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To earn the daily rations, to put in an appearance at the club, to vote straight, to give a trifle in charity, and to respect Mrs. Grundy are the plain duties of the "moral man" and "good citizen," and these seem to him far worthier of attention than all the theories of metaphysical and transcendental dreamers.
But God speaks, not by the mouth of Hebrew Prophets alone; and to those who have ears to hear and a heart to understand, Emerson, too, has a divine message to deliver.
MR. EMERSON'S ESSAY.
"Man's the elm, and Wealth the vine;
And power to him who power exerts.
Lo! it rushes thee to meet;
And all that Nature made thy own,
And, like thy shadow, follow thee."
SUCCESS in life, according to the popular estimate, relates exclusively to material welfare. A man who thrives in business, enjoys good health and gathers around him wealth, estates and an amiable family is called "successful," and a woman who marries so as to procure for herself something more than the means of a bare subsistence, so that she can indulge an extravagant fancy for fine dresses and display, is said to have "married well." The good things of life, it is reckoned, are what princes and millionaires possess, the outward tokens of them being landed estates, magnificent style of living, idle luxury and popular admiration. Unsuccessful people are those whose allotment in life consists of hard toil and little treasure.
The great people of the world are not necessarily the good people. Princes and peers there are who lead lives of debasing pleasure. Vice flaunts itself
before the world in luxurious idleness, while modest virtue toils day and night to earn the scantiest rations. Treachery not infrequently succeeds. The man who can cheat his neighbour cleverly, so as not to bring himself within the grasp of the law, often multiplies wealth, secures rank and wins regard. Honesty does not always seem to be by any means the best policy-trickery and deceit answer many purposes better. He who wants to "get on" must not be over-scrupulous about the means that he employs. We heard a man say, without any apparent sense of shame, "I cannot afford to be honest," and in course of time that man prospered. That the bad succeed while the good perish is almost the rule in human life.
This is not just, men say, and they show in their literature how, if they had their way, matters would be arranged. The novelist takes care to distribute the good things of life among his virtuous personages and to leave all who do evil, out in the cold. It may be that, for a long period, vice triumphs, but in the third volume virtue emerges from all its sorrows and we close the book delighted that, in the long run, goodness wins the day and finds itself at last, in the most comfortable circumstances imaginable. Years of misery unjustly suffered are blotted out in this final triumph and our satisfaction is heightened by seeing the hitherto successful rogue handed over to the police or drowned in a storm. Any other conclusion-such as the material prosperity of the villain -would be pronounced decidedly immoral and calculated to make the young people who read the book love wickedness. Now, however, the moral to