but to whom we give unreserved confidence, so there is a
point at which the understanding and mental processes
must be taken as understood without further question or
definition in words. And I should say that this point should
be fixed pretty early in the discussion.
There is one class of mind that loves to lean on rules and
definitions, and another that discards them as far as possible.
A faddist will generally ask for a definition of faddism, and
one who is not a faddist will be impatient of being asked to
A definition is the enclosing a wilderness of idea within a
wall of words.
Definitions are a kind of scratching and generally leave a
sore place more sore than it was before.
As Love is too young to know what conscience is, so Truth
and Genius are too old to know what definition is.
It has such an inherent power to run itself clear of taint
that human ingenuity cannot devise the means of making
it work permanent mischief, any more than means can be
found of torturing people beyond what they can bear. Even
if a man founds a College of Technical Instruction, the
chances are ten to one that no one will be taught anything
and that it will have been practically left to a number of
excellent professors who will know very well what to do
There is no Professor of Wit at either University. Surely
they might as reasonably have a professor of wit as of