Puslapio vaizdai

whom they are addressed; for thus one flattery will include another,—and that other perhaps the most agreeable,—being that of attributing to the party a peculiar absence of self-love. The compliment will also seem the more sincere, as being not aimed at the self-love of the party, but a mere suggestion of fact. Some men may be indirectly flattered by what is in its direct purport the reverse of complimentary; because saying such things to them seems to give them credit for hardihood. Others can be imposed upon by a rough, bluff, hearty, plain-spoken way of eulogising them to their faces, as if what was said was no more than the honest truth, which there ought to be no scruple in declaring.

But the mode of flattery which, being at once safe and efficacious, is the best adapted to the purposes of a statesman, is the flattery of listening. He that can wear the appearance of drinking in every word that is said with thirsty ears, possesses such a faculty for conciliating

mankind as a syren might envy. For no syren did ever so charm the ear of the listener, as the listening ear has charmed the soul of the syren. The chief drawback upon the advantages of this species of blandishment is, that it can hardly be employed but at some considerable cost of time; yet with a little dexterity this cost may be reduced for the more earnest the attention, the more compulsory will seem the breaking off, when the statesman starts as from a dream and looks at his watch. There is another drawback, which is the cost of patience at which this purchase of good-will is effected. This will certainly be considerable on the part of him who only affects to listen, and the way to reduce it is to listen in reality; for as sincere talking will impart some interest even to a flimsy material of talk, so with sincere listening something worth notice may be distilled from every man's discourse. Yet it must be confessed that he who can listen with real attention to every

thing that is said to him, has a great gift of


These, however, are merely the tricks of statesmanship, which it may be quite as well to despise as to practise.




IN matters of outward demeanour a difference may be perceived between statesmen bred in these several lines.

Men brought up to political life from the first will commonly stand the most aloof from mankind at large, or those whom they do not consider to be of the same rank and station with themselves. They begin life in its high places, and they begin it by opposing to the inconveniences of importunity the arrogance of youth. Or if even in youth they are free from arrogance, (as men born to a high station often


are, because they have less occasion for it,) still they cannot but feel the convenience of keeping themselves at that distance from men of humbler rank at which circumstances have placed them.

Men bred in the army or navy, whether high-born or not, have risen through the lower grades of their profession, and have necessarily mixed in daily intercourse with associates of middle station. A distant demeanour is not therefore natural to them, except as growing out of the exercise of authority, and taking place in regard to those who serve under them. But what comes naturally to them in this relation they sometimes like to assume in others.

Statesmen bred at the bar are of all men the least disposed to carry into their outward demeanour the distinctions of rank and station. They have lived a life in which they have been roughly confronted with their fellow-creatures of all classes, and where the extrinsic demar

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