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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

178                Cash and Credit

who have only the average amount of genius and the Homers,
Shakespeares and Handels of the race.

And yet, so paradoxical is everything connected with
genius, that it almost seems as though the nearer people
stood to one another in respect either of money or genius,
the more jealous they become of one another. I have read
somewhere that Thackeray was one day flattening his nose
against a grocer's window and saw two bags of sugar, one
marked tenpence halfpenny and the other elevenpence
(for sugar has come down since Thackeray's time). As he
left the window he was heard to say, " How they must hate
one another ! " So it is in the animal and vegetable worlds.
The war of extermination is generally fiercest between the
most nearly allied species, for these stand most in one another's
light. So here again the same old paradox and contradiction
in terms meets us, like a stone wall, in the fact that we love
best those who are in the main like ourselves, but when they
get too like, we hate them, and, at the same time, we hate
most those who are unlike ourselves, but if they become un-
like enough, we may often be very fond of them.

Genius must make those that have it think apart, and to
think apart is to take one's view of things instead of being,
like Poins, a blessed fellow to think as every man thinks.
A man who thinks for himself knows what others do not,
but does not know what others know. Hence the belli causa,
for he cannot serve two masters, the God of his own inward
light and the Mammon of common sense, at one and the same
time. How can a man think apart and not apart ? But if
he is a genius this is the riddle he must solve. The uncommon
sense of genius and the common sense of the rest of the world
are thus as husband and wife to one another ; they are always
quarrelling, and common sense, who must be taken to be
the husband, always fancies himself the masterónevertheless
genius is generally admitted to be the better half.

He who would know more of genius must turn to what
he can find in the poets, or to whatever other sources he may
discover, for I can help him no further.

The destruction of great works of literature and art is
as necessary for the continued development of either one or