Remember that you are love. The same love that is the Instigating Force driving all of creation. Therefore, you can never be separated from It. You can forget your connection, but it is never lost and you need no special training or ritual to be aware of what you are and the wisdom that is your birthright.
Here is a link to a video related to this post that includes a guided experience that you can use to help you start your journey, and to a PDF that outlines the exercises from the video. Take a moment to still yourself and do whatever practice you use to have a dialogue with yourSelf and see what comes up. Ask yourSelf, or whatever wise aspect of All That Is you connect to most easily: And if so, what does that mean, and what does it look like and feel like inside of me and in my life?
Be in relationship in this process and share your doubts, fears, frustrations and confusion about why you sometimes feel disconnected from love. You can visualize the conversation in a meditative state, do automatic writing to share your feelings and then write what you receive in return, or speak out loud and then be still to hear or sense the loving response. One thing to note: The voice of Truth is always loving, even when it says difficult things.
If you hear judgmental or mean responses you are likely still running through the tapes in your head. Among adults, those who have different socio-economic status, different cultural values, lower professional status in the workplace, and different views on gender roles or sexuality are frequently targets of bullying. Another most frequently used social representation on bullying causes refers to the explanation of bullying as social positioning; in other words, bullying takes place because it is an expression of a struggle for status, popularity, power, or friends Thornberg, Quite often the need to appear popular among peers or influential among friends motivates bullies to target victims; particularly in social situations.
Bullying Preventions Anti-Bullying Movements and Legislation Within the last decade, as research has expanded and individual awareness of bullying has increased, several cultural movements against bullying have gained popularity; especially among youth, youth organizations, and in the marketing and advertising world. Violent acts such as suicide that appeared to be a direct result of bullying has garnered much media attention and consequently, has influenced celebrities and influential people to develop campaigns against bullying designed to increase awareness.
Television and social media has been instrumental in the expansion of these anti-bullying movements. Anti-Bullying Legislation in U. States Along with these anti-bullying campaigns, recent history has also seen an increased demand especially in the U. The more violent acts resulting from bullying has traditionally and especially recently become the object of media attention. This increase in legislation is a clear indication that bullying, its scope, and its effects are not only becoming more prevalent but its negative effects on the individual, group, community, and country are becoming better understood and more readily addresses.
Bullying Interventions Responses to Bullying Although most individuals disapprove of bullying, very few intervene and sometimes directly promote the behavior with their unwillingness to address the bully or assist the victim.
Often, bullying happens in the presence of groups of uninvolved bystanders. Research has indicated that if a bully encounters a negative response from an individual or group, it clearly challenges the behavior of the bully and indicates that the group views the behavior as unacceptable. This intervention has the potential to decrease the likelihood of the behavior continuing and create an environment or culture that rejects the behavior altogether. Open communication, conversation, and discussions with peers, parents, and psychologists, appear to be the most effective influence of individuals becoming more comfortable with intervening when bullying occurs.
Those who have been the targets of bullying can suffer from long- term emotional and behavioral problems. Bullying can cause loneliness, depression, anxiety, lead to low self-esteem and increased susceptibility to illness. She loves her as an elderly man loves a young mistress who tortures him.
It was a passion that was twisted and morbid; it caused her many humiliations; sometimes it made her ashamed of herself. She feared that her mother was making her ridiculous in the eyes of her friends. Also she felt that she was not like that. She was different; colder, more fastidious, less robust. Her mother was ignoring the real daughter in this flood of adoration for a daughter who did not exist. She was forced to curb her; to assert her own identity.
The daughter does not love her. That is a thought so bitter, and a fear so perpetual and so profound, that life loses its savour; she has recourse to sages, to poets to console her; and reflects with sadness upon the vanity of life; and how death will come. Then, too, she is agitated beyond what is right or reasonable, because a letter has not reached her. Then she knows that she has been absurd; and realizes that she is boring her friends with this obsession.
What is worse, she has bored her daughter. And then when the bitter drop has fallen, up bubbles quicker and quicker the ebullition of that robust vitality, of that irrepressible quick enjoyment, that natural relish for life, as if she instinctively repaired her failure by fluttering all her feathers; by making every facet glitter.
She is happiest alone in the country. She loves rambling alone in her woods. She loves going out by herself at night. She loves hiding from callers. She loves walking among her trees and musing. She loves the gipsy girl who dances, as her own daughter used to dance, but not of course so exquisitely.
It is natural to use the present tense, because we live in her presence. We are very little conscious of a disturbing medium between us—that she is living, after all, by means of written words. But now and then with the sound of her voice in our ears and its rhythm rising and falling within us, we become aware, with some sudden phrase, about spring, about a country neighbour, something struck off in a flash, that we are, of course, being addressed by one of the great mistresses of the art of speech.
Then we listen for a time, consciously. How, we wonder, does she contrive to make us follow every word of the story of the cook who killed himself because the fish failed to come in time for the royal dinner party; or the scene of the haymaking; or the anecdote of the servant whom she dismissed in a sudden rage; how does she achieve this order, this perfection of composition?
Did she practise her art? Did she tear up and correct? There is no record of any painstaking or effort. She says again and again that she writes her letters as she speaks. She begins one as she sends off another; there is the page on her desk and she fills it, in the intervals of all her other avocations. People are interrupting; servants are coming for orders.
She entertains; she is at the beck and call of her friends. Marie de Rabutin it seems was born into a group where the elements were so richly and happily mixed that it drew out her virtue instead of opposing it. She was helped, not thwarted. Nothing baffled or contracted or withered her.
What opposition she encountered was only enough to confirm her judgment. For she was highly conscious of folly, of vice, of pretention. She was a born critic, and a critic whose judgments were inborn, unhesitating.
She is always referring her impressions to a standard—hence the incisiveness, the depth and the comedy that make those spontaneous statements so illuminating. There is nothing naive about her. She is by no means a simple spectator. Maxims fall from her pen. She sums up; she judges. But it is done effortlessly. She has inherited the standard and accepts it without effort. She is heir to a tradition, which stands guardian and gives proportion. The gaiety, the colour, the chatter, the many movements of the figures in the foreground have a background.
At Les Rochers there is always Paris and the court; at Paris there is Les Rochers, with its solitude, its trees, its peasants.
And behind them all again there is virtue, faith, death itself. But this background, while it gives its scale to the moment, is so well established that she is secure. She is free, thus anchored, to explore; to enjoy; to plunge this way and that; to enter wholeheartedly into the myriad humours, pleasures, oddities, and savours of her well nourished, prosperous, delightful present moment.
So she passes with free and stately step from Paris to Brittany from Brittany in her coach and six all across France. She stays with friends on the road; she is attended by a cheerful company of familiars. Wherever she alights she attracts at once the love of some boy or girl; or the exacting admiration of a man of the world like her disagreeable cousin Bussy Rabutin, who cannot rest under her disapproval, but must be assured of her good opinion in spite of all his treachery.
The famous and the brilliant also wish to have her company, for she is part of their world; and can take her share in their sophisticated conversations. There is something wise and large and sane about her which draws the confidences of her own son. Feckless and impulsive, the prey of his own weak and charming nature as he is, Charles nurses her with the utmost patience through her rheumatic fever.
She laughs at his foibles; knows his failings. She is tolerant and outspoken; nothing need be hidden from her; she knows all that there is to be known of man and his passions. So she takes her way through the world, and sends her letters, radiant and glowing with all this various traffic from one end of France to the other, twice weekly. As the fourteen volumes so spaciously unfold their story of twenty years it seems that this world is large enough to enclose everything.
Here is the garden that Europe has been digging for many centuries; into which so many generations have poured their blood; here it is at last fertilized, bearing flowers. And the flowers are not those rare and solitary blossoms—great men, with their poems, and their conquests. The flowers in this garden are a whole society of full grown men and women from whom want and struggle have been removed; growing together in harmony, each contributing something that the other lacks.
The month of May, , at Les Rochers in Brittany, thus echoes with different voices. The voices mingle; they are all talking together in the garden in But what was happening outside? Ketton-Cremer may serve at least to inspire some random thoughts about Walpole and the humane art which owes its origin to the love of friends. He had meant to write the history of his own times. After twenty years he gave it up, and decided to write another kind of history—a history ostensibly inspired by friends but in fact written for posterity.
They were pegs, not friends, each chosen because he was "particularly connected The letter writer is no surreptitious historian. He is a man of short range sensibility; he speaks not to the public at large but to the individual in private.
All good letter writers feel the drag of the face on the other side of the age and obey it—they take as much as they give. And Horace Walpole was no exception.
There is the correspondence with Cole to prove it. We can see, in Mr. If Cole had been nothing but a peg there would have been none of this echo, none of this mingling of voices.
It is true that Walpole had an attitude and a style, and that his letters have a fine hard glaze upon them that preserves them, like the teeth of which he was so proud, from the little dents and rubs of familiarity. And of course—did he not insist that his letters must be kept? But that he allowed the featureless face of posterity to stand between him and the very voice and dress of his friends, how they looked and how they thought, the letters themselves with their perpetual variety deny.
Open them at random. He is writing about politics—about Wilkes and Chatham and the signs of coming revolution in France; but also about a snuffbox; and a red riband; and about two very small black dogs.
Voices upon the stairs interrupt him; more sightseers have come to see Caligula with his silver eyes; a spark from the fire has burnt the page he was writing; he cannot keep the pompous, style any longer, nor mend a careless phrase, and so, flexible as an eel, he winds from high politics to living faces and the past and its memories——"I tell you we should get together, and comfort ourselves with the brave days that we have known I wished for you; the same scenes strike us both, and the same kind of visions has amused us both ever since we were born.
Nor again was he thinking of the great public, which, in a very few years, would have paid him handsomely for the brilliant pages that he lavished upon his friends.
Was it, then, the growth of writing as a paid profession, and the change which that change of focus brought with it that led, in the nineteenth century, to the decline of this humane art? Friendship flourished, nor was there any lack of gift. Who could have described a party more brilliantly than Macaulay or a landscape more exquisitely than Tennyson?
But there, looking them full in the face was the present moment—the great gluttonous public; and how can a writer turn at will from that impersonal stare to the little circle in the fire-lit room?
Macaulay, writing to his sister, can no more drop his public manner than an actress can scrub her cheeks clean of paint and take her place naturally at the tea table. And Tennyson with his fear of publicity—"While I live the owls, when I die the ghouls"—left nothing more succulent for the ghoul to feed upon than a handful of dry little notes that anybody could read, or print or put under glass in a museum.
News and gossip, the sticks and straws out of which the old letter writer made his nest, have been snatched away. The wireless and the telephone have intervened. The letter writer has nothing now to build with except what is most private; and how monotonous after a page or two the intensity of the very private becomes!
We long that Keats even should cease to talk about Fanny, and that Elizabeth and Robert Browning should slam the door of the sick room and take a breath of fresh air in an omnibus. Instead of letters posterity will have confessions, diaries, notebooks, like M. Horace Walpole suffered none of these drawbacks. If he was the greatest of English letter writers it was not only thanks to his gifts but to his immense good fortune.
But besides those places, there was the other—his place in the very centre of the audience, facing the stage. There he could sit and see without being seen; contemplate without being called upon to act. Besides the wit and the anecdote and the brilliant descriptions of masquerades and midnight revelries his friends drew from him something superficial yet profound, something changing yet entire—himself shall we call it in default of one word for that which friends elicit but the great public kills?
From that sprang his immortality. For a self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living. As an historian he would have stagnated among historians. But as a letter writer he buffets his way among the crowd, holding out a hand to each generation in turn—laughed at, criticized, despised, admired, but always in touch with the living. When Macaulay met him in October , he struck that hand away in a burst of righteous indignation. His features were covered by mask within mask.
And what greater boon can any writer ask than to be trounced by Lord Macaulay? We take the reputation he has gored, repair it and give it another spin and another direction—another lease of life. Ketton-Cremer says, is always changing about Walpole. Is it that the present age is deafened with boom and blatancy?
Certainly there is something wonderful to the present age in the sight of a whole human being—of a man so blessed that he could unfold every gift, every foible, whose long life spreads like a great lake reflecting houses and friends and wars and snuff boxes and revolutions and lap dogs, the great and the little, all intermingled, and behind them a stretch of the serene blue sky.
Even now he is being collected and pieced together, letter and answer, himself and the reflections of himself, so that whoever else may die, Horace Walpole is immortal. Whatever ruin may befall the map of Europe in years to come, there will still be people, it is consoling to reflect, to hang absorbed over the map of one human face. To encourage our selves, let us assert, though not with entire confidence, that books after all exist to be read—even the most learned of editors would to some extent at least agree with that.
But how, the question immediately arises, can we read this magnificent instalment—for these are but the first two volumes of this edition in which Mr. Ought not the presses to have issued in a supplementary pocket a supplementary pair of eyes?
Then, with the usual pair fixed upon the text, the additional pair could range the notes, thus sweeping together into one haul not only what Horace is saying to Cole and what Cole is saying to Horace, but a multitude of minor men and matters: Allen Hopkins, who was born Mary Thornhill; and, Lord Montfort, who—but if we want to know more about that nobleman, his lions and tigers and his "high-spirited and riotous behaviour," we must look it up for ourselves in the Harwicke mss.
There are limits even to Mr. This little haul, taken at random, is enough to show how great a strain the new method of editing lays upon the eye. But if the brain is at first inclined to jib at such perpetual solicitations, and to beg to be allowed to read the text in peace, it adjusts itself by degrees; grudgingly admits that many of these little facts are to the point; and finally becomes not merely a convert but a suppliant—asks not for less but for more and more and more.
But there was another sister and, after learning all about the Woods, it is positively painful not to know at least her Christian name. The only way to read letters is to read them thus stereoscopically. Horace, the whole Horace, is made up of innumerable facts and reflections of facts. Each is infinitely minute; yet each is essential to the other. To elicit them and relate them is out of the question. Let us, then, concentrate for a moment upon the two main figures, in outline.
But they were two very different people. But Cole was a man of solid good sense who made no bones of this disparity, and, after leaving Eton and Cambridge, he had become, in his quiet frequently flooded parsonage, one of the first antiquaries of the time.
It was this common passion that brought the two friends together again. For some reason, obscurely hidden in the psychology of the human race, the middle years of that eighteenth century which seems now a haven of bright calm and serene civilization, affected some who actually lived in it with a longing to escape—from its politics, from its wars, from its follies, from its drabness and its dullness, to the superior charms of the Middle Ages.
Indeed you judge very right concerning my indifference about what is going forward in the world, where I live in it as though I was no way concerned about it except in paying, with my contemporaries, the usual taxes and impositions.
In good truth I am very indifferent about my Lord Bute or Mr. Pitt, as I have long been convinced and satisfied in my own mind that all oppositions are from the ins and the outs, and that power and wealth and dignity are the things struggled for, not the good of the whole I hope what I have said will not be offensive.
There at Bletchley or at Milton he sat secluded, wrapped up from the least draught, for he was terribly subject to sore throats; sometimes issuing forth to conduct a service, for he was, incidentally, a clergyman; driving occasionally to Cambridge to hobnob with his cronies; but always returning with delight to his study, where he copied maps, filled in coats of arms, and pored assiduously over those budgets of old manuscripts which were, as he said, "wife and children" to him.
But neither dog nor guinea fowl seriously distracted him. The hundred and fourteen folio volumes left by him to the British Museum testify to his professional industry. And it was precisely that quality—his professional industry—that brought the two so dissimilar men together.
For Horace Walpole was by temperament an amateur. He was not, Cole admitted, "a true, genuine antiquary"; nor did he think himself one. I bequeath free leave of correction to the microscopic intellects of my continuators. Above all, he had a purse long enough to give visible and tangible expression—in prints, in gates, in Gothic temples, in bowers, in old manuscripts, in a thousand gimcracks and "brittle transitory relics" to the smouldering and inarticulate passion that drove the professional antiquary to delve like some indefatigable mole underground in the darkness of the past.
Horace liked his brittle relics to be pretty, and to be authentic, and he was always eager to be put on the track of more. For Horace was furnishing Strawberry Hill; and Cole was prodigiously adept at stuffing it, until there was scarcely room to stick another knife or fork, and the gorged owner of all this priceless lumber had to cry out: It is as bad as keeping an inn. Were this all it would be, and indeed it sometimes is, a little monotonous. But they were two very different men.
They struck unexpected sparks in one another. Cole, of course, stressed the antiquary in Walpole; but he also brought out very clearly the limits of the antiquary in Walpole. I have had dreams in which I thought I wished for fame— I feel, I feel it was confined to the memory of those I love"—to which Cole replies: Nevertheless, Cole was by no means without distresses of his own.
There was that terrible occasion when the horses ran away and his hat blew off and he sat with his legs in the air anticipating either death at the tollgate or a bad cold. Mercifully both were spared him. Again, he suffered tortures when, showing Dr.
Gulston his prints, he begged him, as a matter of form, to take any he liked; whereupon Gulston—"that Algerine hog"—filled his portfolio with the most priceless. It is true that Cole made him pay for them in the end, but it was a most distressing business. And then what an agony it was when some fellow antiquaries dined with him, and, confined with the gout, he had to let them visit his study alone, to find next morning that an octavo volume, and a borrowed volume at that, was missing! And what was he to do?
To confess the loss or to conceal it? To conceal it seemed better, and yet, if the owner found out, "I am undone. He loathed the whole tribe of antiquaries—"numskulls" he called them mumbling manuscripts with their toothless jaws.
And yet, when writing to Cole he could confess what to a man of his own class he would have concealed—that he, too, reverenced learning when it was real, and admired no one more than a poet if he were genuine. Recollect that I have seen Pope, and lived with Gray. With that solid man of no social gift but prodigious erudition Horace showed himself not an antiquary, not a poet, not an historian, but what he was—the aristocrat of letters, the born expert who knew the sham intellect from the genuine as surely as the antiquary knew the faked genealogy from the authentic.
When Horace Walpole praised Pope and Gray he knew what he was saying and meant it; and his shame at being hoisted into such high society as theirs rings true. What am I but a poor old skeleton, tottering towards the grave, and conscious of ten thousand weaknesses, follies, and worse! And for talents, what are mine, but trifling and superficial; and, compared with those of men of real genius, most diminutive!
Does it become us, at past threescore each, to be saying fine things to one another? Consider how soon we shall both be nothing! Once or twice the friends almost came to blows over religion.
But to Walpole, "Church and presbytery are human nonsense invented by knaves to govern fools. Exalted notions of church matters are contradictions in terms to the lowliness and humility of the gospel. There is nothing sublime but the Divinity. Nothing is sacred but as His work. A tree or a brute stone is more respectable as such, than a mortal called an archbishop, or an edifice called a church, which are the puny and perishable productions of men A Gothic church or convent fill one with romantic dreams—but for the mysterious, the Church in the abstract, it is a jargon that means nothing or a great deal too much, and I reject it and its apostles from Athanasius to Bishop Keene.
Yet they were not suffered to break up an intimacy of forty years. Walpole he referred only to the weather, Mr. Tyson, and the gout. He was, in writing at least, a red-hot republican, the bitter enemy of all those Tory principles that Cole revered. Whoever his father may have been, his mother nature had somehow queered the pitch of that very complex human being who was called Horace Walpole.
He was not simple; he was not single. As Cole noted with antiquarian particularity, Mr. He was mischievous and obscene; he gibbered and mocked and pelted the holy shrines with nutshells. And yet with what a grace he did it— with what ease and brilliancy and wit! In body, too, he was a contradiction—lean as a grasshopper, yet tough as steel. He was lapped in luxury, yet never wore a great-coat, ate and drank as little as a fasting friar, and walked on wet grass in slippers.
He fribbled away his time collecting bric-a-brac and drinking tea with old ladies; yet wrote the best letters in the language in the midst of the chatter; knew everyone; went everywhere; and, as he said, "lived post.
And yet who but Cupid wrote when Gray was dead, "I treated him insolently; he loved me and I did not think he did"? Or again, "One loves to find people care for one, when they can have no view in it"? But it is futile to make such contradictions clash. There were a thousand subtler impressions stamped on the wax of Horace Walpole, and it is only posterity, for whom he had a great affection, who will be able, when they have read all that he wrote to Mann and Conway and Gray and the sisters Berry and Madame du Deffand and a score of others; and what they wrote to him; and the innumerable notes at the bottom of the page about cooks and scullions and gardeners and old women in inns —it is only they who will be able, when Mr.
Lewis has brought his magnificent work to an end, to say what indeed Horace Walpole was. Meanwhile, we, who only catch a fleeting glimpse and set down hastily what we make of it, can testify that he is the best company in the world—the most amusing, the most intriguing—the strangest mixture of ape and Cupid that ever was.
In my opinion you are keeping something back. Last year when you went to Paris and did not see Madame du Deffand but measured the exact length of every nose on every tombstone—I can assure you they have grown no longer or shorter since —I was annoyed, I admit. Put him back in Bletchley, I said, plant him in his own soil, let him burble on in his own fashion, and the miracle will happen. I regret to tell you that I was wrong.
You are not a cowslip. You do not bloom. The hearts of Mrs. Robinson remain sealed books to us. You write January 16th, , and it is precisely as if I had written January 16th, In other words, you have rubbed all the bloom off two hundred years and that is so rare a feat—it implies something so queer in the writer—that I am intrigued and puzzled and cannot help asking you to enlighten me. Are you simply a bore, William? No that is out of the question. In the first place, Horace Walpole did not tolerate bores, or write to them, or go for country jaunts with them; in the second, Miss Waddell loves you.
You shed all round you, in the eyes of Miss Waddell, that mysterious charm which those we love impart to their meanest belongings. She loves your parrot; she commiserates your cat. Every room in your house is familiar to her.
She knows about your Gothic chamber and your neat arched bed; she knows how many steps led up to the pantry and down to the summer house; she knows, she approves, how you spent every hour of your day. She sees the neighbours through the light of your eyes. She laughs at some; she likes others; she knows who was fat and who was thin, and who told lies, who had a bad leg, and who was no better than she should have been. Barton, Thomas Tansley, Mr.
Lord of Mursley, the Diceys, and Dr. Pettingal are all real and alive to her: Would that I could see through her eyes! Alas, wherever I look I see blight and mildew. The moss never grows upon your walls. Your nectarines never ripen. The blackbird sings, but out of tune.
The knats—and you say "I hardly know a place so pestered with that vermin as Bletchley"—bite, just like our gnats. As for the human beings they pass through the same disenchantment.
Not that I have any fault to find with your friends or with Bletchley either. Nobody is very good, but then nobody is very bad. Tom sometimes hits a hare, oftener he misses; the fish sometimes bite, but not always; if it freezes it also thaws, and though the harvest was not bad it might have been better. But now, William, confess.
We know in our hearts, you and I, that England in the eighteenth century was not like this. We know from Woodforde, from Walpole, from Thomas Turner, from Skinner, from Gray, from Fielding, from Jane Austen, from scores of memoirs and letters, from a thousand forgotten stone masons, bricklayers and cabinet makers, from a myriad sources, that I have not learning to name or space to quote, that England was a substantial, beautiful country in the eighteenth century; aristocratic and common; hand-made and horse-ploughed; an eating, drinking, bastard-begetting, laughing, cursing, humorous, eccentric, lovable land.
If with your pen in your hand and the dates facing you, January 16th, , you see none of all this, then the fault is yours. Some spite has drawn a veil across your eyes. Indeed, there are pouches under them I could swear. You slouch as you walk. You switch at thistles half-heartedly with your stick. You do not much enjoy your food. Gossip has no relish for you. You mention the "scandalous story of Mr. Felton Hervey, his two daughters and a favourite footman" and add, "I hope it is not true. You stop Pettingal in the middle of his boasting—you cut him short with a sarcasm—just as he was proving that the Greeks liked toasted cheese and was deriving the word Bergamy from the Arabic.
As for Madame Geoffrin, you never lose a chance of saying something disobliging about that lady; a coffee-pot has only to be reputed French for you to defame it. Then look how touchy you are—you grumble, the servants are late with the papers, you complain, Mr.
All these are marks of a thin-blooded poverty-stricken disposition. And yet—you are a good man; you visit the poor; you bury the infected; you have been educated at Cambridge; you venerate antiquity.
The truth is that you are concealing something, even from Miss Waddell. Why, I ask, did you write this diary and lock it in a chest with iron hoops and insist that no one was to read it or publish it for twenty years after your death unless it were that you had something on your mind, something that you wished to confess and get rid of?
You are not one of those people who love life so well that they cherish even the memory of roast mutton, like Woodforde; you did not hate life so much that you must shriek out your curse on it, Eke poor Skinner. You write and write, ramblingly, listlessly, like a person who is trying to bring himself to say the thing that will explain to himself what is wrong with himself. And you find it very hard. You would rather mention anything but that —Miss Chester, I mean, and the boat on the Avon.
You cannot force yourself to admit that you have kept that lock of hair in your drawer these thirty years. Robinson, her daughter, asked you for it March 19th you said you could not find it. But you were not easy under that concealment. You did at length go to your private drawer November 26th, and there it was, as you well knew. But even so, with the lock of hair in your hand, you still seek to put us off the scent. You ramble on about giving Mrs.
Robinson a barrel of oysters; about potted rabbits; about the weather, until suddenly out it comes, "Gave Mrs. The poisoned tooth is out. You were once young and ardent and very much in love. That is your tragedy—you yourself failed yourself. You think of that scene twenty times a day, I believe, as you saunter, rather heavily; along the damp paths at Bletchley.
That is the dreary little tune that you hum as you stoop over your parments measuring noses, deciphering dates —"I failed, failed, failed on the boat on the Avon.
That is why you "always had a mind to live retired in Glamorganshire. Pitt never thanked you for the pigeons. That is why Mr. That is why he never came to see you, and why you observed so bitterly, that "people suffer themselves to forget their old friends when they are surrounded by the great and are got above the world. I may be wrong. And Miss Waddell may be right—every good quality of heart and head may be yours.
I am sure I hope so. But I beg, William, now that you are about to begin a fresh volume, at Cambridge too, with men of character and learning, that you will pull yourself together. Justify the faith that Miss Waddell has in you.
For you are keeping one of the finest scholars of her time shut up in the British Museum among mummies and policemen and wet umbrellas. There must be a trifle of ninety-five volumes more of you in those iron-bound chests. Lighten her task; relieve our anxiety, and so add to the gratitude of your obliged obedient servant,. Few people can read the whole of the Decline and Fall without admitting that some chapters have glided away without leaving a trace; that many pages are no more than a concussion of sonorous sounds; and that innumerable figures have passed across the stage without printing even their names upon our memories.
We seem, for hours on end, mounted on a celestial rocking-horse which, as it gently sways up and down, remains rooted to a single spot. In the soporific idleness thus induced we recall with regret the vivid partisanship of Macaulay, the fitful and violent poetry of Carlyle. We suspect that the vast fame with which the great historian is surrounded is one of those vague diffusions of acquiescence which gather when people are too busy, too lazy or too timid to see things for themselves.
And to justify this suspicion it is easy to gather pomposities of diction—the Church has become "the sacred edifice"; and sentences so stereotyped that they chime like bells—"destroyed the confidence" must be followed by "and excited the resentment"; while characters are daubed in with single epithets like "the vicious" or "the virtuous," and are so crudely jointed that they seem capable only of the extreme antics of puppets dangling from a string.
It is easy, in short, to suppose that Gibbon owed some part of his fame to the gratitude of journalists on whom he bestowed the gift of a style singularly open to imitation and well adapted to invest little ideas with large bodies. And then we turn to the book again, and to our amazement we find that the rocking-horse has left the ground; we are mounted on a winged steed; we are sweeping in wide circles through the air and below us Europe unfolds; the ages change and pass; a miracle has taken place.
But miracle is not a word to use in writing of Gibbon. If miracle there was it lay in the inexplicable fact which Gibbon, who seldom stresses a word, himself thought worthy of italics: I know by experience, that from my early youth I aspired to the character of an historian.
A historian he had to be; but historian of what? The history of the Swiss was rejected; the history of Florence was rejected; for a long time he played with the idea of a life of Sir Walter Raleigh. Then that, too, was rejected and for reasons that are extremely illuminating:.
I should shrink with terror from the modern history of England, where every character is a problem, and every reader a friend or an enemy; where a writer is supposed to hoist a flag of party, and is devoted to damnation by the adverse faction I must embrace a safer and more extensive theme. But once found, how was he to treat the distant, the safe, the extensive theme?
At last the problem was solved; the fusion was complete; matter and manner became one; we forget the style, and are only aware that we are safe in the keeping of a great artist. He is able to make us see what he wants us to see and in the right proportions. Here he compresses; there he expands. He transposes, emphasizes, omits in the interests of order and drama. The features of the individual faces are singularly conventionalized.
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