The world is full of judgment days, and into every assembly that a man enters, in every action that he attempts, he is gauged and stamped. In every troop of boys that whoop and run in each yard and square, a newcomer is as well and accurately weighed in the balance, in the course of a few days, and stamped with his right number, as if he had undergone a formal trial of his strength, speed and temper. A stranger comes from a distant school, with better dress, with trinkets in his pockets, with airs and pretension; an old boy sniffs thereat, and says to himself, “It’s of no use: we shall find him out to-morrow.” “What hath he done?” is the divine question which searches men, and transpierces every false reputation. A fop may sit in any chair of the world, nor be distinguished for his hour from Homer and Washington; but there can never be any doubt concerning the respective ability of human beings, when we seek the truth. Pretension may sit still, but cannot act. Pretension never feigned an act of real greatness. Pretension never wrote an Illiad, nor drove back Xerxes, nor christianized the world, nor abolished slavery.


~ by Barky on October 24, 2011.

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