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ON STRAIGHTFORWARDNESS., Issue 10446, 16 October 1897, Supplement
[Br Lady Coon ]
•When an ancient was asked "(jl what use is philosophy?" he replied: "It teaches man how to die." He might have added, and also how to live. The earliest and nobleßt conceptions that ever existed concerning life and its duties wo owe to the Stoics. These have never been surpassed, so that most of our best moral ideas to-day are the fruits of their philosophy. Pythagoras, it is said, divided virtue into two parts-to seek truth and to do good; but the btoics were more active with the former than with the latter. It is our moral duty to follow truth regardless of consequence, wheresoever.it leads. Truth: fulness isthe highest test of character, and when we add the doing of good to the seeking after it we attain the greatest moral excellence. are then veracious in thought and deed, ready to follow evidence even to the most unwelcome conclusions," and to do right whatever may happen, biyages are normal liars. Veracity is the product of civilisation, and especially of an industrialcivilisation.. The law of truth so powerfully inculcated by Greek philosophers among a comparatively non - industrial people is one of the marvels of history. Medieval credulity, however, with the legends and forgeries of the early Christian Church and the. universal lying that followed, obscured the rational teachings of the Stoics, and debased the moral character of Europe. To lie was praiseworthy, provided religious purposes could be served thereby. There was a slight renewal of the love of veracity when cliivaliy was the mode, but this, was chiefly confined to the&nightly class. To'tell a lie was opposed to the vows of knighthood, bat any lie might, notwithstanding,, be received as truth. Chivalry wa*s merely a temporary fashion,,and knew nothing of philosophy. The Reformation was produced from a love of truth and the Bpirit of free inquiry as much as from the abußes of the Roman Catholic Church, and from the time of its inception truth and the love of truth and of scientific research have distinguished Protestant countries throughout the world. But on the whole, wherever theological dogmas are concerned, we are obliged to believe with the great German historian Herder, when he asserted that the phrase "Christian veracity" deserves to rank with the phrase " Punic faith." The Romans were preeminent for their'truthfulness. They adr mired good faith, and practised straightforwardness as a rule, and the lessons of the Stoics produced great results. Rome was feared for its strength and respected for its honesty. With the decline of fidelity to engagements and of love of truth its power declined also. For they who had scorned the baseness of " Punic faith " became themselves as false and unreliable as the Carthagenians.
The English have often been termed the Modern Romans. They' lnve the same solidity of character, obertieuco to the law, and love of justice; the same facility in ruling aliea States ; the same love of the solid and the useful, and the same strong tenacity of purpose. If they flatter themselves about any one thing more than another it is that they are straightforward. If they praise a friend they say he is outspoken ; he means what he says, and says what lie meaus; he it thoroughly open aud candid, and gives you what is in his mind. He is not like Mr Facing-both-ways, or Mr Pliable, a shuihVr, a deceiver, a Jesuitical talker, disingenuous, and unreliable, but a man whom you can trust, and trust always, as a truthful and upright friend. In a word, he is straightforward. There is a pleasant ring about this word. It is Anglo-Saxon to the core. It suggests the picture of John Bull, not as Max O'Rell paints him, but a stout, florid, healthy, genial gentleman, beaming with good-nature, and honest in word and work, a oandid'friend and an open foe. Unfortunately, not only are not all Englishman like this, but it is much to be feared that straightforwardness is a virtue possPSßed by the minority, and that the breed of Mr Facing-both-ways is much larger than is ordinarily supposed. If we analyse society into its various classes, we shall see that there is still abundant room for an increase of straightforwardness. We will try a few. Take parents first. If there are any to whom, above all others, they should be straightforward, it should be to their children. These require the fullest candor of treatment as well as care. But how frequently are their innocent qaestions, which are all-important to them, put off by subterfuge or downright falsehood? The mind of the child thirsting for information, dark and desiring enlightenment, hungry for mental food, is poisoned at the outset of its quickening by its own misguided parents, it asks for bread, and they give it a stone ; for a fish, and they give it a serpent. Or they stifl-j their offspring's inquiries by replying: "Little children must not ask so many questions. 1 ' But for how long will that hard falsehood remain a -lead weight upon the child's eoul? How long will the serpent of deceit coil around its conscience ? Perhaps until the children are able to solve for themselves, when they in their turn will deceive their parents. They will conceal what they know, and they will know much in ways that may not be so wholesome for them as if they had obtained it from their father or mother. Deceitful habits will bo formed early, and the virtue of straightforwardness thenceforth can never be theirs. When the time arrives they, 100, will deceive their little ones.
Take employers and employed. Are they straightforward with each other? How often are loyalty, fidelity, and the greatest possible services rewarded by a mean employer with the lowest pay aud no thanks? How often does it happen that the more valuable and necessary the services rendered the poorer the doer is compensated in order that he may be kept down and be compulsorily dependent? An employer often values his work mora than his employe. Of coarse, there are many honorable employers who say.- "Well done, good and faithful servant ... go up higher." But the mean, the grasping, the ignoble predominate. And so the employed on their aide, knowing that the moat perfunctory services are frequently best appreciated, become listless and ultimately neglectful. Deceit follows, and the relations between both become cold and strained. The selfish employer makes the workman selfish, and each loses by it in every direction. Are politicians straightforward! The question itself will excite a smile. Their crookedness ia bo notorious that it is difficult to follow them. The Ute Right Hon. W. H. Smith could not understand this policy. He was too honest. " Why can they not say straight out what they mean and what they waßt?" ho remarked on a notable •occasion. Any man who goes into Parliament resolving to be straight forward and independent of party viewß ia like a lost sheep in the wilderness. No one will hear him or bear him oompany until he joins one or other of the party flocks. Straightforwardness will impade instead of assist him. He must learn the art of political chicanery, then he may get on. Are lawyers straightforward? Do they advocate the cause in whose justice they believe ? Sometimes, no doubt. But generally the successful counsel is he who has no legal conscience; who is indifferent to the merits of a case so long as he is well paid ; who can make the fairest fame look black, and torture innocence by cross-examination. Hepleadß not for right but for a verdict, and is indifferent to everything except the success of his client. Straightforwardness holds little ground in our law courts. Are traders and manufacturer straightforward? If they were the Acts against adulteration and forgery of trade marks would not have been required. Neveithe* leaß, on the whole, these are perhaps much more straightforward than the other classes named, because in their business honesty is always the best policy. It is comparatively uncommon, therefore, to find a just cause of complaint when one deals with a respectable firm n this country, although many dishonest men are doing their best to ruin the good reputation of our traderi and manufacturers throughput the world. Among religious bodies it ia sad to find a large amount of what may be called religious dishonesty, or deception" practißed for " the cause." Tenets are profeaaed which nobody -believes; Buccesßes recounted which are based more on imagination than sober fact. The exeroise and demeanor of the Sunday are seldom in accord with those of the week. Ife is the fashion to be very devout on that
day, and very wordly on all the others. It we are scrupulous we worship God about fifty days in and self or Mammon during the remainder, and in this manner everybody is sniffled. Tlie home should be the centre of happiness, the rest of earthly delight. But how c xn this be unless husband and wife are Irank with eacli other. If each have secrets, if much of the cyei y.lay lfd of either is artfully concealed from the other, misery-ia 7? 1 ' l ° eusue. Here, above all, complete straightforwardness is necessary to avoid misery, for the lack of it denotes the death of love. : .This manliest and most womanly of virtues deserves a closer cultivation. Our happines3 and self-respect as individuals and a nation depend- upon our possessing it. \\ ithout it we are hollow, unreal, a reproach to others, and a scorn to ourselves.
- _ To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then he false to any man.
The Sultan, it is said, wishing to honor a fiuropeaa Tady of exemplary character, presented her with the Ribbon of the Order of Chastity, Second Class. The feelings of the recipient were much relieved when Bhe learned a short time afterwards that the First Clast honor is reserved exclusively for Sri ,ias.
ASoarbo.ough man shot at a predatory cat; some of the shots penetrated a cowhouse whero a woman, was milking. She was so badly frightened that medical treatment .wai necessary. D images of ten guineas were given to her by a local Court. At the inquest on the victim of tie petroleum hair wash accident the jury returned a verdict, f death from the effectaof burning, caused hy the unexplained-ignition of the hair wash. The coroner remarked > that now the danger of the wash : Wa3 known the position of any hairdresser, who med it would bo very serious in the case of another fatal accident. Lord Kelvin, in a letter to 'The Times,'upholds the theory that an elcc.ric spark from the hair itself ignited the flames.
\» ■ leDna medical paper says that Mananna Hchn, the wife of a sphmer in a suburb of Vienna, though only fortv years of age, is the mother of thirty-two children—-twenty-six sons and six d'aughtera. The children were born as follows:—Four, three, four, two, three, two, three, three, two, three, and three, or eleven births in all. The mother has nursed the whole of her children.
Mrs J. T. Willi?, of Taooma, Washington, was oce of the earliest ftmile arrivals on the Clondyke digging?, and, as a reward for her enterprise, she has "struck it rich." When the news of the Clondyke discoveries were substantiated she joined a party of cittlemen, and, hurrying to the new diggings, was the first to locate a claim. She did not, however, at once proceed to work it, but took a situation instead as cook au Dawson City, where she got the by no means to be deßpised salary—it can scarcely be called wages—of £ .'} a day for her services. Then she took in washing, and had the distinciion of introducing the first "boiled shirt" into the Yukon camp, and paid 103 for the box of starch with a portion of which she starched it, • She has finished taking in washing now, for she has taken out about £50,000 from her claim.
One of the most popular institutions at Girton College (writes Warren Bell in J,he ' Windsor Magozine') is the fire brigade. " Every able-bodied girl belongs to it, for the Girtonian, classical though she may bo in many of her aspirations, has as yeb evinced little desire to emulate Dido's example and submit herself to a roasting—voluntary or otherwise. But to thebrigade. It is a very well-officered brigade. There is a head captain, corresponding to the chief officer of the M.F.B" ; there are three captains, and there are seven sub-captains. The rest are ordinary rank-and-file firewomen.*'
A meeting of women was held in London ,n July, under the presidency of Lady Aberdeen, to consider the formation of a National Council of Women for Great Britain. Lady Aberdeen is president of the International Union of Women Workers, which is a world-wideinstitution.and proposes to hold a pan-Anglican oihfereuco in London in 1899. Mrs Creighton, wife of the Bishop of Lon-don,-who waß-presen!, carried a resolution embodying the desirability of the International Union amending their constitution so as to admit of the affiliation of the National Union of English Women Workers. In spite of the troubles she has had to bear, the Queen has not fainted more than four times in her life. The exce3sivo fatigue and excitement on the occasion of her Coronation proved too much for her, and as the Royal carriage passed through the arch on her return she fainted right away. She was pale as death—the crown was off her head, and rested on her shoulder at the corner of the carriage, where her head also reclined. An unusual scene was witnessed the other day at the Bow street (London) Police Court A number of women from the neighborhood of Clare Market appeared to answer summonses and cross-summonses for assault, and when their names were called Sir John Bridge, the presiding magistrate, directed them to stand together in a batch, and, addressing them, said : " It seems to me that a large number of people in this district live in a continual atmosphere of illfeeling. You all live very clcse to one another, and I know that if I adjust your differences to-day you will renew your quarrels tomorrow, even if you do not do so immediately you get outside the court. Take my advice. Put an end to this continual bickering, aud drown your disputes in a good strong cup of tei. I shall mark all these summonses ' withdrawn,' and pive you half a orown to purchase the tea." Sir John then handed the coin to one of the women, who said : " Tha'.'a right, Sir John ; I'll see they have a good strong cup." Some of the other women said : " Good old Sir John," " He's the magistrate for me " ; and with these and other similar remarks they left the court, apparently on very good terms with themselves.
The " horror social" is the latest function, at which everyone is expected to bring that which he has the mo3t horror of. At one of these functions held recently some of the ladies took men, others mice, castor oil, spiders, bicycles, and grammars. Several young colored women in New York have been poisoned by the application of a lotion guaranteed to make colored people white. Face-bleach to make white women whiter is not unknown, and good results have often been obtained.
The refusal of the Royal College of Surgeons to admit to a professional examination a lady who had duly passed the preliminary examination as a medical student i 3 to form the subject of an action in a Scotch court. The declared view of the Council of the College is that men only are eligible for a-i mission to the veterinary profession. The Council state Unit throughout the various charters, by-laws, and Acts of Parliament regulating the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Bince its institution it is manifest that men only should be qualified, and at the date they bear females were not included among the veterinary students. The Council further say that no lady student has ever been received by them for examination, and that the right to receive or reject candidates rests with the Council, subject to the terms of their charters and Acts of Parliament ; and they therefore maintain that ib would be ultra vires in them to rcoeive lady students.
Tne Canterbury Women's Institute call on the Government to bring in a measure as soon as possible to remove all civil and political disabilities from women The Institute also support the demand of the teachers of the local Girls* High School, who have approached the governing body of that institution with a request for equal pay for equal work. It is known that the Queen undertook the superintendence of the religious instruction of her children, but few people have ever heard of the keen delight which the young princes and prinoesses used to take in the stories told them during " Bible class." For a long while the favorite story was that of Joseph and hi 3 brethren, and they were in the habit of asking all their attendants and personal friends to recite it to them. Then they would discuss the points of difference in the various narratives. Joseph's coat of many colors was manufactured by them, and the incident of the pit was frequently acted, until a servant suggested the impropriety cf " making a game out of the Old Testament.'* "Perhaps mamma might not like it, so we will not play it any more," said the little lady who is to-day Empress Dowager of Germany.
ON STRAIGHTFORWARDNESS., Issue 10446, 16 October 1897, Supplement
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