-d, 
1904, or 272 sevens; ^-5, 3,703, or 529 sevens; 
0-p, 19,264, or 2,752 sevens;- G-x, 7,672, or 1,096 
sevens. But the numeric value of the 10 letters 
used for making these groups is 931, or 7X7X19, 
a multiple not only of seven but of seven sevens. 
And the same is true of the 90 forms in which 
these 72 words occur: their 90 numeric values 
sum up 54,075, or 7,725 sevens, and this number 
is distributed into just seven alphabetical groups 
of sevens. 

Let Mr. W. R. L. sit down and try to write 
some 300 words intelligently like this genealogy, 
and reproduce some numeric phenomena of like 
designs. If he does it in 6 months, he will indeed 


do a wonder. Let us assume that Matthew ac- 
complished this feat in one month. 

2. The second part of this chapter, verses 
18-25, relates the birth of the Christ. It consists 
of 161 words, or 23 sevens; occurring in 105 
forms, or 15 sevens, with a vocabulary of 77 
words, or 11 sevens. Joseph is spoken to here 
by the angel. Accordingly, of the 77 words the 
angel uses 28, or 4 sevens; of the 105 forms he 
uses 35, or 5 sevens; the numeric value of the 
vocabulary is 52,605, or 7,515 sevens; of the 
forms, 65,429, or 9,347 sevens. 

This enumeration only begins as it were to 
barely scratch the surface of the numerics of this 
passage. But what is specially noteworthy here 
is: the fact that the angel's speech has also a 
scheme of sevens makes it a kind of ring within 
a ring, a wheel within a wheel. If Mr. L. can 
write a similar story of 161 words with the same 
scheme of sevens alone (though there are several 
others here) in some three years, he would ac- 
complish a still greater wonder. Let us assume 
that Matthew accomplished this feat in only 6 

3. The second chapter of Matthew tells of the 
childhood of the Christ. Its vocabulary has 161 
words, or 23 sevens, with 896 letters, or 128 sev- 
ens, and 238 forms, or 34 sevens ; the numeric value 
of the vocabulary is 123,529, or 17,647 sevens; of 
the forms, 166,985, or 23,855 sevens; and so on 
through pages of enumeration. This chapter has 
at least four logical divisions, and each division 
shows alone the same phenomena found in the 


chapter as a whole. Thus the first six verses have 
a vocabulary of 56 words, or 8 sevens, etc. There 
are some speeches here: Herod speaks, the Magi 
speak, the angel speaks. But so pronounced are 
the numeric phenomena here, that though there 
are as it were, numerous rings within rings, and 
wheels within wheels, each is perfect in itself, 
though forming all the while only part of the rest. 
If Mr. L. can write a chapter like this as nat- 
urally as Matthew writes, but containing in some 
500 words so many intertwined yet harmonious 
numeric features, in say the rest of his days, — 
whatever his age now, or the one to which he is to 
attain: if he thus accomplish it at all, it will in- 
deed be marvel of marvels. Let us assume that 
Matthew accomplished this feat in only 3 years. 

4. There is not, however, a single paragraph 
of the hundreds in Matthew that is not con- 
structed on exactly the same plan. Only with 
each additional paragraph the difficulty of con- 
structing it increases not in arithmetical but in 
geometrical progression. For he contrives to 
write his paragraphs so as to develop constantly 
fixed numeric relations to what goes before and 
after. Thus in his last chapter he contrives to 
use just 7 words not used by him before. It 
would thus be easy to show that Mr. L. would re- 
quire some centuries to write a book like Mat- 
thew's. How long it took Matthew the writer 
does not know. But how he contrived to do it 
between the Crucifixion, A. D. 30 (and his Gospel 
could not have been written earlier), and the 
destruction of Jerusalem, A. D. 70 (and the Gos- 
pel could not have been written later), let Mr. L. 
and his like minded explain. 


Anyhow Matthew did it, and we thus have a ! 
miracle, — an unheard of literary, mathematical j 
artist, unequalled, hardly even conceivable. This | 
is the first fact for Mr. L. to contemplate. 

A second fact is yet more important : In his 
very first section, the genealogy discussed above, 
the words found nowhere else in the New Testa- 
ment, occur 42 times, 7X6; and have 126 letters, 
7X6X3, each number a multiple not only of sev- 
ens, but of 6 sevens, to name only two of the 
many numeric features of these words. But how 
did Matthew know, when designing this scheme 
for these words (whose sole characteristic is that 
they are found nowhere else in the- New Testa- 
ment) that they would not be found in the other 
26 books? that they would not be used by the 
other 7 New Testament writers? Unless we as- 
sume the impossible hypothesis that he had an 
agreement with them to that effect, he must have 
had the rest of the New Testament before him 
when he wrote his book. The Gospel of Matthew, 
then, was written last. 

5. It so happens, however, that the Gospel of 
Mark shows the very same phenomena. Thus 
the very passage called so triumphantly in to- 
day's Sun a ' 'forgery," the Last Twelve Verses 
of Mark, presents among some sixty features of 
sevens the following phenomena: It has 175 
words, or 25 sevens; a vocabulary of 98 words, or 
2 sevens of sevens, with 553 letters, or 79 sevens; 
133 forms, or 19 sevens, and so on to the minutest 

Mark, then, is another miracle, another unpar- 
alelled mathematical literary genius. And in 


the same way in which it was shown that Mat- 
thew wrote last it is also shown that Mark too 
wrote last. Thus to take an example from the 
very passage: It has just one word found no- 
where else in the New Testament, davdai^o^^ 
deadly. This fact is signalled by no less than 
■six features of sevens thus: Its numeric value is 
581, or 83 sevens, of which the letters ending its 
four syllables have 490, or 7 X 7 X 5 X 2 : a multiple 
of seven sevens, with the sum of its factors 21, 
or 3 sevens. In the vocabulary it is preceded by 
42 words, 7 X6; in the passage itself by 126 words, 
or 7X6X3, both numbers multiples not only of 
seven, but of 6 sevens. We have thus established 
before us this third fact for Mr. L. to contem- 
plate: Matthew surely wrote after Mark, and Mark 
just as surely wrote after Matthew. 

6. It happens, however, to be a fourth fact 
that Luke presents the same phenomena as Mat- 
thew and Mark, and so does John, and James, 
and Peter, and Jude, and Paul. And we have 
thus no longer two great unheard of mathematical 
literati, but eight of them, and each wrote after the 

7. And not only this. As Luke and Peter 
wrote. each two books, John 5, and Paul 14, it 
can in the same way be shown that each of the 
seven and twenty New Testament books was 
written last. In fact, not a page of the over 500 
in Westcott & Hort's Greek edition (which the 
writer has used throughout) but it can be demon- 
strated thus to have been written last. 

The phenomena are there, and there is no 
human way of explaining them. Eight men 



cannot each write last, 27 books, some 500 pages 
cannot each be written last. But once assume 
that One Mind directed the whole, and the prob- 
lem is solved simply enough; but this is Verbal 
Inspiration — of every jot and title of the New 

There remains only to be added that by pre- 
cisely the same kind of evidence the Hebrew Old 
Testament is proved to be equally inspired. Thus 
the very first verse of Genesis has seven words, 
28 letters, or 4 sevens; its very first syllable has, 
a numeric value of 203, or 29 sevens, to name only 
three out of the dozens of numeric features of 
this one verse of only seven words. — N. Y. Sun j 
Nov. 21, 1899. Corrected. 

To this letter several replies appeared in the 
Sun } but not a single answer. For in only thre^ 
ways can it be refuted. 

a. By showing that the facts are not as here 

b. By showing that it is possible for eight mer 
to write each after the other seven; for 27 bookr.l 
for some 500 pages to be each in its turn writtei 

c. By showing that even if the facts be true 
the arithmetic faultless, and the collocation o 
the numerics honest, it does not follow that mer< 
men could not have written thus without Inspira 
tion from above. 

Accordingly, as many as nine noted rationalist 
(of whom Drs. Lyman Abbot and Charles W 
Eliot are still living) were respectfully but puV 
licly invited to refute the writer. One was no 
"interested "in the writer's "arithmetical" doings 


two "regretted" that they "had no time" to give 
heed thereto. Another "did not mean to be 
unkind," but. . . .The rest were silent. For the 
Special benefit of these the writer printed the 
original data with numerous details, enabling 
them in the easiest manner to verify every state- 
ment made by him, if they wished. And to the 
oest of his ability he has for years seen to it that 
10 scholar whom surely these things specially con- 
cern remain in ignorance of the facts here re- 
:ounted, and of hundreds of like cogency. 

A notable exception to the above is a lawyer 
of standing, whose books on Law are deemed as 
}f authority. He had intelligence enough and 
candor withal to confess that the case for the 
Bible as made out by the writer is impregnable, 
that the Bible is thus proved to be an "absolutely 
unique book." This much the case itself extorts 
from the but too well equipped writer on — 
Evidence; and accordingly he henceforth reads 
the writer's Numerics with intense appreciation. 
And then, fresh from this confession, he betakes 
i ! mself once more to the circulation of his anti- 
Christian books in the writing of which he joys 
bo spend his leisure hours .... 

to "Thoughts," of 1899. 

The best preface should really be the book 
itself, but poor is the rule that admits of no 
exception. Still, however pressing apparently 
the need, the writer pens this preface, if not 
with the half will of forced submission, at leas 
with the divided heart of natural perplexity. 

Nay, even the book itself he would fain have 
left unknown. For the Spirit hath already in 
the ages of yore recorded His opinion in the 
complaint that of making many books there is 
no end. And Job, to get his enemy wholly at 
his mercy hath only one wish, O that mine 
enemy had written a book! These, however, 
are merely hints. The full illustrations are 
given in at least four notable ways. 

Moses is of all men the only one whom the 
Spirit hath condescended to liken unto the Lore 
Christ. "A prophet like unto me shall the Lord 
God raise up unto you," he is commanded to 
declare unto the chosen people, and a right rich, 
a right full life he led, this man Moses. 

Born in the house of toil, he is reared in a 
palace. Spends twoscore years at court, and 
fourscore in the wilderness. Leaves school 
without his God at forty, and is sent back to 
school by his God till he is eighty. Flees for 
his life, keeps sheep for a wife. Is alone forty 


years without a multitude, is alone another 
forty years with the multitude. Fasts forty 
days, and talks with God face to face. A rich 
life, a full life he leads, this man Moses. 

A learned man, a wise man was this Moses. 
He was versed in all the wisdom of the Egyp- 
tians. The dynasties, he understood their puz- 
zle. The hieroglyphics, he had fathomed their 
mystery. The pyramids, he had solved their 
problem. The sphinx, he had discovered its 
secret. A wise man, a learned man was this 
man Moses. 

Come now, Moses, wilt thou not tell us what 
thou sawest those forty years at Pharao's court? 
in the wilderness with Jethro, with Zippora 
thine, thy rebellious spouse, with Miriam, thy 
rebellious sister, with Israel thy rebellious peo- 
ple? Chevalier Bunsen would like to know. 
Professor Brugsch would like to know, plain 
Lepsius would like to know, the orientalists 
would like to know; scholars, historians, a host 
of cultured folk would like to know. Wilt thou 
not tell us, thou man Moses? But wellnigh 
ravishing though these themes be, pyramidical 
silence is all he here hath for us, this man Moses. 

Even those who cannot get away with . his 
six days of creation, his parting sea, gust of 
quails, his speaking ass, and serpent either 
upright on legs seducing or hanging from a pole 
healing, would gladly forgive him these his 
indiscretions, if only he had left us some goodly 
tomes of this his Egyptian wisdom. Nay, were 
he suddenly to reappear, even if only to reveal 
the mystery of his tomb, he might perhaps fail 
of an appointment to the professorship of arche- 


ology at Oxford or Harvard, but the Royal soci- 
ety would give him a right hearty welcome, 
and a dollar a ticket would not be deemed too 
high a price for getting a look from the plat- 
form at this man Moses. The enterprising 
newspaper would cheerfully part with a whole 
thousand of its abounding dollars to secure his 
first impressions of this land of interviews. The 
magazine pictorial would secure from him a 
paper, the magazine unpictorial would lay hold 
of him for a symposium: 'Tngersoll on the 
mistakes of Moses ; Moses on the mistakes of 
Ingersoll." The young maids would crave his 
autograph, the old maids his photograph. And 
even the slowly moving universities would at 
last relax to the extent at least of giving him 
an honorary degree. A wondrous success he thus 
would be, this man Moses. And yet this Moses 
foregoes the riches of Egypt for the sake of 
writing according to the mind of the Spirit. 

Unto Solomon was given a wise and under- 
standing heart, so that the like of him was 
neither before him nor was any to arise after him. 
He excelled the wisdom of all the children of the 
East, and all the wisdom of Egypt. "For he 
was wiser than all men : than Ethan the Ezrahite, 
and Heman, and Calcol, and Dada, the sons of 
Mahol. Proverbs he spake three thousand, and 
his songs were one thousand and five. And of 
trees he spake: from the cedar in Lebanon even 
unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall. 
He spake also of beasts, and of fowls, and of 
creeping things, and of fishes." Yet of the men 


who alone are singled out for comparison with 
the wisest of men the Spirit hath left us the bare 
names. Of the three thousand proverbs (who 
hath eyes to see let him look!) only a tithe have 
been allowed to escape. Of the thousand and 
five songs of Solomon (who hath ears to hear, 
let him hear!) there has been allowed to be 
wafted down the ages only one. Schiller leaves 
some unfinished piece, Goethe leaves some im- 
mature doings, and generation after generation 
gathers up the fragments with the eagerness of 
the faithful hound for the leavings from his mas- 
ter's table. But from the table of Solomon — ■ 
with only one dish shall the generations be con- 
tent. This is the estimate the Spirit places upon 
the books writ by even the wisest of men. 

Unto John Baptist the witness is borne from 
the lips of him that spake as man never spake 
that he was of all prophets the greatest. Yea, 
that among them born of women there was none 
greater than John Baptist. A plain man he is. 
this John Baptist. He dines not with the wits 
his fare is locusts and honey wild: his garments 
are not cut in the latest Jerusalem style: hairy 
is his garment, leathern his girdle; a strange man 
is this Baptist John; he had written no books; 
the Jerusalem Critic does not praise him, the 
Jordan Nation does not condemn him; the 
booksellers do not advertise him, yet he has made 
an unheard-of reputation, this John. He preaches 
in the wilderness: no plush seats, no prelude, 
postlude; no solo; no excursion train towards 
Baptistville; no electrics towards ^Enon, not 


even dray beast line. Yet the crowds flock to 
hear this man with rock to the right of him, rock 
to the left of him, rock at the back of him, only 
water at the front of him, the rough breezes 
around him, bare sky over him. Yet they flock 
to hear this John: Jerusalem, and all Judea, 
and the region round about Jordan. No fine 
words he uses, this John: the cultured and re- 
fined of the day are to him only a generation of 
vipers. Yet he makes kings to tremble before 
him, this John. 

Before this voice crying in the wilderness all 
pulpit eloquence is as the hand organ before the 
hymn of the ages. Professors of homiletics, of 
oratory, eloquence, and what not, what would 
not here be given for at least one complete dis- 
course of this man John! But though of the 
eight writers of the New Testament no less than 
four are assigned to make report of him, all we 
are permitted to know of his preaching is: of 
text, just seven words; of discourse, some six- 
score of words. This is the estimate the Spirit 
places upon the preservation of the words of, 
upon the book of, him who had no superior among 
them born of women. 

Lastly : The Son of Man himself, a few sayings 
of his, perhaps not even genuine, were recently 
discovered: Forthwith all Christendom is on 
tiptoe: formal as well as devout; spurious as 
well as genuine Christendom; all manner of 
glasses, microscopic and otherwise, are turned on 
these Rip Van Winklian arrivals. The wee 
wordlets are demanded from the four quarters 
of the heavens to give strict account of them- 


selves : Professor Ordinarius, and Professor 
Extraordinarius, docent, fellow, tutor, reviewer, 
scribe, gentleman of the scissors — are all present 
at the examination of the strangers. This over 
a few of His sayings: what commotion then 
would there be were a single additional doing of 
His brought to light? But the disciple who alone 
of all others was permitted to rest his head on 
the Master's bosom most solemnly declares: 
" Many other signs, therefore, did Jesus which 

are not written in this book And there are 

also many other things which Jesus did, which if 
they should be written every one, I suppose that 
even the world itself would not contain the books 
that should be written." On the most absorbing 
theme which man could treat, here is one who 
hath boundless material therefor, and he delib- 
erately lays down his pen, and retires into the 
eternal Silence after writing what would fill 
perhaps one of the forty pages of the Sunday 
newspaper, of which there are printed for us in 
•the course of one year 2,040 such pages. 

When in May, 1881, the Revised Version of 
the New Testament was at last published, a 
Chicago paper, eager to outstrip its rivals if only 
for four and twenty hours, had the entire New 
Testament telegraphed from New York for its 
readers. This for the sake of a few changes in 
the translation of the story of the Son of Man. 
And thou, blessed John, knewest a world of 
books about this Son of Man, and holdest thy 
peace? Even so, for it was the mind of the 
Spirit to witness that even for the doings of the 
Son of God four booklets suffice for some eighteen 
centuries of time. 



But the Spirit hath not left the making of 
many books to mere inference. He that hath 
said, The words which I spake unto you, they 
shall judge you at the last day, spake also this: 
Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall 
give account thereof in the day of judgment: 
for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by 
thy words thou shalt be condemned. If it be 
thus with every idle word spoken, which hath 
only two wings, what of the printed word with 
its hundreds and thousands of wings? 


And once more, as if to strike at the very root 
of the multitudinous making of books, the Spirit 
hath left the injunction: Be not many teachers, 
my brethren, knowing that we shall receive 
heavier judgment. The lips of the priest keeping 
knowledge no longer, the hungry mass hath be- 
taken itself elsewhither, to the writer; and the 
writer has thus become the teacher, even where 
he writes for self -imposition, if not for self-preser- 
vation. And the Father of the spirits of all flesh 
knowing the heart of the sons of Adam full well, 
that with tyranny it begins and with tyranny it 
ends, hath called to them across the ages, Be 
not many teachers among you! A most earnest 
thing is this making of books, a solemn matter 
this of teaching! 

The disciple, who by the grace of Heaven hath 
been permitted to drink freely of the water of 
Life in the pages of this Book can surely only 
abstain from the guilt of making many books. 

But when the Pharisees asked the Master! 


Whether it be lawful to put away a wife for any 
cause, he gave in answer: Moses for your hard- 
ness of heart suffered you to put away your 
wives, but from the beginning it hath not been so. 
The great God, knowing that man is but flesh, 
condescends thus to the less good instead of the 
best simply because sinful man hath strayed 
from the beginning when it had not been so. 

And had the writer always been what the 
great God intended man to be, there would be 
neither book nor preface from him. But with 
him also alas ! it had not been from the beginning 
so. And so he published some dozen years ago 
two booklets of "Thoughts." The motives for 
their coming into visibility were, as natural, 
rather mixed. If at twenty one is wiser than at 
fifty, one is at thirty only wiser than at forty. 
Some craving, perhaps, for sympathy by one 
uprooted from his native soil, and not yet 
grounded in the transplanted soil. A goodly 
dose of honest philanthropy, with a like goodly 
dose of Adamic tyrant, were likely enough also 
well mixed in. Be that as it may, there was at 
least some rather honest toil put into the work. 
But honest though the booklets were, aphorisms 
and sayings by the ounce, when put into the 
form of a book, are not easily relished by a race 
that takes indeed its lunches standing, but pre- 
fers its reading, if not by the pound, at least by 
the yard. The New York Rhadamanthus ac- 
cordingly let loose upon the poor author its 
chosen Cerberus, who if he failed to show the 
thoroughbred blood, betrayed at least the teeth 
of the race. Rhadamanthus has indeed the grace 
shortly to confess that if he had known that the 

582 APPEND Dt 

victim of Cerberus had been befriended by his 
own father (for even Rhadamanthuses have 
fathers), he would have kept Cerberus chained, 
and the poor author is duly appreciative of the 
glimpse he is thus permitted to have of the 
mysteries of criticism. But the author on the 
whole deemed it prudent to retire from the field, 
and retire he did, quite crestfallen. 


America's most sympathetic, and therefore 
truest, critic writes indeed to the author from 
across the. miles of space that lie betwixt them, 
"Be not discouraged, keep on!" And America's 
acutest philosopher (to whom the author's 
"philosophy" is only a kind of endurable abomi- 
nation) confesses indeed that the first booklet 
contains at least four sayings of which a hundred 
would make the author what he calls "immortal" : 
so that according to the commercial mode of 
speech the poor Cerberus bitten writer. is already 
at thirty immortal four per cent. And America's 
second eminent critic does not indeed hesitate to 
write a rather longitudinal laudation of two other 
of poor author's wordlets. But neither these nor 
the many other cheering words would have seri- 
ously roused the author to reprint some of his 
words. For he soon learned that if it be worth 
while to spend half a lifetime in getting into the 
papers, it is worth while to spend the other half 
of his lifetime in keeping out of the papers. 


For a marvellous thing had meanwhile come 
to pass in the life of the author. Hitherto he had 
sought wisdom all his days, and sought it most 


earnestly: sought it in science, sought it in 
philosophy; sought it in art, sought it in letters; 
sought it in college, sought it in the world; sought 
it from professor, sought it from Preacher; sought 
it laughing, crying, sought it yearning, sobbing. 
And many indeed were the things he learned in 
the search. The physiologist told him how they 
make frogs' legs dance ; the astronomer told him 
that Sirius does not really twinkle, and the nat- 
uralist told him that the serpent once had legs, 
and lost them in his attempts at evolution. The 
philosopher told him that the universe is a ma- 
chine, the scientist, that men have only recently 
grown wiser than monkeys. The artist explained 
to him how he writes merely for the sake of 
writing, the preacher, that one can be a Christian 
teacher even as agnostic. Lastly, the Professor 
of Ethics convinced the writer that he was an 
excellent fellow. But not a soul even as much as 
whispered to him that the fear of the Lord is the 
beginning of wisdom, and Knowledge of the 
Most High, that is understanding. As upon 
these sentences he at last stumbled as it were in 
a book which is found indeed on many a parlor 
table of Christendom, but has to be dusted twice 
a week, the net sum of the writer's fruitless search 
after wisdom was that he began to look into that 
book in earnest. And what he found was this: 
he had faithfully and admiringly studied Homer 
and Plato, Virgil and Cicero, Epictetus, Seneca 
and Marcus Aurelius, ^Eschylus and Sophocles, 
Confucius and Budda, Mahomet and Saadi, 
Shakespeare and Bacon, Dante and Rousseau, 
Descartes and Spinoza, Kant and Schopenhauer, 
Goethe and Herder, Strauss and Buchner, Emer- 


son and Carlyle, Ruskin and Arnold, Darwin and 
Spencer, Proudhon and Tolstoy. In all of these 
is held forth more or less the promise of Life. 
But the writer has sorrowfully found that though 
these do not indeed offer a stone for bread, yet 
they give shelter to the soul such as the dweller in 
the slum tenement of the city hath in comparison 
with the soil tiller's homestead in the country. 
They give indeed food unto the heart, but it is 
the watered milk and the larded butter and the 
refrigerated beef of the city with its consequent 
need of allopath and homeopath, rather than the 
creamy milk of the farmer, his pure butter, and 
the fatted calf of the country. On Carlyle and 
Emerson, on Plato and Aurelius, on Ruskin and 
Tolstoy, one can indeed live, but the Accident 
policy must be carefully taken out before the 
journey, and a goodly supply of all manner of 
liniments, sarsaparilla, and otherwise, must ever 
be at hand for the mumps and measles of the 
soul, which, say what these teachers may, will 
not down for other than brief time. Not so, 
however, with The Book. For it tells of One 
who spake as man never spake, who was the true 
bread of life, that which cometh down from the 
heavens, of which if a man eat he shall never 

After such result of lengthy search for wisdom 
the writer could well afford to leave his booklets 
to the silence from which he had thought they 
had perhaps better never have come forth. This 
maugre the encouragement from Eminent Critic 
One, commendation from Eminent Critic Two, 
and assurance of at least four per cent, of immor- 


tality from eminent philosopher. But one day 
the writer went to a registry of deeds. The 
scribal dame in attendance, on seeing his name 
on the paper handed her, asked, Is this Mr. Ivan 
Panin? I wish to thank you for your Thoughts 
I had seen in the Independent, specially for the 
one: Three men are my friends, — and she recited 
the whole of what had appeared ten years before 
in a weekly journal. And every now and then 
the writer still receives in papers sent him quota- 
tions from the booklets he had long dismissed 
even as a hen pecks away her own chicks in due 

The writer has thus not succeeded in getting 
away from his booklets, and since they no longer 
truly represent him, it is right that if quoted he 
must be, and judged for them, it be at least for 
what he now wishes to be held responsible. Ac- 
cordingly he presents here to the reader a selection 
from the old with some new. The choice was not 
always from within, often rather from without. 
When, for example, a wholesale dry goods mer- 
chant, on espying the author in his store, comes 
to him, takes him by the hand, and with inde- 
scribable tenderness speaks out as a greeting, 
"To find yourself, you must first lose yourself," 
what can poor author do other than to retain the 
wee saying, even though it be not the saying of 
one who already has his Christ, but only of one who 
as yet only feels after him? Or when a widely 
known Unitarian spokesman alights upon "To 
seek for virtue is to be virtuous," with exclama- 
tion as to its helpfulness, what can poor author 
say, but "In with thee, though tlet mine," even 


though there be serious question as to its ultimate 
truth? The writer, ready to become all things to 
all men, has herein let helpfulness be the decisive 
consideration. Nor ought he to omit mentioning 
that he has a rather vaguish^emembrance of oncfe 
coming upon a man who seemed to find much 
comfort in ''Hesitation is a sign as much of thfe 
abundance of ideas as of their scarcity." lb 
proved afterwards that the poor man — stuttered . . 
The reader will thus do well not to expect to) 
much from the booklet : it is not a feast spread 
for any one, but rather a bill of fare, from which 
each can choose according to his need. 

Lastly a personal word. When 'the writer was 
without God and without ho£e f irf the world he 
yet had a zeal for what passes as righteousness, 
but not, alas! according to kitowledge, with result 
rather of bull in china shop. And he has given 
some unnecessary pain. This he deeply regrets . 



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