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have selected some other person, who came as fully within the scope of your general objections as he did himself. Therefore, when you are not required, and do not like, to give special reasons, it may often be the best course simply to refuse, or to couch your refusal in impregnable generalities."

And, once more, on the delicate question of "interviews," we have the following self-regarding wisdom :

"Interviews are to be avoided, when you have reasons which determine your mind, but which you cannot give to the other party. If you do accede to an interview, you are almost certain to be tempted into giving some reasons; and these not being the strong ones will very likely admit of a fair answer; and so, after much shuffling, you will be obliged to resort to an appearance of mere wilfulness at last."

No one can question the great wisdom, or the morality, of such hints as these; but if this was the whole wisdom of the book, it should have passed unnoticed by us. And since we have singled out these cooler and more prudential passages, we shall also quote some examples of remarkable purity of sentiment.

"A good man of business is very watchful, both over himself and others, to prevent things from being carried against his sense of right in moments of lassitude. After a matter has been much discussed, whether to the purpose or not, there comes a time when all parties are anxious that it should be settled; and there is then some danger of the handiest way of getting rid of the matter being taken for the best."

It may illustrate the completeness of spirit in which these Essays are written, to state that this high moral constancy is immediately followed by a notable example of caustic shrewd


"It is often worth while to bestow much pains in gaining over foolish people to your way of thinking; and you should do it soon. Your reasons will always have some weight with the wise. But if at first you omit to put your arguments before the foolish, they will form their prejudices; and a fool is often very consistent, and very fond of repetition. He will be repeating his folly in season and out of season, until, at last, it has a hearing; and it is hard if it does not sometimes chime in with external circumstances.

"A man of business should take care to consult occasionally with persons of a nature quite different from his own. To very few are given all the qualities requisite to form a good man of business. Thus a man may have the sternness and fixedness of purpose so necessary in the conduct of affairs, yet these qualities

prevent him, perhaps, from entering into the character of those about him. He is likely to want tact. He will be unprepared for the extent of versatility and vacillation in other men. But these defects and oversights might be remedied by consulting with persons whom he knows to be possessed of the qualities supplementary to his own. Men of much depth of mind can bear a great deal of counsel; for it does not easily deface their own character, nor render their purposes indistinct."-p. 94.

But we must give two examples of elevation and tenderness of sentiment, brought into union with practical wisdom. On the Transaction of Business

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"When you have to communicate the motives for an unfavourable decision, you will naturally study how to convey them, so as to give least pain, and to ensure least discussion. These are not unworthy objects; but they are immediate ones; and therefore likely to have their full weight with you. Beware that your anxiety to attain them does not carry you into an implied falsehood; for, to say the least of it, evil is latent in that. Each day's converse with the world ought to confirm us in the maxim, that a bold, but not unkind sincerity, should be the groundwork of all our dealings."

And on the Treatment of Suitors :

"It will often be necessary to see applicants; and in this case you must bear in mind that you have not only the delusions of hope, and the misinterpretation of language to contend against, but also the imperfection of men's memories. If possible, therefore, do not let the interview be the termination of the matter; let it lead to something in writing, so that you may have an opportunity of recording what you wished to express. Avoid a promising manner, as people will be apt to find words for it. Do not resort to evasive answers, for the purpose only of bringing the interview to a close, nor shrink from giving a distinct denial, merely because the person to whom you ought to give it is before you, and you would have to witness any pain which it might occasion. Let not that balance of justice which Corruption could not alter one hair's breadth, be altogether disturbed by Sensibility."

Some of the best and cleverest portions of the book are in the "Essay on the Choice and Management of Agents;" it opens with a very pithy illustration.

"The Choice of Agents is a difficult matter, but any labour you may bestow upon it is likely to be well repaid; for you have to choose persons for whose faults you are to be punished; to whom you are to be the whipping-boy."

Every one's experience, in a range however limited, will conVOL. V. No. 20.-New Series.


firm the justice of the fine remark, that "The best agents are, in general, to be found amongst those persons who have a strong sense of responsibility. Under this feeling a man will be likely to grudge no pains; he will pay attention to minute things: and, what is of much importance, he will prefer being considered ever so stupid, rather than pretend to understand his orders before he does so."

The danger of clever men, not of the highest order of mind, that of meddling, and desiring to see everything done under their own hand, the defect, it is said, of one of the greatest of modern Statesmen, does not escape notice.

"Most men of vigorous minds and nice perceptions will be apt to interfere too much; but it should always be one of the chief objects of a person in authority to train up those around him to do without him. He should try to give them some selfreliance. It should be his aim to create a standard as to the way in which things are to be done-not to do them all himself. That standard is likely to be maintained for some time, in case of his absence, illness, or death; and it will be applied daily to many things that must be done without a careful inspection on his part, even when he is in full vigour."

We must give the admirable sketch of a perfect Councillor, Commissioner, or Committee-man.

"Those men are the grace and strength of Councils, who are of that healthful nature which is content to take defeat with good humour, and of that practical turn of mind which makes them set heartily to work upon plans and propositions which have been originated in opposition to their judgment; who are not anxious to shift responsibility upon others; and who do not allude to their former objections with triumph, when those objections come to be borne out by the result. In acting with such persons you are at your ease. You counsel sincerely and boldly, and not with a timorous regard to your own part in the


"The men who have method, and, as it were, a judicial intellect, are most valuable councillors. Without some such in a council, a great deal of cleverness goes for nothing; as there is nobody to see what has been stated and answered, to what their deliberations tend, and what progress has been made. Such persons can gather the sense of a mixed assembly, and suggest some line of action which may honestly meet the different views of the various members. They will bring back the subject matter when it has all but floated away, while the others have been looking for a sea-weed, or throwing stones at one another upon the shore."-p. 133.

We must take but one more passage. It is from the Essay on Party Spirit :

"Party spirit incites people to attack with rashness, and to defend without sincerity. Violent partizans are apt to treat a political opponent in such a manner when they argue with him, as to make the question quite personal, as if he had been present, as it were, and a chief agent in all the crimes which they attribute to his party. Nor does the accused hesitate to take the matter upon himself, and in fancied self-defence, to justify things which otherwise he would not hesitate, for one moment, to condemn.

"These evils must not be allowed to take shelter under the unfounded supposition that party dealings are different from any thing else in the world, and that they are to be governed by much looser laws than those which regulate any other human affairs. It is a very dangerous thing to acknowledge two sorts of truth, two sorts of charity.

"Is there no harm in never looking farther than the worst motive that can possibly be imagined for the actions of our political adversaries? Are we to consider the opposite party as so many Samaritans; and is there nothing that we have ever read or heard, which should induce us to abate our Jewish antipathy to these brethren of ours, who do not worship at our temple? This is an illustration from which political bigots cannot escape. Even their own pretensions of being always in the right will only bring the instance more home to them. The Jews were right in the matter in dispute between them and the Samaritans, Salvation is with the Jews.' But this is never held out to us as any justification of their behaviour."

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If these Essays could be written in the intervals of business, they may at least be read by men of business, in their intervals of leisure. A more fit book could not be mentioned to lie upon the desk of the merchant, to be glanced at as opportunity serves, not too remote from his immediate interests to attract and fix attention, yet calculated to connect the circumstances around him with a purer and higher order of thoughts, than they would themselves excite.


THERE are certain reasons, which we shall specify, for regarding the Introduction of Christianity into Great Britain as an historical subject of peculiar interest at the present time.

The obscurity in which the early history of all nations is proverbially involved extends even to those portions of its history which may be, of themselves, of the most solemn interest. The sacred character of an event does not at all prevent its being affected by the general darkness by which it may be surrounded. When a country has emerged from barbarism, its history, whether religious or general, will partake, in its clearness, authenticity, and fulness, of that improvement which has taken place in its civilization. But in proportion as darkness hangs over its manners, customs, and information, will obscurity rest on the indigenous, and, to some extent also, the foreign history of all the events connected with it, whether sacred or general. For this reason it is, that the history of Christianity is so comparatively clear and authentic in Greece and Italy, and so obscure in Gaul and Britain. The former nations had passed out of barbarism, and were at the acme, or even beyond the acme, of their civilization, and therefore could preserve adequate and sufficiently authentic accounts of the important events occurring within their precincts; but the latter nations had no civilization and no literature at the corresponding time in their history, and therefore the memory even of the most sacred and interesting events was involved in the obscurity which rested on all the others. The truth of this general statement received long ago particular confirmation from an inquiry into the history of the introduction of Christianity into Great Britain. This important event, with the subsequent results, was found to be immersed in the same difficulties and uncertainties as surrounded the general domestic history of the nation, and only a few wellascertained facts stood out from the mass of evidently fabulous or very dubious accounts in which these early times of our national existence were shrouded.

It was, therefore, after sufficient discussion, settled, and generally received, that whatever possibility or even probability there was, of some of the traditions respecting the introduction of Christianity being true, there was no sufficient proof of that religion having been widely received among our ancestors of this island, and permanently and generally esta

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