Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 277 pages of information about Essays in Rebellion.

  “A Man at some times differs as much from himself as he
  does from other People.”

  “Eloquence is as much seen in the Tone and Cadence of
  the Eyes, and the Air of the Face, as in the Choice of proper
  Expressions.”

  “When we commend good Actions heartily, we make them
  in some measure our own.”

Such sayings lie beyond the probe of the cynic, or the wit of the literary man.  They spring from sympathetic observation and a quietly serious mind.  And there is something equally fresh and unexpected in some of the sayings upon passion: 

  “The Passions are the only Orators that are always successful
  in persuading.”

  “It is not in the Power of any the most crafty Dissimulation
  to conceal Love long where it really is, nor to counterfeit it
  long where it is not.”

  “Love pure and untainted with any other Passions (if such
  a Thing there be) lies hidden in the Bottom of our Heart, so
  exceedingly close that we scarcely know it ourselves.”

  “The more passionately a Man loves his Mistress, the readier
  he is to hate her.” (Compare Catullus’s “Odi et amo.”)

“The same Resolution which helps to resist Love, helps to make it more violent and lasting too.  People of unsettled Minds are always driven about with Passions, but never absolutely filled with any.”

No one who knew Rochefoucauld only by reputation would guess such sentences to be his.  They reveal “the man differing from himself”; or, rather, perhaps, they reveal the true nature, that usually put on a thin but protective armour of cynicism when it appeared before the world.  Here we see the inward being of the man who, twice in his life, was overwhelmed by that “violent and lasting passion,” and was driven by it into strange and dangerous courses where self-love was no guide.  But to quote more would induce the peculiar weariness that maxims always bring—­the weariness that comes of scattered, disconnected, and abstract thought, no matter how wise.  “Give us instances,” we cry.  “Show us the thing in the warmth of flesh and blood.”  Nor will we any longer be put off by pillules from seeking the abundance of life’s great feast.

XXXIII

THE LAST FENCE

He was riding May Dolly, a Cheshire six-year-old, and one of his own breeding; for just as some people think that everyone should go to his own parish church, it was a principle with Mr. James Tomkinson that a man should ride a horse from his own county.  Straight, lithe, and ruddy, he trotted to the starting-post, and the crowd cheered him as he went, for they liked to see a bit of pluck.  He modestly enjoyed their applause:  “I think I never saw anybody so pleased,” said Mr. Justice Grantham, who was judge in the race.  It was known that the old man had passed the limit of seventy, but only five years

Follow Us on Facebook