New Men and New Measures

‘New men are carrying out new measures, and are eating away the useless rubbish of past centuries.’ What cruel words these had been; and how often are they now used with all the heartless cruelty of a Slope! A man is sufficiently condemned if it can only be shown that either in politics or religion he does not belong to some new school established within the last score of years. He may then regard himself as rubbish and expect to be carted away. A man is nothing now unless he has within him a full appreciation of the new era; an era in which it would seem that neither honesty nor truth is very desirable, but in which success is the only touchstone of merit. We must laugh at every thing that is established. Let the joke be ever so bad, ever so untrue to the real principles of joking; nevertheless we must laugh–or else beware the cart. We must talk, think, and live up to the spirit of the times, and write up to it too, if that cacoethes be upon us, or else we are nought. New men and now measures, long credit and few scruples, great success and wonderful ruin, such are now the tastes of Englishmen who know how to live. Alas, alas! under the circumstances Mr Harding could not but feel that he was an Englishman who did not know how to live. This new doctrine of Mr Slope and the rubbish cart, new at least to Barchester, sadly disturbed his equanimity. ~ Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Had to look up cacoethes – (kak-oh-ee-theez). British Dictionary says: “an uncontrollable urge or desire, especially for something harmful; mania.”  From Latin cacoēthes malignant disease, from Greek kakoēthēs of an evil disposition, from kakos caco- + ēthos character.

This will be a fun word to use with my kiddos tomorrow! Perhaps in relation to tormenting a brother or annoying a mother?

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