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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

308           Truth and Convenience

which I thought a very poor one, whereby others, whose cir-
cumstances were sufficiently pitiable, lost their all; yet doctors
and barristers do not write to the newspapers to air their poor
consciences in broad daylight. Why should An Earnest
(I hate the word) Clergyman do so ? Let me give him a last
word or two of fatherly advice.

Men may settle small things for themselves—as what they
will have for dinner or where they will spend the vacation—
but the great ones—such as the choice of a profession, of the
part of England they will live in, whether they will marry or
no—they had better leave the force of circumstances to settle
for them; if they prefer the phraseology, as I do myself, let
them leave these matters to God. When He has arranged
things for them, do not let them be in too great a hurry to
upset His arrangement in a tiff. If they do not like their
present and another opening suggests itself easily and natur-
ally, let them take that as a sign that they make a change;
otherwise, let them see to it that they do not leave the frying-
pan for the fire. A man, finding himself in the field of a pro-
fession, should do as cows do when they are put into a field of
grass. They do not like any field ; they like the open prairie
of their ancestors. They walk, however, all round their new
abode, surveying the hedges and gates with much interest.
If there is a gap in any hedge they will commonly go through
it at once, otherwise they will resign themselves contentedly
enough to the task of feeding.

I am, Sir,
One who thinks he knows a thing or two about

ETHICS.