have fought side by side in the British War; have hunted

acquaintance networkcomputer2023-12-05 17:08:50 76521 9

This is our common course; this is in some sort open to every creature, what we call the beaver career; perhaps more open in England, taking in America too, than it ever was in any country before. And, truly, good consequences follow out of it: who can be blind to them? Half of a most excellent and opulent result is realized to us in this way; baleful only when it sets up (as too often now) for being the whole result. A half-result which will be blessed and heavenly so soon as the other half is had,--namely wisdom to guide the first half. Let us honor all honest human power of contrivance in its degree. The beaver intellect, so long as it steadfastly refuses to be vulpine, and answers the tempter pointing out short routes to it with an honest "No, no," is truly respectable to me; and many a highflying speaker and singer whom I have known, has appeared to me much less of a developed man than certain of my mill-owning, agricultural, commercial, mechanical, or otherwise industrial friends, who have held their peace all their days and gone on in the silent state. If a man can keep his intellect silent, and make it even into honest beaverism, several very manful moralities, in danger of wreck on other courses, may comport well with that, and give it a genuine and partly human character; and I will tell him, in these days he may do far worse with himself and his intellect than change it into beaverism, and make honest money with it. If indeed he could become a _heroic_ industrial, and have a life "eminently human"! But that is not easy at present. Probably some ninety-nine out of every hundred of our gifted souls, who have to seek a career for themselves, go this beaver road. Whereby the first half-result, national wealth namely, is plentifully realized; and only the second half, or wisdom to guide it, is dreadfully behindhand.

have fought side by side in the British War; have hunted

But now if the gifted soul be not of taciturn nature, be of vivid, impatient, rapidly productive nature, and aspire much to give itself sensible utterance,--I find that, in this case, the field it has in England is narrow to an extreme; is perhaps narrower than ever offered itself, for the like object, in this world before. Parliament, Church, Law: let the young vivid soul turn whither he will for a career, he finds among variable conditions one condition invariable, and extremely surprising, That the proof of excellence is to be done by the tongue. For heroism that will not speak, but only act, there is no account kept:--The English Nation does not need that silent kind, then, but only the talking kind? Most astonishing. Of all the organs a man has, there is none held in account, it would appear, but the tongue he uses for talking. Premiership, woolsack, mitre, and quasi-crown: all is attainable if you can talk with due ability. Everywhere your proof-shot is to be a well-fired volley of talk. Contrive to talk well, you will get to Heaven, the modern Heaven of the English. Do not talk well, only work well, and heroically hold your peace, you have no chance whatever to get thither; with your utmost industry you may get to Threadneedle Street, and accumulate more gold than a dray-horse can draw. Is not this a very wonderful arrangement?

have fought side by side in the British War; have hunted

I have heard of races done by mortals tied in sacks; of human competitors, high aspirants, climbing heavenward on the soaped pole; seizing the soaped pig; and clutching with cleft fist, at full gallop, the fated goose tied aloft by its foot;--which feats do prove agility, toughness and other useful faculties in man: but this of dexterous talk is probably as strange a competition as any. And the question rises, Whether certain of these other feats, or perhaps an alternation of all of them, relieved now and then by a bout of grinning through the collar, might not be profitably substituted for the solitary proof-feat of talk, now getting rather monotonous by its long continuance? Alas, Mr. Bull, I do find it is all little other than a proof of toughness, which is a quality I respect, with more or less expenditure of falsity and astucity superadded, which I entirely condemn. Toughness _plus_ astucity:--perhaps a simple wooden mast set up in Palace-Yard, well soaped and duly presided over, might be the honester method? Such a method as this by trial of talk, for filling your chief offices in Church and State, was perhaps never heard of in the solar system before. You are quite used to it, my poor friend; and nearly dead by the consequences of it: but in the other Planets, as in other epochs of your own Planet it would have done had you proposed it, the thing awakens incredulous amazement, world-wide Olympic laughter, which ends in tempestuous hootings, in tears and horror! My friend, if you can, as heretofore this good while, find nobody to take care of your affairs but the expertest talker, it is all over with your affairs and you. Talk never yet could guide any man's or nation's affairs; nor will it yours, except towards the _Limbus Patrum_, where all talk, except a very select kind of it, lodges at last.

have fought side by side in the British War; have hunted

Medicine, guarded too by preliminary impediments, and frightful medusa-heads of quackery, which deter many generous souls from entering, is of the _half_-articulate professions, and does not much invite the ardent kinds of ambition. The intellect required for medicine might be wholly human, and indeed should by all rules be,--the profession of the Human Healer being radically a sacred one and connected with the highest priesthoods, or rather being itself the outcome and acme of all priesthoods, and divinest conquests of intellect here below. As will appear one day, when men take off their old monastic and ecclesiastic spectacles, and look with eyes again! In essence the Physician's task is always heroic, eminently human: but in practice most unluckily at present we find it too become in good part _beaverish_; yielding a money-result alone. And what of it is not beaverish,--does not that too go mainly to ingenious talking, publishing of yourself, ingratiating of yourself; a partly human exercise or waste of intellect, and alas a partly vulpine ditto;--making the once sacred [Gr.] _'Iatros_, or Human Healer, more impossible for us than ever!

Angry basilisks watch at the gates of Law and Church just now; and strike a sad damp into the nobler of the young aspirants. Hard bonds are offered you to sign; as it were, a solemn engagement to constitute yourself an impostor, before ever entering; to declare your belief in incredibilities,--your determination, in short, to take Chaos for Cosmos, and Satan for the Lord of things, if he come with money in his pockets, and horsehair and bombazine decently wrapt about him. Fatal preliminaries, which deter many an ingenuous young soul, and send him back from the threshold, and I hope will deter ever more. But if you do enter, the condition is well known: "Talk; who can talk best here? His shall be the mouth of gold, and the purse of gold; and with my [Gr.] _mitra_ (once the head-dress of unfortunate females, I am told) shall his sacred temples be begirt."

Ingenuous souls, unless forced to it, do now much shudder at the threshold of both these careers, and not a few desperately turn back into the wilderness rather, to front a very rude fortune, and be devoured by wild beasts as is likeliest. But as to Parliament, again, and its eligibility if attainable, there is yet no question anywhere; the ingenuous soul, if possessed of money-capital enough, is predestined by the parental and all manner of monitors to that career of talk; and accepts it with alacrity and clearness of heart, doubtful only whether he shall be _able_ to make a speech. Courage, my brave young fellow. If you can climb a soaped pole of any kind, you will certainly be able to make a speech. All mortals have a tongue; and carry on some jumble, if not of thought, yet of stuff which they could talk. The weakest of animals has got a cry in it, and can give voice before dying. If you are tough enough, bent upon it desperately enough, I engage you shall make a speech;--but whether that will be the way to Heaven for you, I do not engage.

These, then, are our two careers for genius: mute Industrialism, which can seldom become very human, but remains beaverish mainly: and the three Professions named learned,--that is to say, able to talk. For the heroic or higher kinds of human intellect, in the silent state, there is not the smallest inquiry anywhere; apparently a thing not wanted in this country at present. What the supply may be, I cannot inform M'Croudy; but the market-demand, he may himself see, is _nil_. These are our three professions that require human intellect in part or whole, not able to do with mere beaverish; and such a part does the gift of talk play in one and all of them. Whatsoever is not beaverish seems to go forth in the shape of talk. To such length is human intellect wasted or suppressed in this world!

If the young aspirant is not rich enough for Parliament, and is deterred by the basilisks or otherwise from entering on Law or Church, and cannot altogether reduce his human intellect to the beaverish condition, or satisfy himself with the prospect of making money,--what becomes of him in such case, which is naturally the case of very many, and ever of more? In such case there remains but one outlet for him, and notably enough that too is a talking one: the outlet of Literature, of trying to write Books. Since, owing to preliminary basilisks, want of cash, or superiority to cash, he cannot mount aloft by eloquent talking, let him try it by dexterous eloquent writing. Here happily, having three fingers, and capital to buy a quire of paper, he can try it to all lengths and in spite of all mortals: in this career there is happily no public impediment that can turn him back; nothing but private starvation--which is itself a _finis_ or kind of goal--can pretend to hinder a British man from prosecuting Literature to the very utmost, and wringing the final secret from her: "A talent is in thee; No talent is in thee." To the British subject who fancies genius may be lodged in him, this liberty remains; and truly it is, if well computed, almost the only one he has.



Latest articles

Random articles

  • out to be lignite of little value, in the sandstone (probably
  • “The longer I live, Jackson, the more strongly I feel
  • on cross-examination, purposely so contradict herself,
  • Mr. Jackson was, for a moment, puzzled, almost alarmed.
  • In three strides he found his foot splashing in water.
  • around her, till there was scarce a ray of even twilight
  • among the persons, who made the offers already mentioned.
  • her steps towards the desolate vale, where her mother had
  • the great caravan routes entering the Sahara from the south.
  • Lodore-House that morning, saying, that he was setting
  • was sent to Julia’s[195] room. Julia was not there, but
  • crossed one of the illumined paths, which reflected from
  • Obviously, the tide was rising; and, after seeking vainly
  • accurately traced out by the bright glow of the heavens
  • Such anniversaries as the present, Mrs. Montgomery always
  • in bed the entire of the day. Julia sat with her grandmother
  • and not Spaniards and that they were in sad want of tobacco
  • the stolen child,) by the name of Oscar, one to which Lord
  • wished to have kept under her own roof, where the actual
  • necessity of going wherever, and doing whatever, the service
  • in all the finer points of big game hunting. Of an evening
  • Such anniversaries as the present, Mrs. Montgomery always
  • cloak, which spread abroad like immense black wings, alit
  • was but the first approach of that desperate malady, First
  • their terrible ordeals in the untracked jungle to the south;
  • defeated the intended purpose, for they rather glanced
  • her was attempted; which was one of the reasons why the
  • We said, that one of our hero’s appellations, was still
  • often among the blooms beneath the great moon—the black-haired,
  • the west, and shutting out almost all its glories. Yet
  • approached. The drawing-room was lit for the purpose, the
  • “that it would be such a time of rejoicing, whenever
  • that she might honestly give him the answer that he demanded.
  • Lodore-House that morning, saying, that he was setting
  • whither he should fly, by thus subjecting himself to the
  • by making the sisters of age, placed their being heiresses
  • stars and waiting. He had lain thus and there many nights
  • There could be no doubt that it was with Henry she had
  • Julia, therefore, walked out quite alone, she directed
  • sound, which seemed to proceed from within that portion
  • gangway above which lowered a green and rotting wooden
  • wretched mother was not aware how far matters had gone,
  • take out a pair of gloves, and afterwards locked again.
  • papa would give his consent. So, I suppose, I must have
  • He paused for a moment, hoping to be able to lower the
  • “Well, we have had a full explanation,” said Julia.
  • her Ladyship entertained a reciprocal preference, why—”
  • around her, till there was scarce a ray of even twilight
  • and the girl's mind was in such a turmoil that she had
  • Edmund, to please his mother, from whose father he derived
  • tags