The Map of Life, Conduct, and Character

By William Edward Hartpole Lecky | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI

THE tendency to regard morals rather in their positive than their negative aspects, and to estimate men by the good they do in the world, is a healthy element in modern life. A strong sense of the obligation of a full, active, and useful life is the best safeguard both of individual and national morals at a time when the dissolution or enfeeblement of theological beliefs is disturbing the foundations on which most current moral teaching has been based. In the field of morals action holds a much larger place than reasoning--a larger place even in elucidating our difficulties and illuminating the path on which we should go. It is by the active pursuit of an immediate duty that the vista of future duties becomes most clear, and those who are most immersed in active duties are usually little troubled with the perplexities of life, or with minute and paralysing scruples. A public opinion which discourages idleness and places high the standard of public duty is especially valuable in an age when the tendency to value wealth, and to measure dignity by wealth, has greatly increased, and when wealth in some of its most important forms has become wholly dissociated from special duties. The duties of the landlord who is surrounded by a poor and in some measure dependent tenantry, the duties of the head of a great factory or shop who has a large number of workmen or dependents in his employment, are suffi-

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The Map of Life, Conduct, and Character
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 7
  • Chapter III 19
  • Chapter IV 30
  • Chapter V 44
  • Chapter VI 62
  • Chapter VII 76
  • Chapter VIII 88
  • Chapter IX 108
  • Chapter X 136
  • Chapter XI 198
  • Chapter XIII Money 268
  • Chapter XIV Marriage 300
  • Chapter XV Success 316
  • Chapter XVI 328
  • Chapter XVII `The End' 343
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