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were criminal, as we say they were, in at any time in the history of mankind. leading the way to this war by their ulti- But I think the clergy of all nations, matum to Serbia. If Christianity has no apart from a heroic and saintly few, subrestraining influence upon the brutal in- ordinated their faith, which is a gospel stincts of those who profess and follow of charity, to national limitations. They its faith, then surely it is time the world were patriots before they were priests, abandoned so ineffective a creed and and their patriotism was sometimes as turned to other laws likely to have more limited, as narrow, as fierce, and as bloodinfluence on human relationships. That, thirsty as that of the people who looked brutally, is the argument of the thinking to them for truth and light. They were world against the clergy of all nations often fiercer, narrower, and more desirwho all claimed to be acting according to ous of vengeance than the soldiers who the justice of God and the spirit of Christ. fought, because it is now a known truth It is a powerful argument, for the simple that the soldiers, German and Austrian, mind, rejecting casuistry, cuts straight to French and Italian and British, were sick the appalling contrast between Christian of the unending slaughter long before the profession and Christian practice, and ending of the war, and would have made a says: "Here, in this war, there was no peace more fair than that which now preconflict between one faith and another,vails if it had been put to the common but a murderous death-struggle between vote in the trenches; whereas the Archmany nations holding the same faith, bishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of preaching the same gospel, and claiming Cologne, and the clergy who spoke from the same God as their protector. Let us many pulpits in many nations, under the seek some better truth than that hypoc- Cross of Christ, still stoked up the fires risy! Let us, if need be, in honesty, get of hate and urged the armies to go on back to the savage worship of national fighting “in the cause of justice," "for the gods, the Ju-ju of the tribe.”
defense of the Fatherland," "for ChrisMy own belief is that the war was no tian righteousness," to the bitter end. proof against the Christian faith, but Those words are painful to write, but as rather is a revelation that we are as des- I am writing this book for truth's sake, at perately in need of the spirit of Christ as all cost, I let them stand.
B. THE FAMILIAR ESSAY
The distinction between that type of like Informative Prose, has a perennial expository writing which appeals to charm independent of the ideas which it the intellect and that which appeals
that which appeals may contain; and furthermore those very to the imagination has already been estab- ideas are of such a nature that the mind lished. The Familiar Essay is a conscious finds an indefinable pleasure in their coneffort on the part of the writer to cap-templation. ture the reader's interest by stimulating The purpose of the Familiar Essay is, his sense of beauty in sound, sense, and then, entertainment. Let us consider the proportion, and by quickening his percep- means by which the essayist fulfills his tions of the innate harmonies and the in- obligation, by observing briefly the connate contrasts that exist between certain tent and form of this literary type. sets of ideas. Whether appreciative or Instead of dealing with some subject satiric, it pays special attention to the me- of serious importance, the Essay tends to dium of its expression and to the form of treat of the trivial, to exalt the trifling, the whole. Consequently, the Essay, un- while at the same time it illuminates the
motives of men and offers comment, di- alone on its content, but on its form as rect or indirect, upon the follies and foi- well, for a familiar style is one of the bles men exhibit in contact with their distinguishing characteristics of this type. environment. T. T.'s "Of Painting the Style in its general sense is the total of Face," Charles Lamb's "Poor Relations," all the qualities attached to a writer's and Leigh Hunt's "On Getting up Colddiction, and depends upon variety and Mornings" illustrate these tendencies, vividness of expression, appropriate conand “The Contributors' Club" of The notation of words, proper agreement of Atlantic Monthly contains many modern sound and sense, and an indefinable indiexamples true to type. Naturally in the viduality of the whole. Stevenson is altreatment of such subjects brevity is an ways Stevenson just as Chesterton must essential.
be Chesterton. Both enjoy the incongruIn spite of the implications of the fore- ities of life; but Stevenson reveals the going paragraph, the Familiar Essay is natural contrasts of our existence in a very apt to deal with the general; or at pleasingly whimsical style, while Chesleast to find in the specific, traits common terton hunts the pouting paradox with all to mankind. Either the general is pro- the self-conscious diction of his vigorous fusely exemplified by the specific, or else satire. the specific is infused with a sense of Individuality is thus the keynote of the larger values. Witness, for example, Familiar Essay. Subjectivity is its mark Robert Louis Stevenson's "Apology for just as objectivity is the outstanding feaIdlers," Samuel McChord Crothers' ture of Informative Prose. The writer “The Toryism of Travelers," and Robert reveals his personality in the choice of his Cortes Holiday's "Caun't Speak the theme, in the turns of his phrasing, and in Language.”
the mood in which he writes. If he has Nor must we accept too seriously all a keen sense of the subtle ironies of life, a the judgments we may find set down in lively sympathy with struggling human the Familiar Essay. This form is too beings, and can give appropriate expresclosely related in spirit to poetry to be sion to the humor and pathos which he held responsible for its vagaries. It is finds, he will be able to employ effectively too susceptible to the mood of the mo- that form of Exposition called the Fament. Even the most optimistic of poets miliar Essay. will have his "stanzas written in dejection," and Stevenson, that most industrious of workers, may be pardoned his
There is a tendency among some critics to
substitute for the original meaning of "style," “Apology for Idlers.” Indeed it is this characteristic expression, a more limited defivery mobility which is half the charm of nition. To them style is an absolute quality the Essay. It is as flexible as emotion it
which a writer either has or has not. This self.
makes the phrase "bad style" a contradiction
of terms. See Clayton Hamilton, A Manual The charm of the Essay depends not of the Art of Fiction, Chap. XII.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), lawyer, politician, scholar, referred to his essays as “brief notes set down significantly,” and called them "dispersed meditations." first volume of ten essays, including “Of Studies," appeared in 1597. Evidently Bacon did not regard them as of much importance compared with his scientific work, which marks the beginnings of inductive reasoning and the modern scientific method. This historical importance of the essays lies in the fact that they were the first produced in English, and opened the way for the large and important school of writers who developed the form in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Bacon's work is marked by the abundance of his illustrations, its conciseness, and its homely wisdom. His style is abrupt, incisive, and sententious.
STUDIES serve for delight, for orna- Some books also may be read by deputy, ment, and for ability. Their chief use and extracts made of them by others; but for delight is in privateness and retiring; that would be only in the less important for ornament, is in discourse; and for arguments, and the meaner sort of books; ability, is in the judgment and disposi- else distilled books are like common distion of business. For expert men can tilled waters, flashy things. Reading execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, maketh a full man; conference a ready one by one; but the general counsels, and
man; and writing an exact man. And the plots and marshalling of affairs, come therefore, if a man write little, he had best from those that are learned. To need have a great memory; if he confer spend too much time in studies is sloth; little, he had need have a present wit; to use them too much for ornament is and if he read little, he had need have affectation; to make judgment wholly by much cunning, to seem to know that he their rules is the humor of the scholar. doth not. Histories make men wise ; They perfect nature, and are perfected poets witty; the mathematics subtile; natby experience; for natural abilities are ural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic like natural plants, that need proyning by and rhetoric able to contend. Abeunt study; and studies themselves do give studia in mores. Nay, there is no stond forth directions too much at large, except or impediment in the wit, but may be they be bounded in by experience. Crafty wrought out by fit studies: like as dismen contemn studies; simple men admire eases of the body may have appropriate them; and wise men use them: for they exercises.
exercises. Bowling is good for the stone teach not their own use; but that is a and reins; shooting for the lungs and wisdom without them and above them, breast; gentle walking for the stomach; won by observation. Read not to con- riding for the head; and the like. So if a tradict and confute; nor to believe and man's wit be wandering, let him study take for granted; nor to find talk and the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if discourse; but to weigh and consider. his wit be called away never so little, he Some books are to be tasted, others to be must begin again: if his wit be not apt to swallowed, and some few to be chewed distinguish or find differences, let him and digested: that is, some books are to be study the schoolmen ; for they are cymini read only in parts; others to be read, but sectores.3 if he be not apt to beat over not curiously; and some few to be read matters, and to call one thing to prove wholly, and with diligence and attention. and illustrate another, let him study the 1These selections from Francis Bacon have
lawyers' cases: so every defect of the been included among the essays because in mind may have a special receipt. them there is a striving toward a definite literary medium, both as to language and as to
2"One's studies determine his character." form. Standing as they do just over the halfway line between Informative Prose and the 3 Literally, cutters of cummin-seeds; i.e., Familiar Essay, they contain elements of each. those who split hairs.
OF GREAT PLACE?
Men in great place are thrice servants: In place there is license to do good and servants of the sovereign or state, ser- evil, whereof the latter is a curse; for in vants of fame, and servants of business ; so evil the best condition is not to will, the as they have no freedom, neither in their second not to can. But power to do good persons, nor in their actions, nor in their is the true and lawful end of aspiring. times. It is a strange desire to seek For good thoughts, though God accept power and to lose liberty; or to seek them, yet toward men are little better power over others and to lose power over than good dreams, except they be put in a man's self. The rising unto place is act; and that cannot be without power laborious, and by pains men come to and place, as the vantage and commandgreater pains; and it is sometimes base, ing ground. Merit and good works is and by indignities men come to dignities. the end of man's motion, and conscience The standing is slippery; and the regress of the same is the accomplishment of is either a downfall or at least an eclipse, man's rest. For if a man can be parwhich is a melancholy thing.
taker of God's theater, he shall likewise Cum non sis qui fueris, non esse cur be partaker of God's rest. Et conversus velis vivere. Nay, retire men cannot Deus, ut aspiceret opera, quae fecerunt when they would, neither will they when manus suae, vidit quod omnia essent bona it were reason, but are impatient of pri- nimis,' and then the Sabbath. vateness, even in age and sickness, which In the discharge of thy place set before require the shadow ; like old townsmen, thee the best examples, for imitation is a that will be still sitting at their street globe of precepts. And after a time set door, though thereby they offer age to before thee thine own example, and examscorn. Certainly, great persons had need ine thyself strictly, whether thou didst to borrow other men's opinions to think not best at first. Neglect not also the themselves happy, for if they judge by examples of those that have carried themtheir own feeling they cannot find it; but selves ill in the same place, not to set off if they think with themselves what other thyself by taxing their memory, but to men think of them, and that other men direct thyself what to avoid. Reform, would fain be as they are, then they are therefore, without bravery or scandal of happy as it were by report, when per- former times and persons; but yet set it haps they find the contrary within. For down to thyself, as well to create good they are the first that find their own precedents as to follow them. Reduce griefs, though they be the last that find things to the first institution, and ob
own faults. Certainly, men in serve wherein and how they have degengreat fortunes are strangers to themselves, erate; but yet ask counsel of both times: and while they are in the puzzle of busi- of the ancient time what is best, and of ness they have no time to tend their health the latter time what is fittest. Seek to either of body or mind. Illi mors gravis make thy course regular, that men may incubat, qui notus nimis omnibus, ignotus know beforehand what they may expect; moritur sibi.
but be not too positive and peremptory, First included in the 1612 edition of the and express thyself well when thou diEssays.
gressest from thy rule. Preserve the 2"Since you are no longer the man you
right of thy place, but stir not questions were, there is no reason why you should wish to live."
4"And when God turned to behold the 34Death falls heavy upon him who, too works which his hands had made, he saw that well-known to all men, dies without knowing they were all very good.” Quoted inaccuhimself.”
rately from Genesis I.
of jurisdiction; and rather assume thy ing. As for facility, it is worse than right in silence and de facto, than voice it bribery. For bribes come but now and with claims and challenges. Preserve then; but if importunity or idle respects likewise the rights of inferior places, and lead a man, he shall never be without. think it more honor to direct in chief As Solomon saith: "To respect persons than to be busy in all. Embrace and in- is not good: for such a man will transvite helps and advices touching the exe- gress for a piece of bread.” cution of thy place, and do not drive away It is most true that was anciently such as bring thee information, as spoken, "A place showeth the man"; and meddlers, but accept of them in good it showeth some to the better and some to part.
the worse. Omnium consensu, capax imThe vices of authority are chiefly four: perii, nisi imperasset,' saith Tacitus of delays, corruption, roughness, and fa- Galba; but of Vespasian he saith, Solus cility. For delays: give easy access, keep imperantium Vespasianus mutatus in metimes appointed, go through with that lius:—though the one was meant of sufwhich is in hand, and interlace not busi- ficiency, the other of manners and affecness but of necessity. For corruption: do tion. It is an assured sign of a worthy not only bind thine own hands, or thy and generous spirit, whom honor amends. servants' hands, from taking, but bind For honor is, or should be, the place of the hands of suitors also from offering. virtue: and as in nature things move For integrity used doth the one; but in- violently to their place, and calmly in tegrity professed, and with a manifest de- their place; so virtue in ambition is viotestation of bribery doth the other. And lent, in authority settled and calm. avoid not only the fault but the suspi- All rising to great place is by a winding cion. Whosoever is found variable, and stair, and, if there be factions, it is good changeth manifestly without manifest to side a man's self whilst he is in the cause, giveth suspicion of corruption. rising, and to balance himself when he is Therefore always when thou changest placed. Use the memory of thy predecesthine opinion or course, profess it plainly, sor fairly and tenderly; for if thou dost and declare it, together with the reasons not, it is a debt will sure be paid when that move thee to change, and do not
thou art gone.
If thou have colleagues, think to steal it. A servant or a favorite, respect them, and rather call them when if he be inward, and no other apparent they look not for it, than exclude them cause of esteem, is commonly thought but when they have reason to look to be a by-way to close corruption. For rough-called. Be not too sensible or too reness: it is a needless cause of discontent; membering of thy place in conversation severity breedeth fear, but roughness and private answers to suitors; but let it breedeth hate. Even reproofs from au- rather be said, “When he sits in place he thority ought to be grave, and not taunt- is another man."
"What is truth?” said jesting Pilate;tainly there be that delight in giddiness; and would not stay for an answer. Cer- and count it a bondage to fix a belief; af
fecting free-will in thinking, as well as "In view of Bacon's later impeachment and imprisonment on the charge of receiving 3“Alone of emperors, Vespasian changed bribes this pronouncement is curious.
for the better." 2«All would have judged him capable of 4First included in the 1625 edition of the governing—if he had never governed.” Essays.