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it is necessary to bring about those manifold sympathies with various kinds of men in various conjunctures of circumstance, through which alone an active observation and living knowledge of mankind can be generated.
OF OFFICIAL STYLE.
LITERARY men, and the young still more than the old of this class, have commonly a good deal to rescind in their style in order to adapt it to business. But the young, 'if they be men of sound abilities, will soon learn what is not apt and discard it; which the old will not. The leading rule is to be content to be common-place, a rule which might be observed with advantage in other writings, but is distinctively applicable to these. Any point of style is to be avoided by a statesman which gives reason to suppose that he is thinking more of his credit than of his business. It belongs to high station to rest upon its advan
tages, and by no means to court the notice of inferiors or to be solicitous of effect. Their interests should engross the thoughts of the statesman, and he should appear to have no occasion for any other credit than that of duly regarding their welfare. His style therefore, though it should have the correctness and clearness which education and practice impart to the writing of a man of good understanding, should not evince any solicitous precision beyond what may be due to exactitude in the subject-matter, much less any ambition of argument for its own sake, and less still of ornament or pungency in like manner gratuitous. If he be a man of philosophic mind, philosophy will enter into his views and enlarge and enlighten them; but it will be well that it should not ostensibly manifest itself in his writing, because he has to address himself, not to philosophers but to ordinary men; who are ever of the opinion (erroneous though it be) that
what they recognise to be philosophy is not fit for common use. A statesman's philosophy, therefore, should be as it were foundations sunk in the ground, and should not overtly appear, except in so far as it may be made to take the form of trite and popular maxims. With respect to ornament and figures of speech, it is to be observed that all language whatsoever carries metaphor within it; though much that is metaphorical may not be cognisably so to those who do not probe and search it and see into the sources of its meanings. The customariness of many metaphorical uses of words makes us unconscious of their metaphor; and the care of a statesman should be to avoid express metaphors (as well as express philosophy), and use only such as lie hid in common language, and will not attract specific notice. Yet since much of the force and propriety of language depends upon a reference, conscious or unconscious, to its metaphorical