10-Apr-08 (Created: 10-Apr-08) | More in 'Humanities Current'

you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit .. George Eliot

But, my good friend, what will you do then with your fellow parishioner who opposes your husband in the vestry? With your newly appointed vicar, whose style of preaching you find painfully below that of his regretted predecessor? With the honest servant who worries your soul with her one failing? With your neighbour, Mrs. Green, who was really kind to you in your last illness, but has said several ill?natured things about you since your convalescence?

Nay, with your excellent husband himself, who has other irritating habits besides that of not wiping his shoes? These fellow?mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are: you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit, or rectify their dispositions; and it is these people - amongst whom your life is passed - that it is needful you should tolerate, pity, and love: it is these more or less ugly, stupid, inconsistent people whose movements of goodness you should be able to admire - for whom you should cherish all possible hopes, all possible patience.