Extream Nicety

by nkluz

From The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, on Order, the one fault line in his systematic perfection of virtues (I understand, Benjamin):

“Order, too, with respect to places for things, papers etc., I found extreamly difficult to acquire. I had not been early accustomed to it, and having an exceedingly good memory, I was not so sensible of the inconvenience attending want of method. This article, therefore, cost me so much painful attention, and my faults in it vexed me so much, and I made so little progress in amendment, and made such frequent relapses, that I was almost ready to give up the attempt…

having given up the struggle, and concluded that “a speckled ax was best,” for something, that pretended to be reason, was every now and then suggesting to me that such extream nicety as I exacted of myself might be a kind of foppery in morals, which, if it were known, would make me ridiculous;that a perfect character might be attended with the inconvenience of being envied and hated, and that a benevolent man should allow a few faults in himself, to keep his friends in countenance.”

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