S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
Dr. William C. Taylor
Unless you habitually court the privacy of the domestic circle, you will find that you are losing that intimate acquaintance with those who compose it which is its chief charm and the source of all its advantage. In your family alone can there be that intercourse of heart with heart which falls like refreshing dew on the soul when it is withered and parched by the heats of business and the intense selfishness which you must hourly meet in public life. Unless your affections are sheltered in that sanctuary, they cannot long resist the blighting influence of a constant repression of their development, and a compulsory substitution of calculation in their stead. Domestic privacy is necessary not only to your happiness, but even to your efficiency; it gives the rest necessary to your active powers of judgment and discrimination; it keeps unclosed those well-springs of the heart whose flow is necessary to float onwards the determination of the head. It is not enough that the indulgence of these affections should fill up the casual chinks of your time; they must have their allotted portion of it, with which nothing but urgent necessity should be allowed to interfere.
Kindness and cordiality of manner are scarcely less pleasing to the feelings than express compliment, and they are the more safe for both parties, since they afford no foundation for building up expectations; a species of architecture sufficiently notorious for the weakness of the foundations that support an enormous superstructure.
The truly independent course is to act as if party had no existence; to follow that which is wisest and best in itself, irrespective of the side which makes the loudest claim to the monopoly of goodness. No doubt, such a course will often approach, or rather be approached by, the orbit of one party at one time, and the other at another, just as each of them chances to come the nearer to what is really right. Nay, more, as each party does possess some truth mingled with its falsehoods, it is perfectly possible to be identified with one of two bigoted and opposed parties on some special question, and to be similarly identified with the other party on a different question.
Among the many fallacies of the day that pass unquestioned, there is none more general nor more fallacious than that innovation is popular. The truth is, that a judicious innovator is likely to be, at least for a time, the most unpopular man in the universe: he will be hated by those who are satisfied with old evils; he will be disliked by the timid and the lazy, who dread the peril and the trouble of change; and he will receive little favour from those most conscious of the evil, because his remedies will not act as a charm and remove in an instant the accumulated ills of centuries . Some persons are not aware of the fact that in all men the love of ease is far superior to the love of change; in the serious concerns of life, novelty is never desired for its own sake; then, habit becomes a second nature, and it is only the positive pressure of evil that can drive us to alteration. We do find men occasionally rash and insatiable in changing; but this is only from their being impatient under the sense of real evils, and in error as to remedies.