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in this country. The austerity of our manners hardly admits of such a connection-compatible with the most perfect innocence, and a source of the highest possible delight to those who are fortunate enough to form it.

Very few friends will bear to be told of their faults; and if done at all, it must be done with infinite management and delicacy; for if you indulge often in this practice, men think you hate, and avoid you. If the evil is not very alarming, it is better, indeed, to let it alone, and not to turn friendship into a system of lawful and unpunishable impertinence. I am for frank explanations with friends in cases of affronts. They sometimes save a perishing friendship, and even place it on a firmer basis than at first; but secret discontent must always end badly.


CHEERFULNESS and good spirits depend, in a great degree, upon bodily causes, but much may be done for the promotion of this turn of mind. Persons subject to low spirits should make the rooms in which they live as cheerful as possible; taking care that the paper with which the wall is covered should be of a brilliant, lively colour, hanging up pictures or prints, and covering the chimney-piece with beautiful china. A bay-window looking upon pleasant objects, and, above all, a large fire whenever the weather will permit, are favourable to good spirits, and the tables near should be strewed with books and pamphlets. To this must be added as much eating and drinking as is consistent with health; and some manual employment for men-as gardening, a carpenter's shop, the turning-lathe, etc. Women have always manual employment enough, and it is a great source of cheerfulness. Fresh air, exercise, occupation, society, and travelling, are powerful remedies.

Melancholy commonly flies to the future for its aliment, and must be encountered in this sort of artifice, by diminishing the range of our views. I have a large family coming on, my income is diminishing, and I shall fall into pecuniary difficulties. Well! but you are not now in pecuniary difficulties. Your eldest child is only seven years old; it must be two or three years before your family make any additional demands upon your purse. Wait till

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the time comes. Much may happen in the interval to better your situation; and if nothing does happen, at least enjoy the two or three years of ease and uninterruption which are before you. You are uneasy about your eldest son in India; but it is now June, and, at the earliest, the fleet will not come in till September; it may bring accounts of his health and prosperity, but at all events there are eight or nine weeks before you can hear news. Why are they to be spent as if you had heard the worst? The habit of taking very short views of human life may be acquired by degrees, and a great sum of happiness is gained by it. It becomes as customary at last to view things on the good side of the question as it was before to despond, and to extract misery from every passing event.

A firm confidence in an overruling Providence-a remembrance of the shortness of human life, that it will soon be over and finished-that we scarcely know, unless we could trace the remote consequences of every event, what would be good and what an evil; these are very important topics in that melancholy which proceeds from grief.

It is wise to state to friends that our spirits are low, to state the cause of the depression, and to hear all that argument or ridicule can suggest for the cure. Melancholy is always the worse for concealment, and many causes of depression are so frivolous, that we are shamed out of them by the mere statement of their existence.

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Fallacy I.—“Because I have gone through it, my son shall go through it also."

A MAN gets well pommelled at a public school; is subject to every misery and every indignity which seventeen years of age can inflict upon nine and ten; has his eye nearly knocked out, and his clothes stolen and cut to pieces; and twenty years afterward, when he is a chrysalis, and has forgotten the miseries of his grub state,

Lady Holland introduces the "Fallacies" in her Memoir with the remark of Sydney Smith: "It is astonishing the influence foolish apothegms have upon the mass of mankind, though they are not unfrequently fallacies. Here are a few I amused myself with writing long before Bentham's book on Fallacies."



is determined to act a manly part in life, and says, "I passed through all that myself, and I am determined my son shall pass through it as I have done;" and away goes his bleating progeny to the tyranny and servitude of the long chamber or the large dormitory. It would surely be much more rational. to say, “Because I have passed through it, I am determined my son shall not pass through it; because I was kicked for nothing, and cuffed for nothing, and fagged for everything, I will spare all these miseries to my child." It is not for any good which may be derived from this rough usage; that has not been weighed and considered; few persons are capable of weighing its effects upon character; but there is a sort of compensatory and consolatory notion, that the present generation (whether useful or not, no matter) are not to come off scot-free, but are to have their share of illusage; as if the black eye and bloody nose which Master John Jackson received in 1800, are less black and bloody by the application of similar violence to similar parts of Master Thomas Jackson, the son, in 1830. This is not only sad nonsense, but cruel nonsense. The only use to be derived from the recollection of what we have suffered in youth, is a fixed determination to screen those we educate from every evil and inconvenience, from subjection to which there are not cogent reasons for submitting. Can anything be more stupid and preposterous than this concealed revenge upon the rising generation, and latent envy lest they should avail themselves of the improvements time has made, and pass a happier youth than their fathers have done?

Fallacy II.—“I have said I will do it, and I will do it; I will stick to my word."

THIS fallacy proceeds from confounding resolutions with promises. If you have promised to give a man a guinea for a reward, or to sell him a horse or a field, you must do it; you are dishonest if you do not. But if you have made a resolution to eat no meat for a year, and everybody about you sees that you are doing mischief to your constitution, is it any answer to say, you have said so, and you will stick to your word? With whom have you made the contract but with yourself? and if you and yourself, the two contracting parties, agree to break the contract, where is the evil, or who is injured?

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Fallacy III." I object to half-measures—it is neither one thing nor the other."

But why should it be either one thing or the other? why not something between both? Why are half-measures necessarily or probably unwise measures? I am embarrassed in my circumstances; one of my plans is, to persevere boldly in the same line of expense, and to trust to the chapter of accidents for some increase of fortune; the other is, to retire entirely from the world, and to hide myself in a cottage; but I end with doing neither, and take a middle course of diminished expenditure. I do neither one thing nor the other, but possibly act wiser than if I had done either. I am highly offended by the conduct of an acquaintance; I neither overlook it entirely nor do I proceed to call him out; I do neither, but show him, by a serious change of manner, that I consider myself to have been ill-treated. I effect my object by half-measures. I cannot agree entirely with the Opposition or the Ministry; it may very easily happen that my half-measures are wiser than the extremes to which they are opposed. But it is a sort of metaphor which debauches the understanding of foolish people; and when half-measures are mentioned, they have much the same feeling as if they were cheated as if they had bargained for a whole bushel and received but half. To act in extremes is sometimes wisdom; to avoid them is sometimes wisdom; every measure must be judged of by its own particular circumstances.


A NICE person is neither too tall nor too short, looks clean and cheerful, has no prominent feature, makes no difficulties, is never misplaced, sits bodkin, is never foolishly affronted, and is void of affectations.

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*Lady Holland gives the following account of this little sketch :-"In the course of the summer [1823] a young friend came to spend a month with us, at Foston, the freshness and originality of whose character both interested and amused my father; he chanced on one occasion to call her 'a nice person.' Oh, don't call me "nice," Mr. Sydney; people only say that where they can say nothing else.' Why? have you ever reflected what "a nice person" means?' 'No, Mr. Sydney,' said she, langhing, but I don't like it.' 'Well, give me pen and ink; I will show you,' said my father, 'a definition of a nice person.''

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A nice person helps you well at dinner, understands you, is always gratefully received by young and old, whig and tory, grave and gay.

There is something in the very air of a nice person which inspires you with confidence, makes you talk, and talk without fear of malicious misrepresentation; you feel that you are reposing upon a nature which God has made kind, and created for the benefit and happiness of society. It has the effect upon the mind which soft air and a fine climate have upon the body.

A nice person is clear of little, trumpery passions, acknowledges superiority, delights in talent, shelters humility, pardons adversity, forgives deficiency, respects all men's rights, never stops the bottle, is never long and never wrong, always knows the day of the month, the name of everybody at table, and never gives pain to any human being.

If anybody is wanted for a party, a nice person is the first thought of; when the child is christened, when the daughter is married- -all the joys of life are communicated to nice people; the hand of the dying man is always held out to a nice person.

A nice person never knocks over wine or melted butter, does not tread upon the dog's foot, or molest the family cat, eats soup without noise, laughs in the right place, and has a watchful and attentive eye.


HARDNESS is a want of minute attention to the feelings of others. It does not proceed from malignity or a carelessness of inflicting pain, but from a want of delicate perception of those little things by which pleasure is conferred or pain excited.

A hard person thinks he has done enough if he does not speak ill of your relations, your children, or your country; and then, with the greatest good-humour and volubility, and with a total inattention to your individual state and position, gallops over a

*This was written in 1843, when, in the month of July, "he spent a few days at Nuneham, on a visit to his former diocesan, the Archbishop of York. He met there a large and agreeable party; and a discussion arising on hardness of character, my father, at the request of Miss Georgiana Harcourt, wrote this definition of it."- Lady Holland's Memoir, p. 262.

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