His interest, after all, is, consistently, that of the moralist
(in no narrow sense) who deals, from predilection, with the sort of literary work which stirs men--stirs their intellect-- through feeling; and with that literature, especially, as looked at through the means by which it became capable of thus commanding men.
It is certainly an interesting coincidence that the chief English representatives of four outlying regions of literature should have been closely contemporaneous--Johnson the moralist
and hack writer, Boswell the biographer, Gibbon the historian, and Burke the orator.
When the evening was over, Anne could not but be amused at the idea of her coming to Lyme to preach patience and resignation to a young man whom she had never seen before; nor could she help fearing, on more serious reflection, that, like many other great moralists
and preachers, she had been eloquent on a point in which her own conduct would ill bear examination.
will be glad to hear that I really suffered acute mental misery at this time of my life.
We would not, however, have our reader imagine, that persons of such characters as were supported by Thwackum and Square, would undertake a matter of this kind, which hath been a little censured by some rigid moralists
, before they had thoroughly examined it, and considered whether it was (as Shakespear phrases it) "Stuff o' th' conscience," or no.
6 Many of them again are of later origin, and are to be traced to the monks of the middle ages: and yet this collection, though thus made up of fables both earlier and later than the era of Aesop, rightfully bears his name, because he composed so large a number (all framed in the same mould, and conformed to the same fashion, and stamped with the same lineaments, image, and superscription) as to secure to himself the right to be considered the father of Greek fables, and the founder of this class of writing, which has ever since borne his name, and has secured for him, through all succeeding ages, the position of the first of moralists.
This volume of Nevelet forms a complete "Corpus Fabularum Aesopicarum;" and to his labors Aesop owes his restoration to universal favor as one of the wise moralists and great teachers of mankind.
This writer went through all the usual topics of European moralists
, showing "how diminutive, contemptible, and helpless an animal was man in his own nature; how unable to defend himself from inclemencies of the air, or the fury of wild beasts: how much he was excelled by one creature in strength, by another in speed, by a third in foresight, by a fourth in industry.
On the other hand, I compared the disquisitions of the ancient moralists
to very towering and magnificent palaces with no better foundation than sand and mud: they laud the virtues very highly, and exhibit them as estimable far above anything on earth; but they give us no adequate criterion of virtue, and frequently that which they designate with so fine a name is but apathy, or pride, or despair, or parricide.
The American will know how to appreciate the importance of this opinion, in relation to the house in question, when he is told that it was written by one of those inspired moralists
, and profound constitutional lawyers, and ingenious political economists, who daily teach their fellow creatures how to give practical illustrations of the mandates of the Bible, how to discriminate in vexed questions arising from the national compact, and how to manage their private affairs in such a way as to escape the quicksands that have wrecked their own.
All I can say in response is that I would rather be a whining moralist
than a benefits scrounger which Buchan undoubtedly is.
A Life Worth Living examines Camus as a moralist
, paying particular attention to his silence on the Algerian problem and his very public fallout with Jean-Paul Sartre.