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´╗┐Title: A Man of the World
Author: Call, Annie Payson, 1853-1940
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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A Man of the World

BY

ANNIE PAYSON CALL


_Author of_

"Power Through Repose," "As a Matter of Course," "The Freedom of Life"


BOSTON

LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY

1906


COPYRIGHT, 1905,

BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.


_All rights reserved_

Published October, 1905

THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.



A MAN _of the_ WORLD



I


There are two worlds in the minds of men: the one is artificial,
selfish, and personal, the other is real and universal; the one is
limited, material, essentially of the earth, the other supposes a kind
of larger cosmopolitanism, and has no geographical limits at all; it is
as wide as humanity itself, and only bounded by the capacity for
experience, insight, and sympathy in the mind and heart of man. A true
man of the world, therefore, is not primarily of it,--a true man of the
world must know and understand the world; and in order to do so, he
should be able at any time to get it into perspective.

Charles Dickens says that by a man who knows the world is too frequently
understood "a man who knows all the villains in it." It is of course, by
gentlemen, also understood that a man who knows the world knows all its
manners and customs, and can adapt himself to them easily and entirely,
wherever he may be. But this external polish does not preclude the
idea, even among so-called well-bred men, that a man who knows the world
knows all the villains in it, and such a man may be more or less of a
villain himself, provided he has the cleverness and the ingenuity to
hide his villainy. To a certain extent the appearance of virtue has been
always more or less of a necessity in the world, but the moral standards
in social, professional, and business life are inconsistent and mixed.
Even in essentials the highest standards are often modified to suit the
preference of the majority. It is not always considered dishonorable for
a man to cheat in business, so long as the cheating is done without
interfering in any way with the general customs of the business world.

When we say that a man of the world is generally understood to be a man
who "knows all the villains in it," it seems at first sight an extreme
statement, but as the world goes now, it certainly represents the
general tendency of thought. The distinction is too seldom made between
a man of the world and a worldly man,--between a man who really knows
the world as it is and a man whose familiarity with it is narrow and
sordid. When people speak of "seeing life" they seldom mean seeing the
best of it.

The same tendency toward perversion, as being the more interesting phase
of life, is found among physicians and trained nurses. A good physician
once told me, with pained indignation, that his students would go miles
to see an abnormal growth of tumor, but not one of them would turn
around to enjoy the mechanism of a healthy heart. And it is a well-known
fact that many trained nurses will lose interest in a case the moment a
patient begins to recover. "A splendid case of typhoid fever" is, not a
case in which the patient is throwing off the effects of the germ with
wholesome promptness, but one in which the germ is doing its
worst,--where the illness is extreme, and the delirium exciting. To be
sure, in such a case, there is intense interest in taking all possible
means, with promptness and decision, to save the patient's life; but, if
this were done only with a keen love of wholesomeness and normal health,
the interest of the nurses and physicians would never wane until the
patient had become strong and vigorous. If the standard of the best
physical health were steadily before the eyes of physician and nurse,
and if both had a strong desire to bring the patient, as nearly as
possible, up to their own high standard of health, there would be a very
great difference in the atmosphere of sick rooms and hospitals. The work
of physicians and nurses seems to be more often that of protection
against disease than that of achievement of health; and the distinction,
though at first sight it may seem a fine one, is nevertheless radical.

Note the parallel between this negative tendency toward health of body,
and the same negative tendency in the world toward health of soul. It
is protection against the worst ravages of sin which is the moral aim of
the majority of the world; not a striving toward a positive standard of
healthy life for both soul and body. What is sin but disease of the
soul? Sin is just as truly, just as practically, disease of the soul, as
any form of known malady is disease of the body. If we could impress
ourselves strongly with the fact that sin is disease,--disorder and
abnormality,--it would be a radical step toward freedom from sin. By sin
is meant every kind of selfishness,--whatever form it may take.

A young friend, in speaking of a companion charming in his words and
manners and most attractive because of his artistic temperament, but
evidently loose in his ideas of morality, once expressed the opinion
that it was "all right" to associate with this charming man,--enjoying
all that was delightful in him and ignoring, so far as possible, all
that was evidently bad.

"Could you ignore dirty nails, dirty ears, and a bad smell about your
companion?" someone asked.

Whereupon the young man exclaimed, with an expression of supreme
disgust, "How can you speak of such things,--of course I could not stay
with him for five minutes!"

But he did not in the least associate the loose, light, unclean way of
looking at human relations, with the same careless uncleanness as
applied to the body. And yet, in reality, the one kind of uncleanness
corresponds precisely to the other. In the one case the dirt is on the
inside and is what we may call living dirt, because it is kept alive by
the soul to which it is allowed to cling. In the other case the dirt is
on the outside, and can be washed off with soap and water. Very few
so-called men or women of the world are willing to appear dirty and
slovenly in their bodies,--but a great many are willing to be dirty and
slovenly in their souls. A curious and significant fact it is, that
often, when a man's nerves give way, even when his external habits have
been most cleanly, or even fastidious, they may change entirely, and he
may go about with spotted clothes, dirty hands, and a general slovenly
appearance, whereas such external shiftlessness would have been
impossible to him while his nerves were comparatively well and strong.

When such a man's nerves give way, so that he loses to some extent the
external use of his will, the dirty habits of his mind appear in
slovenly and dirty habits of body, because he has no longer the
will-power to confine them to his private thoughts and feelings. The
habits of his body become then a true expression of his state of mind.

We may prove the relation between sin and disease by tracing what might
be called a mild sin to its logical extreme. Just as we may follow
almost any disease in its development, until it causes the death of the
body, if the body is not protected from its growth, so we may follow
any sin in its development to the death of the soul, if the soul is not
similarly protected. All sin, when allowed to increase according to its
own laws, is the destruction of both soul and body.

Macbeth's mind became diseased; and we may find many an Iago in our
insane asylums to-day, for, with all his cleverness, no Iago can, in the
long run, keep control of his mind if his selfish plans are frustrated.
The loathsome diseases of the body which are liable to overtake a Don
Juan may only be spoken of, or thought of, as a means of removing the
blindness of those who, from dwelling upon the sensations of the body,
come to think of sin as pleasant. When their blindness is removed, the
least touch of the sensuality which causes the disease will fill them
with wholesome horror. It is wonderfully provided by the Creator that
any sensation, which is selfishly indulged in, any sensation that a man
remains in for its own sake, must lead first to satiety,--and then to
worse than satiety and death. This is true both of all selfish
sensations of the body and of all useless emotions of the mind. Our
sensations and our emotions must be obedient servants to a wholesome,
vigorous love of usefulness, or they become infernal masters whose rule
leads only to weakness and death.

The old asceticism,--the spiritual stupidity of primitive times,--placed
the world, the flesh, and the devil on a level of equality, whereas both
the world and the flesh are capable of noble uses, but the devil is not.
The world and the flesh are servants, and good servants; they are
necessary instruments for the carrying out of the Divine purpose in
human life. But the devil is merely the perversion of good things to
useless, trivial, and degrading ends. He has no power in himself except
as we give him power, and we give him power every day when we associate
the idea of the world with that of the villains in it, and when we
debase the flesh by not realizing the clean, good service for which it
is intended. Indeed, we are really feeding the devil in so far as our
standards of life are negative, and not positive,--in so far as we are
only busy in protecting ourselves from worse sin or from worse disease,
instead of casting out _all sin and disease_ as fast as we perceive them
in ourselves, and working toward the highest possible standard of
wholesome life for body and soul. To "_look to the Lord and shun evils
as sins_," means to hold to the standard of health given us by the Lord
for both body and soul, so that it may become more and more clear as we
apply it to life with persistent strength. Our present standards of life
are warped. The abnormal has become so familiar to us as to seem normal.
The joy and life-giving power of fresh air for soul and body is too
little known to us. A thoroughly healthy world, with wholesome habits of
mind and body, is almost out of our ken. The lower standards have
become too generally a matter of course,--that is why we do not think of
brave and wholesome manhood when we use the expression "a man of the
world."

It is a certain fact that no man can understand and live in what is good
and wholesome, _of his own free will_, without having had
temptations,--and strong ones,--to what is evil and unwholesome. Thus a
knowledge of the evil in the world enlarges a man's experience just in
so far as he uses that knowledge to lead him to the opposite good. A
knowledge of evil warps a man's character,--however broad his
experience may be,--just in so far as he yields to the evil and allows
it to become a part of himself.

"And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." The
truth which makes us free is the truth about ourselves, the truth about
evil, the truth about everything, and our freedom is full and expansive
in proportion as we recognize, acknowledge, and live by the truth, both
in general and in detail.



II


"I am a man and nothing human do I consider alien to me," said Terence
two thousand years ago.

A man who thoroughly knows the world must be capable of understanding
all phases of life,--not only those of his own country, class,
profession, or sect. It is the humanity in all its phases that he loves
and understands,--not the phase itself; and therefore nothing that is
human can be so remote as to be unintelligible to his mind or without
the power of appeal to his heart. Iago could never understand honesty or
generosity. Don Juan could never understand chastity. On the other hand
it is possible for an honest man to understand Iago, and for a clean man
to understand Don Juan. Although in neither case will the man who
understands sympathize with the sin, in both cases the understanding
will be clear and comprehensive. A child cannot understand either Iago
or Don Juan, neither can a childish man; but a truly _childlike_ man can
understand all phases of temptation and sin, and estimate them justly.

There is an innocence of ignorance, and there is an innocence of wisdom.
The innocence of ignorance is involuntary. It is innocence because it
cannot be anything else. A little child is in the innocence of
ignorance, and it is from that protective innocence that we feel the
fresh, happy atmosphere of childhood. The innocence of wisdom is
possible only to those who have known temptation and, through overcoming
it, have learned to recognize all sin for what it really is,--the filth
and disease of the soul, and to avoid it as such. The fresh life that
springs from such struggle and conquest of selfish tendencies brings
with it a vigor of innocence which has a quality of life akin to that of
a healthy child, with the added power and insight of a man's maturity.
Whatever form or phase of temptation his fellow men may be in, such a
man, from his own experience, has found the means of understanding them.
He has found the means of understanding his neighbor, whether the
neighbor is immersed in self-indulgence, is struggling desperately to
gain his freedom, or is well along upon the upward path.

A man who can only understand certain special phases of human nature is
narrow and provincial, however he may assume the air of a man of the
world; and the false assumption of a broad understanding renders him
practically still more narrow and provincial, for it stands in the way
of his learning from those who have it in their power to instruct him.
But the true man of the world, whose breadth of vision and penetration
of insight are the result of a working familiarity with universal
principles in practical life, detests sin without condemning the sinner,
and is not befooled by the shallow pretensions of the provincial
Pharisee.

To know the world we must not only be able to understand all phases of
it in general, but we must also understand the various types in
particular. There are nations, there are grades and phases of life in
each nation, and there are individuals in each phase. There is as great
a difference between the individuals of a small community of people, if
one has the eye to detect it, as there is between nations.

I remember once talking with a famous anthropologist. All men were to
him simply representations of ages, nations, or families. No man was a
man in himself; he was simply a specimen. It gave to a little everyday
person a very keen sense of the vastness of humanity in general, past
and present, to hear this scientific man talk. He had the habit of
swinging all the nations of the world into his conversation as easily as
if he lived with them every day, as in his habitual thought he truly
did. Whenever I would speak to him of a friend or a relative he would
characterize him by his national and family tendency. To talk with the
Professor for an hour or two was most enlightening and expanding; but a
long acquaintance proved that a man, even in the region of large
anthropological and geographical ideas, could be just as narrow and
provincial as the self-appointed moral censor of a country town. The
human body and the human mind, in general, seemed to mean a very great
deal to him, but man as an individual soul meant nothing at all.

Some of the greatest diplomats, who have stood out as clever in their
dealings with nations, have been limited in the extreme when their lives
took them outside of the rut of their own immediate work. Statesmen who
have dealt cleverly with nations have blundered sadly in their dealings
with individual men, blundered sometimes when their mistakes would react
upon their national influence. And yet so established were they in the
selfish rut of their national diplomacy, so provincial were they in the
knowledge of individual human nature, that they went on blundering,
until many a time their mistakes led them almost, if not quite, to
national disaster. The best lawyers know that to do their work truly
they must be able to judge particular cases and special circumstances by
standards which to the majority of minds do not exist. For want of such
clear understanding of human nature which comes from an original
instinct for truth itself,--as distinguished from the cut-and-dried
application of conventional habit,--lawyers have often failed.

Conventional standards are the common standards of the majority; but,
although they are perhaps more serviceable than any others in the
achievement of commonplace success, they are invariably inadequate on a
really high and simple plane of human endeavor. It is rare to find an
active man engaged in worldly business who recognizes the laws of
simple unselfishness and truth as having any practical existence in
human affairs; but it is still more rare to find such a man
understanding the true relation between essential goodness and the
conventional principles of morality. There are times when those who act
from higher standards must appear to contradict entirely all
conventional modes of life, but they do not necessarily oppose such
conventions, for through a courageous adherence to the spirit of the law
they eventually bring new life to its letter. The true man of the world
is he who can express his essential goodness and truth in wise and
appropriate ways, and in terms which must be, in the long run,
intelligible to all kinds of men.

When Jesus Christ healed a man on the Sabbath day, He not only ignored
the conventional standards of His nation, but He appeared to disobey one
of the fundamental commandments of the law. The Pharisees, and all the
people about Him who stood well in the eyes of the world, were angrily
indignant. It is not difficult to imagine, after it was all over, a kind
and conventional soul coming to the Lord and asking Him why He had not
waited until the next day before carrying out His intention;--He would
not have had to wait long, and the displeasure of the Pharisees would
have been avoided. "Would it not have been more charitable to respect
the religious scruples of the Jews? Is it not wrong to fly needlessly in
the face of respectable public opinion? Was it not unwise needlessly to
break the letter of the commandment, even while keeping its spirit?"
Some doubting soul, who wanted to believe in the goodness of the Lord
and the purity of His motive, might well have put all these questions
to Him with a sincere and conscientious desire to serve. And yet this
doubter, with all his conscientious kindness, would have been blind and
stupid. For only the self-righteous or the morally stupid could fail to
understand that, in healing a sick man on the Sabbath day, our Lord was
establishing a new precedent of a truer and deeper obedience for all
mankind. The Pharisees were convinced of their own goodness; it would
not have occurred to them as possible that they were narrow, provincial,
and self-righteous. They would not have admitted for an instant the
possibility of any circumstances under which it might be right to
perform a radical cure on the Sabbath day; and they persuaded themselves
that they were "doing God service" when they subjected to an ignominious
execution the man who had so roused all their personal and selfish
antagonism. The Pharisees were hopelessly unable to understand Him, but
that was because of their own blindness. In laying down the principle
that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, our Lord
was expressing an eternal truth, not only to the world of His own time
but to the world of all ages.

To associate the idea of a man of the world with a knowledge of its dark
places and shallow forms alone, tends to belittle and degrade our
conception of the world; whereas the world, so far from being only dark
or shallow, is well worth knowing and serving, provided it is made to
serve, in its turn, all that is vigorous and wholesome in man. We should
recognize the beauty and power of the things of this world as servants
to our highest law; it is only the perversion of those things that is to
be renounced.

The true man of the world understands perverted human nature,--from the
gourmand to the keen political sharper; he is a man who is never
deceived by appearances, and who sees the real character beneath its
external polish; a man who, with his clearer understanding, takes each
perversion at its true value, understands the Iagos and the Don Juans
equally well, with no slightest taste for either. They are all forms of
disease to him. He can trace Iago's villainy to its own destruction and
Don Juan's sensuality to its worse than satiety.

Again, a true man of the world is a man who knows, and loves, and is a
part of all the wholesomeness in the world; a man who is quickly at home
in every variety of good form, because the instincts of a gentleman are
the same all the world over, although customs may differ entirely; a man
who, while accustomed to all conventions and respecting them where they
properly belong, is easily and happily at home without them; a man who,
while preferring fine instincts as well as strong characters in his
fellow men, is so alive to the best in human nature that he can find the
gold thread anywhere in the wax, if there is a gold thread there; a man
whose thoughts are so much at home in fresh air that he at once detects
a close or tainted atmosphere, but can keep the unpleasant sensation to
himself; who never intrudes his love of fresh air upon others, but,
being surrounded by it himself, enjoys it habitually and as a matter of
course. Such a man can never be caught unawares; he is a gentleman in
all emergencies, because he cannot be otherwise than himself, and he
never appears what he is not.

A true man of the world is not of the world primarily, although he
serves the world and is served by it; it is to him always a means to a
higher end,--never an end in itself. It was of true men of the world
that the Lord spoke when He said, "I pray not that Thou shouldest take
them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the
evil!"



III


From the point of view of good we can see and understand evil, but from
the point of view of evil we can neither see nor understand real
goodness. A man to understand the world must be in the process of
gaining his freedom from its evils. He must be learning to live
according to universal and interior standards, not according to the
standards of a special time, or of the people who happen to be about
him; and, in the process, he will learn that faithfulness to his own
sincere perception of universal truth will lead him eventually into true
harmony with the best in others. We know of only one man in the history
of the world who lived his whole life in a manner consistent with his
highest standards.

The world is a great, well-kept school. No one who believes in
immortality can possibly doubt that the short space of time we are here
is meant for training,--training to prepare us for our work hereafter,
whatever that may be, by doing our work here well. If we start with the
belief that the world is a school, and that we do not want to stay in
the primary class, but that we want to go through all the classes and to
graduate honorably,--if that conviction is strong in our minds, it is
astonishing to realize what a new aspect life will have for us. In
general and in every detail life will be full of living interest. No
trouble will be too hard to bear; there will be no circumstances that we
would run away from. We shall want to learn all our lessons, to pass all
our examinations, and to get the living power for use to others which is
the logical result.

To love his neighbor as himself, a man must be able truly to sympathize
with his neighbor and to see through his neighbor's eyes. By this I do
not mean that the neighbor's point of view must be his own, but that he
should be able to understand it as if it were his own. If a man does
this, he can understand the wrong or the right of it much more clearly;
and can, when advisable, modify his own point of view according to his
neighbor's. One can easily recognize the advantage it is to a doctor, a
lawyer, a minister, or a business man, to be able and willing always to
grasp the point of view of other people. A doctor makes up his mind as
to the best course to take in regard to his patient. The patient tells
him a long story describing his own state of mind, which seems to the
doctor, according to his own experience, entirely ridiculous. If he
excludes all appreciation of his patient's point of view and holds
harshly to his own ideas, he loses the most important means for
performing a perfect cure. If he listens attentively, and earnestly
tries to appreciate what may be good in his patient's ideas, so that the
patient feels his sympathy, an opportunity is thus opened to lead the
patient gradually to common sense. In so far as the physician closes
his mind to his patient's point of view, in so far he is narrow and
lacking in the true spirit of a man of the world.

A good, clear-headed lawyer should understand not only his client's
point of view, but also that of his opponent. A man can never lose his
own ground by truly "throwing himself on the side of his antagonist." An
all-round clear-headedness is a necessity to the best growth in us of
true principles. When a man's eye is single his whole body will be full
of light, and such light penetrates far and wide within and along the
whole horizon, and shows characters, affairs, and circumstances, for
what they really are. But no man's eye can be single unless he takes a
clear, unprejudiced view of his fellow men in all phases and varieties
of life. The very large number and variety of people who come steadily
for help to a physician or minister receive the greatest help when the
physician or minister understands the world entirely without prejudice.
A quiet understanding of human nature, and a brave, gentle manner of
dealing with others is one of the greatest blessings that can come to
any man.

It is absolutely impossible to rid ourselves of prejudice without at
the same time gaining freedom from self-love. If a man is favorably
prejudiced in a certain direction, it is because there is something in
the opposite direction which offends his selfishness. To gain freedom
from the prejudice he must see and acknowledge heartily the selfishness
in himself which is at its root. This is often a difficult thing to do,
for a prejudice may have come to us through the selfish egotism of some
far-away ancestor, and may have become rooted in our own personality
before we realized its true nature.

To be a man of the world one must be able to understand the world,--not
three or four corners of it, but the whole of it. This expansion of mind
and soul is possible to every man who will first understand himself, and
no man can understand himself who is blindly indulging his own
selfishness. Every day we are seeing people who are living and acting in
the grossest selfishness and they do not know it. Such people sometimes
frighten those who are observing them.

"If John Smith," I say to myself, "is the human beast that I see him to
be, and does not know it, perhaps I am unconsciously just as brutal as
John, and do not know it; and if I am, how can I find it out?"

We must have the habit of first casting the beam out of our own eye,
before we can be ready to help take the mote from our brother's eye; and
the only possible way to be sure of finding ourselves out, is to be
quietly, willingly, open to criticism; to take every criticism, not with
a desire to prove ourselves right, but with an earnest desire to find
out and act upon the truth. I do not mean necessarily to invite
criticism,--it will come fast enough without invitation,--but to welcome
it when it appears, and to try at once to see ourselves with the eyes
of our critics.

So simple and straightforward is the road to travel, when we sincerely
want to become true men of the world, that the expansion of heart and
mind resulting from a steady walking upon this road must seem impossible
to worldly men. And yet the narrowness of worldly men is in its essence
similar to the narrowness of the dwellers in a small, gossiping country
town. The worldly men have more superficial knowledge than the
inhabitants of the country town, but they do not necessarily have any
stronger grasp on the world-wide principles of human nature.
Worldliness is the love of ease and the pride of life upon a low plane
of commonplace existence, but a true knowledge of the world requires a
higher elevation.

The ascent of narrow paths and steep inclines leads to the mountain top;
thence the outlook is wide, and the heights and depths of the landscape
take their proper places in their true relation to each other. The
single-minded drudgery and toil which produces character leads also to
the wisdom of the seer. Only from the point of view of unselfish love
and truth can we get a well-balanced and extended view of the heights
and depths and commonplaces of the world.

We have seen that a man, to know the world, must know and understand its
individuals and types. We have seen that it is out of the question to
understand other individuals, so long as we are clogged by our own
selfishness or prejudice. We know that, to understand the point of view
of another person, we must be clear, open-minded, and well grounded in
true principles. We cannot understand another person's point of view
truly when we are swayed and blinded by its influence, so that it
sweeps us off our feet and takes possession of us in spite of ourselves.
We must have true standards to judge others by, and those must be
standards which we have tried and proved, over and over, for ourselves.

At once the most interesting and the most profitable character-study in
the world is the life of the one man whose life was consistently
faithful to a standard which was universally true and all His own, and
that standard He has given us for ours. Many of us fail in our
interpretation of it, but, if we work diligently to try it and to prove
it, and are openly willing and glad to acknowledge whenever we have
misinterpreted it, we shall be steadily enlightened as to its true
meaning.

The delight of applying the laws of science and of seeing them work, the
positive joy of watching the certain result of a well-managed scientific
experiment is known to many a chemist or electrician. But the joy of
testing the practical working of spiritual laws should be deeper, and
more quiet, and more expanding than all other delights; for the
spiritual law, if it exists at all, must underlie all material law.

Just as our problems in chemistry or in physics must fail over and over
before we have the quiet satisfaction of seeing them work, so must we go
through test after test before we can be firmly established in all the
laws of human relations.

The standard of character and life represented by the idea of the man of
the world has been dwarfed by a superficial notion of the meaning of
"the world." "The world" means many things to many men, and these
different meanings are of various degrees of truth and falsehood; but we
shall find that, generally speaking, they are more and more true in
proportion as the people who hold them are possessed of vigorous
character. In art and literature we know that the greatest truth and the
deepest beauty is that which appeals at all times to all men. It appeals
to the universal human heart and mind, and thus it is inconceivable that
the human race should ever tire of Shakespere, or Dante, or the Bible.
Such books, whatever personal opinions or beliefs we may attach to them,
are universally acceptable to all men, because they appeal to common
human experience and apply the principles of irresistible human logic.
They are the books of the world.

The world itself is an organism corresponding to that of the individual
man, and the particular individual whose heart and mind lives and thinks
most nearly in harmony with the best life and thought of the world is
its truest citizen. On the other hand, the individual whose motives and
interests in life are confined to the narrowest circle of experience
represents the extreme type of provincialism. The difference between
these two extremes is not a matter of long, varied, or conventional
experience, but of experience in those elements of human nature which
are at its root and not at its surface. The statesman, the capitalist,
the experienced traveller, although they may have intercourse with men
in large classes and masses, may be essentially petty in the foundations
of their character. These, then, are not men of the world in the true
sense; for, if they were, we should have to mean by "the world"
numerical or mechanical conceptions of men, purely intellectual
conceptions of their thoughts, or geographical ideas regarding the
inhabitants of the earth's surface. None of these things has any
universal quality, unless it is united to the power of human character
and passion, which carries weight with all men at all times and in all
places. The inhabitant of a country village may be, according to his
quality, either a man of the village or a man of the world. It depends
upon his breadth of mind, his largeness of heart, and the depth to which
his character will absorb the best results of his experience. Whatever
is purely local, without being rooted in a general human need,--whatever
is purely personal, without being founded on a universal human
principle,--whatever is purely sectarian or national, or pertaining to
a class or particular clique of persons, without being rooted in the
same general human interests and laws, must, to that extent, be petty,
provincial, trivial, and comparatively useless. Character is, and always
has been, the motive power of the world; and only through finding his
own development of character in the service of the world can the
individual man find his appointed place as its citizen. There is no law
higher than that which is human, in the sense that it is the only guide
to the growth of what is best in human life. This essential human
law,--which is so different from that which worldly self-interest has
organized for its own protection,--is that which man derives from the
Divine. It is the world as made and sustained by the heart and mind of
God of which man must be the citizen, and only as such is he truly "a
Man of the World."





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