And here it is to be noted that hatred is incurred as well on account of good actions as of bad; or which reason, as I have already said, a Prince who would maintain his authority is often compelled to be other than good. For when the class, be it the people, the soldiers, or the nobles, on whom you judge it necessary to rely for your support, is corrupt, you must needs adapt yourself to its humours, and satisfy these, in which case virtuous conduct will only prejudice you. .
There are men whose sense of humour is so ill developed that they still bear a grudge againstbecause he dethroned them from the central position in the universe. They feel it a personal affront that they can no longer consider themselves the pivot upon which turns the whole of created things. .
If the material world rests upon a similar ideal world, this ideal world must rest upon some other; and so on, without end. It were better, therefore, never to look beyond the present material world. By supposing it to contain the principle of its order within itself, we really assert it to be God; and the sooner we arrive at that Divine Being, so much the better. When you go one step beyond the mundane system, you only excite an inquisitive humour which it is impossible ever to satisfy. .
Mr. Anchovy: I've been a chartered accountant for 20 years. I want a new job. Something exciting that will let me live! Counselor: Well, chartered accoutancy is a rather exciting job, isn't it? Mr. Anchovy: Exciting?! No, it's not! It's dull! Dull, dull, my God it's dull! It's so dull and tedious and stuffy and boring and desperately dull! Counselor: Well, er, yes Mr. Anchovy, but you see your report here says that you are an extremely dull person. You see, our experts describe you as an appallingly dull fellow, unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative, spineless, easily dominated, no sense of humour, tedious company and irrepressibly drab and awful. And whereas in most professions these would be considerable drawbacks, in , they're a positive boon. .
The softer you find your child is, the more you are to seek occasions, at fit times, thus to harden him. The great art in this is, to begin with what is but very little painful, and to proceed by insensible degrees, when you are playing, and in good humour with him, and speaking well of him: and when you have once got him to think himself made amends for his suffering by the praise is given him for his courage; when he can take pride in giving such marks of his manliness, and can prefer the reputation of being brave and stout, to the avoiding a little pain, or the shrinking under it; you need nor despair in time and by the assistance of his growing reason, to master his timorousness, and mend the weakness of his constitution. .
This I think is sufficiently evident, that children generally hate to be idle. All the care then is, that their busy humour should be constantly employ'd in something of use to them; which, if you will attain, you must make what you would have them do a recreation to them, and not a business. .
Danger is a good teacher, and makes apt scholars. So are disgrace, defeat, exposure to immediate scorn and laughter. There is no opportunity in such cases for self-delusion, no idling time away, no being off your guard (or you must take the consequences) — neither is there any room for humour or caprice or prejudice. .
The first piece of 'long' fiction I wrote was a novella parody of Stephen King's 'Christine.' I was in high school, and my version was about a kid with a possessed locker instead of a possessed car. It was also my first attempt at humour, which fell completely flat because no one who read it realized it was a parody! .
It always interested me that 'Goodness Gracious Me' and 'The Kumars,' when shown around the world, were referred to as British comedy. It was only here that they were referred to as Asian comedy, even though I always felt it was very British in its humour and structure. .
If you have a sense of irony or humour, you're usually cut down, as you're usually distorted or misinterpreted. So it does lead to us being slightly more dour and staid and predictable than would otherwise be the case, which I personally find quite frustrating - because if you don't laugh occasionally in my job, you cry most of the time. .
I went to a British Council event a while back and there were lots of German professors of literature. About half of them were convinced I had a German sense of humour and the other half were sure it was British. They are probably still arguing about it now. .
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