A Side-View of Optimism

“ Like enough,” said Sancho, “ but, for all that, I had a side view of it and saw it all.”

“ Take heed, Sancho,” said the duchess, “ for one cannot see the whole of anything by a side view.”

WHEN Voltaire with malicious intent brought the word “ optimism ” out from the recesses of a learned Jesuit magazine and started it derisively on a popular career, he scarcely foresaw the destiny lying in wait for it. Since its appearance as sub-title of the successful novel, Candide, ou l’Optimisme, it has never ceased extending its circle of patrons, until now, in the English-speaking world at least, it has really become a “ household word,” familiarly employed by the learned and unlearned alike, and to be found almost anywhere, from a metaphysical treatise or presidential message to a trade advertisement. Meanwhile, the originally intended derision has been dying away, so that, were Voltaire to visit the present English-speaking world, the loud and incessant praises of “ optimism ” in the newspapers and elsewhere might frighten him into the idea that he had landed in a nation of Dr. Panglosses. However, after some further study of the facts, he would certainly suspect, to his relief, that the meaning of ” optimism ” had radically changed, and that what was now being preached differed widely from the irrational doctrine he had tried to laugh to death a century and a half ago.

Many signs would suggest this to him. For instance, he would hear “ optimism ” advocated with equal enthusiasm by all sorts and conditions of minds, — by atheists and divines, scientists and astrologers, hatters and poets, reformers and anti-reformers. Now, to him “ optimism” signified, quite definitely, an intellectual creed or theory; what he attacked in Candide was something based on a logical “ trilemma ” the Leibnitzean metaphysic; the whole matter moved in his day in a rare atmosphere of “ First Principles ” and syllogisms. This very diverse company of modern preachers, however, could not be supposed to agree in the “ metaphysico-théologo-cosmolonigologie ” of Dr. Pangloss; they could not all, he must think, accept any one intellectual theory of existence. Their unanimity, therefore, must have some other ground. There is reason to think that he might say to himself after a while: “ They are not maintaining a theory at all, but something like a practical rule of conduct. It seems to be a good enough rule, though very slenderly connected with ‘ optimism,’ properly so-called.”

All these various advocates, he would observe, were preaching “ looking on the bright side,” cultivating “ the happy habit,” “ keeping smiling,” and not much else. He would find such a leader of social thought as President Eliot urging the public “ to be sure to live on the sunny side,” “ to be sure to see the good side of any event which has two sides,” and interpreting the latter proviso thus broadly. “ When a tiger springs on an antelope, we say, ‘ Poor little antelope! ’ We forget to say, ‘ Happy tiger!’ ” — an illustration not unacceptable, it may be presumed, to Tammany Hall. Elsewhere he would come across such expressions as “ honey exchanges,” and “ optimistic lubricant,” and might chance on such a paragraph as the following, in his morning paper: —

“ It was Optimist Sunday, and the philosophy of making the best of, and seeing the best in, everything was expounded by ministers of all creeds and denominations from a hundred pulpits, in Newark, its environs, and the Oranges. The sermons were by members of the ‘ Optimist Club of New Jersey,’ the newly incorporated ‘ smile ’ organization, which has been taken so seriously that the most prominent business, professional, religious, and financial men in the state have joined in the movement to drive pessimism from business and society.”

Possibly he might be so fortunate as to receive, in a rose-colored envelope, the prospectus of the larger organization called the “ Optimist Club of America,” which has President Roosevelt and the governors of all the states among its members, and whose purpose is, as he would learn from the prospectus, “ to cause optimism to be a concrete reality; to make people think, act, feel, and talk optimism to themselves and their neighbors; to induce good men to stand together, and smile, and have full confidence in themselves, their country, and their destiny.” Of a similar body, the “ National Prosperity League,” news might also come to him. He would certainly enjoy reading about a meeting of that league last summer in New York City, where, while it was proclaiming that all was for the best in the best of all possible financial worlds, the unemployed marched on its hall of assembly with cries of “ Show us! ” In the numerous optimist magazines, which pour from the press with such an air of spontaneity that one might suppose them to be inspired by the Zeitgeist itself, he could not fail to light upon many roseate advertisements of a distinctly concrete nature: — “ Treatments for Health, Happiness, and Success,” “ Personal Success — Power absolutely guaranteed,” and so on. In short, he could not long question the establishment of “ optimism ” nowadays as a “ concrete reality,” sharply distinguished from any mere intellectual speculation ; and his old object of attack must appear as scarcely even a side-issue in the ardors of the modern campaign.

This view of things might satisfy him, for a time at least, as to the unanimity of the various leaders of the campaign. For everybody, of course, whatever his intellectual standpoint, recognizes the practical value of hopefulness, confidence, and the “ merry heart ” that “ goes all the day.” Voltaire himself, though he did write Candide, and had no mercy on speculative optimism, took extreme pains to cultivate smiling, cheerfulness, etc. Though he did not utilize the “ preestablished harmony ” as a means to his end, he was very careful about the humbler matters of diet, fresh air, and exercise. In his art of living, he gave an almost indelicate prominence to the maxim: “Bien digérer et se tenir le ventre fibre.” Our noted “physiologic optimist,” for whom “happiness is health,” and health “ a question entirely of the correct treatment of food in the mouth,” has gone no farther in this direction; though, it must be owned, Voltaire would not follow Mr. Horace Fletcher in saying that “ the final, most condemning accusation against pessimism is that even the slightest touch or shadow of it retards digestion.”

The word “ pessimism ” was not invented till after Voltaire’s time; he called it “ Manicheism; ” but he would not have admitted a question of hygiene as “ the final, most condemning accusation ” against it. Here again, however, a difference of meaning has come in, for pessimism is at present almost entirely as practical a matter as is optimism.

Voltaire was not blind to the fact that the holding of this or that intellectual view of existence may possibly result in some concrete modifications of character or conduct. He declared somewhere, for instance, that “ optimism ” produced inertia. For all that, and although he brought the discussion down from the astral plane of Leibnitz’s “ monads ” to the level of human life, and even threw it into the form of a novel, he made scarcely any attempt to depict any such character-reflections in his dramatis personœ. During most of the tale he battered them with such a rapid succession of overwhelming disasters that they had little chance to do more than gasp; but even in modes of gasping there are nuances, which, if his purpose had lain that way, he might have turned to revelatory account. His optimist. Pangloss, is not more “ inert ” than Martin, his Manichean, and of “ grit ” he shows at least as much as any of his companions. After Pangloss has lost an eye and an ear, been flogged, hung, and enslaved, he still maintains that his troubles are not “ odious blots,” but “ the shadings of a beautiful picture,” and that “ since all partial evil is universal good, the more there is of the former, the more there must be of the latter.” The personages of this drama, however, are hardly more than markers, as it were, in a disquisition of dry reason, resembling those apples and eggs which are sometimes introduced into algebraic problems, to refresh the young, instead of x and y.

In the particular circumstances of this case, the omission of the character-reflections affords a vivid enough illustration of the difference between Voltaire’s use of “ optimism ” and our own. If we may imagine him deciding to rewrite Candide during his visit, and to bring it up to date according to our Englishspeaking notions, he would probably devote most of his space in the new version to the character element he so signally neglected before, while the theoretical interest, which previously absorbed him, might be almost left out. His personages, instead of being passively mammocked, and tossed to and fro like dummies, would now, it may be presumed, be endued with plenty of initiative; and since Voltaire would certainly sympathize with an exponent of cheerfulness and smiling, Pangloss, if his optimism were limited to those functions, might conceivably be exalted from a sorry butt into an admirable hero; and in short, the whole tendency of the work be diametrically reversed.

And yet, on reflection, the occurrence of this reversal is by no means certain. It cannot be overlooked that Voltaire’s younger compatriots, the Frenchmen of to-day, though quite as fond of cheerfulness as he was, and though more successful in attaining it, perhaps, than the English-speaking world, with its “ spleen ” or “ nervous prostration,” — and though understanding the term in that practical extension of it familiar to ourselves, — are nevertheless, as a rule, hostile critics of the modern concrete optimism. A French comedy, L’Optimiste, traces the optimistcharacter, just as Voltaire might supposedly do in a fresh version of Candide; but the portrait of the chief figure is far from flattering. M. de Plinville exemplifies, as has been said, “ those moments when, satisfied with all, seeing everything in a favorable light, excluding all memory and all foresight, men deceive themselves and those about them equally as to the present and the future.” That is not a bitter censure, to be sure; but, more recently, intelligent Frenchmen of goodwill have used very much stronger language about concrete optimism. Renan, for instance, who personally practiced a smiling serenity to be envied by the most adept Christian Scientist, “ involuntarily suspected any professor of optimism of some smallness of mind or meanness of heart.” Brunetière inveighs angrily against the “ sordidness,” “ pettiness,” and “ meanness ” of the thing. Emile de Girardin thinks, “The dissolute man is the typical optimist.” Another writer alludes, as a matter of course, to the “ depraved hearts ” of optimists.

Now, when one recalls the glorifications of optimism by an Emerson or a Browning, it is clear that they and the French moralists are not speaking about one and the same thing. Yet neither are the latter using the word in Voltaire’s sense. They are certainly talking about a practical enough issue, about character-reflections, — with their “ dissolute man ” and “ depraved hearts. ” The truth is, our modern optimism, all practical and concrete though it be, is none the less arrantly ambiguous, and under a smiling surface masks a deep division.

The existence of this twofold reference is so obvious that it is sometimes overlooked, perhaps for that very reason. Perhaps, too, the change from the word’s original meaning is not sufficiently realized. As a theory, optimism has, indeed, only one meaning; not so, however, as a practical issue. To what different characters, for instance, do we ascribe “ optimism ” as a dominant quality! To Micawber, substituting hope for work and always waiting for something to “ turn up;” and to the energetic Mark Tapley, quixotically welcoming troubles as opportunities of “ coming out strong; ” to Falstaff, whose philosophy (as read by Goldsmith) was that “ by struggling against misfortune we are sure to receive some wounds in the conflict, but a sure method to come off victorious is by running away;” and to the Rabbi Ben Ezra with his

Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns Earth’s smoothness rough,
Be our joy three-parts pain !

and again to the “ orator of the human race ” in the French Revolution, Anacharsis Cloots, who being accosted as he came out of a great banquet, by a starving beggar, with the cry, “ I am hungry,” replied, “ And I have eaten too much; things are balanced.” The trait has also been ascribed to the Levite who preserved his serenity of soul by “ passing by on the other side; ” and some might see just as much reason for imputing it to the Samaritan, who went trustfully to succor the wounded stranger.

“ Optimism ” is preached nowadays, not argued about. Theories are discussed, and rules of conduct are inculcated. But inculcation is more dangerous than discussion, where an ambiguity exists. Our preachers of “ living on the sunny side ” may wish to inculcate either this rule of conduct, — that the best way to be happy is by facing and fighting the troubles of life; or this rule, — that we must try our best to evade and close our eyes to those troubles. The confusion between two such contrary principles is facilitated, no doubt, by the circumstance that everybody, very legitimately, practices both rules every day.

Mrs. Croaker: But don’t you think that laughing off our fears is the best way ?

Honeywood: Which is the best, madam, very few can say; but I’ll maintain it to be a very wise way.

Croaker: But we’re talking of the best! Surely, the best way is to face the enemy in the field.

Honeywood: Why, sir, as to the best, that — that is a very wise way, too.”

The opposed rules can come into debate only when adopted as general principles. The optimism of Emerson and Browning, and that of the French moralists, repeat the antithesis; and which side Voltaire would select for Pangloss in his new version must remain uncertain, though it seems probable that he would see the question through the eyes of his compatriots.

It may perhaps be said, as if it were scarcely worth mentioning, that the optimism so enthusiastically advocated in our English-speaking world is, of course, of the first, the Emersonian, Browningesque, or fighting kind. Yet the fact stares us in the face that the second, the evasive, type is more openly adopted among us to-day than ever, perhaps, since antiquity — at least by any considerable body of citizens. Hitherto, in the modern world, only a few eccentric individuals, like Anacharsis Cloots, have ventured to be frank about it, and the novel spectacle of a reputable bourgeois association, like that of the Christian Scientists, publicly avowing and maintaining the evasive way with honest pride might excite a suspicion that the times must be more in accord with such a tendency than they used to be.

It is unnecessary to dwell on the queer, piratical assumption by this sect of the prestige and authority of the Man of Sorrows as authority for its rule of indifference to the sorrows of the world, but, it may be worth while to consider for a moment the appearance of a metaphysical sanction or foundation of that rule, which is set up in its “book of books,” The evasive rule is there indeed decked out in the whole panoply of the “metaphysico-théologo-cosmolonigologie” of Dr. Pangloss, and yet, at bottom, it remains true enough to the plain characteristic practicality of our modern optimism. All this enigmatic pomp of speculation reduces itself, on inspection, to a simple enough circumstance. When a child hurts itself, we say: “Never mind! Take no notice of it! It does n’t really hurt,” — hoping the soreness may disappear if not thought about. We enjoin on the little victim, that is to say, the adoption of the evasive rule; and we reinforce the advice, to help it in “taking no notice,” by the assertion, “The pain does n’t really exist.” These two sentences comprise the natural history of this interesting metaphysical doctrine.

Starting from a few “cures,” effected by the principle of “taking no notice,” the sect has advanced to the courageous conception of a “cure-all,” or panacea, along similar lines. The nursery formula has accordingly been generalized into this guise: “Never mind! Take no notice of any pain or evil! No pain or evil really exists,” But the blunt public pays little heed to the metaphysical web spun about the last limb of this injunction. It looks through the cocoon to the nursery spell, and perceiving that expanded to vast proportions, murmurs, “It’s ridiculous, of course, but what an effect it has in diverting their thoughts!”

In the comedy of L’Amour Médecin, Molière tells about a girl locked up by her father, and how her sweetheart disguises himself as a doctor to get through “the locks and bars.” The youth gives himself out, on being introduced into the household, as a “mental healer:” — “since the mind,” says he, “has a great empire over the body, and diseases often have their origin in it, my practice always is to begin by curing the mind.” He diagnoses the girl’s condition, with her father’s leave, and discovers, sure enough, that “all her sickness comes from a disordered fancy, that is, from a silly craving she has for the state of wedlock.” He accordingly proposes to the father this drastic, deceptive treatment: “ Since we must always humor the imaginations and whims of an invalid, and since I perceived immediately that any delay would be extremely dangerous, I ventured to win control of her by means of her little foible, and told her in so many words that I had come for no other purpose than to ask you for her hand in marriage. Immediately, her face changed; her eyes lit up; her color revived; and, if you ’ll consent to keep the deception up for a day or two, I’ll promise you we’ll bring her round!”

Had Clitandre’s pretense in this case been a pretense, instead of a naked truth, his curative proposition of marriage might have been compared to the “No pain or evil exists” of Christian Science.

It is tempting to dwell on this contemporary illustration of evasive optimism, not only because of its admirable frankness, but because of the novel facilities it offers, or rather has called general attention to, for the successful pursuance of the rule. The Earl of Pembroke, who ordered his wife always to be at home by 10 P. M., used to set the clock back, when she disobeyed, to keep up appearances. This was a very crude stroke of auto-suggestion; and usually in the past the difficulty of following out the evasive rule on a general scale has been keenly felt. People have said half-heartedly to themselves that “facts are facts,” and could not be blinked in the long run, that is, with any degree of comfort to the defendant. Nowadays, however, we are told that facts are not facts, but thoughts; we are reminded that “there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so,” — a quotation which figures in many expressions of opinion of contemporary optimism, among others, on the title-page of Science and Health; that each of us constructs his own world and may construct it so as best to please himself; and to a mind so prepared the science of “suggestion” is applied.

“Suggestion” is as old an art as the “Let’s pretend” of children at play, but it has recently acquired freshness through being employed, not at haphazard, artlessly, anyhow, but systematically, scientifically, even coöperatively. Now we may hire professional “suggesters,” trained to the practice, to aid us in following the evasive rule; moreover, they will teach us to do it for ourselves. The psychologists have formulated a “law” of the process: “Every idea tends to affirm and realize itself, if it is not prevented by an equal tendency of another contrary idea;” which law is closely followed in the instructions to “healers” in Science and Health. It is undeniable that Christian Science has in several respects kept well abreast, if not ahead, of the times. The “healers” are instructed to divert the patient’s whole attention to the “bright side,” and in every way to suppress the “contrary idea” of disease, or the “dark side.” And so successful has the sect been in carrying out this law, that, by general admission, the entire medical profession has been induced to follow its lead. It seems, moreover, that the Christian Science Church may always retain an advantage over the isolated practitioner, inasmuch as it can apply the process of “suggestion” in the most powerful form, that is, the coöperative. Large congregations assembling eyery week and declaring jointly in prayer and song, that “no pain or evil exists” must create a panic reassurance on the point, as influential, probably, as is panic fear.

So widespread and prosperous an organization as this church, with its handsome temples and zealous members, all so ready to testify to the benefits of its central practice of evasion, has undoubtedly made a profound impression on the world at large. This striking instance of the evasive rule being frankly, systematically, and successfully practiced by so many prosperous members of society has permeated the minds of even the least educated. And yet, were the church merely a source diffusing an alien sentiment into the community, it would be, whatever its members, a more or less negligible factor. Its main significance comes from the possibility that its influence upon the public mind may be, after all, trifling compared with the influence of the public mind upon it; that its pursuance of the second rule of optimism may be but a symptom of a general mood, which it doubtless reinforces by reaction, but of which it is, at bottom, not the cause, but an effect. How, indeed, should it have risen so swiftly to success in any but a favorable atmosphere ? The admission of this possibility would suggest, of course, that the evasive kind of optimism, which the French regard as the only kind, and which they denounce as sordid, mean, and depraved, is not by any means exceptional, but, on the contrary, pretty general among us. It would not follow, however, from an acceptance of this view, that the validity of the French epithets must be conceded.

The practical results and character-reflections of evasive optimism are, of course, considerably mingled. To speak as if meanness and depravity summed them up is absurd. Smiling serenity, cheerfulness, confidence, are invaluable qualities. A hostile critic of Christian Science, Mark Twain, asserts that its practices may deliver humanity of fourfifths of its ills. There is a good deal of truth in the saying, often repeated by contemporary optimists, that the best way to make those about us happy is to make ourselves happy. And then, in a workaday, buying, and selling world, the material usefulness of a beaming countenance, a glad hand, an inwardly secure poise cannot be overrated. These “ minor morals” are indubitably “money-getters,” to say no more. Of course, the practice of the evasive rule makes for egotism. It begins, usually, with care for the individual’s health, and when that is established, goes on to protect him from mentally sympathizing with — which, after all, means “suffering with,” so often superfluously! — the troubles of others. But in these times “egotism ” is no longer a word of awe. Many can draw a wide enough distinction between egotism and depravity. In a whole clever school of modern thought it is rather altruism which pairs off with the latter. In order to rise toward the ideal of ultimate humanity, dreamed of by Nietzsche, Stirner, and others, the first requisite is to avoid sympathy, — to “be hard.” Only so is the “Superman” to be attained. Were Nietzsche asked which of our con-, temporary creeds was the most ideally beneficent, it is quite likely that he would name Christian Science. Not only does it carry out the maxim, “ Be hard,” but by insisting on facts being merely thoughts, and on nothing being either good or bad except as we choose to esteem it so, it sets the individual’s feet upon the path which leads him “jenseits des Guten und Bösen.” It still halts, no doubt, in alien traditions and compromises; but, as Emerson says, “ We must look at tendencies.”

This ethical attitude, with its varied consequences, advantageous or the reverse according to one’s point of view, is not altogether lacking, it would seem, in encouragement from our contemporary environment. It would not be difficult to adduce many sympathetic manifestations from focuses of thought independent of Christian Science. In the various publications of “ joy philosophy,” “ new thought,” “new mysticism,” quaint medical lore, “arrivisme,” occultism, and every sort of “nigologie,” now showered upon us, references to an optimism closely allied to that just discussed are common enough. A recent English writer, after studying this abundant literature here and in Great Britain, reports that the thinker of this type “seeks by willpower, self-suggestion, etc., to construct his own universe, and to attain union with the divine principle of his life, — with an indwelling, not a transcendent, God, located not infrequently in his ‘solar plexus.’ He seeks this union, as a rule, from strictly utilitarian motives, connected with his physical health, comfort, or success.”

It may be of interest to set beside this fresh report some notes of Emerson’s about the Present Age of fifty or sixty years ago. “A leading trait,” he wrote, “is the growing consciousness of the individual of his access to the universal mind. This tends to degrade and weaken all relations. Superficially, it shows itself in analysis and detachment. Ours is the age of the First Person Singular, and of freedom and the casting off of all ties. . . . At first, we run to excess, separate utilities from the labor they should represent, appropriate and monopolize them. The end to be rich infects the whole world, and shoves by the Church and the State. Government and education are only for the protection of Property, and Religion even is a lever out of the spiritual world to work for this.” The words might have been written to-morrow. The First Person Singular manifests itself nowadays in a continual laudation of selfhood, rising sometimes to grave discussions as to whether we are not, in fact, “gods together.” The corollary of self-deification, that each man is a law unto himself, is not seldom drawn, and Schopenhauer’s condemnation of the “immorality” of pantheistic optimism then finds its justification. Never is the word “sin” employed in this literature; “mistake” takes its place; and the errant is adjured to forget his “mistakes” as quickly as possible, in defiance of the oldfashioned lines: —

He who lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend ;
Eternity mourns that.

And all through the utterances of these independent new thinkers the use of “suggestion” for keeping the “bright side” uppermost is prescribed in a measure fully equaling that of Christian Science. Sometimes, indeed, the application of this process, dissociated from the religious trappings of that sect, takes on a very irresponsible air. A writer in a New York newspaper, commenting the other day on the large sales of books about “psychic treatment,” “religion and medicine,” “mental healing,” and the like, remarked, —

“ It is probable that the great success of Christian Science is largely responsible for this. The idea that the mind has a great power over matter has penetrated the brain of every one, and in a number of cases I have noted, the first effect is, I am sorry to say, to make the persons deliberate liars,”

The most scrupulous, however, permit some lying in a sick-room, and did not Jeremy Taylor say that “all the world is a hospital” ?

Nevertheless, it may surprise some to find the altruists, the opponents of Nietzschean ideals, and the clergymen of the old-fashioned churches, joining so strenuously, as many of them do, in preaching optimism and “living on the sunny side,” amid existing circumstances. The prevalent ambiguity concerning the two rules seems to endanger the advice. In the light of which rule is the “man in the street” likely to interpret it? This advocacy has been explained as a reaction against the old-time gloomy Calvinist style of religiosity. In mitigation of that, a plea for a livelier hue were explicable enough. While the religion of the preachers was not only as bare, but also as fast as a rock, it might evidently be permitted them to train vines over it. But, supposing their religion to be no longer so very hard and fast, would vines serve to tether it ? We hear of the old-fashioned churches having “lost their hold,” and of people aspiring to no heaven but one “here and now,” and fearing no hell but that “of not getting on.” And then, in real fact, how much Calvinist background exists to-day to be reacted on ? He would have to be an old man who could now write about his youth, as Emerson wrote about his: —

“Calvinism was still robust and effective upon life and character in all the people who surrounded my childhood. They were a high tragic school, and found much of their own belief in the grander traits of the Greek mythology, Nemesis, the Fates and Eumenides.”

Would Emerson himself speak in the following strain at present ?

“Least of all do we need any checks or measures: as if New England were anything else!” “I will and I can,” is a common saying of our modern optimists, — a formula which differs, perhaps typically, from, —

When duty whispers low, “ Thou must,”
The youth replies, “ I can.”

In any case, it would almost seem to be superfluous for altruists and the like to preach the “bright side” in commercial communities, such as make up the English-speaking world, seeing that commerce itself always takes good care to divert attention that way. Our new “Optimist Clubs” serve to illustrate the fact, but it may be seen throughout history. The typical English school of moralists, for instance, the “Utilitarian,” which has faithfully reflected the commercial expansion of the “ nation of shopkeepers,” has always been markedly optimist. It has sometimes given an even rampant expression to that way of thinking, as when Hartley declared that “all individuals are actually and always infinitely happy,” or Tucker, that “our whole amount of suffering may be equal to a minute of pain once in twenty years,” or Adam Smith, that the happy outnumber the unhappy by, precisely, “twenty to one.”

The commercial life, indeed, both encourages and needs the optimist spirit. Its rewards are not ideal nor vague, but tangible and well within the reach of human effort, and they are accessible to the hopes, at least, of all classes. Moreover, one’s advance in it may be vastly accelerated at any moment by some lucky or skillful stroke. And, on the other hand, a sanguine, confident mood is peculiarly needed for the enterprises and speculations by which alone commerce can be sustained and expanded. In the most thoroughly and intensely commercialized community that

has ever existed, a sufficient concentration of thought on the “ bright side” will certainly be effected by the mere facts of the case ; and if the forces of altruism and old-fashioned religion have any quarrels to prosecute with the spirit of trade, they may, it seems, feel themselves free to carry on those quarrels à l’outrance without weakening their opposition by any alliance in respect of “optimism.”