Wednesday, 23 September, 1829

Man does not feel for the misfortunes of his fellow man. Self is the predominant principle by which he is guided in his course of conduct toward others. And in many instances in a religious community, they are more unfeeling than the natives of our forests, and as unfeeling as the beasts of prey. Often endeavoring by false means to filch the reputation of one of his fellows from no better motive than that he cannot bear to see his neighbor accumulate property or live in peace. Pain, misery, or suffering he regards not so long as it does not disturb him. Unfeeling and merciless does he make, exaggerate and circulate unfounded reports, leaving out every true or even palliating circumstance connected with the transaction. You may say and properly enough also, if these reports are false, why let them pass and not even notice them? And I would not have noticed them had it been for the fact of showing how many perplexing things occur in life. A private individual's life is made up of such little varieties of perplexities, and it frequently happens that he is accused unjustly and often praise is abundantly bestowed when not deserved. It should be our object to blame and praise when due, and never exaggerate the one or depress the other. And an untrue statement should never be made; truth should be held sacred and never departed from. I believe that truth will prevail nine times out of ten in spite of all the falsehoods that interest can invent, and that when you are basely calumniated it is much the better way to say but little about it.