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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

174                 Cash and Credit

been done for money, so it seems hardly less fatal that it
should be done with a view to those uses that tend towards
money.

And yet, was not the Iliad written mainly with a view to
money ? Did not Shakespeare make money by his plays,
Handel by his music, and the noblest painters by their art ?
True ; but in all these cases, I take it, love of fame and that
most potent and, at the same time, unpractical form of it,
the lust after fame beyond the grave, was the mainspring of
the action, the money being but a concomitant accident.
Money is like the wind that bloweth whithersoever it listeth,
sometimes it chooses to attach itself to high feats of litera-
ture and art and music, but more commonly it prefers lower
company. . . .

I can continue this note no further, for there is no end to
it. Briefly, the world resolves itself into two great classes—
those who hold that honour after death is better worth
having than any honour a man can get and know anything
about, and those who doubt this ; to my mind, those who
hold it, and hold it firmly, are the only people worth thinking
about. They will also hold that, important as the physical
world obviously is, the spiritual world, of which we know
little beyond its bare existence, is more important still.

Genius

Genius is akin both to madness and inspiration and, as
eveiy one is both more or less inspired and more or less mad,
every one has more or less genius. When, therefore, we
speak of genius we do not mean an absolute thing which
some men have and others have not, but a small scale-
turning overweight of a something which we all have but
which we cannot either define or apprehend—the quantum
which we all have being allowed to go without saying.

This small excess weight has been defined as a supreme
capacity for taking trouble, but he who thus defined it can
hardly claim genius in respect of his own definition—his
capacity for taking trouble does not seem to have been
abnormal. It might be more fitly described as a supreme
capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds