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AmblesideOnline's Annotated Charlotte Mason Series



Ourselves, Volume 4 of the Charlotte Mason Series

Preface and Introduction
Book I. -- Self-Knowledge
      Chapter 1. The Country Of Mansoul . . . pg. 1
      Chapter 2. The Perils Of Mansoul . . . pg. 5
      Chapter 3. The Government Of Mansoul . . . pg. 9
      Part I The House Of The Body
         Chapter 1. The Esquires Of The Body: Hunger . . . pg. 11
         Chapter 2. The Esquires Of The Body: Thirst . . . pg. 15
         Chapter 3. Esquires Of The Body: Restlessness And Rest . . . pg. 18
         Chapter 4. The Esquires Of The Body: Chastity . . . pg. 21
         Chapter 5. The Pages Of The Body: The Five Senses . . . pg. 24
      Part II The House Of Mind
         Chapter 1. Ourselves . . . pg. 33
         Chapter 2. My Lord Intellect . . . pg. 35
         Chapter 3. The Daemons Of The Intellect . . . pg. 45
         Chapter 4. My Lord Chief Explorer, Imagination . . . pg. 48
         Chapter 5. The Beauty Sense . . . pg. 54
         Chapter 6. My Lord Chief Attorney-General, Reason . . . pg. 56
         Chapter 7. The Lords Of The Exchequer, The Desires (Part 1.) . . . pg. 66
         Chapter 8. The Lords Of The Exchequer, The Desires (Part 2.) . . . pg. 73
      Part III The House Of Heart
         Lords Of The Heart: I. Love
           Chapter 1. The Ways Of Love . . . pg. 81
           Chapter 2. Love's Lords In Waiting: Pity . . . pg. 87
           Chapter 3. Love's Lords In Waiting: Benevolence . . . pg. 91
           Chapter 4. Love's Lords In Waiting: Sympathy . . . pg. 95
           Chapter 5. Love's Lords In Waiting: Kindness . . . pg. 99
           Chapter 6. Love's Lords In Waiting: Generosity . . . pg. 103
           Chapter 7. Love's Lords In Waiting: Gratitude . . . pg. 108
           Chapter 8. Love's Lords In Waiting: Courage . . . pg. 112
           Chapter 9. Love's Lords In Waiting: Loyalty . . . pg. 118
           Chapter 10. Love's Lords In Waiting: Humility . . . pg. 126
           Chapter 11. Love's Lords In Waiting: Gladness . . . pg. 131
         Lords Of The Heart: II. Justice
           Chapter 12. Justice, Universal . . . pg. 136
           Chapter 13. Justice To The Persons Of Others . . . pg. 140
           Chapter 14. Truth: Justice In Word . . . pg. 150
           Chapter 15. Spoken Truth . . . pg. 156
           Chapter 16. Some Causes Of Lying . . . pg. 163
           Chapter 17. Integrity: Justice In Action . . . pg. 167
           Chapter 18. Opinions: Justice In Thought . . . pg. 179
           Chapter 19. Principles: Justice In Motive . . . pg. 187
           Chapter 20. Justice To Ourselves: Self-Ordering . . . pg. 191
      Part IV Vocation . . . pg. 204
Book II. -- Self-Direction
      "Order My Goings."
      Introductory
      Part I Conscience
         Section I Conscience In The House Of Body
           Chapter 1. The Court Of Appeal . . . pg. 5
           Chapter 2. The Instruction Of Conscience . . . pg. 9
           Chapter 3. The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Temperance . . . pg. 12
           Chapter 4. The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Chastity (Part 1.) . . . pg. 21
           Chapter 5. The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Chastity (Part 2. Ordered Friendship) . . . pg. 29
           Chapter 6. The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Chastity (Part 3. The Final Unchastity) . . . pg. 33
           Chapter 7. The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Fortitude . . . pg. 41
           Chapter 8. The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Prudence . . . pg. 49
         Section II. Conscience In The House Of Mind
           Chapter 9. Opinions 'In The Air' . . . pg. 56
           Chapter 10. The Uninstructed Conscience . . . pg. 60
           Chapter 11. The Instructed Conscience . . . pg. 68
           Chapter 12. Some Instructors Of Conscience: Poetry, Novels, Essays . . . pg. 71
           Chapter 13. Some Instructors Of Conscience: History And Philosophy . . . pg. 74
           Chapter 14. Some Instructors Of Conscience: Theology . . . pg. 79
           Chapter 15. Some Instructors Of Conscience: Nature, Science, Art . . . pg. 97
           Chapter 16. Some Instructors Of Conscience: Sociology, Self-Knowledge . . . pg. 104
         Section III The Function Of Conscience
           Chapter 17. Conviction Of Sin . . . pg. 109
           Chapter 18. Temptation . . . pg. 115
           Chapter 19. Duty And Law . . . pg. 121
      Part II The Will
         Chapter 1. The Will-Less Life . . . pg. 126
         Chapter 2. Will And Wilfulness . . . pg. 129
         Chapter 3. Will Not Moral Or Immoral . . . pg. 137
         Chapter 4. The Will And Its Peers . . . pg. 141
         Chapter 5. The Function Of Will . . . pg. 143
         Chapter 6. The Scope Of Will . . . pg. 147
         Chapter 7. Self-Control -- Self-Restraint -- Self-Command -- Self-Denial . . . pg. 152
         Chapter 8. The Effort Of Decision . . . pg. 156
         Chapter 9. Intention -- Purpose -- Resolution . . . pg. 160
         Chapter 10. A Way Of The Will . . . pg. 165
         Chapter 11. Freewill . . . pg. 170
      Part III The Soul
         Chapter 1. The Capacities Of The Soul . . . pg. 174
         Chapter 2. The Disabilities Of The Soul . . . pg. 177
         Chapter 3. The Knowledge Of God . . . pg. 182
         Chapter 4. Prayer . . . pg. 188
         Chapter 5. Thanksgiving . . . pg. 191
         Chapter 6. Praise . . . pg. 194
         Chapter 7. Faith In God . . . pg. 197
      Appendix (study questions)

               

Preface to the 'Home Education' Series

The educational outlook is rather misty and depressing both at home and abroad. That science should be a staple of education, that the teaching of Latin, of modern languages, of mathematics, must be reformed, that nature and handicrafts should be pressed into service for the training of the eye and hand, that boys and girls must learn to write English and therefore must know something of history and literature; and, on the other hand, that education must be made more technical and utilitarian––these, and such as these, are the cries of expedience with which we take the field. But we have no unifying principle, no definite aim; in fact, no philosophy of education. As a stream can rise no higher than its source, so it is probable that no educational effort can rise above the whole scheme of thought which gives it birth; and perhaps this is the reason of all the' fallings from us, vanishings,' failures, and disappointments which mark our educational records.

Those of us, who have spent many years in pursuing the benign and elusive vision of Education, perceive

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that her approaches are regulated by a law, and that this law has yet to be evoked. We can discern its outlines, but no more. We know that it is pervasive; there is no part of a child's home-life or school-work which the law does not penetrate. It is illuminating, too, showing the value, or lack of value, of a thousand systems and expedients. It is not only a light, but a measure, providing a standard whereby all things, small and great, belonging to educational work must be tested. The law is liberal, taking in whatsoever things are true, honest, and of good report, and offering no limitation or hindrance save where excess should injure. And the path indicated by the law is continuous and progressive, with no transition stage from the cradle to the grave, except that maturity takes up the regular self-direction to which immaturity has been trained. We shall doubtless find, when we apprehend the law, that certain German thinkers––Kant, Herbart, Lotze, Froebel––are justified; that, as they say, it is 'necessary' to believe in God; that, therefore, the knowledge of God is the principal knowledge, and the chief end of education. By one more character shall we be able to recognise this perfect law of educational liberty when it shall be made evident. It has been said that 'The best idea which we can form of absolute truth is that it is able to meet every condition by which it can be tested.' This we shall expect of our law––that it shall meet every test of experiment and every test of rational investigation.

Not having received the tables of our law, we

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fall back upon Froebel or upon Herbart; or, if we belong to another School, upon Locke or Spencer; but we are not satisfied. A discontent, is it a divine discontent? is upon us; and assuredly we should hail a workable, effectual philosophy of education as a deliverance from much perplexity. Before this great deliverance comes to us it is probable that many tentative efforts will be put forth, having more or less of the characters of a philosophy; notably, having a central idea, a body of thought with various members working in vital harmony.

Such a theory of education, which need not be careful to call itself a system of psychology, must be in harmony with the thought movements of the age; must regard education, not as a shut-off compartment, but as being as much a part of life as birth or growth, marriage or work; and it must leave the pupil attached to the world at many points of contact. It is true that educationalists are already eager to establish such contact in several directions, but their efforts rest upon an axiom here and an idea there, and there is no broad unifying basis of thought to support the whole.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread; and the hope that there may be many tentative efforts towards a philosophy of education, and that all of them will bring us nearer to the magnum opus, encourages me to launch one such attempt. The central thought, or rather body of thought, upon

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which I found, is the somewhat obvious fact that the child is a person with all the possibilities and powers included in personality. Some of the members which develop from this nucleus have been exploited from time to time by educational thinkers, and exist vaguely in the general common sense, a notion here, another there. One thesis, which is, perhaps, new, that Education is the Science of Relations, appears to me to solve the question of a curriculum, as showing that the object of education is to put a child in living touch with as much as may be of the life of Nature and of thought. Add to this one or two keys to self-knowledge, and the educated youth goes forth with some idea of self-management, with some pursuits, and many vital interests. My excuse for venturing to offer a solution, however tentative and passing, to the problem of education is twofold. For between thirty and forty years I have laboured without pause to establish a working and philosophic theory of education; and in the next place, each article of the educational faith I offer has been arrived at by inductive processes; and has, I think, been verified by a long and wide series of experiments. It is, however, with sincere diffidence that I venture to offer the results of this long labour; because I know that in this field there are many labourers far more able and expert than I - the 'angels' who fear to tread, so precarious is the footing!

But, if only pour encourager les autres, I append a short synopsis of the educational theory advanced

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in the volumes of the 'Home Education Series.' The treatment is not methodic, but incidental; here a little, there a little, as seemed to me most likely to meet the occasions of parents and teachers. I should add that in the course of a number of years the various essays have been prepared for the use of the Parents' Educational Union in the hope that that Society might witness for a more or less coherent body of educational thought.

"The consequence of truth is great; therefore the judgment of it must not be negligent." WHICHCOTE.

1. Children are born persons.

2. They are not born either good or bad, but with possibilities for good and evil.

3. The principles of authority on the one hand and obedience on the other, are natural, necessary and fundamental; but––

4. These principles are limited by the respect due to the personality of children, which must not be encroached upon, whether by fear or love, suggestion or influence, or undue play upon anyone natural desire.

5. Therefore we are limited to three educational instruments––the atmosphere of environment, the discipline of habit, and the presentation of living ideas.

6. By the saying, EDUCATION IS AN ATMOSPHERE, it is not meant that a child should be isolated in what may be called a 'child environment,'

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especially adapted and prepared; but that we should take into account the educational value of his natural home atmosphere, both as regards persons and things, and should let him live freely among his proper conditions. It stultifies a child to bring down his world to the 'child's' level.

7. By EDUCATION IS A DISCIPLINE, is meant the discipline of habits formed definitely and thoughtfully, whether habits of mind or body. Physiologists tell us of the adaptation of brain structure to habitual lines of thought––i.e., to our habits.

8. In the saying that EDUCATION IS A LIFE, the need of intellectual and moral as well as of physical sustenance is implied. The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.

9. But the mind is not a receptacle into which ideas must be dropped, each idea adding to an 'apperception mass' of its like, the theory upon which the Herbartian doctrine of interest rests.

10. On the contrary, a child's mind is no mere sac to hold ideas; but is rather, if the figure may be allowed, a spiritual organism, with an appetite for all knowledge. This is its proper diet, with which it is prepared to deal, and which it can digest and assimilate as the body does foodstuffs.

11. This difference is not a verbal quibble. The Herbartian doctrine lays the stress of education––the preparation of knowledge in enticing morsels, presented in due order––upon the teacher. Children

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taught upon this principle are in danger of receiving much teaching with little knowledge; and the teacher's axiom is, 'What a child learns matters less than how he learns it.'

12. But, believing that the normal child has powers of mind that fit him to deal with all knowledge proper to him, we must give him a full and generous curriculum; taking care, only, that the knowledge offered to him is vital––that is, that facts are not presented without their informing ideas. Out of this conception comes the principle that,––

13. EDUCATION IS THE SCIENCE OF RELATIONS; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we must train him upon physical exercises, nature, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books; for we know that our business is, not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of––

                    'Those first-born affinities
That fit our new existence to existing things.'

14. There are also two secrets of moral and intellectual self-management which should be offered to children; these we may call the Way of the Will and the Way of the Reason.

15. The Way of the Will.––Children should be taught––
(a) To distinguish between' I want' and 'I will.'
(b) That the way to will effectively is to turn our

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thoughts from that which we desire but do not will.
(c) That the best way to turn our thoughts is to think of or do some quite different thing, entertaining or interesting.
(d) That, after a little rest in this way, the will returns to its work with new vigour.
(This adjunct of the will is familiar to us as diversion, whose office it is to ease us for a time from will effort, that we may 'will' again with added power. The use of suggestion––even self-suggestion––as an aid to the will, is to be deprecated, as tending to stultify and stereotype character. It would seem that spontaneity is a condition of development, and that human nature needs the discipline of failure as well as of success.)

16. The Way of the Reason. - We should teach children, too, not to 'lean' (too confidently) 'unto their own understanding,' because the function of reason is, to give logical demonstration (a) of mathematical truth; and (b) of an initial idea, accepted by the will. In the former case reason is, perhaps, an infallible guide, but in the second it is not always a safe one; for whether that initial idea be right or wrong, reason will confirm it by irrefragable proofs.

17. Therefore children should be taught, as they become mature enough to understand such teaching, that the chief responsibility which rests on them as persons is the acceptance or rejection of initial ideas.

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To help them in this choice we should give them principles of conduct and a wide range of the knowledge fitted for them.

These three principles (15, 16 and 17) should save children from some of the loose thinking and heedless action which cause most of us to live at a lower level than we need.

18. We should allow no separation to grow up between the intellectual and 'spiritual' life of children; but should teach them that the divine Spirit has constant access to their spirits, and is their continual helper in all the interests, duties and joys of life.

The 'Home Education' Series is so called from the title of the first volume, and not as dealing, wholly or principally, with 'Home' as opposed to 'School' education.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Preface

"Who was it that said 'Know thyself' came down from heaven? It is quite true––true as Gospel. It came straight to whoever said it first."––Life of Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

Possibly we fail to give 'effective moral training based upon Christian principles' to young people because our teaching is scrappy, and rests mainly upon appeals to the emotions through tale and song. Inspiring as these are, we may not depend upon them entirely, because emotional response is short-lived, and the appeal is deadened by repetition: the response of the intellect to coherent and consecutive teaching appears, on the contrary, to be continuous and enduring. Boys and girls, youths and maidens, have as much capacity to apprehend what is presented to their minds as have their elders; and, like their elders, they take great pleasure and interest in an appeal to their understanding which discovers to them the ground-plan of human nature––a common possession.

The point of view taken in this volume is, that all beautiful and noble possibilities are present in everyone; but that each person is subject to assault

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and hindrance in various ways, of which he should be aware in order that he may watch and pray. Hortatory teaching is apt to bore both young people and their elders; but an ordered presentation of the possibilities that lie in human nature, and of the risks that attend these, can hardly fail to have an enlightening and stimulating effect. This volume is intended as an appeal to the young to make the most of themselves, because of the vast possibilities that are in them and of the law of God which constrains them.

The teaching in Book I. is designed for boys and girls under sixteen. That in Book II. should, perhaps, appeal to young people of any age; possibly young men and women may welcome an attempt to thrash out some of the problems which must needs perplex. them. In the hands of the teachers of elementary schools, the book should give some help in the formation of character. If only half a dozen children in each such school got an idea of what is possible to them and what they should aim at, some elevation of character throughout the nation should be manifest in a single generation. In our moral as in our intellectual education, we work too entirely upon narrow utilitarian lines: we want the impulse of profounder conceptions. The middle and upper forms of a public school, and those indicated above, fairly represent the classes of readers the author has in view.

The two 'Books' are published separately in order

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that each may be put into the hands of the readers for whom it is designed; but, because parents and teachers should make a particular study of such moral teaching as they may offer to the young people for whom they are responsible, it seems desirable that the two volumes should form one of the 'Home Education Series.' Questions are appended for the use of more serious students. The more or less casual ordering of young people which falls to their elders might become more purposeful if it were laid down upon some such carefully considered ground-plan of human nature as this book attempts to offer. The scheme of thought rests upon intuitive morality, as sanctioned by the authority of Revelation.

The systems of morality formulated by authoritative writers upon ethics are, perhaps, expanded a little to include latent capacity for every kind of goodness in all normal human beings. Some attempt has been made to define certain limitations of reason, conscience, and the will, the disregard of which is a fertile cause of error in human conduct.

What is sometimes described as the 'immanence of God'; the capacity of man for relations with the divine; and the maimed and incomplete character of the life in which these relations are not fulfilled, are touched upon, because these matters belong to a knowledge which is 'the chief end of man.' The allusions and excerpts which illustrate the text have been carefully chosen from sources that fall within everybody's reading, because the object is rather to

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arrest the attention of the reader, and fix it, for example, upon the teaching of Scott and Plutarch, than to suggest unknown sources of edification. We are all too well content to let alone that of which we do not already know something.

AMBLESIDE, May 1905.

A somewhat arbitrary use has been made of certain terms––'daemon,' for example––when such use appeared to lend itself to clearness or force in putting the case.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Introduction

          "Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control––
These three alone lead life to sovereign power." TENNYSON.

A Dual Self.––The whole question of self-management and self-perception implies a dual self. There is a self who reverences and a self who is reverenced, a self who knows and a self who is known, a self who controls and a self who is controlled. This, of a dual self, is perhaps our most intimate and our least-acknowledged consciousness. We are a little afraid of metaphysics, and are still more afraid of self-consciousness, and we do not take the trouble to analyse our fears.

It is well that we should fear to wander into regions of mind which we have no plummet to fathom, and from which we are incompetent to bring back any good thing. It is well, too, that we should dread that form of self-consciousness which makes us sensitively, or timorously, or proudly, aware of our individual peculiarities. But, for fear of Scylla and Charybdis, we have avoided unduly a channel which leads to a haven where we would be.

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Our business at present is not to attempt any psychological explanation of the fact of the two selves of which each of us is aware; but, rather, to get some clear notions about that, let us call it, objective self, the conduct of which is the chief business of that other troublesome subjective self, of which we are all too much and too unpleasantly aware.

The 'Horrid' Self.––One of the miseries of thoughtful children and young people arises from their sense of the worthlessness of this poor, pushing, all too prominent self. They are aware that they are cross and clumsy, rude and 'horrid.' Nobody can like them. If even their mother does so, it must be because she does not quite see how disagreeable they are. Vanity, the laying of oneself out for the approbation of others, is very possible, even to children of generous temper. But I doubt if conceit is possible to any but the more commonplace minds, content to shape their opinions, even of themselves, upon what they suppose to be the opinions of those around them.

But for the uneasy young soul, whose chief business in life is the navigation of an unknown craft, some knowledge of the carrying and sailing powers of the vessel is not only beneficent in itself, but is a relief from the obsession of that tiresome other self––the subjective self, we have called it––of which we become aware in that day when we eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and leave the paradise of the unconscious child. This awakening must come to

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us all, and is not necessarily in our case of the nature of guilt, but it is the cause of uneasiness and self-depreciation.

The Great Self.––Any attempt to define the limits of each part of the dual self baffles us. We cannot tell where one begins and the other ends. But after every effort of thought which convinces us that we are but one, we become aware again of ourselves as two. Perhaps if we say that the one is the unsatisfactory self which we produce in our lives; the other, the self of great and beautiful possibilities, which we are aware of as an integral part of us, it is all we can do towards grasping this evasive condition of our being. It may help us to regard for a moment the human soul as a vast estate which it rests with us to realise. By soul, I mean all that we are, including even the visible presentment of us, all our powers of thinking, knowing, loving, judging, appreciating, willing, achieving. There is only one authoritative estimate of the greatness of the human soul. It is put into the balances with the whole world, and the whole world, glorious and beautiful as it is, weighs as nothing in the comparison. But we lose the value of this utterance of our Lord's because we choose to think that He is speaking of a relative and not an intrinsic value. That the soul of a man is infinitely great, beautiful, and precious in itself we do not venture to think; partly, because religion, for the most part, teaches a self-abasement and effacement contrary to the spirit and the teaching of Christ.

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Emily Bronte.––We are indebted to the Belgian sage, M. Maeterlinck, for his vindication of the greatness of the soul, a vindication the more teIIing because he does not approach the subject from the religious standpoint, but brings, as it were, an outside witness. He has probably added nothing to the content of philosophy; but we have great need to be reminded, and reminded again, of the things that belong to our life; and to do this for us is a service. His contention, that in Emily Bronte we have an example of the immeasurable range of the soul, seems to me a just one: that a delicate girl, brought up almost in isolation in a remote parsonage, should be able to sound the depths of human passion, conceive of human tragedy, and gather the fruits of human wisdom, is a very fair illustration of the majesty of the soul; all the more so because she was not among the great as regards either virtue or achievement. When we turn from an obscure Emily Bronte to a Shakespeare, a Newton, a Rembrandt, a Dante, a Darwin, a Howard, we begin to discern the immensity of that soul which contains a measure for all things, capacity for all men; but we leave off too soon in our appreciation of our Great; we are too shamefaced to acknowledge to ourselves that it is in our own immensity we find some sort of measure for theirs.

Are there any little men? Perhaps not. It may be that all the properties of the soul are present in everyone, developed or undeveloped, in greater or

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lesser degree. So Christ seems to have taught; and many a poor and insignificant soul has been found to hold capacity for Him.

But here is a case in which the greater is blessed (or cursed?) of the less. The realised self of each of us is a distressfully poor thing, and yet upon its insight and its action depends the redemption of that greater self, whose limitations no man has discovered. It is, to use a figure, as the relation between a country and its government. The country is ever greater than the governing body; and yet, for its development, the former must depend upon the latter.

The Governing Powers.––What are these central governing powers, or officers, upon whose action the fulfilment of a human being depends? I cannot, as yet, go to Psychology for an answer, because she is still in the act of determining whether or no there be any spirit. Where I appear to abandon the dicta of our more ancient guide, Philosophy, it is only as I am led by common intuition. That which all men perceive to be true of themselves may be considered with a view to the conduct of the affairs of the inner life, just as it is wise to arrange our outward affairs on the belief that the sun rises at such an hour and sets at such an hour. The actual is of less immediate consequence than the apparent fact.

As I do not know of any book to recommend to parents which should help their children in the conduct of life in matters such as I have indicated, which are neither precisely ethical nor religious, I

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venture to offer an outline of the sort of teaching I have in view in the form in which it might be given to intelligent children and young people of any age, from eight or nine upwards.

How to use this Volume.––I think that in teaching children mothers should make their own of so much as they wish to give of such teaching, and speak it, a little at a time, perhaps by way of Sunday talks. This would help to impress children with the thought that our relations with God embrace the whole of our lives. Older students of life would probably prefer to read for themselves, or with their parents, and the more advanced teaching which is suitable for them will pass over the heads of their younger brothers and sisters.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

Ourselves, Volume 4 of the Charlotte Mason Series

Book 1––Self-Knowledge

     "Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control,
     These three alone lead life to sovereign power."
                    ––Tennyson

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Introductory

Chapter 1 The Country of Mansoul

The Riches of Mansoul.––"Do ye not like fair londes?" says King Alfred; and he answers himself: "Why should I not like fair londes? They are the fairest part of God's creation." And of all the fair lands which God has made, there is no country more fair than the Kingdom of Mansoul.

The soil is, almost everywhere, very fertile, and where it is cultivated there are meadows, corn-fields, and orchards with all manner of fruit. There are, too, wild nooks, with rippling streams bordered by forget-me-nots and king-cups, places where the birds nest and sing. There are hazel copses where you may gather nuts, and there are forests with mighty trees. There are wildernesses, too, marshy and unlovely,

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but these only wait for good and industrious hands to reclaim them and make them as fertile as the rest of the country. Deep under the surface lie beds of fuel to be had for the working, so that in that land there need never be a cold hearth-stone. There are many other mines, too, where diligent workers find, not only useful and necessary metals like copper and iron, but also silver and gold and very precious stones. When the workers are weary they may rest for there are trees for shade and shelter, and pleasant playfields. And you may hear the laughter of the children, and see them at their sports.

The Rivers and Cities.––There are rivers, broad and deep, good to bathe in and to swim in, and also good to bear the ships which carry those things produced by Mansoul to other countries far and near. Upon these rivers, too, sail the ships of many lands, bringing passengers and goods. There are busy cities in Mansoul; and these, also, are pleasant places; because though there are factories where men work and make all manner of things for home use or to be sent abroad, there are also fair and beautiful buildings, palaces of delight, where are gathered the treasures of Mansoul––galleries of precious and beautiful pictures painted by the great artists of all countries, statues of the heroes that are had in reverence there, halls with organs of noble tone which can roar like the thunder and babble like a child, and all manner of musical instruments. To these halls great musicians come and play wonderful things that they have made; the people of Mansoul listen, and great thoughts swell in them, and everyone feels as if he could get up and go and be a hero.

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Its Books and Playgrounds.––There are libraries, too––such libraries! containing every book of delight that ever was written. When anybody sits down to read, the author who made the book comes and leans over his shoulder and talks to him. I forgot to say that in the picture-galleries the old painters do the same thing; they come and say what they meant by it all.

There is no city in Mansoul so built up but there is plenty of space for parks and cricket-grounds, playing-fields and places where people meet and are merry, dance and sing. No body need be poor in Mansoul; and if anybody is poor, neglected, and stunted, it is for a reason which we shall consider by and by.

Its Churches and its Delectable Mountains.––The best treasures of the country are kept in the fairest of its buildings, in its churches, which are always open, so that people may go in and out many times a day to talk with God, and He comes and speaks with them. But, indeed, He walks about everywhere in the land, in the workshops, in the picture-galleries, and in the fields; people consult Him about everything, little things and great, and He advises about them all.

Much remains to be said about Mansoul, but I think I have left out the chief thing––the 'Delectable Mountains,' where people go that they may breathe mountain air, gather the lovely mountain flowers, and brace their limbs and their lungs with the toilsome delight of climbing. From the top, they get a view that makes them solemnly glad; they see a good deal of Mansoul, and they see the borders of the land that is very far off. They see a good deal of

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Mansoul, but they cannot see it all, for a curious thing is, that no map has been made of the country, because a great deal of it is unexplored, and men have not discovered its boundaries. This is exciting and delightful to the people, because, though here and there Mansoul is touched by another such country as itself, there are everywhere reaches which no man has seen, regions of country which may be rich and beautiful.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter 2 The Perils Of Mansoul

The Government to Blame.––You are thinking, I daresay, what a rich and beautiful country Mansoul must be! But, like most other lands, it is subject to many perils. Unlike most other lands, however, Mansoul has means of escape from the perils that threaten it from time to time. In other countries, we hear the government blamed if poor people have not bread, and if rich people are annoyed by the crowing of a cock. This is usually great nonsense, but it is not nonsense to blame the government of Mansoul for the evils that occur in that country, for it has large power to prevent those evils. How the country is governed you shall hear later. Meantime, learn something of the perils which may overtake poor Mansoul and all that are in it.

Peril of Sloth.––Perhaps the most common evil is a sort of epidemic of sloth that spreads over the whole country. The scavengers sit with heavy eyes and folded arms, and let refuse and filth accumulate in the streets. The farmers and their labourers say, 'What's the good?' and fail to go out with the plough or to sow the seed. Fruit drops from the trees and rots because no one cares to pick it up.

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The ships lie idle in the harbours because nobody wants anything from abroad. The librarians let their books be buried in dust and devoured by insects, and neglect their duty of gathering more. The pictures grow dim and tattered for want of care; and nobody in the whole country thinks it worth while to do anything at all. Sometimes the people still care to play; but play without work becomes dull after a time, and soon comes to a stop. And so the people, whatever be their business in Mansoul, sit or lounge about with dull eyes, folded arms, and hanging heads.

Peril of Fire.––Another risk that Mansoul runs is that of great conflagrations. Sometimes an incendiary will land at one of its ports from some foreign country, perhaps with the express purpose of setting fire to what is best in Mansoul; but perhaps a man sets fire to things by accident because he does not know how inflammable they are. The fire once begun, the wind carries the flames over many miles of country; noble buildings, precious works of art, farmsteads with stacks of corn, everything is consumed, and ruin follows the track of the fire. Sometimes these fires arise in Mansoul itself. I have told you that the country has great beds of underlying fuel. Here and there inflammable gases break out on the surface, and a spark, dropped in the region of these gases, is sufficient to cause a wide conflagration. But Mansoul ought to be as careful as people in Switzerland are when a hot wind called the Föhn blows, and orders are issued that everyone is to put out his fires and lights.

Perils of Plague, Flood, and Famine.––Some times there is a visitation of the plague, because

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dwelling-houses, streets, and out-buildings are not kept clean and wholesome, and the drains are allowed to get into disorder.

Sometimes the springs swell in the hills, the rivers overflow, and there is a flood; but this is not always a misfortune in the end, because much that is rotten and unclean is swept away, and lands washed by a flood are very fertile afterwards.

Again, it may happen that the crops fail, though the land has been diligently tilled and good seed sown. But neighbouring States are kind, and help Mansoul in these distressful times; and the crops of the following year are generally abundant

Peril of Discord.––Another cause of occasional misery in Mansoul is that a spirit of discord breaks out now and then among the members of the community, and becomes sometimes so violent as to lead to a devastating civil war. The servants and workmen will not obey the masters, and the masters will not consider their servants, and are at feud among themselves; one member of the ministry chooses to attend to the work of some other member; all useful employments are neglected, and the people are a prey to envy and discontent. I might tell you of some other causes of misery in Mansoul, but shall mention only one more, which is by far the worst that ever overtakes the State.

Peril of Darkness.––Lovely and smiling as the country is when it is well ordered, mists at times emanate from it, chilling, soaking mists, dense and black; not a ray of the sun can penetrate these mists, no light, no warmth; there is no seeing of one's way, so that the people say, 'There is no sun,' and some of the more foolish add, 'There never was a sun

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in heaven, and there never will be.' When they cannot see the sun, of course they cannot see each other, and blunder against one another in the darkness. You will say that many lands, especially low lands, are subject to blinding mists, but nowhere can they be so thick and heavy, and nowhere do they lie so long, as in the Kingdom of Mansoul. One quite exceptional thing about these mists is, that they also are largely under control of the government, especially of the Prime Minister. How this can be so I cannot fully explain here, but you will understand later.

Because all these things can happen to Mansoul, we must not run away with the idea that it is an unhappy country. On the contrary, it is radiant and lovely, busy and gay, full of many interests and of joyous life,––so long as the government attends to its duties.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

Chapter 3 The Government of Mansoul

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Each of us a Kingdom of Mansoul.––I must give up attempting to talk about Mansoul in parables. I daresay you have already found it difficult to make everything fit; but, never mind; what you do not understand now you may understand some day, or you may see a meaning better and truer than that which is intended. Every human being, child or man, is a Kingdom of Mansoul; and to be born a human being is like coming into a very great estate; so much in the way of goodness, greatness, heroism, wisdom, and knowledge, is possible to us all. Therefore I have said that no one has discovered the boundaries of the Kingdom of Mansoul; for nobody knows how much is possible to any one person. Many persons go through life without recognising this. They have no notion of how much they can do and feel, know and be; and so their lives turn out poor, narrow, and disappointing.

It is, indeed, true that Mansoul is like a great and rich country, with a more or less powerful and harmonious government; because there is a part of ourselves whose business it is to manage and make the best of the rest of ourselves, and that part of ourselves we shall call the Government.

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Officers of State.––There are many Officers of State, each with his distinct work to do in the economy of this Kingdom of Mansoul; and, if each does his own work and if all work together, Mansoul is happy and prosperous. I will give a list of a few of the great Officers of State, and later we shall consider what each has to do. To begin with the lowest, there are the Esquires of the Body, commonly called the Appetites; then come the Lords of the Exchequer, known as the Desires; the Lords of the Treasury, that is, the Affections; then the Foreign Secretary, that is, the Intellect, with his colleagues, My Lord Chief Explorer (Imagination) and My Lord President of the Arts (the æsthetic Sense); the Lord Attorney-General, that is, the Reason; the Lords of the House of Heart: the Lord Chief Justice, that is, the Conscience; the Prime Minister, that is, the Will. There are various other Officers of State, whom we cannot name now, but these are the principal. Beyond and above all these is the King; for you remember that Mansoul is a Kingdom.

The Four Chambers.––These various Ministers we may conceive as sitting each in the House with the ordering of whose affairs he is concerned. These Houses are, the House of Body, the House of Mind, the House of Heart, and the House of Soul.

You must not understand that all these are different parts of a person; but that they are different powers which every person has, and which every person must exercise, in order to make the most of that great inheritance which he is born to as a human being.

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PART I The House Of The Body

Chapter I The Esquires Of The Body: Hunger

The Work of the Appetites.––We will first consider the Esquires of the Body; not that they are the chief Officers of State, but in Mansoul, as in the world, a great deal depends upon the least important people; and the Esquires of the Body have it very much in their power to make all go right or all go wrong in Mansoul.

Their work is very necessary for the well-being of the State. They build up the Body, and they see to it that there shall be new Mansouls to take the place of the old when these shall pass away. If each would attend to his own business and nothing else, all would go well; but there is a great deal of rivalry in the government, and every member tries to make the Prime Minister believe that the happiness of Mansoul depends upon him. If any one of these gets things altogether into his hands, all is in disorder.

How Hunger Behaves.––Esquire Hunger is the first of the appetites that comes to our notice. He is

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a most useful fellow. If he do not come down to breakfast in the morning, a poor meal is eaten, and neither work nor play goes well in Mansoul that day. If, for weeks together, Hunger do not sit down to table, thin fingers and hollow cheeks will show you what a good servant has left his post. He is easily slighted. If people say, 'I hate' bread and milk, or eggs, or mutton, or what not, and think about it and think about it, Hunger is disgusted and goes. But if they sit down to their meals without thinking about what they eat, and think of something more interesting, Hunger helps them through, bit by bit, until their plates are emptied, and new material has been taken in to build up their bodies. Hunger is not at all fond of dainties. He likes things plain and nice; and directly a person begins to feed upon dainties, like pastry, rich cake, too many sweets, Hunger goes; or rather, he changes his character and becomes Gluttony.

Hunger a Servant, Gluttony a Ruler.––It is as Gluttony that he tries to get the ear of the Prime Minister, saying, 'Leave it all to me, and I will make Mansoul happy. He shall want nothing but what I can give him.' Then begins a fine time. As long as Hunger was his servant, Mansoul thought nothing about his meals till the time for them came, and then he ate them with a good appetite. But Gluttony behaves differently. Gluttony leads his victim to the confectioner's windows and makes him think how nice this or that would taste: all his pocket-money goes in tarts, sweets, and toffee. He thinks at breakfast what pudding he should like for dinner, and asks for it as a favour. Indeed, he is always begging for bits of cake, and spoonfuls of jam,

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and extra chocolates. He does not think much about his lessons, because he has a penny in his pocket and is considering what is the nicest thing he can buy for it; or, if he is older, perhaps he has a pound, but his thought is still the same, and Gluttony gets it all. The greedy person turns away from wholesome meals, and does not care for work or play, because Gluttony has got the ear of the Prime Minister, and almost every thought of Mansoul turns one way––'What shall I eat?' he says. Gluttony begins with the little boy and goes with him all through life, only that, instead of caring for chocolate creams when he is a man, he cares for great dinners two hours long.

How Gluttony affects the Body.––But, you will say, if Hunger builds up the body, surely Gluttony must do so a great deal faster. It is true that sometimes the greedy person becomes fat, but it is muscle and not fat which makes the body strong and useful. Gluttony does not make muscle, and does cause horrid illnesses.

How to avoid Greediness.––The way to keep this enemy out of Mansoul is to stick to the rules which Hunger lays down. The chief of them is––Never think of your meals till they come, and, while you are eating, talk and think of something more amusing than your food. As for nice things, of course we all want nice things now and then; but let us eat what is given to us of the chocolate or fruit at table, and not think any more about it. Sweets or fruits are seldom served at school, we know, and when at school it is quite fair for a boy to allow himself to spend a certain part of his pocket-money in this way, not only for himself, but that he may have something to give away. But the boy who spends the whole, or

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the greater part, of his week's money on things to eat, or who is always begging for hampers from home, is a poor fellow, the victim of Gluttony. The best plan is to want to spend your money upon something else––some sort of collection, perhaps; or to save up to buy a present or a fishing-rod or anything worth having. Gluttony lets you alone when you cease to think of him and his good things.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter II The Esquires Of The Body: Thirst

Thirst likes Cold Water.––Another most serviceable Esquire of the Body is Thirst. How serviceable he is you will understand when you remember that by far the greater part of a man's weight is made up of water. This water is always wasting away in one way or another, and the business of Thirst is to make up for the loss. Thirst is a simple fellow; the beverage he likes best is pure cold water; and, indeed, he is quite right, for, when you come to think of it, there is only one thing to drink in the world, though we drink it mixed with many things. Sometimes the mixing is done by nature, as in milk or grapes; sometimes by man, as in tea or coffee. Some of these mixed drinks are wholesome, because they contain food as well as drink, and by far the most wholesome of these is milk.

But Thirst himself does not care for or need anything in the water he drinks. He likes it best clear and cold, and if we lived in hot Eastern countries we should know how delicious cold water is. All little children like water, but bigger boys and girls sometimes like various things, such as lemon juice, in their water to give it a flavour. Though there is no

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harm in this, it is rather a pity, because they lose their taste for water itself.

Drunkenness craves for Alcohol.––You would think that so simple and useful an Esquire of the Body could never be a source of danger to Mansoul. But Thirst also gets the ear of the Prime Minister; he also says, 'Leave Mansoul to me, and he shall never more want anything in the world but what I can give him.' This saying of his is quite true, only, instead of calling him Thirst any longer, we must call him Drunkenness; and once Drunkenness has a man in his grip, that man wants nothing but drink, drink, from morning till night.

The chairs and tables out of his house, his children's bread, their mother's clothes, all go to buy drink. The man's time, health, and strength are spent in drink––he becomes homeless and friendless, sick and outcast, for the sake of drink. But he does not crave for home or friends; all he wants is more drink and more drink. By far the greater part of the sin, misery, and poverty in the world is caused by Drunkenness.

Why People Abstain.––As you know very well, it is not pure water that causes Drunkenness. Men long ago discovered how to prepare a substance called alcohol, and this it is that ruins thousands of men and women. Many good men and women, and children, too, make a solemn vow that they will never taste ale or wine or other strong drink, unless a doctor order it by way of medicine. They do this, not only for fear that they should themselves become drunkards––though indeed there is no knowing who may fall into that terrible temptation, or at what period of life such a fall may come,––but because every little

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good deed helps to stop the evil in the world by setting a good example to somebody; and perhaps there is never a good example set but someone follows it, though the person who set the example may never know.

This is one reason why it is well to keep one's taste for cold water, and to know how delicious it is.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter III Esquires Of The Body: Restlessness And Rest

Restlessness makes the Body Strong.––I hardly know by what names to call the two Esquires of the Body whom I am now to introduce to you, but both are good body-servants. Perhaps Restlessness and Rest will do as well as any. You have noticed that a baby is seldom quite still when he is wide awake: he is kicking his legs about, or playing with his fingers or toes, or crawling, or clutching or throwing something down or picking it up, or laughing, or crowing, or crying. Little boys and girls, too, cannot bear to sit still long at lessons. They want to run into the garden and see what their pet frog is doing. When lessons are over a good romp is delightful, or a race, or a good deal of tumbling about head-over-heels. Later, people want to play cricket or football, or to ride bicycles, or climb mountains. They think they do all these things just because it is fun; but, really, good Esquire Restless will not let them alone, but gives them an uneasy feeling if they are not pretty often doing something which is rather hard to do and rather tiring. He is playing the part of a faithful body-servant. He is helping to make Mansoul a strong and wiry body, able to swim and

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ride, to jump and run; able to walk far and to hit true and to do every service that the Prime Minister may require. In fact, the business of Restlessness is to strengthen and harden the muscles which Hunger feeds.

But Restlessness may be a Hard Master.––Restlessness, from being a good servant, might become a hard master; indeed, he sometimes does become so, and people do things that are too hard for them in the way of rowing or climbing running or jumping. Worse still, the Dæmon of Restlessness possesses them, and they cannot settle to any kind of work or play because they always want to be doing something else. This is a very unfortunate state to get into, because it is only by going on doing one thing steadily that we learn to do it well, whether it be cricket or algebra; so it is well to be on the watch for the moment when Restlessness, the good servant, turns into Restlessness, the unquiet Dæmon who drives us about from post to pillar, and will not give us firm standing ground anywhere in life.

Rest, a Good Servant.––In a general way, his fellow-servant and brother, Rest, steps in with, 'It is my turn now,' and the tired person is glad to sit down and be quiet for a little, or lie on his face with a book, or, best of all, go to sleep soundly at night and wake up refreshed and ready for anything. Thus the muscles take such turns of work and rest as help them to grow and become strong.

Sloth, a Tyrant.––I daresay you are glad to hear of an Esquire of the Body who is not followed by a black shadow threatening Mansoul with ruin; but, alas! we cannot be let off. Rest, too, has his Dæmon, whose name is Sloth. 'A little more sleep, a little

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more slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep,' is the petition with which he besieges the Prime Minister. Once Sloth is ruler in Mansoul, the person cannot wake up in the morning, dawdles over his dressing, comes down late for breakfast, hates a walk, can't bear games, dawdles over his preparation, does not want to make boats or whistles, or collect stamps, drops in all his lessons, is in the Third form when he ought to be in the Sixth, saunters about the corners of the playing-field with his hands in his pockets, never does anything for anybody, not because he is unkind or ill-natured, but because he will not take the trouble.

Poor fellow! he does not know that he is falling daily more and more under the power of a hard master. The less he exerts himself, the less he is able to exert himself, because the muscles, which Restlessness keeps firm and in good order, Sloth relaxes and weakens until it becomes a labour to raise the hand to the head or to drag one foot after another. People used to be very much afraid of Sloth and to call him one of the Seven Deadly Sins, but somehow he is less thought about now; perhaps because we find so many things to do that we cannot bear to be slothful. Still, if your friends call you idle about play or work, or, worse, indolent, or, worse still, lazy, pull yourself together without loss of time, for be sure the Dæmon, Sloth, is upon you, and once you get into his clutches you are in as bad a case, and your life is as much in danger of being ruined, as if Gluttony or Drunkenness had got hold of you. But take courage, the escape is easy: Restlessness is on the alert to save you from Sloth in the beginning. Up and be doing, whether at work or play.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter IV The Esquires Of The Body: Chastity

How to Rule the Appetites.––We have seen how each of the Appetites––Hunger, Thirst, Restlessness, Rest––is a good body-servant, and how the work of each is to build up and refresh the body. We have seen, too, how a life may be ruined by each of these so innocent-seeming appetites if it be allowed to get the mastery. To save ourselves from this fate, we must eat, drink, sleep, at regular times, and then not allow ourselves to think of taking our ease, of dainty things to eat, of nice things to drink, in the intervals. We should always have something worth while to think about, that we may not let our minds dwell upon unworthy matters.

Each Appetite has its Time.––There is another Appetite which is subject to the same rules as those we have considered. It has its time like eating and sleeping, but its time is not until people are married. Just as eating, drinking, and sleeping are designed to help to make us strong, healthy, and beautiful bodies, so this other Appetite is meant to secure that people shall have children, so that there will always be people in the world, young people growing up as old people pass away. This Appetite is connected with a certain

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part of the body; and I should not speak about it now, only that one of the great duties we have in the world is to keep this part of the body pure. It is just like that tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil planted in the Garden of Eden.

Uncleanness.––You remember that Adam and Eve were not to take thereof, or they should surely die; and then, you remember how the tempter came and told Eve that they should not die if they took of it, but should be like gods, knowing good and evil. Well, just in the same way, I fear, you may find tempters who will do their best to make you know about things you ought not to know about, to talk about and read about and do things you ought not to talk about, or read about, or do. I daresay they will tell you these things are quite right, that you would not have such parts of your body and such feelings about them unless you were meant to think and do these things. Now it will help you to know that this is the sin of Uncleanness, the most deadly and loathsome of all sins, the sin that all nice men and women hate and shrink from more than from any other.

Purity.––The opposite virtue is called Purity, and Christ has said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." That does not mean, I think, 'shall see God' when they die, but 'shall see' Him with the eye of their soul, about them and beside them, and shall know, whenever temptation comes through this Appetite––'Thou, God, seest me.' That thought will come home to them, so that they will not be able to make themselves unclean by even a thought or a word. They will turn away their eyes from beholding evil; they will not allow themselves to read, or hear, or say a word that should cause impure thoughts.

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Glorify God in your Bodies.––Thus they will glorify God in their bodies. Every boy or girl who realises this is a hero in the sight of God, is fighting a good fight, and is making the world better. When the pure marry, their children will be blessed, for they will be good, healthy, and happy, because they have pure parents. Remember that God puts before each of us in this matter the choice between good and evil, obedience and disobedience, which he put before Adam and Eve. They sinned, and death entered into the world. And so surely as you allow yourself in this sin of Uncleanness, even to think a thought which you could not go straight and tell your mother, death begins in you, death of body and soul. Fight the good fight, and do not let yourself, like our first parents, be the victim of unholy curiosity.

The Appetites our Servants, not our Masters.––Let each of the Appetites, so necessary to our bodies, be our servant and not our master, and remember, above all things, that sin and slavery to any Appetite begin in our thoughts. It is our thoughts that we must rule, and the way to rule them is very simple. We just have to think of something else when an evil thought comes, something really interesting and nice, with a prayer in our hearts to God to help us to do so.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter V The Pages Of The Body: The Five Senses

The Esquires of the Body have in turn their attendants, their pages, let us call them; very useful persons in their way, but, like the Esquires, they require looking after––in the first place, to see that they do their work, in the next, to secure that they do not become tyrants. For even they, servants of servants as they are, aim, if they are indulged, at the sole rule and subjection of Mansoul. People sometimes call these pages feelings, but we will call them sensations, because it is through the five senses that they do their work.

Taste, Agreeable and Useful.––The sensation of Taste, one of these, is not only usually agreeable, but is most useful. When food tastes unpleasant, that is often a sign that it is not wholesome. Taste is an excellent servant, and people who know how to keep him in order find simple foods, such as milk and bread and butter, delicious.

But, Pampered, becomes our Master.––But people who pamper taste make themselves his servants. They say they do not like porridge; they do not like mutton, potatoes, eggs. They want things with strong flavours to please their Taste; the older they grow

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the more difficult it will be to gratify them, so that at last it will take a French cook to think of things quite nice enough for their dinners. The best rule is not to allow oneself in daintiness about food, but to eat what is set before one; indeed, a wise person is rather glad when something is served which he does not exactly like, or when he has to take disagreeable medicine, because this gives him an opportunity to keep Taste in his proper place, that of a servant and not of a master. It is a good plan not to talk about our likes or dislikes, not even to know which kind of jam we like best.

'Smell' is Lazy.––Smell is another of these pages, really a very good fellow, and I do not know that he tries much for mastery in Mansoul, unless as the ally of Taste. When he goes about sniffing savoury dishes and making Taste wish for them, he is very objectionable; excepting for that he is harmless enough, but he has a fault which is bad in a servant. He is lazy. As his work is very important, this lazy habit must be dealt with.

Should give Mansoul much Pleasure.––He might be the means of giving Mansoul a great deal of pleasure, because there are many faint, delightful odours in the world, like the odour of a box-hedge, of lime-trees in flower, of bog-myrtle, which he might carry, and thus add to the pleasure of life. But that is not his only use.

Should serve on the Board of Health.––He should be quick to detect when there is the least impurity in the air, when a room is close, when a drain is out of order, when there is any unpleasant, unwholesome odour about, however slight; because all odours are really atoms floating in the air, which,

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by breathing, we take into our bodies. As we breathe all day long and all night long, and only take food three or four times a day, it is perhaps more injurious to health to breathe evil odours than to eat food which is not quite fit, though both are bad. But there are people in whom Smell has become so inactive, that they will lean over an open drain without perceiving any bad smell. By and by we hear they are laid up with a fever, and nobody thinks of reproaching that lazy servant, Smell, who has been the cause of the whole mischief.

Practice in catching Odours.––It is a good rule to practise oneself in catching every sweet and delightful fragrance, and in learning to tell, with one's eyes shut, the leaves of various trees, various flowers, food-stuffs, materials for clothing, all by their odours. In this way Smell would be kept in good working order, and should be able to detect, when he goes into a room, whether the air is fresh or fusty.

Touch, most Pervasive.––There are five of these Pages classed together under the name of The Five Senses, but the three we have now to speak of are not so much pages to Esquires of the Body, as body-servants themselves. Touch is a most pervasive fellow. He is all over the body at once, and there are only one or two places, like the nails and the teeth, where he is not. He collects a great deal of useful information. It is he who discovers whether things be hard or soft, hot or cold, rough or smooth, whether they pierce or scratch, or prick or burn.

Most Useful.––You see at once how useful his work is, for without Touch one might accidentally put one's finger in the fire and not know it was burning.

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Knives might cut, pins prick, frost bite, and fire burn, and we should be none the wiser, though our bodies might be receiving deadly injury. Some people have an exceedingly delicate sense of touch, especially in the finger-tips, and this enables them to work at making such delicate things as watch-springs and very fine lace.

The Touch of the Blind.––Blind people learn to find out through their finger-tips what their eyes no longer tell them. They learn even the faces of their friends by touch, and can tell whether they are well or ill, glad or sorry. You hear it sometimes said that a person has a nice touch in playing the piano, and it would really seem as if his finger-tips felt not only the keys of the instrument, but the music they are producing.

A Kind 'Touch.'––Some people, again, mothers especially, have so kind a touch that their hands seem to smooth away our troubles. But this sort of touch is only learned by loving. You remember Shakespeare thought that poor little Prince Arthur had it; certainly many loving children have comforting hands.

Practice in Touch.––Those persons whose senses are the most keen and delicate are the most alive and get most interest out of life; so it is worth while to practise our senses; to shut our eyes, for example, and learn the feel of different sorts of material, different sorts of wood, metal, leaves of trees, different sorts of hair and fur––in fact, whatever one comes across.

Touch tries for Mastery over Mansoul––it will surprise you to hear that Touch, simple and useful servant as he is, like the rest, watches for mastery over Mansoul. Have you ever found it

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hard to attend to lessons or other work because you have had a prick or a sting or a cut, which, as you, say, 'hurts'? When people let themselves think about these little things which can't be helped, they have no thoughts left for what is worth while; thus one of the least of the powers in their lives becomes master of all the rest. You remember the story of the Spartan boy and the fox? It is not necessary that we should be Spartans, because, if anything painful can be helped, it is right and necessary that we should speak about it, or do something to take away the cause of the pain.

Good to have Little Things to put up with.––But, on the other hand, I think we should be rather glad to have little things to put up with now and then––a scratch, a mustard poultice, or a vest that pricks––just that we may get into the way of not letting ourselves think about such matters. There is an instance of a man who was obliged to have his leg cut off, before Sir James Simpson had made the blessed discovery of the use of chloroform. This man was determined that he would not think about the pain, and he succeeded in so keeping his mind occupied with other things, that he was not aware of the operation. This would be too much for most of us, but we might all try to bear the prick of a pin, or even the sting of a wasp, without making a fuss.

Sight brings half our Joy.––The two senses that we have still to speak of are ministers of delight to Mansoul, and I do not know that they have any serious faults as servants, excepting those of laziness and inattention. Sight brings us half our joy. The faces of our friends, gay sunshine, flowers and green grass, and the flickering of the leaves, pretty clothes

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and little treasures and pictures, mountains and rivers, and the great sea––where would our joy in all these be if we could not see them? Kind friends might read to us, certainly, but it would not be the same thing always as to have our own book and read it in the apple-tree, or in the corner of the window seat. Let us pity the blind. But there are other people to be pitied, almost as much as they.

Eyes and No-Eyes.––Do you know how Eyes and No-Eyes went out for a walk? No-Eyes found it dull, and said there was nothing to see; but Eyes saw a hundred interesting things, and brought home his handkerchief full of treasures. The people I know are all either 'Eyes' or 'No-Eyes.' Do you wish to know which class you fall into? Let me ask you two or three questions. If you can answer them we shall call you, Eyes. If you cannot, why, learn to answer these and a thousand questions like them. Describe, from memory, one picture in your mother's drawing-room without leaving out a detail. Name a tree (not shrub) which has green leaf-buds? Do you know any birds with white feathers in their tails? If you do not know things such as these, set to work. The world is a great treasure-house full of things to be seen, and each new thing one sees is a new delight.

Hearing a Source of Joy.––There is a great deal of joy, again, to be had out of listening––joy which many people miss because Hearing is, in their case, an idle servant who does not attend to his business.

Have you ever been in the fields on a spring day, and heard nothing at all but your own voice and the voices of your companions, and then, perhaps, suddenly you have become silent, and you find a concert going on of which you had not heard a note? At first

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you hear the voices of the birds; then, by degrees, you perceive high voices, low voices, and middle voices, small notes and great notes, and you begin to wish you knew who sang each of the songs you can distinguish.

The more we Listen, the more we Hear.––Then, as you listen more, you hear more. The chirp of the grasshoppers becomes so noisy that you wonder you can hear yourself speak for it; then the bees have it all to themselves in your hearing; then you hear the hum or the trumpet of smaller insects, and perhaps the tinkle and gurgle of a stream. The quiet place is full of many sounds, and you ask yourself how you could have been there without hearing them. That just shows you how Hearing may sleep at his post. Keep him awake and alive; make him try to hear and know some new sound every day without any help from sight. It is rather a good plan to listen with shut eyes.

Some Nice Sounds.––Have you ever heard the beech-leaves fall one by one in the autumn? That is a very nice sound. Have you heard the tap, tap of the woodpecker, or have you heard a thrush breaking snail-shells on a stone? Of course you can tell the difference between one horse and a pair by sound. Can you tell one kind of carriage from another, or a grocer's cart from a carriage? Do you know the footfall of everybody in the house? Do you know the sound of every bell in the house? Do you listen to people's voices, and can you tell by the intonation whether the people are sad or glad, pleased or displeased?

Music, the Great Joy we owe to Hearing.––Hearing should tell us a great many interesting things,

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but the great and perfect joy which we owe to him is Music. Many great men have put their beautiful thoughts, not into books, or pictures, or buildings, but into musical score, to be sung with the voice or played on instruments, and so full are these musical compositions of the minds of their makers, that people who care for music can always tell who has composed the music they hear, even if they have never heard the particular movement before. Thus, in a manner, the composer speaks to them, and they are perfectly happy in listening to what he has to say. Quite little children can sometimes get a good deal of this power; indeed, I knew a boy of three years old who knew when his mother was playing 'Wagner,' for example. She played to him a great deal, and he listened. Some people have more power in this way than others, but we might all have far more than we possess if we listened.

How to get the Hearing Ear.––Use every chance you get of hearing music (I do not mean only tunes, though these are very nice), and ask whose music has been played, and, by degrees, you will find out that one composer has one sort of thing to say to you, and another speaks other things; these messages of the musicians cannot be put into words, so there is no way of hearing them if we do not train our ear to listen. A great help towards learning to hear music is to know the notes, to be able to tell with one's eyes shut any note or chord that is struck on the piano or sung with the voice. This is as entertaining as a puzzle, and if we find that we are rather dull of hearing at first we need not be discouraged. The hearing ear comes, like good batting, with much practice; and the time will come when in a whole

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chorus of birds you will be able to distinguish between the different voices, and say which is the thrush, which is the blackbird, which the white-throat, which the black-cap, which the wren, which the chaffinch. Think how happy the person must be for whom every bird's note is the voice of a friend whom he knows!

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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PART II––The House Of Mind

Chapter I Ourselves

'Ourselves,' a Vast Country not yet Explored.––When we think of our bodies and of the wonderful powers they possess, we say, under our breath, "Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty." Now, let us consider that still more wonderful Self which we cannot see and touch as we can our bodies, but which thinks and loves and prays to God; which is happy or sad, good or not good. This inner self is, as we have said, like a vast country much of which is not yet explored, or like a great house, built as a maze, in which you cannot find your way about. People usually talk of 'Ourselves' as made up of Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul; and we will do the same, because it is a convenient way to describe us. It is more convenient to say, 'The sun rises at six and sets at nine,' than to say, 'As the earth turns round daily before the sun, that part of the earth on which we live first gets within sight of the sun about six o'clock in the morning in March.' 'The sun rises and sets' is a better way of describing

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this, not only because it is easier to say, but because it is what we all appear to see and to know. In the same way, everybody appears to know about his own heart and soul and mind; though, perhaps, the truth is that there is no division into parts, but that the whole of each of us has many different powers and does many different things at different times.

Self-control, Self-knowledge, Self-reverence.––It would even seem as if we had two inside selves, one which wishes to do a wrong or unwise thing, and another which says, 'You must not.' And one of the great things we have to learn in life is how, where, and when to use this power, which we call Self-control. Before we can have true Self-control we must know a good deal about ourselves, that is, we must get Self-knowledge. Many persons think themselves quite different from everybody else, which is a mistake. Self-knowledge teaches that what is true of everybody else is true of us also; and when we come to know how wonderful are the powers and how immense are the possibilities of Mansoul, we are filled, not with pride, but with Self-reverence, which includes reverence and pity for the meanest and most debased, because each of these is also a great Mansoul, though it may be a Mansoul neglected, ruined, or decayed. The government of Mansoul is, as we know, the chief business of man; and we will go on to consider the Members of the Government.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter II My Lord Intellect

Introduces Mansoul to Delightful Realms.––To begin with my Lord Intellect: he is the Foreign Secretary, because he conducts affairs and establishes relations with many foreign kingdoms. Through him Mansoul obtains the freedom of rich provinces and mighty states.

Science, a Vast and Joyous Region.––Science is one of these provinces. Here, the stars are measured, the ocean sounded, and the wind made the servant of man; here, every flower that blooms reveals the secret of its growth, and every grain of sand recounts its history. This is a vast and joyous realm; for the people who walk therein are always discovering new things, and each new thing is a delight, because the things are not a medley, but each is a part of the great whole. So immense is the realm of Science that one of the wisest and greatest travellers therein, who had discovered many things, said, when he was an old man, that he was only like a little child playing with pebbles on the beach. Do you, too, wish to walk in the pleasant ways of Science? My Lord Intellect will give you the necessary introductions, and do everything to make your progress easy.

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Imagination cheers the Traveller here.––I should have mentioned that Intellect's colleague, my Lord Imagination, Chief Explorer (you recollect him?), usually journeys with travellers in the ways of Science, and cheers them by opening up fresh and delightful vistas before their eyes.

History, a Pleasant Place.––History is another glorious domain to which my Lord Intellect holds the key, and sends forth Imagination by way of courier and companion to the zealous traveller. Of all the pleasant places in the world of mind, I do not know that any are more delightful than those in the domain of History. Have you ever looked through a kinetoscope? Many figures are there, living and moving, dancing, walking in procession, whatever they happened to be doing at the time the picture was taken. History is a little like that, only much more interesting, because in these curious living photographs the figures are very small and rather dim, and most attentive gazing cannot make them clearer; now, History shows you its personages, clothed as they were clothed, moving, looking, speaking, as they looked, moved, and spoke, engaged in serious matters or in pleasures; and, the longer you look at any one person, the more clearly he stands out until at last he may become more real to you than the people who live in your own home.

The Shows of History.––Think of all the centuries and of every country full of a great procession of living, moving people. Think of the little byways of history where you see curious things that bring you very near to the people concerned, like that letter from a little boy in Egypt, some four thousand years ago, in which he tells his father that he won't be

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good or do his lessons unless his father takes him to the great festival that is coming on. Even little boys in Egypt four thousand years ago were not, it appears, all good. Here we see Alcibiades going about the streets of Athens, handsome, witty, and winning, reckless and haughty, and so far without principle that not even Socrates could make him good. Or we see the King, Henry VIII., walking arm-in-arm with Sir Thomas More in his garden at Chelsea, and his dear daughter Margaret hovering round and bringing her father sugar-plums when the King had gone.

We are making History.––We see, too, the working people, the smith at his forge, the ploughman in the field, the maypole on the village green, with the boys and girls dancing round it. Once Intellect admits us into the realms of History, we live in a great and stirring world, full of entertainment and sometimes of regret; and at last we begin to understand that we, too, are making History, and that we are all part of the whole; that the people who went before us were all very like ourselves, or else we should not be able to understand them. If some of them were worse than we, and in some things their times were worse than ours, yet we make acquaintance with many who were noble and great, and our hearts beat with a desire to be like them. That helps us to understand our own times. We see that we, too, live in a great age and a great country, in which there is plenty of room for heroes; and if these should be heroes in a quiet way, whom the world never hears of, that does not make much real difference. No one was ever the least heroic or good but an immense number of people were the better for it; indeed, it

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has been said that the whole world is the better for every dutiful life, and will be so until the end of time.

We cannot be at Home in History without Imagination.––But we must read History and think about it to understand how these things can be; and we owe a great debt of gratitude to the historians, of whom Herodotus has been called the 'father,' who called in Imagination to picture for them the men and events of the past (about which they had read and searched diligently), so that everything seemed to take place again before their eyes, and they were able to write of it for us. But their seeing and writing is not of much use to us unless, in our case, Lord Intellect invites Imagination to go forth with him, and we think of things and figure them to ourselves, until at last they are real and alive to us.

Mathematics, a Mountainous Land.––Another realm open to Intellect has an uninviting name, and travelling therein is difficult, what with steep faces of rock to climb and deep ravines to cross. The Principality of Mathematics is a mountainous land, but the air is very fine and health-giving, though some people find it too rare for their breathing. It differs from most mountainous countries in this, that you cannot lose your way, and that every step taken is on firm ground. People who seek their work or play in this principality find themselves braced by effort and satisfied with truth. Intellect now and then calls for the aid of Imagination as he travels here, but not often. My Lord Attorney-General Reason is his chosen comrade.

Philosophy explores Mansoul.––Another domain which opens interesting prospects to Intellect

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is that of fair Philosophy, a domain with which we are a little acquainted already, for it is that of Mansoul, with its mountain heights, its dark forests, its unexplored regions. Philosophy offers fascinating and delightful travelling, and the wayfarer here learns many lessons of life; but he does not find the same firm foothold as he whose way leads him through the Principality of Mathematics. Still, certainty is not the best thing in the world. To search, to endeavour, and to feel our way to a foothold from point to point is also exhilarating; and every step that is gained is a resting-place and a house of ease for Mansoul.

Literature, a very Rich and Glorious Kingdom.––Perhaps the least difficult of approach, and certainly one of the most joyous and satisfying of all those realms in which Intellect is invited to travel, is the very rich and glorious Kingdom of Literature. Intellect cannot walk here without Imagination, and, also, he does well to have, at his other side, that colleague of his, whom we will call the Beauty Sense. It is a great thing to be accustomed to good society, and, when Intellect walks abroad in this fair kingdom, he becomes intimate with the best of all ages and all countries. Poets and novelists paint pictures for him, while Imagination clears his eyes so that he is able to see those pictures: they fill the world, too, with deeply interesting and delightful people who live out their lives before his eyes. He has a multitude of acquaintances and some friends who tell him all their secrets. He knows Miranda and the melancholy Jaques and the terrible Lady Macbeth; Fenella and that Fair Maid of Perth, and a great many people, no two alike, live in his thoughts.

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How to recognise Literature.––Observe, there is a poor place close at hand, where pictures are painted for you and where people are introduced; but you cannot see the pictures with your eyes shut, and the people do not live and act in your thoughts; there is as much difference between this region outside and that within the Kingdom of Literature as there is between a panorama and the real, beautiful country it is intended to portray. It is a horrible waste of time to wander about in this outside region, yet many people spend a large part of their lives there, and never once get within sight of the beauties and delights within the Kingdom of Literature.

There is another test, besides the two of scenes that you see and people that you know, which distinguishes Literature from the barren land on its borders; and if he is to apply this test, Intellect must keep his Beauty Sense always by his side. Read over, and see if you find a difference of flavour, shall I say, between the two passages that follow. Try if the first gives you a sense of delight in the words alone, without any thought of the meaning of them, if the very words seem to sing to you;

           "That time of year thou mayst in me behold
           When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
           Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
           Bare, ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang."

Now read the next passage;

           "Household Deities!
           Then only shall be happiness on earth
           When man shall feel your sacred power and love
           Your tranquil joys."

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Can you perceive that, though the second passage is true, thoughtful, and well expressed, it just misses a certain charm in the wording which makes words go home to our heart with living power? If you cannot see any difference in value between these two passages, perhaps you will do so some day. The thing is, to keep your eye upon words and wait to feel their force and beauty; and, when words are so fit that no other words can be put in their places, so few that none can be left out without spoiling the sense, and so fresh and musical that they delight you, then you may be sure that you are reading Literature, whether in prose or poetry. A great deal of delightful literature can be recognised only by this test.

Our Beauty Sense.––There is another region open to Intellect, of very great beauty and delight. He must needs have Imagination with him to travel there, but still more must he have that companion of the nice ear and eye, who enabled him to recognise music and beauty in words and their arrangement. The æsthetic Sense, in truth, holds the key of this palace of delights. There are few joys in life greater and more constant than our joy in Beauty, though it is almost impossible to put into words what Beauty consists in; colour, form, proportion, harmony––these are some of its elements. Words give some idea of these things, and therefore some idea of Beauty, and that is why it is only through our Beauty Sense that we can take full pleasure in Literature.

Beauty in Nature.––But Beauty is everywhere––in white clouds against the blue, in the gray bole of the beech, the play of a kitten, the lovely flight

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and beautiful colouring of birds, in the hills and the valleys and the streams, in the wind-flower and the blossom of the broom. What we call Nature is all Beauty and delight, and the person who watches Nature closely and knows her well, like the poet Wordsworth, for example, has his Beauty Sense always active, always bringing him joy.

We cannot get away from Beauty, and we delight in it most perhaps in the faces and forms of many little children and of some grown-up people.

The Palace of Art.––We take pleasure, too, in the arrangement and colouring of a nice room, of a nice dress, in the cover of a book, in the iron fittings of a door, when these are what is called artistic. This brings us to another world of beauty created for us by those whose Beauty Sense enables them not only to see and take joy in all the Beauty there is, but whose souls become so filled with the Beauty they gather through eye and ear that they produce for us new forms of Beauty––in picture, statue, glorious cathedral, in delicate ornament, in fugue, sonata, simple melody. When we think for a moment, how we must admire the goodness of God in placing us in a world so exceedingly full of Beauty––whether it be of what we call Nature or of what we call Art––and in giving us that sense of Beauty which enables us to see and hear, and to be as it were suffused with pleasure at a single beautiful effect brought to our ear or our eye.

The Hall of Simulation.––But, like all the good gifts we have received, this too is capable of neglect and misuse. It is not enough that there should be a Beauty World always within reach; we must see to it that our Beauty Sense is on the alert and kept

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quick to discern. We may easily be all our lives like that man of whom the poet says:––

           "A primrose by the river's brim
           A yellow primrose was to him,
           was that, and nothing more"

–that is, he missed the subtle sense of Beauty which lay, not so much in the primrose nor in the river, but, rather, in the fact of the primrose growing just there. Our great danger is that, as there is a barren country reaching up to the very borders of the Kingdom of Literature, so too is there a dull and dreary Hall of Simulation which we may enter and believe it to be the Palace of Art. Here people are busy painting, carving, modelling, and what not; the very sun labours here with his photographs, and he is as good an artist as the rest, and better, for the notion in this Hall is that the object of Art is to make things exactly like life. So the so-called artists labour away to get the colour and form of the things they see, and to paint these on canvas or shape them in marble or model them in wax (flowers), and all the time they miss, because they do not see, that subtle presence which we call Beauty in the objects they paint and mould. Many persons allow themselves to be deceived in this matter and go through life without ever entering the Palace of Art, and perceiving but little of the Beauty of Nature. We all have need to be trained to see, and to have our eyes opened before we can take in the joy that is meant for us in this beautiful life.

The Intellectual Life.––I cannot tell you more now of the delightful and illimitable sources of pleasure open to Intellect and his colleagues; but, if you realise at all what has been said, you will be surprised

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to know that many people live within narrow bounds, and rarely step into either of the great worlds we have been considering. The happiness of the intellectual life comes of knowing and thinking, imagining and perceiving or rather, comes of the range of things which we know and think about, imagine and perceive. Everybody's mind is occupied in these ways about something or other, but many people know and think about small matters. It is quite well to think of these for a little while, but they think about them always, and have no room for the great thoughts which great things bring to us.

Thus, a boy's head may be so full of his stamp collection or of the next cricket match that there is no room in it for bigger things. The stamps and the cricket are all right, but it is not all right by any means to miss the opportunities of great interests that come to us and pass unnoticed, while we think only of these small matters. Not only so: boys and girls may be so full of marks and places, prizes and scholarships, that they never see that their studies are meant to unlock the door for them into this or that region of intellectual joy and interest. School and college over, their books are shut for ever. When they become men and women, they still live among narrow interests, with hardly an outlook upon the wide world, past or present. This is to be the slaves of knowledge and not its joyful masters. Let it be said of us as it was of the late Bishop of London, "His was the rare gift of mastering knowledge as his splendid servant, not being himself mastered by it as its weary slave."

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter III The Daemons Of The Intellect

Inertia will not let us begin.––Like the Body, the Mind, too, has his Dæmons. The two which beset Intellect are, first, a sort of sloth or inertia which makes us unwilling to begin to think of anything but the small matters of everyday life. If we will only begin, Intellect bestirs himself, strong and eager for his work:––

           "Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
           What you can do, or dream you can, begin it;
           Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!
           Only engage, and then the mind grows heated;
           Begin it, and the work will be completed."
                                 MARLOWE'S Faust.

We are delighted, and time flies; yet the next time we come to the same fence, Intellect jibs and we have to spur him to the leap; then all goes well. It is well to bear this in mind, because if we give way Intellect will again pull up before a little difficulty.

Habit goes always over the same Ground.––The other Dæmon of Intellect is Habit. Now Habit, as you know, is, whether for body or mind, a good servant and a bad master. It is when he is allowed to play the bad master and override Intellect that he spoils and narrows life. Under Habit, Intellect

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cannot be said to be slothful; he goes briskly enough, but he goes over the same ground, day after day, year in, year out. The course may be a good one and it may be quite necessary to follow it. The mistake is to keep always on the same beaten track. It may be the mechanical round of lessons, without a thought of what it is all about. It may be housekeeping, business, hunting, shooting, dress––things well enough in their way; but to confine Intellect to them is like harnessing a race-horse to a coster's barrow.

We may not stay in one Field of Thought.––Nor is it only the affairs and interests of daily life which deprive the Mind of its proper range of interests and occupations. It is possible for a person to go into any one of the great fields of thought we have considered, and to stay there with steady work and constant delight until he becomes incapable of finding his way into any other of these great fields. The greatest man of science of our age had this misfortune. He lost himself, so to speak, in Science, and in the end he could not read poetry, look at pictures, could not even think upon God, because he could not turn his mind out of the course he had exercised it in all his life. The people who lived when, perhaps, the greatest things were done, the greatest pictures painted, the greatest buildings raised, the greatest discoveries made, were very particular on this point. The same man was an architect and a painter, a sculptor and a poet, and a master of much knowledge besides; and all that he did, he did well; all that he knew was part of his daily thought and enjoyment.

Vasari, his biographer, says of Leonardo da Vinci the great painter:––"Possessed of a divine and marvellous intellect, and being an excellent geome-

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trician, he not only worked at sculpture, . . . but also prepared many architectural plans of buildings, and he was the first, though so young, to propose to utilise the Arno to make a canal from Pisa to Florence. He made designs for mills and other engines to go by water, and as painting was to be his profession, he studied drawing from life."

A Magnanimous Mind.––It is a mistake, perhaps, to think that, to do one thing well, we must just do and think about that and nothing else all the time. It is our business to know all we can and to spend a part of our lives in increasing our knowledge of Nature and Art, of Literature and Man, of the Past and the Present. That is one way in which we become greater persons, and the more a person is, the better he will do whatever piece of special work falls to his share. Let us have, like Leonardo, a spirit 'invariably royal and magnanimous.'

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter IV My Lord Chief Explorer, Imagination

Living Pictures.––My Lord Chief Explorer, Imagination, deserves a more complete introduction than the by-the-way mention he has had as a colleague of Intellect. He is an amazing personage, with power to produce, as we have seen, a procession of living pictures in every region open to Intellect. Great artists, whether they be poets or painters, builders or musicians, have the power of expressing and showing to the rest of us some part, anyway, of the wonderful visions Imagination has revealed to them. But the reason why we enjoy their pictures, their poems, or their tales, is because Imagination does the same sort of thing for all of us, if in a less degree. We all have pictures and poems made for us on the inner curtains of our minds. Little children try to express their visions in their games: they play at events, and often in a very odd way, because they know so little that they make a jumble of facts, call a cow a hyæna, and expect to meet a lion and a tiger in every bit of spinney.

The Cultivated Imagination.––The more we know, the more ordered and the more rich should Imagination become in us. Have you read Feats

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on the Fjord? Miss [[Harriet] Martineau, who wrote the book, never visited Norway, but no one could describe the life on the fjords more vividly than she has done; that is because her Imagination was at home in distant lands, as no doubt it was also in past ages. Have you thought how Sir Walter Scott must have lived, in Imagination, in the different times and scenes he gives us in his books? No wonder people called him a 'Wizard.' In order to have a richly-stored picture-gallery of the Imagination we must read much, and, as the French say, figure to ourselves, as we go on, that which we read.

Imagination must not make Pictures of Self.––Imagination, minister as it should be to the joy and breadth of life, has, alas! its two besetting Dæmons––Self and Sin. There is no one who does not imagine. You are a Princess with golden hair and blue eyes and a long, long train to your silken robe, and the Prince comes, and after great feats of valour which make the world wonder, he kneels before you and asks you to be his bride:––

           "Little Ellie in her smile
           Chooses––'I will have a lover,
           Riding on a steed of steeds:
           He shall love me without guile,
           And to him I will discover
           The swan's nest among the reeds.'

Or you are Prince Valorous himself, and you subdue the Paynim and conquer many lands, and the King places you at his right hand in war and at the feast. These are pretty dreams, and there is not much harm in them, except that, while one dreams, one forgets to do, and life is made up altogether of doing and not at all of dreaming. It is very nice to dream,

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when people have been finding fault with us, that we shall do wonderful and beautiful things––nurse the sick and build palaces for the poor and make gardens of delight for the mother or father who finds fault with us––and to think how everybody will admire us for all our beauty and goodness and cleverness especially those people who have laughed at us; to think, too, how kind we shall be to them and what presents we shall make them, and how sorry they will be that they have not always been polite and kind!

I do not think it is lawful to set Imagination to build us pleasure-houses in this way. In the first place, as I said before, while we are dreaming we are letting all our chances of doing slip by us. In the next place, when we have dreamed ourselves into being some high and mighty personage, ever so good and great, we are very easily affronted; and Imagination leaves off his building tasks to throw stones at our friends. Imagination tells us that 'Mother' does not understand us, does not know half what great persons we are; that 'Father' is not kind, that Lucy or Edward is more noticed than we are, that lessons are hateful, that going for a walk is a bother, that seeing people is a nuisance, that any book but a storybook is dull; and, by degrees, other people find us just what we, in our imagination, have pictured them.

Our best friends have to own that we are dull and disagreeable, peevish and resentful; they say there is no pleasing us, they complain that there is no getting us to join in games or to take any interest in plans. They say we do not try to be pleasant with, or helpful to, anybody. The little ones say we are cross, and do not woo us to play with them, and the big ones think us grumpy

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and let us alone. It is very provoking, because we know that all the time we have beautiful thoughts about what we shall do for every one of them, and the least they can do is to be kind meantime!

How to Exorcise the Dæmon.––But the others are right, and we are wrong. Just ask yourself, who is the chief person in all the pretty pictures you make, in all the plans you form? If you have to confess that you, yourself, are, why, Imagination has just been making pleasure-houses for Self instead of collecting pictures of the great rich world. See about it, in the future, and set this glorious servant to work in his rightful calling. Then you will be a delight to your friends, because you will have much to tell, and will be interested about many things. You will not trouble them or yourself with that peevish, exacting, grudging Self, a tyrant in any home. In fact, you will find so much that is delightful to think about that you will hardly have a moment in which to think about yourself. Turn Self out the moment he intrudes upon any picture of the Imagination. A good plan is to take your Self by the shoulders, look him full in the face and laugh at him for a ridiculous fellow. This is what is called having 'the saving grace of humour,' and people who have it do not make themselves absurd by putting on airs and graces. It is nearly, though not quite, as good when your home people laugh at you and tease you. Learn from their laughing and bear their teasing with good humour.

Living Pictures of Sin.––The second Dæmon of Imagination is Sin. Have you ever heard people say, 'There seems to be quite an epidemic of burglaries' or 'of murders'? They are quite right.

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There is an epidemic of these things. They are catching in a curious way. People read of a crime in the newspapers, they allow their Imagination to dwell upon all the details; the whole thing becomes a living picture which they cannot get rid of, and the end is that they attempt the same sort of crime themselves. That is why it is unwise for anyone to read newspaper accounts of those sorts of things, for even if you are not tempted to do the wickedness, the horrid picture of it remains, once you have allowed your Imagination to paint it for you.

Unclean Imaginings.––There is one kind of sins that we must be especially careful not to take impressions of; once we do so they will haunt us all our lives. These are sins of uncleanness. If people talk of such sins, do not listen; go away and do something. If you come across the mention of such sins in your reading––of the classics, of poetry, of history––learn, as it were, to shut the eyes of your Imagination, or your thoughts will become defiled. Never knowingly read anything or listen to anything which could suggest unclean imaginations. I once visited a young woman who was dying, a nice, good, married woman, and she told me this awful thing. She said her dying bed was made miserable and she could not say her prayers because horrible imaginations of uncleanness came to her. She said she never had thought of such things; but, I suppose, she must have allowed herself to think such thoughts at some time, perhaps many years before, and had forgotten it: but the evil spirit took this dreadful opportunity to remind her of them. Shun all such talk, all such readings, and all such imaginations, more than you would shun the plague.

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Living Pictures of Horrors.––It is not of the nature of sin, but it is very foolish to allow Imagination to make living pictures of horrors, dreadful accidents, falls down precipices, ghosts, and what not. Once make a picture, and there it is, and it may show itself at any moment to torment.

I hear someone whose nature inclines her to such terrors say, 'But how can I help it?' That is really a foolish question about any of the evils we may fall into. Of course we can help them, and to do so is the battle of life. In this particular case the help lies in hurrying away from the thought to think of something else. If such terrors come at night, when you cannot do anything or read anything, you can always think of something else. The last story-book you have read, for instance,––go over the tale in your thoughts.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter V The Beauty Sense

The Dæmon of Exclusiveness.––The Beauty Sense adds so much to the joy of life that it is not easy to see what danger attends it. But, perhaps, Exclusiveness is the Dæmon that waits on a too keen sense of the joy of Beauty, whether in music, painting, one's own surroundings, or even in natural scenery. Exclusiveness gets the ear of the Prime Minister and convinces him that the joys of Beauty are so full and satisfying that nothing else is necessary to complete the happiness of life. In vain does Intellect invite to new fields of research; in vain does good and necessary work present itself; in vain are duties clamorous. The person who is given up to the intoxication of Beauty conceives that Beauty and Goodness are one and the same thing, and that Duty is no more than seeking one's own pleasure in the ways one best likes. People, too, become excluded.

We may not Choose our Lives.––Instead of accepting the relations, friends, and neighbours that God sends us in the course of our lives, the devotee of Beauty chooses for himself, and cares to know only those people whose views of life are the same as

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his own. So with regard to places, he cannot tolerate for a moment things which are unsightly and unlovely, so he does not go where working people and poor people have to live. In the end, he misses the happiness to which the Beauty Sense was meant to minister. For happiness comes of effort, service, wide interests, and, last and least, of enjoyment; and when people put enjoyment, even of beautiful things, in the first place (and indeed in place of all else), they miss the very thing they seek, and become enfeebled in body and fretful and discontented in temper.

A Paradise of Pleasure.––But we need not let fear of evil keep us out of that paradise of pleasure which the Beauty Sense is meant to open for us all. Of two things we must take heed. In the first place, we must not let any better-than-my-neighbour notions get into our heads; and in the next, we must make it our business, as much as in us lies, to bring Beauty to places where it is not. Bearing these two cautions in mind, the Dæmon of Exclusiveness need have no terror for us.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter VI My Lord Chief Attorney-General, Reason

Reason, an Advocate.––I have spoken of my Lord Chief Attorney-General, Reason, as a mere colleague of Intellect; but, indeed, he is a person of great importance in the government of Mansoul––so much so, that he not infrequently gets the entire government into his hands. Reason is a personage of admirable powers and of independent character. If you should ever hear a great lawyer advocating a cause in court, bringing forward one argument after another to prove his point, with masterly clearness, until he brings his hearers to what seems an inevitable conclusion (until the other side pleads), you will have some idea of how Reason behaves. Have you ever watched yourself think? It seems as if another person, a K.C. [King's Counsel; a Barrister] of your own, were bringing forward point after point until you cannot help coming to one conclusion. Do you remember Prospero in Shakespeare's tale of The Tempest? You know how he neglected his duties as ruler, and how his brother, intending to take his life, was the means of his exile, with his child Miranda, on a desolate island.

How we Reason.––I suppose this is the sort of thing his Reason said to him: 'The thinking part

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of man is the most important part of him. It is better to live with thinkers than with everyday people. The greatest thinkers are to be found in books, not in my court. Everyday people can manage the affairs of everyday people. My brother Antonio can govern for me quite as well as I could do it myself, but he cannot read for me and think for me, and give his time to the bettering of his mind for me. These things a man must do for himself. Then there is my child; I should like her also to grow up a thinker. To that end I must prepare myself further to teach her. It is quite evident, considering all these things, that I must give up affairs and devote myself to my books."

Now, it is not that Prospero said all this to himself, but that his Reason said it to him and for him. Every argument is true, though it is not the whole truth; and Prospero's Reason would not have taken this line with him, only that he was already a student and a lover of books, and Reason usually begins with a notion which is already in a person's head.

Let us hear what Antonio's Reason would say to him: "The way my brother, the Duke, neglects his affairs is shameful; the state is going to ruin; everybody does what he likes. He expects me to act for him, but people know I am not the Duke, so I have no power. If he were to die, the dukedom would be mine, and I should do my best to bring things into order again. How his neglected subjects would bless me! Even to tamper with his life would hardly be a crime, because the sufferings of one would be for the good of all. Things get worse and worse every day. It must be done. There is no one to act in this matter but myself. I will do it." Antonio's Reason no doubt hastened thus to supply him with

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arguments to support the ambitious notion he had already secretly entertained.

The Good Man's Reason.––The good man's Reason makes speed to supply him with incontrovertible arguments for the good deed his good heart would incline him to. Thus [John] Howard, the philanthropist, no doubt was convinced by many reasons that the arduous task he set himself was a quite simple, straightforward course. He saw the inside of one prison by chance, and the thought of its horrors worked upon him. Reason would say:––"People do not know that such things take place; someone must tell them. Whoever discovers this shame to the world must first investigate thoroughly. It will not do to speak upon a knowledge of one or two prisons. When the evil is fully known and talked about, and brought before Parliament, no doubt it will be redressed, new laws will be made, and prisoners will be treated like human beings instead of being kept in the state of filth, misery, sickness, and vice in which I find them. Why should not l be the man? The idea has first come to me: that may be my call. I am very delicate, it is true, but a man cannot die better than in doing his duty. I am under a great sorrow, but that sets me free from home ties; and I have money enough for the costs. I will do it. I will give up my life to the task."

Thus, doubtless, this good man's Reason argued for him. But if divine compassion had not put this notion of pity into his heart, you will see how very easily Reason could have adopted an opposite line of argument and brought him to the conclusion that this was not an affair for a single man to undertake, but was a matter for the governments of countries.

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Reason's Part in Good Works and Great Inventions.––Every great work of benevolence for the sick and the helpless, the sorrowful and the ignorant, is the outcome of a chain of arguments which some man's Reason has furnished to him; and his Reason has taken this line because in each case a notion of pity has first come to the man. Every great work, every invention has been reasoned out. Have you ever seen in a museum the trunk of a tree hollowed out by burning, which early man has used for a canoe? It was an immense piece of reasoning, quite as intelligent as that by which Marconi arrived at his great discovery, that led the man, who had never seen a boat of any sort, to work out for himself this means of crossing the waters. You see, he had nothing to go upon: his was the first idea. Where and how he got it we shall consider presently; but his Reason worked the whole thing out for him.

What is Meant by Common Sense.––Most of the simple things we do every day, like cleaning our teeth and brushing our hair, behaving at table, and so on, were reasoned out in the first place––we do not in the least know by whom––and people no longer reason about them, but accept them by what is called Common Sense; that is to say, everybody, or nearly everybody, agrees that certain ways of doing certain things are the best ways. Every now and then a reformer appears who reasons out the old things afresh and comes to a different conclusion, perhaps a right one, perhaps a wrong one. For example, most people's Common Sense decides that we should wear boots or shoes; but a reformer arises and proves by a long chain of arguments that it is

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better to wear sandals; another will say and prove that it is better to go with bare feet; then people have to think again and to use their Reason about things they believed were long ago settled.

Everything we use has been Thought out by Someone.––It is very interesting to look about one in a room or in a street and try to recover for ourselves the chain of reasoning of the man who first made a chair, or a key, or a barrow. Things become much more to us when we remind ourselves that somebody has thought each thing out; and this sort of thinking-out is very delightful. You know this yourself. You say, 'Oh, I have thought of such a good plan; something uncle said put it into my head, and then the whole plan came out quite clear, one step after another.' It may be a plan for a new game, or for building a ship, or for getting plenty of house-room for poor people in towns; but, whatever the notion is, it is joyful and exciting to be quite still and listen, as it were, while Reason does his work and turns out the whole scheme complete before your mind.

It is no wonder many people think that there is nothing greater, in heaven or earth, than human Reason––more surprising in its workings, more searching in its conclusions!

You recollect that revolutionary France deified Reason––set up temples where the Goddess of Reason was worshipped; and the French nation believed that no man was called to do anything but what his own Reason commanded, and that whatever a man's Reason dictated, that he was bound to do. You remember, too, that things, fearful as a nightmare, were done under this reign of Reason,

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which is known in history as the Reign of Terror, though everything that was done was justified by the Reason of the men who did it. There is no longer an acknowledged reign of Reason, but many thoughtful and good people believe that there is no higher authority; that to act according to his own Reason is the best that can be expected of any man.

Good and Sensible Persons come to Opposite Conclusions.––It is quite true that good laws, benevolent enterprises, great inventions, are the outcome of Reason; but you will often be surprised when you hear good people talk and try to convince others of those things of which their own Reason has convinced them. On questions of war and peace and politics, of religion, of education, of public works, of clothing, of food, in fact, upon any and every point, you will find it possible that the Reason of equally good and equally intelligent people will bring them to quite opposite conclusions. That is the cause of all the controversy in the world. People think that they can convince each other by the arguments which their own Reason has accepted. So they could, if the other side were not already convinced by arguments exactly opposite; and upon which side a man is convinced, usually depends upon his own will:––

           "Convince a man against his will,
           He's of the same opinion still";

because we must remember that Reason is each man's own particular servant, and plays on his side, as it were, and convinces him of that which he is inclined to believe.

Reason is not Infallible.––You know it is said that the Pope is infallible––that is, that he cannot be mistaken, and that every decision he makes must be

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a right decision. This is what many people claim for Reason––that it is infallible. But you see at once that if two equally intelligent and equally good persons are intensely convinced by their Reason of two things exactly opposite to one another––as, for example, on the one side that a certain war is the duty of a nation, and, on the other, that this same war is a crime––Reason in both these good men cannot be infallible: one or the other, if not both, must be mistaken. Therefore, seeing that all men, who are not idiots or insane, are endowed with this same power of reasoning, we may conclude that Reason is not infallible, and that certain and fixed conclusions need not be right conclusions, but that all depends upon the notion from which the reasoning begins.

Anarchists.––We have all been saddened by the fact that there are certain men and women in the world who believe it to be their one duty to take the life of some royal person or ruler. These people are called anarchists. Though we all shrink with horror from their crimes, it is not difficult to see the chain of reasoning by which it comes about that they are doing that which is right in their own eyes, however wrong it may be in ours. The word anarchist means without rule; and the object of anarchists is to abolish national rule and government, whether of kingdom or republic. Why? you ask. Because, they say, every man is endowed with Reason; therefore, every man is able to rule himself; therefore, no man should have a ruler placed over him. You see, by this example, how an error of thought may lead to the most terror-striking crimes.

Reason in Mathematics.––Never are the operations of Reason more delightful and more perfect

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than in mathematics. Here men do not begin to reason with a notion which causes them to lean to this side or to that. By degrees, absolute truth unfolds itself. We are so made that truth, absolute and certain truth, is a perfect joy to us; and that is the joy that mathematics afford. Also, there is great joy in standing by, as it were, and watching our own thought work out an intricate problem. There is on record a case of a mathematician who had gone to bed perplexed by a problem, with pencil and paper beside him. He slept, as he believed, soundly all through the night; but, behold, beside him when he awoke, was the problem worked out in the clearest way. He must have done it his sleep.

Reason must be used to Good Purpose.––There are few things that prove the amazing greatness and power of man so much as this gift of Reason; but, like all gifts, this, of Reason, is also a trust to be used to true purpose, but not to be followed as an infallible guide. We may reason about things worthy and about things unworthy. An ill-tempered person goes through a long train of reasoning to prove to himself that he has been injured and has a right to be cross; so does the burglar, to carry out his designs; so does a mischievous and spiteful boy, to play a practical joke. Reason is so absolutely the servant of each of us that we may use him to what ends we please, noble or ignoble, great or small. Remembering that we have a great gift, let us use it in thinking out great matters; and then, some day, the opportunity to think out some great service for the world will be put in our way. The chance of doing nearly always comes when we are ready for it.

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Reason works out a Notion received by the Will, and does not begin it.––"The kettle began it," Dickens says in one of his Christmas tales. Now, the point to be borne in mind is, that Reason does not begin it. Reason goes on with it, and Reason brings it to an end, but Reason does not begin. The beginning, that which sets Reason in motion, is almost always a notion admitted by the Prime Minister, Will. Once admitted, Reason seizes on the notion and runs it through his mill, and it comes out at the end of his processes a finished product. This, you will see, shifts the responsibility of our conclusions from Reason, who works them out, all the way back to Will, who takes in the first notion.

If Will is persuaded to let in a notion because it is an old one, or because it is a new one; because a man he respects thinks so-and-so, or because a man he dislikes thinks the other thing; because it is for his interest to think thus and thus, or because it is for his pleasure, or because it shows him to be a clever fellow, in advance of the rest of the world, to have such a notion; if, for any of these causes or for a hundred others, good or bad, Will is induced to admit a notion, he may tell in advance what his Reason will prove to him: because the business of Reason is rather to prove for us that what we think is right, than to bring us to conclusions which are right in themselves.

You see, therefore, that Reason has no right to speak the last word on most subjects; because to speak the first word does not rest with him, and the last word follows the lead of the first. Your arrival at a right destination does not depend upon your choice of a good road, or upon your journeying at a good pace, but entirely upon your starting in the right direction.

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Why there are Different Schools of Philosophy.––Thinking of these things, and knowing that men cannot help trusting to Reason as one trusts to a skilful and learned advocate, you will not be surprised to know that philosophers, good and earnest men, have proved, conclusively to themselves, that there is no God. Others prove that there is nothing in man that you cannot see or investigate with instruments; in other words, they think that there is nothing but matter in the universe, and that there is no spirit either of God or man. This is less surprising, though perhaps not any more true, than the conclusion which another school of philosophers has worked out; these have been able to prove to themselves that there are no chairs nor tables, no trees, no people; but that what we think we see is really the thought of these things conceived in our minds.

Practice in Reasoning.––Perhaps we shall best use this wonderful power of reasoning, commonly called our Reason, by giving it plenty of work to do, by asking ourselves what is the cause of this and that; why do people and animals do certain things. Reason which is not worked grows sluggish; and there are persons who never wonder nor ask themselves questions about anything they see.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter VII The Lords Of The Exchequer, The Desires (Part 1.)

Mind must be Fed.––We consider the Lords of the Exchequer, the Desires, after the Intellect, because their office is to do for Mind pretty much what the Appetites do for Body. It is as necessary that Mind should be fed, should grow and should produce, as that these things should happen to Body; and, just as Body would never take the trouble to feed itself if it never became hungry, so Mind would not take in what it needs, if it, also, had not certain Desires to satisfy. These gather the funds, as it were, for Mind, so we may amuse ourselves by calling them the Lords of the Exchequer.

The Desire of Approbation.––Have you ever watched a baby with his bricks? When he has managed to set one on end, he turns round to his mother for a smile. The little creature is not happy unless his mother or nurse approve of him. When he crawls up to the window, climbs up by the chairleg, says 'Mam-mam, dad-dad,' he wants a smile for all these things, and if his nurse looks grave and says 'Naughty!' the little face will fall and tears gather. No one has taught Baby to care that his friends should be pleased with him; it is born in him and is just a part of him as a human being, a little Mansoul.

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This Desire of Approbation helps him later to conquer a sum, to climb a hill, to bring home a good report from school; and all the time he is bringing grist to the mill, knowledge to the mind, because the people whose Approbation is worth having care that we should learn and know, conquer our idleness and get habits of steady work, so that our minds may be duly nourished every day as are our bodies.

The Dæmon of Vanity.––This lawful and useful Desire of Approbation has his Dæmons; one of these is known as Vanity. We cannot live and be happy without Approbation, but some boys and girls, men and women, choose to have the approval of the worthless and silly rather than of the wise and good. Some boys would rather talk and show off in a way to make the stable-yard laugh, than work and play in a way to win the approval of their betters. People can be vain and can show off about almost anything––their rich relations, the parties they go to, their clothes, their pocket-knife, their cleverness. But when people show off, like a peacock spreading his tail, it is always in order that somebody whose good opinion is not worth having may think the better of them. Nice boys and girls, nice men and women, think well of us just for doing our best; we know that, and do not think of showing off before them. He is stupid who wants nobody's approval; he is vain who wants the approval of the unworthy.

Fame and Infamy.––Another danger is that a person may allow the desire of approval so to get possession of him that he thinks of nothing else. All his actions, good or bad, come to be done to win notice from other people. He would rather you spoke ill of him than that you did not speak of him

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at all. It is believed that robberies, murders, assassinations, take place at times for the mere sake of infamy, just as deeds of heroism may take place for the sake of fame. Both infamy and fame mean being talked and thought about by a large number of people, and if anyone should allow his natural Desire of Approbation so to possess him that he is always wondering what people will think of him and say of him, he loses that which is far more precious than the respect of others––self-respect, which one can only have when the desires, motives, powers of Mansoul are duly balanced.

The Desire of Excelling.––Another Desire which serves to feed the mind is that of Excelling. If we are learning to skate, we have no peace till we skate as well as a boy we know who learned last winter; then we want to outdo him; then, to skate as well as another better skater; then, to outdo him; and so on, and when we go to bed at night we dream of the day when we shall skate better than anyone in the neighbourhood; nay, we think how glorious it would be to be the very best skater in the whole world. It would seem as if some animals, horses anyway, have this Desire. Do you not know how another horse, in advance, puts yours on his mettle? It is as good as a prick of the spur to quicken his pace. And that is just what this Desire of Excelling does for us; it spurs us on to effort when we are lazy. If another boy read, we choose to read more. If he work at his lessons, we work more; and so, one way or another, the Mind is sustained by the food it needs.

Prizes and Places.––Emulation, or the Desire to Excel, has, like the Desire of Approbation, two

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Dæmons. One is, that people get so much taken up with the Desire of being ahead of some others that they have no time to think of anything else; they do not care two pins about what they learn, it does not interest them; they only want the marks, or prize, the place in class, or what not; and so it happens that his Mind is sometimes so starved by the boy who comes out first that it never afterwards recovers its appetite. History, Literature, Science, cease to interest and cease to be pursued. The whole object of life in such an one is to get ahead of somebody else. In this way Emulation, which was given to us, we may believe, for the nourishment of our Minds and the development of our Bodies, defeats its own ends, and is satisfied only to excel.

Excelling in Things Unworthy.––We may go wrong if we are unduly emulous about things that are right and good in themselves; but also, Emulation, like many another subordinate, may grasp at the whole rule of Mansoul through things unlawful and unworthy. In the old days of hard drinking, the excellence that men desired was, to excel in their power of drinking large quantities of wine at a sitting; to be a 'three-bottle man' was a distinction.

Distinctions as little worthy as this are still sought by boys and girls, men and women. We should each do well to think the matter over and see whether we are giving up our lives to the Desire of Excelling in an unworthy pursuit.

The Desire of Wealth.––The Desire of Wealth is another Desire that everybody has, more or less, and that does useful work in making us eager to acquire things useful and necessary for our lives, whether for our Bodies or our Minds. This same Desire

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moves a small boy to collect pocket-knives, buttons, string and marbles, and moves one rich man to get together a precious collection of great pictures, and another to become a millionaire, though he may not care to spend his money.

Dæmon of Selfishness.––As before, two Dæmons wait upon this natural Desire; one is the Dæmon of Selfishness: once a boy or man allows himself to be so far possessed by the Desire of getting and keeping, whether it be postage stamps or pictures, ornaments or money, that he thinks of nothing else––that this, of getting and keeping, becomes the ruling Desire of his life––why, he simply cannot part with that which has become his treasure; he cannot be generous, and his mind is so preoccupied that he has no time to be kind. His heart is set upon possessions for himself, and he becomes a selfish person. When the Desire of wealth fills the whole of life it becomes Avarice. The person who is always grasping after more wealth is avaricious; and he may come to such a pass that he cannot part with any of his wealth, even for his own bodily needs; such a man is a miser. On the other hand, he who takes pains to acquire as a part of his life, and not the chief part, may get for himself the means of being generous and helpful to other people.

Worthless Wealth.––Another risk is, that one may set oneself to acquire things of no real worth. In a charming French story a noble pair are introduced who spend their lives in hasty journeys. Now they rush off to Palermo––now, to Moscow––again, to Tokio; and what do you suppose for? Because they hear that in this country or that there is a match-box to be found of a kind they have not already got in their collection––a match-box covered with blue paper or

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with brown or yellow––a match-box three inches long or two and a quarter. They do not stop to ask what the distinction of the ugly little box may be, but it differs a little from the rest; so, at any cost of time and trouble, they hasten to possess it. The novelist [Anatole France] is laughing at the craze people have for collections of any sort, worthy or unworthy; and this craze comes of the natural Desire of possessions implanted in Mansoul. But it rests with us that our possessions shall be worthy. Let us begin soon to collect a good library of books that we shall always value, of photographs of the works of the great masters; even of postage stamps, if we take the trouble to interest ourselves in the stamps––ask ourselves, for example, why the present German stamps bear the figure of Germania. No collection which has not an interest for the mind is worth possessing. Take this rule, and when you grow up you will not think that silver plate, for instance, is worth owning for its own sake, but for its antiquity, its associations, or for the beauty of its designs.

The Desire of Power.––Another Desire which stirs in all human breasts is the Desire of Power. All the children in the nursery have this Desire more or less, but the one who has the most of it rules the rest. They play his games, run his errands, let him lord it over them all day long. The people who love power most, get power; but if they are good-natured and kind; helpful and generous, clever and merry, they use their power to keep the rest happy, interested, and amused. Power is a good thing when it gives us many chances of serving; it is a bad thing when all we care about is to rule.

Ambition, the Desire for power, is not quite the

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same thing as Emulation, the Desire to excel. The emulous boy is content to be first; the ambitious boy wishes to lead the rest. I think the ambitious boy is of more use in the world than the emulous, because, if he wants to lead others, he must make himself worthy to take the lead. He must be best, whether he be captain of the school or of the cricket eleven. But let him remember that 'pride comes before a fall.' If he let himself be lifted up because he leads, let him beware! Others care to follow the lead of the dutiful and devoted, but not that of the proud and self-satisfied. The Desire for power, as each of the other Desires, may ruin a life that it is allowed to master. Once man or boy thinks of nothing but taking the lead, he will cease to care whether it be for worthy or unworthy objects. He will as soon head his fellows in riot and disorder as in noble effort in a good cause. Many lives have suffered shipwreck upon the rock of Ambition.

'Managing' People.––There is also a special danger attending the love of power––a danger to others rather than to ourselves. If we are bent upon taking the lead, we do not allow others fair play or a fair chance. We cheat our fellows out of a part of their lives, out of that fair share of power which belongs to them. We grow strong at their expense, and they wax feeble in proportion as we wax great. Few characters are more ignoble than those who are always trying to manage others, always manoeuvring to get power into their own hands. The best way of watching against this evil is to wait always until we have 'greatness thrust upon us.' Let us not take the lead, but wait until it is given to us, and then let us lead for the advancement and help of others rather than for our own.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter VIII The Lords Of The Exchequer, The Desires (Part 2.)

The Desire of Society.––Another Desire common to all people is the Desire to be together. We all want company, neighbours, friends, acquaintances. Little children love to play with other little children in the street; you see half a dozen little creatures of two years old or so toddling about together, talking their baby talk, and taking much pleasure in one another. The great joy of going to school is to be with other boys and girls of about the same age and standing. Young men have their clubs, men and women have parties; men of little or no education will hang about together, if they seldom speak, and people of certain savage nations will sit in silent circles by the hour. The same reason is at work in them all; all have the Desire of Society. We want to see each other's faces, to hear each other's voices, to give pleasure to, and receive pleasure from, each other.

We learn from Society.––In this way we learn, for most people have things to say that it is good to hear; and we should have something to produce from our own stores that will interest others––something

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we have seen or heard, read or thought. When our late beloved Queen was a young girl, many interesting people were introduced to her that she might talk with them––great travellers, men of science, inventors, soldiers, sailors. She had already read and thought about the subject each was interested in, so she was able to converse with them with pleasure and profit both to herself and to them. If you know something of botany, a botanist will care to talk to you about his subject; something of history, a historian will do the same. If you know nothing of his subject, you may be in company with the greatest poet or adventurer or painter, and be able to talk only about the weather. This is well understood among royal and other great people, who, it is said, get most of their knowledge at first hand. They learn about recent discoveries in astronomy from the astronomer who is engaged upon them, about evolution from such an one as Darwin, and so on. We are sometimes inclined to envy the great their opportunities for first-hand information; but let us remember that to profit by the talk of even the most able persons implies a twofold preparation which princes and their like acquire at a cost of diligent labour that would surprise most young people. They bring two things as their share of the talk––cultivated and intelligent minds, and a pretty thorough knowledge of a great range of subjects. With the same equipment we, too, should make the most of our opportunities of talk, and it seems to me that people always get what they are really ready for. I am not sure that this is a rule of God's providence, but, so far as I can find out, it holds good. Anyway, it is worth while to be ready for the best in conversation as in other things, and then this natural

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Desire will do its devoir in collecting sustenance for the mind.

But it is not only from the best and ablest we may learn. I have seen ill-bred people in a room, and even at table, who had nothing to say because they did not think their neighbour worth talking to, whereas, if they could only get speech with So-and-so, whom they watch from a distance, how their words would flow! This is not only unmannerly and unkind, but is foolish, and a source of loss to themselves. Perhaps there is no one who has not some bit of knowledge or experience, or who has not had some thought, all his own. A good story is told of Sir Walter Scott, how he was travelling from London to Edinburgh by the stage-coach, and sharing the box-seat with him was a man who would not talk. He tried the weather, crops, politics, books, every subject he could think of––and we may be sure they were many. At last, in despair, he turned round with, "Well, what can you talk about, sir?" "Bent leather," said the man; and, added Sir Walter, "we had one of the most interesting conversations I remember." Everybody has his 'bent leather' to talk about, if we have the gift to get at it.

Dangers attending the Love of Society.––Two dangers attend the love of society: one belongs especially, as I said before, to the vain person who will, at all costs, be flattered, and therefore chooses his friends among those who are inferior to himself and who will make believe to look up to him and make much of him. The other danger attending the love of society is that which belongs to each of our natural desires. It is that this craving should take possession of our whole

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lives, and get the mastery over Mansoul. 'There is no harm in it,' says the woman at the cottage door, gossiping with her neighbour; so says the girl, who chances on her friends in the morning, plays tennis in the afternoon, and goes out in the evening––is, in fact, all day chattering here and there, with nothing to show for it. There are those who are so busy running hither and thither, seeing and being seen, talking and being talked to, that they are the veriest beggars as regards their own thoughts and resources. This is a sort of shipwreck of life which people do not lament over as they do when a man drinks or falls into some other flagrant vice; but the shipwreck is perhaps just as complete, though not so unpleasant to the person's friends.

Society, a Banquet, at which all Provide.––Society, if it be only a chat between two or three acquaintances, is a banquet to which each of the company must bring something. Young people often find this trying, because they feel they have nothing to say unless to one or two people with whom they are intimate. Let them take comfort; intelligent listening is a very good viand for this table, and, what is more, a viand to everybody's taste. There are more people who can talk than who can listen. I daresay you have been amused in watching groups of talkers to notice that everyone is talking at once and nobody listening. To listen with all one's mind is an act of delicate courtesy which draws their best out of even dull people.

People of little culture can talk only to their own set or to their own particular 'chums.' 'Horsey' men have nothing to say except to 'horsey' men; 'doggy' boys except to 'doggy' boys; school-boys

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to school-boys; school-girls to school-girls; soldiers to soldiers, and sailors to sailors. This is natural enough, for, says the proverb, 'birds of a feather flock together'; but it is not wise, for it is choosing to live in our own particular paddock instead of taking our share in the interests of the great world.

The Desire of Knowledge.––I have left till last the Desire which truly is to the Mind as Hunger is to the Body, that is, the Desire of Knowledge. Everybody wants to know, but some people wish to know things worthy, and others, things unworthy. The Desire of unworthy knowledge is commonly called Curiosity. 'Where did you buy it?' 'How much did it cost?' 'What did she say?' 'Who was there?' 'Why are they not on good terms?' and so on, are the sort of questions that Curiosity asks. It seems harmless enough to satisfy oneself with scraps of news about this notable person and the other, a murderer or a millionaire, a statesman or a soldier, a great lady or a dancing-girl––Curiosity is agape for news about any or all of them. Curiosity is eager, too, to know and to tell the latest news about wireless telegraphy, motor cars, and what not. The real, and not spurious, Desire for knowledge would lead a person from the marvels of wireless telegraphy to some serious study of electricity; but Curiosity is satisfied to know something about a matter, and not really to know it.

Curiosity and the Desire of Knowledge.––Just as sweets and tarts satisfy Hunger, while they do very little to sustain life, so Curiosity satisfies the mind with the tit-bits it gathers, and the person who allows himself to be curious has no Desire for real knowledge. This is a pitiable misfortune, because

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every human being has a natural Desire to explore those realms open to intellect of which I have already spoken. Upon the knowledge of these great matters––History, Literature, Nature, Science, Art––the Mind feeds and grows. It assimilates such knowledge as the body assimilates food, and the person becomes what is called magnanimous, that is, a person of great mind, wide interests, incapable of occupying himself much about petty, personal matters. What a pity to lose sight of such a possibility for the sake of miserable scraps of information about persons and things that have little connection with one another and little connection with ourselves!

Emulation and the Love of Knowledge.––The love of Knowledge, the noblest of our Desires, is in danger of being pushed out and deprived of its due share in the ordering of Mansoul if any one of the other Desires I have named gets the upper hand. This is especially the case when Emulation takes the place of the love of Knowledge. People employ themselves about Knowledge, about Mathematics, Poetry, History, in a feverish, eager way, not at all for the love of these things, but for the sake of prize or place, some reward bestowed on Emulation. But Knowledge has her own prizes, and these she reserves for her lovers. It is only in so far as Knowledge is dear to us and delights us for herself that she yields us lifelong joy and contentment. He who delights in her, not for the sake of showing off, and not for the sake of excelling others, but just because she is so worthy to be loved, cannot be unhappy. He says, 'My mind to me a kingdom is'––and, however unsatisfactory things are in his outer life, he retires into that kingdom and is entertained and delighted by the

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curious, beautiful, and wonderful things he has stored within.

'Marks' and Knowledge.––Many boys and girls take pleasure in going to school, not for the sake of what they learn there, but for the sake of the marks which give them places above certain of their classmates. They should understand that marks and places and the power to pass examinations is all they get. As Mr. Ruskin has said, "They cram to pass, and not to know; they do pass; and they don't know." Knowledge, as an abiding joy, comes only to those who love her for her own sake, and not to those who use her to get on in school or in life.

All Persons have Powers of Mind.––There is much more to be said about the House of Mind, but perhaps this is enough to go on with for the present. Probably you are aware, in hearing of Intellect, Imagination, the Beauty Sense, the Desires, and the rest, of a feeling of wondering interest and surprise to recognise that all these things are a part of you, your very self. Still more interesting and surprising it is to know that these amazing powers and possibilities belong, more or less, to every little urchin we meet in the street. I say, more or less, because the greater the powers and qualities of mind possessed by our parents, grandparents, and far-removed ancestors, the greater will our own probably, but by no means certainly, be. But, excepting in the sad case of idiots, there never was a child born into the world, of civilised or of savage parents, who did not come gifted with all these great possibilities in some degree. What a reason have we here for doing whatever in us lies towards giving every person in the world the chance of being

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all that he came into the world provided and intended to be!

The Ordering of our Thoughts.––We need not carry this little bit of knowledge about ourselves like a pack on our back. Once one knows a thing, it comes to mind when it is wanted, and is not a burden to think of all the time. You are not always thinking 'If I put my finger in the fire, it will be burnt,' but you know that is the case, and so do not do a foolish thing. In the same way, if you know the effect of caring for marks only, you endeavour to throw your mind and interest into your work for its own sake; so, far from being a burden, this knowledge will at once make work become delight. A king's palace is no more trouble to him than a labourer's cottage, to him, though the king knows of all the treasures his palace contains, and how they are to be safeguarded, used, and enjoyed; but the needful arrangements are made, and all goes on without further thought on his part. So with us in this matter of ordering our thoughts, for that is all it comes to. To know that we must order our thoughts; that we can do so; and how and when to interfere with the career of these same thoughts, is not the whole, but, I believe, it is half, the battle.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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PART III––The House Of Heart

Lords Of The Heart: I. Love

Chapter I The Ways Of Love

The Lords of the House.––As Mansoul comes into the world with Rulers in his House of Mind, which are also powers of delight, so does he come with Rulers in his House of Heart, whose office is to bring him happiness; and, as no one was ever happy by himself, to cause him to bring happiness to others. The two great Lords and high officials of the House of Heart are Love and Justice.

Love.––Love, like a king, has his Lords in Waiting––Pity, Benevolence, Sympathy, Kindness, Generosity, Gratitude, Courage, Loyalty, Humility, Gladness. Have you ever thrown a stone into the water and watched the circles about it spread? As a matter of fact, they spread to the very shores of the pond or lake or sea into which you have thrown the stone; more, they affect the land on the further side. But those distant circles become so faint that they are imperceptible, while those nearest the point where you have thrown in the stone are clearly marked. So it is with our Love. It is as if, in the first place,

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our home were the stone thrown in to move our being; and from that central point the circle of our love widens until it embraces all men. No one, excepting our Lord Jesus Christ, ever knew how much he could love, or how much he could do for Love's sake; but the soldier who goes into the thick of the fight to rescue his comrade, at the risk of his own life; the mother who watches her sick child, and would give her life many times over to save it from suffering; the nurse who spends herself, body and soul, in ministering to the sick,––these know just a little of how much love there is in the human heart.

Counterfeit Loves––Self-Love.––There are many counterfeit loves going about ready to take possession of the House of our Heart and to expel the lawful lord. We know what it is to be exacting, selfish, jealous, with those dearest to us, even with our own mothers, and we call it love. So it is; but it is Self love, the poorest and lowest form of Love; but a Love which is lawful and necessary, or we should not take care of our own lives, property, or interests at all. We cannot do without Self-love, or we should become a burden and trouble to other people; but the person who loves himself only, looks only, or chiefly, after his own interests, pleasures and profits, is branded by the world as a selfish person, His mind is so full of his own feelings and affairs that he has little time to think about those of other persons. He gives little love, and he deserves to get as little; but the sad thing is, that perhaps he has a mother or sister, a wife or a friend, who pours great love out upon him and suffers at his hands. It is a comfort that the one who loves, in such a case, and not he who takes the

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love and makes no return, is really the happier; for it is they who love, rather than they who are beloved, who live every day in the kingdom of God. There is a kind of selfishness not so easily found out as that of the person who is always looking after his own interests and pleasures, that is, the selfishness of the person who is continually making claims on those who love him. He wants their time, their thoughts, all their attention, their company; and is irritable, offended, jealous, if he does not get the attention and affection he demands. He thinks it is because he loves this or that friend so dearly, but it is, in truth, because he loves himself that neither mother nor friend can give him all the love and consideration he seems to himself to deserve.

Philandering.––There is another counterfeit of Love whose satisfaction lies in kissing, caressing, touching, being always with the person beloved at the moment. I say, at the moment, because, though these expressions may belong, in their right measure and at their right time, to true Love, they do not in themselves constitute Love or necessarily belong to it, and some people go through life philandering, now with one person, now with another, in the indulgence of this spurious, rather animal affection, which is not sustained by any of the signs of true Love.

Love is a pearl of price which every heart holds; but, as many people pass counterfeits upon themselves and upon their friends, it is well that we should know how to recognise the jewel when we see it, and above all when we feel, or think we feel it.

Love delights in the Goodness of Another.––Love delights in the person who is beloved. Now it is natural to us to delight in that which is good; the

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hearts of the most savage and degraded have many times been conquered in this way. They have seen lives of goodness, unselfishness, and beauty lived before them from day to day; they have watched such lives with delight because ' 'tis their nature to,' and at last they have given their heart's love and reverence to the person whose goodness has been their joy. It is not merely that that person has been good to them; perhaps they have never had a word or look all to themselves, but they have watched, pondered, and loved. Some day, perhaps, we shall know the history of the soldier heroes, the missionary heroes, the saints, who have done good just because they were good. Now, we know only a few here and there,––St. Francis of Assisi, Elizabeth Fry, General Gordon; but, whenever we learn that people have been raised out of degradation, in countries savage or civilised, we may be sure that it is because someone has lived a blessed life before their eyes. Therefore, I say that Love delights before all things in the goodness of the person beloved, and would not, for any price, make his friend less loving to all, less dutiful, less serviceable. To influence his friend towards unworthy ways would seem to Love like burning his own house about his head.

Seeks the Happiness of his Friend.––Again, Love seeks the happiness of the beloved, and shrinks from causing uneasiness to his friend by fretful or sullen tempers, jealousy or mistrust.

Seeks to be Worthy.––Love seeks to be worthy of his friend; and as the goodness of his friend is his delight, so he will himself grow in goodness for the pleasure of his friend.

Desires to Serve.––Once more, Love desires to

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give and serve; the gifts and the service vary with the age and standing of the friends; the child will bring the gift of obedience, the parent may have to offer the service of rebuke, but the thought of service is always present to Love. "Love not in word, neither in tongue," says the Apostle, "but in deed and in truth"; that is, perhaps, "Do not rest content with the mere expression of love, whether in word or caress, but show your love in service and in confidence"; for the love that does not trust is either misplaced or unworthy. Love has other signs, no doubt, but these are true of all true love, whether between parent and child, friend and friend, married lovers, or between those who labour for the degraded and distressed and those for whom they labour. Let us notice the word degradation: it is literally to step from, to step down, and it is really a word of hope, for if it is possible to step down, it is also possible to step up again. All the great possibilities of Love are in every human heart, and to touch the spring, one must give Love.

Aversion.––But in every Mansoul, our own and all others, there are the opposed possibilities, what we have called the dæmons of the qualities. We are all capable of warmth, liking, friendliness, love; and we are all capable of coldness, dislike, aversion, hatred. Punch's old joke "'E's a stranger; let's 'eave 'arf a brick at 'im," gives us the key to a great deal of our coldness and aversion. It is commonly because we do not know people that we dislike them; and the way to get over such dislike is to think about the person disliked, to try to realise him from his own point of view; thus we shall find much in him that awakens friendly feelings. Hatred is an unusual feeling, and

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generally arises from the resentment of injuries. Let us remember that the one petition in the Lord's Prayer to which a condition is attached is, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us." We have it not in us in our own strength to forgive. It is only in the Love and the presence of God that we can forgive injuries, and when we forgive, we love.

Before we think of the particular manifestations of Love, we will consider the blessed presences whom we have called his Lords in Waiting.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter II Love's Lords In Waiting: Pity

Knights and Ladies of Pity.––Have you seen a baby stroke the face of his nurse to cure her pain, or fondle his kitten and say 'Poor!' after treading on its tail? That is because there is a little well of Pity in every baby's heart. To be sure, baby will pull the kitten's tail to see what will happen, but that is only because he wants to know. Convince him of hurt, and he is sad and says 'Poor!' A little girl will come home and cry by herself about a strange dog she has seen beaten; Pity wells up into her eyes, and tears. I know a little girl who never could stand the story of Joseph in the pit. Little boys are sometimes too dignified to cry, but they will run away from a 'sorry' story or a 'sorry' sight because they know what would happen if they stayed. When people are older, they have too much self-control to cry; but, when they see suffering, sorrow and pain, they too have a pain in their hearts, the pain of Pity. The work of Pity in our hearts seems to be to stir us up to help those who suffer. Many tender hearts have been and are so consumed with Pity that they give up their whole lives to the comfort and help of sufferers. You know the story of that Knight of Pity,

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Father Damien, who gave up all that was pleasant in this life that he might take the comfort of God to the poor souls on that leper-island in the Pacific; or, of that Mr. E. J. Peck, 'the loneliest man in His Majesty's dominions,' who left his family that he might witness of the warm love of God to the Arctic dwellers of Greenland. Indeed, if one thinks long and much about any sufferers, until their distress becomes real to us, we have a sick pain at our hearts until we can give them help. It is because they have in this way taken thought of suffering that the noble army of martyrs, thousands and thousands of them all over the world, give up everything in life that they may serve the suffering. Sometimes such a Knight or Lady of Pity will work and watch day and night for one sufferer, and sometimes many will share the pitiful heart. Sometimes strangers, and sometimes one's own father or mother, sister or child, will require and will get the service of a lifetime. Many, very many, suffer in this happy yet sorrowful world; but, thank God, many also pity.

Idle Pity.––I have said that help is the office of Pity; but there are people who like to enjoy the luxury of Pity without taking the real pain and trouble of helping. They say, 'How sad!' and will even shed tears over a sorrowful tale, but will not exert themselves to do anything to help the sufferer. Indeed, on the whole, they would rather pity imaginary people who need no help, and it gives them pleasure to cry over a sad tale in a book or play. The tears of such people, who are rather pleased with themselves because they think they have 'feeling hearts' are like the water of certain springs in the limestone which have the property of coating soft substances

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with stone. Every movement of pity which does not lead to an effort to help goes to form a heart of stone. There are none so difficult to move to help as those who allow themselves the luxury of idle pity.

Self-Pity.––There is another class of persons in whom Pity is strong and ever-active; but all their pity is given to one object, and neither sorrow, pain, nor any other distress outside of that object has power to move them. These are the people who pity themselves. Any cause of pity is sufficient and all-absorbing. They are sorry for themselves because they have a headache, because they have a toothache, or because they have not golden hair; because they are lovely and unnoticed, or because they are lanky and unlovely; because they have to get up early, or because breakfast is not to their mind; because brother or sister has some pleasure which they have not, or because someone whose notice they crave does not speak to them, or, speaking, says, 'Make haste,' or 'Sit straight,' or some other form of 'Bo to a goose!' Such things are not to be borne, and the self-pitiful creature goes about all day with sullen countenance. As he or she grows older you hear of many injuries from friends, much neglect, much want of love, and, above all, want of comprehension, because the person who pities himself is never 'understood' by others. Even if he is a tolerably strong person he may become a hypochondriac, with a pain here, and a sensation there, which he will detail to his doctor by the hour. The doctor is sorry for his unhappy patient, and knows that he suffers from a worse malady than he himself imagines; but he has no drugs for Self-pity, though he may give bottles of coloured water and bread pills to humour his patient. You are inclined to laugh at

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what seems to be a morbid, that is, diseased, state of mind; but, indeed, the Dæmon of Pity, Self-pity, is an insidious foe. Many people, apparently strong and good, have been induced by him to give up their whole lives to brooding over some real or fancied injury. No tenant of the heart has alienated more friends or done more to banish the joys of life.

Our Defences.––Our defence is twofold. In the first place, we must never let our minds dwell upon any pain or bodily infirmity; we may be sick and pained in our bodies, but it rests with ourselves to be well and joyous in our minds; and, indeed, many great sufferers are the very hearth of their homes, so cheerful and comforting are they. Still more careful must we be never to go over in our minds for an instant any chance, hasty, or even intended word or look that might offend us. A spot no bigger than a halfpenny may blot out the sun of our friends' love and kindness, of the whole happiness of life, and shut us up in a cold and gloomy cell of shivering discontent. Never let us reflect upon small annoyances, and we shall be able to bear great ones sweetly. Never let us think over our small pains, and our great pains will be easily endurable.

The other and surer way of guarding ourselves from this evil possession is to think about others. Be quick to discern their pains and sufferings, and be ready to bring help. We cannot be absorbed in thinking of two things at the same time, and if our minds are occupied with others, far and near, at home and abroad, we shall have neither time nor inclination to be sorry for ourselves.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter III Love's Lords In Waiting: Benevolence

"Reform the World, or bear with it."––It is usual to speak as if Benevolence meant nothing more than the giving of money or other help to persons in distress; but it is possible to give a great deal of such help without being benevolent, and to be benevolent without giving much material help. To be benevolent is to have goodwill towards all men. The wise emperor, Marcus Aurelius, described the lowest form of Benevolence when he said, "Men are born to be serviceable to one another; therefore either reform the world, or bear with it!" The very least we can do for the world is to bear with it; the world, in this case, being the people in it who are, for any reason, disagreeable to us. But Benevolence makes us able, not only to bear with the people who annoy us and irritate us, but to give them sincere and hearty liking. Perhaps there is nobody whom we should not be able to love if we really knew him, because all persons are born with the beautiful qualities of mind and heart we have spoken of, in a greater or less degree; and though the beauty of a person's nature may be like a gem buried under a dust-heap, it is always possible to remove the dust and recover the gem. A debased criminal has, possibly, a wife who loves him––not

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because she loves his baseness, but because she sees the possibilities of beauty in him.

His Faults are not the whole of a Person.––The benevolent perceive that obvious and unpleasant faults are no more compared with the whole human being than his spots are compared with the sun; so they have no difficulty in bearing with faults, or, what is better, trying to correct them; and at the same time giving just the same hearty liking or love to the person as if those faults were not present. This is the sort of Benevolence that parents show to their children, that brothers and sisters show to one another, that is due from friend to friend, from neighbour to neighbour, and, in a gradually widening circle, to all the people we come in contact with, or whose works and ways are brought before us. Benevolence does not use strong language about the joiner when he comes across a door that will not shut or a window that will not open. He knows that the joiner is at bottom a fine fellow, who has probably not been put in the way of making the best of himself, and so is content with slipshod work. Therefore the gaping door and immovable window stir Benevolence up to bring better thoughts before people generally, so that other joiners may turn out better work.

The Affairs of Goodwill.––You will observe that Benevolence is by no means a lazy Lord of the Bosom. He can put up with things done amiss, and with manners that displease him, but he cannot possibly let the people alone who behave amiss. He likes them too well to endure that they should spoil themselves by this or the other failing. He cannot endure either that people should grow up in ignorance, or that there should be sickness or suffering or friendlessness in

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the world; therefore his hands and heart are always busy with some labour of help.

Benevolence thus has many functions, but wherever his countenance turns he presents the same aspect. Benevolence is always gracious, simple, pleasant and accessible, because he so heartily likes all men and women, boys and girls. He is indefatigable too, because, with so many friends who have so many needs, there is much for him to do; but all that he does gives him pleasure, so it is easy for him to smile as he goes.

The Foes of Goodwill.––What a blessed world we should have if the spring of Benevolence had free play in every human heart! But a whole troop of dæmons obstruct every movement of this beneficent Lord. There is Fastidiousness, which finds offence in all ways which are not exactly our own ways. There is Exigeance, on the watch to resent slight or trespass, however small or unintentional. Censoriousness is at hand to blame without thought of improving. Selfishness is ready to occupy the whole field of the heart, so that no corner of space is left for all those concerns of other people with which Benevolence is engaged. Slothfulness is there to simulate Goodwill with that easy Good-nature which takes matters pleasantly so long as it is not required to take trouble about anything. Tolerance is that form of Good-nature which is as easy with regard to other people's opinions as Good-nature is with regard to their actions. To tolerate, or bear with, the principles and opinions which rule the lives of others is the part of Indifference and not of Goodwill. Candour, fair-mindedness to other people's thoughts, is what Benevolence offers.

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The Peace of Good-will.––Benevolence has so many functions that we can only notice a few of them; but it is well we should know that it means at least an active and general Goodwill. When we realise this, the angelic message––"Peace on earth and Goodwill towards men of Goodwill"––will carry some meaning for us.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter IV Love's Lords In Waiting: Sympathy

Sympathy with One, a Key to All.––Sympathy is a Lord of the Bosom who is rather unfairly treated. He is made to adopt a sentimental character and go about the world wiping tears and soothing distresses; and this is supposed to be the whole of his work. But Sympathy is comprehension; and he reaps harvests of joy for himself, though occasionally he must sorrow. For to understand one human being so completely that you feel his feelings and think his thoughts is really like gaining possession of a new world; it is gaining the power of living in another's life. It is as if the heart got room to expand, and one began to understand the large life of the angels of God. Occasionally we have an almost perfect sympathy with one person, and we allow it to become exclusive; we know that one to the exclusion of all others; but that is turning to selfish uses a gift meant for the general good. Each trait we know in one person should be to us as a key wherewith to open the natures of others. If we find that it is possible to wound one person with a word, beat one person with a look, let that knowledge make us tender and delicate in our dealings with all people; for how do we know

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how much power we have to hurt? If we know one person who grows pale at a lofty thought, whose tears come at the telling of a heroic action, let us learn, from that, that these are the thoughts and actions which have power to move us all; therefore, we must give freely of our best, without the supercilious notion that So-and-so would not understand. If music, poetry, art, give us joy, let us not hesitate to present these joys to others; for, indeed, those others are all made in all points like as we are, though with a different experience. The orator whose Sympathy is awake appeals to the generosity, delicacy, courage, loyalty of a mixed mob of people; and he never appeals in vain. His Sympathy, his comprehension, has discerned all these riches of the heart in the unpromising crowd before him; and, like Ariel released from his tree prison, a beautiful human being leaps out of many a human prison at the touch of this key.

A Lever to Raise.––Sympathy is an eye to discern, a lever to raise, an arm to sustain. The service to the world that has been done by the great thinkers––the poets and the artists––and by the great doers––the heroes––is, that they have put out feelers, as it were, for our Sympathy. A picture or poem, or the story of a noble deed, 'finds' us, we say. We, too, think that thought or live in that action, and, immediately, we are elevated and sustained. This is the sympathy we owe to our fellows, near and far off. If we have anything good to give, let us give it, knowing with certainty that they will respond. If we fail to give this Sympathy, if we regard the people about us as thinking small, unworthy thoughts, doing mean, unworthy actions, and incapable of better things, we reap our reward. We are really, though we are not

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aware of it, giving Sympathy to all that is base in others, and thus strengthening and increasing their baseness: at the same time we are shutting ourselves into habits of hard and narrow thinking and living.

Virtue goes out of us.––This greater office of Sympathy, this power to see, to elevate and to sustain, must not be lost sight of when it is the sorrow, anxiety, or suffering of another which calls it forth. We must see the calamity as the sufferer sees it, feel it as he feels it, if in less degree; we must suffer, also, or we have nothing to give. It was said of our Lord that 'virtue went out of Him' when He healed; and it is only as virtue––that is, our manhood, our strength, our life––goes out of us, that we have power to help and heal.

A Spurious Sympathy.––There is a spurious sympathy which is very popular with those who give and those who take; indeed, it is a bid for popularity. The sympathiser sees, but does not see deep enough. He sees that the egotism of the sufferer may be comforted in much the same way as an unwise nurse will comfort a child who has knocked his head against the table. 'Naughty table!' says nurse, and whips the table. Just so does the would-be sympathiser reproach the cause of suffering and enfeeble the sufferer by weak pity, leading him to pity himself. Self-pity is perhaps the last misfortune that can fall upon any man; and it is a degradation of sympathy when it goes to make the sufferer aware of himself, and not to raise him out of himself. The hardness which attempts to brace him without sharing his suffering is hardly worse than this spurious sympathy; and it does less harm, because the false ring of it is more easily discerned.

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Tact.––'Tact' is almost another form of the word sympathy; both words employ the sense of touch to figure our perception of one another. Tact perceives where a word will grate, where a gesture would irritate, where words of sympathy are obtrusive, where a smile and a kindly look are better than a spoken word. Tact is commonly the result of good breeding; but the truest tact is an expression of sympathy which perceives what is going on in another mind. Perhaps, to Tact belong the lesser things of Sympathy, the active interest of co-operation in the pursuits and hobbies of the people we live with, the passive interest of a ready ear. An attentive and deferential listener performs some of the highest offices of Sympathy; he raises and sustains the person to whom he listens, increases the self-respect of him who has done something, or seen something, or suffered something, which he wishes to tell. This is true service, because we all, 'even the youngest,' think too little of ourselves; and for that reason have not the courage of that which is possible to us.

Dæmons attending this Lord of Virtue.––We cannot detail all the offices of Sympathy, but must consider a few of the Dæmons attending this Lord of Virtue. Chief of these, and entirely fatal, is the self-occupation born of egotism. He whose eye is fixed upon himself, his rights and his needs, his desires and his requirements, his powers or his weaknesses, his successes or his failures, his worth or his unworthiness, has no more room for sympathy within him than a full goblet has for wine. The passive manifestation of egotism is Indifference; among its active forms are credulous and solicitous Vanity, Dislike, Antipathy.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter V Love's Lords In Waiting: Kindness

          "That best portion of a good man's life,
          His little, nameless, unremembered acts
          Of kindness and of love."––
                    ––WORDSWORTH.

It is interesting that a great poet should place little forgotten acts of kindness first in order of merit in the acts of a good man's life. Kindness, also, is a born Lord of the Bosom: I have known a little person, not old enough to talk, draw forward a chair and pat it for the visitor to sit down; the untutored savage has impulses of kindness.

Kindness makes Life Pleasant for Others.––The law of Kindness is universal. One would think at first sight that Pity, Benevolence, Sympathy, should cover the whole field; and that, with these present, the office of Kindness is but a sinecure in the House of Heart. But there is a curious principle in human nature, best described perhaps as vis inertiæ, which makes even the benevolent, pitiful, and sympathetic person slow to do the little everyday things about which Kindness concerns himself. The office of Kindness is simply to make everyday life pleasant and comfortable to others, whether the others be our pets which we feed and attend to, our dog which we

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play with and take for a scamper, our horse which we not only feed and care for, but cheer and encourage with friendly hand and friendly word, or our family and neighbours, rich and poor, who offer a large field for our Kindness. The kind person is described by various epithets: he is called courteous or thoughtful, obliging or considerate, according as he shows his kindness by refraining or speaking, by his manner, his regard, his words, his acts.

The Kindness of Courtesy.––-We English people are rather ready to think that it does not much matter how we behave, so long as our hearts are all right; and some of us miss our chance of doing, the Kindness of Courtesy, and adopt a hail-fellow-well-met manner, which is a little painful and repellent, and therefore a little unkind. We miss, too, the courtesies of gesture; it is good in a German or Danish town to see one errand-boy raise his hat to another, or school-boy to school-boy, or porter to laundress, without any sense of awkwardness; but in these matters we have got into a national bad habit. In this field, perhaps, the rich and the poor meet together, because there is not in either an unconscious struggle after social status which does not belong to them, and so both can afford to be simple, considerate, gracious, and courteous to all who come in their way.

Simplicity.––Simplicity is the special quality of Kindness; people can be kind only when all their thoughts are given to the person or creature they are kind to, and when there is no backward glance to see how the matter affects self. A great deal has been said and written about Kindness, about slippers and footstools, and gifts of flowers, and much besides. There is even a movement to make children

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kind by counting up how many kind things they do in the course of each day; but that spoils all; the essence of acts of Kindness is that they should be unremembered. Of course, we never mention a kindness we have done, whether to the person concerned or to other people; but chiefly let us beware that we do not say to ourselves, 'I have done this and that for So-and-so, and now see how he serves me!' or think that, if we receive a kindness, we can blot it out, so to say, by conferring a favour. Worse still is the notion that having been kind to another gives us a right to expect great things from that other, and to be ungracious and disagreeable if the claims we set up do not seem to be recognised. But these pitfalls are escaped when Kindness is simple, and we do not even know that we are being kind; it is not only our gifts to the poor that are covered by our Lord's precept, "Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand doeth."

Everyone wants to be kind––

          "Man is dear to man! the poorest poor
          Long for some moments in a weary life,
          When they can know and feel that they have been
          Themselves, the fathers and the dealers-out
          Of some small blessings; have been kind to such
          As needed kindness."
                    ––WORDSWORTH.

Kindness in Construction.––But the greatest, sweetest, most generous kindnesses perhaps that of which we take least thought; I mean kindness in construction. There are always two ways of understanding other people's words, acts, and motives; and human nature is so contradictory that both ways may be equally right; the difference is in the construction

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we put upon other people's thoughts. If we think kindly of another's thoughts––think, for example, that an ungentle action or word may arise from a little clumsiness and not from lack of kindness of heart––we shall probably be right and be no more than fair to the person concerned. But, supposing we are wrong, our kind construction will have a double effect. It will, quicker than any reproof, convict our neighbour of his unkindness, and it will stir up in him the pleasant feelings for which we have already given him credit. Of all the causes of unhappiness, perhaps few bring about more distress in the world than the habit, which even good people allow themselves in, of putting an ungentle construction upon the ways and words of the people they live with. This habit has another bad effect, especially upon young people, who are greatly influenced by the opinion of their fellows. They think So-and-so will laugh at them for doing a certain obliging action, so they refrain from following the good impulses of a good heart. Kindness which is simple thinks none of these things, nor does it put evil constructions upon the thoughts that others may think in the given circumstances. "Be ye kind one to another" is not an easy precept, but––

          "All worldly joys go less
          To the one joy of doing kindnesses."
                    ––HERBERT.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter VI Love's Lords In Waiting: Generosity

Generous Impulses common to all the World––At first sight it seems as if Generosity were not a Lord in every bosom, but ruled only the noblest hearts; but this is not the fact. When all England goes mad with joy because little Mafeking is relieved, when everybody forgets private cares, schemes, worries, annoyances, even hunger and cold and bodily need, being warmed and fed, as it were, by a public joy, or softened and made tender by a public sorrow, it is because all are stirred by what is called a generous impulse, an impulse which causes them, if only for a moment, to live outside of their own lives. I once heard a generous lecture, upon a great poet, given to a crowded audience of some thousands of people of very varying culture and condition. It was interesting to listen to the remarks that were passing as we made our way out of the crowd. One man said, with a choke in his voice, "Why, why, that man could do anything with us, lead us on any crusade he liked!" and he was right. This is the history of the generous movements that have stirred the world, the Crusades, the Anti-Slavery War in America; a thought has

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been dropped which has stirred some Generous impulse common to all the world. The nature of Generosity is to bring forth, to give, always at the cost of personal suffering or deprivation, little or great. There is no generosity in giving what we shall never miss and do not want; this is mere good-nature, and is not even kindness, unless it springs out of a real thought about another person's needs.

Large Trustfulness.––Generosity at its highest level, and with a certain added tincture, becomes Enthusiasm, but of that we shall speak later. We may understand the nature of this ruler of men better if we consider that what Magnanimity is to the things of the mind, Generosity is to the things of the heart. Large and warm thoughts of life and of our relations with one another find place in the generous man. He is incapable of wholesale and bitter condemnation of classes or countries, parties or creeds. He is impatient of the cheap wit whose jokes are at the expense of the character for probity of some whole class of people, plumbers or plasterers or candlestick makers. He is equally impatient of the worldly wisdom which goes through life expecting to be defrauded here and cheated there; and he finds that, on the whole, it is he who possesses the wisdom of this world; for, by dint of fair and generous dealing, he may pass through a long life with hardly a record to show of the iniquity and cheating ways of his fellow-creatures. But then, if he has only sixpence to spend, he spends it in a liberal and trustful way. It is a certain large trustfulness in his dealings, rather than the largeness of his gifts, or the freedom of his outlay, that marks the generous man.

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Generosity is Costly, but also Remunerative.––In like manner, in his commerce with his friends and neighbours, he harbours no grudges; that is, he is not on the watch that others should give him what he thinks his due of observance, consideration, service, or what not. He allows others to be the arbiters of their own conduct in all such matters; and those others respond, for the most part, to the trust reposed in them. This is not the easy attitude of mind which permits everything, because a want of self-respect creates a thirst for popularity. The generous man will have friends of widely different types, because he is able to give large entertainment to men of many minds, and to meet them upon many points. His interests are wide, his interpretations are liberal; and wherever his interest goes, it goes with a latent glow, ready to break forth in the heat of action upon occasion.

Generosity is costly, because it is always disbursing, be it the contents of the heart or of the purse; but it is also remunerative, for it has been said, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom." Generosity is also a saving grace; for the generous man escapes a thousand small perplexities, worries, and annoys; he walks serene in a large room. There are so many great things to care about that he has no mind and no time for the small frettings of life; his concerns are indeed great, for what concerns man concerns him. But because his is a concern of the heart, warm and glowing, it is duly distributed. There are the equatorial and the polar regions of his care, neither of them quite unwarmed. He does not affect to love other countries as he loves his own, or his neighbour's children as his own family.

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Fallacious Notions that restrain Generosity.––I have spoken of the generous man; but, indeed, this Lord of the Bosom is present in all of us, ready with the offer of large and warm living. But certain fallacious notions and small propensities are apt to keep him shut in narrow limits, unless some happy word or occasion let him loose. When this happens to the whole community, we become alarmed and fear that we are all going mad; but really it is that we have suddenly burst into large living without the restraints proper to an accustomed way of life.

'Let every man mind his own business' is one of the fallacies that come to a person with a sense of obligation, and of limitation to his own business only. The man not only shuts out the generous cares of a wider life, but he is consumed by the cares of his condition in all their petty details. Yet we must each mind our own business, or we are unworthy members of society, and throw so much of the world's work as is our own proper share upon the shoulders of other people. The secret is, to mind our business strenuously within its proper hours, whether these hours are ruled for us, or we rule them for ourselves. But the hours of work over, let us think it trespass so much as to turn our thoughts in that direction, and let us throw all our interest into outer and wider channels. That which seems to us our business in life, even that incessant business of being the mother of a family, will be far better done if we rule ourselves in this matter, because we shall be better, broader persons; and the more there is of a person, the more work will be done.

'Every man for himself, and Heaven for us all,' is another fallacy that shuts up lives in narrow rooms.

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Man is not for himself, and to get out of ourselves and into the wide current of human life, of all sorts and conditions, is our wisdom and should be our care.

Another miserable and unspoken fallacy is 'Every person that I have dealings with is worse than myself.' This is startling, put into words; but why else should we suppose that this person means to slight us and the other to offend us, when we have no such intentions with regard to them; that we shall be cheated here and defrauded there, when we ourselves would not willingly cheat and defraud? It is generous to trust, to trust freely, to trust our tradespeople and our servants, our friends and neighbours, those in authority over us and those subordinate to us.

          Be noble! and the nobleness that lies
          In other men, sleeping, but never dead––
          Will rise in majesty to meet thine own!"
                    ––LOWELL.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter VII Love's Lords In Waiting: Gratitude

The Gladness of a Grateful Heart.––No other Lord of the Heart should do more to guide us into joyous and happy living than Gratitude. How good and glad it is to be grateful! The joy is not merely that we have received a favour or a little kindness which speaks of goodwill and love, but that a beautiful thing has come out of some other person's beautiful heart for us; and joy in that other's beauty of character gives more delight than any gain or pleasure which can come to us from favours. We lose this joy often enough because we are too self-absorbed to be aware of kindness, or are too self-complacent to think any kindness more than our desert. Young people are apt to take the abounding, overflowing kindnesses of their parents as matters of course; and so they come to miss the double joy they might have in a touch, a word, a look, a little arrangement for their pleasure, a thousand things over and above, so to speak, the love that is due from parent to child. A kindness is like a flower that has bloomed upon you unawares, and to be on the watch for such flowers adds very

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much to our joy in other people, as well as to the happy sense of being loved and cared for. You go into a shop, and the shopkeeper who knows you (I am not speaking of big stores) adds a pleasant something to your purchase which sends you cheerily on your way––some little kindness of look or word, some inquiry that shows his interest in you and yours, perhaps no more than a genial smile, but you have got into pleasant human relations with him because he has given you a kindness. There are two courses open to the receiver of this small kindness. One is to feel himself such an important person that it is to the interest of shopkeepers and the like to show him attention. The other is to go away with the springing gladness of a grateful heart, knowing that he takes with him more than he has bought.

A Grateful Heart makes a Full Return.––Life would be dull and bare of flowers if we were not continually getting more than we can pay for either by money or our own good offices; but a grateful heart makes a full return, because it rejoices not only in the gift but in the giver. Formal thanks are proper enough on occasions, but there are other ways of expressing gratitude, which, indeed, is like love and a fire, and cannot be hid. A glance, a smile, a word of appreciation and recognition straight from the heart, will fill the person who has done us a kindness with pleasure. But let us avoid all expressions of thanks which are not simple and sincere––simple in that we are really thinking of the kindness of the other person and not of ourselves; and sincere, in that we do not say a word more than we feel, or make believe to value a gift for its own sake when it is really not of value to us.

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The Reproach of Ingratitude.––There is an ancient story of a city which decided that ingratitude was the blackest of crimes. The people of the city were practical, and set up a bell in an open but desolate spot to be rung by any who should experience ingratitude. Time passed by and the bell was forgotten, perhaps because people were on the watch against this offence. But one day the bell rang out, and the whole city rushed to see who had a complaint to make of an ungrateful fellow-citizen. An ass had caught the rope with his foot, and as he moved about in search of the miserable herbage that grew on the spot, the bell pealed out. At first people laughed; but when they looked at the poor ass and found him a wretched object, almost too feeble to stand, they looked at one another and said, "Whose ass is this?" Inquiry produced the owner, who was forced to confess that his ass, having served him well for many years, became at last too old for his work, so he turned the poor creature out to live as it could. The people decided that the ass had acted according to law in ringing the bell; and the mean man paid the penalty, which included the good keeping of the ass, with what grace he could. To make use of other people, to serve ourselves of them, is the sin of ingratitude. The grateful man has a good memory and a quick eye to see where those who have served need service in their turn. Especially does he cherish the memory of those who have served him in childhood and in youth, and he watches for opportunities to serve them.

Gratitude spreads his feast of joy and thanksgiving for gifts that come to him without any special thought of him on the part of the giver, who indeed may himself have gone from the world hundreds of years

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ago. Thus he says his grace for a delightful or helpful book, for a great picture, for a glorious day, for the face of a little child, for happy work, for pleasant places. According to the saying of Jeremy Taylor, he is quick to "taste the deliciousness of his employment." He is thankful for all the good that comes to him. The poor soul who believes that life yields him nothing beyond his deserts, that it would be, in fact, impossible to give him more than he pays for, whether in coin or merit, is to be pitied for all the joy he loses, as well as blamed for the pain and irritation his progress through life must cause. "Yea, a joyful and a pleasant thing it is to be thankful!"

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter VIII Love's Lords In Waiting: Courage

We all have Courage.––The word courage comes to us from the time when Norman French was the language of the court and when chivalry was the law of noble living. The Normans perceived that Courage was of the heart, as the word shows; Courage was the whole of character to a man; he who had not Courage, had no quality of manliness. We talk about it less in these days, but Courage is still a great Lord in the House of Heart, having his dwelling by right in every Mansoul, and, indeed, in even timid beasts.

The Courage of Attack.––The sheep has the Courage of Attack for the sake of her lamb; the bird will sit on her eggs in the face of that monster, man. A blue-tit once thought proper to nest in a letterbox; of course people went to see the sight, and the courage with which the little creature hissed at the gigantic intruders was very curious and admirable. The toddling child has courage to protect his pets. Many a tender mother has had the courage of an awful death to save her baby. If we would but believe it, we have all courage to face any calamity, any enemy, any death. But Courage, like the other

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Lords of our Life, is attended by his Dæmons, Fear, Cowardice, Pusillanimity, Nervousness.

The Courage of Endurance.––Fear, with his kin, Panic and Anxiety, is on the watch for those moments when Courage sleeps, lulled by security. When we consider the splendid valour that men of all sorts show in battle, we begin to see how universal Courage is; in our country it is those who choose that enlist in the army; but the Courage shown by men drawn by conscription is not less than that of our own army. Also, how possible it is for every man to be gripped by shameful Fear, and to act upon the panic born of Fear, is shown by the fact that a whole company, heretofore held as brave as the rest, has been known more than once to turn tail and fly before the enemy.

The Courage of Serenity.––Few of us are likely to be tried in a field of battle; but the battle-field has an advantage over the thousand battles we each have to fight in our lives, because the sympathy of numbers carries men forward. The Courage required to lose a leg at home through a fall or an injury on the cricket field is, perhaps, greater than that displayed by the soldier on the field; and the form of Courage which meets pain and misfortune with calm endurance is needed by us all. No one escapes the call for Fortitude, if it be only in the dentist's chair. It is well to be sure of ourselves, to know for certain that we have Courage for everything that may come, not because we are more plucky than others, but because all persons are born with this Lord and Captain of the Heart. Assured of our Courage, we must not let this courage sleep and allow ourselves to be betrayed into panic by a carriage accident or a wasp or a rat. It is

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unseemly, unbecoming, for any of us, even the youngest, to lose our presence of mind when we are hurt or in danger. We not only lose the chance of being of use to others, but we make ourselves a burden and a spectacle, Anxious fuss in the small emergencies of life, such as travelling, household mischances, pressure of work, is a form of panic fear, the fear that all may not go well, or that something may be forgotten and left undone. Let us possess ourselves and say: 'What does it matter? All undue concern about things and arrangements is unworthy of us.' It is only persons that matter; and the best thing we can do is to see that one person keeps a serene mind in unusual or fretting circumstances; then we shall be sure that one person is ready to be of use.

The Courage of our Affairs.––The form of fear that is inclined to fret and worry and become agitated under any slight stress of circumstances, darkens into anxiety in the face of some success we are striving after, some calamity that we fear. Anxiety obtains more sympathy than other forms of fear, because the person who is anxious suffers much, and the cause for anxiety is often sadly real. But we do ourselves injustice by being anxious. We have been sent into life fortified, some more so, some less, with a Courage which should enable us to take the present without any fearful looking forward. And, indeed, we do so, the feeblest of us, when we are kept fully employed by immediate things. That is how mothers and wives can go through months of the nursing of their nearest and dearest with cheerful countenance. They tell you they dare not look forward, and that they live from hour to hour, and so they are able to bring happiness and even gaiety into the sick-room, though a sorrow-

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ful end is before them. If this noble Courage is possible in the face of coming grief, it is also possible, if we would believe it, in the face of lesser matters––coming examinations, coming losses, coming distresses of every kind, even that worst distress, when those dear to us fail us and fall away from godly living. "Let not your heart be anxious" (R.V.) is the command of Christ. The command presupposes the power of obedience, and it is for this that heavy things are spoken of the 'fearful and the unbelieving.'

The Courage of our Opinions.––Besides the Courage of Attack, the Courage of Endurance, the Courage of Serenity, and the Courage of our Affairs, there are lesser forms of Courage which as truly belong to the courageous heart. There is the Courage of our opinions. By opinions I do not mean the loosely taken up catchwords of the moment, those things which 'everybody says,' and with which it is rather agreeable than otherwise to startle our less advanced friends; but those few opinions founded upon knowledge and principle which we really possess.

It is worth while to examine ourselves as to what our opinions are as to the questions discussed in conversation or otherwise. We may find that we have no distinct opinion. If so, let us not take up with the first that offers, but think, inquire, read, consider both sides, and then be ready with a gentle, clear, well-grounded expression of opinion, when someone remarks, for example––'I think missionaries are a mistake!' 'The religions people have are those best suited to their natures'; or, 'It is no use thinking about the multitude, it is the few who have intellect or art who are worth caring for'; and so on. We often allow other people's opinions to pass without

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protest, because we believe that they have been carefully thought out; but it is surprising how a word of simple conviction will arrest people who express the most outrageous opinions. At any rate this form of Courage is due from us.

The Courage of Frankness.––The Courage of Frankness is very charming. A certain degree of reticence is due to ourselves and to others: the person who pours out all his affairs indiscriminately is a bore; but, on the other hand, he who shows undue caution, discretion, distrust, is of a fearful and unbelieving spirit, and fails in the characters of the noble heart. Our motive is our best guide to the right mean in this matter. If we reserve our matters because we are unwilling to bore our friends with trivial things, it is well; but if we reserve them because we distrust the sympathy or the fairness, the kindness or the comprehension of the people we live amongst, we make a failure in Courage.

The Courage of Reproof––Many other forms of Courage will occur to each of us; we can only mention one or two more. The Courage of Reproof is to be exercised with delicacy and gentleness, but there can be no faithful friendship between equals in age without this Courage; the just and gentle reproofs given by the young to the young are perhaps more convincing and converting than the more natural and usual reproofs of elders.

The Courage of Confession.––To name one more form of Courage, the Courage of open, frank Confession of that which we have done amiss or left undone, in the small matters of daily life, to the person concerned, is very strengthening; but I am not sure that the habit of confessing feelings and

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thoughts always arises from Courage. Acts and omissions are safer ground.

The Courage of our Capacity.––Then there is what we may call the Courage of our Capacity––the courage which assures us that we can do the particular work which comes in our way, and will not lend an ear to the craven fear which reminds us of failures in the past and unfitness in the present. It is intellectual Courage, too, which enables us to grapple with tasks of the mind with a sense of adequacy. Intellectual panic is responsible for many failures; for our failure to understand an argument, to follow an experiment, and very largely for our insular failure to speak and comprehend the vocables of foreign tongues. Intellectual panic is responsible, too, for the catchwords we pass as our opinions. We fear it is not in us to form an opinion worth the holding and worth the giving forth.

The Courage of Opportunity.––The Courage of Opportunity, of which Shakespeare says,

          "There is a tide in the affairs of men,
          Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune,"

is also connected with the Courage of Capacity, and is to be distinguished from the gambling spirit of Foolhardiness, which is ready to seek and try all hazards. One note of difference is perhaps that Courage is ready for that which comes, while Foolhardiness goes a-seeking. Courage waits for guidance,––

          Holding as Creed,
          That Circumstance, a sacred oracle,
          Speaks with the voice of God to faithful souls.
                            (from Charlotte Mason's poem, Moses: A Study)

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter IX Love's Lords In Waiting: Loyalty

Loyalty of Youth.––Loyalty is the hall-mark of character; but that is a misguiding simile, for it is good to know that Loyalty is not a mark stamped upon us, but a Lord of the Bosom born within us. At different periods of history, or at different periods of life, people give the rule of their lives to one or another of these Powers of Heart. The age of Chivalry was the age of Loyalty; and youth ought to be especially the age of Chivalry and of Loyalty in each life. But perhaps this is not a loyal age. Our tendency is to believe that to think for ourselves and to serve ourselves in the way of advancement or pleasure is our chief business in life. We think that the world was made for us, and not we for the world, and that we are called upon to rule and not to serve. But such thoughts come to us only in our worst moods. Loyalty, whose note is service, asserts itself. We know that we are not our own, and that according to the Loyalty within us do we fulfil ourselves.

Our Loyalties prepared for us.––We are ready enough to give whimsical Loyalty to some poet or actor, soldier or priest, at whose feet we would gladly lay our service; but in this, as in the rest of our lives,

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we are not free to choose. Our Loyalties are all prepared for us, or come to us with our duties, and our choice is between being loyal and disloyal. In this regard, it is a happy thing for the nation which has a sovereign, a visible object-lesson in Loyalty, to be loyally loved and served for the sake of his office,

Loyalty to our King.––One of the best lessons history has to teach us is in the examples it holds of splendid loyalty and service, including unbounded honour and reverence to the person of the sovereign, and devotion of life and substance, children and followers, to his cause. Sir Henry Lee, in Woodstock, is an exquisite example of this fine Loyalty. As we read, we grudge that it should be spent on so little worthy a monarch; but in the end, let us remember, the knight gained more than the king, by this Loyalty, for it is better to "be" than to "receive." Our late beloved Queen commanded all our Loyalty, because she herself knew and lived for the Loyalty and service she owed to her people; and in that way she raised us to a higher level of living.

Loyalty due to our Own.––After our King, our country claims our Loyalty. Let us not make a mistake. Benevolence is due to the whole world, Loyalty is due to our own; and however greatly we may value or become attached to alien kings or alien countries, the debt of Loyalty is due, not to them, but to our own. Invidious comparisons, depreciating the land of our birth in favour of some land of our choice, whose laws and rulers, ways and weather, we may prefer, is of the nature of disloyalty.

Public Opinion responsible for Anarchy.––We older people are saddened, shocked, and greatly

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humbled by the fall of one ruler after another at the hands of the persons who call themselves anarchists. We are humbled and ashamed because we know that this manner of crime, which has no exact parallel in the history of the past, arises, in truth, from a failure in the spirit of Loyalty in what is called public opinion. Therefore, the repeated crimes which shock us are brought home to us all, for we all help to form public opinion. There are always in every country men and women in whom the general wrong thinking about our duties to one another come, as it were, to a head and break out in crime; but it is from public opinion that these people get their original notions. We are told to speak no evil of the ruler of our people, and, if we allow ourselves to speak evil, others will take up our evil speech and turn it into criminal act. If we fret against rule others will rise against rulers, and kings everywhere will live in terror of the assault of the regicide. The way we are bound to one another and affect one another all over the world is a very solemn thought; but that we can help the whole world by keeping hold of our own Loyalty should be a cause of joy.

Loyalty to Country.––I am not sure but that people lose in moral fibre when they become voluntary exiles from their own country. Every tie that we are born to is necessary to our completion. Loyalty to country, Patriotism, is a noble passion. Revolutions come about when the character of a sovereign is such that right-thinking people can no longer be loyal to king and country; when unjust laws, undue taxes, the oppression of the poor, make men's hearts sore for their fatherland. Loyalty to country demands honour, service, and personal devotion.

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The honour due to our country requires some intelligent knowledge of her history, laws, and institutions; of her great men and her people; of her weaknesses and her strength; and is not to be confounded with the ignorant and impertinent attitude of the Englishman or the Chinese who believes that to be born an Englishman or a Chinese puts him on a higher level than the people of all other countries; that his own country and his own government are right in all circumstances, and other countries and other governments always wrong. But, on the other hand, still more to be guarded against, is the caitiff spirit of him who holds his own country and his own government always in the wrong and always the worse, and exalts other nations unduly for the sake of depreciating his own.

The Service of Loyalty.––Our service to our country in these days may not mean more than that we should take a living interest in the questions that occupy the government and the social problems that occupy thinkers; and that, if we are not called upon to serve the country in general, in Parliament, for example, we should give time, labour, and means to advance whatever local administration we are connected with. Perhaps this kind of Loyalty has never been more nobly displayed than it is at the present time. Nor do we fail when our country claims our personal devotion. Recent events seem to show that every Briton, of the lesser and the greater Britain, is ready for the honour of laying down his life for his country.

Loyalty to a Chief––Perhaps the Loyalty in which we fall short, as compared with the Middle Ages, is that Loyalty which every man and woman

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owes to a chief. Again, Scott gives us the perfect expression in Torquil of the Oak––the Highland foster-father, who sacrificed himself and his nine stalwart sons to shield the honour of the young chief whom he knew to be a confessed coward. [The Fair Maid of Perth, Sir Walter Scott] The whole incident, told, as it is, with reserve and sympathy, offers one of the strongest situations in literature. But Loyalty in this kind lives amongst us still. Few subalterns in either service would allow themselves to discuss without reserve the action or character of their chief; and as for the men, they still accept it that––"Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why; theirs but to do and die"; and, given that they do die because "someone has blundered," one supreme moment of unquestioning Loyalty to king, country, and commander is, probably, worth fifty years at the dead level of daily living; that is, supposing that the purpose of this life is our education for a fuller. It is told of certain elegant young diplomats, who serve their several chiefs as private secretaries, that one, more superb than the rest, grumbled because his chief summoned him by ringing a bell; but another, who had learned the secret of 'dignified obedience and proud submission,' asserted that, if his chief asked him to clean his shoes, he would do it of course. Instances of splendid Loyalty to the heads of family, party, cause, house, school, or what not, abound on every hand.

Loyalty to Personal Ties.––Loyalty to personal ties, relationships, friendships, dependents, is a due recognised by most people. We all know that these ties, whether they come by nature, as relationships, or by choice, as friendships and the lesser friendly relations,––servants, for example––must be loyally

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entertained. We know that the character and conduct of our friend is sacred from adverse criticism even in our private thoughts; that what we think and have to say of censure must be said to him and him only; that our time, our society, our sympathy and our service are at his disposal, so far as we can determine. Not only so, but we know that he should have the best of us, our deepest thoughts, our highest aspirations, so far as we are able to give these forth. This last is freely acknowledged in friendships of election; but in the natural friendships of relationship, which surround most of us, we are sometimes chary of our best, and give only our commonplace, surface thoughts; and to our dependents, those on a lower educational level than ourselves, we are apt to talk down, as we suppose, to that level. We are wrong here; our best is due in varying degrees to maintain all those relationships, natural, elected, or casual, which make up the sweetness and interest of our lives.

A Constant Mind.––Steadfastness is, of course, of the essence of all Loyalties. A man of sixty, who said he had always had his boots from the same bootmaker since he first wore boots, gives us a hint of the sort of Loyalty we owe all round. We miss a great deal of the grace of life by running hither and thither to serve ourselves of the best, so we think, in friends, acquaintances, religions, tradesmen, servants, preachers, prophets. Perhaps there is always more of the best to be had in sticking to that we have got than in looking out continually for a new shop for every sort of ware. The strength, grace, and dignity of a constant mind is the ingathering of Loyalty.

It is objected that some relations are impossible

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and insupportable; that a servant is lazy, a tradesman dishonest, a friend unworthy, a relative aggravating.

Some relations are not of our seeking and are for life; and that which must be continued, should be continued with Loyalty; but it is best, perhaps, to give up a chief or a dependent, for example, to whom we cannot any longer be loyal. But let the breach be with simplicity and dignity. Let us not indulge in previous gossiping and grumbling; and we should recognise that Loyalty forbids small personal resentment of offences to our amour propre. Many lives are shipwrecked upon this rock. In wronging our friends by a failure in Loyalty, we injure ourselves far more.

Thoroughness.––The same principles of Loyalty apply to Loyalty to our work and to any cause we have taken up. Thoroughness and unstinted effort belong to this manner of Loyalty; and, therefore, we have at times to figure as unamiable persons because we are unable to throw ourselves into every new cause that is brought before us. We can but do what we are able for; and Loyalty to that which we are doing will often forbid efforts in new directions.

Loyalty to our Principles.––A personal loyalty of a high order is that which we owe to our principles. At first, it is those principles upon which we are brought up to which our faithfulness is due; but, by and by, as character develops, convictions grow upon us which come to be bound up with our being. These, not catchwords caught up here and there from the newspapers or from common talk, are our principles––possessions that we have worked out with labour of thought and, perhaps, pain of feeling. He is true to himself who is true to these; and no other.

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Loyalty is to be expected of him who is not true to himself. Perhaps highest amongst these principles is our religion––not our faith in God; that is another matter––but that form of religion which to us is the expression of such faith. A safe rule is, that Loyalty forbids our dallying with other forms and other ideas, lest we should cease to hold religious convictions of any sort, and become open to change and eager for the excitement of novelty.

The habit of unworthy and petty criticism of the clergy or the services to which we are accustomed is apt to end in this unstable habit; Loyalty forbids this manner of petty gossip, as it also forbids the habit of running hither and thither in search of novelties.

Tempers alien to Loyalty.––The Dæmons which labour for the destruction of Loyalty are, perhaps, Self-interest, Self-conceit, and Self-importance. Self-interest would lead us to better ourselves at the expense of any bond. Self-conceit keeps us in a ferment of small resentments which puts allegiance out of court; and Self-importance is unable to give the first place to another in things small or great, in affairs of country, parish, or home. These enemies be about us, but Loyalty is within us, strong and steadfast, and asking only to be recognised that he may put the alien to flight.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter X Love's Lords In Waiting: Humility

Pride of Life.––The Apostle points out three causes of offence in men––the lust of the flesh, that is, the desire to satisfy the cravings of what we call 'human nature'; the lust of the eye, which makes the pursuit of the delight of beauty, not a part, but the whole of life; and, the pride of life. Of the three, perhaps, the last is the most deadly, because it is the most deceitful. People born in, and brought up upon, principles of self-control and self-restraint are on the watch against the lusts of the flesh. The lust of the eye does not make too fascinating an appeal to all of us; but who can be aware of the approaches of the pride of life? Still, Pride, mighty as he is, and manifold as are his forms, is but the Dæmon, the more or less subject Dæmon, of a mightier power than himself.

Humility is Born in us all.––Humility is born in us all, a Lord of the Bosom, gracious and beautiful, strong to subdue. That is why our Lord told the Jews that except they should humble themselves and become as a little child they could not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, the state where humble souls have their dwelling. We think of little children

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as being innocent and simple rather than humble; and it is only by examining this quality of children that we shall find out what Humility is in the divine thought. We have but two types of Humility to guide us––Christ, for 'He humbled Himself,' and little children, for He pronounced them humble. An old writer who has pondered on this matter says that, as there is only one Sanctification and one Redemption, so also there is only one Humility.

Humility travestied.––But no grace of heart is so travestied in our thoughts as this of Humility. We call cowardice Humility. We say––'Oh, I can't bear pain, I am not as strong as you are'; 'I can't undertake this and that, I have not the ability that others have'; 'I am not one of your clever fellows, there is no use in my going in for reading'; 'Oh, I'm not good enough, I could not teach a class in the Sunday School,' or, 'care for the things of the spiritual life.' Again, what we call Humility is often a form of Hypocrisy. 'Oh! I wish I were as capable as you,' we say, 'or as good,' or 'as clever,' priding ourselves secretly on the very unfitness which seems to put us somehow, we hardly know how, out of the common run of people. The person who is loud in his protestations of Humility is commonly hugging himself upon compensations we do not know of, and which, to his own thinking, rank him before us after all.

This sort of thing has brought Humility into disrepute. People take these self-deceivers at their word, and believe that they are humble; so, while they acknowledge Humility to be a Christian grace, it is a grace little esteemed and rarely coveted. This error of conception opens the gate for pride who comes riding

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full tilt to take possession. We prefer to be proud, openly proud of some advantage in our circumstances or our parentage, proud of our prejudices, proud of an angry or resentful temper, proud of our easy-going ways, proud of idleness, carelessness, recklessness; nay, the very murderer is a proud man, proud of the skill with which he can elude suspicion or destroy his victim. "Thank God, I have always kept myself to myself," said a small London housekeeper who did not "hold with neighbouring." There is hardly a failing, a fault or a crime which men have not felt to be a distinction, a thing to be proud of. We can do few things simply, that is, without being aware that it is we who are doing them, and taking importance to ourselves for the fact.

Humility one with Simplicity.––Many who are sound of mind in other respects arrive at incipient megalomania, through a continual magnification of self. Their affairs, their dogs, their pictures, their opinions, their calling, their good works, their teaching, their religious convictions, fill the whole field of vision; and that, because they are theirs rather than for the sake of the things themselves. This pride of life is so insidious and importunate, the necessity of exalting self presses upon us so unceasingly, so spoils all our relations of friendship and neighbourliness by resentful tempers and exigeant demands, that we are fain to cry, "Oh, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?" when, for a moment, we face facts. But we need not despair, even about our hateful Pride. He is but an encroacher, an usurper; the Lord of the Heart whom he displaces is Humility; and a true conception of this true Lord, who is within us, is as the shepherd's stone against

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the giant. For it is not Humility to think ill of ourselves; that is faint-hearted when it is not false. Humility is perhaps one with Simplicity, and does not allow us to think of ourselves at all, ill or well. That is why a child is humble. The thought of self does not come to him at all; when it does, he falls from his child estate and becomes what we call self-conscious. In that wonderful first lesson of the Garden of Eden, the Fall consisted in our first parents becoming aware of themselves; and that is how we all fall––when we become aware.

It is good to be humble. Humble people are gay and good. They do not go about with a black dog on their shoulder or a thunder-cloud on their brow. We are all born humble. Humility sits within us all, waiting for pride to be silent that he may speak and be heard. What must we do to get rid of pride and give place to Humility?

The Way of Humility.––In the first place, we must not try to be humble. That is all make-believe, and a bad sort of pride. We do not wish to become like Uriah Heep, and that is what comes of trying to be humble. The thing is, not to think of ourselves at all, for if we only think how bad we are, we are playing at Uriah Heep. There are many ways of getting away from the thought of ourselves; the love and knowledge of birds and flowers, of clouds and stones, of all that nature has to show us; pictures, books, people, anything outside of us, will help us to escape from the tyrant who attacks our hearts. One rather good plan is, when we are talking or writing to our friends, not to talk or write about 'thou and I.' There are so many interesting things in the world to discuss that it is a waste of time to talk about ourselves. All the

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same, it is well to be up to the ways of those tiresome selves, and that is why you are invited to read these chapters. It is very well, too, to know that Humility, who takes no thought of himself, is really at home in each of us:––

          "If that in sight of God is great
          Which counts itself for small,
          We by that law humility
          The chiefest grace must call;
          Which being such, not knows itself
          To be a grace at all."
          ––TRENCH.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XI Love's Lords In Waiting: Gladness

          "It is a seemly fashion to be glad."
          "The merry heart goes all the day."

Gladness enough in the World for all.––Yorkshire people say their bread is 'sad' when it is heavy, does not rise. It is just so with ourselves. We are like a 'sad' loaf when we are heavy––do not rise to the sunshine, to the voices of our friends, to interesting sights, to kindness, love, or any good thing. When we do rise to these things, when our hearts smile because a ray of sunshine creeps in through the window, because a bird sings, because a splash of sunlight falls on the trunk of a dark tree, because we have seen a little child's face––why, then we are glad. Carlyle, whom we do not think of as a very happy man, used to say that no one need be unhappy who could see a spring day or the face of a little child. Indeed, there is Gladness enough in the world for us all; or, to speak more exactly, there is a fountain of Gladness in everybody's heart only waiting to be unstopped. Grown-up people sometimes say that they envy little children when they hear the Gladness bubbling out of their hearts in laughter, just as it bubbles out of the

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birds in song; but there is no room for regret; it is simply a case of a choked spring: remove the rubbish, and Gladness will flow out of the weary heart as freely as out of the child's.

Gladness springs in Sorrow and Pain.––But, you will say, how can people be glad when they have to bear sorrow, anxiety, want and pain? It is not these things that stop up our Gladness. The sorrowful and anxious wife of a dying husband, the mother of a dying child, will often make the sick-room merry with quips and cranks, a place of hearty Gladness. It is not that the mother or wife tries to seem glad for the sake of the sufferer; there is no pretending about Gladness. No one can be taken in by smiles that are put on. The fact is that love teaches the nurse to unstop the fount of Gladness in her own heart for the sake of the sufferer dear to her, and out come lots of merry words and little jokes, smiles and gaiety, things better than any medicine for the sick. In pain, too, it is not impossible to be glad. Have we not all been touched by merry sayings that have come from suffering lips? I doubt if Margaret Roper could help a smile through her tears at the merry quips her father, Sir Thomas More, made on his way to the scaffold. We commonly make a mistake about Gladness. We think of it as a sort of ice-cream or chocolate––very good when it comes, but not to be expected every day. But, "Rejoice evermore," says the Apostle; that is, "Be glad all the time." We laugh now and then, we smile now and then, but the fountain of Gladness within us should rise always; and so it will if it be not hindered.

Gladness is Catching.––Before we consider the Dæmons of Gladness, let us make ourselves sure of one thing. We cannot be glad by ourselves, and we

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cannot be sad, that is, heavy, by ourselves. Our gladness rejoices the people we come across, as our heaviness depresses them.

A London mother once wrote to me of how she took her little golden-haired daughter of two out for her first walk, and the little girl smiled at the policeman, and he was glad, and kissed her hand to some French laundresses working in a cellar, and they were glad, and smiled at the crossing-sweeper, and generally went on her way like a little queen dispensing smiles and gladness. A still prettier story was told by a Bible-woman in a big town who went out of doors depressed by the sordid cares and offences of her neighbours; and a small child sitting in a gutter looked up at her and smiled, and in the gladness of that little child she went gaily for the rest of the day. There is nothing so catching as Gladness, and it is good for each of us to know that we carry joy for the needs of our neighbours. But this is treasure that we give without knowing it or being any the poorer for what we have given away.

Gladness is Perennial.––Now, if we have made it clear to ourselves that there is in each of us a fountain of Gladness, not an intermittent but a perennial spring, enough and to spare for every moment of every year of the longest life, not to be checked by sorrow, pain, or poverty, but often flowing with the greater force and brightness because of these obstructions; if we are quite sure that this golden Gladness is not our own private property, but is meant to enrich the people we pass in the street, or live with in the house, or work with or play with, we shall be interested to discover why it is that people go about with a black dog on their shoulder, the cloud of gloom

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on their brow; why there are people heavy in movement, pale of countenance, dull and irresponsive. You will wish to find out why it is that children may go to a delightful party, picnic, haymaking, or what not, and carry a sullen countenance through all the fun and frolic; why young people may be taken to visit here or travel there, and the most delightful scenes might be marked with a heavy black spot in the map of their memories, because they found no gladness in them; why middle-aged people sometimes go about with sad and unsmiling countenances; why the aged sometimes find their lot all crosses and no joys.

This question of gladness or sadness has little to do with our circumstances. It is true that we should do well to heed the advice of Marcus Aurelius.––"Do not let your head run upon that which is none of your own, but pick out some of the best of your circumstances, and consider how eagerly you would wish for them were they not in your possession."

We are Sad when we are Sorry for Ourselves.––Let us get the good out of our circumstances by all means, but as a matter of fact it is not our circumstances but ourselves that choke the spring. We are sad and not glad because we are sorry for ourselves. Somebody has trodden on our toe, somebody has said the wrong word, has somehow offended our sense of self-importance, and behold! the Dæmon of self-pity digs diligently at his rubbish-heap, and casts in all manner of poor and paltry things to check the flow of our spring of Gladness. Some people are sorry for themselves by moments, some for days together, and some carry all their life long a grudge against their circumstances, or burn with resentment against their friends.

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Gladness a Duty.––We need only look this matter in the face to see how sad and wrong a thing it is not to be glad, and to say to ourselves, 'I can, because I ought!' Help comes to those who endeavour and who ask. We may have to pull ourselves up many times a day, but every time we give chase to the black dog, the easier we shall find it to be gay and good. The outward and visible sign of gladness is cheerfulness, for how can a dour face and sour speech keep company with bubbling gladness within? The inward and spiritual grace is contentment, for how can the person who is glad at heart put himself out and be dissatisfied about the little outside things of life? "Rejoice evermore, and again I say, rejoice."

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Lords Of The Heart: II. Justice

Chapter XII Justice, Universal

We must know the Functions of Love and Justice.––We have said that two potent personages hold rule in the House of Heart––Love and Justice. The question occurs, do not the claims of the two clash? They do sometimes. Love leans to leniency, and injures where it should sustain. Justice leans to severity, and repels where it should win. Therefore it is necessary for us to think on these things and con the several parts of Love and Justice at least as carefully as we should con a Greek verb or a problem in Euclid. Indeed, these latter we can live without, but Love and Justice are inseparable from Mansoul; they are there, and we must take count of them. Not that they are as self-adjusting wheels, so to speak, which go right whether we will or no. On the contrary, these Lords of the Bosom require the continual supervision of the Prime Minister, himself ruled by the higher Power; and without such over-looking they produce tangles in the lives of men.

Everyone has Justice in his Heart.––We have already considered the ways of Love and the various offices of his Lords in Waiting. Let us now think

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upon Justice, and who they are surrounding his seat and carrying out his mandates. First let us realise our wealth. It is a great thing to know that there is not a Mansoul in the world, however mean or unconsidered, neglected or savage, who has not justice in his heart. A cry for fair-play will reach the most lawless mob. 'It's not fair,' goes home to everybody. Different nations have different notions as to the way of it, but fair-play for himself and others is the demand of every man's heart.

I must hurt nobody by Word or Deed.––Justice requires that we should take steady care every day to yield his rights to every person we come in contact with; that is, "to do unto others as we would that they should do unto us: to hurt nobody by word or deed"; therefore we must show gentleness to the persons of others, courtesy to their words, and deference to their opinions, because these things are due. We must be true and just in all our dealing. Veracity, fidelity, simplicity, and sincerity must therefore direct our words. Candour, appreciation, discrimination must guide our thoughts. Fair-dealing, honesty, integrity must govern our actions.

I must be Just to all other Persons.––This justice to the persons, property, words, thoughts, and actions of others, I must show to my parents, teachers, rulers, and all who are set in authority over me and over my country, because it is their right and my duty. In the same way, I must be just to the words, thoughts, and actions of my brothers, sisters, friends, and rieighbours, and all others who are my equals, in my own words, thoughts, and actions. I must be just, too, in word, thought and deed to servants, to all people who are employed by me or mine, to all who work for

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me, whether in my own home or in the world. I must be fair, that is, just, to all persons whose opinions and ways of life differ from my own, even to all who offend against the laws of God and man. It is my duty to be just in this way to the persons, the reputation, and the property of all other persons, so far as I have anything to do with them. Therefore, "I must bear no malice or hatred in my heart, must keep my hands from picking and stealing, my tongue from evil-speaking, lying, and slandering," and "I must not covet nor desire other men's goods, but must learn and labour truly to get mine own living and do my duty in that state of life to which it hath pleased God to call me."

We are able to pay the Dues of Justice.––It is quite plain that to think fairly, speak truly, and act justly towards all persons at all times and on all occasions, which is our duty, is a matter requiring earnest thought and consideration––is, in fact, the study of a lifetime. We might be a little discouraged by the thought of how much is due from us to all our neighbours everywhere, if it were not that justice is within us, ready to rule; that the Lords in waiting of his court wait upon his bidding. Candour, sincerity, simplicity, integrity, fidelity, and the rest are our servants at command, and what we have to do is to find our way about in the Circuit of justice, to recognise the dues of others as they come before us, and behold! we have in hand always that coin of the realm of justice wherewith to pay the dues of all our neighbours. It is a great thing to know this; to be able to walk about wealthy in the streets of our Mansoul, and to know that we have wherewith to pay our way on all hands. Many a poor soul goes

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a pauper; he has all the coinage of Justice, but does not know it, and therefore does not use it. He is blind because he fixes his eyes all the time on his own rights and other people's duties; therefore he cannot see other people's rights and his own duties; that is, he cannot be just.

Our own Rights.––You ask: Have we then no rights ourselves, and have other people no duties towards us? We have indeed rights, precisely the same rights as other people, and when we learn to think of ourselves as one of the rest, with just the same rights as other people and no more, to whom others owe just such duties as we owe to them and no more, we shall, as it were, get our lives in focus and see things as they are. There is a wonderful parable in the story of the man who first was blind and saw no man, and then had his eyes partially opened so that he saw men as trees walking, and at last was blessed with the full vision of other people as they are.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XIII Justice To The Persons Of Others

We begin to understand this Duty.––The reader may have heard sorrowfully the story of that young German officer who fell lately in a duel on the eve of his marriage-day. It is not so long ago since in England also men thought it right to wipe out a slight offence by the death of the offender or of the offended. Now, we understand that it is not lawful to hurt anybody by deed. Masters may not beat their apprentices, mistresses their maids; in fact, we try as a nation to make all persons treat the persons of others with respect. Children, too, have gained by this truer sense of justice to the persons of others. Their little bodies were at one time subject to many whippings, 'pinches, nips, and bobs,' from those in authority over them. It was thought quite wholesome for them to be fed on bread and water, or put in a dark closet when they were naughty. But now their persons receive much cherishing love, and they are rarely beaten. This is because people begin to see, and are eager to do, all that justice requires. There still are countries where people do not see the harm of hurting others. We have read lately of a bandit in Southern Italy, who owned to having killed twenty-seven persons––not that he wanted their money or

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goods, and not that they had injured him, but because a relative of theirs had, years before, killed his brother. This man believed that his vengeance was fair-play. He had a notion of justice, but a misguided one; and an incident like this shows how necessary it is that instruction should help us to think clearly upon the difficult question of what is fair. There are few things about which people make more mistakes.

To think fairly requires Knowledge and Consideration.––To think fairly about the personal rights of others requires a good deal of knowledge as well as judgment. But we can all arrive at some right conclusions by calling in the help of Imagination. That boy is none the less a good fellow who realises his mother's love for the beauty of neatness; who recollects that the maids have enough to do with their regular work; that enough work makes people happy, while too much spoils their lives; and, thinking upon these things, is careful about such little matters as to wipe his feet when he comes in, to confine his messes to his own den, to avoid leaving tracks of soil, tear and damage to show where he has been, because he knows that this sort of recklessness spoils the comfort and increases the labour of other people. The young lady who thinks of the persons of others will not hurry her dressmaker for a new party frock which must be ready by such a date, if the dressmaker's assistants have to sit up until midnight to get it done. She uses her Imagination, and sees, on the one hand, girls with pale faces and tired eyes; and, on the other, bright girls sewing with interest and pleasure at the pretty frock. Indeed, this sort of care not to

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do bodily hurt to other people should guide us in many of the affairs of life––should, for example, forbid us to buy at the cheapest shops; for most likely some class of work-people have been 'sweated' to produce the cheap article. A fair sense of the value of things helps us much in leading the just life.

Persons hurt in Mind suffer in Body––Gentleness.––But there are other ways of doing bodily hurt to the people we have to do with than by overworking, underfeeding, or directly misusing them. If you hurt people in mind they suffer in body, and it is for this reason that we should not push in a crowd to get the best place––should not jostle others to get the best share of what is going, even if it be a good sermon, should give place gently in walking the streets, should make room on public seats or in railway carriages for others who wish to sit. If we are ungentle in such small matters, we may not do such direct hurt to the persons of others as would make a surgeon necessary, but we produce a state of mental fret and discomfort which is really more wearing. We all know how soothing is the presence of a gentle person in a room; a person whose tone of voice and whose movements show that he has imagination, that he realises the presence of other people whose comfort he would not willingly destroy. The Dæmons at whose instigation we are unjust to the persons of others are usually Thoughtlessness, Selfishness, and Cruelty.

A Word may hurt as much as a Blow––Courtesy.––Bearing in mind how easy it is to hurt other people's bodies through their minds, we begin to see that a word may hurt as much as a blow, that a want of courtesy may do as much harm to another

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as want of food. Once we see this, we are courteous to the words of others; we listen, we do not contradict, we try to understand; and, when other persons express their opinions, however much they may differ from those in which we have been brought up, we keep ourselves from violence in thought and word, and listen with deference where we cannot agree. Then, when we state our own notions with gentleness and modesty, we shall find that they are gently received.

We are not free to think Hard Things about Others.––We may not 'run a-mock' in the world! To go, head down, feet foremost, for all we are worth, and run into whatever comes in our way, may be inviting, but it does not answer. Nobody is born a Hooligan; that lordly justice within our hearts is always down upon us for the claims of other people; and having considered the persons of these others, we awake to the fact that they, all of them, have claims upon us in regard to their character and reputation. Most of us know that we are not free to think what we like about our parents or other Heads, of our school household, or office. Some of us do not let ourselves think disagreeable things about our brothers and sisters, servants, or other inmates of our home. There are still a few more who are careful about thoughts regarding acquaintances and outside relations; but, having got thus far, most of us feel ourselves free to think what we please about the characters of outsiders, whether it be of the man who makes our shoes, or the statesman who helps to govern us, or an acquaintance in another set.

Justice to the Characters of Others.––Justice, holding court within, ordains that we shall think fair thoughts of everybody, near or far, above or below us.

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When we are minded to think fairly, he has his group of servitors at our command, whose business it is to attend to this very matter and to come at call when they are wanted.

Candour.––Candour is at our side, and presents us with glasses of unusual power, to bring far things near and make dim things clear. Wearing these, we can see round the corner, to the other side of the question. We see that Mr. Jones may be disagreeable, but that, all the same, he is trying to do his duty. That boy wore candid spectacles who (so the story goes) wrote home of his Master, "Temple is a beast, but he is a just beast." His candid schoolmate sees that Brown is not a sneak, but a timid boy anxious to get on. Candour points out that Miss Jenkins' annoying remark was not spiteful, but merely awkward; that even public men have a conscientious wish to do their best; that the parson probably tries to practise what he preaches; that very likely the much-abused plumber takes an interest in his work, and cares to make a good job of it; and that, even supposing the person in question has no right intention and makes no worthy effort, he is all the more to be pitied; and, if possible, helped, because in this case things must have been against him all his life. Candour shows us that a Frenchman, a German, a Russian, has qualities which John Bull would be the better for; that a Whig or a Tory, whichever it may be, has something to teach his opponent. But Candour does not take sides. He does not say to himself, 'My family, my country, my party, my school, is pretty sure to be in the right always, and is altogether the best going,' because he always sees that the other side, whether it be family, school, or country, may have something to say worth

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hearing. Fair-play all round is his watchword, and that makes him in the end the most staunch supporter of the side he belongs to.

Prejudice.––Opposed to Candour is Prejudice, who also hands you a pair of spectacles; but these are not clear and open to the light of day, but are rose-coloured or black, green or yellow, as the case may be. We cannot see persons as they are through these spectacles, but one person is black, another rosy as the dawn, another a sickly green or an evil yellow, according as affection, envy, hatred, or jealousy creates a prejudice in our minds, through which we cannot judge justly of the character of another. Persons cannot be candid who allow themselves to be prejudiced, either in favour of the persons they like, or against those they dislike. Indeed, dislike is itself Prejudice; and true love is quite clear-sighted and candid. There is enough beauty in the persons we love, enough right in the causes we care for, to enable us to let the light of day upon them and dispense with rose-coloured spectacles.

We shall not have our love for our country called 'Jingoism' if we love her with a candid love. She is great and glorious, able to bear the light of day. But what about the 'candid friend,' the person who sees that England is going to ruin; that we ourselves are poor things, made up on the whole of a single fault of character? England, like other countries, has need to go softly; we probably have that fault of character, we may be priggish or lazy, selfish, or what not; but where our 'candid friend' errs is in taking a part for the whole and magnifying one fault or weakness, so that there is nothing else to be seen. We have something to learn from him, though he is not agreeable; but,

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for ourselves we must use the spectacles of Candour, which bring the whole landscape out in due relief.

Respect.––Candour never acts alone; on his right is that other servitor of my Lord justice––Respect. No one can be just who does not follow the Apostolic precept, "Honour all men." We are inclined to object that we do honour those who are worthy of honour; but that is another way of saying that we single out people here and there of whom we shall think justly; but every man and every child calls for our honour, not only because of the common brotherhood that is between us, seeing that we are all the children of one Father, but because Love and Justice, Intellect, Reason, Imagination, all the lofty rulers of Mansoul, are present, however dormant, in every man we meet. It is by honouring all men that we find out how worthy they are of honour. We may see the faults of one another in the white light of candour, but that same white light will show us that a fault, however trying, is by no means the whole person, and that there are beautiful qualities in the poorest nature to call forth our reverence. There is seldom a daily paper but reveals the unsuspected glory in some human soul. Honour begets gentleness to the persons of others, courteous attention to their words, however dull and prosy they may seem to us, and deference towards their opinions, however foolish we may think them. The person whose rash opinions are received with deference is ready to hear the other side of the question and becomes open to conviction.

Conceit.––Why do we not all honour one another? Because our vision is blinded by a graven image of ourselves. We are so taken up with thinking about ourselves that we cannot see the beauty in those

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about us, though we may be able to admire people removed from us [such as celebrities]. Conceit and self-absorption are the Dæmons which hinder us from giving that honour to all men which is their due.

Discernment.––See, now, how the servitors of justice stand by one another! Candour, we have seen, is accompanied by Respect, and Respect is supported by Discernment. People talk about being deceived in this one and that, and we hear much of disappointed affection and of unworthy friends; but all this is quite unnecessary. In every House of Heart there stands that modest servitor of Justice whom we call Discernment. Give him free play, unhindered by Vanity or Prejudice, and he will bring you a pretty accurate report of the character of everyone with whom you come in contact. He will show you, alike, faults and virtues in another, the good and the evil. More, he will hold up his glass to your own Mansoul, and enable you to see that, though such an one has virtues as well as faults, yet the faults are of a kind that would be a snare and temptation to you, and that therefore that person is not fitted for your friendship. For lack of Discernment in character, many a person makes shipwreck of life and unites himself to another, not for goodness' sake, but because the two have the same failings. We owe honour to all men; but Discernment steps in to help us to do justice to ourselves, and choose for our intimacy, or service, those whose characters should be a strength to our own.

Appreciation.––Lest Discernment in his zeal should become too keen to see that which is amiss, another servitor of Justice, exquisite and delicate as Ariel, is at hand to stand or go with him. This is

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Appreciation, whose business it is to weigh and consider, duly and delicately, the merits, the fine qualities, of a person, a country, a cause, of a book or a picture. Appreciation is a delightful inmate of the House of Heart, and is continually bringing an ingathering of joy. It is so good and pleasant to notice a trait of unselfishness here, of delicacy there, of honour elsewhere; to observe and treasure the record of the beauty of perfectness in any man's work, whether the work be a great poem or the sweeping of a room. It is a happy thing to discriminate peculiar beauties in another country and find traits of character that differ from our own in people of another nationality. Life has no greater joy-giver than Appreciation, and though this Appreciation is the due of others, and our duty towards them, we get more than we give, for there is no purer pleasure than that of seeing the good in everything, the beauty in everyone.

Depreciation.––Depreciation is the sneering Dæmon who goes about to oust this genial servitor of justice. There are people for whom neither the weather nor their dinner, their abode nor their company, is ever quite good enough. You remark when they come down, 'What a beautiful morning!' They answer, 'Yes, it is fine to-day,' with a depreciatory reference to a day that is past. 'What a nice woman Mrs. Jones is!' 'Yes, if she did not wear such dreadful garments.' 'I enjoyed the Black Forest so much.' 'Oh, did you? there's always such a lot of Germans in the hotels.' And so goes on the depreciatory person, who moves through the world like a cuttlefish, ready at a touch to blacken the waters about him. It is well to remember that Depreciation is Injustice. The depreciative remark may be true

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in the letter, but it is false in spirit, because it takes a part for the whole, a single defect for many excellences. Depreciation may be inspired by the monster Envy, who is perpetually going about to put stumbling-blocks in the way of justice, and belittle the claims of others; or it may arise from Thoughtlessness, which is but a form of Self-occupation. Many of the crude and unworthy criticisms we hear of books, pictures, speeches, a song, a party, arise from the latter cause. We would not allow ourselves to depreciate if we recollected that Appreciation is one part of the Justice we owe to the characters and the works of others.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XIV Truth: Justice In Word

Truth is not Violent.––If our thoughts are not our own, if what we think of other people is a matter of justice or of Injustice, so also a certain manner of words is due from us to all other persons with whom we speak; and if we do not say these words we are unjust to our neighbours. If we say a false thing to another and are believed, our neighbour has a right to be angry with us; and, if he does not believe, he has a right to despise us. We have done him a hurt, not to his body perhaps, but to his mind and soul, which smart and are sore under such a hurt in much the same way as our flesh smarts and is sore after a blow. Very likely a professional 'champion' gets used to bruises; certainly, a person who puts himself in the way of hearing and reading what is false learns to think untruly, and must of necessity speak falsely, even if he does not intentionally tell lies. Truth is in every Mansoul, waiting upon justice; but Truth is never violent, and there be many clamorous ones at hand to drown her voice. It rests with us to choose whom we shall hear.

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Botticelli's 'Calumny.'––There is a picture [Photographs of Botticelli's 'Calumny' may be had from Mr. G. Cole, 17 Via Torna Buoni, Florence, from I lira (10d.) and upwards.] in the Uffizi painted by Sandro Botticelli––in a passion of grief and righteous anger at the martyrdom of his friend and teacher, Savonarola,––wherein you see the clamorous crew who drown the words of Truth. But the figures are surprising. You expect the painter to depict these Dæmons as wrinkled hags, ugly and forbidding. We should none of us offend if sin came to us looking hateful; and Botticelli, painting from an account of a picture by the old Greek painter, Apelles, puts in the foreground a lady young and fair, with a mantle of heavenly blue over a white robe of innocence, but which reveals through slashes the black garment below. She looks composed and drops her eyes as if in regret, whilst with her right hand she drags forward, by the hair of his head, the naked and prostrate figure of Innocence. This is Calumny.

[Calumny means slander.]

On either hand are two other beautiful maidens, clothed in fair robes, apparently dressing the hair of Calumny, in reality whispering in her ears. The one is Insidiousness, who by soft, persuasive words makes the lies of Calumny look like the Truth; and the other is Envy, fair also, for Envy of others always takes the guise of Fairness and justice to ourselves.

Holding the left wrist of Calumny is the dark, cowled figure of Treachery, who stretches out his hand to King Midas upon his throne in order to demand a hearing. His long ears show the character of this king, for Falsehood and all her crew, Calumny, Envy, and the rest, are, in the end, but Folly. Suspicion whispers into the one and Prejudice into the

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other of the long ears of Midas, and he leans his ear now to the one and now to the other, so that their words are the only sounds that can reach him. The action of the picture takes place in a beautiful loggia, richly decorated with sculpture, for it is not in places where men work hard and live simply that Calumny and her ministers prosper. Quite in the background stands the naked Truth, pure and beautiful, averting her eyes from the evil spectacle and raising her hand to heaven, sure of a hearing there; and between her and tortured Innocence stands the dark figure of Remorse. It would be well to keep a copy of this picture before our eyes, not only for the sake of its beauty, but because it should keep us in mind of many things––that the whole brood of Falsehood, Calumny, Envy, Folly, Prejudice, Suspicion come to us in pleasant places and by insidious ways,––that they torture the innocent and drive holy Truth away by the din of many voices in our ears.

Calumny.––Truth may be driven away, but she is there; and we must keep still hearts to hear her words and obedient tongues to speak them. Calumny, we all know, is the speaking of injurious words about other people. We must keep our tongues from evil-speaking, lying, and slandering; and Wesley says that to speak evil of another when it is true is to slander, and when it is false, is to lie. Most persons are careful to cherish Truth in all they say about the people in their own homes, but how many of us are equally careful in speaking of people who live next door or in the next street? It is so easy to say that Jones is a sneak and Brown is a cad, that Mrs. Jones does not feed her servants properly or that Mrs. Brown over-dresses her children; that Minna cribs

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from Maria's translation, that Harrison does not give full weight. Such things as these, about the people we have dealings with, are lightly said, often without intention; but two things have happened––our neighbour's character has received a wound; and Truth, perhaps the most beautiful inmate of the House of Heart, has also received a hurt at our hands.

Insidiousness and Envy.––But it is not always from thoughtlessness that we let Insidiousness persuade us of the untrue thing, which, by and by, we speak. Envy is an ever-present Dæmon, ready with a calumnious word for those who excel us. If they dance better, we do not care about dancing, and they must waste a great deal of time upon it. If they dress better, it is because they spend far too much money and thought on their clothes. If they speak better, Envy calls it affectation. If they are handsomer than we, Envy says that beauty is skin-deep, and there's not much in a handsome face if it goes with an empty head. In the Middle Ages people were afraid of Envy, and counted it one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Now, we forget that there is such a vice; and when we allow ourselves in grudging thoughts about the possessions or advantages of others, we say, 'It's not fair'; that is, we cover our injustice to others with a mantle of what we call justice and fairness to ourselves. But we deceive ourselves, and every sin of deceit disables us from uttering truth.

Calumnious Hearing and Calumnious Reading.––It is not only by calumnious talk that Truth is wounded. Calumnious hearing or calumnious reading may do her to death; and a simple rule will help us to discern what manner of speaking and reading is

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calumnious. Truth is never violent; and the newspaper or magazine or book, the party or the public speech, which makes strong and bitter charges against the other side, we may be sure is, for the moment, calumnious; and, if we steep ourselves in such speaking or reading, the punishment that will come upon us is that we shall become incapable of discerning Truth and shall rejoice in evil speaking.

Fanaticism.––This is what happens to people when they become fanatics. It is not that they will not believe what is said on the other side, but that they cannot; they have lost the power; and efforts to convince them are futile. A man may be a fanatic for peace or a fanatic for war, a fanatic for religion or a fanatic for atheism. In fact, it is sad that good as well as evil causes may have their fanatics, who injure what they would support by their incapacity to see more than one side of a question. A good cause may also have its martyrs; but a martyr is not a clamorous person; he suffers, but does not shout, for the cause he has at heart. It was good and refreshing, after the calumnious clamour of the press on both sides and in several countries, to come upon a book by a British officer wherein the courage and endurance of Boer and Briton alike were duly honoured, and the Boer women who followed their husbands into the trenches were spoken of with kindliness and reverence. There are few better equipments for a citizen than a mind capable of discerning the Truth, whether it lie on the side of our party or on that of our opponents. But this just mind can only be preserved by those who take heed what they hear, and how.

The Sovereign Good.––"But howsoever," as Bacon says, "these things are thus in men's depraved judg-

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ments and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it; the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it; and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it; is the sovereign good of human nature."

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XV Spoken Truth

We have not yet come to 'telling the truth,' because no one can tell the Truth who does not see it and know it in his heart, and who does not believe, with Sir Roger de Coverley, that "there is a great deal to be said on both sides" of most questions.

Veracity.––First among the handmaidens of Truth, that is, spoken Truth, is Veracity––the habit of letting our words express the exact fact so far as we know it. Having spoken what we believe to be the fact, let us avoid qualifications. Do not let us say, 'At least I think so,' 'At least I believe so,' 'Perhaps it was not so,' 'All the girls were there, at least some of them,' 'We walked ten miles, at any rate six'; such qualifications imply a want of Veracity; we are self-convicted of a loose statement, and try to set ourselves right with our conscience by an excess of scrupulousness which has the effect of making our hearers doubt the Truth of what we have spoken. But what are we to do, when, having said a thing, we begin to doubt if it is true? Words once spoken must be let alone: it is useless to unsay or qualify, explain or alter, or to appeal for confirmation or denial to another person. When we think how final words are, we shall be

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careful not to rush into statements without knowledge; we shall not come in with the cry, 'Mother! mother! there are a thousand cats in the garden.' 'Are there, George? Have you counted them?' 'Well, anyway, there's our cat and another!' We must be sure of our facts before we speak, and avoid speaking about matters concerning which we have only the vaguest knowledge. People are too apt to assume in conversation an intimate knowledge of matters of literature and art, for example, that they know very little about.

Scrupulosity is not Veracity.––At the same time it is well to remember that Scrupulosity is not Veracity, and that to put an end to talk by tiresome scrupulousness is not the behaviour of a truthful person. One can avoid a false assumption of knowledge without saying, 'I do not know'; a remark inconvenient to the other person.

Another kind of Scrupulosity is very tiresome in talk. Somebody says, 'l saw seven men in the lane,' and the scrupulous person corrects him with, 'Excuse me, I think it was six men and a youth.' 'I met Mr. Jones on Tuesday,' and the correction is, 'I think, if you recollect, it was on Wednesday.' 'It has been fine all the week': correction, 'No, I think not; there was a shower on Thursday'; and so on, to distraction; for there are few habits which more successfully put an end to conversation than the distinctly priggish one of looking after the Veracity of other people in matters of not the smallest moment. Common politeness requires us to assume the good faith of the speaker; and, that being assumed, it is not of the least consequence whether there were ten or twelve people in the hayfield, whether a flock of

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sheep, passed on the road, numbered eighty or a hundred. Veracity requires us to speak the fact so far as we know it, to take pains not to talk about what we do not know; but it by no means requires us to keep watch over the conversation of others and correct their information by means of our own, probably even less accurate.

Exaggeration.––Another more or less casual departure from Veracity comes of the habit of Exaggeration. We have 'a thousand things to do': perhaps we have four; 'everyone says so,' which means that our friends Mrs. Simpson and Mary Carter have said so, or perhaps only Mrs. Simpson. Few heads of a household do not know the tiresome tyranny of––'We always do so-and-so': probably we have done it once. In the case of sickness, war, calamity, people are eager to make the most and the worst of what has happened, and the headlines of the newspaper showing the biggest number of casualties are most often quoted and most readily believed, though to-morrow may show how false they are. We cannot keep a delicate sense of Truth if we let ourselves listen to and carry rumours. Let us use our Common Sense to sift what we hear, and still more what we read, and wait for facts to be ascertained before we help to spread reports. Men have been ruined, the good name of a family destroyed, through the thoughtless carrying on of an idle rumour.

Exaggeration in speech, even when it is more foolish than mischievous, is a failure in Veracity. One cannot be 'awfully sorry' not to go for a walk and 'awfully glad' to get a letter, and leave anything to say when we have lost our best friend or gained a great happiness.

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The Habit of Generalising.––The habit of generalising, of stating something about a whole class of persons or things which we have noticed in only one or two cases, is one to be carefully guarded against by a person who would fain be, like our King Alfred, a truth-teller. 'All the cups are cracked,' when one is so. 'All the streets are up': perhaps two are. 'Oh, no, I can't bear Rossetti's pictures': the critic has seen but one. 'I love Schumann's songs': again, the critic has heard one. Let us stop generalisations of this kind before they escape our lips. They are not truthful, because they give the idea of a wider knowledge or experience than we possess; and, by the indulgence of this manner of loose statement, we incapacitate ourselves for the scientific habit of mind––accurate observation and exact record.

Of Making a Good Story.––Many persons are tempted to make a good story of a trifling incident. If a dog cock his tail at a whistle, they see enough fun in the situation to make you 'laugh consumedly.' All power to their elbow, as the Irishman would say. Humour, the power, of seeing and describing the ludicrous side of things, is a gift that, like mercy, blesses him that gives and him that takes. It is a dangerous gift, all the same. The temptations to Irreverence, Discourtesy, even to a touch of Malice, for the embellishment of a story, are hard to be resisted; and, if these pitfalls be escaped, the incessant making of fun, perpetration of small jokes, becomes a weariness to the flesh of those who have to listen. The jocose person has need of self-restraint, or he becomes a bore; and his embellishments must be of the sort which no one is expected to believe, like the

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golden leg of Miss Kilmansegg, or his Veracity is at stake and he perils Truth to win a laugh.

The Realm of Fiction––Essential and Accidental Truth.––What shall we say of fable, poetry, romance, the whole realm of fiction? There are two sorts of Truth. What we may call accidental Truth; that is, that such and such a thing came to pass in a certain place at a certain hour on a certain day; and this is the sort of Truth we have to observe in our general talk. The other, the Truth of Art, is what we may call essential Truth; that, for example, given, such and such a character, he must needs have thought and acted in such and such a way, with such and such consequences; given, a certain aspect of nature, and the poet will receive from it such and such ideas; or, certain things of common life, as a dog with a bone, for example, will present themselves to the thinker as fables, illustrating some of the happenings of life. This sort of fiction is of enormous value to us, whether we find it in poetry or romance; it teaches us morals and manners; what to do in given circumstances; what will happen if we behave in a certain way. It shows how, what seems a little venial fault is often followed by dreadful consequences, and our eyes are opened to see that it is not little or venial, but is a deep-seated fault of character; some selfishness, shallowness, or deceitfulness upon which a man or woman makes shipwreck. We cannot learn these things except through what is called fiction, or from the bitter experience of life, from the penalties of which our writers of fiction do their best to spare us.

The Value of Fiction depends on the Worth of the Writer.––But you will see at once that the value

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of fiction as a moral teacher depends upon the wisdom, insight, and goodness of the writer; that a shallow mind will give false and shallow teaching; and, therefore, that it is only the best fiction that is lawful reading, because in no other shall we find this sort of essential Truth.

Fiction affects our Enthusiasms.––Not only are morals and manners taught, but our enthusiasms, even our religion, are kindled by fiction, whether in prose or verse. Our Lord Himself gave some of his deepest teaching in the fabulous stories known to us as parables; and, when severely literal people (who do not realise that, as we have said, Truth is of two sorts, the merely accidental and the essential, the passing and the everlasting, the Truth for to-day and the Truth for all time), would fain throw scorn upon the Bible records by telling us that the Garden of Eden and the Serpent and the Apple, the Flood, and much besides, are mere fables or allegories, we are not staggered.

Essential Truth.––The thing that matters to us in the Bible stories is their essential Truth. All godly people have known the walls of Jericho to fall before their faith and the trumpet-blast of their prayers. They have known seas of difficulty, which threatened to overwhelm them, divide to let them go forward. They have heard the voice of the Lord in the cool of the evening speaking to quiet and obedient hearts; and they know out of the experience of their own lives that by means of song and story, psalm and prophecy, the Bible reveals the ways of God with man, and all that there is in the heart of man. These are the things that matter; so they are quite ready to wait the verdict of the critics as to whether a certain

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narrative records facts that took place in a given year; whether such a book was written by one man, or by two. All this is deeply interesting, but has nothing to do with the essential, permanent Truth, the revelation of the otherwise unknown about God and about man which stamps the several books of the Bible with the divine seal.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XVI Some Causes Of Lying

Malicious Lies.––Scrupulosity, rash generalisation, exaggeration, amusing representation, are, as it were, the light skirmishers which assault the defences of the fortress of Truth as chance offers; but there are also the sappers and miners who dig under its foundations, and these ask for our more serious attention. There are, as we have seen, Malice and Envy, which lead to Calumny; and of all lies none are more hateful than those told to lower another in the esteem of his friends. The law of the land steps in to save our reputation from hurt, as it does to save us from bodily harm, but many hurtful words may be lightly spoken without fear of the law against libel.

Cowardly Lies.––Cowardice, again, makes for Falsehood. We have done or said a thing that we are made ashamed of, and our first impulse is to deny it. We didn't drop the match which caused the fire, or forget to write the note which politeness required, or say the thing which offended Mrs. Foster. The lie is the refuge of the coward when he is found out in a fault. But let us rally our forces and own up; our friends love us the better, in spite of our fault, if we will only say we have done it; they like our courage

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and honour us for remembering that "all liars are an abomination unto the Lord."

          "Dare to be true. Nothing can need a lie;
          A fault which needs it most grows two thereby."

The Falsehood of Reserve.––Akin to the lie of Concealment is the habit of Reserve, which, though it does not tell a lie, fails to tell the truth. 'Where have you been to-day?' ' Oh! I went for a walk in the direction of Milton.' We have really been to the town and bought chocolate or shopped, let us say. Frank speech would have made all plain, and to be frank about our little affairs is of the nature of Truth, and is a duty we owe to the people we live with. As a matter of fact, most people know when a lie is being told them, or when something is being held back.

Boasting Lies.––Vain persons tell boasting lies; they think their friends will value them the more for what they have got or for the things they have seen or done, or for the fine people they know. Like all lying, this is foolish as well as wicked. If we gain, by boastful lies, the friendship of the foolish and the vain; that very friendship is an injury to our own character, and it is only the vain and foolish that we can deceive; good and sensible people are quite up to us, and the more we boast the less they think of us.

Romancing Lies.––There are people who live so constantly in castles in Spain of their own building that they romance in their talk. They will tell you they have been here and there, have talked with this and that grand person, or perhaps that they have been kidnapped and left on a desert island, or that they are not really the children of their parents, but changelings, the sons and daughters of a duke or of a rag-

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picker. This manner of lying comes of a very dangerous habit of mind. When people cannot discern between fact and fancy, and mix the two in their talk, they are gradually losing the use of their Reason, and are qualifying themselves to end in a madhouse. We may not allow ourselves to say things of which Reason and Conscience do not approve.

Lies for Friendship's Sake.––It is not easy to speak the truth when to do so will get a friend into trouble. 'Did you leave the gate open?' 'No.' 'Did Tom?' You know that Tom did, and that it is his fault that the sheep have eaten the carnations. What are you to say? No decent boy could own up another's fault, but neither may he tell a lie to screen his friend at his own expense. But if you say, 'Tom is my friend, I cannot tell of what he does or does not do,' most likely no more questions will be asked. One more caution: 'All's fair in love and war' is made to cover many lies. People think they must speak the truth on their own side, but a lie is good enough for their opponents. They forget that a lie is a two-edged sword, injuring those who speak more than those who hear, and that no one can wear 'the white flower of a blameless life' who is not known to friend and foe alike as one whose word is to be trusted.

Magna est Veritas (Truth is Great).––Let us take courage: Truth, the handmaid of justice, is a beautiful presence in every Mansoul, and with her are her attendant group, Veracity; Simplicity, whose part it is to secure that every spoken word means just what it appears to mean, and nothing more and nothing less: Sincerity, which secures that word of mouth tallies exactly with thought of heart, that we say exactly what

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we think: Fidelity, which makes us faithful to every promise at any cost––always excepting such promises as should never have been made; the only honourable thing that we can do is to break a promise which is wrong in itself. It is true that the Dæmons of the qualities are there also––Duplicity, with hints and innuendoes and double meanings; Deceit, trying to trip up Sincerity and pour out words of congratulation, sympathy, kindness, from the teeth outwards; Perfidiousness, which breaks through faith and makes promises of none effect. But, again, let us take courage; these are the aliens to be routed by every valiant Mansoul:

                    Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. (Truth is great and will prevail)

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XVII Integrity: Justice In Action

Integrity in Work––'Ca' Canny.––-Some time ago the newspapers brought a serious charge against the 'British workman.' He was said to have taken 'Ca' canny' for his motto. That is to say, the man paid by the hour was pledged to do as little work as he decently could in the time. If he were a bricklayer, for example, he was limited to the laying of a certain number of bricks, perhaps half as many as might be laid in the time; and so on with other employments. This action was supposed to promote the interests of men out of work, because there would in this way be more work to go round.

Persons of understanding see that this is a fallacy. It is the man who does good and honest work, getting in as much as he can in a given time, who promotes the interests of his class; because he induces people with money to spend it in getting work well and honestly done, whether it be the building of houses or the making of shoes. The 'ca' canny' workman is a hindrance and cause of loss to his employer, puts other employers out of conceit with his trade, and gives a bad name both to his class and his country; and of all the complaints that men and nations suffer

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from, there is none which it takes so long to get over as that of a bad name. The man who does less work than he can, or worse work than he can, in a given time, may make fine pretences to himself about benefiting his fellows, but he will never deceive anyone.

A Standard.––You have probably noticed the standard yard measure cut in the granite at a corner of Trafalgar Square. Should there be a dispute as to the proper length of a yard, it could be finally settled by comparison with this standard measure. Now, everyone carries a similar standard measure in his own breast––a rule by which he judges of the integrity of a workman. He knows whether the work turned out by such and such a man is whole and complete, is what we call honest work. It is by this unwritten law of integrity that every true man, who is neither grasping nor lax, tries the work that is brought to him. Though his verdict may not be spoken, he classes the work either as honest or dishonest. The honest worker he considers a person of integrity, that is, a whole man.

We are all Paid Labourers.––We may not all be bricklayers or carpenters, but in some sense we are all paid labourers, and cannot escape the binding obligation of integrity.

The schoolboy, the young man at college, receives payment in two kinds––the cost of his education and the trust reposed in him by his parents and teachers. He has also another employer, who is apt to be lax while the work is being done, but visits the worker with heavy penalties in the long run. Every person owes integrity to himself as well as to others; and it is he, himself, who will suffer most in the end for every failure to produce honest work in a given time.

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After the period of what we call education, whether the girl employ herself at home, or girl or boy go to work to Carve Out a place in the world, there are still employers to be counted with, and wages to be accounted for, though they be the unstinted and ungrudging wages given in the freedom of home life. We cannot escape the duty of integrity, however easy things may be for us. Certain obligations are due from us in return for what we receive; due from us to our parents and family, or to our employer or chief; and still more, due to ourselves and our own future––to the character we are continually making or marring. As a matter of fact, it is easier to do the definite work of school or profession than the easily evaded, indefinite work which belongs to the home daughter.

Integrity grows.––We know that an integer is a whole number; and a man of integrity is a whole man, complete and sound. Like Rome itself, such a man is not built in a day. From his youth up he has been aware of temptations to scamp, dawdle over, postpone, get out of his work––nay, even to crib his work, that is, get it done by another hand and pass it off as his own.

He has been tempted to say to himself, 'It doesn't matter,' 'Oh, that'll do,' 'It's as good as Jones's, anyway,' 'He'll never know the difference,' 'He won't notice,' 'I don't see the good of taking so much trouble,' 'This won't count in the exam.' (and pages of thoughtful writing are left unread). These, and a hundred other temptations to dally with his work, the man of integrity has put from him. He has said to himself, 'I owe it to my parents'––or my teachers, or my employers––'to do this thing as well and as

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quickly as I can; what is more, I owe it to myself.' He buckles to, and is not to be decoyed by a lazy comrade or inviting hobby until the particular task is done.

Everything he has undertaken has helped to make him a whole man; every bit of work, Latin hexameters, quadratics, a set of bookshelves, everything he has attempted, has been an honest job. I do not say he has never shirked a job that came his way for the sake of an engrossing hobby, but he has never played 'ca' canny' with his work. If he have shirked now and then, he has done it completely, and has had to own up; but the things he has done have been done honestly. That is the history of the man of integrity––who was not made in a day. 'Oh, I could not grind like that, whatever l should get by it!' Now, that is a mistake. The whole worker goes at his job with a will, does it completely and with pleasure, and has more leisure for his own diversions than the poor 'ca'-canny' creature whose jobs never get done.

It is a fine thing to look back upon even a single year in which the tasks that came to hand have been done, wholly done, in which we have kept our integrity––as son, in such small matters as exactness in messages; as pupil or student, by throwing our whole mind into our work. Even games want the whole of the player, they want Integrity.

'Do ye Nexte Thynge.'––We are all convinced that Integrity is a fine thing. Our hearts rise within us at the name of this grace. We say to ourselves, 'It shall be mine. I am determined that I shall be a man of integrity.' But in the Kingdom of Mansoul, as in the bigger world, everything depends upon other things, and no one can have this fine quality

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without putting his mind, as well as his heart, into the effort of getting it.

Now, the eager soul who gives attention and zeal to his work often spoils its completeness by chasing after many things when he should be doing the next thing in order.

He has to write a theme, and looks up 'Plassy' in the Encyclopædia; but he finds 'Plato' on the way, and sets off on a course of investigation so interesting that time is up, and his theme unwritten, or scrambled through in a poor and meagre way. It is well to make up our mind that there is always a next thing to be done, whether in work or play; and that the next thing, be it ever so trifling, is the right thing; not so much for its own sake, perhaps, as because, each time we insist upon ourselves doing the next thing, we gain power in the management of that unruly filly, Inclination.

Do the Chief Thing.––But to find 'ye nexte thynge' is not, after all, so simple. It is often a matter of selection. There are twenty letters to write, a dozen commissions to do, a score of books you want to read, and much ordering and arranging of shelves and drawers that you would like to plunge into at once.

It has been amusingly said, "Never do to-day what you can put off till to-morrow." The dilatory, procrastinating person rejoices over a counsel he can follow! But not so fast, friend; this easy-going rule of life means "putting first things first." Now, the power of ordering, organising, one's work which this implies distinguishes between a person of intelligence and the unintelligent person who lets himself be swamped by details. The latter will grind steadily through the twenty letters, say, just as they come to hand.

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He has to leave his correspondence unfinished; and the three or four letters which it was necessary to answer by return are left over for another day.

The power to distinguish what must be done at once, from what may be done, comes pretty much by habit. At first it requires attention and thought. But mind and body get into the way of doing most things; and the person, whose mind has the habit of singling out the important things and doing them first, saves much annoyance to himself and others, and has gained in Integrity.

The Habit of Finishing.––What is worth beginning is worth finishing, and what is worth doing is worth doing well. Do not let yourself begin to make a dozen things, all of them tumbling about unfinished in your box. Of course there are fifty reasons for doing the new thing; but here is another case where we must curb that filly, Inclination. It is worth while to make ourselves go on with the thing we are doing until it is finished. Even so, there is the temptation to scamp in order to get at the new thing; but let us do each bit of work as perfectly as we know how, remembering that each thing we turn out is a bit of ourselves, and we must leave it whole and complete; for this is Integrity.

The idle, the careless, and the volatile may be engaging enough as companions, but they do not turn out honest work, and are not building up for themselves integrity of character. This rests upon the foundations of diligence, attention, and perseverance. In the end, integrity makes for gaiety, because the person who is honest about his work has time to play, and is not secretly vexed by the remembrance of things left undone or ill done.

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Integrity in Use of Time

Drifters and Dawdlers.––It is a bad thing to think that time is our own to do what we like with. We are all employed; we all have duties, and a certain share of our time must be given to those duties. It is astonishing how much time there is in a day, and how many things we can get in if we have a mind. It is also astonishing how a day, a week, or a year may slip through our fingers, and nothing done. We say we have done no harm, that we have not meant to do wrong. We have simply let ourselves drift. Boys or girls will drift through life at school, men or women through life in the world, effecting nothing, because they have not taken hold. They fail in examinations, in their professions, in the duty of providing for a family, in the duty of serving their town or their country, not because they are without brains, nor because they are vicious, but because they do not see that to use time is a duty.

They dawdle through the working day, hoping that some one will make them do the thing they ought. Now, this is a delusion. No one can make even a little child do things. If he is obedient, it is because he makes himself obey; if he is diligent, he makes himself work, and not all the king's Horses and all the king's men can make the dawdler diligent; he himself must make himself do the thing he ought at the right time. This power of making oneself work is a fine thing. Every effort makes the next easier, and, once we mount upon that easy nag, Habit, why, it is a real satisfaction to do the day's work in the day, and be free to enjoy the day's leisure.

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Cribbing Time.––Some people dearly like to be going on with a little job of their own in the time which should have a fixed employment. The girl who is sewing has a story-book at hand. The youth tries chemical experiments when he should be 'reading.' The time may be used for quite a good end, but it is 'cribbed' from the occupation to which it belongs.

We cannot, as you will see presently, afford to have cracks in our character. Integrity forbids this sort of meanness. Every piece of work has its due time. The time which is due to an occupation belongs to that, and must not be used for any other purpose. Dick Swiveller is an amusing fellow enough as he entertains himself by poising the ruler on his chin, shooting pens at a mark, and bantering the 'Marchioness' during his office hours. But that is why Dick found himself where he was, and made such a poor thing of his life; he had not got it into his by no means stupid head that work and time have anything to do with each other.

Integrity in Material. Honesty.––"My duty towards my neighbour is––to keep my hands from picking and stealing"; so says the Church Catechism, and this is the common acceptation of the word honesty. We should, of course, all scorn to take what belongs to another person, and feel ourselves safe so far, anyway, as this charge goes.

Strange things come to light from time to time: we hear of a man, who has lived for sixty years; a respected and prosperous citizen, a gentleman, not only in position, but in the sense of being an honourable man; and when this man is sixty, he embezzles large sums of money, apparently for the first time. Now, people do not go down in this way the first time.

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It is the vessel with a leak that sinks; and that leak, the breach in a man's integrity, may have existed since his boyhood without sinking him until he was in the rough sea of a great temptation.

We must be careful in our money dealings, all the more, the more we are trusted. Honest persons are scrupulous about giving a right account of change, for example.

One caution we must bear in mind.––we may not spend what we have not got. Our allowance may come at the end of the month, but we must wait to lay it out until it is actually in hand. Mr. Micawber was right in theory if not in practice, and who should know if not he? "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen, nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

The schoolboy who gets 'tick' or borrows from his schoolmates grows into the man who is behind-hand with his accounts, and that means, not only an injury to the persons who have supplied him with their goods, but a grave injury to himself. He becomes so harassed and worried with the pressure of debts here and debts there, that he has no room in his mind for thoughts that are worth while. His loss of integrity is a leak which sinks his whole character.

Small Debts.––In this connection we should bear in mind the duty of promptness in paying small debts. We commonly have the money for them, but do not take the trouble to pay. A tradesman, say, has sent in a bill for eighteenpence half a dozen times, he paying the postage. The debtor will not take the pains to transmit the small amount. Again,

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a girl will let herself be asked seven times for a sum of threepence. No person of integrity allows himself in this kind of negligence. That it is troublesome and annoying to other people is not the worst of the mischief. That beautiful whole which we call integrity is marred by sins of negligence.

Bargains.––There is another failure in integrity which people do not realise to be as debasing as debt, though probably its effects are as bad; and that is the bargain-hunting in which even right-minded persons allow themselves.

It arises from an error in thought. People set out with the idea that they must get the best that is to be had at the Iowest possible price; and out of this idea arise the unseemly scramble to be seen at 'Sales'; the waste of time, temper, and health in going from shop to shop in search of the 'cheapest and best' article; the dishonest waste of the time of the assistants in all these shops––a waste for which, of course, the customers pay in the end: and to these is often added the fretful disappointment of a 'Purple jar'; a fine and showy thing is brought home which fails to bear the tests of close examination and calm judgment. The whole thing might be set right, and the ways of trade mended, by the exercise of clear judgment informed by integrity of purpose.

What we want is––not the best thing that can be had at the lowest possible price––but a thing suitable for our purpose, at a price which we can afford to pay and know to be just.

Looked at from this point of view, the whole matter is simplified; we are no longer perpetually running round, harassing ourselves and wearing out other people in the search after bargains. Every

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purchase becomes a simple, straightforward duty. We feel it to be a matter of integrity to deal with tradesmen of our own neighbourhood, so far as they can supply us. If they fail to do so, we are at liberty to go further afield; but in this case, we soon fix upon the distant tradesman who can supply our needs, and escape the snare of bargain-hunting.

There is a further risk in bargain-hunting of which we should be aware. Nothing is cheap that we do not want; and the temptation to buy a thing for which no need has yet arisen, because it is a bargain, leads to a waste of money wanted for other uses, and to the accumulation of meaningless objects in our rooms. It is worth while to remember that space is the most precious and also the most pleasing thing in a house or room; and that even a small room becomes spacious if it is not crowded with useless objects.

Our Neighbour's Property.––Another point of integrity is care for our neighbour's property. To love our neighbour as ourselves means that we shall be at least as careful in the use of his property as in that of our own. We all borrow books, whether from public libraries or from our friends, and it behoves us to take as much care of the books we borrow as of our own treasured possessions. We do not spot the covers by laying them in damp places, nor curl them before the fire, nor strain the binding by marking our place with some big object.

If we are walking in public gardens, we remember that it is not an easy thing to keep the grass nice in such places, and take heed not to walk on the edges. We are careful of the school property if we are at school, of the college property if at college; for these matters belong to integrity. Care in small matters

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makes us trustworthy in greater. When we come to be trusted with the property of others, whether in money or material, we are on our guard against wastefulness, carelessness, extravagance, because integrity requires that we should take care of and make the most of whatever property is put into our hands. We may not allow ourselves to waste even a stick of sealing-wax for amusement.

Borrowed Property.––The question of borrowing falls under the head of the care we owe to other people's property. From a black-lead pencil to an umbrella, young people borrow without stint; and there is so much community of property and good fellowship among them that the free use of each other's belongings is perhaps hardly to be objected to. One word, though, in the name of honesty! What we borrow we must return promptly, the thing being none the worse for our use of it. No degree of community of life excuses us from this duty. The friend we borrow from may take no heed of the fact that we do not return the object; but we suffer in our wholeness, our integrity, from all such lapses.

As we have seen, our work, our time, the material or property of which we have the handling, are all matters for the just and honest use of which we are accountable. We may be guilty of many lapses which no one notices, but every lapse makes an imperfection in our own character. We have less integrity after a lapse than before it; and the habit of permitting ourselves in small dishonesties, whether in the way of waste of time, slipshod work, or injured property, prepares the way for a ruinous downfall in afterlife. But we need fear no fall, for integrity is, with us, a part of 'ourselves,' and only asks of us a hearing.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XVIII Opinions: Justice In Thought

Three 'Opinions.––When we say, 'I think it will be fine to-morrow,' we express an opinion. When we say, 'Jones is first-rate; you should hear his lectures on the Anabasis,' again we express an opinion, though the 'l think' is left out. Even if we say,' Let us walk to Purley Woods.' what we really mean is, 'I think it would be pleasant to walk to Purley Woods.' We cannot escape from thinking, however much we try; and the thought we have about person or thing is our opinion. People often say 'I think' when they mean 'I wish'; for really to have an opinion about such a matter as the weather, for example, means that one has noticed weather signs and is able to judge. Therefore, when we want an opinion about the weather that is worth having, we consult the gardener, or a farmer, or sailor, for the business of these men has made them observant of weather signs.

When we say, 'Jones is first-rate,' it may mean that we have enjoyed the lectures of that master and like him personally; if so, our opinion is worth having; or it may only mean that we have caught up a catchword of the class. Everybody speaks well of Mr.

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Jones, and we only join in the cry. This sort of opinion is quite worthless, and would shift round like a weather-cock if some ill-natured boy raised a contrary opinion about Jones, as, 'What queer ties he wears!' The boy who lives upon chance opinions does not look at the relative importance of those he gets hold of. Jones's ties and Jones's lectures are all one to him, and poor Mr. Jones rises or sinks in his scales with every chance remark he hears about him.

If Mary says, 'Let's go to Purley Woods,' her opinion is sincere enough. She remembers the primroses of former years, and inclination influences her thoughts. We get a real opinion, his very own, from the person who wants something; but it is not a safe opinion, because our wishes drown our judgment, and we rush headlong after the thing we want. This is the history of the youth who falls into bad ways. His opinions are subservient to his wishes, and he thinks only that which it pleases him to believe.

An Opinion worth having.––We may gather three rules, then, as to an opinion that is worth the having. We must have thought about the subject and know something about it, as a gardener does about the weather; it must be our own opinion, and not caught up as a parrot catches up its phrases; and lastly, it must be disinterested, that is, it must not be influenced by our inclination.

But, 'Why need we have opinions at all,' you are inclined to ask, 'if they mean such a lot of trouble?' Just because we are persons. Every person has many opinions, either his own, honestly thought out, or picked up from his pet newspaper, or from his favourite companion. The person who thinks out his

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opinions modestly and carefully is doing his duty as truly as if he helped to save a life. There is no more or less about duty; and it is a great part of our work in life to do our duty in our thoughts and form just opinions.

Opinions on Trial.––As you know, we have a mentor within us, about which I shall have to speak more fully later; but, once we get into the habit of bringing our thoughts before Conscience, we shall soon be able to distinguish as to the right or wrong of an opinion before we utter it.

'Fads.'––'But such a fuss about what one thinks is a fad, and people with fads are a nuisance'; you say, adding, 'I hate fellows that have notions; they never let you alone.' It is quite true, fads are tiresome; and for one of two reasons––either the person with the fad thinks too much about it, and does not trouble himself to form opinions upon a hundred other matters of equal importance; or, he has taken up his opinion without full, all-round knowledge of the subject. 'Fads' are tiresome, but some men seem called to be faddists, in so far as they are persons ruled by one idea, because it is laid upon them to bring about a reform.

Thus were Wilberforce and Clarkson occupied with the question of the slave-trade; Plimsoll, with that of unseaworthy vessels; Howard, with the question of prison discipline. Every great missionary, every great reformer, has his mind so largely occupied with one subject that there is little room for others. Such men as these are not faddists: they do not take extreme or one-sided views, though one subject occupies them to the exclusion of others.

But only a few of us are called to give ourselves up

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to some work of reformation; and therefore the rest of us must not allow ourselves to be occupied too much with one set of ideas. The faddist is the person who talks and thinks about one subject; but if, instead of merely talking and thinking, he devotes his life to one good end, he becomes one of the world's workers, a reformer.

Matters upon which we must form Opinions.––We must all get opinions about our own country, about other countries, about occupations, amusements, about the books we read, the persons we hear of, the persons we meet, the pictures we see, the characters we read of, whether in fiction or history; in fact, there is nothing which passes before our minds about which it is not our business to form just and reasonable opinions. That we may be able to do this, we spend a good many years, while we are young, in getting the knowledge which should enable us to think. When we are grown-up, also, it is still necessary to spend time in getting knowledge, but few can give the chief part of the day to this labour, as we all have the chance of doing while we are young. This chance is, however, wasted upon young people who read to learn up facts towards an examination. The lectures we hear, the books we read, are of no use to us, except as they make us think.

When Numa was offered the kingship of Rome, he had thought about the subject. He said that he had no special gifts of education or birth to fit him for rule: but the Romans, too, thought, and expressed their opinion. Would he not take the crown, they asked, to save his country from misrule? That question contained an opinion which Numa had not

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considered. There were, no doubt, those who might wish to govern Rome for selfish ends; the opinion of the Romans was a just one, he would be guided by it, so he became king. Here we get a very good example of how opinion should rule us in life. We must think about things, about everything, for ourselves; think out the responsibility of judge and general, king and minister, so that, should we be suddenly asked to take any of these positions, we shall know what to answer.

Of course, we should say, as did Numa in the first place, that we have not had the experience or education to fit us for such high office; and, of course again, we shall not be asked! But it is a great thing to have realised what other people have to do and to think about; to have gone with Colonel Younghusband to Thibet, to have defended Port Arthur with General Stoessel. Thus we get opinions which are worth holding about war, patriotism, the duties of a public servant, and many other matters. What is more, we endeavour to figure to ourselves the responsibilities and purposes of parents, masters, or whatever chief is placed above us; and, when we give an opinion about their actions, it is likely to be a just one.

As for the clergyman and his teaching, it is, as in other cases, only as we care about the things of religion and think much about them, that we have the right to give opinions.

Opinions about Books.––In the same way, we must be just in what we think about books. Trashy books are not worth the trouble of thinking about, and therefore they are not worth reading; but a book that is worth reading, whether it be a novel or a

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homily, contains the best thought of the writer, and we can only get at his meaning by serious thinking.

As a fact, the books which make us think, the poems which we ponder, the lives of men which we consider, are of more use to us than volumes of good counsel. We read what boys call 'good books,' thinking how good they are, and how good we are to read them! Then it all goes, because the writer has put what he had to say so plainly that we have not had to think for ourselves; and it seems to be a law in the things of life and mind that we do not get anything for our own unless we work for it. It is a case of lightly come, lightly go. That is why we are told of our Lord that "without a parable spake He not unto them." He told the people stories which they might allow to pass lightly through their minds as an interest of the moment, or which they might think upon, form opinions upon, and find in them a guide to the meaning of their lives.

Your opinions about books and other things will very likely be wrong, and you will yourself correct them by and by when you have read more, thought more, know more. Indeed, no wise person, however old, is sure of his opinions. He holds them fast, but he holds them modestly; and, should he be like Numa, convinced that the opinion of others is more sound than his own, why, he has no shame in what we call 'changing his mind.' "We are none of us infallible, not even the youngest!" was said by a wise and witty man, who knew that young people are apt to be cocksure––that is, to take up opinions at second hand and stick to them obstinately. The word opinion literally means 'a thinking'; what I

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think, with modesty and hesitation, and not what I am certain-sure about.

Our Duty with regard to Opinion.––We begin to see what is our duty about opinions. In the first place, we must have 'a thinking' about an immense number of things. So we must read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest; must listen and consider, being sure that one of the purposes we are in the world for is, to form right opinions about all matters that come in our way.

Next, we must avoid the short road to opinions; we must not pick them up ready made at any street-corner; and next, we must learn––and this is truly difficult, a matter that takes us all our lives to recognise a fallacy, that is, an argument which appears sound but does not bear examination. For example, 'We are all born equal'; so we are, with equal right to the pure air, to the beauty of earth and sky, to the protection of the laws of our country, and much besides. But the sense in which men use the phrase is,––-that we are all born with an equal right to the property that is in the world. That is absurd, as the very word 'property' shows us: property means ownership, it is the own possession of the persons who hold it. We are ashamed even of a cuckoo that appropriates the own nest of another bird. But the question of fallacies is a big one, and all we need bear in mind now is, that popular cries, whether in the school or the country, very often rest upon fallacies or false judgments. So we must look all round the notions we take up.

Next, before forming an opinion about anyone in place and power, we must try to realise and understand that person's position and all that belongs to it.

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One more thing, when we have arrived at an opinion we must remember that it is only 'a thinking,' and must hold it with diffidence; but because it is our thinking, our very own property that has come to us through pondering, we must hold it firmly, unless, like Numa, we are convinced that another view is sounder than our own.

But, once again, we may not be sluggish in this matter of opinion. It is the chief part of justice to think just thoughts about the matters that come before us, and the best and wisest men are those who have brought their minds to bear upon the largest number of subjects, and have learned to think just thoughts about them all. It is a comfort to know that Justice, that lord of the heart, is always at hand to weigh the opinions we allow ourselves to take up.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XIX Principles: Justice In Motive

Principles, Bad and Good.––There is a certain class of opinions of which we must take special heed. Sometimes we get them from others, sometimes we think them out for ourselves; but, in either case, we make them our own because we act upon them. These opinions rule our conduct, and they are called Principles because they are princeps, first or chief in importance of all the opinions we hold. We speak of a well-principled boy, a man of principle, a young woman of high principles; but everyone has principles––that is, everyone has a few chief and leading opinions upon which every bit of his conduct is based. The boy who is late for roll-call, cribs his translation, shirks both games and work, may not know it, but he is acting upon principle. His principles may not even have found their way into words, but, if we fish for them, they come up something in this form: 'What's the good of doing more than you can help?' 'What's the good of hurrying a fellow? I'm not going to hustle!' 'It's all rot anyway, I shall never have to talk Latin.' These, and the like, are the principles on which his whole conduct is based. He has allowed himself in thinking the thoughts of the slothful and

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negligent until he cannot get away from them. People call him an unprincipled boy, but probably there are no unprincipled persons; he is a boy who has deliberately chosen bad principles upon which to build all his conduct.

Another fellow is punctual, prompt, and diligent in his work; he hardly knows why himself, but he has gathered, by degrees, certain principles upon which he cannot help acting. He remembers that he owes it to his parents and teachers to work; that what he owes, he ought to do; it is his duty. Again, he recognises that knowledge is delightful, and that his business while he is young is to get all he can of it. He sees, too, that his future career depends upon his present work; that he is making in the schoolroom the man that is to be. He may have heard such things as these said at home or at school, or they may have come into his head, he does not know how; but, anyway, he has taken them for his chief things, his principles, and he acts upon them always. In both cases the conduct of the boys is ruled by their principles; to account for the difference between the two we must go back to their choice of principles; and the choosing of these is a very important part of life.

How to Distinguish.––The traveller who arrives at a foreign station or port is often both amused and annoyed at the number of porters who clamour for his luggage, the number of hotel omnibuses which try to get possession of him. Just so clamorous and tiresome are the principles that are forced upon us by almost everyone we meet, by the very books and papers we read, the pictures we look at.

From the first we may detect a difference. Good principles are offered to us in an unobtrusive way,

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with little force and little urging. Bad principles are clamorous and urgent, drowning the voice of conscience by noisy talk, inviting us to go the way we are inclined and to do the thing we like.

Our Principles 'Writ Large.'––It is an interesting fact, that, though a person's principles of conduct are often not put into words, they are always written in characters of their own. Everyone carries his rules of conduct writ large upon his countenance, that he who runs may read. It is well to remember this, because, though we may like a boy who has slothfulness or self-indulgence, envy or malice, dishonesty, cruelty, or greed, written about his eyes and mouth, yet we like him with a difference. We are on our guard against the particular bad principle which he chooses to follow, and while we may enjoy his wit or cleverness, we do not admit him to intimacy, or allow him a voice in our own choice of principles of conduct.

'But what are my principles?' you say; 'I'm sure I don't know'; and, indeed, we need not trouble ourselves much to find out; this is a case where lookers-on see most of the game, and some of the youngest persons we know are better acquainted with our principles than we are ourselves. Our part is simply to take heed; to ask ourselves, now and then, why we are always running after Jones, for instance. Is it that he flatters us? puts false ideas of manliness, perhaps foul ideas of pleasure, into our heads? If so, our principles are in fault. We choose a friend who will minister to what is bad in us. Do we stick to Brown because 'he's an honest old chap,' and tells us straight when he thinks we are silly or lazy? Good for us if so. Do we join with other fellows in calling Smith a sneak, a cad, or a muff, when he has distinguished

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himself in some school study? If so, we must be careful; envy is perhaps the principle which chooses that no one shall be better than ourselves.

We gather our principles unconsciously; but they are our masters; and it is our business every now and then to catch one of them, look it in the face, and question ourselves as to the manner of conduct such a principle must bring forth.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XX Justice To Ourselves: Self-Ordering

My Duty to Myself.––We know that we owe justice to our neighbour, that is, to those about us and those beneath us, and those on our own level; to our own family, our servants, the people we employ, and at whose shops we deal; and to all those whom we know as relations and friends; to a gradually widening circle of persons which comes at last to include all the world.

There remains one person to whom we owe a debt of justice, and many lives are wasted because this person is unjustly treated. The friend whom we are apt to neglect when we are dealing out justice is ourself "My duty toward my neighbour," says the Catechism, "is to keep my body in temperance, soberness, and chastity,"––and this, partly because, if we neglect this rule of life, we become injurious and offensive to our neighbours, and partly because we owe a first duty to that closest of all neighbours, our very self.

Some people do great things in the world––they save lives, write books, build hospitals; but the person who orders his own body properly also does a service to the world. In the first place, a good man or woman, whose body is kept under the

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threefold rule I have quoted, adorns the world, helps to make it beautiful, just by being there; and, in the next place, both evil and good are catching. One unchaste boy in a school will make many who think and speak of matters they should never allow their thoughts to touch; so a single chaste boy who puts all such talk away from him, will not listen to it or allow it, helps to make his whole school chaste. Few things are more sad than to see a beautiful body, made for health, strength, and happiness––made in the image of God––-injured and destroyed by bad habits.

Temperance avoids every Excess.––Of the three rules of life by which our bodies should be ordered, perhaps temperance is least understood by young people. We think of Burne-Jones's stately figure of Temperantia pouring pure water out of her pitcher to quench the flames, of temperance societies, and so on; and thus we come to associate temperance with abstinence from drink. That certainly is one kind of temperance; but the boy who is greedy, the girl who is slothful, are also intemperate, as you may tell by watching them walk down the street. They have not the springing step, the alert look, which belong to Temperance.

One may even be intemperate in the matter of restlessness. We may carry games, cramming for an examination, novel-reading, bridge, any interest which absorbs us, to excess; and all excess is intemperance. It means that the person who indulges in excesses has lost control over himself, so that there is some one thing he must have or must do, at whatever loss to himself or inconvenience to others. Once we are aware of this danger of intemperance, even in things innocent in themselves, why, we keep watch. We

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don't go on to a fifth jam tart (!); we get up early; we brace ourselves with a cold bath and a vigorous walk; we use muscular movements, dumb-bells, or Indian clubs in our rooms. We are ashamed if we find ourselves running to fat and not to muscle, and knit ourselves up by means of more exercise, less lounging; we are careful, too, not to have a second or a third helping when we like the dish. By the way, that is rather a good rule. If one helping of cold mutton is enough, there is proof positive that one helping of roast lamb, let us say, is also enough. We must beware of becoming gross, because gross in body means slow of wits, dull in thought. We can all be temperate without putting ourselves under any particular course of diet, (we need not live upon apples and nuts and the like); indeed, perhaps temperance is best shown in eating temperately of that which is set before us, however nice it may be.

Soberness does not seek Excitement.––Soberness appears to mean in the first place, according to the derivation of the word, being removed from drunkenness. Never was it easier for young persons to remain sober by never tasting alcohol than it is to-day, when so many good and thoughtful people, men of affairs, people in what is called 'society,' drink water and not wine.

We have heard of that nation of ancient Greece, the custom of whose great men it was to give drink to their slaves, in order that their children might see how absurd and how disgusting a drunken man becomes; they did this, in order that their young people might grow up loathing drunkenness as the vice of slaves. Christian people may not cause others

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to offend; but, alas! we do not want for examples. Even children who live in towns see something of the horror of drunkenness, and they wonder at it. How can Jervis, such a nice man when he is sober, go on drinking until at last he falls, a horrid object, by the roadside? This is a question worth asking, because the whole history of drunkenness, and indeed of every vice that becomes a man's master, hangs upon the answer.

Self-Indulgence leads to Vice.––A man begins to drink for pretty much the same reason that takes a boy to the tuck-shop. He wants to indulge himself with something agreeable, and thinks there is 'no harm' in a glass of beer or wine. Now, 'no harm' is a dangerous sign-post to follow. It points to a broad road upon which there are many gay travellers; and the going is easy, because it is downhill all the way. This is the road of self-indulgence; and whenever we have to justify anything we do to ourselves by saying, 'There's no harm in it,' we may be pretty sure we are on the downward grade. Our only chance then is to struggle back by the uphill track of duty. The person who persists on the easy downgrade, amused by the song and laugh of gay comrades, and choosing to go the way that gives him no trouble, comes by and by to a parting of the ways; to the four cross-roads where the companions divide.

The Parting of the Ways.––At this point, they lose their gaiety, and hurry away by one or other cross-road with the eagerness of men engaged on a matter of life or death; so they are, on a matter of death but not of life.

They are engaged upon the gradual injuring, the slow killing, of their beautiful and noble body, that

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great gift of God to each of us; upon the soddening and weakening of the wonderful brain we use when we think and know, when we love and pray. The greatest master in the world cannot produce any but cracked and feeble tones out of an instrument whose cords are worn and injured; so, however brilliant the man who lets himself go down either of the four crossroads of vice, he loses all the promise and power of his genius once he has injured his brain by vicious habits; for we can do no thinking or acting that is worth while without a sound brain.

The Fate of the Drunkard.––The first of these cross-roads leads to drunkenness, and the man turns into it when he passes the stage of self-indulgence; that is, when he no longer drinks because it pleases him, but drinks because he must. That is the dreadful penalty man or woman pays for self-indulgence. A craving habit is set up which very few indeed are able to resist; conscience, the help of friends, even faint and feeble prayers, appear to be of no avail. The poor wretch drinks because he is miserable; for the moment, drink makes him happy because it stimulates him. It causes a quick current of blood to flow through his brain; his thoughts are brisk and life is pleasant. But, alas! a time of depression follows immediately. The man cannot think and cannot feel, is very sorry for himself, sheds maudlin tears, cannot endure the burden of existence, and flies again to the enemy. He tells you he must drink, that it is beyond flesh and blood to endure the maddening craving that consumes him.

He drinks his health and his wealth, his friends and his profession; he is a wreck in body and mind, and men wonder how he lives at all––if such

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manner of crawling about in obscure ways can be called life.

Is this a just return to God for the wonderful endowments of body and mind this man has received? Is it just to his family and neighbours to make himself a burden and an offence? Is it just to himself––that wonderful, beautiful self, with all its powers of heart, mind and soul, of which it is everyone's first business to make the most?

What would one say of a young man who received as a birthday gift a costly repeater, and immediately opened the case and poured vitriol into the works? You would say he was a fool or a madman to destroy what cost much money to buy, much thought and delicate labour to construct. What, then, of him who destroys that far more wonderful mechanism of brain and body, by means of which he thinks, lives, and feels?

You think it would be a merciful thing to place such offenders in a madhouse with other lunatics : but God does not allow us to escape the responsibility of choosing between right and wrong, even though we always choose the wrong, and continually offend against Him, ourselves, and our neighbour.

'En parole.'––That thought makes our responsibility for ordering our bodies very great. just because we can, if we like, do the wrong thing, we have to be all the more on honour to choose the right. The French have a pretty expression which we use in the case of prisoners of war. The prisoner is allowed a great deal of liberty en parole, that is, if he will give his word not to try to escape. So binding is the word of a gentleman, both in France,

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England, and elsewhere, that the prisoner of war, who may be clever enough to contrive ways to get out of the most strongly guarded cell, cannot escape from his own word. He may walk about the streets, go here and there, do what he likes; but there is an invisible wall, confining him which he cannot pass beyond, and this wall is no more than his word––he is en parole.

This is very much the way that God treats us in the matter of self-indulgence. The way is open to us down the Broad Road, but we are hindered by our parole. We may not have given our word out loud, but the word is only a sign, it means 'on my honour'; and we are all on our honour to safeguard ourselves from ruin, however easy and inviting may be the way thereto.

The difficulty is, that many young people go down the. Broad Road without knowing they are on it; they do not stop to think and look about them: they say, 'It does not matter'––this little pleasure or the other––and they have lost their honour before they know it.

Excitement.––There are some other ways of becoming intoxicated besides that of strong drink. Whatever produces an unnatural flow of blood to the brain has some of the qualities of intoxication, and is sure to be followed by depression when that extra flow of blood has left the brain, impoverished. We call this sort of intoxication excitement, and it is no harm as an occasional thing; but persons may come to want excitement every day, every hour, and may mope and be dull without it; they want excitement for the same reason that the drunkard wants drink, and for the same reason, too, the more they have the more they want.

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They cannot enjoy the company of their friends without a great deal of wild laughing and talking. They want to be always with people who will 'make them laugh,' however unseemly the jest. They are uneasy if they cannot go to every party of pleasure within reach. They find no games sufficiently exciting unless they be games of chance; and, in the end, the gambling habit may settle upon them––a habit as ruinous, if not as disgusting, as the drink habit.

He who would keep his body in soberness must avoid all these excesses. I do not say he must never be excited, because whatever pleases or troubles us very much, excites us; but that is quite a different thing from going after excitement, being uneasy if something exciting is not happening all the time.

The Ways of the Glutton––Circe.––The other byways branching off the Broad Road lead to the quarters of Gluttony, Sloth, and Unchastity. Persons who break parole with regard to the ordering of their bodies find their way down one or other of the four. Some persons hover between the four cross-roads, now going down one, now another, and now another; but others––like the drunkard, the gourmand, the slothful person, and the unclean––choose their way and stick to it, letting themselves be lost, body and soul, in the pursuit of some lust of the body.

You remember how Circe turned the hardy seamen of Ulysses into swine. I cannot do better than quote the tale in the words of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Circe, you remember, met the wandering mariners who had been drawn into her palace by the sounds of pleasant singing. The beautiful lady of the island came forward, smiling and stretching out her hand, and bade the whole party welcome. "'You see,'

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she said, 'that I know all about your troubles; and you cannot doubt that I desire to make you happy for as long a time as you may remain with me. For this purpose, my honoured guests, I have ordered a banquet to be prepared. Fish, fowl and flesh, roasted and in luscious stews, and seasoned, I trust, to all your tastes, are ready to be served up. If your appetites tell you it is dinner-time, then come with me to the festal saloon.' At this kind invitation, the hungry mariners were quite overjoyed; and one of them . . . assured their hospitable hostess that any hour of the day was dinner-time with them . . .

"They entered a magnificent saloon . . . Each of the strangers was invited to sit down; and there they were . . . sitting on two-and-twenty cushioned and canopied thrones . . . Then you might have seen the guests nodding, winking with one eye, and leaning from one throne to another, to communicate their satisfaction in hoarse whispers. 'Our good hostess has made kings of us all,' said one. 'Ha, do you smell the feast?' . . . 'I hope,' said another, 'it will be mainly good substantial joints, sirloins, spare ribs, and hinder quarters, without too many kickshaws. If I thought the good lady would not take it amiss, I should call for a fat slice of fried bacon to begin with.' But the beautiful woman clapped her hands; and immediately there entered a train of two-and-twenty serving men, bringing dishes of the richest food, all hot from the kitchen fire, and sending up such a steam that it hung like a cloud below the crystal dome of the saloon. An equal number of attendants brought great flagons of wine of various kinds, some of which sparkled as it was poured out and went bubbling down the throat . . . Whatever little fault they might find

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with the dishes, they sat at dinner a prodigiously long while, and it would really have made you ashamed to see how they swilled down the liquor and gobbled up the food. They sat on golden thrones, to be sure, but they behaved like pigs in a sty . . . It brings a blush to my face to reckon up, in my own mind, what mountains of meat and pudding, what gallons of wine, these two-and-twenty gormandisers ate and drank. They forgot all about their homes . . . and everything else except this banquet at which they wanted to keep feasting forever. But at length they began to give over, from mere incapacity to hold any more. . .

"They all left off eating, and leaned back on their thrones, with such a stupid and helpless aspect as made them ridiculous to behold. When their hostess saw this, she laughed aloud; so did her four damsels; so did the two-and-twenty serving men that bore the dishes, and their two-and-twenty followers that poured out the wine. 'Wretches!' cried she, 'you have abused a lady's hospitality; and in this princely saloon your behaviour has been suited to a hog-pen. You are already swine in everything but the human form . . . Assume your proper shapes, gormandisers, and begone to the sty!' Uttering these last words, she waved her wand, stamping her foot imperiously; each of the guests was struck aghast at beholding, instead of his comrades in human shape, one-and-twenty hogs sitting on the same number of golden thrones . . . It looked so intolerably absurd to see hogs on cushioned thrones, that they made haste to wallow down upon all fours, like other swine. They tried to groan and beg for mercy, but forthwith emitted the most awful grunting and squealing that ever came out of swinish throats . . . Dear me! what pendulous

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ears they had! what little red eyes, half buried in fat! and what long snouts instead of Grecian noses!"

Interests in Life.––If we wish to do justice to 'ourselves,' by keeping our bodies in temperance, soberness, and chastity, we must begin with our thoughts, remembering that in this matter we can be heroes, though nobody knows. Of each of us it is true, that

          "A charge to keep I have,
          A God to glorify."

And what a splendid reason we have in this for taking care of our thoughts! People say, 'Take care of the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves'; but far more true it is, 'Take care of the thoughts, and the acts will take care of themselves.'

If we would keep in soberness, we must work, read, and think; more––we must be thankful. There is no person's life which would not be exceedingly interesting if he lived it fully; and he whose life is full of interests does not seek excitement, from drink or other sources.

The person who has interests gives them to everybody about him. The boy who sets up a picture post-card album sets a fashion which his school follows; and so with every interest in life––poetry, history, or any class of natural objects.

Have interests and give them to others, and you are fairly safe from the desire for excitement which leads to drunkenness. Interests, too, will shield us all from the degradation of gluttony. The child who watches his brother's plate, and longs for what he thinks is the better helping, is a child who has nothing better to think of.

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Slothfulness.––The boy or girl who has interests is not a sluggard. Hockey, tennis, cricket, long walks, football, rowing, skating,––all these help to give him the vigorous body to which it would be a bore to lie abed or lounge about. By the way, one must not let oneself be the 'fat boy' in Pickwick, or anywhere else! When persons grow fat it is not always that they eat too much, though that may have something to do with it; but it is certainly because they do not take enough exercise, and therefore run to fat and not to muscle. Young men at college, boys at public schools, do not let themselves get fat; to do so would be 'bad form.' So, if we find this unpleasant symptom developing in ourselves, we had better consider whether slothfulness is not the cause––a horrid vice for which nobody would be content to wreck his life.

Uncleanness.––One Road to Ruin remains to be considered, the last and the worst of the four crossroads, that which leads to the deadly sin of uncleanness. Here, too, is a sin that is committed in thought: we have done the offence when we have thought it. We know the danger of allowing ourselves to be talked to by persons of unclean mind, and the dreadful danger of imaging ourselves things we may read. We cannot help coming across what may lead to evil imaginings; perhaps if we could there would be no battle to fight, and then we could not obey the command, "Glorify God with your bodies." Every one of us must get the power to draw down the blinds, as it were, not to let imagination picture the unclean thing. For once imagination behaves like Peeping Tom, it becomes a fight to keep out impure thoughts. "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation," says our Lord and Master; watch, that is, look at the

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thoughts you let in, and shut the door upon intruders. Pray every day and every night with the confidence of a child speaking to his father,––"Our Father which art in Heaven, lead us not into temptation"; and then, think no more of the matter, but live all you can the beautiful, full life of body and mind, heart and soul, for which our Father has made provision.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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PART IV––Vocation

Plans.––'I'm going to be a chimney sweep and wear a tall hat,' says the little Frankfort child (who rarely sees tall hats excepting on chimney sweeps), 'I'm going to be a cabby and drive a hansom,' 'I'm going to be a general and fight a great battle,' I'm going to be a nurse and mind a dear little baby,' 'I'm going to be "mother" and have little girls and boys of my own.' say the children; and they change their minds every week, because all sorts of trades and professions interest them, and they figure to themselves how nice it would be to belong to each.

The growing boy or girl leaves all that behind as one of the 'silly' ways of the little ones; but, by and by, wonder begins to stir in a boy's head as to what particular bit of the world's work he will be called to do. It is good and pleasant to think that the work, whatever it is, will be really his, and will also be world-work upon some task that is wanted. The girl's heart, too, reaches out wistfully: she wants a task, a bit of work for herself in the world that is

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wanted; that is the thing that both boy and girl desire. They understand the words of a great man, who said, "The thing worth living for is to be of use." The boy knows he must go out into the world and do something definite. For a girl, too, there are many careers, as they are called, opened in these days; and, if a girl is only called to the sweet place of a home daughter, all she need ask for herself is 'to be of use,' and, perhaps, no calling will offer her more chances of usefulness.

[In Charlotte Mason's day, it was common for older girls who were finished with their schooling to remain at home until marriage, as the Bennet girls did in Pride and Prejudice.]

Preparation.––Some boys know, at an early age, that they are being brought up for the navy, for example. For others, both boys and girls, their calling does not come until, perhaps, they have left college.

All callings have one thing in common––they are of use; and, therefore, a person may prepare for his calling years before he knows what it is. What sort of person is of use in the world? You think of the most brilliant and handsome of your friends, and say to yourself, 'So-and-so, anyway, is a person the world could not do without'; but you may be quite wrong. The good looks, wit and cleverness, which give boy or girl the first place in school, often enough lead to a back seat in the world; because the person with these attractive qualities may be like a vessel without ballast, at the mercy of winds and waves. None need think small things of himself and of his chances of being serviceable because he is without the attractive qualities he admires in another. Everyone has immense 'chances,' as they are called; but the business of each is to be ready for his chance. The boy who got a medal from the Royal Humane Society for saving life, was ready for his chance; he

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had learned to swim; and, also, he had practised himself in the alert mind and generous temper which made him see the right thing to do and do it on the instant, without thought of the labour or danger of his action; without any thought, indeed, but of the struggling, sinking creature in the water.

This illustrates what I mean; boys and girls who would be ready for their chances in life must have well-trained, active bodies; alert, intelligent, and well-informed minds; and generous hearts, ready to dare and do all for any who may need their help. It is such persons as these the world wants, persons who have worked over every acre of that vast estate of theirs which we have called Mansoul; men and women ordered in nerve and trained in muscle, self-controlled and capable; with well-stored imagination, well-practised reason; loving, just, and true.

Possibilities.––There is nothing in the wide world so precious, so necessary for the world's uses, as a boy or girl prepared on these lines for the calling, that may come; and that is why I have tried to lay before you some of the great possibilities of the Kingdom of Mansoul. These possibilities belong to each of us; and the more we realise what we can be and what we can do, the more we shall labour to answer to our call when it comes. The boy who works only that he may pass, or be the head of his class, may get what he works for; but perhaps no one is of use unless he means to be of use. This is not a thing that comes to us casually, because it is the very best thing in life; and that fellow who means to have a good time, or to be first in any race, even the race for riches,

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may get the thing he aims at; but do not let him deceive himself; he does not also get the honour of being of use.

                    "Get leave to work
          In this world!––'tis the best you get at all.

          *            *            *            *            *

                    Get work! get work!
          Be sure 'tis better than what you work to get."
                              E. B. BROWNING.
                             [from Aurora Leigh, Third Book, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning]

The Habit of being of Use.––'Hell is paved with good intentions' is a dreadful saying with which we are all familiar. I suppose it means that nothing is so easy to form as a good intention, and nothing so easy to break, and that lost and ruined souls have, no doubt, formed many good intentions. Therefore we must face the fact that the intention to be of use is not enough. We must get the habit, the trick, of usefulness.

In most families there is the brother who cuts whistles and makes paper boats for the little ones, who gallops like a war-horse with Billy on his back, whom his mother trusts with messages and his father with commissions of importance; or, there is the sister to whose skirts the babies cling, who has learnt Latin enough to help her young brothers in their tasks, who can cut a garment or trim a hat for one of the maids; who writes notes for her mother and helps to nurse the baby through measles.

The 'Neverheeds.'––The heedless members of the families––Jack, in whose pocket a note is found three days after it should have been delivered, Nellie, whose parcel comes to pieces in the post––say, 'Oh, that sort of thing's no trouble to Tom and Edith; they like it, you know.' It is quite true that they like it, because

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we all like to do what we do well; but––nobody can do well what he has not had a good deal of practice in doing; and you may depend upon it that the useful members of a family have had much practice in being of use, that is, they have looked out for their chances.

Servant or Master?––Each of us has in his possession an exceedingly good servant or a very bad master, known as Habit. The heedless, listless person is a servant of habit; the useful, alert person is the master of a valuable habit. The fact is, that the things we do a good many times over leave some sort of impression in the very substance of our brain; and this impression, the more often it is repeated, makes it the easier for us to do the thing the next time. We know this well enough as it applies to skating, hockey, and the like. We say we want practice, or, are out of practice, and must get some practice; but we do not realise that, in all the affairs of our life, the same thing holds good. What we have practice in doing we can do with ease, while we bungle over that in which we have little practice.

The Law of Habit.––This is the law of habit, which holds good as much in doing kindnesses as in playing the piano. Both habits come by practice; and that is why it is so important not to miss a chance of doing the thing we mean to do well. We must not amuse ourselves with the notion that we have done something when we have only formed a good resolution. Power comes by doing and not by resolving, and it is habit that serves us, whether it be the habit of Latin verse or of carving. Also, and this is a delightful thing to remember, every time we do a thing helps to

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form the habit of doing it; and to do a thing a hundred times without missing a chance, makes the rest easy.

Our Calling.––Of this thing I am quite sure, that his calling, or, if you like to name it so, his chance, comes to the person who is ready for it. That is why the all-round preparation of body, mind, soul, and heart is necessary for the young knight who is waiting to be called. He will want every bit of himself in the royal service that is appointed him; for it is a royal service. God, who fixes the bounds of our habitation [Acts 17:26], does not leave us blundering about in search of the right thing; if He find us waiting, ready and willing, He gives us a call. It may come in the advice of a friend, or in an opening that may present itself, or in the opinion of our parents, or in some other of the quiet guidings of life that come to those who watch for them, and who are not self-willed; or it may come in a strong wish on our own part for some particular work for which we show ourselves fit.

But this, I think, we may be sure of, that his call comes as truly to a ploughman as to a peer, to a dairymaid as to a duchess. And each person, in whatever station, requires preparation for his calling; first, the general preparation of being a person ready and fit; and next, a special preparation of training and teaching for the particular work in question.

But in the first stage of our apprenticeship, the time of general preparation, while we are yet at school or college, let us remember that it rests with us to fit ourselves for our vocation. The worth of any calling depends upon its being of use;

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and no day need go by without giving us practice in usefulness.

Each one is wanted for the special bit of work he is fit for; and, of each, it is true that––

          "Thou cam'st not to thy place by accident:
          It is the very place God meant for thee."

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Ourselves––Book II.––Self-Direction

"Order my goings."

Introductory

In Book I. of Ourselves, which deals with Self-knowledge, I have tried to lay before the reader a panoramic view of the Kingdom of Mansoul. I shall continue to use the expression, Mansoul, which we owe to Bunyan, because I do not know any other that suggests a view from the outside, as if one surveyed a tract of country from an eminence. From our imaginary height, we have––supposing that the reader has been my fellow-student in the considerations that occupied the former volume––taken a bird's-eye view of the riches of Mansoul, of the wonderful capacities there are in every human being to enter upon the world as a great inheritance.

All its beauty and all its thought are open to everyone; everyone may take service for the world's uses; everyone may climb those delectable mountains in the recesses of his own nature from whence he gets the

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vision of the city of God. If Mansoul has infinite resources and glorious possibilities, it has also perils, any one of which may bring devastation and ruin. None of these perils is inevitable, because Mansoul is a kingdom under an established government. It is convenient to think of this government as carried on in four Chambers.

The House of Body is, we have seen, sustained by the Appetites; but ruined when any one of these appetites obtains sole control. The five Senses are, as it were, pages running between body and mind, and ministering to both.

The House of Mind is amazingly ordered with a view to the getting of knowledge. "Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability," is writ large upon the portals, and within are the powers fitted to deal with all knowledge. There is Intellect, waiting to apprehend knowledge of many sorts; Imagination, taking impressions, living pictures of the glories of the past and the behaviour of the remote; there is the æsthetic Sense, whose motto is, "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever," ready to appropriate every thing of beauty, whether picture, poem, wind-flower, or starry heavens––a possession of joy for ever. Reason is there, eager to discern causes and consequences, to know the why and the wherefore of every fact that comes before the mind; and lest, with all these powers, Mind should become an uninhabited house, with rusty hinges and cobwebbed panes, there are certain Desires which bestir us to feed the mind, in much the same way as our Appetites clamour for the food of the body.

Just as each Appetite carries in itself the possibilities of excess and universal ruin to Mansoul, so each of

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these admirable functions of the mind has what we have called its dæmons; and each of these may not only paralyse that mind-power which it shadows, but may distort and enfeeble the whole of the powers of Mind.

The House of Heart is, we have seen, dominated, in every Mansoul, by two benign powers, Love and Justice. Pity, Benevolence, Sympathy, Kindness, Generosity, Gratitude, Courage, Loyalty, Humility, Gladness, are among the lords in waiting attendant upon Love; and Justice has its own attendant virtues––Gentleness, Courtesy, Candour, Respect, Discernment, Appreciation, Veracity, Integrity, and more.

Temperance, Soberness, and Chastity, too, are of the household of Justice; for these include that justice which we owe to ourselves; but, alas! upon every one of these waits its appropriate dæmon, and the safe-conduct of life depends, first, upon discerning, and then upon avoiding, the malevolent dispositions which are ready to devastate the House of Heart. We know how Cowardice, Meanness, Rudeness, Calumny, Envy, and a hundred other powers of evil beset us. The perils are so great, the risks so numerous, that many a goodly Mansoul perishes without ever realising the vast wealth which belongs to it––like a prince brought up in peasant's estate, and unaware of his birthright. Those who begin to realise how much is possible to Mansoul, and how many are the perils of the way, know that a certain duty of self-direction belongs to them; and that powers for this direction are lodged in them as truly as are intellect and imagination, hunger and thirst.

The governing powers lodged within us are the

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Conscience and the Will: but conscience (even the conscience of a good Christian person) is not capable of judging for us, in the various affairs of our life, without instruction, any more than the intellect of the ignorant hind can pronounce upon a problem of the differential calculus.

Therefore, Conscience must learn its lessons, regular and progressive lessons, upon the affairs of body, heart, and mind. One of the objects of this volume is to point out some of the courses of instruction proper for conscience, and some of the ends at which this instruction should aim. The affairs of the heart are so far interdependent with those of mind and body that the separate consideration we need give them at present is contained in the former volume of Ourselves.

Concerning the Will, too, the highest but one of all the powers of Mansoul, we need instruction. Persons commonly suppose that the action of the will is automatic; but no power of Mansoul acts by itself and of itself; and some little study of the 'way of the will'––which has the ordering of every other power––may help us to understand the functions of what we have called the prime minister in the kingdom of Mansoul.

It is well, too, that we should know something of the Soul, the name we give to that within us which has capacity for the knowledge and love of God, for prayer and praise and faith, for the enthronement of the King, whose right it is to reign over Mansoul. We may believe that the Creator is honoured by our attempt to know something of the powers and the perils belonging to that human nature with which He has endowed us.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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PART I––Conscience

SECTION I––Conscience In The House Of Body

Chapter I The Court Of Appeal

Conscience, the Judge, always in Court.––The affairs of Mansoul do not by any means go right of themselves. We have seen how the powers that be, in body, mind, and heart, are in conflict with one another, each of them trying for sole rule in Mansoul; and again, how the best servants of the state are beset by certain dæmons. But all this conflict and rivalry is provided against. There is a Court of Appeal always open, and therein sits the Lord Chief justice whom we call Conscience. Let us consider for a moment what is the office of a judge in a court of law. He does not know, and is not expected to know, the rights and wrongs of every case brought before him. Advocates on both sides get up these and set them in order before the judge; but he is in authority; he knows the law, and gives the right decision upon what he knows.

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Everyone has a Sense of Duty.––Just so, with Conscience. He proclaims the law, that is, Duty. No Mansoul is left without the sense of ought––everyone knows that certain behaviour is due from him, that he owes the ordering of his conduct to a higher Power. Duty, that which is due from us; ought, that which we owe, is the proclamation of Conscience. We are not our own; but God, who has given us life, and whose we are, has planted within us Conscience, to remind us continually that we owe ourselves to Him, and must order our ways to please Him, and that He is the judge who will visit every offence surely and directly, if not to-day, then to-morrow. Conscience informs us, too, of the reason of this judging of our God. Judging is saving. It is the continual calling of us back from wrong ways, which injure and ruin, into right ways of peace and happiness. All this Conscience testifies to us; morning by morning, hour by hour, he witnesses that we are not free to do what we like, but must do what we ought.

Conscience may give Wrong Judgments.––But if Conscience gives judgment in every Mansoul, how is it that people continually go wrong? As we have seen, there is apt to be anarchy in the State. Sloth or temper, pride or envy, betrays Mansoul.

I need not dwell upon the fate of those who will not listen to Conscience; but there is danger, too, for those who do listen. We hear it said that a man acts 'up to his lights,' or 'according to his lights.' However wrong he may be, there are some who excuse him because he knew no better. If the man has had no chance of knowing better,

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the excuse may be allowed; but it is not enough to act according to our lights, if we choose to carry a dim wick in a dirty lantern, when we might have good light.

[Acting "according to one's lights:" basing one's actions on what seems best, or feels right, without having all the information.]

Conscience may be tampered with.––We have seen that the judge is not familiar with the ins and outs of the case he tries. It is so with the judge of our bosom. He, too, listens to advocates; Inclination hires Reason to plead before Conscience; and Reason is so subtle and convincing that the judge gives the verdict for the defendant. 'Obey the law,' says Conscience; but, 'This that I choose to do is the law,' says Reason, on behalf of the defendant. 'Then, defendant' (i.e. Inclination), 'you may do the thing you choose.' This subtle misleading of Conscience is an art practised alike by little children and hardened criminals. It is possible that in this sense everyone acts up to his lights; he justifies himself; his reason proves that what he does is right in the circumstances, and Conscience lets him off––never ceasing to cry, 'Thou shalt do right,' but leaving each one free, to some extent, to decide as to what is right.

It is well we should know this limit to the power of Conscience, for many reasons; amongst others, it helps us to understand the histories of nations and individuals.

Conscience must be instructed.––It is necessary that we should all know something about the constitution of Mansoul, in order that we may recognise the voice of the speaker who instructs reason to put the case to conscience. Envy, for example, does not say, 'I hate Jones because he has a rich father,' or, 'because he scores, whether in lessons

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or games,' or 'because he is popular with the other fellows.' Envy pretends that all he wishes for is fair play. 'It's not fair that one fellow should have lots of pocket-money and another have to pinch and scrape.' 'Jones got up by a fluke in the Ovid.' 'He's always hunting for popularity: no decent fellow would lay himself out like that.' With arguments such as these does envy prompt reason, who makes out a good case before conscience, and the defendant gets off.

But the person who knows that any depreciation of another, by way of making much of ourselves, comes of envy, and not justice, is on his guard. He keeps his tongue from evil and his thoughts from malice, and submits to the condemnation of his unbiassed conscience.

This straight way of looking at things is what our Lord calls the single eye [Matt 6:22]. Many people seem to have it by nature, and cannot easily be deceived into calling wrong, right. But evil is specious and ready; and it is well for each of us to take pains that we may recognise misrepresentations brought before conscience. An instructed conscience rarely makes mistakes.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter II The Instruction Of Conscience

Instruction by Books.––The instructed conscience knows that Temperance, Chastity, Fortitude, Prudence must rule in the House of Body. But how is the conscience to become instructed? Life brings us many lessons––when we see others do well, conscience approves and learns; when others do ill, conscience condemns. But we want a wider range of knowledge than the life about us affords, and books are our best teachers.

There is no nice shade of conduct which is not described or exemplified in the vast treasure-house of literature. History and biography are full of instruction in righteousness; but what is properly called literature, that is, poetry, essays, the drama, and novels, is perhaps the most useful for our moral instruction, because the authors bring their insight to bear in a way they would hesitate to employ when writing about actual persons. Autobiographies, again, often lift the veil, for the writer may make free with himself. In the Bible the lives of men and the history of a nation are told without the reticence which authors are apt to use in telling of the offences of the good or the vices of the bad.

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Plutarch, perhaps alone among biographers, writes with comparable candour, if not always with equal justice.

The Poet and the Essayist are our Teachers.––A child gets moral notions from the fairy-tales he delights in, as do his elders from tale and verse. So nice a critic as Matthew Arnold tells us that poetry is a criticism of life; so it is, both a criticism and an inspiration; and most of us carry in our minds tags of verse which shape our conduct more than we know;

          "Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop
          Than when we soar." [Wordsworth.]

          "The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
          Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel." [Hamlet.]

A thousand thoughts that burn come to us on the wings of verse; and, conceive how our lives would be impoverished were we to awake one day and find that the Psalms had disappeared from the world and from the thoughts of men! Proverbs, too, the words of the wise king and the sayings of the common folk, come to us as if they were auguries; while the essayists deal with conduct and give much delicate instruction, which reaches us the more surely through the charm of their style.

So are the Novelists and the Dramatists.––Perhaps the dramatists and novelists have done the most for our teaching; but not the works of every playwright and novelist are good 'for example of life and instruction in manners.' [2 Tim 3:16] We are safest with those which have lived long enough to become classics; and this, for two reasons. The fact that

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they have not been allowed to die proves in itself that the authors have that to say, and a way of saying it, which the world cannot do without. In the next place, the older novels and plays deal with conduct, and conduct is our chief concern in life. Modern works of the kind deal largely with emotions, a less wholesome subject of contemplation. Having found the book which has a message for us, let us not be guilty of the folly of saying we have read it. We might as well say we have breakfasted, as if breakfasting on one day should last us for every day! The book that helps us deserves many readings, for assimilation comes by slow degrees.

Literature is full of teaching, by precept and example, concerning the management of our physical nature. I shall offer a lesson here and there by way of sample, but no doubt the reader will think of many better teachings; and that is as it should be; the way such teaching should come to us is, here a little and there a little, incidentally, from books which we read for the interest of the story, the beauty of the poem, or the grace of the writing.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter III The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Temperance

Temperance in Eating.––Who can forget how 'the fortunes of Nigel' [by Sir Walter Scott] turned upon that mess which Laurie Linklater prepared after the King's own heart? The telling is humorous; but not all the King's scholarship enables us to get over the supping of the cock-a-leekie! Thus Scott prepares us:––"But nobody among these brave English cooks can kittle up his Majesty's most sacred palate with our own gusty Scotch dishes. So I e'en betook myself to my craft and concocted a mess of friar's chicken for the soup, and a savoury hachis [i.e., haggis, a Scottish sausage], that made the whole cabal coup the crans; and, instead of disgrace, I came by preferment." It was through these same gusty Scotch dishes that James was approached, and Laurie Linklater figures as a deus ex machina. Richie Moniplies "having reached the palace in safety demanded to see Master Linklater, the under-clerk of his Majesty's kitchen. The reply was that he was not to be spoken withal, being then employed in cooking a mess of cock-a-leekie [chicken and leek soup] for the King's own mouth. 'Tell him,' said Moniplies, 'that it is a dear

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countryman of his, who seeks to converse with him on matter of high import . . . I maun speak with the King.' 'The King? Ye are red wud,' said Linklater . . . 'I will have neither hand nor foot in the matter,' said the cautious clerk of the kitchen; 'but there is his Majesty's mess of cock-a-leekie just going to be served to him in his closet––I cannot prevent you from putting the letter between the gilt-bowl and the platter; his sacred Majesty will see it when he lifts the bowl, for he aye drinks out the broth."'

And The Fortunes of Nigel closes with the King's last word––"And, my lords and lieges, let us all to our dinner, for the cock-a-leekie is cooling." [The Fortunes of Nigel, by Sir Walter Scott.]

Where's the harm? In this: King James's moral worth and intelligence are swamped, his dignity of character and title to respect forfeited, through ignominious failures in self-restraint in this and other matters. Did not the patriarch Isaac, too, lend himself to the deception which divided his family by his love for that savoury meat upon which so much turns? It is well and a sign of health that we should like and enjoy our 'meat,' but to love and long for any particular dish is of the nature of intemperance. So thought Plutarch when he tells us this tale [Preface to Plutarch's Lives.] of his bringing up:––

"Our master (says he) having one day observed that we had indulged ourselves too luxuriously at dinner, at his afternoon lecture ordered his freedman to give his own son the discipline of the whip in our presence; signifying at the same time that he suffered this punishment because he could not eat his victuals without sauce. The philosopher all the

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while had his eye upon us, and we knew well for whom this example of punishment was intended."

In Drinking.––That Le Balafré [Quentin Durward, by Sir Walter Scott.] should behave like a sot is what we expect of his lower nature; but it is painful that the generous and noble Lord Crawford should lose dignity and self-possession over the wine-cup. The occasion is the banquet given by the Mess to welcome the election of Quentin Durward. "At present, however, Lord Crawford declined occupying the seat prepared for him, and bidding them 'hold themselves merry,' stood looking on at the revel with a countenance which seemed greatly to enjoy it. 'Let him alone,' whispered Cunningham to Lindesay, as the latter offered wine to their noble Captain, 'let him alone––hurry no man's cattle––let him take it of his own accord.' In fact, the old Lord, who at first smiled, shook his head, and placed the untasted wine-cup before him, began presently, as if it were in absence of mind, to sip a little of the contents, and in doing so, fortunately recollected that it would be ill luck did he not drink a draught to the health of the gallant lad who had joined them this day . . . The good old Lord could not but in courtesy do reason to this pledge also, and gliding into the ready chair, as it were, without reflecting what he was doing he caused Quentin to come up beside him, and assailed him with many more questions concerning the state of Scotland, and the great families there, than he was well able to answer; while ever and anon, in the course of his queries, the good Lord kissed the wine-cup by way of parenthesis, remarking that sociality became Scottish gentlemen, but that young men, like Quentin, ought to practise

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it cautiously, lest it might degenerate into excess; upon which occasion he uttered many excellent things, until his own tongue, although employed in the praises of temperance, began to articulate something thicker than usual."

Times have changed since Quentin Durward played his part; and if men still drink, they are commonly not men of Lord Crawford's dignity of character. People begin to see that plain living and high thinking go together; self-restraint is practised both in eating and drinking, and the day is coming when excess in either will be regarded with general contempt.

In taking our Ease.––Miss Edgeworth's Lazy Lawrence [from The Parent's Assistant] has passed into a proverb; and many a more attractive hero is tarred with the same brush. Here is Harry Warrington, for example:––

"Harry's lace and linen were as fine as his aunt could desire. He purchased fine shaving-plate of the toyshop women, and a couple of magnificent brocade bedgowns, in which his worship lolled at ease and sipped his chocolate of a morning. He had swords and walking-canes and French watches with painted backs and diamond settings, and snuffboxes enamelled by artists of the same cunning nation. He had a levee of grooms, jockeys, tradesmen, daily waiting in his ante-room, and admitted one by one to him, and Parson Sampson, over his chocolate, by Gumbo, the groom of the chambers. We have no account of the men whom Mr. Gumbo had now under him. Certain it is that no single negro could have taken care of all the fine things which Mr. Warrington now possessed, let alone the horses and the post-chaise which his honour had bought. Also Harry instructed himself in the arts which became

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a gentleman in those days. A French fencing-master, and a dancing-master of the same nation, resided at Tunbridge during that season when Harry made his appearance: these men of science the young Virginian sedulously frequented, and acquired considerable skill and grace in the peaceful and warlike accomplishments which they taught. Ere many weeks were over he could handle the foils against his master or any frequenter of the fencing-school . . . As for riding, though Mr. Warrington took a few lessons on the great horse from a riding-master who came to Tunbridge, he declared that their own Virginian manner was well enough for him." [The Virginians, by W. M. Thackeray.]

Here we have the pursuits of busy idleness; for idleness is generally busy: Hogarth painted what Thackeray describes, this same luxury and abandon of idleness. Such another idler was Charles II.; while he was a great walker, he shirked every hint of the work proper to his condition. But history and fiction, and, alas, everyday life, afford many examples of men and women who never bestir themselves to catch the flying opportunity.

In Day-Dreaming.––There are other kinds of intemperance besides the grosser sorts of overeating, over-drinking, over-sleeping. Nathaniel Hawthorne [The House of the Seven Gables.] describes another type of idleness in Hepzibah Pyncheon, the solitary old maid who inhabited the House of the Seven Gables, and spent her days in the erection of curious castles in the air.

"All the while Hepzibah was perfecting the scheme of her little shop, she had cherished an unacknowledged idea that some harlequin trick

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of fortune would intervene in her favour. For example, an uncle––who had sailed for India fifty years before, and had never been heard of since––might yet return, and adopt her to be the comfort of his very extreme and decrepit age, and adorn her with pearls, diamonds, oriental shawls, and turbans, and make her the ultimate heiress of his unreckonable riches. Or the member of parliament, now at the head of the English branch of the family,––with which the elder stock, on this side of the Atlantic, had held little or no intercourse for the last two centuries,––this eminent gentleman might invite Hepzibah to quit the ruinous House of the Seven Gables, and come over to dwell with her kindred at Pyncheon Hall . . . But, for reasons the most imperative, she could not yield to his request."

But, indeed, there is little to be said for the slothful:

          How comes it that of all
          The lusts that could enthral
          Yon Bible worthies to so hapless fall,
          Sloth shows not first, Hell-frame acurst,
          Where every pestilent root of ill is nursed?
          Who slips must erst have stood,
          Have made his foothold good,
          Have risen and held him up, ere fall he could:
          But who lies prone, Such toils unknown,
          May comfort him, lapse for him is there none;
          The sum of ill-doing is––leaving undone.

'Know thy Work and do it.'––Let us hear Carlyle, [Past and Present.] the apostle of work, upon idleness and work:––"And who art thou that braggest of thy

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life of idleness; complacently showest thy bright gilt equipages; sumptuous cushions; appliances for folding of the hands to mere sleep? . . . One monster there is in the world: the idle man . . . The latest gospel in this world is, Know thy work and do it: . . . know what thou canst work at; and work at it, like a Hercules! That will be thy better plan.

"It has been written, 'An endless significance lies in work'; a man perfects himself by working. Foul jungles are cleared away, fair seed-fields rise instead, and stately cities; and withal the man himself first ceases to be a jungle and foul unwholesome desert thereby. The man is now a man."

Principle underlying Temperance.––Conscience is not, in fact, so much concerned with the manner of our intemperance as with the underlying principle which St Paul sets forth when he condemns those who "worship and serve the creature more than the Creator." This is the principle according to which we shall be justified or condemned; and, in its light, we have reason to be suspicious of any system of diet or exercise which bespeaks excessive concern for the body, whether that concern be shown by a diet of nuts and apples, of peacocks' brains, or of cock-a-leekie. England is in serious danger of giving herself over to the worship of a deity whom we all honour as Hygeia. But never did men bow down before so elusive a goddess, for the more she is pursued, the more she flees; while she is ready with smiles and favours for him who never casts a thought her way. In truth and sober earnest, the pursuit of physical (and mental) well-being is taking its place amongst us as a religious cult; and the

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danger of such a cult is, lest we concentrate our minds, not upon Christ, but upon our own consciousness. We 'have faith' to produce in ourselves certain comfortable attitudes of mind and body; this serenity satisfies us, and we forget the danger of exalting the concerns of the creature above the worship of the Creator. The essence of Christianity is passionate love and loyalty towards a divine Person: and faith, the adoring regard of the soul, must needs make us like Him who is 'meek and lowly of heart.' A faith which raises us to a 'higher plane' should be suspect of the Christian conscience, as seeking to serve ourselves of the power of Christ, less to His glory than our own satisfaction.

Well said Carlyle that, whether you or I be in a state of well-being or not 'is not the central fact of the Universe.'

If undue attention to the physical nature be a kind of intemperance, still more so is the neglect of that nature through which every function we are enabled for is performed; and such neglect has its sources in the indifference of sloth and the excesses of greed. 'Take no thought for the life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink.' 'Eat that which is set before you.' These are the rules laid down by our Master, whereby we may 'keep our bodies in temperance, soberness, and chastity.' 'Take no thought,' for all offences against the body begin in the thoughts.

We Live in our Times.––I appear to have wandered wide of the mark, seeing that my subject is the dealings of Conscience with the House of Body in the matter of Temperance; but, indeed, it is necessary to keep a wide outlook upon the movements of the day, as well as upon those of our own appetites. We live

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with our times; and we must bear in mind that there is no freak of the moment,––whether it be that fruit-eating colony in the Pacific, or the living upon one meal a day, or the not permitting ourselves to drink anything at all, not even water,––for which Reason is not capable of being enlisted as special pleader. Only the instructed conscience is proof against persuasion. Let us hail Punch as our faithful mentor; whether we would be quadrumanous persons or nut-eaters, Punch laughs us into common sense!

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter IV The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Chastity (Part 1.)

Chastity of Soul.––In this field, also, the instructed Conscience takes a wide survey. The law forbids all sins of impurity, whether in imagination, word, or deed: of this we are aware, but do we recognise that the proportion of Love must be preserved as duly as the proportion of Faith? The instructed Conscience learns to regard all excessive affection, undue fondness, as sullying the chastity of the self-controlled soul. Any friendship, even if it be friendship between mother and child, which is over-fond and exclusive, making the one continually necessary to the other, and shutting out other claims of duty and affection, is suspect of the clear Conscience. To be 'all in all to each other' is not a quite pure desire, apart from the question of sex; for the chaste soul is, after the manner of Giotto's picture, walled within a tower. Noli me tangere is the law it chooses to obey, to the exclusion of all too close intimacies.

The Tragedy of 'Edward II.' [Marlowe.]––Perhaps nowhere is this law of the pure life more plainly indicated––by breach––than in the most sorrowful

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tragedy of Edward II., as set forth by Christopher Marlowe. Let us see how the tale goes, for one such lesson of life is worth many counsels and innumerable resolutions. Excess in affection is a weakness that besets generous natures, and King Edward is generous:

          "My father is deceased! Come, Gaveston,
          And share the kingdom with thy dearest friend."

Here indeed is friendship! eager to share all fortune to the utmost with a friend. And Gaveston is ready with love for love––

          "Sweet prince, I come; these, these thy amorous lines
          Might have enforced me to have swum from France."

The fond friendship is resented by the nobles, who have their own claims upon the King. They call a council and remonstrate, adding prayers and threats of rebellion. The King concludes the meeting with––

          "I'll either die or live with Gaveston."
          Gaveston. "I can no longer keep me from my lord."

          Edward. "What, Gaveston! welcome!––kiss not my hand––
          Embrace me, Gaveston, as I do thee.
          Why should'st thou kneel? know'st thou not who I am?
          Thy friend, thyself, another Gaveston!'

Edward pours titles, lands, and honours upon his friend with a free hand; nay, gives him his very seal––

          "Save or condemn, and in our name command
          Whatso thy mind affects, or fancy likes."

Again the nobles and great churchmen hold council as to how to dispose of 'that peevish Frenchman,'––a happy phrase, for the favourite or fondly beloved friend is ever peevish, ready to take offence, quick to resent.

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"Thus arm in arm the King and he doth march," says Lancaster; and Warwick adds, "Thus leaning on the shoulder of the King he nods and scorns and smiles at those that pass."

The Queen herself complains,––

          For now, my lord, the King regards me not,
          But doats upon the love of Gaveston.
          He claps his cheek, and hands about his neck,
          Smiles in his face, and whispers in his ears;
          And when I come he frowns, as who should say,
          'Go whither thou wilt, seeing I have Gaveston."'

The barons compass the exile of the favourite, and the King cries,––

          "And long thou shalt not stay, or if thou dost,
          I'll come to thee; my love shall ne'er decline."

They exchange pictures, and Edward says––

          Here take my picture and let me wear thine;
          O, might I keep thee here as I do this,
          Happy were I! but now most miserable!

          Kind words and mutual talk makes our grief greater:
          Therefore, with dumb embracement, let us part––
          Stay, Gaveston, I cannot leave thee thus."

Edward's threats and blandishments move Isabella; she, through the younger Mortimer, works upon the nobles, and Gaveston is recalled from his short exile in Ireland. The Queen brings the news to her lord, and is rewarded with momentary affection; Edward, in his elation, distributes rewards and praises amongst his nobles.

But the favourite, on his return, is as intolerable as ever, and the barons as intolerant. The King lives only in his 'minion,' and himself prepares for civil war, to 'abate these barons' pride.' One more attempt

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the barons make to convince the King of the ruin to the State brought about by his absorption in his favourite. The gifts and triumphs, masques and shows, 'bestowed on Gaveston have drained the treasury; rebellion threatens, deposition must follow; the King's garrisons are beaten out of France; the wild 'Oneyl' is making himself master of Ireland; the Scots make unresisted inroads in the north, the Dane commands the narrow seas;

          "What foreign prince sends thee ambassadors?"
          "Thy gentle queen, sole sister to Valois,
          Complains that thou hast left her all forlorn."

The peers no longer attend the royal court. The people make ballads and rhymes of scorn.

Is the King moved? Not he. The remonstrances of the barons make them traitors in his eyes, and all the result is,

          "Poor Gaveston, that he has no friend but me!
          Do what they can, we'll live in Tynemouth here,
          And, so I walk with him about the walls,
          What care I though the Earls begirt us round?"

Things go from bad to worse, till, in the end, the exasperated barons behead Gaveston. But is the kingdom to have release from the intolerable yoke it has borne? No; for the news of the former favourite's death had not yet staled, when,

          "And in this place of honour and of trust,
          Spencer, sweet Spencer, I adopt thee here."

Spencer, too, had loved Gaveston; but the King only follows the rule. Our fond and absorbing friendships are succeeded by others as fond and absorbing, not precisely out of fickleness, but because the enervated, emasculated nature can no longer

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exist without the sweet philanderings to which it has accustomed itself.

The tragical tale continues through rebellion, insurrection, and civil war; the one gleam of brightness be in the young Prince Edward, who believes in his father through good report and ill,

          "I warrant you, I'll win his highness quickly;
          'A loves me better than a thousand Spencers."

And the King, when he learns how his wife dishonours him, his people desert him, he, too, has a thought for his child,––

          "Ah, nothing grieves me, but my little boy
          Is thus misled to countenance their ills."

All goes on as before. Spencer, by Isabella's order, is arrested in the presence of the King:

          "Spencer, ah! sweet Spencer, thus then must we part."
          Spencer. "Oh! is he gone? Is noble Edward gone?
          Parted from hence? never to see us more?'––

for there seems to be no doubt that his friends gave love for love to the over-fond monarch.

The successive imprisonments follow; then, the final message:

          "Commend me to my son, and bid him rule
          Better than I. Yet how have I transgressed,
          Unless it be with too much clemency?"

Each of us, King in his own Realm.––We need not follow the tragedy to the end; but this note––"Yet how have I transgressed?"––is full of profound instruction. His own ruined life, his devastated kingdom, dishonoured wife, loyal subjects converted into traitors and assassins––all these lay at the door of the King; and he asks at the end, "Yet how have I transgressed?" His uninstructed

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Conscience threw no light upon the fatal error of his life. He chose those duties which he would fulfil; and his code would appear to contain but one commandment,––'Be faithful to thy friend.' Never once did it dawn upon him that we may not choose amongst our duties, or that a self-elected duty may become a vice. You say, 'Ah, yes, if you are a king; but happily lesser people are free to please themselves.' Indeed we are not. Each of us stands king amongst a thousand relations, duties, interests, proper to us. If we choose to yield ourselves to the domination of another, so that our will is paralysed and we are unable to think or act except upon that other's initiative, are incapable of being happy and at ease except in his presence, then we too have sown disorder in a realm, less wide and great than that of the unhappy Edward, but our own realm, for which we are responsible.

We are not Free to give Ourselves without Reserve.––Men seem, on the whole, to have learnt restraint in their friendships since the Tudor days when Marlowe thought it well to offer this lesson to the world, perhaps because in his day men admired men with such fond and passionate intensity. But this is not strictly a question of sex; schoolboy and schoolboy, girl and girl, man and woman, and woman and woman, there are, for whom life means no more than this manner of doting fondness for the beloved object. This is the sort of thing:––

"'Our pension was full of mystery and romance,' said Coquette, brightening up, 'because of two German young ladies who were there. They introduced––what shall I call it?––exaltation. Do you know what it is? When one girl makes another exaltée, because

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of her goodness or her beauty, and worships her, and kisses her dress when she passes her, and serves her in all things, yet does not speak to her. And the girl who is exaltée––she must be proud and cold, and show scorn for her attendant––even although she has been her friend. It was these German young ladies from the Bohemian Wald who introduced it––and they were tall and dark, and very beautiful, and many would have wished to make them exaltées, but they were always the first to seek out someone whom they admired very much, and no one was so humble and obedient as they were. All the pension was filled with it––it was a religion, an enthusiasm––and you would see girls crying and kneeling on the floor, to show their love and admiration for their friend."' [A Daughter of Heth, by William Black.]

Plutarch, [Life of Agesilaus.] of course, knows all about this matter. He (Agesilaus) had a private and more sensible cause of uneasiness in his attachment to the son of Spithridates; though, while he was with him, he had made a point to combat that attachment. One day Megabates approached to salute him, and Agesilaus declined that mark of his affection. The youth after this was more distant in his addresses. Then Agesilaus was sorry for the repulse he had given him, and pretended to wonder why Megabates kept at such a distance. His friends told him he must blame himself for rejecting his former application. 'He would still,' said they, 'be glad to pay his most obliging respects to you; but take care you do not reject them again.' Agesilaus was silent for some time; and when he had considered the thing, he said, 'Do not mention it to him, for this second victory

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over myself gives me more pleasure than I should have in turning all I look upon to gold."'

So great an affection, doubtless, argues a generous Heart; but that is not enough; a magnanimous Mind and an instructed Conscience must go to the preservation of the soul's chastity. We are not our own to give ourselves away without reserve.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter V The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Chastity (Part 2.)

Ordered Friendship

A Sane and Generous Friendship.––But there are a thousand records of temperate, wholesome, and noble friendships for one of feeble excess. The classic friendships are too well known to be quoted. But here is a companionship of a healthy kind :

"Are you not my only friend? and have you not acquired a right to share my wealth? Answer me that, Alan Fairford. When I was brought from the solitude of my mother's dwelling into the tumult of the Gaits' class at the High School––when I was mocked for my English accent––salted with snow as a Southern––rolled in the gutter for a Saxon pock-pudding,––who with stout arguments, and stouter blows, stood forth my defender?––Why, Alan Fairford. Who beat me soundly when I brought the arrogance of an only son, and of course, a spoilt urchin, to the forms of the little republic?––Why, Alan . . . You taught me to keep my fingers off the weak, and to clench my fist against the strong––to carry no tales out of school––to stand forth like a true man––obey the stern order of a Pande manum [hold out your hand],

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and endure my pawmies without wincing, like one that is determined not to be the better for them. In a word, before I knew thee I knew nothing. At college it was the same. When I was incorrigibly idle, your example and encouragement roused me to mental exertion and showed me the way to intellectual enjoyment. You made me an historian, a metaphysician (invita Minerva)––nay, by Heaven! you had almost made an advocate of me, as well as of yourself." [Redgauntlet, by Sir Walter Scott.]

Though a temperate friendship, that between Alan Fairford and Darsie Latimer was no alliance of the loose, commonplace sort. Friendship was subordinated to duty while things went well. Alan prepared earnestly for his career, and was a dutiful and affectionate son to a rather exacting father. But when his friend is in danger, this canny Alan throws up his chances and endangers his life with uncalculating ardour. The young advocate has made his first appearance with marked success in a difficult case. He is carrying the court with him when the strip of paper reaches him which tells of Darsie's danger. "He stopped short in his harangue––gazed on the paper with a look of surprise and horror––uttered an exclamation, and flinging down the brief which he had in his hand, hurried out of court without returning a single word of answer to the various questions, 'What was the matter?'––'Was he taken unwell?'––'Should not a chair be called?' etc., etc." He leaves the following lines for his father: "You will not, I trust, be surprised, nor perhaps very much displeased, to learn that I am on my way to Dumfriesshire, to learn, by my own personal investigation, the present state of my dear friend, and afford him

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such relief as may be in my power, and which, I trust, will be effectual . . . I can only say, in further apology, that if anything unhappy, which heaven forbid! shall have occurred to the person who, next to yourself, is dearest to me in this world, I shall have on my heart a subject of eternal regret."

A Friendship loyal in spite of Disillusion.––Mrs. Gaskell, [Wives and Daughters, by Mrs. Gaskell.] with the grace and sincerity which distinguish her style, tells us of the friendship between Molly Gibson and Cynthia Fitzgerald. Molly is a charming English girl, sound of heart and sound of head, to whom comes the vision of Cynthia, beautiful and bewitching. Of course she fell in love with her half-sister (it is a mistake to suppose that girls fall in love with men only); while Cynthia was equally attracted by Molly's freshness and simplicity. Pleasant hours are passed in Mrs. Gibson's drawing-room in chat and work. Both girls are kind, and each has a care for the interests of the other. There is the give-and-take of friendship between them; and, indeed, poor Molly is severely tried: Cynthia involves herself with men, and Molly endures many things to get her out of a dilemma. But she does endure them, without losing her own integrity; while Cynthia endures being obliged by her friend. But it is impossible to describe this natural friendship, not to be shattered by disillusion, in a few lines.

Friends brought to us by the Circumstances of Life.––It is a common error of youth to suppose that a friend must be a perfect person, and that the duty of loyalty ceases so soon as little failings show themselves. David Copperfield [David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens.] offers a fine

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study of the loyalties of life. David has a promiscuous collection of friends brought to him by the circumstances of his life; but how ready he is for the occasions of every one of them! With what simple good-humour he accepts Mr. Micawber's description of him as 'the friend of my youth,' and Mrs. Micawber's domestic confidences, when he himself was but a person of ten: how the Micawbers turn up at all sorts of inconvenient moments, and how they are always welcome to their friend: Traddles, too––what a nice person Traddles is; and what a sound and generous friendship exists between him and David! The list of friendships is a long one, the gradual ingathering of a life,––Peggotty, Mr. Dick, Ham, Dr Strong, Mrs. Peggotty, and the rest; in all he finds delight; all of them he honours, serves, and cherishes with entire loyalty. But not one of these friends dominates him or makes exclusive claims on his love. One friend he had with whom he lost his own individuality, who carried his heart by sheer fascination. Alas, this was Steerforth, and all the loyalty he could keep for him was that of a great sorrow over his friend's shame rather than over his death.

It is not the friends of our election who have exclusive claims upon us; the friends brought to us here and there by the circumstances of life all claim our loyalty, and from these we get, as did David Copperfield, kindness for kindness, service for service, loyalty for loyalty, full measure, heaped together and running over. One could hardly have a better guide in such matters than this charming tale of a life full of generous and loyal friendships, of fine chastity of soul, and containing, alas, the warning of a great unchastity!

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter VI The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Chastity (Part 3.)

The Final Unchastity

It all begins so innocently, and the end is so irremediably disastrous both to the man and the woman! People say it is one of the crying injustices of society that the woman should suffer and the man go 'scot-free.' But does he?

The confirmed profligate, perhaps, is not capable of further degradation; but the man who falls for the first time loses his future as certainly as the woman, if less obviously. He may escape public disgrace, but he never gets over the loss of power, purpose, and integrity which accompanies the loss of purity. He is handicapped for life, though he may himself have forgotten why; and should he at last marry, his children too often repeat their father's sin.

It is worth while to follow the history of a seduction as Mrs. Gaskell gives it to us in Ruth. Ruth is a friendless orphan who is apprenticed to a milliner, and is distinguished among her fellow-apprentices by her quiet, lady-like manners and her beauty. "'I could not help knowing that I am pretty,' answered she simply, 'for many people have told me so.'"

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She accompanies Mrs. Mason, her employer, to the shire ball, together with some other apprentices, that they might be at hand to mend rents in the ball dresses and the like; and a lady comes with her fiancé to have a tear mended. She is arrogant to the young apprentice, and "Mr. Bellingham looked grave," and, at the end picking up a camellia, he said: "Allow me, Miss Dunscombe, to give this in your name to this young lady as thanks for her dexterous help."

The reader admires Mr. Bellingham for his act of courtesy: and so, alas! does Ruth; the camellia becomes a treasure, and the girl's thoughts dwell on the courteous gentleman. Again she meets him, by accident, in romantic circumstances. She is trying to rescue a child from drowning, and he rides up and succeeds in saving the boy. This leads to further intercourse: he leaves his purse with Ruth to buy what is necessary for the child, and of course she has to see him again and account for what she has spent. Then there are accidental meetings at church––and still no wrong is intended. Next, the novelist introduces us to Mr. Bellingham at home:

"His thoughts had been far more occupied by Ruth than hers by him, although his appearance upon the scene of her life was more an event to her than to him . . . He did not analyse the nature of his feelings, but simply enjoyed them with the delight which youth takes in experiencing new and strong emotion . . . The fact of his being an only child had given him, as it does to many, a sort of inequality in those parts of the character which are usually formed by the number of years a person has lived. The unevenness of discipline to which

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only children are subjected: the thwarting resulting from over-anxiety: the indiscreet indulgence arising from a love centred in one object––had been exaggerated in his education." In these few words the author gives us a key to the situation, and we begin to suspect what is to follow. Steerforth, too, in David Copperfield, was the only son of a proud, indulgent, and wayward mother; and Arthur Donnithorne, in Adam Bede––he, too, is the only son of a fond and imperious father. It would seem as if only children had more need than others to walk circumspectly; perhaps this is a fact, because in a commonwealth of brothers and sisters it is not quite easy to follow devious ways; and the devious ways are the danger, whether to one of a large family or to the only child. Young Bellingham finds himself fascinated, he does not know why, and all the more so because "there was a spell in the shyness which made her avoid and shun all admiring approaches to acquaintance . . . By no over-bold admiration or rash, passionate word would he startle her . . . In accordance with his determination, he resisted the strong temptation of walking by her side the whole distance home after church. He spoke a few words about the weather, bowed, and was gone. Ruth believed she should never see him again; and, in spite of sundry self-upbraidings for her folly, she could not help feeling as if a shadow had fallen on her life." Then comes a Sunday when Mr. Bellingham walks home from church with her through the fields.

"'How strange it is,' she thought that evening,' that I should feel as if this charming afternoon's walk were somehow, not exactly wrong, but yet as if it were not right!"' Other Sunday afternoon rambles follow.

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The miseries she endures at Mrs. Mason's are fully confided; and then Bellingham wishes to see her old home, Milham Grange, only six miles off. A fine Sunday comes, and they go. He watched her with admiration as she "wound in and out in natural, graceful, wavy lines, between the luxuriant and overgrown shrubs." All goes merrily until Mrs. Mason, who is also out for a Sunday holiday, finds Ruth in the young man's company, and tells her she must never enter her doors again. Her lover, who had left Ruth for a few minutes, found her crying; and she told him what had happened in the interval.

"Her eyes were so blinded by the fast-falling tears, she did not see (nor, had she seen, would she have been able to interpret) the change in Mr. Bellingham's countenance, as he stood silently watching her. He was silent so long, that even in her sorrow she began to wonder that he did not speak, and to wish to hear his soothing words once more. 'It is very unfortunate,' he began, at last; and then he stopped; then he began again, 'It is very unfortunate; for, you see, I did not like to name it to you before, but I believe––I have business, in fact, which obliges me to go to town to-morrow––to London, I mean; and I don't know when I shall be able to return."' Hitherto, perhaps, no more than dalliance had been intended; but such dalliance is like the play of a little child on the brink of a precipice. The novelist delicately marks the moment, that moment of silence, when lust awoke as a rage in the blood of the young man. Such a moment of lust in the fairly right-meaning Arthur Donnithorne led to the ruin of Hetty Sorrel and the tragedy that followed it. The particular moment of Steerforth's abandonment to his passions is not indi-

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cated; but it is well that every young man and young woman should know that there is for them, as well as for everyone else, the possibility of being at death-grapple with that monster of our nature which we know as Lust. Self-indulgence prepares the way, dalliance offers a flowery by-path, and then, behold, before a person is aware, lust is upon him, and two lives are ruined. Safety lies, not in any immunity we may claim because we are refined, superior to common temptations; but in the strenuous, vigorous life of one who can say with St Paul, "I keep under my body and bring it into subjection." The primrose path of dalliance has only one end.

They go to London; but we next meet with them in North Wales. "Indeed, and she's not his wife,' thought Jenny (the landlady of the inn); 'that's as clear as day."' Still Ruth enjoyed the revelation, new to her, of mountain beauty, and "her admiration and her content made him angry"; she sighed a little "at her own want of power to amuse and occupy him she loved." The people at the inn comment upon the pair. "She's a very lovely creature," said one gentleman; "not above sixteen, I should think, very modest and innocent-looking in her white gown"; and his wife answered, "Well, I do think it's a shame such people should be allowed to come here." So thought others, and Ruth's lonely walks came to be annoyed by hostile notice. Next, Mr. Bellingham falls ill of a fever, and his mother is sent for to nurse him; poor Ruth is thrown upon the scant kindness of the busy landlady, and endures days and nights of terrible anxiety; and when he mends, there is a long discussion with his mother as to Ruth. He

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is weakly sorry, but chiefly sorry for himself; and without seeing Ruth, without a word of farewell, he says, "Could we not leave to-night? I should not be so haunted by this annoyance in another place. I dread seeing her again because I fear a scene; and yet I believe I ought to see her in order to explain." This was all he had to give for a ruined life and for the unbounded devotion of a loving heart. Ruth was so young and unsophisticated that we may believe the full meaning of her offence had hardly dawned upon her. The tale goes on, how mother and son depart in great state, and he never seeks to see her, or explain, or say a common farewell. A good and grievously deformed man finds her afterwards, crouching in a lonely place; "and she said low and mournfully, 'He has left me, sir!––sir, he has indeed!––he has gone and left me!' Before he could speak a word to comfort her, she had burst into the wildest, dreariest crying ever mortal cried. The settled form of the event, when put into words, went sharp to her heart; her moans and sobs wrung his soul; but, as no speech of his could be heard, if he had been able to decide what best to say, he stood by her in apparent calmness, while she, wretched, wailed and uttered her woe. But when she lay worn out, and stupefied into silence, she heard him say to himself in a low voice, 'Oh, my God! for Christ's sake, pity her!"' This good man and his sister nurse her through a perilous illness, and at last take the poor girl and her child with them to their home in Lancashire, where he is the minister of a small chapel. Ruth went through the bitter waters of repentance, and a life of penitence and humble service gave her the beauty of Christian character; all the more

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readily, no doubt, because her sin was rather the consequence of loneliness, despair and affliction than of lust.

David, we know, discovered that there was forgiveness even for sins of lust; but they would seem to leave ineradicable marks in the character. So we find it in Mr. Bellingham. Years after, when she was doing valued service in a subordinate position, Ruth met him again. "He was changed, she knew not how; in fact, the expression which had been only occasional formerly, when his worst self predominated, had become permanent. He looked restless and dissatisfied . . . He thought that Mrs. Denbigh" (the assumed name she went under) "was certainly like poor Ruth; but this woman was far handsomer . . . Poor Ruth! and for the first time for several years he wondered what had become of her, though of course there was but one thing that could have happened; and perhaps it was as well he did not know her end, for most likely it would have made him very uncomfortable." This is Mr. Bellingham as we get him after the lapse of years. Ruth, the sinned-against, was able to behave with Christian dignity and composure; while he, who was let off 'scot-free,' appears again in middle life––a man without aim, without conscience, and without heart, but a prey to consuming lust.

We need not follow the story to the end. It is well worth reading, the more so if the reader asks, with the Twelve, 'Lord, is it I?' Is this misery, or worse, this degradation of character, possible to me? Is there anything in me which could bring about so shameful a fall? Be assured there is.

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Dark rumours reach our ears from time to time of white men in African wilds who have escaped from the restraints of civilisation and have broken out in acts of detestable cruelty. When we hear these things, too, let us say, 'Lord, is it I?' For it is true that, once we escape from the bonds of duty, our duty towards God and our duty towards our neighbour, lust and hate become rampant in us, and there is no fall of which we are not capable.

But let us take courage. No last fall can overtake him who keeps his soul from the first fall; who preserves his chastity as in that fabled tower of brass, and allows no image of uncleanness to sully his imagination; who keeps his mind, too, full of healthy interests and worthy employment; who keeps under his body, by self-compelled labours, and noble restraint as regards all laxity of eating and drinking, lounging and sleeping.

Such an one, knowing the perils that beset his way, prays steadfastly day by day, "Our Father which art in heaven, . . . lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen"; and, having prayed, he thinks no more of the matter, but goes on his way fearless and rejoicing in his life––

          "So keep I fair through faith and prayer
          A virgin heart in work and will."

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter VII The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Fortitude

Fortitude.––Botticelli's picture of Fortitude, and Ruskin's interpretation of it, are among the lessons which Conscience should get by heart. This 'Fortitude' is no colossal figure, standing stark, bristling with combative energy. Noble in stature, she yet sits, weary after long-sustained effort; wistful, too, as who should say, 'How long?' But, though resting, she is wary and alert, still grasping the unsheathed sword which lies across her knees. She is engaged in a warfare whose end is not within sight; but hers is not the joy of attack. She is weary indeed, yet neither sorry for herself nor pleased with herself; her regard is simple. She has the 'single eye' which looks upon the thing to be done, not upon herself as the doer––the thing to be borne, rather, for Fortitude suffers.

The Bible hardly commends Fortitude to us by name as a Christian grace, yet therein we shall find our best exemplars. Our Lord, who bore more than we are able to express, says of Himself, "I am meek and lowly of heart"; and this saying, perhaps, gives us a key to the meaning of Fortitude,––less

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a valiant than a patient grace, memorable more for what she suffers gladly than for what she does.

As St Paul would image the fulness of Christ in the characters of Charity, so Isaiah gives us an image of Fortitude in setting forth the humiliation and sufferings of Christ. Fortitude grows up within us, a tender plant, is without form or comeliness, bears griefs and carries sorrows, endures chastisement, suffers and is dumb, does no violence, nor speaks deceit, is put to grief, yet––divides the spoil with the strong. There is only one true Fortitude among men, the fortitude of Christ; and every little bit of cheerful bearing that we are able for, without self-pity or self-complacency, comes of that divine fortitude.

Moses was the meekest man that ever lived, and his meekness was Fortitude. For forty years in the wilderness he bore with the waywardness of Israel; and, when the offences of the people had, so he thought, exceeded the patience of God, he prayed, "Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me also, I pray Thee, out of the Book of Life."

St Paul, too, after much bearing,––"in journeyings often; in perils of waters; in perils of robbers; in perils by mine own countrymen; in perils by the heathen; in perils in the city; in perils in the wilderness; in perils in the sea; in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness; in watchings often; in hunger and thirst; in fastings often; in cold and nakedness:"––could wish that he, too, were accurst for his brethren.

Perhaps Fortitude has always an element of tenderness, and always means bearing for love's sake; if it be only the fortitude of a child who bears toothache cheerfully that he may not distress his mother.

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The tradition of Fortitude was carried on in the Middle Ages rather in the school of chivalry––a school wherein the teachers were manifold distresses––than in the discipline and self-mortification of the monastery. Roland and Oliver, and each of the 'champions of Christendom,' has a record of distresses comparable with that of the Apostle. "Endure hardness," says St Paul to Timothy; and to endure without wincing, and without resentment was a law of knightly bearing.

Sir Kenneth, in The Talisman, [By Sir Walter Scott.] brings home the notion of knightly Fortitude in a way possible for ourselves.

Fortitude in Poverty.––"'May I see your sick squire, fair sir?' The Scottish knight hesitated and coloured, yet answered at last, 'Willingly, my Lord of Gilsland; but you must remember, when you see my poor quarters, that the nobles and knights of Scotland feed not so high, sleep not so soft, and care not for the magnificence of lodgment, which is proper to their southern neighbours. I am poorly lodged, my Lord of Gilsland,' he added, with a haughty emphasis on the word, while, with some unwillingness, he led the way to his temporary place of abode. Sir Kenneth cast a melancholy look around him, but suppressing his feelings, entered the hut, making a sign to the Baron of Gilsland to follow . . . The interior of the hut was chiefly occupied by two beds. One was empty, but composed of collected leaves, and spread with an antelope's hide. It seemed, from the articles of armour laid beside it, and from a crucifix of silver, carefully and reverentially disposed at the head, to be the couch of the knight himself.

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The other contained the invalid, of whom Sir Kenneth had spoken, a strong-built and harsh-featured man, past, as his looks betokened, the middle age of life. His couch was trimmed more softly than his master's, and it was plain, that the more courtly garments of the latter, the loose robe, in which the knights showed themselves on pacific occasions, and the other little spare articles of dress and adornment, had been applied by Sir Kenneth to the accommodation of his sick domestic."

Here we have an example of Fortitude under very difficult circumstances, where pity and tenderness for dependents, personal dignity and high courage, go along with extreme poverty. The man who shows this manner of fortitude is a hero. The knight it is, and not that strange hermit-monk of the Lebanon, his body scarred with penitential wounds, who braces us by an example of Christian fortitude.

Fortitude under Vexatious Provocations.––Indeed, we are grateful for high lessons fitted to homely occasions, and we can at least understand how it was nothing less than high fortitude that Mrs. Garth showed in the presence of an undeserved and vexatious calamity.

Mrs. Garth [Middlemarch, by George Eliot.] is at one and the same time making pies, superintending the baking and the washing, and teaching 'Lindley Murray' to her youngest boy and girl. Fred Vincy comes to see her husband, and, by and by, Caleb himself [her husband] comes in.

"'Mr. Garth, I am come to tell something that I am afraid will give you a bad opinion of me. I am come to tell you and Mrs. Garth that I can't keep my word. I can't find the money to meet the bill after

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all. I have been unfortunate; I have only got these fifty pounds towards the hundred and sixty.'

"Mrs. Garth was mutely astonished, and looked at her husband for an explanation. Caleb blushed, and after a little pause said––

"'Oh, I didn't tell you, Susan: I put my name to a bill for Fred; it was for a hundred and sixty pounds. He made sure he could meet it himself.'

"There was an evident change in Mrs. Garth's face, but it was like a change below the surface of water which remains smooth. She fixed her eyes on Fred, saying––

"'I suppose you have asked your father for the rest of the money, and he has refused you.'

"'No,' said Fred, biting his lips, and speaking with more difficulty; 'but I know it will be of no use to ask him; and unless it were of use, I should not like to mention Mr. Garth's name in the matter.'

"'It has come at an unfortunate time,' said Caleb, in his hesitating way, looking down at the notes and nervously fingering the paper. 'Christmas upon us––I'm rather hard up just now. You see, I have to cut out everything like a tailor with short measure. What can we do, Susan? I shall want every farthing we have in the bank, It's a hundred and ten pounds, the deuce take it!'

"'I must give you the ninety-two pounds that I have put by for Alfred's premium,' said Mrs. Garth gravely and decisively, though a nice ear might have discerned a slight tremor in some of the words.

"'And I have no doubt that Mary has twenty pounds saved from her salary by this time. She will advance it.'

"Mrs. Garth had not again looked at Fred, and was

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not in the least calculating what words she should use to cut him the most effectively. Like the eccentric woman she was, she was at present absorbed in considering what was to be done, and did not fancy that the end would be better achieved by bitter remarks or explosions. But she had made Fred feel for the first time something like the tooth of remorse.

"'I shall certainly pay it all, Mrs. Garth––ultimately,' he stammered out.

"'Yes, ultimately,' said Mrs. Garth, who, having a special dislike to fine words on ugly occasions, could not now repress an epigram. 'But boys cannot well be apprenticed ultimately: they should be apprenticed at fifteen.' She had never been so little inclined to make excuses for Fred . . . Fred turned and hurried out of the room.

"'I was a fool, Susan.'

"'That you were,' said the wife, nodding and smiling. 'But I should not have gone to publish it in the market-place. Why should you keep such things from me? It is just so with your buttons; you let them burst off without telling me, and go out with your wristband hanging.'"

Mrs. Amos Barton, [Scenes of Clerical Life, by George Eliot.] too––what a record of gentle and dignified fortitude is the story of her life and death in that poor parsonage house!

Cheerful, Serviceable Fortitude.––We think of Mark Tapley [Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens.] with relief; he found 'no credit in being jolly' when things went well; but for cheerful, serviceable Fortitude, can any bit of knight-errantry exceed the 'jolly' way in which he made the best of things in 'Eden'? The foes he fought

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were nothing more romantic than fever, famine, querulousness, helplessness in every member of that poor colony; and what a plucky, unostentatious fight it was! Mark Tapley deserves a place among our bosom friends; but he might think there was no credit in being jolly in so snug a niche.

Nor need we go to 'Eden' to find place for Fortitude. A birthday dinner cooked (!) by her loving family gave occasion to the 'old girl' (otherwise Mrs. Bagnet, who is to be found in Bleak House [By Charles Dickens.] ) for much cheerful serenity.

What a contrast she is, by the way, to Mrs. Wilfer (Our Mutual Friend), who lets the world know she is enduring by tying a black ribbon round her face. How many of us do the like with the metaphorical black ribbon of a sullen temper and a falling countenance! Instead of gradually ascending, we have come down from the high ideal of Fortitude to commonplace, even absurd, examples; but these fit our occasions; and it would not be a bad plan to keep a note-book recording the persons and incidents that give a fillip to conscience in this matter of Fortitude.

The Roll of our Heroes.––Time fails to tell of Nansen, Gordon, Howard, Livingstone, Collingwood, Raleigh, Galileo, Florence Nightingale, Calpurnia, Mackay of Uganda, Grace Darling; for the roll of persons notable for their Fortitude is, in fact, the roll of our heroes, and our little 'Book of Fortitude' will come to be a book of heroes, whether in small things or great. The reader will perhaps object that Fortitude belongs to the mind and the heart rather than to the body; but, when the body is not kept in

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its proper place, trained to endure without murmur, Fortitude has no chance. It is in the body we must endure hardness, and the training comes in the cheerful bearing of small matters not worth mentioning.

The Song of the Lotos-Eaters has music for us all:––

          All things have rest: why should we toil alone,
          We only toil, who are the first of things,
          And make perpetual moan,
          Still from one sorrow to another thrown:
          Nor ever fold our wings,
          And cease from wanderings,
          Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy balm;
          Nor hearken what the inner spirit sings,
          'There is no joy but calm!'
          Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things?" [Tennyson.]

therefore we have need of Fortitude, without which no man or woman has ever yet brought life to any purpose: "So fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection."

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter VIII The Rulings Of Conscience In The House Of The Body: Prudence

Imprudence is Selfishness.––"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions." Here is a saying worth pondering in an age when Prudence is not a popular grace. Young people confound rashness with generosity, and therefore hold Prudence in disfavour; when, of all cunning and injurious forms of selfishness, Imprudence is perhaps the most disastrous. Prudence is to be ranked among the K.C.s who instruct conscience concerning the affairs of the House of Body, because this virtue is exhibited for the most part in connection with material matters, and these all affect the body, directly or indirectly.

Prudence in Affairs.––We know the description of the virtuous woman; and, for virtuous, we might read prudent. It is Prudence who seeketh wool and flax and worketh diligently with her hands, who bringeth her food from afar. It is she who riseth early and giveth meat to her household, who considereth a field and buyeth it, who girdeth her loins with strength and strengtheneth her arms, who

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stretcheth out her hands to the poor, who is able to enrich her household, and to keep her place in the world with peace and honour.

Joseph was prudent. He looked ahead, and took measures for the advancement of his adopted country and the service of Pharaoh. Our own King Alfred was eminently prudent. Every great commander wins his battles as much through his prudence as his courage.

Prudence in the Choice of a Friend.––There was a time when Alcibiades [Plutarch's Life of Alcibiades.] was prudent. "From the first he was surrounded with pleasures, and a multitude of admirers determined to say nothing but what they thought would please, and to keep him from all admonition and reproof; yet, by his native penetration, he distinguished the value of Socrates, and attached himself to him, rejecting the rich and great who sued for his regard. With Socrates he soon entered into the closest intimacy; and finding that he did not, like the rest of the unmanly crew, want improper favours, but that he studied to correct the errors of his heart, and to cure him of his empty and foolish arrogance,––

          Then his crest fell, and all his pride was gone,
          He droop'd the conquered wing.

In fact, he considered the discipline of Socrates as a provision from heaven for the preservation and benefit of youth. Thus, despising himself, admiring his friend, adoring his wisdom, and revering his virtue, he insensibly formed in his heart the image of love, or rather came under the influence of that power, who, as Plato says, secures his votaries from vicious love."

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Here we have a fine example of prudence in the choice of a friend and mentor, and well had it been for Alcibiades had his constancy been equal to his prudence.

Prudence rejects Undue Influence.––Alexander, [Plutarch's Life of Alexander.] in his heroic days, showed admirable prudence. He was able to distinguish between things that differ, that is, he understood the relative importance of the matters that came before him. "As for his mother, he made her many magnificent presents, but he would not suffer her busy genius to exert itself in state affairs, or in the least to control the proceedings of government. She complained of this as a hardship, and he bore her ill-humour with great mildness. Antipater once wrote him a long letter full of heavy complaints against her, and when he had read it he said, 'Antipater knows not that one tear of a mother can blot out a thousand such complaints."' Not even his mother might interfere with the duties of his office, and yet how tender was his love for her!

We know how a greater than Alexander said, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" and it is eminently the part of Prudence to allow of no undue influence in any public capacity even from our nearest and dearest; because we are called upon to think, ourselves, for the good of all concerned, and not to be influenced by the private interests of any. There is something rotten in any state whose officers can be induced to act for the private good of themselves or their belongings.

Prudence chooses simplicity and eschews luxury, finds more honour in labours than in pleasures, trains the body to endure hardness. In all these respects

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we find in Alexander an example of gentle, heroic prudence.

Prudence Temperate in all Things.––"He found that his great officers set no bounds to their luxury, that they were most extravagantly delicate in their diet, and profuse in other respects; insomuch that Agnon of Teos wore silver nails in his shoes; Leonatus had many camel-loads of earth brought from Egypt to rub himself with when he went to the wrestling-ring; Philotas had hunting-nets that would enclose the space of a hundred furlongs; more made use of rich essences than oil after bathing, and had their grooms of the bath, as well as chamberlains who excelled in bed-making. This degeneracy he reproved with all the temper of a philosopher. He told them, 'It was very strange to him that, after having undergone so many glorious conflicts, they did not remember that those who come from labour and exercise always sleep more sweetly than the inactive and effeminate; and that, in comparing the Persian manners with the Macedonian, they did not perceive that nothing was more servile than the love of pleasure, or more princely than a life of toil. How will that man,' continued he, 'take care of his own horse, or furbish his lance and helmet, whose hands are too delicate to wait on his own dear person? Know you not that the end of conquest is, not to do what the conquered have done, but something greatly superior?'"[Plutarch's Life of Alexander.]

Prudent Citizens the Wealth of the State.––The laws of Lycurgus [Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus.] were the outcome of a noble and generous prudence. If Sparta were to hold its own in the long conflict with Athens, it must be through

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the fitness of its individual citizens. Lycurgus recognised that each citizen possessed in himself the wealth most valuable to the state, in a body fit for toil and endurance, and a mind capable of seeing 'the proportion of things.

"Desirous to complete the conquest of luxury and exterminate the love of riches, he introduced a third institution which was wisely enough and ingeniously contrived. This was the use of public tables where all were to eat in common of the same meat, and such kinds of it as were appointed by law. At the same time, they were forbidden to eat at home upon expensive couches and tables, to call in the assistance of butchers and cooks, or to fatten like voracious animals in private. For so not only their manners would be corrupted, but their bodies disordered; abandoned to all manner of sensuality and dissoluteness, they would require long sleep, warm baths, and the same indulgence as in perpetual sickness . . . Another ordinance, levelled against magnificence and expense, directed that the ceilings of the houses should be wrought with no tool but the axe, and the doors with nothing but the saw. For as Epaminondas is reported to have said afterwards, of his table, Treason lurks not under such a dinner, so Lycurgus perceived, before him, that such a house admits of no luxury and needless splendour. Indeed, no man could be so absurd as to bring into a dwelling so homely and simple, bedsteads with silver feet, purple coverlets, golden cups, and a train of expense that follows these; but all would necessarily have the bed suitable to the room, the coverlet of the bed and the rest of their utensils and furniture to that."

There are many points in which a Christian

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commonwealth may not emulate the Spartan regimen; but wise men are feeling strongly that prudence requires of us, for the good of the state, to live simple lives, to avoid excesses, even if they come in the way of athletic or intellectual toils, and to eschew possessions more than are necessary for fit and simple living. Perhaps it is lawful for us to allow ourselves, in our furniture and implements, beauty of form and colour, and fitness for our uses; but it may be our duty not to accumulate unnecessary possessions, the care of which becomes a responsibility, and whose value lies in their costliness. These things interfere with that real wealth of a serviceable body and alert mind which we owe to the service of our country as well as that of our home.

"When the money was brought to Athens, Phocion [Plutarch's Life of Phocion.] asked the persons employed in that commission 'Why, among all the citizens of Athens, he should be singled out as the object of such bounty?' 'Because,' said they, 'Alexander looks upon you as the only honest and good man.' 'Then,' said Phocion, 'let him permit me always to retain that character, as well as really to be that man.' The envoys then went home with him, and, when they saw the frugality that reigned there, his wife baking bread, himself drawing water and afterwards washing his own feet, they urged him the more to receive the present. They told him, 'It gave them real uneasiness, and was indeed an intolerable thing, that the friend of so great a prince should live in such 'a wretched manner.' At that instant a poor old man happening to pass by, in a mean garment, Phocion asked the envoys, 'Whether they thought worse of him than

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of that man?' As they begged of him not to make such a comparison, he rejoined, 'Yet that man lives upon less than I do, and is contented. In one word, it will be to no purpose for me to have so much money if I do not use it; and if I was to live up to it, I should bring both myself and the king, your master, under the censure of the Athenians.' Thus the money was carried back from Athens, and the whole transaction was a good lesson to the Greeks, that the man who did not want such a sum of money was richer than he who could bestow it."

In the matter of Prudence, also, our Master shows us the better way. It was written of Christ, "My servant shall deal prudently"; and we should find great profit in studying the Gospel histories to see how our Lord dealt prudently with that possession of His personal life, the sole possession He allowed to Himself, and the sole possession of value to which any of us can attain. Thinking upon Christ, we shall walk soberly, and not run into any excess of riot.

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This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

SECTION II. Conscience In The House Of Mind

Chapter IX Opinions 'In The Air'

Everybody knows that the affairs of his body and those of his heart should be ordered by his conscience. Our acts and feelings towards other people, and our management of our own bodies, fall, we believe, properly under the judgment of Conscience; but we have a notion that thought is free; that, in the domain of intellect, every man is his own master, and that the opinions we form, the mental work we choose to do or to leave undone, are beyond the pale of duty. Thought is free, is our unconscious watchword.

Casual Opinions.––Now, of all the errors that have hindered men and nations, this is perhaps the most unfortunate. A man picks up a notion, calls it his opinion, spreads it here and there, until in the end that foolish notion becomes a danger to society and a bondage to the individual. "These be thy gods, O Israel!" is a cry that is constantly rising in our camp. We do not know in whose tent it began, but opinion flashed a lightning message over all the camp of Israel, and every man brought his precious

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things for the making of the golden calf. Why? Their leader was out of sight for the moment––with God, it is true, but, still, out of sight, and the tribes made haste to worship at a shrine of their own invention. This story typifies the sudden inroad of opinion by which nations and persons are apt to be carried away. The lawgiver fails to direct, and clamorous opinion fills the ear.

In the summer holidays, when people have not much to think about, the newspapers lend themselves to the discussion of such idle questions as, 'Is life worth living?' 'Is marriage a failure?'––the underlying opinion being that life is not worth living, and marriage is a failure. Sensible people laugh at these letters; but there are many who lie in wait for any chance notion that comes floating their way, take it up zealously, and make it their business in life to spread it.

When such minds get hold of the idea that marriage is a failure, for example, much immorality is the result. The notion has become the molten calf; the lawgiver, Conscience, is away or silenced; and people think it rather a fine thing to make sacrifices for the idea they cherish at the moment. Or, again, they go about asking, 'Is life worth living?' and though the results may seem less grave because less criminal, they are really as serious. That people should be sullen and ungrateful for rain and sunshine, food and raiment, the beauty of the world and the kindness of friends, is not a crime, because it is not one of the offences against society punishable by law; but it is a black sin, as catching as the plague, and he has caught it who allows himself to ask, 'Is life worth living?'

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How Fallacies work.––We know, by hearsay, how the 'killing-no-murder' fallacy works; how apparently good men, who let in the notion, are convinced by their own Reason that the death of an offender against the liberties of the people is the only safety for the rest; that providence has called them to the great task, that they will be regarded thenceforth as the deliverers of their people. They kill the man, and are abhorred by all thinking persons as assassins. How has it come about?

Conscience, which thunders, 'THOU SHALT DO NO MURDER,' had been silenced; Opinion played the part of director, Reason supported Opinion, and the shameful deed was done. The slightest waft of opinion is enough to mislead the open, or rather the empty, mind. The newspaper headings displayed day by day are enough. 'The Unreality of Sin,' figured in a local newspaper the other day (anent certain American teaching). Anyone who is aware of the hunger of the unoccupied mind for any chance deposit of ideas will realise how such a heading would be accepted by many minds, and cherished as a sanction for sin.

When I was a girl the darning of stockings was considered a great piece of domestic virtue; and, one day, I heard a Welsh lady of staidness and moral correctness say that she did not believe in darning stockings! I found out afterwards that the darning she meant was running the heels of new stockings; but I seized on the doctrine as applying to all manner of holes, with a great sense of emancipation. It is just so that chance sayings about more important matters are caught up and acted upon. There is ever some new fallacy in the air which allures its thousands,

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and no one is safe who is not cognisant of danger, and who does not know how to safeguard himself. Perhaps no rules for the right conduct of life are more important than the following: (a) that we may not play with chance opinions; (b) that our own Reason affords an insufficient test of the value of an opinion (because Reason, as we have seen, argues in behalf of Inclination); (c) that we must labour to get knowledge as the foundation of opinions; (d) that we must also labour to arrive at principles whereby to try our opinions.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter X The Uninstructed Conscience

There is no end to the vagaries of the uninstructed conscience. It is continually straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel. The most hardened criminal has his conscience; and he justifies that which he does by specious reasons. 'Society is against' him, he says; he 'has never had a fair chance.' Why should he 'go about ragged and hungry when another man rides in his carriage and eats and drinks his fill?' 'If that man has so much, let him keep it if he can; if cleverer wits than his contrive to ease him of a little, that is only fair play.' Thus do reason and inclination support one another in the mind of the Ishmael whose hand is against every man; and, if every man's hand is against him, that is all the more reason, he urges, that he should get what he can take out of life.

Conscience Persistent upon some Points.––But there are points upon which the glib flow of reason does not silence his conscience. He must be true to his 'pals,' and to give up a pal to justice would probably be a greater crime in his eyes than to kill a man. Also, he will be fair in his dealings with his companions, and will share according to bargain. Perhaps he has a child whom he cherishes, or a friend whom

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he cares for. No man's conscience is silent on every point of duty; and perhaps there is no one, savage or civilised, who does not act up to his conscience in, at any rate, some few points. The first effort of the missionary or explorer is to find out in what matters the people he is amongst are dependable. Livingstone was able to live with the most degraded tribes of Africans, because his sympathy and knowledge helped him to discover safe ground,––the points on which the savage conscience was inflexible, as, for example, loyalty to a guest, gratitude to a benefactor. Indeed, Livingstone made some great discoveries in human nature amongst these barbarous tribes; for the good that is true of the worst must be true of those who are better. He found they all knew that they must not murder, nor steal, must be obedient to parents, kind to each other, and much besides; that is to say, they had the light of conscience. We know, too, from Captain Cook how the Otaheitans wept when they first saw a white man flogged. Cruelty was contrary to their savage code.

Moral Stability.––But the uninstructed conscience is open to every prompting of inclination, seconded, as it is sure to be, by a thousand good reasons. This is the cause of the instability of conduct shown by the savage, the criminal, the raw schoolboy, the rough yokel, and the ignorant and undisciplined of every class of life, even when such ignorance is credited by a university degree. It is only the instructed conscience which is stable.

There are persons of whom we say, 'We always know how so-and-so will act. We can depend upon him.' The reason is that he is not liable to be carried away by sudden inroads of outside opinion.

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His knowledge affords him a standard by which he judges the worth of such opinion; his principles, a test of its moral rightness. Therefore the flashy new opinion, which history tells him has been tried and found wanting long ago, has no chance with him. He examines it in the light of his principles, finds it to be based on an error of thought, that it leads to further errors of thought and action; and it takes no hold upon his mind.

A Nation may be Unstable.––As for the rest––the persons who have taken no pains to instruct their conscience––the sudden rush of a community, a person, a nation after a new notion, the last crank, is extraordinary, and becomes a mania. Scott, who is a past master in moral philosophy, perhaps because of his legal habit of mind, gives us in Peveril of the Peak an historical example of the nation run mad with a notion. And a single example of the power of a notion on the uninstructed conscience, and of how such baseless notion may spread like an epidemic, is so instructive that I must quote part of a note relative to the Popish Plot appended to Peveril of the Peak:––"The infamous character of those who contrived and carried on the pretended Popish Plot, may be best estimated by the account given in North's Examen, who describes Oates himself with considerable power of colouring. 'He was now in his trine exaltation, his Plot in full force, efficacy and virtue; he walked about with his guards (assigned for fear of the Papists murdering him). He had lodgings in Whitehall, and £I200 per annum pension: and no wonder, after he had the impudence to say to the House of Lords, in plain terms, that, if they would not help him to more money, he must be forced to

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help himself. He put on an Episcopal garb (except the lawn sleeves), silk gown and cassock, great hat, satin hatband and rose, long scarf, and was called, or most blasphemously called himself, the Saviour of the nation; whoever he pointed at, was taken up and committed; so that many people got out of his way, as from a blast . . . The very breath of him was pestilential, and, if it brought not imprisonment or death over such on whom it fell, it surely poisoned reputation . . . The Queen herself was accused at the Commons' bar. The city, for fear of the Papists, put up their posts and chains: and the Chamberlain, Sir Thomas Player, in the Court of Aldermen, gave his reason for the city's using that caution, which was, that he did not know but the next morning they might all rise with their throats cut . . . Nothing ordinary or moderate was to be heard in people's communication; but every debate and action was high-flown and tumultuous. All freedom of speech was taken away; and not to believe the Plot, was worse than being Turk, Jew, or infidel."'

A Besetting Idea.––This theme seems to have had some fascination for the mind of Scott. He presents it to us as the key to more than one historical character. In Balfour of Burley, [Old Mortality.] we have a monomaniac, a man possessed and impelled by a homicidal idea; and yet, when that idea had resulted in barbarous and sacrilegious crime, the man's native, uninstructed conscience wrestled with the 'reasonable' conclusion to which he had brought himself, and he suffered great mental anguish. This example of a besetting idea is even more instructive than that of Brutus, as Shakespeare interprets him, because Scott

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is at some pains to show that prejudice, credulousness, intolerance, superstition, lawless ambition, even homicidal crime, are the natural outcome of the dark mind of ignorance; the more so, when this ignorance is allied with mental power, and the mind is struck by a forcible idea. The belated action of conscience upon such a mind is portrayed in this case with wonderful vividness.

The same author brings again before us the perils of benighted ignorance, and its power of converting the purest teaching to the foulest uses, in the character of the Independent, Sergeant Tomkins [Woodstock] (or, as he calls himself, Honest Joe and Trusty Tomkins), who believed that he was saved, and therefore could do no sin; which he interpreted to mean that that which was foul sin in other men, he might commit and yet be void of offence.

Perils of Ignorance.––In our own days of enlightenment and progress, we seem to be less aware of the grossness, dulness and foulness of ignorance than were the more thoughtful minds of the Middle Ages. We do not understand that the uninstructed conscience is at the mercy of the darkened mind. Intelligent persons will be heard to remark, 'I don't see the good of missionaries,' 'Every nation and tribe has the religion best suited to it'; as though anything but evil can come out of the dark places of the earth, where passion, prejudice, and superstition extinguish the natural light of Conscience.

The ignorance at home, in our very schools and colleges, is a cause of alarm. It is because of our ignorance that we are like those seventy thousand Americans whom Emerson describes as "going about in search of a religion." The very 'tolerance' upon

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which we pride ourselves arises from the ignorance which does not know how to distinguish between things that differ. We are not so far gone, perhaps, as that nation which provides us with new notions and new religions [America??], but our readiness to receive what comes in our way lays us open to the charge of an uninstructed conscience.

In political matters we trust to our newspaper, which is expressly the organ of our party, and do not look for the side-lights of other writings, or the illumination cast by history and literature. We get our education in this kind out of compendiums and lectures; and these, naturally, cannot afford the copious detail out of which conscience gathers instruction.

Scrupulosity.––We are in the way, too––like that young man of whom Mrs. Piozzi tells us in her Anecdotes of Johnson,––of erring by over-scrupulosity in one direction, as by laxity in another.

"A person," Johnson said, "had for these last five weeks often called at my door, but would not leave his name or any other message, but that he wished to speak with me. At last we met, and he told me that he was oppressed by scruples of conscience. I blamed him gently for not applying, as the rules of our Church direct, to his parish priest or other discreet clergyman; when, after some compliments on his part, be told me he was clerk to a very eminent trader, at whose warehouses much business consisted in packing goods in order to go abroad; that he was often tempted to take paper and packthread for his own use, and that he had indeed done so often, that be could recollect no time when he had ever bought any for himself. 'But probably,' said I, 'your master was wholly indifferent with regard to such trivial emoluments. You had better ask for it at once, and so take your trifles with content.' 'Oh, sir!' replies the visitor, 'my master bid me have as much as I pleased, and was half angry when I talked to him about it.' 'Then pray, sir,' said I, 'tease me no more about such airy nothings,' and was

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going on to be very angry, when I recollected that the fellow might be mad, perhaps; so I asked him, 'When he left the counting-house of an evening?' 'At seven o'clock, sir.' 'And when do you go to bed, sir?' ' At twelve o'clock.' 'Then,' replied I, 'I have at least learnt thus much by my new acquaintance––that five hours of the four-and-twenty unemployed are enough for a man to go mad in; so I would advise you, sir, to study algebra, if you are not already an adept in it. Your head would get less muddy and you will leave off tormenting your neighbours about paper and packthread, while we all live together in a world that is bursting with sin and sorrow."'

Undue scrupulosity about small matters is a sure mark of the uninstructed conscience. The man should not have taken his master's packthread; but to occupy his own attention and that of others about so small a matter was a worse offence, and illustrates the fact that only the instructed conscience is capable of seeing things in due proportion, of distinguishing what really matters from that which is of no consequence. This is why a child makes such enormous mistakes in his valuation of life. He will be guilty of lying, unkindness, cruelty even, and not know that he has done wrong, while a trifling act, like the opening of a forbidden drawer, will fret his conscience for months. The schoolboy's moral code is marked by similar disproportion. To deceive his master is no offence, but to 'blab' on another boy puts him beyond the pale.

The subject of the uninstructed conscience is so wide, and covers so much of life, that I can only offer an illustration or a hint here and there; but let us be sure of this, that, though all men are endowed with conscience, its light is steady and certain only in proportion as it is informed by a cultivated intelligence; and of this, also, that the uninstructed

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conscience leaves its possessor open to bigotry, fanaticism, panic, envy, spite. His reason justifies every offence to a man who has little knowledge of persons and events whereby to correct his judgments. You will observe, I am not speaking of wilful sin; alas, the instructed conscience also is open to sin! But we shall consider this most anxious matter later: meantime, let us be well assured that more than half the errors and offences committed in the world are sins of ignorance; that is, people think and do amiss because they are at no pains to acquire an instructed conscience.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XI The Instructed Conscience

Sound Moral Judgment.––I do not say that the man with the instructed conscience is incapable of moral wrong. That is not the case. His advantage is that he can rarely do or think amiss without being aware of his offence; and the stability which this enlightenment gives to its possessor is a distinction. Emerson remarks upon the curious fact that many persons have a name, a force, in the world which exceeds their deeds or their recorded words. We are profoundly interested in Arnold Toynbee, John Sterling, Arthur Hallam, and other young men whose span of life did not by much exceed their university days. Emerson says that the secret of this sort of esteem which is not founded upon accomplishment is––character. Very likely he is right; but perhaps the particular development of character we reverence in such men is the sound moral judgment born of the instructed conscience. Goldsmith gives us a charming type of this manner of moral balance in Dr Primrose. [The Vicar of Wakefield.] How wise are his decisions, how just his resolutions, how gentle and how penetrating his reproofs. Can we ever forget that epitaph to which his wife should live up, or the

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way in which he allowed his family to have that portrait painted––too big for any room in the house––a reproof of vanity none of them could forget! How humble he is in prosperity, how equable in adversity! And all this has come to him through his books and his prayers––not through his books alone, and not through his prayers alone.

["That epitaph to which his wife should live up:" The Vicar made a plaque praising his wife's 'prudence, economy, and obedience till death' and hung it in a prominent place for her to see every day!]

Dr Johnson, [Boswell's Life of Johnson.] too. We who are used to dictionaries are not impressed by 'the great lexicographer' as such. Indeed, his output, whether in action or in writing, was surprisingly small for a man of such vast power; and, as to the manner of his writing, why, Boswell himself had a style that we like better to-day; but there have been few men better qualified than he to arrive at the just judgments of an instructed conscience. That is why the Life is such inimitable reading. To be plied with Boswell's 'Sir?' on all manner of occasions must have been irritating, and we do not wonder that now and then Johnson whimsically chose to make the worse appear the better cause. But what a world of just and righteous judgments the wise man utters! No wonder his contemporaries waited on his words. We can all talk platitudes and air the moralities of others; but to say what he himself would call 'luminous' things about all the occasions of life, many of the personages in history––this is a distinction to which only the instructed conscience can enable a man to attain. It is probable that everyone who makes his mark beyond what we see of his accomplishment does so from the force, not of genius, but of moral judgment.

Moral Judgments and a Virtuous Life.––The power to form moral judgments and the power to live

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a virtuous life are not identical; but for persons whose living is not confined to a very narrow sphere the one is necessary to the other. Simple people may think duly about daily work and duties because their conscience is instructed by homely wisdom that has come down to them without their knowing it; but, if we mean to live in the wide world of thought and action, our first care must be to get, by slow degrees, the power of forming just opinions.

How are we to get such power? In the first place, we must observe and think for ourselves, not 'cute' and clever thoughts about our neighbours' doings, discovering a low motive here, a sharp practice there: persons who allow themselves in this habit of mind lose the power of interpreting life by the aid of an illuminated conscience. But, if we observe with gentle, large, and humble thoughts, we shall find much to instruct and improve us in the life of every family. We shall see good in the action of statesmen, at home and abroad; wisdom in the attitudes of nations.

But most of us have little chance of seeing men and things on a wide scale, and our way to an instructed conscience is to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest. We must read novels, history, poetry, and whatever falls under the head of literature, not for our own 'culture.' Some of us begin to dislike the word 'culture,' and the idea of a 'cultivated' person; any effort which has self as an end is poor and narrow. But there is a better reason for an intimacy with literature as extensive and profound as we can secure. Herein we shall find the reflections of wise men upon the art of living, whether put in the way of record, fable, or precept, and this is the chief art for us all to attain.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XII Some Instructors Of Conscience: Poetry, Novels, Essays

Poetry.––Poetry is, perhaps, the most searching and intimate of our teachers. To know about such a poet and his works may be interesting, as it is to know about repoussé work; but in the latter case we must know how to use the tools before we get joy and service out of the art. Poetry, too, supplies us with tools for the modelling of our lives, and the use of these we must get at for ourselves. The line that strikes us as we read, that recurs, that we murmur over at odd moments––this is the line that influences our living, if it speak only––

          "Of old, unhappy, far-off things,
          And battles long ago."

A couplet such as this, though it appear to carry no moral weight, instructs our conscience more effectually than many wise saws. As we 'inwardly digest,' reverence comes to us unawares, gentleness, a wistful tenderness towards the past, a sense of continuance, and of a part to play that shall not be loud and discordant, but of a piece with the whole. This is one of the 'lessons never learned in schools'

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which comes to each of us only as we discover it for ourselves.

Many have a favourite poet for a year or two, to be discarded for another and another. Some are happy enough to find the poet of their lifetime in Spenser, Wordsworth, Browning, for example; but, whether it be for a year or a life, let us mark as we read, let us learn and inwardly digest. Note how good this last word is. What we digest we assimilate, take into ourselves, so that it is part and parcel of us, and no longer separable.

We probably read Shakespeare in the first place for his stories, afterwards for his characters, the multitude of delightful persons with whom he makes us so intimate that afterwards, in fiction or in fact, we say, 'She is another Jessica,' and 'That dear girl is a Miranda'; 'She is a Cordelia to her father,' and, such a figure in history, 'a base lago.' To become intimate with Shakespeare in this way is a great enrichment of mind and instruction of conscience. Then, by degrees, as we go on reading this world-teacher, lines of insight and beauty take possession of us, and unconsciously mould our judgments of men and things and of the great issues of life.

Novels.––Novels, again, are as homilies to the wise; but not if we read them merely for the tale. It is a base waste of time to read a novel that you can skip, or that you look at the last page of to see how it ends. One must read to learn the meaning of life; and we should know in the end, who said what, and on what occasion! The characters in the books we know become our mentors or our warnings, our instructors always; but not if we let our mind behave as a sieve, through which the whole slips like water.

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It would, of course, be a foolish waste of time to give this sort of careful reading to a novel that has neither literary nor moral worth, and therefore it is well to confine ourselves to the best––to novels that we can read over many times, each time with increased pleasure. The superficial way in which people read is illustrated by the fact that ninety-nine out of a hundred run away with the notion that Thackeray presents us with Amelia [Vanity Fair.] as an ideal woman; while few extract the solemn moral of the tale––that a man cannot give to a woman more than she is worth; and that Dobbin, the faithful Dobbin, found his life at last, not in Amelia, but in his books and his daughter. It is well that we should choose our authors with judgment, as we choose our friends, and then wait upon them respectfully to hear what they have to say to us.

Essays.––Of the ever-delightful essayists, I will not speak here. These, like the poets, we must find out for ourselves. They make a claim of special personal intimacy with their readers, and each apparently light phrase should give us pause: there may be more in it than meets the eye. Anyway, the essayist, to take him at his best, writes because he has something personal to say to you and me, because there is some fruit of the thought of his life he would have us taste; so let us read for edification.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XIII Some Instructors Of Conscience: History And Philosophy

History.––History, including the lives of historical personages, approaches us on other ground. The passion of patriotism, the bond of citizenship, are dominant in our age, perhaps because the new imperial idea has taken hold of us; but still more, perhaps, because we are in the rebound from the individualism of the preceding generation. Let us be thankful that we are moved by these strong forces; but their very strength may hurry us into presumptuous sins, unless we recognise our position with regard to country and city, and labour for the instructed conscience.

The Informed Patriot.––We must read our newspaper, of course––newspapers on both sides; but he who founds upon his newspaper is an ignorant patriot and an illiberal citizen. His opinions are no more than parrot-like repetitions of other men's sayings; whereas he who dwells with dutiful interest upon the history of his own country, distressed over her ignominies, proud when she has shown herself great; who has pondered the history of another great empire––admiring the temperate justice with which its

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distant colonies were administered, and scrutinising the causes of its fall––he gradually acquires some insight as to the meaning of national life. He is able to express an opinion which is not a mere echo, and gains convictions which will certainly be of use to his country, even if they are known only to the people about his own fireside.

He learns to esteem Xerxes as a great gardener, a planter, whose aim it was that every man should have his little 'paradise.' Lycurgus is to him more than a lawgiver, he is a hero able to keep the laws he made. Such a person regards, with half-envious interest, the records of those small yet great republics, distinguished in the arts of peace and of war, in whose open schools every man picked up philosophy, and the best men made it the study of a lifetime.

He who reads history in this way, not to pass examinations, nor to obtain culture, nor even for his own pleasure (delightful as such reading is), but because he knows it to be his duty to his country to have some intelligent knowledge of the past, of other lands as well as of his own, must add solid worth to the nation that owns him. It is something to prepare for the uses of the State a just, liberal, and enlightened patriotism in the breast of a single citizen.

Philosophy.––Philosophy lays her hand upon us, as upon the youth of Athens, with an absolute claim. We are remarkable among the civilised peoples for our ignorance of what has been already thought in the world, has been given up as futile, or has passed into common knowledge. For five thousand years, at least, philosophers have been in search of a single principle which shall cover, to put it crudely, matter

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and mind. We think, to-day, that we have found this principle in evolution. It may be so; but we allow ourselves to come to the conclusion without due knowledge of what has been already thought, without even taking in the fact that, if we accept the doctrine as including the evolution of mind, we give up the idea that there is any life here or hereafter excepting physical life, any existence beyond a physical existence. I do not propose to discuss this thesis; all I say is, that we should not lay ourselves open blindfold to such far-reaching conclusions, in the belief that things must be thus and thus because another man's reason has found them so; our own reason, taking his lead, finding them so too. Let us perceive and know with certainty that the function of reason is to bring us to the logical conclusion of any premises we think it well to receive.

Then we shall see that it rests with us to choose the notions which we are willing to admit to reasonable proof; and to make this choice, conscience must be instructed. The history of thought will bring us abundant evidence of the fallibility of reason; therefore, there is no certainty that what proves itself to us must be right. Approximate certainty lies in two directions––in a knowledge of the history of the thought of the past, and in a carefully calculated forecast of the issues. We must reach our convictions, not through our own reasoning, or another man's, however conclusive; but reason must work upon knowledge, and be instructed by a wide survey of all that is involved. The person who refuses to be influenced by what has gone before and what will follow, embraces what he calls ' the truth' in a spirit of ignorant partisanship.

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Columbus, we know, received an idea that was, no doubt, floating in the air, the idea of a western passage to the Indies. After attempts in other quarters, he brought his idea to Ferdinand and Isabella; they gave it generous reception, and provided him with ships and money. But he would have been a mere adventurer had he come with no more than a notion that proved itself to his own understanding. He was armed with the history of the voyages of the past, which showed that his particular adventure had not been accomplished; with a knowledge of geographical principles, which proved his notion tenable; with a forecast of the results of his discovery, should he succeed; that is, he was able conscientiously to lay his scheme before the Spanish monarchs, and the result justified him.

We cannot escape from the necessity for knowledge, especially in this realm of ideas. The thousand quack philosophies of the day––as of all past days––have their birth in minds ignorant of the thought of the past, and unaware of the fact when they are offering a patched-up version of ideas and principles which have already been found wanting.

A 'Message.'––Many men believe that they have a message, become fanatics for their message, and make––nothing is so easy––innumerable converts. But not every notion is a message. Such indications come, as Coleridge has finely said, to minds "already prepared to receive them by a higher Power than Nature herself." As for the preparation,––knowledge, insight, foresight, and the meekness of wisdom, the gentleness of one under guidance,––these are signs by which we can discern, each for himself, if we, indeed, have a message, or (for this also is a mission)

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are prepared to take up and carry forward a message. The messages are manifold, the messengers are many; but few things hinder the progress of the world more than the wilful and fanatical adoption of notions because they appeal to us, and because our own reason proves them right. The secret of safety in matters of philosophy, as well as in all practical matters of life, is to know that we are capable of being convinced of anything, however wrong or foolish, unless we are able to bring an instructed conscience to the consideration of the acceptable notion.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XIV Some Instructors Of Conscience: Theology

Theology.––Theology, divinity, the knowledge of God, by whatever name we call it, is a sphere in which, more than any other, we must needs be ruled by the instructed conscience; and yet we are apt to think, as do the children, that God requires us to be good, and punishes us when we are bad; and this is all we care to know about religion: we leave out of count that knowledge of God which, we have it on the authority of Christ himself, 'is eternal life.'

Perhaps it is because the word 'eternal' casts our thoughts into the far future, about which we do not much concern ourselves. We do not realise that eternity is past, present, and to come. Life, in any real sense, is the knowledge of God now; and, without that knowledge, there cannot be the free and joyous activity of our powers, the glow of our feelings, the happy living, free from care, the open eye for all beauty, the open heart for all goodness, the responsive mind, the tender heart, the aspiring soul––which go to make up fulness of life. Most people live a poor maimed life, as though they carried about one or other mortified limb, dead in itself and a burden to

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the body. But they do not realise that their minds are slow and their hearts heavy for want of the knowledge which is life.

The Divine Method.––We think, too, that the knowledge of divine things comes by feeling, and chide ourselves because we do not feel more. If we examine the teaching of Christ, we shall find that exceedingly little is said about feeling, and a great deal about knowing: that our Lord's teaching appeals, not to the heart, but to the intelligence. "Without a parable spake he not unto them." Why? That, "hearing they should not hear, and seeing they should not see, neither should they understand."

Here we have a method exactly contrary to all usual methods of teaching. In a general way, the teacher labours to make what he has to say plain to the dullest; and, indeed, we are impatient and fretful under poem or apologue, the meaning of which is not clear at the first glance. That is, we choose that all labour shall be on the part of the teacher, and none upon that of the learner.

Whatever we get in this way is soon lost––'lightly come, lightly go'––for knowledge is only to be had at the cost of labour of mind. As regards the knowledge of our religion, above all, we must read, and inwardly digest; for it is only upon that which we take into us as part of ourselves that we grow. Our Lord knew this, and delivered no easy sayings for the instruction of the people. Even his disciples did not understand. Let us put ourselves in their place, and listen to the Master's 'hard' sayings––hard intellectually as well as morally––and see what we should get out of them on the first hearing. The involved arguments of St Paul are

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infinitely plainer; the dark sayings of the prophets, the Apocalypse itself, are easier to understand, so far as their meaning is decipherable at all, than the simple-sounding sayings of Christ. But this very fact evidences our Lord's way of teaching us that life comes of knowledge, the knowledge of God.

The Bible contains a Revelation of God.––Where shall we find our material?––for we can only think as we are supplied with the material for thought. First and last, in the Bible; for the knowledge of God comes by revelation. We can only know Him as he declares and manifests Himself to us. There are, no doubt, 'few, faint, and feeble' rays of revelation in books held sacred by various eastern nations; and this we should expect, because God is the God of all flesh, and does not leave Himself without a witness anywhere; but feeble rays in an immense void of darkness are not accepted even by the people who possess them as affording a knowledge of God. They do not aim at or conceive of such a knowledge. They sit in darkness as they have sat from the beginning, and must needs sit until they receive the light of revelation.

The Higher Criticism.––A serious danger threatens us who hold the means of knowledge in what is called the higher criticism. It is no doubt well that scholars should give critical attention to every jot and tittle of the Scriptures; and the danger to us does not lie in any possibility that in the Bible we have no word of God, but merely the literature of the Hebrew nation. So soon as men's eyes turn from minute literary criticism to the gradual revelation of our God in His beauty (the progressive revelation which we get

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in the Bible alone), the truth of the Book is confirmed to us; and we know, without proof

          "Thou canst not prove the Nameless,
          Nor canst thou prove the world thou movest in,
          For nothing worthy proving can be proven,
          Nor yet disproven."––[The Myths of Plato, Professor Stewart.]

Plato has said the last word on this matter for our day as well as his own. The danger I refer to is that, while occupying our minds about questions of criticism, we neglect the knowledge which cannot come without labour; that we forsake the earnest and devout study of the Bible, the one way of approach to the knowledge of God.

Already we begin to gather the fruits of our ignorance. Little books with Bible sayings, worked into specious arguments to prove a philosophy of life which the Bible does not sanction, come to us as a new and wonderful gospel. We talk of new developments of Christianity, when the Christianity of the Bible offers infinite scope for development in the beauty of holiness and in the knowledge of our illimitable God. We are offered on all hands religions about Christ and without Christ. We are taught to believe that, "God manifest in the flesh," means no more than the divine in ourselves, and that every power that was used by Christ is available to us.

A smug religiosity is upon us, a religion of which we ourselves are the measure; whether we call it 'Christianity on a Higher Plane,' or Buddhism, or Theosophy; or whether, like the Dukhobors, we decline to obey human law, because we choose to believe ourselves under the immediate direction of

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God,––saying, with that poor little community in Lancashire, 'There is no law but God's law,' and drawing the absurd inference that all human law is transgression:––all these things have the one interpretation; we are declining from the knowledge of God.

Indecision.––In another way still we are eating the fruit of our ignorance. A paralysing hesitancy and uncertainty are upon us. We are tolerant of all beliefs because we have none. 'We do not know,' we say; 'we are not sure.' 'What right have we to think that the creed of another man, or another people, is not as true as ours?' The very newspapers ask us, Is Christianity effete?––and we presume to discuss the question; or, at any rate, we are able to listen in calmness while men toss to and fro the one question which is vital to us. Let us believe it––What think ye of Christ? is the only question that matters. We cannot escape with the evasion, "We think not of Christ, but of the Father"––for the word is true, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me."

How are we to get this vital knowledge, without which we assuredly perish?––not in some unknown future state, but here and now, a slow paralysis creeps upon us. We have seen that there is but one source of illumination, the Bible itself. It is true that the divine Spirit is a light in every man's soul; but if a lamp is to be kindled, there must be the lamp; and it would seem as if the process followed by the Holy Spirit were to teach us by an arresting illumination, from time to time, of some phrase written in the Bible. Hence, our business is, before all things, to make ourselves acquainted with the text.

Study of the Bible.––How, then, shall we study

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our Bible, bearing in mind that our aim is not textual criticism, or even textual knowledge, but the knowledge of God?

The interpreter is too much with us. We lean on him––whether in commentary, essay, sermon, poem, critique––and are content that he should think for us. It is better that we should, in the first place, try our own efforts at interpretation; when we fail or are puzzled is the time to compare our thought with that of others, choosing as interpreters men of devout mind and scholarly accomplishment. Orderly study, with the occasional help of a sound commentary, is to be recommended. To use 'good books,' by way of a spiritual stimulus, deadens in the end the healthy appetite for truth. The same remark applies to little text-books, with remarks meant to stimulate certain virtues or states of mind. The error that underlies these aids to private devotion (public worship is another matter) is, that their tendency is to magnify ourselves and our occasions, while they create in us little or no desire for the best knowledge. It is probable that even our lame efforts at reading with understanding are more profitable than the best instruction. The preparedness we need is of the mind and heart; we must pray to be delivered from prejudices and prepossessions, and wait upon God as the thirsty earth waits for rain.

In the Old Testament it is well, for example, to read a life through, with such breaks as may be convenient, remembering that there has been no such constraint upon the author as to make him a recording machine. He writes as he is, a man with ignorances which have not been informed, with prejudices which have not been corrected. You

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discern the man in his book, as any author is discerned in his writings. The difference in the Scriptures is that the men who wrote the Bible books were charged with the revelation of God and of His dealings with men; revelations of men also, discovered with a certain childlike simplicity which shows us to each other––as we surely appear to our Father––without excuse or extenuation, but with a strong appeal in our simplicity. Men are, we may believe, shown to us in the Bible as we each appear before God. Good men offend, are chastised and forgiven, even as children in a family.

Thus, for example, we all leave our homes to seek our fortune, even as Abraham did; but, with Abraham, the veil is lifted, and we are shown that God called him forth, led him on his way, put him through the slow discipline of a life, the results of which belonged to a time that came after. The Bible lives are typical; they disclose to us the inner meaning of our own. That restraining touch of God of which we are all aware, that inspiring whisper in the ear which comes to us at great moments, that fixing of the bounds of our habitation which is part of our Father's plan for each of us,––these things are presented in the lives of holy men of old.

'Revelation' of the Bible Unique.––Do not let us make a mistake. Because we find little hints in many books, hints of the Lord God, merciful and gracious, who will by no means clear the guilty, let us not run away with the idea that the peculiar revelation of the Bible is, in truth, a universal revelation. Every hint we get of the Being of God is derived, consciously or unconsciously, from the Bible, even as that of a candle is derived from the

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light of the sun. Does the freethinker, who knows no God, proclaim the love of man? No hint of the brotherhood and sonship of men has escaped into the world except through the revelation which God has vouchsafed to us through certain chosen men. Thoughts already revealed are made luminous to us by the light that is vouchsafed to each, but that is a quite different thing from the first inception of a revealing thought.

When we have mastered all the knowledge of God that has been progressively revealed in the Bible, then perhaps further revelation will be granted to men in the same gradual way.

No Revelation is Repeated––It would appear, so far as we can discern the law, that God does not repeat a revelation which has been made; and, also, that as full a revelation as we are able to bear concerning our God has already been given, and recorded under divine authority. In this matter the present work of the Holy Spirit, who inspires, appears to be to illuminate a meaning here, another there, for each of us; so that our education in the knowledge of God is being gradually carried on, if we bring a hearing ear and an understanding heart.

In this way, our poets write and our painters paint under inspiration when they write and paint revealing truths. We may believe also, with the medieval Church, that a revelation is still going on of things not hitherto made known to men. Great secrets of nature, for example, would seem to be imparted to minds already prepared to receive them, as, for example, that of the 'ions' or 'electrons' of which that we call matter is said to consist. For this sort of knowledge also is of God, and is, I believe, a

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matter of revelation, given as the world is prepared to receive it.

But here the same two laws would appear to hold good. No revelation is repeated; the law of gravitation, the circulation of the blood, and the like, cannot twice be revealed to man; and, again, there is no overcrowding of such revelations. Not until we have mastered, digested and made our own, that which has already been presented, is a new revelation offered to us.

This, probably, is why the Bible is unique as containing original revelations of God. We know Him so little, we are so very far from attaining the Bible conception of the beauty and the goodness of our God, that we are not ready for more. Let us observe,––God's dealings with individuals in this matter of revelation would always seem to have reference to the world. No man is taught for himself alone; and that for which the world––as represented by its best and most thoughtful people––is unripe by reason of ignorance, that revelation is withheld until the world is prepared. Therefore, the instructed conscience does not allow us to give heed to the 'Lo, here!' and 'Lo, there!' continually sounding in our ears; and we are equally careful as to how we receive private interpretations of the Scriptures, which are put before us as having escaped the vigilance of the Church until to-day. In the matter of our great first duty, it behoves us to keep to 'sober walking in true gospel ways.' [from Ninth Sunday After Trinity by John Keble]

Interpretation.––As for distinguishing between the merely human and the inspired elements in the Bible, the way to this is not by critical study and destructive criticism, but by a gradual absorption of

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the idea of God as it is unfolded to us through the long preparation of the Old Testament, the glorious manifestation of the Gospels, and the application to the life of the Church which we find in the Acts and the Epistles. By long, slow study and by quick heart's love we shall learn to discern God, to know in an instant those words which are not of him; to know that 'break their teeth in their jaws,' for instance, is no word of God, but an utterance of the violent human heart, allowed to pass without comment, as are most of the ways and words of men recorded in the Bible.

We shall be able, as a reward of long study, to distinguish when a popular legend crops up, by the signs that it contains no revelation of God, no simple portrayal of man. But we shall not venture to say, that, because a story is not the sort of incident we may meet with any day in the street, it is therefore not of divine inspiration. The narration of such an incident (and there are many of them in the Bible) is merely one of accidental, outside truth, with little illuminating value. How the essential truth may be revealed to us, whether by parable or record, we cannot say; but we know that we have all heard the tempting voice in the garden, have all eaten the fruit, have all become miserably aware of ourselves, and have left, though not without hope, the paradise of innocent souls. Nay, that very story of the stopping of the sun in its course, an embedded myth, let us say, is recorded, we may believe, by the inspiration of God. We have all had times in our lives when the sun has not been permitted to go down upon us until we have wrought a deliverance, escaped a peril, done a work. It would seem as if the divine Spirit taught essential

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truths, the truths by which we live, by all means fitted to the understanding of men. But let us be extremely chary as to how we use this method of interpretation. No doubt God instructed his people by figures; but also, no doubt, he instructed them by facts; and when the simple fact carries its own interpretation, let us beware how we seek for another.

Sentimental Humanity.––Of another thing also let us beware. We may not endeavour to interpret the Scriptures in the spirit of sentimental humanity preached as the highest gospel to-day. That thousands should fall in the wilderness because they murmured or because they rebelled; that the earth should open and swallow certain haughty chieftains; that the punishment of death should fall upon men for an act of irreverence––such records as these by no means disprove the truth of the Bible. There may be inaccuracies of statement; for verbal inspiration, the use of the writer as an amanuensis, would destroy the human element which appears to be essential in all the communications of God with men. But let us not be in a hurry to cry, 'Away with all such fables!'

When a ship goes down with all hands, when flood and fire destroy their thousands, when famine and pestilence are abroad, an older piety would have called it the visitation of God; and that is precisely what the Bible statements amount to. If we say, bad drainage, unhealthy conditions, carelessness, errors in construction, flood or storm, we only put in the intermediate step. These are offences for which God visits men; and wind and storm are still fulfilling his word.

The mystery is one we find in life as well as in the chronicles of the Old Testament. Our Lord throws some light upon it in his remarks about that

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Galilean tower [Luke 13]; but it is conceivable that the final answer may be that death is less momentous in the thought of God, who knows the hereafter, than to us, who are still in the dark. Christ wept, not for Lazarus: his sorrow was for the griefs that fall upon all men, as upon the two sisters. Perhaps He would have said, 'If they only knew!'

Superstition.––I have indicated some of the prejudices and misconceptions likely to obtrude themselves upon us in reading the Bible. These and such as these put away, we shall be prepared to read with open mind and willing heart, until we learn gradually the ways of God with men, and something of the divine purity, tenderness, love, and justice. If we are told that the story of the Flood, another tale like that of Joseph, laws like those of Moses, and much besides, appear in the records of nations that knew not God, here is no ground for surprise. God is the God of all flesh; and surely, there never was a nation with which he had no dealings. The distinction is in knowing. To the nation who knew God––and was favoured, on account of its peculiar spiritual insight, to transmit what it received to the rest of the world––was revealed something of the interpretation of those dealings of God with men about which the nations who knew not God were pathetically and cruelly in the dark. The mind that knows not God is of necessity a prey to superstition. Only the other day, in a plague-struck district of India, boxes containing stationery for a public examination came to hand. Soon the report was rife in the bazaar that plague was in the boxes, and that, as soon as the sahib opened them, he would let it loose in the town. Nay, did not Israel itself, for our warning, relapse

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into ignorance of God, and, like the nations, sacrifice its sons and daughters to Moloch––the people gave of the fruit of its body for the sins of its soul.

An Indulgent God.––An element of peril in the teaching of our day is the continual presentation of our God as an indulgent Parent; whereas the Bible presentation is of a Father "who chasteneth whom he loveth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth," and who most of all christened and scourged the only begotten Son of whom he said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Undue solicitude about our own pains and grievances may well interfere with the educative purposes of God.

Christ presented in the Gospels.––The main object of the Gospels is to hold up for our regard a presentation of the image of Christ; therein we may see him as he walked among men, as he looked upon men, as he spake, as he worked, as he died. There is no personage of history whom we have the means of knowing so completely as we may know our Lord; and the object in our gospel reading should be, less to find words of comfort and admonition for ourselves, than to perceive with our minds and receive upon our hearts the impress of Christ. To know him is life, and is the whole of life; and every thought of Him, walking in the cornfields, sitting weary by the well, moving among crowds or in solitary places, raising his eyes upon the multitude, taking by the hand that little maid,––every such living conception we get of Christ is life to us. Just as, from the apparently casual touches of the painter, the living likeness grows, so, by laying upon the canvas of our hearts every apparently casual and insignificant detail about our Master, we shall

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by degrees gather a living vision of the Son of Man; and dearer to us than any beauty on the earth or in the heavens will become the thought

          "Of Jesus, sitting by Samaria's well,
          Or teaching some poor fishers on the shore." [Trench's Sonnets.]

Miracles.––If we would see the vision, we must keep the single eye, unclouded by the breath of many words which wing from many mouths. Especially are men clamorous to prove that 'miracles do not happen,' except as it is within everyone's power to do miracles for himself!

The mist of words upon this subject is very apt to darken the mind; but, if we are careful to instruct our conscience on some two or three points, we shall not be blinded by this mote of destructive criticism. In the first place, perhaps miracles are no such great things as we make of them. St John calls those which he records not miracles, but signs. It is possible that in our day we have, or might have, the substance, the entire faith in Christ, which does away with the need of signs. As for the incredibility of the Gospel miracles, so fit and precious as evidences of the mind of Christ, all that scientists can say against them is that such a circumstance as the turning of water into wine, for example, has not come within their experience. They can no longer say that such acts are impossible, nor that they are contrary to the laws of nature. The amazing discoveries of recent years have made scientific men modest; they perceive that they do not know the laws of nature, and are only acquainted with a

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few of the ways of nature; and therefore they know that nothing is impossible.

Again, people think they can effect a compromise. They think they can still believe in God and in Christ, may even call themselves Christians, and yet scoff at the possibility of miracles as at a notion belonging to a benighted age. But they lose sight of the proportion of faith. They fix their minds upon certain incidents, and lose sight of the fact that the Christian life is altogether of the nature of a miracle. That God should hold intercourse with man; that we may pray, knowing, with full assurance, that we are heard and shall be answered; that at our word the hearts of princes will surely be refrained; that the fit and right desires of our hearts will be fulfilled, though always in simple and seemingly natural ways––these things, which come to all of us as signs, are they not of the nature of miracles? Do they not imply the immediate and personal action of our God, not in your behalf or mine alone, but in behalf of each of the creatures of his infinite care?

The Words of Christ.––Next after the Death upon the Cross, the deepest amazement of the Gospel story is, not miracles, but words. "Never man spake like this man," said that servant of the Temple sent to apprehend Jesus; and it was given to him to declare the unique distinction of Christ. Dare any man stand up and offer himself to the world with such words as: "I am the bread of life," "I am the light of the world," "I am the truth," "Come unto me, all ye that are weary, and I will give you rest"? It is in verifying the truth of these and such like sayings of Christ that Christianity consists; and all Christians everywhere and at all times have known

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these things to be true, with the knowledge that comes of experience; and this is the knowledge which is life. When we begin to get this sort of knowledge, the miracles of Christ are important to us only as they manifest the mind of our Master, his kindness and his pity, the necessity that was upon him to do acts of mercy.

The Incarnation and the Resurrection.––Another tendency of thought in our day is to deny the Incarnation and the Resurrection of Christ, to suppose that He was born and died and remained in the grave as do other men; but that He was truly the best among men, and our great example.

None are more ready than scientific men to admit their profound ignorance of the causes of birth and life and death. They know the usual processes exactly; but causes, principles, elude them. We are hemmed in by mysteries as much in the domain of science as in that of religion. No one is prepared to say that the Incarnation could not be, nor the Resurrection; but, if these things were not as they are described, then are we indeed, as St Paul says, without hope. Christ is not. For, if He were a man like other men, then, indeed, would the charge brought against him by the Jews have been correct; and, "This man blasphemeth," would deprive us of all inspiration from the life of Christ, from the peace of his death, and from the hope of his resurrection.

Trivial Doubts.––It is necessary that conscience should be instructed as to the grave issues of doubts that are lightly handled in magazine or newspaper, and in books to be found in most houses, because our first duty is not possible to us while we have a divided mind. The first commandment is,

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we are told, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." How can we love Him whom we do not know, and how can we know Him concerning whom we are not sure? and, also, let us remember at our peril, that a doubt once entertained remains with us, is incorporated with us, and we are liable to its appearance at any moment. It recurs, as certain bodily ailments recur when they are, as we say, in the blood. We are inclined to think that there is a certain distinction in doubt, that a sceptical turn is a sign of intellectual power. The activity of a lesser mind may be shown by doubting in things divine as in things human; but the greater mind takes in all the bearings of the point at issue, and the darkness of doubt disappears before a luminous understanding. It has been well said that, "To the living and affirmative mind difficulties and unintelligibilities are as dross, which successively rises to the surface, and dims the splendour of ascertained and perceived truth, but which is cast away, time after time, until the molten silver remains unsullied; but the negative mind is lead, and, when all its formations of dross are skimmed away, nothing remains." [Coventry Patmore.]

The instructed conscience would pronounce, 'Loyalty forbids,' when we would entertain thoughts derogatory to Christ, dishonouring to God; because only such a conscience perceives how much is implied in this or that sceptical idea; knows, too, that the edifice of our faith is no dead structure of opinions and doctrines, but is a living body, liable to bleed to death through a wound.

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The uninstructed conscience, on the contrary, is persuaded that 'Truth' is so all-important that it is our duty to consider, examine, and finally cherish every objection presented to the mind. It must be remembered that objections are negative and not affirmative; that Truth consists in affirmations and not in negations; that, the affirmation duly apprehended, the negation disappears as a cloud before the sun; that we have no right to tamper with the negations of doubt until we have got the assurance of knowledge

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XV Some Instructors Of Conscience: Nature, Science, Art

Nature––The Debts of Recognition, Appreciation, and Preservation.––Conscience must brace itself under the instruction of other teachers besides those I have named. People are beginning to know that it is a shameful ignorance to live in this rich and beautiful world and not know the things about us even by name. The inheritors of precious collections recognise it as a duty to know, and to know about, the things they own: not to do so would be boorish ignorance. Here is a duty that lies upon us all; for we all enter on the inheritance of the heavens and the earth, the flowers of the field and the birds of the air. These are things to which we have right, no one can take them from us; but, until we get as much as a nodding and naming acquaintance with the things of Nature, they are a cause rather of irritation and depression than of joy.

Let us believe it, ignorance is a vice that never goes unpunished, and,

          "The loud laugh that speaks the vacant mind,"

startling us in the midst of a quiet scene of natural

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beauty, speaks not only of vacuity, but of the resentment and soreness of ignorance. We owe debts to things as well as to persons––the debts of recognition, appreciation, and preservation.

The Schooling of Nature.––In this matter of instruction in the things of Nature, we owe yet more to ourselves: for,

          "Nature never did betray the heart that loved her";––

and, in return for our discriminating and loving observation, she gives us the joy of a beautiful and delightful intimacy, a thrill of pleasure in the greeting of every old friend in field or hedgerow or starry sky, of delightful excitement in making a new acquaintance.

But Nature does more than this for us. She gives us certain dispositions of mind which we can get from no other source, and it is through these right dispositions that we get life into focus, as it were; learn to distinguish between small matters and great, to see that we ourselves are not of very great importance, that the world is wide, that things are sweet, that people are sweet, too; that, indeed, we are compassed about by an atmosphere of sweetness, airs of heaven coming from our God. Of all this we become aware in "the silence and the calm of mute, insensate things." Our hearts are inclined to love and worship; and we become prepared by the quiet schooling of Nature to walk softly and do our duty towards man and towards God.

In our Duty towards God.––In the chief duty of man, his duty towards God, Nature is an exquisite instructor. We know the story of that young footman [Brother Lawrence] who, oppressed by his clumsiness, was brought to

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a sudden standstill when upon an errand by the contemplation of a leafless tree; the surprising wonder of the fact that the tree would presently break out into leaves arrested him. All the fitness and beauty of God's ordering of the world was presented to his mind. The leafless tree converted him; and, almost from the moment, he became eminent as a saint of God, beautiful for his humility and simplicity of life.

As sweet a teacher was that 'small moss' of whose ministration to him Mungo Park tells us––

"I saw myself in the midst of a vast wilderness, in the depth of the rainy season––naked and alone, surrounded by savage animals, and men still more savage. I was five hundred miles from the nearest European settlement. All these circumstances crowded at once on my recollection, and I confess that my spirits began to fail me . . . At this moment, painful as my reflections were, the extraordinary beauty of a small moss in fructification irresistibly caught my eye. I mention this to show from what trifling circumstances the mind will sometimes derive consolation; for though the whole plant was not larger than the top of one of my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves, and capsula without admiration. Can that Being, thought I, who planted, watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after His own image? Surely not! Reflections like these would not allow me to despair. I started up and, disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled forwards, assured that relief was at hand; and I was not disappointed."

Nature teaches us Gratitude.––But it is not only as she helps us in our own spiritual life that Nature instructs us in our duty to God. Some people have the grace to be tenderly and reverently thankful to the author of a great book, the painter of a great picture––thankful, if less reverently so, to the discoverer of a

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great invention. What daily and hourly thanks and praise, then, do we owe to the Maker and designer of the beauty, glory, and fitness above our heads and about our feet and surrounding us on every side! From the flower in the crannied wall to the glorious firmament on high, all the things of Nature proclaim without ceasing, "Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty."

The advancement of Science in late years, and the preoccupation of men's minds with structural details of the various members of the natural world, have produced a thick mist to hide the Creator; and we have been content to receive the beauty that delights us and the fitness that astonishes us as self-produced and self-conceived. In this matter, Science has behaved like a child so much occupied with a new toy that to be reminded either of the maker or the giver of the toy is tiresome and vexatious. He does not deny either maker or giver, but the toy itself is all he cares about. This state of preoccupation, which has, no doubt, done good service to the cause of knowledge, is passing by, and the scientific mind is becoming more and more aware of that higher Power than Nature herself which is behind all the workings of Nature.

With this recognition will come gratitude; and the thankful heart is the glad heart. Truly, a joyful and a pleasant thing it is to be thankful!

Science.––Science herself, whose business it is to discover to us what we call the laws of Nature, is a teacher upon whom the conscience, seeking for instruction, must wait sedulously. The rash conclusions and reckless statements of the person who has had no scientific training make him mischievous in society––a source of superstition and prejudice.

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Scientific training is not the same thing as information about certain scientific subjects. No one in these days can escape random information about radium, wireless telegraphy, heredity, and much else; but windfalls of this sort do not train the mind in exact observation, impartial record, great and humble expectation, patience, reverence, and humility, the sense that any minute natural object enfolds immense secrets––laws after which we are still only feeling our way.

Science distinguished from Information.––This scientific attitude of mind should fit us to behave ourselves quietly, think justly, and walk humbly with our God. But we may not confound a glib knowledge of scientific text-books with the patient investigation carried on by ourselves of some one order of natural objects; and it is this sort of investigation, in one direction or another, that is due from each of us. We can only cover a mere inch of the field of Science, it is true; but the attitude of mind we get in our own little bit of work helps us to the understanding of what is being done elsewhere, and we no longer conduct ourselves in this world of wonders like a gaping rustic at a fair.

Patient Observation.––Let me again say that this is due from us, and is not a thing we may take up or leave alone as we think fit. Let each of us undertake the patient, unflagging, day-by-day observation of the behaviour of sparrow, spider, teazel, of clouds or winds, recording what we ourselves have seen, correcting our records as we learn to be more accurate, and being very chary of conclusions. All we find out may be old knowledge, and is most likely already recorded in books;

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but, for us, it is new, our own discovery, our personal knowledge, a little bit of the world's real work which we have attempted and done. However little work we do in this kind, we gain by it some of the power to appreciate, not merely beauty, but fitness, adaptation, processes. Reverence and awe grow upon us, and we are brought into a truer relation with the Almighty Worker.

Art.––A great promise has been given to the world––that its teachers shall not any more be removed. There are always those present with us whom God whispers in the ear, through whom He sends a direct message to the rest. Among these messengers are the great painters who interpret to us some of the meanings of life. To read their messages aright is a thing due from us. But this, like other good gifts, does not come by nature. It is the reward of humble, patient study. It is not in a day or a year that Fra Angelico will tell us of the beauty of holiness, that Giotto will confide his interpretation of the meaning of life, that Millet will tell us of the simplicity and dignity that belong to labour on the soil, that Rembrandt will show us the sweetness of humanity in many a commonplace countenance.

The artist––

          "Reaching, that heaven might so replenish him,
          Above and through his art,"––

has indispensable lessons to give us, whether he convey them through the brush of the painter, the vast parables of the architect, or through such another cathedral built of sound as 'Abt Vogler' produced: the outward and visible sign is of less moment than the inward and spiritual grace.

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We must learn to Appreciate and Discriminate.––That we may be in a condition to receive this grace of teaching from all great Art, we must learn to appreciate and to discriminate, to separate between the meretricious and the essential, between technique (the mere power of expression) and the thing to be expressed––though the thing be no more than the grace and majesty of a tree. Here, again, I would urge that appreciation is not a voluntary offering, but a debt we owe, and a debt we must acquire the means to pay by patient and humble study. In this, as in all the labours of the conscience seeking for instruction, we are enriched by our efforts; but self-culture should not be our object. Let us approach Art with the modest intention to pay a debt that we owe in learning to appreciate. So shall we escape the irritating ways of the connoisseur!

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Chapter XVI Some Instructors Of Conscience: Sociology, Self-Knowledge

Sociology––How other People live.––"With all thy getting, get understanding," says the wise man [Prov 4]; and we are never too young or too much engaged with work or pleasure to escape the duty of understanding how other people live. What are their needs? What things will do them good, and what things will do them harm? It behoves us all to think about the housing of the poor, the drink question, the care of the sick, the best way of dealing with crimes and offences, the teaching of the ignorant, whether they be persons or nations.

"I was an hungered," says Christ, "and ye fed me; naked, and ye clothed me; sick and in prison, and ye visited me." Perhaps no words spoken by our Master have come home with more intensity of meaning to every Christian soul, and few of us escape the sense of self-condemnation; and this, not so much because we are hard-hearted, unfeeling, and without pity––indeed, it is quite otherwise––an appeal in the newspapers brings an overwhelming and injurious amount of help. A beggar in the street grows rich on pennies. Any 'case' that we hear of we are very eager to help, as

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much to satisfy our conscience, because of those words of Christ's, as for the sake of the sufferer.

Conditions of Helpfulness.––But these casual efforts of ours are the despair of people who go to work steadily and conscientiously to help their brothers who are in need. These tell us of the evils of promiscuous charity, so we make up our minds that it is best not to 'give' at all; we are likely to do more harm than good, and so we content ourselves with a few subscriptions to certain public charities. In this matter, as in so many others, we err through the lack of an instructed conscience. It behoves each of us to lay ourselves out for instruction, to read, inquire, think, to look about us for a way of acting, believing

          That Circumstance, a sacred oracle,
          Speaks with the voice of God to faithful souls

and it is usually in our way, and not by going out of our way, that we shall find the particular piece of brotherly work appointed for us to do.

But we must keep our eyes open: the right thing is never obtrusive, and we may pass it by without observation. We must bear three things in mind. We must get a wide care and knowledge concerning the needs of men; we must devote ourselves, with understanding, to some particular effort for the needy; and, in all our endeavours, we must bear in mind our Master's way: What wouldst thou that I should do unto thee? he asked; and let us believe that charitable efforts, which go against the grain of the persons benefited, miss that principle of love which alone gives us a right to do service to others. It is particularly needful to bear this in mind in days when it is rather difficult to reach individuals,

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and we have to do our work through organisations. But organisations fail continually because they overlook this guiding principle, 'What wouldst thou?' It is not only self-relieving effort that is due from us, but discriminating and considerate love.

To know Ourselves is Wisdom.––It is difficult to find a name which covers what we are and what we may become, but let us call it philosophy; for to know ourselves is wisdom. We all like to get what we call knowledge of ourselves from phrenologists, readers of handwriting, and the like, and from the polite sayings of our acquaintances. But this is the knowledge that puffeth up, because it is usually flattering and, therefore, false. We may deserve praise for the thing we are praised for; but flattery fills us with the notion that we are made up of this or the other charming quality, and that those of our friends who see another side are unkind and unjust.

This is so plain to some people that they think the best plan is to leave self alone altogether, never thinking at all about what is in them, whether for good or ill, unless perhaps they are brought to book for some grave fault. Their course would be right enough if living were the easy, casual thing they make of it. But to be born a human being is to come into possession of a great estate––forest land here, copses there, cornfields, meadows, fisheries, what not: indeed, more than an estate, as I said before––a kingdom, the kingdom of Mansoul.

Self-Knowledge Impersonal.––Here, as in other estates, the casual proprietor ruins his land; field after field runs to waste and to weeds, and the land is hardly to be 'cleaned' in a generation.

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All the same, it is a mistake to think about ourselves personally. Our Lord has said once, for all time, "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." It is a wonderful saying, true even for our Master––how much more for us! We generally have too much taste to bear witness of ourselves out loud––to tell other people how plucky and generous, how clever or how sweet we are; but do we never bear witness to ourselves of ourselves––privately plume ourselves upon this or that good quality or fine action? When we do so, our witness is not true––the virtue for which we praise ourselves to ourselves is a virtue we do not possess. The fine action we admire ourselves for has ceased to be fine; our own praise of it has taken out all the virtue.

Greatness of Human Nature.––This would appear to prove them in the right who say it is best not to think of ourselves at all; but, ourselves may mean two things,––our own little sayings, doings and feelings––poor things at the best––or that glorious human nature, with its unmeasured capacities, which we share with heroes and sages, with Christ himself.

It is profanity to say of greed, sloth, sin, depravity of every kind, 'Oh, it's human nature'; for human nature is fitted for all godlike uses, and the Son of Man came to show us all that we may be when we do not reject the indwelling of our God. It is only as we realise the greatness of human nature that we understand what our Lord means when He says that one soul is worth more than the whole world. His words are always spoken in truth and soberness, and this is no fantastic valuation; nor does it mean, I think, that every single soul is so valuable to God; but that every single soul or person is so immeasurably

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great in itself; and this is the reason of the infinite divine solicitude that not one should perish. Therefore let us take stock, not of what is peculiar to us as individuals, but what is proper to each of us as human beings, remembering that we have no true ownership of the wealth of which we are ignorant.

Also, it is only a sense of the greatness of the poorest human soul that will awaken in us the passionate brotherhood which should help each of us to do our little share of the saving of the world; for we are called upon to work with our Master as well as for him. The object of this little book is to introduce to themselves any who are not yet acquainted with their own worth; so I need not here go over the reasons why, or the manner in which, we should know ourselves. Only one thing I should like to say on this point. Let us not put this sort of knowledge away from us as too troublesome and as making us too responsible. We have simply to know in the first place; and are not bound to be labouring all the time to feed imagination, exercise reason, instruct conscience, and the rest. In this sphere of self-knowledge, as in so much else, set things going, and they go

          "Begin it, and the thing will be completed."

We are so mercifully made that the ordering of ourselves becomes unconscious to those of us who take it as a duty; it is the casual people who land in bogs or are brought up against stone walls.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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SECTION III The Function Of Conscience

Chapter XVII Conviction Of Sin

Convicts of Sin.––Conscience would seem to have but a single office––to convince us of sin––that is, of transgression. The older divines used to speak much of an approving conscience; but this approval would appear to be no more than silence; for self-approbation, as we have seen, is, in itself, an offence. Then, when conscience says nothing we are all right? you ask. By no means, for the verdict of conscience depends upon what we know and what we habitually allow.

We gather from the reports of travellers among uncivilised tribes that the consciences of all men forbid them to murder, to steal, slander, dishonour their parents, and commit certain other offences. The consciences of all require them to be hospitable to strangers and faithful to friends, and in even the most debased there would seem to be a sense of the honour and worship due to God, however low a conception they may form of the divine. Even the baby, not able to run, knows that it is 'naughty' to disobey.

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Each of us has a mentor within to condemn his misdeeds; but the judge of our bosom gives his verdict only upon the errors he knows; and conscience waits, as we have seen, for instruction in many directions.

Ignorance.––Not even religion is a substitute for the instructed conscience, any more than the love of God would teach an ignorant man to read. Conscience is given to us, but the due instruction of this power we must get for ourselves. It is very important to bear this in mind in our reading of history, in our judgment of current events, of public and of private persons; above all, in our judgment as to what we may and may not do and think ourselves.

This reflection, again, gives us a certain power of moral adjustment. We do not seek to justify hard things said or done by a good man; we perceive that on that point the good man's conscience has not been informed: we do not reverse our judgment of him and say, 'He is a bad man,' for this or that offence against gentleness or justice, but, 'He has done wrong in this, because he has not taken pains to inform himself.' Realising how liable the best and wisest are to err through moral ignorance, we are careful to keep ourselves open to instruction.

Allowance.––Not only may ignorance limit the action of conscience, but allowance may blind this inner judge. When we see offences in others, and do not call them by their right name; when we allow ourselves habitually to do that we ought not to do, or to think that we ought not to think, conscience stops speaking, as it were, and no longer testifies against the wrong.

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Prejudice.––One more way of stultifying conscience we must watch against with jealous care, because this is an offence which has the appearance of righteousness: I mean the absorption of the mind by a single idea. Most wars and all persecutions, family quarrels, jealousies, envyings, resentment against friends, half the discords and unhappinesses of life, may be traced to this cause. The danger is, that good people may so fix their eyes upon one point of offence that they lose the sense of proportion. A spot the size of a penny piece hides the sun.

Bearing in mind that either ignorance, allowance, or prejudice makes conscience of little avail to its owner, we are not dismayed by even so appalling a vision of the Church in Alexandria as Kingsley gives us in Hypatia. Christianity itself does not suffer in our eyes. We perceive that the monks of Nitria, with Cyril at their head, sinned through moral ignorance, through the hardness that comes of allowance, and the madness wrought by a besetting idea; and that, through a conscience full of offence, they put shame on the Christianity they professed.

Considering these things, we do not miss the lessons of history, or of life, through the strife of contrary opinions about good men and great movements. We perceive the moral blind spot which might have been enlightened in many a great leader (and still we know him to be great and good); we discern the danger of the besetting idea in many a popular movement which is yet an advance.

There are few things more cheering to the student of history than the sense that the consciences of men and nations are under continually increasing enlightenment. From age to age and from year to year

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we become aware of more delicate offences, more subtle debts, because our God is dealing with us and instructing us; and the reward of men and nations who seek for that wisdom which cometh from above is a continual advance in moral enlightenment, an ever greater power of seeing the right in small things and great.

Sin.––"Conscience doth make cowards of us all," he said, who knew what was in men better than any save One. We put a gloss on the saying, and lose its force. We read: Conscience makes cowards of all wrong-doers; or, of us all, when we have done wrong, and, behold, a loophole through which we escape condemnation on most days in the year. We hear it stated that the sense of sin is no longer a general experience, that people can no longer confess with conviction that they "have left undone those things which they ought to have done, and done those things which they ought not to have done." In so far as this is true, it is because conscience is drugged or beguiled.

Uneasiness of Conscience.––That conscience makes us all cowards is still a luminous truth. We wake up in the morning with a sense of fear, uneasiness, anxiety––causeless, so far as we know, but there it is––the horrid fear that something is going to happen to us because we deserve it. 'Nerves,' says the man of science: very likely, though the hale and hearty know this fear as truly as do the ailing. But to say 'nerves' or 'hypochondria,' or 'the blues,' or the older 'megrims,' or 'vapours,' is only to name a symptom and not a cause. The cowardice of conscience drives us all, old and young, rich and poor, whether into what we call nervous ailments, or

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into the mad and lusty pursuit of business or pleasure. Either of these we know for a soporific, carrying us through the day, passing the time, as we say; and, if we only get tired enough, bringing sleep at night. But the busiest and gayest lives have their moments of blank fear when the terrors of conscience are sprung upon them. Men call reason to their aid. There is nothing in their lives of which they can convict themselves; they live as other men do, kindly, respectable, even religious lives. Why should they fear conscience? Why, indeed?

Sins of Omission.––At such moments that accusation, from which there is no escape, comes with startling force to the memory,––"I was an hungered, and ye fed me not," with those other charges summing up the casual omissions which seem to us at such moments to be the whole history of our lives. How can we ever overtake the little things we have not done? We are cast into the outer darkness of dismay, and are cowards, each of us, before his conscience. In a general way, we are content to confound sin with crime. Because we have not been guilty of lying or theft or any of the sins against society which the law punishes, we are like that young ruler, and say of the commandments, 'All these have I kept from my youth up.' Then, like him, we are shown the things we might do, and might have done, and go forth ashamed––aware of sin.

'There is no health in us,' we cry, with the sincerity of a broken heart; 'I am such a poor thing,' or, 'such a worthless fellow'; or, 'So foolish was I and ignorant, I was as a beast before Thee.' Such as these are the cries of the unsophisticated conscience, as it catches a glimpse, now and again, of the vastness

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of life, of the ten or ten thousand talents which it implies.

'Who is sufficient for these things?' And there is no rest for the uneasy conscience until we can say, 'My sufficiency is of God.'

The Chiding of Conscience.––It is the office, we are told, of the Holy Spirit to convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, in the constant operation of the divine Spirit upon the spirits of men, we find the secret of how we become aware of sin when we have done nothing in particular to be ashamed of; how we crave after a righteousness greater than we know; and how the sense of a present judgment, to come upon us to-day or to-morrow, awakens with us many a morning and goes to bed with us many a night when no particular wrong-doing comes home to convict us.

Because these convictions are of God, we do not drive them away in the multiplicity of interests and amusements; neither do we sit down and pity ourselves, and encourage what are called nervous maladies. There is a more excellent way.

But when we count up our blessings, let us not fail to number this, of the continual chiding of conscience. A wise man has said that, were there no other evidence of the existence of God, the conscience of man is a final proof. Let us accept the strivings of conscience in this light, and rejoice.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XVIII Temptation

Sudden Temptation.––Though in placid moments they are what we are most aware of, our sins of omission are by no means the greatest trouble of our lives. Like St Christopher, we have to fight our way against the floods, however quiet our lives may seem. Some little peevishness or petulance about a trifle, some slight resentment against a friend, some entanglement in our circumstances,––and it is as though, like the cuttlefish, we had darkened all the waters about us. Suddenly, without an instant's warning, we are in a flood of rage, resentment, crooked contrivings, perhaps unclean imaginings. We are swept off our feet and cannot recover ourselves. We flounder and beat the waves, long and wearily, before we win our way back to righteousness and peace. We do not intend, will, or foresee these sudden falls; we become as persons possessed, and have no power in ourselves to struggle out of the flood of malice, pride, uncleanness, greed, envy, or whatever else of evil has overwhelmed us.

The fact that we have not foreseen these falls, points to a cause outside ourselves––to those powers and principalities in high places, whose struggle for

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dominion over us the Bible reveals; and the revelation is confirmed by our own sad and familiar experience.

Temptation comes from without and from within.––This is Temptation, reaching us sometimes plainly from without, but more often, it would seem, through the movement of some spirit of evil which has access to our own spirit. If we say there is no Holy Spirit, and no evil spirit, and no spirit of a man,––if, like the Sadducees of old and their kind to-day, we do not believe in any such thing––there is nothing more to be said. But if we are aware of the movements of our own spiritual life, and observant of that life in those about us, if we have taken cognisance of how good and evil come as a flood upon the world or upon an individual soul, we shall recognise that there is a source of temptation outside of ourselves, even as there is a source of strength and blessedness. We shall know that 'we wrestle not with flesh and blood,' but with spiritual wickedness in high places; and we shall lay ourselves out to understand the laws and conditions of temptation, and shall look eagerly for ways of escape.

Literature is full of tales of temptation, yielded to, struggled against, conquered. Sometimes temptation finds us ready and there is no struggle, as in the case of Tito Melema; [Romola.] sometimes there is a struggle, as in that of Maggie Tulliver; [The Mill on the Floss.] sometimes, a victory like that of Joseph.

It is in the Bible we find the most intimate records of temptations. We wonder to this day how Peter could, upon a sudden temptation, deny his Lord; how Judas should, after slow gathering of fretful and impatient thoughts, betray Him; how the disciples

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should, in a sudden panic of fear, forsake Him and flee. And, when we think of falls like these, we ask ourselves the awful question, 'Lord, is it I?' 'Should I have done the like in his place?' The very records of crimes and offences in the newspapers bring us the same awful fear; with like temptation, and in like conditions, perhaps we should have done the like. A sense of the inevitableness of temptation, the nearness of sin, comes upon us, now and then, like a terror; and it is well we should realise that temptation is a fact of life––a fact to be faced; and, also, that we are besieged in our weak places, tempted always to those sins we have a mind to. It is good and comforting to be assured, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to men." It is good to know that, "He will with the temptation make a way of escape that ye may be able to bear it"; that, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation"; that, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Enter not into Temptation.––But it is to our Master, "who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin," that we go for the key of the whole matter. Because he knows what is in man, he has said to us, "See that ye enter not into temptation." This is the secret of heroic lives whose conflict is with circumstances and not with temptations: they do not enter into temptation. All our Lord's sayings come out of profound knowledge of the ways of the minds of men. He knew that an idea, an imagination, of envy or resentment, for example, once entertained, dallied with, takes possession of the mind; we cannot get rid of it, and we are hurried into

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action or speech upon that notion before ever we are aware. Here we have the line between temptation, and sin. That an offensive idea should be presented, is not of ourselves and is not sin. But, once we open the gates of our thought to let in the notion, why, we may conquer in the end, through the grace of Christ our Saviour, and after conflict, tears, and sore distress. But such a fight against temptation is a terror to the Christian soul. Upon this battlefield, he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.

The Training of a Trusty Spirit.––Blessed are the souls that endure temptation from without; who endure grinding poverty without hardness or greed, uncongenial tempers without bitterness, contrary circumstances without petulance; who possess their souls in patience when all things are against them: these are temptations from which we cannot escape, and which are part of the education of a trusty spirit. But this education is accomplished by resisting the temptations that reach us from within––the offences in thought suggested by trying circumstances. For, let us not make a mistake, all sin, even all crime, is accomplished in thought. Word and act are but the fruit of which the received and permitted thought is the seed. The battle of life for each of us lies in the continual repetition of what seems a most trifling act––the rejection of certain thoughts which present themselves at the very moment when they come. This is how we shall keep our soul as a fortress; and therefore our Master, who is aware of us, who knows how the evil thought, once admitted, floods the soul and darkens the eye, bids us pray, day by day: "Our Father, which art in Heaven, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the

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kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen."

We have a Father who cares and knows. We have a Saviour who saves his people from their sins. We are not left to ourselves; we have a King who governs us, whose power upholds us, and whom we glorify by every little effort of ours not to enter into temptation.

The way in the beginning is quite easy, before we enter, that is; we turn away our thoughts from beholding evil, the evil in another or the evil suggestion to ourselves; and we do so, not by reasoning the matter out, but just by thinking of something else, some other pleasant or interesting thing belonging for the moment to our lives. For we are so made that there is always with the temptation an easy and natural way of escape. It is well we should realise this, because, in things of the spirit, it is quite true that God helps those who help themselves; and, if we pray, "Lead us not into temptation," and do not take the simple provided way of escape by thinking of some other thing, we are asking to be treated as the men on a chessboard, and not as beings free to do as they will; who honour God by willing, to flee from temptation; who stretch out a hand for help to Him who saves us.

Penitence, Repentance, Restitution.––Many a life is spoiled by what the Church at one time set forth as a chief Christian grace. The penitent is a distressful figure in early Church history. Days, months, a life, of self-mortification, were appointed to the repentant sinner. Where there is no Church discipline of the sort, men and women of a sorrowful spirit go about, living in penitence

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for offences of the past or the present. We all know the people who will not forgive themselves, who weep and afflict themselves because they are guilty of some discovered wrong in word or deed, and they believe that this sorrowful gloom of theirs is due to God and man because of their offence.

The Forgiveness of Sins.––And yet these very people recite regularly, "I believe in the forgiveness of sins." They do not understand that forgiveness means instant, immediate, complete restoration to the joy of God's favour; that the forgiveness of Christian hearts is equally prompt, or it is not forgiveness; and that there are no tears to be shed, no dark remembrances to be cherished, after the one sore and sorrowful confession, made with many tears, "Father, I have sinned." Then, we hold up our heads as free men, and no longer drag the prisoner's chain. We repent––yes; that is, we turn away from the sin, we enter not into the temptation, we keep fast hold of the grace of our God; and we restore: "If I have taken anything from any man, I restore him fourfold:" fourfold love and gentleness and service the repentant soul brings to God and his brother; but this is because he is glad––out of the joy of his heart there is nothing he cannot do; and, above all, he will away with the proud and sullen tears and regrets of so-called penitence. Let that story of the Father who ran to meet his returning prodigal, who received him with honour and feasting, who fell upon his neck,––image too tender for a man to have dared to conceive it, but which is given us with the authority of Christ, let this amazing picture of the dealings of our God be with us always to light up the dark places in our own lives.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XIX Duty And Law

Right and Wrong.––Sin, temptation, repentance, throw us back upon something behind them all. Why is it wrong to do wrong? And, what is wrong? People have answered these questions in various ways. Some say it is wrong to neglect or offend other men, and that therefore to care for and consider our fellows is right; and right only because they choose to do it. Others say they have the right to do as they like: therefore they can do no wrong; but when other people injure them, these are ready enough to complain of suffering wrong. Others, again, say that whatever is natural is right; and on this ground they will justify greed, sloth, uncleanness, selfishness, saying, 'Oh, it's human nature.' By the way, let me again say, it is a grievous misrepresentation to put down what is low, lazy, and unworthy to human nature, and never to say of heroism, self denial, devotion, these are human nature too. For, indeed, what human nature is depends upon how we use it. This nature of ours is capable of base behaviour, as we know too well; but it is equally capable of magnanimity and generosity. But people

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usually mean the poor side of human nature when they say that what is natural is right.

We all know the Law.––These various gropings in the dark to find out the meaning and reasons of right and wrong are forms of self-deception.

We all know that sin is the transgression of the law. Every living soul is aware that there is a law. He is not able to put it into words, perhaps, and may make wild and dreadful errors in interpreting the law, but he is aware. The most ignorant savage knows as well as the Psalmist that, "Thy commandment is exceeding broad." But, because he is ignorant and base, he does not know that the law is beautiful and works for blessedness; that is, he has not an instructed conscience, but only a conscience dimly aware of a law, the meaning of which he gropes after in the dark.

He knows, too, that obedience to the undeciphered law is due from him. He is dimly conscious that law is everywhere; that––

          Or act or say, or do but think a thought,
          And such and such shall surely come to pass,
          Fore-ordered sequent of such act or thought.

His uneasiness is appalling; he tries to appease his conscience by sacrifice; to explain the riddle of life by superstitions, making his god such an one as himself.

Contrast this restless uneasiness in the dark with the serenity of the enlightened Christian conscience. The Christian, too, is aware of the law which is about him, closer than the air he breathes, ordering his relations with all persons and all things, ordering his affections and his thoughts. But the law does

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not irk him. "Oh, how I love thy law!" he cries with the Psalmist; and he takes up gladly his share of the work of the world, so much of the fulfilling of the law as is due from him; he acknowledges his Duty.

As the planets revolve round the sun in obedience to their law, so he revolves in the orbit of his life, and his deepest joy is Duty. Not that he fulfils the law which is within his heart. Like the planet on which he lives, he is constantly pulling away from the law he owns; but he is as continually recovered, so that he does indeed finish his course.

Law and Will.––The reason why it is a joy to perceive the law, and an unspeakable gladness to fulfil even a little of that law, is, that we recognise law as the expression of the perfect will of God. Law, existing by itself and for itself, without any to will or desire, is a monstrous thought––a thought to chafe our spirits and take the heart out of all our strivings––because there is no comfort of love in it and no reasonable conviction. But how good and pleasant it is to know that at the heart of all things is our God, who wills the good and right behaviour of every creature in His universe, and who enables us all for right doing, for that fulfilling of His law in which all things work together for good! Our little lives are no longer small and poor when we think of the great things of the world. They are a necessary part of the great whole, ordered under law, fulfilling His will, and singing as the morning stars in the gladness of obedience.

Acquiescence.––The possibility of an erratic course, of breaking away into space––a glittering object, may be, for a time; to be, by and by, quenched

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in darkness––should make us the more fervent in our duty-doing. All sense of bondage ceases when we say, "I rejoice to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart." And, with this spring of glad obedience within us, we arise and shine, because every feeble, faltering step is sustained; when we fall we are raised, when we pause we are strengthened and cheered to go on; and, poor things as we know ourselves to be, our path is that of the just, shining more and more unto the perfect day.

          "Stern Daughter of the Voice of God!
          O Duty! if that name thou love,
          Who art a light to guide, a rod
          To check the erring, and reprove;
          Thou, who art victory and law
          Where empty terrors overawe;
          From vain temptations dost set free;
          And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity!

          "Through no disturbance of my soul,
          Or strong compunction in me wrought,
          I supplicate for thy control;
          But in the quietness of thought.
          Me this unchartered freedom tires,
          I feel the weight of chance desires;
          My hopes no more must change their name,
          I long for a repose that ever is the same.

          "Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
          The Godhead's most benignant grace;
          Nor know we anything so fair
          As is the smile upon thy face:
          Flowers laugh before thee on their beds,
          And fragrance in thy footing treads;
          Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong,
          And the most ancient heavens, through thee, are fresh and strong.

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          "To humbler functions, awful Power,
          I call thee: I myself commend
          Unto thy guidance from this hour;
          O let my weakness have an end!
          Give unto me, made lowly wise,
          The spirit of self-sacrifice;
          The confidence of reason give;
          And in the light of truth thy bondman let me live!"
                    ––WORDSWORTH. [Ode to Duty]

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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PART II––The Will

Chapter I The Will-Less Life

It perhaps occurs to the reader that man is indeed the Sphinx's riddle, and that the more we think of ourselves the more we are baffled. This is true enough; but the inference––'let the puzzle alone' is by no means safe. For this baffling problem of human nature must needs occupy us from the cradle to the grave. It is that of which we have to render account, whose content is, those talents, the use of which is our business in life.

Anarchy in Mansoul.––So far as we have considered the matter, Heart, with its affections of Love and Justice, Intellect, with its Reason and Imagination, even Conscience itself, behave pretty much as do the several organs of the body––brain, lungs, heart, and so on; give them proper food, exercise, rest, and air, and they do their work of themselves. It hardly seems to be we who imagine or who love. We may not all be consciously dominated by ideas; but every writer knows how he 'reels off' almost without intention. Everyone knows how

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the affections behave, how love, as lord of the bosom, plays unaccountable and vexatious pranks, and commonly gives the poor man a sorry time. The blind god with his mischievous tricks is more than a pretty fancy; it is a symbol which presents very truly the whimsical behaviour of love when left to itself.

Conscience, too, for all the dignity and sobriety we attach to his name, is, left to himself, as whimsical and aggravating as any blind god. We know the persons of morbid conscience who are fussy over some ridiculous bit of 'packthread, ' leaving their real relations and duties out of count.

Think, too, how heated and morbid the imagination becomes that is always feeding (commonly on poor trash), never working, never resting, and never coming into the fresh air of common day! We know the distorted views, sickly principles, and weak behaviour of the person who lets his imagination run away with him as a horse that has bolted runs away with his rider. Perhaps he takes to drugs, or drink, or trashy novels, to stimulate the tired jade; for go he must––he knows no other life. With a ménage full of unbroken horses, each minded to go his own way and each able to drag the poor man after him, what is he to do? Who is able to order his affairs?

Mansoul is saved from anarchy by the Will, that power within us which, we know not how, has the ordering of the rest.

An Easy Life.––It has been said that the Will is 'the sole practical faculty of man,' and we recognise this in our common speech. Whatever is done with the consent of the will we describe as voluntary; what is done without that consent is involuntary: and, as we have seen, we can reason, imagine, love, judge,

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without any action of the will. Indeed, life is made so easy for us, by conventions and class customs, that many poor souls live to man's estate, die in old age, and have never called upon Will to decide between this and that. They think as other people think, act as others act, feel what is commonly felt, and never fall back upon their true selves, wherein Will must act. Such lives are easy enough, but they are stunted and stinted in all directions. No power has been nourished and exercised or brought under the broad sky of God's dealings. Life is to such persons a series of casualties; things happen well or they happen ill, but they always happen; and the absence of purpose and resolution in themselves makes it impossible for them to understand that these exist in God; so their religion, also, comes to consist of conventional phrases and superstitions.

This is the most common development of the willless life, marked by a general inanition of powers and an absence of purpose,––beyond that of being as others are, and doing as others do. The inmate of the madhouse, who reasons with amazing cunning, has his affections and his conscience too (did not Mr. Dick make a valiant fight against that head of Charles I.?); but he is commonly lost for the want of will-power to order the inmates of his house of mind and his house of heart. So of the young man, who is nobody's enemy but his own, who is carried off his feet by every stray suggestion of pleasure or excitement.

It is well we should face the possibility of living without the exercise of will, in order that we may will and make our choice. Shall we live this aimless, drifting life, or shall we take upon us the responsibility of our lives, and will as we go?

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter II Will And Wilfulness

Wilful Persons are of Various Dispositions.––What of the person who always contrives to get his own way, whether he get it by means of stormy scenes, crafty management, sly evasion, or dogged persistence? The dogged and the blustering person are commonly supposed to have strong wills; the sly, and the managing person keep somehow out of our notice, we do not make up our minds about them. As a matter of fact, persons of these four classes may get each their own way, with as little action of the Will as is exercised by the casual person who lets things slide. When we have given ourselves to Greed or Vanity, Ambition or Lust, we pursue our way without restraint from Will, and get what we want by straight or devious ways, according to our nature. The robber baron of the Middle Ages, a turbulent man, without ruth or fear, whose action was commonly the outcome of stormy passions,––he and his like are supposed to be persons of strong will. Such a man was the Wild Boar of the Ardennes, [Quentin Durward, Scott.] such another, Charles of Burgundy [Anne of Geierstein, Scott], and such another, indeed, our own reckless Coeur de Lion. [The Talisman, Scott.] These heroes of the

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'strong will' are not without their qualities; they are generous and lavish, as ready to give as to take; and they will always have a following of the sort whose instinct it is to 'follow my leader.' The persons who compass their way by more subtle means are less attractive. King John [Shakespeare.] and Becky Sharp [Vanity Fair, Thackeray.] do not win a following; we prefer Joab to Achitophel; and Esau is a more winning person than Jacob.

In the last two, we get the contrast we want, between the man of Will and the creature of Wilfulness. This contrast is not, as it would seem at first, between the man who pursues his desires above board and generously, and his brother who wins his way, sometimes by prudence and sometimes by craft. The difference lies deeper.

The Wilful Person has one Aim.––The wilful person is at the mercy of his appetites and his chance desires. Esau must needs have that red pottage, he must needs hunt, or marry, or do whatever his desires move him towards at the moment. So must needs do the crafty gambler, the secret drunkard, the slothful soul, the inordinate novel-reader, the person for whom 'life' means 'pleasure.' Each of these is steady to only one thing, he must always have his way; but his way is a will-o'-the-wisp which leads him in many directions. Wherever gratification is to be found––for his vanity, his love of nice eating, his desire for gay company, or his ambition, his determination to be first,––there he goes. He is a wilful man, without power or desire to control the lead of his nature, having no end in view beyond the gratification of some one natural desire, appetite, or affection. Mr. J. M. Barrie's Sentimental Tommy is a valuable study

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of a wilful person. Tommy always attained his end, always found out a 'wy'; and his ends were often good enough in themselves. But Tommy is an ingrained poseur: he does many generous things, and is a bit of a genius; but all his efforts are prompted by the chance desires of his vanity. He must, at all hazards, impress an audience. He always gets his 'wy,' yet his life falls to pieces in the end because he is not dominated by Will, but by vanity.

Jacob, too, gets his way, often by subtle means, and every subtlety brings its chastisement; but he does not seek his way for its own sake. All his chance desires are subordinated to an end––in his case, the great end of founding the kingdom of promise. The means he uses are bad and good. "Few and evil are the days of my life," he complains at the end, so sore have been his chastisements; but, always, he has willed steadily towards an end outside of himself.

The career of the late Lord Beaconsfield is an interesting study, as showing the two phases of Wilfulness and Will. To begin with, he has only the rather dazzling wilfulness of a young man's ambition; he will shine, he will make himself heard in the House; and he does it. But there is nothing more; and the country feels him to be a creature of chance desires. But by and by Will manifests itself, the will of the great statesman. Personal desires are subjugated or disappear in the presence of the ruling will, and we get a man fit for the service of his country. We have no record of an era of wilfulness in Wellington; his was ever the iron will, iron to keep down not only those under him, but any turbulence of his own flesh or spirit. The 'Iron Chancellor' of

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Germany had this same steadfastness of will, always accomplishing towards an end.

A Brilliant Career does not demand Exercise of Will.––But it is even possible to make the world wonder without an exercise of Will. Napoleon, who came upon Europe as a portent, was but impelled along the lines of least resistance in his nature––his genius, high courage, vanity, and inordinate ambition,––but he never reached the elevation of a man with an impersonal aim. He willed nothing outside himself. He had the lavish generosity of a child, and a child's petulant wilfulness; a child's instability, too, or how could he have borne the shame of retreating from Russia in advance of his army?

It is not safe to take success in life as a criterion. His Will is the measure of the man; and many a man has become rich or famous without willing, on the easy lines of his nature, by the strength of his desires while many another of constant will lives unknown and yet it is the persons of constant will, which implies impersonal aims, who are the world's great possession, and are discerned to be such.

We distinguish, for example, between rich, successful men. There are those who are simply accepted as rich; and there are those––merchants, manufacturers, shopkeepers, it matters little what––who have become rich and successful by accident, as it were; these are not the things they have willed; but rather some manner of duty-doing, some sort of aim, outside of themselves; these are the men of weight recognised and valued by their neighbours.

Redgauntlet, [Redgauntlet, Scott.] as devoid as you please of amiable qualities, wins the reader's sympathy because he was

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a man of will. He had the power to project himself beyond himself and shape his life upon a purpose. We may draw upon Scott without reserve for instances in this kind. The great novelist had a certain legal acumen which never failed him in his discrimination of character. As for his historical accuracy, mere errors of detail are, perhaps, fewer than we imagine; for the man who could deal with the case of 'Poor Peter Peebles' [Redgauntlet, Scott.] knew well enough how to sift documentary evidence. I have already quoted two personages as figured by him, William de la Marck and Charles of Burgundy. Louis XI. [Quentin Durward.] again, mean and unlovely soul that he was, was yet concerned, if meanly concerned, with matters outside of himself. What a fine study, again, we get of Will and Wilfulness in that crusaders' camp in The Talisman! Each of the princes present was engaged in the wilful pursuit of personal ends, each fighting for his own hand. And Saladin looked on, magnanimous of mind and generous of heart, because he was a man of will, urged towards ends which were more than himself. I can hardly conceive a better moral education than is to be had out of Scott and Shakespeare. I put Scott first as so much the more easy and obvious; but both recognise that the Will is the man. As for Shakespeare, the time will come when our universities will own a Shakespeare 'faculty,' not for philological study, but for what is beginning to be known as 'ethology,' the study of man on the lines of character.

A Dividing Line.––Both Shakespeare and Scott use, as it were, a dividing line, putting on the one side the wilful, wayward, the weak and the strong; and on the other, persons who will.

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Faust, Lady Macbeth, King Lear, Edward Waverley, Charles II., King John, Marlborough, all sorts of unlikely persons, fall to the side of the line where Will is not in command. On the other side, also, unlikely people find themselves in company––Wolsey, Sir Thomas More, Laud, Mahomet, Henry V. of England, and Henry IV. of France. The two Marys, of England and Scotland, fall to either side of the line.

To make even a suggestive list would be to range over all history and literature. Let me say again, however, that here is a line of study which should make our reading profitable, as making us intimate with persons, and the more able for life. The modern Psychical novel is rarely of use 'for example of life and instruction in manners.' It is too apt to accept persons as inevitable, to evade the question of Will, and to occupy itself with a thousand little traits which its characters manifest nolens volens. The way of the modern novel is to catch its characters and put them to disport themselves in a glass bowl, as it were, under observation.

A man standing in the ranks cannot drill the company, and the restless forces of Mansoul can only be ordered by a Will, projected, so to speak, from the man, thrown to the front, aiming at something without; and, from this point of vantage, able to order the movements of Mansoul, and to keep its forces under command.

'Will' may be a National Attribute.––We are at this moment (1904) contemplating a magnificent object-lesson presented by a nation of extraordinary will-power; for this power may belong to nations as well as individuals. It would seem that every Japanese has an impersonal aim. There is that which he wills to serve with the whole force of his nature,

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and in comparison with which his tastes and inclinations, his desires and deserts, matter not at all. Who can doubt that he loses his life to save it, when, with purpose, method, forethought, every reasonable device, and with unlimited skill, the Japanese gives himself for his country?

Nor is this the first time in their history that the Japanese have given an example of will-power unparalleled in the annals of any country. Thirty years ago they worked out such a revolution as the history of the world cannot match. The people did not rise in arms and wrest power from their rulers; but the rulers, who kept the state and held the authority of feudal princes, perceived of themselves that the people had not room to grow under this feudal dominion, and they, of their own free will, retired from ruling and owning the land, from vast wealth and dignity, and became as citizens with the rest, served in the rank and file of the army, manned the constabulary force. These, too, lost their life, a princely life, to find it in the regeneration of their country.

The neighbouring empire, China, presents a curious spectacle of incoherence and futile endeavour. Yet China, too, has taste, literature, ingenuity, an art of its own, morals perhaps of a higher order than we Westerns suspect, the prestige of a long, long history; and, with all this, China is a petulant, wayward, unstable child among the nations. Why? We of the West are apt to say superior things about race and colour; but perhaps recent events have taught us better. Great things have come out of the East in the past, and may in the future.

The truth probably is that China and Japan rank themselves on the two sides of our imaginary line.

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In the meantime, we Western nations have become enfeebled by a philosophy whose first principle is that we must never under any circumstances lose our life. The greatest happiness of the greatest number is our avowed general aim; comfort at all hazards is our individual desire; and 'Every man for himself,' is the secret, or open, rule of life followed by many of us.

But we need not be alarmed, and talk of deterioration and the like; nor need we compare ourselves unfavourably with any great nation. What is in fault is the teaching we have allowed and fostered, teaching which urges men along those lines of least resistance proper to their nature.

With an aim outside ourselves, we are as capable of great things as any nation of the past or present. If we are able for no more than little Skepsey's cuckoo cry, of his 'England,' [One of our Conquerors, Meredith.] we shall be restored to the power of willing, which is only possible to us as we are moved from without ourselves. According as we will, we shall be able for effectual doing.

Our Lord's teaching appears to have been directed, in the first place, to awaken the Jews from the lethargy of national superstitions and personal aims; to give them the power of willing, again; because it is only as a man wills that he is, in any full sense, a man. "What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?" "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

"If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine" (R.V.) [John 7:17]

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Chapter III Will Not Moral Or Immoral

To 'Will' is not to 'be Good'––Perhaps what has already been said about Will may lend itself to the children's definition of 'being good,' and our imaginary dividing line may appear to have all the good people on the one side, and all the not good on the other. But the man of will may act from mixed motives, and employ mixed means. Louis XI., for example, in all he did, intended France; he was loyal to his own notion of his kingly office; but, because he was a mean man, he employed low means, and his immediate motives were low and poor. An anarchist, a rebel, may propose things outside of himself, and steadfastly will himself to their accomplishment. The means he uses are immoral and often criminal, but he is not the less a man of steadfast will. Nay, there are persons whose business in life it is to further a propaganda designed to do away with social restraints and moral convictions. They deliberately purpose harm to society; but they call it good; liberty to do as he chooses is, they say, the best that can befall a man; and this object they further with a certain degree of self-less zeal. It is the fact of an aim outside of themselves which

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wins followers for such men; the looker-on confuses force of will with virtue, and becomes an easy convert to any and every development of 'free-thought.'

It is therefore well we should know that, while the turbulent, headstrong person is not ruled by will at all,––but by impulse, the movement of his passions or desires,––yet it is possible to have a constant will with unworthy and even evil ends. More, it is even possible to have a steady will towards a good end, and to compass that end by unworthy means. Rebecca had no desire but that the will of God should be done; indeed, she set herself to bring it about; the younger, the chosen son, should certainly inherit the blessing as God had appointed; and she sets herself to scheme the accomplishment of that which she is assured is good. What a type she offers of every age, especially of our own!

The simple, rectified Will, what our Lord calls 'the single eye,' would appear to be the one thing needful for straight living and serviceableness.

'Will' not the Same Thing as 'an Ideal.'––Another thought that may occur is, that 'Will' is synonymous with an ideal: that the ideal, whether high or low, is the compelling power which shapes conduct. This is a comfortable doctrine, for most of us have an ideal hidden away somewhere, if it be only that of the 'good fellow' or the 'nice girl.' We see for ourselves the enormous force of Bushido, apparently the ideal of chivalry in Japan; but the ideal owes its force to the will-power which gives it effect. Everybody knows that the nursing of sentimental dream-ideals, however perfect they be, is a source of weakness. We know, too, that there are persons who make a cult of great ideals, who enjoy

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exquisite emotions in the midst of elegant surroundings as they contemplate and idealise the life of St Francis! Self-culture is accepted as the pursuit of an ideal; but when we realise that it is an ideal accomplished in self, and with no aim beyond self, we perceive that the gentle youth with the lily in his fingers and his head a little posed, is not a man of will, because the first condition of will, good or evil, is an object outside of self. Browning raises the curious question whether it is not better to will amiss and do it, than to persist in a steady course of desiring, thinking, feeling amiss, without strength of will for the act. Most of us who read The Statue and the Bust will agree with the poet that the fall which fails of accomplishment through lack of will is as bad as such fall accomplished. If it be not goodness, the will is virtue, in the etymological sense of that word; it is manliness.

Another thing to be observed is, that even the constant will may have its times of rise and fall; and we shall consider later one of the secrets of living––how to tide over the times of fall in will-power.

As has been said, a great secret of the art of living is to be able to pass the tempting by-paths and strike ahead. The traveller who knows this art escapes many torments; and this way of the will I shall invite the reader to consider later.

There are few subjects of thought more evasive than this of the will; but it is the duty of everyone to understand something of the behaviour of the will-o'the-wisp who leads us. By degrees, we shall discover, that here is no ignis fatuus, but a power, working in co-ordination with the other powers of Mansoul, having its own functions and subject to its own laws.

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Thus far we have seen, that, just as to reign is the distinctive quality of a king, so is to will the quality of a man. A king is not a king unless he reign; and a man is less than a man unless he will.

Further, we have seen that we have the choice of willing or not willing. It is even possible to go through life without an act of will. All that we do or think, in spite of ourselves, as it were, according to the impulses of our nature, is not willed. Will is neither virtuous nor vicious; but a constant will must have an object outside of self, whether good or bad. The will has, so to say, its times of high and low temperature; and the times of low temperature, of feeble will-power, are times of danger.

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Chapter IV The Will And Its Peers

The Will subject to Solicitations.––It is rather easeful to think of Will standing before the forces of Mansoul, saying to this one, 'Go,' and to another, 'Come,' and to a third, 'Do this, and he doeth it.' The Will is subject to solicitations all round from 'the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.' Every dæmon of Mansoul tries, as we have seen, [Cf. Book I., 'Self-Knowledge.'] to get the ear of the Prime Minister, and shows, with plausible reasoning, that he, alone and unaided, is able to satisfy all the wants of the State. From the mere greed of eating and drinking to ambition, that 'last infirmity of noble minds,' every single power of Mansoul will, if it be permitted, make for misrule. But, courage, my Lord Will! and the forces fall into place and obey the word of command.

We have already seen how the Reason firm, the enlightened Imagination, the ordered Affections, the instructed Conscience, are at hand with instant counsel towards every act of volition.

Will does not Act alone.––It takes the whole man to will, and a man wills wisely, justly, and

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strongly in proportion as all his powers are in training and under instruction. It is well to know this, to be quite sure that we may not leave any part of ourselves ignorant or untrained, with the notion that what there is of us will act for the best.

Living means more than the happenings of one day after another. We must understand in order to will. "How is it that ye will not understand?" said our Lord to the Jews, who would only see that which was obvious, and would not reflect or try to interpret the signs of the times; and that is the way with most of us, we will not understand. We think that in youth there is no particular matter to exercise our Will about, but that we shall certainly will when we get older and go into the world. But the same thing repeats itself: great occasions do not come to us at any time of our lives; or, if they do, they come in the guise of little matters of every day. Let us be aware of this. The 'great' sphere for our Will is in ourselves. Our concern with life is to be fit, and according to our fitness come the occasions and the uses we shall be put to. To preserve Mansoul from waste, to keep every province in order––that, and not efforts in the outside world, is the business of Will.

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Chapter V The Function Of Will

There is, as we have seen, only one power in the Kingdom of Mansoul quite at its own disposal, a free agent, able to do what it likes, and that is the Will; and the one thing the Will has to do is to prefer. 'Choose ye this day' is the command that comes to each of us in every affair and on every day of our lives; and the business of the Will is to choose.

The Labour of Choice.––We are usually ready enough to choose between things, though some of us shirk even that responsibility. We gaze upon two stuffs for gowns, and cannot choose between them. Indeed, the whole success of advertisements depends upon the fact that we wish someone, if it be only the salesman, to make up our mind for us. Some one has a rather clever story of a girl with two lovers, who was quite unable to decide between them, and one of the two made things easy by a pretended decease. The girl had no longer the labour of choice.

We do as Others do.––There are many people who minimise the labour of life by following the fashion in their clothes, rooms, reading, amusements, in the pictures they admire and in the friends they select.

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We are all glad of a little of this kind of help, because it is well to do as others do in some of the small things of life; but fashion herself is a broken reed, and we must sometimes choose. The Joneses put off the labour of choice till the last minute. They inquired of their friends and consulted guide-books and weighed many considerations; but the more information they got, the more difficult was the choice of where to go for the summer holidays. So they went to the station, and trusted to the inspiration of the last minute; but, after all, Margate was a choice!

This inability to choose appears to be growing upon us as a nation, perhaps as a race; and the reason may be, that, though we are slow to elect for ourselves, we are zealous propagandists on behalf of others. We choose their furniture, their careers, their tastes, for other people, and push them zealously into that which we are assured is for their good. The gown may be becoming or the career may be suitable; but, in so far as we have chosen for another, we have done that other person an injury. We have taken away a chance from him or her of fulfilling the chief function of life, that of choosing.

We do a worse hurt to ourselves when we dress our persons in ready-made garments and our minds in ready-made opinions; because, in so far as we do so, we lose the chance of using our Will; we act as an automaton and not as a person; and no more fulfil our function than do the sham plants used in tawdry decorations. Every man and woman who does not live in the continual thoughtful exercise of a temperate will, is more or less of a lay figure, pulled by the strings of other people's opinions.

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Choice and Obedience.––But you will say, 'What about obedience, then––to the home authorities first; after that, to the State, to the Church, and always to the law of God? If a person be truly a person only as he acts upon the choice of his own will, surely,' you say, 'obedience must destroy personality.' On the contrary, obedience is the exquisite test, the sustainer of personality; but it must be the obedience of choice. Because choice is laborious, the young child must be saved the labour, and trained in the obedience of habit; but every gallant boy and girl has learned to choose to obey father and mother, pastor and master, and all who are set in authority over them. Such obedience is the essence of chivalry, and chivalry is that temper of mind opposed to self-seeking; the chivalrous person is a person of constant Will; for, as we have seen, Will cannot be exercised steadily for ends of personal gain. But obedience must be given only because it is right.

Life, you will say, becomes too laborious if every choice matters, and is to be made at first hand. That reminds one of the fable of the pendulum that 'struck,' thus stopping the clock, because it counted how many ticks it must give in a day, in a year, in many years. The sum was overwhelming, and the pendulum stopped. The clock-face inquired into the matter, and the pendulum presented his big sum. 'Oblige me,' said the face, 'by ticking once.' He did so. 'Did that fatigue you?'––'Not in the least,' said the pendulum; 'but it is not of one tick but of millions of ticks that I complain.' 'But,' said the face, 'you are only required to give one tick at once, and there is always a second of time to tick in.' The Will is precisely in the case of the discontented pendulum.

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No doubt there are many choices to make, but they come one by one, and there is always the time to choose.

We choose between Ideas.––It is well, however, to know what it is that we choose between. Things are only signs which represent ideas. Several times a day we shall find two ideas presented to our minds; and we must make our choice upon right and reasonable grounds. The things themselves which stand for the ideas may not seem to matter much; but the choice matters. Every such exercise makes personality the stronger; while it grows the weaker for every choice we shirk.

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Chapter VI The Scope Of Will

Allowance does Duty for Choice.––We have seen that the function of the Will is to choose, not between things, persons, and courses of action, but between the ideas which these represent. Every choice, of course, implies a rejection of one or many ideas opposed to the one we choose. If we keep the will in abeyance, things and affairs still present themselves, but we allow instead of choosing. We allow a suggestion from without, which runs with our nature, to decide for us. There would not seem to be much difference between the two courses; but most ruined lives and ruined families are the result of letting allowance do duty for will-choice.

It is not that a person need go through the labour of choice on all small occasions. A man goes to his tailor having made his choice; that is, he has long ago decided that the common sense and good taste of the class he belongs to are a sufficient guide in such matters. He remembers Lord Chesterfield's dictum; he will not be among the first to adopt a new fashion, nor among the last to follow an old one: therefore, his choice is limited enough, and his tailor sees to the rest. But, you will say, he has not chosen at all!

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Yes, he has; he has chosen with modesty and good sense to follow the lead set by the common sense of his class.

A young man of more pretensions comes to his tailor and is shown the latest cut, a material that will be 'the thing' in a few months. He asks many questions, deliberates a good deal, or rather, invites his tailor to say, 'The very thing for you, sir! Lord Tom Foley ordered the very same thing last week.' That does it: the thing of a new cut or a striking pattern is sent home, and the young man considers that he has made his choice. Not at all: the tailor has played on his vanity, and his act, in ordering the garment, has been one of allowance, not of choice. He is but playing Malvolio after all! Another man visits his tailor, who takes his measure in more senses than one. This man is proud, not vain; he does not choose to set the fashion, but to be above it. 'I never wear' this, I 'prefer' the other, is the line he takes. The tradesman humours him, and the purchase, again, is not a matter of choice, but of allowance.

Or, again, there is the man whose conceit leads him to defy general usage and startle the world with checks and ties, feeling that he is a mighty independent fellow. He is merely obeying the good conceit he has formed of himself, and his daring ventures come of allowance and not of choice. We cannot follow the woman to her dressmaker's; the considerations are too complicated! But here, too, the decision arises either from choice made upon deliberate principles regulating taste and outlay, or upon allowance––the suggestion of a costume displayed in a shop window, or the insinuations of the tradeswoman as to what is worn and is becoming.

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Once having arrived at principles of choice in such matters, the special occasions give very little trouble. A choice of will implies some previous action of judgment and conscience, some knowledge of the subject, and, generally, some exercise of taste and imagination. We do not choose a thing because we will to do so––that would be mere waywardness; but will acts upon information and reflection. The question of a lady's shopping is only a by-issue, but it is well worth considering; for, alas! the shopping scene at Madame Mantalini's is of too frequent occurrence, and is as damaging to the nerves and morale of the purchaser as to those of the weary shopwomen.

Cheap 'Notions.'––The dishonest fallacy, that it is our business to get the best that is to be had at the lowest price, is another cause of infinite waste of time, money, and nervous energy. The haunting of sales, the ransacking of shop after shop, the sending for patterns here, there, and everywhere, and various other immoralities, would be avoided if we began with the deliberate will-choice of a guiding principle; that, for example, we are not in search of the best and the cheapest, but, of what answers our purpose at the price we can afford to pay.

The mad hunt for the best, newest, most striking, and cheapest, is not confined to matters of dress and ornament, household use and decoration. We are apt to run after our opinions and ideas with the same restless uncertainty. Indeed, it is ideas we hunt all the time; even if we go to a sale with the dishonest and silly notion that we shall get such and such a thing––'a bargain,' that is, for less than its actual worth.

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It is well to remember that in all our relations of life, our books and friends, our politics and our religion, the act of choice, the one possible act of the Will, has always to be performed between ideas. It is not that ideas stand for things; but things stand for ideas, and we have to ask ourselves what we really mean by allowing this and that, by choosing the one or the other. Are we going after the newest and cheapest things in morals and religion? are we picking up our notions from the penny press or from the chance talk of acquaintances? If we are, they are easily come by, but will prove in the end a dear bargain. We have expended the one thing that makes us of value, our personality, upon that which is worth nothing. For personality, the determination of the Will, is wasted,––not by use, but by disuse,––in proportion as it is not employed. We must bring wide reading, reflection, conscience, and judgment to bear upon our opinions, if it be only an opinion concerning a novel or a sermon––upon our principles, if they affect only the ordering of our day.

          "Who sweeps a room as for Thy law
          Makes that and the action fine,"
                    [The Elixir, George Herbert]

is a general principle; and no action is fine but as it reaches after a principle greater than itself. The ideas we admit become our opinions; the opinions upon which we take action become our principles; our principles and our opinions are ourselves, our character, the whole of us for which we are responsible.

One idea is free, one great will-choice is open to us all. We are inclined to wait upon circumstances and upon opportunities, but it is not necessary, nor, indeed, does it answer, for the person who waits for his oppor-

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tunity is not ready for it when it comes. The great decision open to us all, the great will act of a life, is whether we shall make our particular Mansoul available for service by means of knowledge, love, and endeavour. Then, the opportunities that come are not our affair, any more than it is the affair of the soldier whether he has sentry duty or is called to the attack.

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Chapter VII Self-Control––Self-Restraint––Self-Command––Self-Denial

Moral Self-culture.––The four types of behaviour now to be considered are not attractive. An instinct, perhaps a true instinct, repels us from all substantives compounded with 'self.' 'What's the good?' we say, when an ideal of self-culture is held up for our admiration, and the Will jibs. It is not to be moved to any constant action for self-centred ends. To be sure, as we have seen, a score of self-originated motives––self-esteem, self-respect, and the like––that come of vanity and pride move us to action, not against our will, but without our will. And the self-control and self-constraint to which we have been exhorted from infancy, and rightly so, even self-denial, may be practised and perfected, all for the sake of that dear Self which perceives that serenity is blessed, that self-approval is a happy state, that self-complacency is singularly agreeable to the one who has it; that, in fact, this sort of moral self-culture pays. Then, has not Self a right to be complacent on the score of such results; for, how they tend to the comfort of everyone else! How they make for peace and pleasantness!

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Self-Absorption.––I am not sure. The moral self-culture which is practised for its own sake is apt to give a curious apartness to the self-cultured person. There is a loss of spontaneity, a suggestion of a 'higher plane,' which stops the flow of simple, natural sympathy, the only gift we have for one another. Any sort of absorption has this effect; no one expects much of a lover, or a poet, or of a student cramming for an examination; but the lover's case is, we know, only a phase, and so is the student's; and as for the poet, in so far as there is anything in him, he is working for the world. But nothing comes of self-absorption beyond that personal culture which is its aim. The rest of us are not very willing to be benefited by persons who are evidently on another plane: even Christ reached us where we are, for was He not in all points tempted like as we are?

I remember once meeting, amongst a large party, a lady who was rather a puzzle to me. She was striking-looking and very agreeable. She was a leader in whatever went on in the house––acting, reciting, games, talk––and excelled everyone else in whatever she did. She was very kind, too; wherever there was a little need or ailment, she was on the watch to give help. This lady was a puzzle to me, because, with so much that was charming, there was a certain aloofness about her that was repellent. I thought, perhaps she was a woman with a story; but, no, everybody knew all about her. At last her kind wish to help me disclosed the mystery. If I laid myself upon my bed in such and such a position, and said, 'I am very happy, there is nothing the matter with me,' etc., etc., for so long every day, the result would be perfect serenity of mind and health of body.

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Then I saw what put this interesting woman out of touch with the people about her. She had a distinct personal cult, a cult of her own well-being, which, notwithstanding many kindnesses, proved like a wall topped with broken glass to the rest of us; we could not get at her, and though she practised every one of the behaviours at the head of this chapter, and more of the kind, I believe it was nothing to the rest of the party.

A Better Way.––Self-restraint, the ordering of our appetites; self-control, the keeping back the expression of our passions and emotions; self-command, which keeps our temper from running away with us; self-denial, which causes us to do without things that we want––all these may be excellent; but there is a better way.

When the Will aims at what is without self and more than self, the appetites are no longer ravenous, nor the emotions overpowering, nor the temper rebellious (except for a quick, impulsive instant, followed by regret and recovery). As for self-denial, it is impossible for love to go without what it wants, because it is not aware of personal wants. The mother who feeds her child with the last crust, covers it with her last rag, does not exercise self-denial, but love. Probably a great deal of harm to ourselves and others is done by what we call our self-denials. "I won't have you saving yer dirty sowl upon me," said an Irish woman to her district visitor; and it is just possible that she expressed a law of life,––that we are not allowed to be good to others, or even to be good in ourselves, just for the sake of being good. Love, and the service of love, are the only things that count.

Give the Will an object outside itself, and it will

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leap to service, even to that most difficult of all service, the control of the forces of Mansoul. It is not by one grand fiat, but by many ordered efforts of Will, that we overcome those failures in self-restraint, self-control, self-denial, which are the misery of our lives, and which we know to be sin by the wretchedness they bring upon ourselves and others, and the separateness from others which they set up in our hearts. It is not self-ordering, but an object outside of ourselves, leading to self-forgetfulness and a certain valiant rising of the will, to which we must look for a cure for the maladies that vex us.

But, you will say, our Lord Himself has bidden us to deny ourselves. Yes, but He asks of us the self-denial of a disciple who follows his Master and denies himself in the sense that he has no self, for the love that constrains him.

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Chapter VIII The Effort Of Decision

We shirk Decisions.––I have attempted to show that the Will stirs at the touch of an uplifting thought. It may perhaps move in the train of vanity, greed, or the like; but, if it do so, it is a mere supernumerary; the forces of nature are strong enough to carry their ends without an effort of Will. They call, not for choice, but only for allowance. And, yet, there are many little wearing decisions to be made in the course of each day, to call upon the Will for which is like bringing a Nasmyth hammer to crack a nut. So we go on asking ourselves, 'What will Mrs. Jones say?' 'Will Mrs. Brown be there?' 'I wonder which side Holford will take?' and so on. We try to relieve ourselves of effort by imagining the decisions of our neighbours. This is a wearing process, because our neighbours are many and their decisions are various; and if we take any one man or woman for our guide, we are still thrown out, because circumstances are never the same for two persons. We are forced to act for ourselves, and so many minor considerations press upon us that, like the tired purchaser at the 'Stores,' we take, at last, the thing that is offered, for no better reason than that it is offered.

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Indecision is perhaps a malady of the age, nor is it altogether a bad sign. It means a wider outlook on practices, opinions, creeds. Sir Roger de Coverley poses as our patron saint, invoked on all occasions:––there is so much to be said on both sides that we cannot make up our minds; and at last we make them up at a blind run, and find ourselves where we had never meant to be.

'Toleration'––We admire this attitude of mind in ourselves, and call it Toleration, a sort of creed that may be summed up in this wise. 'There is so much of good in everything and everybody, and so much of bad in everything and everybody; and nothing, and nobody, is better than anything else, or anybody else; so where are you?' 'What's the good?' follows––of going to church, of troubling oneself to vote for this measure or that, this man or that, of troubling oneself about public questions, of offering truth to the ignorant. "What is truth? as jesting Pilate said," and as we, with a lift of the brows, repeat. 'Everybody's creed or opinion is no doubt the best for him, and why should we meddle? We have enough to do to look after ourselves!'

Even about that we need not take much trouble. Some of us have 'luck,' and some of us, 'Providence,' to make for us all the decisions that matter. This is the sort of unformed thought that goes on in the minds of many people to-day; and they wear themselves out with petty decisions and walk blindfold into great ones.

'Providence' and Choice.––But surely, you will say, Providence does fix the bounds of our habitation and guide us in our undertakings. This is no doubt a blessed and restful truth upon which every Christian

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soul reposes; but Providence does not save us from the effort of decision, for upon this effort depends the education of character; and 'our Father which art in Heaven' brings up His children. As the wise parent sees that his children are invigorated by proper exercise, so we may venture to think that Providence strengthens the children of men by giving to each opportunities for effort, chiefly, perhaps, for this effort of decision. For the will grows strong by its efforts, and the will is the man.

Ludwig Richter has a charming picture to illustrate 'Give us this day our daily bread.' [Unser Vater.] A mother is spoon-feeding two dear round babies seated before her with open mouths; behind, is a big brother with his slice of schwarz brod; a sower has gone forth to sow in a neighbouring field, and a bird follows in his wake for private ends. Here we have the story of providential dealings. The sower sows, the mother feeds, and God giveth the increase. But these do not wait; they work with open eyes and busy hands, and the good that comes to them comes on the lines of their own efforts.

Opinions and Principles.––But, though the labour of decision is part of that sweat of our brow by which we earn our bread of every sort; yet, if our decisions mean worry, fuss, anxiety, and fatigue, whether it be about the buying of a yard of ribbon, or the furnishing of a house, or the choosing of a career, we may be quite sure we have got off the right lines; that Will is in abeyance, and we are being torn in pieces by conflicting desires or affections.

The decisions of Will are always simple, because they have, for good or ill, an end in view outside of

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Self. As we have seen, no part of us works alone in a watertight compartment. Throughout our lives, Will has been busy, taking counsel with Imagination, Reason, Conscience, Affection; and forming, by degrees, those great decisions on conduct which we call Principles, or those upon matters of thought which we call Opinions. The opinions and principles are at hand for little and great occasions. Our business is to see that we are not distracted by manifold little movements of Self. Then our decisions are prompt and final; we are not fretted by wondering if we have made a mistake, or, if we should have done better by deciding otherwise.

We have done the best that is in us, with prayer if it be a matter of any uncertainty; and then we are sure that we have Providence with us, as the sower has, whether the immediate harvest be rich or poor. We gain, at any rate; there is more of us for the next time of action, and we go our way with added strength and serenity.

You will say this is no ready-made way to a quiet life. No; but in all labour there is profit, and without labour there is no profit, whether in things of the heart or of the hand.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter IX Intention––Purpose––Resolution

The History of a Resolution.––A gentleman was walking on the shore of a southern watering-place with his invalid wife. His attention was attracted by a greater black-backed gull which had fallen dead on the sands; other sea things attracted him, and by and by a little promiscuous collection began to form itself. This swelled and swelled, and, as the collection grew, his knowledge of the objects increased. At last he had so many objects, and so well arranged, that the idea of forming a big county museum presented itself. He embraced the idea, and formed a steady purpose, and the difficulties in the way only strengthened his resolution to face all the labours of collection and classification.

Here we have a sketch of the mental processes which all persons who do things go through. First, something strikes them: the man on the shore would not have called the gull an idea; but that which struck him was an idea all the same, the idea of interest and admiration roused, perhaps, by the dainty beauty of the gull's plumage seen close.

Then followed that arrest of the mind upon the natural objects offered by the sea which led to the

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intention of getting more knowledge about them. The intention was probably a little vague and general, but strong enough to move him to action; he found the things and got the knowledge. Then the intention became definite. He had an end in view which he meant to carry through, a purpose; and then, in the face of difficulties, came the strong resolution.

The Progress of an Idea.––Another man, perhaps, read, in his boyhood, a history of Drake. He got out of his reading a certain sense of spaciousness, and of the chivalry that adventures all for love of queen and country. His hero is not always to be admired for his goodness, but his manly devotion to a cause takes hold of the neophyte. He has found it good to be at home in "the spacious days of great Elizabeth," and his reading takes that direction for many years. He knows the Elizabethan dramatists, statesmen, 'sea-dogs,' poets. His thoughts become coloured. There is a certain largeness in his opinions and in his conduct of life. He has an uplifting effect upon his neighbours. He helps them to see matters from other than the personal or parochial standpoint. He himself may have followed no more adventurous career than that of a doctor or a squire, but he brings the breeze of the uplands about him, and all his neighbours are the healthier. Of his sons, too, one is in the navy, one in India, and a third has settled in South Africa; all carrying with them the spacious thoughts, the impersonal aims, they got from their father. We seem to leave this man at the inception of what we may call the 'Elizabethan idea, ' when he read his first story. The arrest of the mind and the intention came with the steady pursuit of Elizabethan

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literature. We cannot so well follow out the stages of purpose and resolution, but, no doubt, they were there, because the fruit of that first seed-thought perfected itself in his life, and it continued to bear in the lives of his sons.

Had the arresting idea come to him from the circumscribed, self-involved days of Queen Anne he might have become a dilettante on the look-out for Chelsea teapots and Chippendale tables. He, too, would have an influence on his neighbours, for we cannot spare anything that has been; but his influence would make rather for the small graces than for the larger issues of life.

Personal Influence must be Unconscious.––This question of influence is, by the way, very interesting. The old painters pictured the saints with a nimbus, a glory, coming out of them. The saint with a nimbus suggests what seems to be a universal truth, that each of us moves, surrounded by an emanation from his own personality; and this emanation is the influence which affects everyone who comes near him. Generosity emanates, so to speak, from the generous person; from the mean person, meanness. Those who come in contact with the generous become generous themselves; with the mean, mean.

This sort of influence we cannot help using; it is unconscious, and belongs to our nature. We have no business with the influence that comes out of ourselves, and have no right to try to influence other people.

We are, of course, called upon to give and receive reproof, counsel, instruction, as occasions arise; but these differ from what is known as 'influence,' in that they are above-board: the other person is aware of what is being done. Our business is to be good, and

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then our influence will take care of itself. What we must take heed of, however, is that we do not put ourselves in the way of the lowering influence of unworthy persons.

None of us can be proof against the influences that proceed from the persons he associates with. Wherefore, in books and men, let us look out for the best society, that which yields a bracing and wholesome influence. We all know the person for whose company we are the better, though the talk is only about fishing or embroidery. Probably no one is much the better for virtuous and pious conversation, what school-boys call 'pi-jaw'; but everyone is better for coming in contact with a sweet, wholesome, manly soul, whose nature is not only within him, but surrounds him, and is taken in as the air they breathe by all about him.

Sources of Ideas.––It is well to get the idea which leads to a resolution from such a source. It is possible that this idea may come as a seed-thought to some reader––may arrest his mind, form his intention, concentrate into purpose, strengthen into resolution––that, if he can do no more for the world, his shall, anyway, be a Mansoul from whom wholesome, and not unwholesome, influence will emanate. We may have other things to do; great philanthropic labours may come our way––indeed, all labours for the world are philanthropic if they are sincere; whether the writing of a book, the sitting on a parochial committee, the helping to make laws in the House of Commons. But no one need feel left out in the cold because his work seems to be for no greater a purpose than that of earning his living. That, too, is a great end, if he wills to do it with a single aim. He need

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not mourn that he has no influence; everyone has influence, not in the ratio of his opportunities, nor even of his exertions, but in that of his own personality. Mansoul is in truth a kingdom whose riches and opportunities are for whosoever will.

Will, the Instrument by which we appropriate Ideas.––But there are persons who never entertain the idea that presents itself, and who, therefore, form neither intention, purpose, nor resolution upon it––the persons who do not use their Will. And there are persons who deliberately will and choose to entertain harmful and injurious ideas; the thoughts of whose hearts are only evil continually, whose purposes, resolutions, are ever towards evil ends.

These several acts of the Will, intention, purpose, resolution, are not only possible to us, but are required of us. The Will is, in fact, the instrument by which we appropriate the good, uplifting thought that comes our way; and it is as we seize upon such thought with intention, act upon it with purpose, struggle, with resolution, against obstacles, that we attain to character and usefulness in the world.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter X A Way Of The Will

The Way of the Will a Slow Way.––We have already seen something of the 'way of the Will.' We know that the Will acts upon ideas; that ideas are presented to the mind in many ways––by books, talk, spiritual influences; that, to let ourselves be moved by a mere suggestion is an act of allowance and not of will; that an act of will is not the act of a single power of Mansoul, but an impulse that gathers force from Reason, Conscience, Affection; that, having come to a head by degrees, its operations also are regular and successive, going through the stages of intention, purpose, resolution; and that, when we are called upon for acts of will about small matters, such as going here or there, buying this or that, we simply fall back upon the principles or the opinions which Will has slowly accumulated for our guidance.

We know that what we do or say matters less than what we will; for the Will is the man, and it is out of many acts of willing that our character, our personality, comes forth.

The Will is Opposed.––You will say, "This is all very well, and I should gladly choose to be

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among the men of good-will; but I know that sudden emergencies will overtake me, as they have always done before. Anger, greed, mean thoughts, the strong desire of favour here or friendship there, perplexity or fear, will come upon me with such force that I shall not be able to will or to do, but only to drift."

These sudden floods of the spirit––or the slow aggressions of outside influence––we are all sadly familiar with, and call them temptations; and we pray that we may not enter into temptation. But we forget that the mandate runs, 'Watch and pray'; and, perhaps, three-fourths of the falls of good men and women arise from the fact that they do not know or consider at what postern they must keep ward. They strive against what they call their besetting sin, occupying their minds about that sin, in order that they may strive against it; and they so surely prepare themselves for a fall by this very preoccupation, that their story has passed into a proverb, 'Hell is paved with good intentions.'

The Postern to be Guarded.––The place to keep watch at, is, not the way of our particular sin, but that very narrow way, that little portal, where ideas present themselves for examination. Our falls are invariably due to the sudden presentation of ideas opposed to those which judgment and conscience, the porters at the gate, have already accepted.

These foreign ideas get in with a rush. We know how that just man, Othello, was instantly submerged by the idea of jealousy which Iago cunningly presented. We know of a thousand times in our own lives when some lawless idea has forced an entrance, secured Reason as its advocate, thrown a sop to

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Conscience, and carried us headlong into some vain or violent course.

Seeing that neither Reason nor Conscience can be depended upon, once an idea has been admitted, though they offer infallible tests at the gateway, what we want to know is, how we are to treat insurgent ideas that press for an entrance. Fight them, say most Christian teachers; and the story of the mediaeval Church is a history of fights with thongs and lashes, hair shirts, fastings, and sore self-denials, shutting out all the sweetness of life. These terrific conflicts with evil, Martin Luther's inkpot, and the like, cannot, perhaps, be escaped when certain turbulent ideas have got in; but our Lord's merciful counsel of 'Watch and pray' saves us. Given, the good Will, there is a means at hand, simple and unpromising against our giant, as was David's sling and stone, and just as effectual. In the spiritual as well as in the natural world, great means are always simple.

When the new idea presents itself in a newspaper article or in the talk of our friends––or rises suddenly in our own hearts––by a rapid act of the trained Reason and instructed Conscience, we examine the newcomer. We do this unconsciously; it has become the habit of the trained will (and the way to train the will is to exercise it) to submit the chance ideas that come our way to this manner of inspection before we appropriate them––let them in, that is, and make them our own.

Supposing they fail to satisfy the two janitors which coalesce to form our judgment, what then? Here comes in the beautiful simplicity with which the will works.

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We do not struggle against, or argue down, or say bad things against the trespasser. By a conscious act of will, we simply and instantly think of something else––not something good and lofty, but something interesting, even something diverting; what we shall do on our next holiday, a story we are reading, a friend we mean to see, even a fly walking across the ceiling, is enough to think about; because any other occupation of the mind keeps out the insidious idea we would repel, and it has no power over us until it has been willingly admitted.

Whenever life becomes so strenuous that we are off guard, then is our hour of danger. Ideas that make for vanity, petulance, or what not, assault us, and our safety lies in an ejaculation of prayer,––'O God, make speed to save us! O Lord, make haste to help us!' and then, quick as thought, we must turn our eyes away from the aggravating circumstance and think of something diverting or interesting.––the weather, and the fitting garments for it, are always at hand!

We are all aware, more or less, that our moral Armageddon is to be fought against an army of insurgent ideas; but, perhaps, we are not all aware of the simple and effectual weapon put into our hands. Another thing that we are not all aware of is, that insurgent intellectual ideas have to be dealt with in precisely the same way as the moral insurgents within us. We are not free to think what we like, any more than to do what we like; indeed, the real act is the thought. Our opinions about God and man, Church and State, books and events, are as much the result of the operations of Will as are our moral judgments. They must be no more lightly entertained. Here is the need to watch and pray against the irresponsible

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flight of opinions for ever on the wing. Every such opinion must be examined at the postern, and, however attractive, if it fail to satisfy due tests, it must be pushed out of the way, diverted by some friendly and familiar thought waiting to occupy the mind. It is not that we must make up our minds beforehand to reject any class of intellectual ideas; but that it is our bounden duty to examine each as it presents itself, to submit it to the tests of Reason and Conscience; and, if it do not satisfy these, why––just to think of something else, really interesting and diverting!

An idea, once admitted, is our master and not our servant. There are ideas, both evil and good, both moral and intellectual, which strike us, possess us, carry us away, absorb all our powers of body and mind, so that we may come to live, for better for worse, as the instrument of a single idea. How necessary, then, that we should keep watch at the door of ideas, and that we should become adepts in the use of the simple means of repelling ideas we would not willingly entertain!

A careful study of the Gospels will show the vital importance of the ideas of the Intellect which we are apt to call merely a person's opinions––the opinions that 'every person has a right to form for himself.' Undoubtedly he has, both a right and a duty, but he should face his risks.

The Gospels are largely filled with the story of our Lord's controversies against fallacies,––that is, specious opinions proved by the Reason, and allowed to pass by the Conscience, because the Will permitted them unquestioned entrance. It is a perilous fact that Conscience and Reason themselves are at the mercy of an idea which they have not been summoned to examine before its admission.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter XI Freewill

Summary of Points considered so far.––We have seen that the ordering of Mansoul, the due coordination of all its powers, belongs to Will; that the Will is neither moral nor immoral; that the function of the Will is to choose; that the choice lies, not between things, circumstances, or persons, but between ideas; that an act of the Will evolves from long preparation, under the guidance of the Intelligence, the Affections, and the Conscience; that the operations of the Will are also of slow evolution, going through, at least, the stages of intention, purpose, resolution; that immediate acts of Will, which do not seem to go through any process of evolution, either in preparation or operation, are really only the application of principles and opinions that have passed through their due stages and issue in acts of judgment: it is these, and not the immediate decision, which are acts of Will.

We have seen, too, that many persons shirk the exercise of Will, the proper work of a man, and drift into allowance instead of choice, or into the wayward impulses proper to their nature. Intellectual opinions, as well as moral principles, belong, it appears, to the

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sphere of the Will. We perceive that the good Will, which humbly undertakes its functions in Mansoul, finds itself continually beset with hazards, impulses here, suggestions there; but that the field of action for the Will is narrower than it seems: Will must watch at the postern where ideas enter. This is the more necessary because Reason, a dependable guide as to ideas which the Will has not admitted, becomes a special pleader for an idea that has once crossed the rubicon––so much so, that there is no conceivable act of crime or folly that the reason of men has not justified to themselves by logical arguments, not to be refuted. Conscience, too, that other judge of our actions, is able to be convinced by Reason. Therefore, if Mansoul is to be saved from anarchy, the Will must keep incessant watch at the door of ideas. We have seen, too, that the obstructions to the rule of Will, arising from strong impulses and powerful suggestions, may be met in a simple way. The Will asserts itself, not by struggle and insistence, but by a diversion of thought, to be repeated as often as the impulse or suggestion recurs; and each recurrence is fainter than the last: whilst the Will employs the pause secured by such diversion to gather force.

So much we have been able to gather, more or less vaguely, about the functions and behaviour of the Will; and it behoves us to know all we can about this one practical faculty of man, because the task set to us is to work out our own salvation from base habits of body, loose habits of mind, inordinate affections, from debased and conventional moral judgments; and the Will is the single instrument by which we are able to work.

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Will and Conventionality.––Our Will must deliver us from the intellectual and moral fallacies of which the air is full. It is by our Will that we shall be saved from that commonplace respectability which never errs, because every act conforms to the standard of general custom; not by choice of will, but in lazy imitation. This habit of life, though it look like that of the man of good-will, is the despair of all who care profoundly for their kind; because the end of life––nay, life itself––is missed by all those excellent citizens who live to save their lives; to do well by themselves; to get on and prosper, that they may have the more, whether of luxury, culture, or pleasure. Life, circumscribed by self, its interests and advantages, falls under the condemnation,––"He that saveth his life shall lose it."

Therefore, Christ ate with publicans and sinners, and pronounced woes against the respectable classes because the sinners might still have a Will which might rise, however weakly, at the impact of a great thought, at the call to a life outside of themselves. The men at whom no one could point a finger were tied and bound in self, and were incapable of the great act of will implied in, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve."

There are but two services open to men––that which has self as the end and centre, and that which has God (and, by consequence, man) for its object.

It is possible, indeed, to choose the service of God unconsciously, believing that we have only a passionate desire to help men; but it is not any way possible to drift into the service of God when our object is to do well by ourselves: no, not even if that doing well by ourselves reaches its ultimate aim––that of saving

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our own souls. It has been well said that selfishness is none the better for being eternal selfishness.

If Christ were to walk amongst us to-day, perhaps He would cry in our streets, 'Woe to the land which upholds the standard of his own well-being as the aim of every man!' We cannot live higher than our aims. Will must have an object outside of itself, whether for good or ill; and, therefore, perhaps there is more hope for some sinners than for certain respectable persons.

We seem able to discern something of the function of the Will and something of its behaviour. If we would look closer and know what the Will is, if we would enclose it in a definition, it eludes us, as do all the great mysteries of life, death, and personality. This much we discern––that, in the man of good-will, the Will is absolutely free; that, in fact, there can be no will but a free will. Wherefore, the conventional person who makes no choice is without freewill, because he is without will. Will, freewill, must have an object outside of self; and the poet has said the last word, so far as we yet know:

          "Our wills are ours, we know not how;
          Our wills are ours to make them Thine.'
                              TENNYSON.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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PART III––The Soul

Chapter I The Capacities Of The Soul

Step by step, we have tried to gather together the little knowledge that is open to us about Body, Mind and Heart, [See Book I., 'Self-Knowledge.'] Will and Conscience. We have seen that no clear definition of either of these is possible, and that there is no rigid boundary-line between any two. The powers of Mansoul are many, but they are one; and, by careful scrutiny, we gather hints enough from the behaviour of each to help us in discerning those laws of our being whereby we must order ourselves.

We leave now the outer courts of Mind and Body, the holy places of the Affections and the Will, and enter that holy of holies where man performs his priestly functions; for every man is of necessity a priest, bound to officiate in his most holy place.

In every Mansoul, the 'Soul' is the temple dedicate to the service of the living God. How wonderful is the Soul of man! We commonly speak of ourselves as finite beings; but whoever has experienced the rush of the Soul upon a great thought will wonder

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whether we are indeed finite creatures, or whether it is not because we have touch with the infinite that we have capacity for God.

What is there that baffles the understanding of a man, or that is out of the range of his thoughts, the reach of his aspirations? He is, it is true, baffled on all hands by his ignorance, the illimitable ignorance of the wisest: but ignorance is not incapacity; and the wings of a man's Soul beat with impatience against the bars of this ignorance; he would out, out, into the universe of infinite thought and infinite possibilities. How is the Soul of a man to be satisfied? Crowned kings have thrown up dominion because they want that which is greater than kingdoms. Profound scholars fret under the limitations which keep them playing upon the margin of the unsounded ocean of knowledge. No great love can satisfy itself in loving. There is no satisfaction for the Soul of a man, save one, because the things about him are finite, measurable, incomplete; and his reach is beyond his grasp; he has an urgent, incessant, irrepressible need of the infinite.

Even we lesser people, who are not kings or poets or scholars, are eager and content enough in pursuit; but we know well that when we have attained, be it place or power, love or wealth, the old insatiable hunger will be upon us: we shall still want––we know not what!

St Augustine knew, when he said that the Soul of man was made for God, and could never be satisfied until it found Him. But our religious thought has become so poor and commonplace, so self-concerned, that we interpret this saying of the sainted man's to mean, we shall not be satisfied till we find all the

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good we include in the name, salvation. We belie and belittle ourselves by this thought: it is not anything for ourselves we want; and the sops that we throw to our souls, in the way of one success after another, fail to keep us quiet.

'I want, am made for, and must have a God.' We have within us an infinite capacity for love, loyalty, and service; but we are deterred, checked on every hand, by limitations in the objects of our love and service. It is only to our God that we can give the whole, and only from Him can we get the love we exact; a love which is like the air, an element to live in, out of which we gasp and perish. Where, but in our God, the Maker of heaven and earth, shall we find the key to all knowledge? Where, but in Him, whose is the power, the secret of dominion? And, our search and demand for goodness and beauty baffled here, disappointed there––it is only in our God we find the whole. The Soul is for God, and God is for the Soul, as light is for the eye, and the eye is for light. And, seeing that the Soul of the poorest and most ignorant has capacity for God, and can find no way of content without Him, is it wholly true to say that man is a finite being? But words are baffling; we cannot tell what we mean by finite and infinite.

We say there is no royal road to learning; but this highest attainment of man is for the simple and needy; it is reached by the road in which the wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err. In this fact, also, we get a glimpse of the infinite for which we hunger. How strange it is to our finite notions that ALL should be offered to the grasp of the simplest and the least!

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter II The Disabilities Of The Soul

The Soul, like the Mind and Heart, has its chronic disabilities, its deep-seated diseases. With an overpowering need of God, a great capacity to receive Him, common to all men, very few attain anything like a constant "fruition of Thy glorious Godhead." Many of us have fitful glimpses; and many, perhaps most of us, are 'unaware.' The causes of our deadness to things divine may be roughly classed under the three heads of inertia, preoccupation, and aversion.

Inertia.––We have seen how a certain lethargy of Mind withholds us from entering on the vast inheritance open to our intelligence. In like manner, the Soul is dead, and unaware of that hunger and thirst which God alone can satisfy. Conscience may be awake, may demand of us public worship, private prayers, the reading of good books; or, Conscience may be dulled, and we forgo these things; but, in either case, it is possible to have little or no apprehension of God––no wish, indeed, for such apprehension, for the lethargic Soul shrinks from that which must needs give it a great shaking out of its habits of ease. Such a Soul covets from others

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the praise that 'there is no harm in him'; from himself the praise that 'l do my duty' in all manner of proper observances.

The inner Soul is not dead; it could awake, if the Will of the man would respond to the approaches of the divine tenderness; but it is torpid––the cry, 'Awake! Awake!' does not penetrate the heavy ear.

The lethargic Soul is one with the wicked in this, that "God is not in all his thoughts." He is capable of living from hour to hour, nay, from day to day and from year to year, without that turning of the face of his soul towards God (as a flower to the sun) which is the sure indication of a living Soul. It is not that he never thinks upon God; perhaps there is not a man who never says in his need, 'God help me!' and perhaps not many who do not sometimes say, 'Thank God!' But this occasional and rare crying upon God is a widely different thing from having God in all his thoughts.

The hope for the inert Soul, whether he be a regular churchgoer or one of the 'careless ones,' is that some living idea of God may arrest his Mind and stir up his Will to desire, intend, resolve. This is what is called conversion, and is among the everyday dealings of the Almighty Father with His dull and callous children. We have all undergone such conversions, in a less degree, many times in our lives. And sometimes, to the generous heart or to the hardened sinner, a great conversion comes, which changes, from the moment, all the intents of his heart and the ways of his life.

Preoccupation.––As fatal as the lethargy of Soul which will not awake to the presence of God, is such preoccupation of Mind or Heart as leaves

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no room for the dominating and engrossing thought of God. "My duty towards God is to love Him with all my heart and all my mind," as well as "with all my soul and with all my strength." No power of Mansoul works alone in a compartment by itself, and Mind and Heart must unite in the worship of the Soul.

It is possible, and, alas! common enough, to be so preoccupied with one idea or with many that we are unaware of any need of God, practically unaware that He is. The preoccupation may be lawful enough in itself––praiseworthy ambition, family affection, or the passionate pursuit of knowledge; these are things for which we rightly give praise and honour; but any one of them may so absorb a man that he does not want God, that there is no room for God in all his thoughts, that the mere thought of God comes to be to him an encroachment upon thoughts he chooses to bestow elsewhere. He is not wicked, as men count wickedness, but he is living without God in the world. Though he does not know it, he is suffering a tremendous deprivation. He is crippled, mutilated in his best part, his highest function; and creeps through life like some poor wretch who spends his days and nights in a dark hole of a room, and never knows what it is to breathe in the open fields, under the broad sky. What joy for these, commonly generous, souls, to wake at last, here or hereafter, into the knowledge of God!

Involuntary Aversion.––But the Soul has another disability more puzzling and more astounding than either of those we have considered. There is in human nature an aversion to God. Whether it be,

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according to the Article [Article 9 of the Anglican Church's 39 Articles of Religion], that "original sin which is the natural fault and corruption of the nature of every man that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam," or whether it is that jerk of the shoulder from the hand of authority which belongs to freewill, we need not stop to inquire. Anyway, there is in human nature, as well as a deep-seated craving for God, a natural and obstinate aversion to Him.

The baby does not want to say his prayers, and the ripe saint is aware of unwillingness, a turning away of his thoughts and affections; and this, though all his joy is in his God. This involuntary turning from God is the cross and discipline of the Godward Soul. But, from whatever cause it springs, it would seem to be allowed in the nature of things; for, if our hearts flew to God as inevitably as raindrops to the earth where would our election, our willing choice of God before all things, come in? Where would be the sense of victory in our allegiance?

Voluntary Aversion.––But there is a difference between this natural, involuntary aversion, for which we take shame; and the voluntary aversion, animosity, malignity, towards God, set up by the rebellious and sinful Soul; the Soul who, out of pride or open wickedness, cannot endure the thought of God, travesties His Word, defies His Laws, abjures His Will, and blasphemes His Name. When all this is done with violence, we are shocked; but, when it is done with an easy superiority and good-nature, and with power of intellect, we are all, alas, too apt to swerve from our allegiance, if it be only for an instant, and to believe that the scoffer has more knowledge than we. This is because there are in our own hearts the germs

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of that aversion which he has nourished into a seedbearing plant.

"Let him that standeth take heed lest he fall." Let us hold fast our loyalty, knowing that this, of making with our Will deliberate choice of God, is the only offering we can make Him; knowing, too, for our comfort, that involuntary aversion is not sin, and only gives us occasion for choice; but, when we choose to turn away, our sin does not put us without the limits of mercy, but it is immeasurably great.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter III The Knowledge Of God

When we realise how the Soul of man is disabled by inertia, by preoccupation, even by aversion, from apprehending God, we discern, at the same time, what is the great thing which the Will has to do; and it rises to a noble effort, to the uplift of a great thought. So long as we think that the things of God which we sum up under the name, religion, may be taken or left according as we have a mind; so long as we wait passively for sufficient persuasion, for a strong enough impulse, towards our chief duty, Will cannot sustain us. But once we realise that we have not only the world, the flesh, and the devil, but alien tempers in our own soul to combat; when we see that, in desiring God, we have set before us a great aim, requiring all our courage and constancy, then the Will rises, chooses, ranks itself steadfastly on the side of God; and, though there be many failings away and repentings after this one great act of Will, yet, we may venture to hope, the Soul has chosen its side for good and all. The disorderly soldier is fined, imprisoned and worse––but he is not a rebel, and, when fighting comes, he does not desert.

We meet many people in the world whom we do

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not know; some are too high for us and some too low, some too good and some not good enough; with some we feel we could have perfect sympathy, but they are too far off, we cannot get at them; while the meannesses and limitations of the persons about as make them unworthy, so we think, of the outpouring of our mind and heart.

But there is one great, perfect and satisfying Intimacy open to us all,––whether we are lonely because we feel 'superior,' or because we know ourselves to be 'poor things,' unworthy of much notice. We are abashed when we think of the promotion open to every poor human soul. "This is eternal life," said our Lord, "to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent"; and this knowledge, this exalted intimacy, is open to us all, on one condition only––if we choose. Feeling as we do that we ourselves are not good or clever enough for the friendship of some people, and are much too good and clever for that of some others, it is startling to know that this supreme friendship is to be had by each of us if he will, because every human soul has capacity for the knowledge of God; not for mathematics, perhaps, nor for science, nor for politics, but for that vast knowledge which floods the soul like a sea to swim in––the knowledge of God. The late Professor W. K. Clifford has told us of the agony with which, when he lost faith in God, he realised that "the great Companion was dead." The "great Companion" never dies. "He knoweth our downsitting and our uprising, and understandeth our thoughts long before," holds sweet counsel with us upon all we do and all we intend, cheers our dulness, rests our weariness, consoles our grief, gladdens our joy,

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chides, rebukes, chastises our sin, and gives us in ever-increasing measure that which all who have ever loved generously know to be the best and most perfect joy––the gradually disclosing vision of Himself. Like that blind man restored to sight, at first we see not at all; then we see men, as trees, walking; and then our eyes are fully opened to the vision of our God.

There are several ways by which the knowledge of God first comes to us; we may be struck by the words, acts, and looks of those who know––a very convincing lesson. A little plant of moss, the bareness of a tree in winter, may, as we have seen, awake us to the knowledge; or, dealings of strange intimacy with our own hearts, visitings of repentance and love, sweet answers to poor and selfish prayers, tokens of friendship that we can never tell, but most surely perceive, are all steps in this chief knowledge.

The Bible teaches the Knowledge of God.––But, as the friend listens to the voice, pores over the written word of his friend, so the lover of God searches the Bible for the fuller knowledge he craves. It matters very little to him that one manuscript should be superimposed upon another; that such and such passages should be ascribed to other authors than those whose name they bear; that not only the history, but the legends and myths, of the Jewish nation have found their way into the Book; that science disproves here, and history contradicts there: these things may be so, or may not be so. He is willing and thankful that science and scholarship should do their work, that the laws of textual criticism should be applied; at the same time, he sees a thousand reasons for caution and reserve in accepting

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the latest dicta of the critics. He reads in his newspaper how the King of Servia had twice to remove the crown during his coronation because he could not bear its weight, how the royal standard fell during the progress to the cathedral, and how uneasy these omens made the people; and he perceives that the future historian of Servia, reading of these incidents, pronounces them legendary, according to all the laws of criticism, and strikes them out of pages which shall only contain history scientifically treated.

Little things like these give the Bible student pause; he reveres truth and welcomes investigation, but he also perceives that the latest critic is not necessarily infallible. But all this is, for him, beside the mark. If errors of statement, false ascriptions, and the rest were found and proven beyond doubt upon every page of his sacred books, yet he believes that in these is to be found, and nowhere but in these, a revealed knowledge of God.

Greece, Rome, India, Persia, China, unwittingly affirm––alike through their poetry, history, and sacred books-––that men cannot by searching find out God. A lovely gleam of the divine reaches one sage here, another there; but each attempt to combine these stray lineaments, and seize upon a complete idea of the Godhead, has produced a pantheon here, a monster there. And that, although the insight and wisdom of the past have given us all the philosophy of human life that we possess, every knowledge but the knowledge of God.

In what are we better than those great nations of antiquity who knew so much and did so much? Only in this, that we inherit a possession vouchsafed to the world by means of a nation whose spiritual

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insight fitted them to receive it. We have a revelation of God which satisfies and directs every aspiration of the Soul of man.

Think even of the one amazing revelation,––that God is love:––

     "The very God! think, Abib: dost thou think?
     So, the All-Great, were the All-Loving too––
     So, through the thunder comes a human voice,
     Saying, 'O heart I made, a heart beats here!
     Face, my hands fashioned, see it in myself!
     Thou hast no power, nor mayst conceive of mine,
     But love I gave thee, with myself to love,
     And thou must love me who have died for thee.' [Browning.]

Here is a knowledge that men had never dared to dream, except as it is revealed in the Bible; and, yet, there are those who behave as one who found a huge nugget, and discarded it because the gold lay in a matrix of ore, and he would not take the pains to separate, and had no eye to distinguish, the precious metal. Such behaviour seems puerile in the eyes of the diligent miner. This is how the matter lies. The Soul is able to apprehend God; in that apprehension is life, liberty, fruition. Knowing God, the Soul lives in its proper element, full, free, and joyous as a bird of the air. Without that knowledge, "the heavy and the weary weight of all this unintelligible world" crushes out life.

But, fit and necessary as it is to us to know our God, it is by no means inevitable; indeed, as we have seen, the Soul in very wilfulness tries to evade the knowledge which is its health. We must begin with an act of steadfast will, a deliberate choice; and then, we must labour to get our best good, knowing that,

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if we ask, we shall receive; if we seek, we shall find; if we knock, all shall be disclosed to us. But the seeking must be of single purpose; we must not be bent upon finding what we take for dross, whether in the Bible, in the ordering of the world, or in that of our own lives. Our search must be for the grains of gold, and, as we amass these, we shall live and walk in the continual intimacy of the divine Love, the constant worship of the divine Beauty, in the liberty of those whom the Truth makes free.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter IV Prayer

Unconsidered Prayer.––It is hard to separate the functions of the Soul, because, indeed, all work together; but it is necessary to fulness of life that we should have continual speech with God, and also––though the soul is abashed before the greatness and sweetness of this hope––continual answering speech. These things are a necessity of that intimate union with our Father for which we are made. A hundred times a day our thoughts turn Godward in penitence, in desire, in fear, in aspiration, and––this is a truly delightful thought––in sympathy. Our hearts glow with delight at the blue of a gentian, the glory of a star, the grace of some goodness that we get news of: we lift up our hearts unto the Lord, though without a word; and the throb is one of sympathy, for we know that His delight, also, is in beauty and goodness.

Response.––These continual movements of the soul Godward hardly seem to us to be prayer, but they meet with response. We cry in fear, and hope is spoken to us; in penitence, and we breathe peace; in sympathy, and we expand in love. These are the answers of our 'Almighty Lover' to the dull, uncertain movements of our poor hearts. We all know

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how prayers for definite things have a thousand times brought answers which we have recognised; even the wilful prayer, which does not add, 'Thy will be done,' is not without its answer; the passionate heart is calmed; we learn to see God's way of looking at the matter, and are quiet.

Probably most persons who are seeking the knowledge of God would say, that, never once in the course of a long life has a prayer remained unanswered; but, that they have had in every case an answer which has reached their consciousness.

The walls of Jericho have fallen before them, the Jordan has been divided, their enemies have been smitten on the field of battle; and these things have come to pass in natural, unobvious ways, without any interference with what men call the laws of nature, but none the less supernatural, because they are over nature, above nature, ordered by Him who doth "refrain the spirit of princes," and "the hearts of kings are in whose rule and governance."

Habitual Prayer.––But, though there is this continual commerce between God and the Soul, the habit of prayer must be strengthened by set seasons, places, and purposes. We must give ourselves time to pray and times of prayer; rising early in the morning, we must seek our God and lay our day before Him, with its fears, hopes, and desires, in reverent attitude and with attentive mind. We must bring those who are dear to us for the blessing of our Father, and those in sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity, for His help. As the habit of prayer becomes confirmed, we shall be constrained to go abroad and help, while yet upon our knees.

Every record of war or famine, ignorance, crime,

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distress, will quicken our prayers. As we pray, our love for all men will increase, and ways of help will offer. We shall remember our Lord's caution against using many words, for our God is in heaven and we upon earth; and, therefore, before we kneel to pray we shall meditate.

     "Ye are coming to a King;
     Large petitions with you bring,"––

but they must be petitions thought out with purpose and winged with strong desire. Though

     "Prayer is the breathing of a sigh,
     The falling of a tear,
     The upward glancing of an eye
     When none but God is near,"––

yet, we must not neglect the ordered and purposeful approaches to our God wherein the soul stretches her wings.

"Watch and pray."

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter V Thanksgiving

The Nine.––"Whoso offereth Me thanks and praise, he honoureth Me," saith our God; and we are abashed when we realise that it rests with us to add honour to the Highest, and that we refrain our lips.

"Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine?" Alas, how often are we among the nine, the poor, pitiful souls who received everything and gave nothing, not even a word of thanks! It is worth noting that "the unthankful and the evil" go together in that list of lost souls which we find in the last book of the Bible. Even if we have our moments of thankfulness, when we cry,––

     "When all Thy mercies, O my God,
     My rising soul surveys,
     Transported with the view I'm lost,
     In wonder, love and praise";––

our fault, and our very great misfortune, is, that we fail to take at regular intervals that survey of our life which must indeed cause us transports of gratitude. We fail to give thanks, partly because we are inert partly because we are preoccupied with some fret or desire of the moment, and partly because of the petulant turning away of the shoulder from God

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which is our danger. But let us take time for the survey, if only on the Sundays, or, less frequently still, at the great seasons of the year.

'My Rising Soul surveys.'––How good is life, how joyous it is to go out of doors, even in the streets of a city! Surely a pleasant thing it is to see the sun! How good is health, even the small share of it allotted to the invalid! How good and congenial all the pleasant ways of home life, all family love and neighbourly kindness, and the love of friends! How good it is to belong to a great country and share in all her interests and concerns! How good to belong to the world of men, aware that whatever concerns men, concerns us! How good are books and pictures and music! How delightful is knowledge! How good is the food we eat! How pleasant are the clothes we wear! How sweet is sleep, and how joyful is awaking!

The Soul that surveys these and a thousand other good things of our common life is indeed a 'rising soul,' rising to the Father,––who knoweth that we have need of all these things,––with the gratitude and thanksgiving that are forced out of a heart overflowing with love. Even an occasional act of thanksgiving of this kind sweetens the rest of life for us; unconsidered thanks rise from us day by day and hour by hour. We say grace for a kind look, or a beautiful poem, or a delightful book, quite as truly as for a good dinner––more so, indeed; for it is true of us also that man doth not live by bread alone.

We honour God by thanking Him.––But we think so little of ourselves that it does not seem to us to matter much whether or no we thank God for all His surprising sweet benefits and mercies towards us.

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Indeed, we should not have known that it does matter, if, with the condescending grace that few earthly parents show, He had not told us that He is honoured by our thanks! How impossible it seems that we should add anything to God, much less that we should add to His honour! Here is our great opportunity: let us give thanks.

Perhaps most of us fall on our knees and give thanks for special mercies that we have begged of our Father's providing care––the restored health of one beloved, the removal of some cause of anxiety, the opening up of some opportunity that we have longed for. For such graces as these we give ungrudging thanks, and we do well; but the continual habit of thanksgiving is more;––

     "Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
     As if Thy blessings had spare days,
     But such a heart whose pulse may be,
     Thy praise."
               HERBERT.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter VI Praise

Implies Discriminating Appreciation.––If our dull souls are slow to thank, perhaps they are still slower to praise, because praise implies discriminating appreciation and reflection as well as thankfulness.

We know how the painter, the musician, writhe under the compliments of people who do not understand, while a word of discriminating praise sends them on their way rejoicing: they are honoured. This is the honour that the divine condescension seeks at our hands.

'We praise Thee, O God,' has ever been the voice of the Church. Prophets, confessors, the noble army of martyrs have, we know, praised God in their lives and by their deaths. To-day, there are those who devote themselves to lives of pain and peril for the honour of God and the service of man; and these too, we can understand, praise God. There are poets to whom it is given to utter some vital word, painters who present us with 'The Light of the World,' or, like the Russian painter, Ivan Kramskoi, with a vision of Christ seated in the wilderness. Such as these praise God, we know, but they are few and far between. So, too, do honest, simple souls who bear affliction willingly,

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or who live their appointed lives with the sense that they are appointed. All of these ways of giving praise we recognise and bow before; but the duty would seem to pass us by as incompetent persons. We are not angels, we carry no harps.

But the duty of praise is not for occasional or rare seasons; it waits at our doors every day. If we had not been told otherwise, we should have thought it presuming to believe that the great Artificer, like every loving craftsman, delights in the recognition by others of the beauty, perfection, and fitness of the work He turns out. It is so good to know this of our God; it draws Him near to us with the cords of a man. The Psalmist knew that "the merciful and gracious Lord hath so done His marvellous works that they ought to be had in remembrance." [Psa 111:4] He was never weary of telling how, "the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork," [Psa 19:1] how, "He feedeth the young ravens when they call upon Him," [Psa 147:9] how, "all the trees of the wood do clap their hands" [Isaiah 55:12]. We all see these things; but David not only saw them, but they gave voice in his heart to a continual hymn of praise. And he, who knew how to honour his God by giving praise, was, we are told, the man after God's own heart.

Discoverers give us Themes for Praise.––Every age would seem to have its prophets, be they painters, poets, or what else, whose function it is to lead in the praises of the choir. To-day, perhaps, scientific men are promoted to this high honour, and what multitudes of praises do they disclose to us! We call such men discoverers, and rightly so, because the thing discovered is there, they in no

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way produce it; but it is given to them to discover, to show to the rest of us. Every day there is still some new call upon us for wonder, admiration and praise, at the disclosure of some hitherto unknown and undiscovered great conception, mighty exhibition of the Power which every scientist to-day perceives to be behind all 'natural' operations.

Think of a ship in mid-Atlantic being able to communicate, without visible channel, with land a thousand miles away on either side; and that this possibility has been always hidden in the councils of the Almighty, and but now discovered to the man 'prepared'! What may there still be hidden in those councils, waiting till we are ready for disclosure? What amazing discoveries have been opened to us during the last few years! how the sense of the immanence of God presses upon us through all that which we call nature! "How excellent are Thy works, O Lord! in wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches." "He that giveth thanks and praise, he honoureth Me." Let us not neglect to lift, day by day, our offering of praise to our God.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Chapter VII Faith In God

'Only Believe.'––"My duty towards God is to believe in Him," my first duty, the duty of my life, without which other duties would not appear to count much.

'Only believe,' the writer was told as a girl, to her great anger and soreness of heart. If 'only fly' had been said, she could not have flown, but anyway she would have known what definite thing was expected of her; but 'only believe' carried no meaning. Of course she believed, as she believed that yesterday was Wednesday, the 5th of October, say; that there had been a Queen Elizabeth; that at least one Pharaoh had ruled in Egypt; these things, and thousands like them, she had never troubled herself to doubt, and believed as a matter of course; but––God?

Of course she believed in God in that way, but how could it matter? She was aware that such belief was no part of her life, and she knew of no other way of believing.

Some such perplexity, no doubt, tries many a soul to whom it is brought home as a duty that he must believe in God. My duty towards God, which I must fulfil for myself, which no one can do for me, and

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which others can give me little conscious help in fulfilling. No one can give me faith, but others can help me on the way to it; for, we are told, "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing, by the Word of God": that is, faith in God, just as faith in a friend, comes of knowledge. We trust our friend because we know him; because we know him, we believe in him. Faith, trust, confidence, belief––they are all one.

Faith in Persons.––To say that we believe in a person whom we hardly know even by hearsay––the Emperor of Korea, for example––would be to speak like a fool; but we do say we believe in this or that statesman, churchman, or what not. Indeed, the whole government and finance of the world are carried on upon a vast system of credit, that is, mutual belief. We say, 'safe as the Bank of England'; but the Bank of England itself is conducted upon credit. We send members to Parliament to represent us because we believe in them. The members of a family believe in each other; and, should jealousy or mistrust arise between parents and children, husband and wife, it is an exception, a shameful exception to the general rule of confidence.

So, too, of dishonesty and venality in common trade and public trusts. Such things occur, but they are shameful exceptions; the general rule is that we live by faith in one another, and this common trust comes of common knowledge. Experience of the world and of life teaches us faith; and it is only the sour and ill-conditioned person who judges by the exception, and says with the Psalmist in his black hour, "All men are liars."

As there are two sorts of faith which we give to our fellows,––one, the general faith we give to man

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and institutions, which comes of general knowledge and experience; and the other, the intimate and particular faith we give to those whom we believe we know perfectly––the faith which is love: so there are two sorts of faith in God,––one, the general faith that all is ordered for the best, that God will provide, and that God will have mercy upon us.

If we wish to trace the work of this sort of faith let us ask our hearts honestly if it means love. Does our soul spring at the thought of our God, crying, "I will arise and go to my Father," just as we have a heart-movement of springing and going at the thought of the person we love and believe in? If we do not love we do not believe, because faith does not come to us by accident, or even by nature. The faith we give to our friends is recognition of whatever nobleness and beauty of soul there is in them; and this is the manner of faith we owe to God, the recognition––born of knowledge––of Him who is Love and Light and Truth, Him to whom the heart cries, "Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of Thee." [Prayer Book version of the Psalms.]

Faith, an Act of Will.––We have already considered how we may attain the knowledge of God, and faith is the act of Will by which we choose Him whom we have learned to know. Out of faith comes love, out of love comes service, and it is hardly possible to distinguish under different names the outgoings of the Christian heart in desire after God. "Like as the hart desireth the water brooks, so longeth my soul after Thee, O God": [Prayer Book version of the Psalms.] there we have knowledge, faith, and love.

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Not Optional.––The point I would urge is, that this attitude of Soul is not optional; it is a debt we owe, a duty required of us. To say that we do not know that which has been revealed to us, to say that we do not believe in a revelation the truth of which bears the ultimate test, in that it discloses to us the God whom our Souls demand, and in whom they find perfect satisfaction, "whose ways are ways of pleasantness, and all whose paths are peace": to say this is to commit an act of insubordination at the least, an act of infidelity in the simple meaning of the word, worse than infidelity to any human relationship, because our God is more and nearer to us than any.

Men satisfy their Conscience that they have done their whole duty when they do their duty towards their neighbour; but what right have we to choose a moiety of the law for our observance, the lesser moiety, and leave the greater,––our duties of personal knowledge, faith, love, and service towards our God, which are to be fulfilled directly; and not indirectly, through serving men. Both duties lie upon each of us––my duty; and my duty towards God is the first.

There is no space in a single short volume to consider the articles of the Christian faith, even in the concise form in which they are set forth in the Apostles' Creed.

We say 'The Creed' glibly enough, and think we understand it, until now one article and now another is challenged by the sceptic then, because we have nothing to reply, we secretly give up one clause after another, and think that we hold to the rest. It should help us to know that not a single article of our Creed appeals to our understanding. We know no more

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about the Creation than we do about the Incarnation, no more about the forgiveness of sins than about the resurrection of the body. All is mystery, being what the heart of man could not conceive of unless it had been revealed.

"Great is the mystery of Godliness: God manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." [1 Tim 3:16] And what a barren and dry land should we dwell in if our spirits were narrowed to the limits of that which we can comprehend! Where we err is in supposing that mystery is confined to our religion, that everything else is obvious and open to our understanding. whereas the great things of life, birth, death, hope, love, patriotism, why a leaf is green, and why a bird is clothed in feathers––all such things as these are mysteries; and it is only as we can receive that which we cannot understand, and can discern the truth of that which we cannot prove, and can distinguish between a luminous mystery and a bewildering superstition, that we are able to live the full life for which we were made.

One thing we must hold fast––a clear conception of what is meant by Christianity. It is not 'being good' or serving our fellows: many who do not own the sovereignty of Christ are better than we who do. But the Christian is aware of Jesus as an ever-present Saviour, at hand in all his dangers and necessities; of Christ as the King whose he is and whom he serves, who rules his destinies and apportions his duties. It is a great thing to be owned, and Jesus Christ owns us. He is our Chief, whom we delight to honour and serve; and He is our Saviour, who

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delivers us, our Friend who cherishes us, our King who blesses us with His dominion. Christianity would only appear to be possible when there is a full recognition of the divinity of Christ.

Let us cry with St Augustine:––

     "Take my heart! for l cannot give it thee:
     Keep it! for I cannot keep it for Thee."

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

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Appendix

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Questions for the Use of Students

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BOOK I

Chapter I

THE COUNTRY OF MANSOUL

No Questions

Chapter II

THE PERILS OF MANSOUL

1. Who is to blame for these perils?
2. What effect has sloth upon Mansoul?
3. What are the causes of fire?
4. How may plague, flood, and famine be brought about?
5. What are the consequences of discord?
6. How does darkness arise in Mansoul?
7. Can it be prevented?
8. On what condition do things go well in Mansoul?

Chapter III

THE GOVERNMENT OF MANSOUL

1. Why is being born like coming into a great estate?
2. What do we mean by the government of Mansoul?

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3. Name some of the officers of state.
4. Name the Chambers in which these 'sit.'
5. Are these parts of a person?

PART I THE HOUSE OF BODY

Chapter I

THE ESQUIRES OF THE BODY: HUNGER

1. What is the work of the appetites?
2. When does an appetite become a danger?
3. How does hunger behave?
4. Distinguish between hunger and gluttony.
5. How is greediness to be avoided?

Chapter II

THE ESQUIRES OF THE BODY: THIRST

1. Why are we thirsty? What drink does thirst require?
2. What are some effects of drunkenness?
3. What is the principle on which persons abstain?

Chapter III

THE ESQUIRES OF THE BODY: RESTLESSNESS AND REST

1. What is the use of restlessness?
2. Wherein lies the danger?
3. Show that rest and work should alternate.
4. When does rest become sloth?

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Chapter IV

THE ESQUIRES OF THE BODY: CHASTITY

1. How would you teach a child to rule his appetites?
2. How would you use the tree of knowledge of good and evil to give the idea of chastity?
3. How would you explain, "Blessed are the pure in heart"?
4. What heroic motive for purity would you give children?
5. Where does slavery to an appetite begin?
6. How would you rule the thoughts?

Chapter V

THE PAGES OF THE BODY: THE FIVE SENSES

1. What two errors are possible to each of the senses?
2. What are the uses and what the danger of the sense of taste?
3. Show that we fail to get full use and full pleasure out of the sense of smell.
4. What practice in catching odours would you give children?
5. What manner of knowledge do we obtain by touch?
6. Show by the 'touch of the blind,' a 'kind touch,' etc., that the sense of touch may be cultivated.
7. What practice would you recommend?
8. Why is it good to have little things to put up with?
9. Show that sight brings half our joy.
10. How may we learn to see more?
11. What joy and what knowledge should we get from a sense of hearing?
12. How may a good ear for music be acquired?

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PART II THE HOUSE OF MIND

Chapter I

1. Show that our way of speaking of 'ourselves' is like saying 'the sun rises.'
2. Upon what does self-reverence depend?
3. Show that self-knowledge must go before self-reverence.
4. And that we must know ourselves before we can control ourselves.

Chapter II

MY LORD INTELLECT

1. What is the function of 'intellect'?
2. Show that science is an immense and joyous realm.
3. How is imagination serviceable in science?
4. Compare history with the shows of a kinetoscope.
5. How does history enable us to live in a large world?
6. How are we making history?
7. Show that imagination is necessary to the realising of history.
8. What intellectual power is especially employed in mathematics?
9. Why are mathematics delightful?
10. Why is philosophy a necessary study?
11. What are some of the advantages of a knowledge of literature?
12. What powers of the mind go to the study of literature?
13. Give three tests by which literature may be discerned.

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14. What are some of the uses of the aesthetic sense?
15. How may we distinguish between art and simulated art?
16. How may the intellectual life be promoted?
17. In what ways may it be extinguished?

Chapter III

THE DAEMONS OF INTELLECT

1. What effect has inertia upon the intellectual life?
2. Why may we not stay in one field of thought?
3. What do you understand by a magnanimous mind?

Chapter IV

MY LORD CHIEF EXPLORER, IMAGINATION

1. Describe the functions of imagination.
2. What effect has cultivation upon the imagination?
3. In what two regions is imagination forbidden to work?
4. How may self be exorcised from the imagination?
5. What imaginings are especially to be avoided?
6. How may wrong imaginings be hindered?

Chapter V

THE BEAUTY SENSE

1. Show that exclusiveness is a temptation to persons who enjoy beauty.
2. What error does the devotee of beauty make?
3. Show that the beauty sense opens a paradise of pleasure.

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Chapter VI

MY LORD CHIEF ATTORNEY-GENERAL, REASON

1. Compare the behaviour of reason with that of an advocate.
2. Suggest the courses of reasoning which may have brought any two persons, Wycliffe and Wickham, for example, to different conclusions.
3. Trace the conceivable course of reasoning of any philanthropist.
4. Show the part of reason in all good works and great inventions.
5. What is meant by common sense?
6. Try to recover the train of reasoning of the man who first made a barrow.
7. How is it that men have come to deify reason?
8. Explain why equally good and sensible persons come to opposite conclusions.
9. How does this prove that reason may bring us to mistaken conclusions?
10. Show that an error of thought may lead to crime.
11. Why is reason almost infallible in mathematics?
12. Show that the power of reasoning is a trust to be used to good purpose.
13. Show that reason works out a notion received by the will.
14. Account for the fact that there are different schools of philosophy.
15. What practice in reasoning would you advise for children?

Chapter VII

THE LORDS OF THE EXCHEQUER, THE DESIRES (Part I.)

1. Compare the work of the desires with that of the appetites.

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2. How does the desire of approbation serve a man?
3. Show that vanity may play the part of a mischievous daemon in our lives.
4. Show that the desires of infamy and of fame come from the same source.
5. How does the desire of excelling work with a hockeyplayer, for example?
6. Show how this desire serves the man.
7. Show that emulation may have mischievous results in education.
8. Show the danger of emulation in things unworthy.
9. How does the desire of wealth serve mankind?
10. What are the risks attending this desire?
11. How may the desire for worthless possessions be counteracted?
12. Show that ambition is a serviceable desire.
13. What dangers attend the desire to rule?
14. Show that 'managing' people are injurious to those about them.

Chapter VIII

THE LORDS OF THE EXCHEQUER, THE DESIRES (Part II.)

1. Show that the desire of society influences all sane persons.
2. What gain to the mind should come from society?
3. But upon what conditions?
4. Show that the society of every good person is an opportunity.
5. What two dangers attend the love of society?
6. Show that we lose by cultivating only the society of our own set or sort.
7. Which of the desires is to the mind as hunger is to the body?

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8. Distinguish between the desire of knowledge and what is commonly called curiosity.
9. Show that it is upon the knowledge of great matters the mind feeds and grows.
10. Show that the love of knowledge may be extinguished by emulation.
11. What have you to say about 'marks' and 'places' in this connection?
12. How should we be influenced by the fact that all 'normal' persons have powers of mind?
13. Show that the duty of ordering our thoughts arises from the possession of these intellectual powers.

This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to www.amblesideonline.org

PART III THE HOUSE OF HEART

LORDS OF THE HEART: I. LOVE

Chapter I

THE WAYS OF LOVE

1. What are the two affections?
2. Mention some of the ways in which love shows itself.
3. Have we any evidence of how much love is possible to a human being?
4. Why is self-love necessary?
5. When is love a counterfeit?
6. Describe another form of counterfeit love.
7. Name four tests by which love may be recognised.
8. What is the apostolic rule on this subject?
9. Of what feelings opposed to love are we capable?
10. Why?
11. What is the one petition in the Lord's Prayer to which a condition is attached?

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Chapter II

LOVE'S LORDS IN WAlTING: PITY

1. Show that there is pity in every heart.
2. Name a few knights and ladies of pity.
3. Show that 'a feeling heart' is a snare.
4. Name a few causes sufficient to excite self-pity.
5. Show the danger of this habit.
6. In what two ways may we defend ourselves from this danger?

Chapter III

LOVE'S LORDS IN WAITING: BENEVOLENCE

1. When is a person benevolent?
2. Why is hearty liking for all persons possible?
3. Show that his faults are not the whole of a person.
4. How does the recognition of this fact work?
5. Distinguish between goodwill and good-nature in dealing with other persons.
6. Characterise 'benevolence.'
7. Name half a dozen of the foes of goodwill, and show how they act.

Chapter IV

LOVE'S LORDS IN WAITING: SYMPATHY

1. Show that sympathy with one should be a key to all.
2. How should this fact affect our dealings with persons we suppose to be on a different intellectual level?
3. How is it that poets, painters, and the like raise the rest of the world?
4. On what condition is our sympathy helpful?
5. What are the mischievous effects of a spurious sympathy?

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6. Show that tact is an expression of sympathy.
7. Show that egotism destroys sympathy.
8. What are the active and the passive manifestations of egotism?

Chapter V

LOVE'S LORDS IN WAITING: KINDNESS

1. What is the office of kindness?
2. Comment upon the kindness of courtesy.
3. Show that there can be no kindness without simplicity.
4. Comment upon a movement to make children kind.
5. What is the most generous kindness of all?
6. Show that the opposite behaviour is one of the chief causes of unhappiness in the world.

Chapter VI

LOVE'S LORDS IN WAITING: GENEROSITY

1. Show that generous impulses are common to all the world.
2. Show that generosity is impatient of cheap cynicism and of worldly wisdom.
3. Show that generosity is costly but also remunerative.
4. Show that the interests of the generous heart are duly distributed.
5. Name a few fallacious notions that restrain generosity.
6. What is the rule of life of the generous person?

Chapter VII

LOVE'S LORDS IN WAITING: GRATITUDE

1. Why is gratitude a joy-giving emotion?
2. How do we come to miss the joy of being grateful?

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3. What two courses are open to the receiver of small kindnesses?
4. Why does a grateful heart always make a full return?
5. How may we escape the reproach of ingratitude?
6. Do we owe gratitude to those only who are present and living?

Chapter VIII

LOVE'S LORDS IN WAITING: COURAGE

1. Show that we all have the courage of attack.
2. What are the 'daemons' that suppress courage?
3. Show that we all have the courage of endurance.
4. That panic, anxiety, and shameful fear are possible to us all.
5. Show that the assurance of courage gives us the courage of serenity.
6. Show that we have the courage of our affairs, and need not be anxious.
7. Show that we fail if we have not the courage of our opinions.
8. How shall we make sure of our opinions?
9. Discuss the courage of frankness.
10. How far may we practise reticence?
11. Show that we are called upon for the courage of reproof.
12. And for the courage of confession.
13. What limits should we set to our confessions?
14. How does the courage of our capacity serve us?
15. Show that intellectual panic is responsible for many failures.
16. What do you understand by the courage of opportunity?

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Chapter IX

LOVE'S LORDS IN WAITING: LOYALTY

1. Why should youth be the age of loyalty?
2. What is the test of loyalty?
3. Show that our loyalties are prepared for us.
4. What have you to say of loyalty to our king?
5. Of loyalty to our own?
6. What would you say of persons who choose to bestow their loyalty upon aliens and the like?
7. Show that public opinion is responsible for anarchy.
8. What does loyalty to our country demand of us?
9. How shall we become ready to meet these demands?
10. What service of loyalty does our country ask of us?
11. Show that loyalty to a chief is the secret of "dignified obedience and proud submission."
12. Show what loyalty to personal ties demands of us.
13. Show that steadfastness is of the essence of all loyalty.
14. Are all our loyalties due for life?
15. When it is necessary to give up a chief or a dependent, how should the breach be made?
16. Show that thoroughness is of the nature of loyalty.
17. Describe the loyalty we owe to our principles.
18. What are the tempers alien to loyalty?

Chapter X

LOVE'S LORDS IN WAITING: HUMILITY

1. Show that 'pride of life' is the deadliest of our perils.
2. What are the two types of humility we have?
3. How do we travesty the grace of humility?

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4. Why is humility rarely coveted as a Christian grace?
5. Show that resentful tempers are due to self-exaltation.
6. Show that humility is one with simplicity.
7. When do we fall from humility?
8. Why may we not try to be humble?

Chapter XI

LOVE'S LORDS IN WAITING: GLADNESS

1. Why is it inexcusable in us not to be glad?
2. Show that gladness springs in sorrow and pain.
3. Show that gladness is catching.
4. That gladness is perennial.
5, Why, then, are people gloomy and irresponsive?
6. Show that gladness is a duty.

LORDS OF THE HEART: II. JUSTICE

Chapter XII

JUSTICE, UNIVERSAL

1. Show that we must know the functions of love and justice.
2. Why does a cry for fair play reach everybody?
3. What dispositions must we show (a) in word, (b) in thought, (c) in act, in order to be just?
4. In what respects do we owe justice to all other persons?
5. How may we ascertain the just dues of other persons?
6. What should encourage us in our efforts?
7. What is the demand of justice with regard to our own rights?

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Chapter XIII

JUSTICE TO THE PERSONS OF OTHERS

1. Show that we begin to understand the duty of justice to the persons of others.
2. Show that to think fairly requires knowledge and consideration.
3. In what sense does ungentleness inflict bodily injury?
4. Why is courtesy a matter of justice?
5. Show that we are not free to think hard things about others.
6. Show that we must be just to the characters of others.
7. What quality enables us to be just in this sense?
8. How does prejudice interfere with justice?
9. Show that respect is justly due to all men.
10. What defect in ourselves interferes with the respect we owe?
11. Show that respect must be balanced by discernment.
12. How does appreciation fulfil the dues of justice?
13. Why is depreciation unjust?

Chapter XIV

TRUTH: JUSTICE IN WORD

1. Name a sign by which we may discern truth.
2. Describe Botticelli's 'Calumny.'
3. What instruction does the picture offer?
4. How does Wesley distinguish between lying and slandering?
5. How was envy regarded in the Middle Ages?
6. Show the danger of calumnious hearing and calumnious reading.

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7. What misfortune has befallen the fanatic?
8. How does Bacon describe 'the sovereign good'?

Chapter XV

SPOKEN TRUTH

1. What is veracity?
2. Show the error of qualified statements.
3. Show that scrupulosity is not veracity.
4. That exaggeration is mischievous as well as foolish.
5. Why is it not truthful to generalise upon one or two instances?
6. What temptations attend the desire to make a good story?
7. Distinguish between essential and accidental truth.
8. Show the value of fiction in this respect.
9. Show that fiction affects our enthusiasms, and even our religion.
10. Distinguish in some Bible stories between accidental and essential truth.
11. Which of the two is of vital consequence to us, and why?

Chapter XVI

SOME CAUSES OF LYING

1. How would you characterise lies told to lower another in the esteem of his friends?
2. Comment upon cowardly lies.
3. Show that the habit of reserve is akin to the lie of concealment.
4. Show the folly of boastful lies.
5. Show the danger of indulging in romancing lies
6. Show that we owe truth to our opponents.
7. What four qualities sustain truth?

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Chapter XVII

INTEGRITY: JUSTICE IN ACTION

1. Show that a 'ca' canny' policy is dishonest.
2. By what standard is the work of every person judged?
3. In what sense are we all paid labourers?
4. Show that integrity of character is of slow growth.
5. Why is 'Do ye nexte thynge' a part of integrity?
6. Why does it belong to integrity to do the chief thing first?
7. And also to finish that which we have begun?
8. Show that drifters and dawdlers fail in integrity.
9. That the person who cribs time also fails.
10. Show the importance of integrity in the use of material.
11. How does this principle apply to small debts?
12. And to bargains?
13. And to the care of our neighbours' property?

Chapter XVIII

OPINIONS: JUSTICE IN THOUGHT

1. Give examples of opinions that are of no value for three different reasons.
2. When is an opinion of value?
3. Why need we have opinions at all?
4. Distinguish between a faddist and a reformer.
5. Mention a few matters upon which we must form opinions.
6. Why should we be at pains to form opinions about books?
7. What sort of books are of lasting value to us, and why?
8. Give half a dozen counsels with regard to forming opinions.

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Chapter XIX

PRINCIPLES: JUSTICE IN MOTIVE

1. Why are our 'principles' so called?
2. Show that principles may be bad or good.
3. How are we to distinguish between bad and good principles?
4. 'Our principles are our masters.' What is our duty with regard to them?

Chapter XX

SELF-ORDERING: JUSTICE TO OURSELVES

1. What is our duty towards our bodies?
2. Indicate several ways of being intemperate.
3. Show that soberness includes more than abstinence from drink.
4. What habit leads to the four kinds of physical vice?
5. What changes mark the parting of the ways?
6. Why does the drunkard drink?
7. Indicate his fate.
8. In what sense may we say that God puts us 'en parole' in the matter of self-indulgence?
9. Show that excitement is a kind of intoxication.
10. Show that gluttony is as offensive as drunkenness.
11. Show how interests in life are a safeguard against offences.
12. What is a common symptom of slothfulness, and what is the cure?
13. Of the four roads to ruin, which is the worst?
14. What caution and what command should help to safeguard us?

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PART IV

VOCATION

1. What do boy and girl alike desire about the work they will have to do?
2. How is it possible to prepare for our calling when we do not know what it will be?
3. How may we get the habit of being of use?
4. Show how the law of habit may help us or hinder us.
5. Our calling comes to each of us. What must we do towards it?

BOOK II

INTRODUCTORY

1. How is the body sustained, and how ruined?
2. With what powers fitted to deal with knowledge is the mind endowed?
3. What functions serve the same purpose for the mind as do the appetites for the body?
4. Name some of the virtues which belong to love, and some of those which belong to justice.
5. What virtues include the justice we owe to our own bodies?
6. Why are body, heart, and mind in need of government?
7. What are the governing powers?

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PART I CONSCIENCE

SECTION I. CONSCIENCE IN THE HOUSE OF BODY

Chapter I

THE COURT OF APPEAL

1. In what ways may conscience be figured by a judge in a court of law?
2. To what two or three facts does conscience continually bear witness?
3. Why is it possible for conscience to give wrong judgments?
4. What advocate is employed to tamper with conscience?
5. Why is it necessary that conscience should be instructed?

Chapter II

THE INSTRUCTION OF CONSCIENCE

1. Upon what teachers does conscience depend for instruction?
2. Account for the value of the teaching given by history and biography.
3. For the peculiar value of the Bible as our instructor in morals.
4. How does poetry teach us?
5. Why is the teaching of the older novelists and dramatists to be preferred?

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Chapter III

THE RULINGS OF CONSCIENCE IN THE HOUSE OF BODY: TEMPERANCE

1. Give two or three examples from literature of intemperance in eating.
2. In drinking.
3. In taking our ease.
4. In day-dreaming.
5. What is Carlyle's counsel about work?
6. What principle underlies temperance?
7. Why may we not be solicitous about health?
8. Show that neglect, also, of the physical nature arises from intemperance.
9. Give a few rules for the ordering of our physical life.
10. Why is it necessary to have clear principles as to our duty in this matter?

Chapter IV

THE RULINGS OF CONSCIENCE IN THE HOUSE OF BODY: CHASTITY (Part I)

1. How do over-fond friendships affect chastity of soul?
2. 'Yet how have I transgressed?' What lesson for our own lives does this question of the King (Edward II.) bring home?
3. Why are we not free to give ourselves without reserve?

Chapter V

THE RULINGS OF CONSCIENCE IN THE HOUSE OF BODY: CHASTITY (Part II.)

1. Cite some examples of sane and generous friendships.
2. What rules for self-government may we deduce in each case?
3. What two classes of friends claim our loyalty?

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Chapter VI

THE RULINGS OF CONSCIENCE IN THE HOUSE OF BODY: THE FINAL UNCHASTITY

1. Show the effect of dalliance in devious ways.
2. What habit prepares the way?
3. With what monster of our nature must we dread to be at death-grapple?
4. Where does safety lie?
5. How may we keep 'a virgin heart in work and will'?

Chapter VII

THE RULINGS OF CONSCIENCE IN THE HOUSE OF BODY: FORTITUDE

1. Describe Botticelli's 'Fortitude.'
2. Name some points in which Isaiah sets forth an image of fortitude.
3. From two or three examples show that there is an element of tenderness in fortitude.
4. Show that Sir Kenneth in The Talisman offers an example of fortitude.
5. Give an example of fortitude under vexatious provocations.
6. Of cheerful, serviceable fortitude.
7. What of the 'black ribbon' when things go wrong?
8. Show that fortitude belongs to the body.
9. What is the apostolic injunction as to fortitude?

Chapter VIII

THE RULINGS OF CONSCIENCE IN THE HOUSE OF BODY: PRUDENCE

1. Illustrate the fact that 'imprudence is selfishness.'
2. Show that prudence is necessary in our affairs.

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3. In the choice of our friends.
4. How does prudence act with regard to undue influence?
5. Show that prudence prefers simplicity to luxury.
6. That prudent citizens are the wealth of the state.
7. What does the simplicity of prudence allow us in our surroundings?
8. 'My servant shall deal prudently.' How was this fulfilled?

SECTION II. CONSCIENCE IN THE HOUSE OF MIND

Chapter IX

OPINIONS 'IN THE AIR'

1. What part of our living do we emancipate from the judgment of conscience?
2. Show the danger of casual opinions.
3. How does a fallacy work?
4. Give four rules that should help us in this matter of opinions.

Chapter X

THE UNINSTRUCTED CONSCIENCE

1. Show that, in everyone, conscience is persistent upon some points.
2. How do you account for moral instability, and by whom is it shown?
3. Show, by example, that a nation may be unstable.
4. Illustrate the danger of a besetting idea.
5. Indicate some of the perils of moral ignorance.

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6. Show that undue scrupulosity is an outcome of ignorance.
7. What moral advantage, exactly, has the instructed over the uninstructed conscience?

Chapter XI

THE INSTRUCTED CONSCIENCE

1. Show, by some examples, that sound moral judgment is a valuable asset.
2. Distinguish between the power to form moral judgments and the power to live a virtuous life.
3. How are we to get the former power?

Chapter XII

SOME INSTRUCTORS OF CONSCIENCE: POETRY, NOVELS, ESSAYS

1. Show that the power of poetry to instruct conscience does not depend on its direct teaching.
2. Indicate the gradual way in which Shakespeare influences us.
3. To what purpose should we read novels, and what sort of novels should we read?
4. Why should essays be studied for instruction?

Chapter XIII

SOME INSTRUCTORS OF CONSCIENCE: HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY

1. Why does history make great claims upon us at the present time?
2. Distinguish between the informed and the ignorant patriot.

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3. Illustrate the need there is for some study of philosophy.
4. By what means should we reach our convictions?
5. Illustrate, by the behaviour of Columbus.
6. How may we distinguish a 'message' from a fanatical notion?
7. Give one secret of safety in matters of philosophy.

Chapter XIV

SOME INSTRUCTORS OF CONSCIENCE: THEOLOGY

1. Most people 'live a poor, maimed life.' Why?
2. Contrast our Lord's method of teaching with all usual methods.
3. Account for the fact that our Lord's sayings are 'hard' intellectually as well as morally.
4. 'They sit in darkness.' Who sit thus, and wherefore?
5. Where is the harm of occupying our minds about questions of criticism?
6. Have we any indications that we are declining from the knowledge of God?
7. What is the one vital question for us all?
8. When are the little religious books we use unwholesome?
9. What should we bear in mind regarding the authors of the Scriptures?
10. What may we look for in the lives of men as told in the Bible?
11. Show that the revelation contained in the Bible is unique.
12. What two laws would appear to regulate the revelations given to the world?
13. What reflections should safeguard us from the 'Lo, here!' of each new religion?
14. What is our hope of distinguishing between the merely human and the inspired elements in the Bible?

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15. How may we discern the essential truth in Bible narratives?
16. Show that the disregard of life which shocks us in some of these is paralleled in our own day.
17. Is there any key to the mystery?
18. Why is it necessary to put away prejudices and misconceptions regarding the Bible?
19. What is the penalty of ignorance about God?
20. Show that the common notion of God as an 'indulgent' Parent is unfounded.
21. Why is every slight record of Christ in the Gospels momentous to us?
22. Name any arguments that present themselves to the mind of a Christian in answer to the statement that 'miracles do not happen.'
23. Show that the words of Christ are more amazing than the miracles of the Gospels.
24. Why may we not accept the modern tendency to reservation on the doctrine of the Resurrection and the Incarnation?
25. What is the peril concealed in trivial doubts?
26. What would you say of the temper which examines, and finally cherishes, every objection presented to the mind?

Chapter XV

SOME INSTRUCTORS OF CONSCIENCE: NATURE, SCIENCE, ART

1. Show that ignorance is a vice in regard to the things of nature.
2. In what two ways does nature approach us?
3. Show that nature is an instructor in our duty towards God.
4. That nature moves us to gratitude.

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5. Show that preoccupation of mind has of late shut out this teaching from us.
6. What instruction has science for the conscience?
7. Distinguish between science and scientific information.
8. What duty is laid upon conscience with regard to science?
9. With regard to art?
10. In what spirit should we approach art?

Chapter XVI

SOME INSTRUCTORS OF CONSCIENCE: SOCIOLOGY

1. Why is it necessary to understand how other people live?
2. Why is casual help usually a hindrance?
3. What are the conditions of helpfulness?
4. In what sense is it wisdom to know ourselves?
5. What have you to say of the greatness of human nature?

SECTION IlI. THE FUNCTION OF CONSCIENCE

Chapter XVII

CONVICTION OF SIN

1. What is the office of conscience?
2. What convictions appear to be common to all men?
3. Show that religion is not a substitute for the instructed conscience.
4. Name three habits of mind, either of which may stultify conscience.
5. Show that the uneasiness of conscience testifies to sin.
6. How do our sins of omission affect us?
7. Show that the chiding of conscience is a thing to be thankful for.

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Chapter XVIII

TEMPTATION

1. How does temptation come upon us?
2. Whence does temptation arise?
3. What is the secret of heroic lives?
4. How is a trusty spirit trained?
5. What is our part, that we may not enter into temptation?
6. Is it possible for penitence to become an error?
7. What is its due place?
8. What do you understand by, 'I believe in the forgiveness of sins'?

Chapter XIX

DUTY AND LAW

1. Why is it wrong to do 'wrong'?
2. What is 'wrong'?
3. In what various ways have people answered these questions?
4. May we excuse wrong-doing because it is 'human nature'?
5. Contrast the serenity of the enlightened Christian conscience with the uneasiness of superstition.
6. Why is it a delight to perceive and to fulfil the law?

PART II THE WILL

Chapter I

THE WILL-LESS LIFE

1. Show that it is possible for conscience, love, intellect, reason, to behave whimsically and unworthily.

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2. What power within us has the ordering of the rest?
3. Show that it is possible to live without the exercise of will.

Chapter II

WILL AND WILFULNESS

1. Show that wilful persons are of various dispositions.
2. What is the common characteristic of wilful persons? Give examples.
3. Contrast the behaviour of wilfulness and of will.
4. Give some examples of will-power and wilfulness from Scott.
5. Class a score or so of persons (in literature or history) on each side of a dividing line––on one side, the wilful; on the other, persons who will.
6. Instance nations that fall on either side of such a line. Why?
7. Describe the teaching which has weakened the will-power of Western nations.
8. What is our Lord's attitude in this matter?

Chapter III

WILL NOT MORAL OR IMMORAL

1. Show that will may act towards good or evil ends.
2. That a person of will may use bad means towards good ends.
3. Distinguish between 'will' and 'an ideal.'
4. What curious question on this subject does Browning raise?
5. What is the distinctive quality of a man?
6. 'Thus far we have seen'––what six points concerning the will?

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Chapter IV

THE WILL AND ITS PEERS

1. Show that the will is subject to solicitations.
2. That the will does not act alone.
3. What is the business of will?
4. When exercised, and upon what?

Chapter V

THE FUNCTION OF WILL

1. What single power of man is a free agent?
2. What is the one act possible to the will?
3. Account for our increasing inability to choose.
4. Show the evil of ready-made garments and ready-made opinions.
5. Why may we choose for ourselves only, and not for others?
6. How would you reconcile the two duties of choice and obedience?
7. Distinguish between the obedience of habit and that of choice.
8. What is it that we are called upon to choose between?

Chapter VI

THE SCOPE OF WILL

1. Show how allowance may do duty for will-choice.
2. Contrast the behaviour of will and allowance at the tailor's, for example.
3. Is it necessary to make a choice of will, at first hand, on all small occasions?

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4. How does the fallacy underlying the 'newest and cheapest' lead us astray?
5. What great will-choice is open to us all?

Chapter VII

SELF-CONTROL––SELF-RESTRAINT––SELF-COMMAND––SELF-DENIAL

1. What is to be said about moral self-culture for its own sake?
2. How does absorption of any kind affect others?
3. Show the difference between absorption as a phase, or for a purpose, and self-absorption.
4. Describe a better way than moral self-culture.
5. Show that what we call 'self-denial' is impossible to love.
6. In what sense does our Lord claim self-denial from us?

Chapter VIII

THE EFFORT OF DECISION

1. How do we try to escape the effort of decision?
2. Sum up the sort of creed held in the name of 'Toleration.'
3. Describe a picture of Ludwig Richter's showing how 'Providence' and 'freewill' co-operate.
4. How may we distinguish a decision of will from one of 'allowance'?
5. What two assets does the person who uses his will gather through his life?
6. Show how these serve him on small and great occasions.

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Chapter IX

INTENTION––PURPOSE––RESOLUTION

1. Give two or three examples of the history of resolution.
2. What truth is figured by the nimbus of the pictured saint?
3. When does 'influence' become injurious?
4. From what sort of influence must we safeguard ourselves?
5. The influence of a person is in the ratio of––?
6. What several acts of the will are required of us?

Chapter X

A WAY OF THE WILL

1. Sum up the conclusions arrived at so far with regard to the will.
2. What is to be said to persons of good-will who dread temptation?
3. Particularise the postern to be guarded.
4. The porters on guard.
5. Shall we fight or run away?
6. In what 'way of the will' does our safety lie?
7. Show that the same rule (what rule?) applies to intellectual and moral insurgent ideas.
8. Show how our Lord's condemnation of fallacies proves that opinions are judged upon moral grounds.

Chapter XI

FREEWILL

1. Why is it important to know all we can about the behaviour of the will?

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2. Sum up (again) the sixteen, or so, points we have endeavoured to make, so far.
3. Distinguish between the man of good-will and the conventional person.
4. What two services are open to men?
5. What is the distinguishing mark of freewill?
6. 'The poet has said the last word'; what is it?

PART III THE SOUL

Chapter I

THE CAPACITIES OF THE SOUL

1. 'We wonder whether we are indeed finite creatures'; give four or five grounds for such wonder.
2. Show the limiting and deceptive nature of our ordinary religious thoughts.
3. Show in what respect the needs of the soul are satisfied by God alone.

Chapter II

THE DISABILITIES OF THE SOUL

1. Name some of the chronic disabilities of the soul.
2. How may we discern in ourselves 'the inert soul'?
3. What is the cure of this soul-ailment?
4. How does preoccupation affect our relations with God?
5. Show how our 'involuntary aversion' to God may really be of service.
6. Distinguish between voluntary and involuntary aversion.
7. Show the supreme importance of will-choice.

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Chapter III

THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

1. What is the condition on which we may have the one satisfying intimacy?
2. What persons have capacity for this intimacy?
3. What tokens of the divine friendship may we look for?
4. Name some of the ways by which the knowledge of God may first come to us.
5. Show that the Bible is the immediate source of such knowledge.
6. In what respect does the Bible stand alone among the great writings of the past?
7. Show how fit and necessary the knowledge of God is to the soul of man.
8. Is this knowledge inevitable?

Chapter IV

PRAYER

1. Describe some of the movements of unconsidered prayer.
2. Some of the responses to these.
3. What two requirements of the soul are thus met?
4. What are some of the uses and occasions of habitual prayer?
5. How may we serve the world in our habitual prayers?

Chapter V

THANKSGIVING

1. What causes restrain us from the gratitude we owe?
2. 'My rising soul surveys'––what occasions for being thankful?

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3. For what, besides our 'meat,' may we well 'say grace'?
4. Why does it matter that we should thank God?

Chapter VI

PRAISE

1. Show that 'praise' implies more than thanksgiving.
2. Whom do we think of as being endowed with the right to praise God?
3. Show that 'praise' is our duty also.
4. Name some occasions of praise discovered by the Psalmist.
5. What persons, to-day, especially afford us themes for praise?

Chapter VII

FAITH IN GOD

1. Why do we find it perplexing to be told we must 'believe in God'?
2. How does faith come?
3. Show that we have faith in each other.
4. That there are two sorts of faith in persons.
5. Show that faith of both sorts is due to God.
6. How shall we know if we have the faith of recognition?
7. Show that faith is an act of will.
8. Show that to believe in God is a duty required of us.
9. Is this duty fulfilled in the service of men?
10. Show that no article of the Christian (or of the Apostles') Creed appeals to our understanding.
11. That all the great things of life also are mysteries.
12. Show that Christianity means the recognition of Christ.


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