Miscellaneous Writings (1883-1896) by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 137


   What has an individual gained by losing his own
self-respect?  or what has he lost when, retaining his own,
he loses the homage of fools, or the pretentious praise of
hypocrites, false to themselves as to others?
   Shakespeare, the immortal lexicographer of mortals,
writes: -

         To thine own self be true,
       And it must follow, as the night the day,
       Thou canst not then be false to any man.

   When Aristotle was asked what a person could gain
by uttering a falsehood, he replied, "Not to be credited
when he shall tell the truth."
   The character of a liar and hypocrite is so contemptible,
that even of those who have lost their honor it might
be expected that from the violation of truth they should
be restrained by their pride.
   Perfidy of an inferior quality, such as manages to evade
the law, and which dignified natures cannot stoop to
notice, except legally, disgraces human nature more than
do most vices.
   Slander is a midnight robber; the red-tongued assassin
of radical worth; the conservative swindler, who

MISC 227

sells himself in a traffic by which he can gain nothing.
It can retire for forgiveness to no fraternity where its
crime may stand in the place of a virtue; but must at
length be given up to the hisses of the multitude, without
friend and without apologist.
   Law has found it necessary to offer to the innocent,
security from slanderers - those pests of society - when
their crime comes within its jurisdiction.  Thus, to evade
the penalty of law, and yet with malice aforethought to
extend their evil intent, is the nice distinction by which
they endeavor to get their weighty stuff into the hands
of gossip!  Some uncharitable one may give it a forward
move, and, ere that one himself become aware, find
himself responsible for kind (?) endeavors.
   Would that my pen or pity could raise these weak,
pitifully poor objects from their choice of self-degradation
to the nobler purposes and wider aims of a life made
honest:  a life in which the fresh flowers of feeling blossom,
and, like the camomile, the more trampled upon,
the sweeter the odor they send forth to benefit mankind;
a life wherein calm, self-respected thoughts abide in
tabernacles of their own, dwelling upon a holy hill, speaking
the truth in the heart; a life wherein the mind can
rest in green pastures, beside the still waters, on isles
of sweet refreshment.  The sublime summary of an
honest life satisfies the mind craving a higher good, and
bathes it in the cool waters of peace on earth; till it
grows into the full stature of wisdom, reckoning its
own by the amount of happiness it has bestowed upon
   Not to avenge one's self upon one's enemies, is the
command of almighty wisdom; and we take this to be

MISC 228

a safer guide than the promptings of human nature.
To know that a deception dark as it is base has been
practised upon thee, - by those deemed at least indebted
friends whose welfare thou hast promoted, - and yet
not to avenge thyself, is to do good to thyself; is to take
a new standpoint whence to look upward; is to be calm
amid excitement, just amid lawlessness, and pure amid
   To be a great man or woman, to have a name whose
odor fills the world with its fragrance, is to bear with
patience the buffetings of envy or malice - even while
seeking to raise those barren natures to a capacity for a

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