Impressions of Theophrastus Such eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 171 pages of information about Impressions of Theophrastus Such.

There is the same kind of fluctuation in his aspect towards social questions and duties.  He has not lost the kindness that used to make him a benefactor and succourer of the needy, and he is still liberal in helping forward the clever and industrious; but in his active superintendence of commercial undertakings he has contracted more and more of the bitterness which capitalists and employers often feel to be a reasonable mood towards obstructive proletaries.  Hence many who this is an idea not spoken of in the sort of fashionable society that Scintilla collects round her husband’s table, and Mixtus now philosophically reflects that the cause must come before the effect, and that the thing to be directly striven for is the commercial intercourse, not excluding a little war if that also should prove needful as a pioneer of Christianity.  He has long been wont to feel bashful about his former religion; as if it were an old attachment having consequences which he did not abandon but kept in decent privacy, his avowed objects and actual position being incompatible with their public acknowledgment.

There is the same kind of fluctuation in his aspect towards social questions and duties.  He has not lost the kindness that used to make him a benefactor and succourer of the needy, and he is still liberal in helping forward the clever and industrious; but in his active superintendence of commercial undertakings he has contracted more and more of the bitterness which capitalists and employers often feel to be a reasonable mood towards obstructive proletaries.  Hence many who have occasionally met him when trade questions were being discussed, conclude him to be indistinguishable from the ordinary run of moneyed and money-getting men.  Indeed, hardly any of his acquaintances know what Mixtus really is, considered as a whole—­nor does Mixtus himself know it.

X.

DEBASING THE MORAL CURRENCY.

“Il ne faut pas mettre un ridicule ou il n’y en a point:  c’est se gater le gout, c’est corrompre son jugement et celui des autres.  Mais le ridicule qui est quelque part, il faut l’y voir, l’en tirer avec grace et d’une maniere qui plaise et qui instruise.”

I am fond of quoting this passage from La Bruyere, because the subject is one where I like to show a Frenchman on my side, to save my sentiments from being set down to my peculiar dulness and deficient sense of the ludicrous, and also that they may profit by that enhancement of ideas when presented in a foreign tongue, that glamour of unfamiliarity conferring a dignity on the foreign names of very common things, of which even a philosopher like Dugald Stewart confesses the influence.  I remember hearing a fervid woman attempt to recite in English the narrative of a begging Frenchman who described the violent death of his father in the July days.  The narrative had impressed her, through the mists of her flushed anxiety to understand

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Impressions of Theophrastus Such from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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