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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 192 pages of information about Orthodoxy.
it could be.  Both these statements being obviously raving nonsense, one had to cast about for other explanations.  An optimist could not mean a man who thought everything right and nothing wrong.  For that is meaningless; it is like calling everything right and nothing left.  Upon the whole, I came to the conclusion that the optimist thought everything good except the pessimist, and that the pessimist thought everything bad, except himself.  It would be unfair to omit altogether from the list the mysterious but suggestive definition said to have been given by a little girl, “An optimist is a man who looks after your eyes, and a pessimist is a man who looks after your feet.”  I am not sure that this is not the best definition of all.  There is even a sort of allegorical truth in it.  For there might, perhaps, be a profitable distinction drawn between that more dreary thinker who thinks merely of our contact with the earth from moment to moment, and that happier thinker who considers rather our primary power of vision and of choice of road.

But this is a deep mistake in this alternative of the optimist and the pessimist.  The assumption of it is that a man criticises this world as if he were house-hunting, as if he were being shown over a new suite of apartments.  If a man came to this world from some other world in full possession of his powers he might discuss whether the advantage of midsummer woods made up for the disadvantage of mad dogs, just as a man looking for lodgings might balance the presence of a telephone against the absence of a sea view.  But no man is in that position.  A man belongs to this world before he begins to ask if it is nice to belong to it.  He has fought for the flag, and often won heroic victories for the flag long before he has ever enlisted.  To put shortly what seems the essential matter, he has a loyalty long before he has any admiration.

In the last chapter it has been said that the primary feeling that this world is strange and yet attractive is best expressed in fairy tales.  The reader may, if he likes, put down the next stage to that bellicose and even jingo literature which commonly comes next in the history of a boy.  We all owe much sound morality to the penny dreadfuls.  Whatever the reason, it seemed and still seems to me that our attitude towards life can be better expressed in terms of a kind of military loyalty than in terms of criticism and approval.  My acceptance of the universe is not optimism, it is more like patriotism.  It is a matter of primary loyalty.  The world is not a lodging-house at Brighton, which we are to leave because it is miserable.  It is the fortress of our family, with the flag flying on the turret, and the more miserable it is the less we should leave it.  The point is not that this world is too sad to love or too glad not to love; the point is that when you do love a thing, its gladness is a reason for loving it, and its sadness a reason for loving it more.  All optimistic thoughts about England and all pessimistic thoughts about her are alike reasons for the English patriot.  Similarly, optimism and pessimism are alike arguments for the cosmic patriot.

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