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tumble to the bottom of the hill that you are
diligently mounting with no help but your
own staff, of course you will not sit lamenting
at the bottom, but let me advise you not again
to work your way up in proud silence. You
may get on faster, but, believe me, the
climbing is much pleasanter when cheerful
talk beguiles the way, when you are ready to
let any fellow-traveller hold out a hand to
help your efforts where the hill is steep,
and not less ready to stand still and lend
a pull yourself when it is wanted. You
may get on faster with your iron pole, but
it is my theory that you would get on
better if you went in company with flesh,
and blood, and bone. Your distrust may be
very practical, my worldly doctrine may be
very theoretical, but I abide by the belief
that there are more hands in the world ready
to help a man than fists ready to knock him

Now, my dear cousin, if my theory be
worth a farthing, can you tell me why there
should be any need for all the trouble that
we take about what are called, very properly,
appearances? If the appearance correspond
to the reality, there will be no need to see
about its manufacture. It would be waste
study, indeed, to take thought of what we
should do to make a globe seem to be round.
If the appearance be at variance with truth,
we make it to our hurt and damage; always
to the damage of our comfort, often to the
damage of our worldly prospects which, in
such cases, can be looked after in no thoroughly
straightforward way. You practical men
think much about appearances, and may
get profit out of them: to me, as a
theoretical man, they would be fatal. It is not
the lark's wish or interest to seem to be a

I know that a great deal of the struggle
for appearancesas, for example, the desire
to live behind the largest possible brick
frontage, though one must rob a lodger to
obtain the means of doing socomes oftener
of weakness than dishonesty. I know, also,
that any man who is disposed to carry out
my theories, will find it, seen even from its
own point of view, the most complete mistake.
The world does not respect people for seeming
what they are notit generally finds out
sooner or later what they are. On the
contrary, let any one of my sect of theorists defy
comment by showing himself undisguisedly
for what he is, and the poor cowards of
appearance-makers will be the first to respect
him for his courage, and to wish that they
could be as bold themselves. He may go
about with a true seeming of poverty, but he
will find it less despised than the false seeming
of wealth. A man who desires friends and
neighbours in their intercourse with him as a
matter of courtesy to take for granted that
he is what he is not, pitches a false key, strains
the voices of his companions, and converts
good-nature itself into a daily system of pretences.
He throws his whole social position just so
much out of joint as to create petty discomfort
everywhere, and beget petty distrusts.
Nor was this allas most people knowsheer
nonsense. Nobody worth listening to will
tell you that he regards his friends in any
proportion whatever to the amount of brickwork
and upholstery surrounding them.
When I was first married to Matilda Jane
I could have said, "My income makes it
proper that I should assume a certain social

But there were the brewery debts. Very
well. I made no secret of them, attempted
no seemings, lived on a little, and maintained
really a better and sounder social status among
the very same friends that I should have had
dancing quadrilles, if I had thought that
necessary, in a drawing-room. Between five
and nine years ago my first three children,
Matilda Maria, Phineas Ernest, and Victoria
Regia, though I had then (but for the
brewery) an ample income, went without
nursemaids in their infancy. To save their
mother's arms, I carried them about
constantly myself under a fire of eyes from
London neighbours. It was an honest thing
to do, and so I did not mind the look of it.
Now the conventional principle in my neighbours
and those people whom I met caused
them at first to reflect that "it looked so to
see a gentleman carrying a child in long-
clothes down a public street." Deeper than
the conventions lay another feeling, which
suggested that it was no very bad or queer
thing after all to see an infant in its father's
arms; and that the public, which is made up
wholly of fathers, mothers, and children, had
no reason to be scandalized. It was not. On
the contrary, I found new friendships made
the faster, and old friendships made the firmer
for all such proofs of resolute adherence to
my worldly theories. Paulina Matilda, our
last child, lies now in the arms of a nursemaid,
born to a house deficient in no reasonable

Are you now able to understand how it
is that the world, my dear Claypaw, treats
me as a friend, and why it is of no use for
you to look round at my elbows? You may
predict my ruin as a theorist; nevertheless
my coat will remain whole, I think. Let us
shake hands, therefore, more warmly the next
time we meet.