North America - Volume 2 By Anthony Trollope 

 -   But among my good
words there are so many which are bitter, that I fear I shall have
failed in - Page 490
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But Among My Good Words There Are So Many Which Are Bitter, That I Fear I Shall Have Failed In My Object As Regards Them.

And it seems to me, as I read once more my own pages, that in saying evil things of my friends I have used language stronger than I intended; whereas I have omitted to express myself with emphasis when I have attempted to say good things.

Why need I have told of the mud of Washington, or have exposed the nakedness of Cairo? Why did I speak with such eager enmity of those poor women in the New York cars, who never injured me, now that I think of it? Ladies of New York, as I write this, the words which were written among you are printed and cannot be expunged; but I tender to you my apologies from my home in England. And that Van Wyck Committee - might I not have left those contractors to be dealt with by their own Congress, seeing that that Congress committee was by no means inclined to spare them? I might have kept my pages free from gall, and have sent my sheets to the press unhurt by the conviction that I was hurting those who had dealt kindly by me! But what then? Was any people ever truly served by eulogy; or an honest cause furthered by undue praise?

O my friends with thin skins - and here I protest that a thick skin is a fault not to be forgiven in a man or a nation, whereas a thin skin is in itself a merit, if only the wearer of it will be the master and not the slave of his skin - O my friends with thin skins, ye whom I call my cousins and love as brethren, will ye not forgive me these harsh words that I have spoken?

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