298 Truth and Convenience the antiquity of the instinct that, on the whole, directs us towards truth. We cannot self-vivisect ourselves in respect of such a vital function, though we can discharge itnormally and easily enough so long as we do not think about it. ii The pursuit of truth is chimerical. That is why it is so hard to say what truth is. There is no permanent absolute un- changeable truth; what we should pursue is the most con- venient arrangement of our ideas. iii There is no such source of error as the pursuit of absolute truth. iv A. B. was so impressed with the greatness and certain ultimate victory of truth that he considered it unnecessary to encourage her or do anything to defend her. He who can best read men best knows all truth that need concern him ; for it is not what the thing is, apart from man's thoughts in respect of it, but how to reach the fairest compro- mise between men's past and future opinions that is the fittest object of consideration ; and this we get by reading men and women. vi Truth should not be absolutely lost sight of, but it should not be talked about. vii Some men love truth so much that they seem to be in con- tinual fear lest she should catch cold on over-exposure. viii The firmest line that can be drawn upon the smoothest paper has still jagged edges if seen through a microscope. This does not matter until important deductions are made on the supposition that there are no jagged edges.