Alps And Sanctuaries Of Piedmont And The Canton Ticino By Samuel Butler

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Some friends say I was telling a lie - Page 50
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There Is No Chance Of Getting Among Our Scientists In This Way.

Some friends say I was telling a lie when I told the novice Handel was a Catholic, and ought not to have done so.

I make it a rule to swallow a few gnats a day, lest I should come to strain at them, and so bolt camels; but the whole question of lying is difficult. What IS "lying"? Turning for moral guidance to my cousins the lower animals, whose unsophisticated nature proclaims what God has taught them with a directness we may sometimes study, I find the plover lying when she lures us from her young ones under the fiction of a broken wing. Is God angry, think you, with this pretty deviation from the letter of strict accuracy? or was it not He who whispered to her to tell the falsehood - to tell it with a circumstance, without conscientious scruple, not once only, but to make a practice of it, so as to be a plausible, habitual, and professional liar for some six weeks or so in the year? I imagine so. When I was young I used to read in good books that it was God who taught the bird to make her nest, and if so He probably taught each species the other domestic arrangements best suited to it. Or did the nest-building information come from God, and was there an evil one among the birds also who taught them at any rate to steer clear of priggishness?

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