William Godwin’s Stunning 1794 Advice to a Young Activist on How to Confront the Status Quo with Self-Possession, Dignity, and Persuasive Conviction

Posted on: Sun, 2019-06-16 - 22:41 By: admin

“Above all… abstain from harsh epithets and bitter invective… Truth can never gain by passion, violence, and resentment. It is never so strong as in the firm, fixed mind, that yields to the emotions neither of rage nor fear.”

"Never forget that juries are men, and that men are made of penetrable stuff: probe all the recesses of their souls. Do not spend your strength in vain defiance and empty vaunting. Let every syllable you utter be fraught with persuasion. What an event would it be for England and mankind if you could gain an acquittal! Is not such an event worth striving for? It is in man, I am sure it is, to effect that event. Gerrald, you are that man. Fertile in genius, strong in moral feeling, prepared with every accomplishment that literature and reflection can give. Stand up to the situation — be wholly yourself."

"Above all, let me entreat you to abstain from harsh epithets and bitter invective. Show that you are not terrible but kind, and anxious for the good of all. Truth will lose nothing by this. Truth can never gain by passion, violence, and resentment. It is never so strong as in the firm, fixed mind, that yields to the emotions neither of rage nor fear. It is by calm and recollected boldness that we can shake the pillars of the vault of heaven. How great will you appear if you show that all the injustice with which you are treated cannot move you: that you are too great to be wounded by their arrows; that you still hold the steadfast course that becomes the friend of man, and that while you expose their rottenness you harbour no revenge. The public want men of this unaltered spirit, whom no persecution can embitter. The jury, the world will feel your value, if you show yourself such a man: let no human ferment mix in the sacred work."

See #^https://www.brainpickings.org/2019/06/10/william-godwin-joseph-gerrald-letter/

#philosophy
#^William Godwin’s Stunning 1794 Advice to a Young Activist on How to Confront the Status Quo with Self-Possession, Dignity, and Persuasive Conviction

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“Above all… abstain from harsh epithets and bitter invective… Truth can never gain by passion, violence, and resentment. It is never so strong as in the firm, fixed mind, that yie…

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