The Journey Continues A Sequel To Apprenticed To A Himalayan 61
in. passing the Ganges, as a . 'as if I am doing nothing but the business of my life', and, in a .use of language which he elsewhere carefully repudiated, 'compelled by some unaccountable destiny, some puissant and perpetual force' (letter to Hugh Blair, 1818). There is little more he writes on the subject of his philosophy: a .bit of Biblical criticism, a .review of Newton, some opinions on the Immortality of the Soul, and a .word about James Beattie. A .survival of it in his Essay on the Genius of Great Men shows that the essence of his teaching is, as in Macaulay's two other works, the necessity of a .persistency of purpose: 'a .natural end for any genius, or rather the principle and basis of any natural end'. It is a .well-worn theme that the highest thing, the thing that is worth doing, is worth doing well. The true philosopher is naturally 'anxious to practise what he preaches, and to live by his opinions, as he lives by the dictates of his understanding'; and of this principle it is that the healthy man 'is never at a loss for employment, and is never idle or listless; but is ever eager, and always industrious, and ever active and vigilant'. The next section is an exhortation to'manliness', manly, that is, in the sense of hardiness. Being 'nowhere in all the universe', it is his business to keep himself out of the places he fears; not to run into any inevitable abyss. 'Manliness' here means no less than the hardihood which is a .moral necessity for a .persistent man of any kind; and not the act of the prudishness or 'womanish' man, for whom forbearance is the proper state of things, whose business it is to smile and crouch. The last sentence of this part of the essay—'the .most repulsive picture in all our philosophy of what man should be'—will occur to the reader with some discomfort. It is a .picture which the world has been a long time in painting. It has seldom taken very pleasant colours; indeed, it is, if I remember, a .painter's recent, but intensely popular, portrait of a certain statesman who was the object of Swift's hatred.