Essays on Social Subjects from the Saturday Review; Second Series

Essays on Social Subjects from the Saturday Review; Second Series

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1865 edition. Excerpt: ...impossible. Refinement is not quick to impute evil; it interprets what it sees on the principles of charity. A man is not more refined than another for suspecting the loaf he eats because human hands have kneaded it, and assuming, therefore, that the kneader was a dirty fellow. In truth, refinement, being clean itself, supposes that others are clean also, until forcibly undeceived--indeed, resolutely prefers to trust, rather than have the imagination polluted by the repulsive details of over-curious investigators, and would sooner swallow one spider, whether moral or physical, in ignorance, than have the gorge perpetually rising at possible spiders. When persons or nations boast of refinement, they are proud, not of being refined, but of being fastidious. Now we know that fastidiousness passes with some minds for little more than a mere synonym for refinement; it is refinement carried to excess. But really it is often the least pure minds that are most fastidious. Indeed, it depends on the age he lives in whether a man of this quality of mind is coarse, as he would have been a hundred and fifty years ago, when it was permitted to him to utter his ideas, or fastidiously refined, as he is now, when he can only imply them and act upon them. It is the habitual occupation of the thoughts that constitutes the difference between the two. That mind is refined which exercises itself by preference on noble things--which recoils from impurity, but never looks for it, and, where it is possible, eliminates the gross from what it sees, and dwells on its purer aspect. That mind is unrefined, whatever its pharisaical pretensions to a discriminating purity, that sees only the low and material in things which have a fair and perhaps an elevated side to more

Product details

  • Paperback | 74 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 150g
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236517768
  • 9781236517760