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a web of many textures

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The picture in Bleak House, representing “the
young man Guppy” in the theatre, with dishevelled
hair and desperation upon his brow, after being rejected
by Esther, is very ludicrous. The young man feels that
fate has done him a deep wrong, and he defies fate. He
challenges fate to hit him again. The milk of human
kindness has dried up in him, and he is now lacteally
farrow. Guppy is one of a class that we meet with
almost every day, who, through large self-esteem and a
sovereign belief in their own importance, become misanthropic
at the first breath of ill-luck, and resolve to
punish the world, that they conceive has injured them,
by leaving it to its own destruction. We 'll have nothing
to do with this ill-natured world, they say, which
has so far lost sight of its own interests as to treat us,
its brightest ornaments, so badly, and then see how it
will get along! We abjure it, we leave it, we wash our
hands of it. In this spite they regard the world, and
bore the ears and plague the hearts of all who listen to
their complaints. They see, however, the great globe


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spin on, to their utter disgust, and find that, after all,
they are acting very foolishly; that growling does no
good, and that a cheerful acquiescence in the dispensations
of Providence, and humble trust, are far better than
breaking one's head in futile buttings against destiny or
accident. Nine times out of ten, those who growl the
most against the world have most reason to growl
about themselves. They make, by their own stupidity
or improvidence, the fortune they deprecate, and have
no more reason to quarrel about it than they would
have to complain that destiny gave them a sore finger
after they had put their finger in the fire. Could people
who attempt the misanthrope but look at the ridiculous
Mr. Guppy, it would seem that they should be cured
of the disease of overvaluing themselves.