SENTENTIAE VERBAQUE NON BENE CONJUNCTA.
BY BUMSTEADY BATTEWAY AND SCINTILLATE BRIGHT.
PERHAPS there is no gift which men prize more highly than that of insight into human nature. To be a good judge of men is to be a great man, and this is a species of greatness which inspires awe. Now we do not believe in the propriety of the existence of great men. We think that all men should be equal. We do not care how the equality is brought about, whether by lowering the few or raising the many. In the problem we have to deal with, however, we believe that raising the many is the more practicable of the two alternatives. So we propose to raise; and if you wish to, reader, you can see us. We intend to teach all men how to recognize and identify all other men; and, as the most rudimentary form of identification is that which is made possible by externals, - peculiarities of dress, manner, and speech, - we will proceed to lay down a few rules, and touch upon a few points which will be found invaluable for the beginner in this branch of the subject. In the first place (this is a fundamental, as Cromwell would have said), never take a man at his own estimate of himself, nor at the world's. His own estimate is always either too high or too low; the world's is always an intensifying of his self-appreciation or depreciation. If you would get his true character, strike an average between what his enemies say of him, and what those who are neither friendly nor hostile say. But before we go any farther, it is just as well to reveal to the reader who we are, and why, not being an editor, we write the plural pronoun. We are an association of two; and our number is not limited in order that we may all have offices. But, on the other hand, we do not limit our association to one, and so get a subsidy from the corporation and build a palace fit for a King; but we occupy the humble parlors of the St. Paul's Society, - they are Lent to us for the present. We are both of us connected with the University; and frequently go to Boston, which is not a university, although it is called the "Hub of the universe." You see from this that we are not Bostonians, nor yet are we New Yorkers, for had we been you would have heard the words "provincial" and "cosmopolitan" contrasted with some considerable contempt. Not that we know what they mean - nobody does. Some clever man once used them, and now everybody uses them, and everybody's nobody, so nobody knows; Q. E. D. Perhaps this is rather a threadbare way for us to try to prove any thing; but beggars, you know, can't be choosers. But to pursue our subject (one must always have a subject, on the same principle that one must always have a religion, so as to be respectable) you may object that we only pursue and never overtake. Granted. But isn't the pursuit of a high ambition the noblest thing in life? Are not ideals the salvation of the world? Is not woman the pure being that she is merely and only because of her capacity for faith, even in delusions? To conclude, - for there must be an end to all things, - we would suggest to our readers that to be tied down to one's subject is a proof of a mathematical mind, - according to Goldsmith, the lowest kind of an intellect; and don't we all admire Goldsmith?