Johnson here takes an eminently commonsense view of the question of consistency. A perfect consistency is possible only to the narrowest mind and the feeblest under-standing.
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Out upon your guarded lips! Sew them up with packthread, do. Else, if you would be a man, speak what you think to-day in words as hard as cannon-balls, and to-morrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. Ah, then, exclaim the aged ladies, you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — R. W. Emerson, Self-Reliance.
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