The prince inquiring the reason, the old man continued, "Sultan Amir bin Naomaun has resolved that no one shall wed his daughter unless he can perform three tasks which he will impose, and these are of so difficult a nature as not to be executed by the labour or ingenuity of man, and many unhappy princes have lost their heads in the attempt; for he puts them to death instantly on failure: be advised, therefore, and give up so fruitless an expedition."
“Learning lessons, knowing by heart a grammar or a compendium,repeating well and imitating well—that,” writes a formerMinister of Public Instruction, M. Jules Simon, “is a ludicrousform of education whose every effort is an act of faith tacitlyadmitting the infallibility of the master, and whose only resultsare a belittling of ourselves and a rendering of us impotent.”
At present his only failing is that he is crazy about that captain’s widow, and he cannot go to her without money, and I mean to catch him at her house today—for his own good; but supposing it was not only the widow, but that he had committed a real crime, or at least some very dishonourable action (of which he is, of course, incapable), I repeat that even in that case, if he were treated with what I may call generous tenderness, one could get at the whole truth, for he is very soft-hearted!
The industry of merchants, artificers, and manufacturers, though in its own nature altogether unproductive, yet contributes in this manner indirectly to increase the produce of the land.
He told me of his joy, the joyful feeling of having done a good action; he said that it was all thanks to myself that he could feel this satisfaction; and held forth about the foolishness of the theory that individual charity is useless.
The boys who are put out apprentices from public charities are generally bound for more than the usual number of years, and they generally turn out very idle and worthless.
CHAPTER IX There followed now a series of meetings contrived with difficulty, fraught with danger, destructive of his peace of mind, of his recently acquired sense of moral and commercial responsibility, of the sense of singleness of purpose and interest in his editorial and publishing world, which had helped him so much recently.
If he judges right, instead of hurting the great body of the people, he renders them a most important service.
Noxious (L. noceo, hurt) is a stronger word than noisome, as referring to that which is injurious or destructive.
Moral values are generally negative, and always remote.
Three of the villagers did certainly assure us that they had seen the woman, but as they were quite unable to describe her, and quite incapable of agreeing about the exact direction in which she was proceeding when they last saw her, these three bright exceptions to the general rule of total ignorance afforded no more real assistance to us than the mass of their unhelpful and unobservant neighbours.