"Tell me who you admire," said Sainte-Beuve, "and I will tell you what you are, at least as regards your talents, tastes and character." So you admire mean men? -- your own nature is mean. Do you admire rich men? - you are of the earth, earthy. Do you admire men of title? -- you are a toad-eater, or a tuft-hunter. Do you admire honest, brave and manly men? --you are yourself of an honest, brave and manly spirit.
It was a fine trait in the character of Prince Albert that he was always so ready to express generous admiration of the good deeds of others. "He had the greatest delight," says the ablest delineater of his character, "in anybody else saying a fine saying, or doing a great deed. He would rejoice over it, and talk about it for days, and whether it was a thing nobly said or done by a little child, or by a veteran statesman, it gave him equal pleasure. He delighted in humanity doing well on any occasion and in any manner."
The picture of the older sibling attending to the younger, is a re-occurring sight. I suppose it gets to my heart as quick as anything. So many children, out of necessity, willingly give up their childhood. And in my culture there are many parents who are unwilling to do the same.
If you want an account of the above quote displayed, go to Joseph's blog and see his account of the hard-working poor where he lives in India; where brave and manly character is displayed year in and year out.
Samuel Smiles, Happy Homes and the Hearts That Make Them. - Photo by Darrin and Dana James.