not with their eyes, but with their prejudices.
Any one familiar with courts will testify how rare it is for an honest man to give a perfectly correct account of a transaction.
We are tempted to see facts as we think they ought to be, or wish they were.
And yet journals are the favorite original sources of history.
Tremble, my good friend, if your six-penny neighbor keeps a journal.
“It adds a new terror to death.”
You shall go down to your children not in your fair lineaments and proportions, but with the smirks, elbows, and angles he sees you with.
Journals are excellent to record the depth of the last snow and the date when the Mayflower
opens; but when you come to men's motives and characters, journals are the magnets that get near the chronometer of history and make all its records worthless.
You can count on the fingers of your two hands all the robust minds that ever kept journals.
Only milksops and fribbles indulge in that amusement, except now and then a respectable mediocrity.
One such journal nightmares New England
annals, emptied into history by respectable middle-aged gentlemen who fancy that narrowness and spleen, like poor wine, mellow into truth when they get to be a century old. But you might as well cite the Daily Advertiser
of 1850 as authority on one of Garrison
And, after all, of what value are these minutiae?
Whether Luther's zeal was partly kindled by lack of gain from the sale of indulgences, whether Boston
rebels were half smugglers and half patriots, what matters it now?
Enough that he meant to wrench the gag from Europe
's lips, and that they were content to suffer keenly, that we might have an untrammelled career.
We can only hope to discover the great currents and massive forces which have shaped our lives; all else is trying to solve a problem of whose elements we know