The canting moralist tells us of right and wrong; and we look abroad, even on the face of our small earth, and find them change with every climate, and no country where some action is not honoured for a virtue and none where it is not branded for a vice; and we look in our experience, and find no vital congruity in the wisest rules, but at the best a municipal fitness.
Mr. SHIPPEN rose and spoke thus: Sir, I know not with what success I may assert, in this senate, positions, for which I have formerly been censured, and which few other members have hitherto maintained; but I rise with confidence that I shall be at least acknowledged to act consistently with myself in seconding the noble person who spoke last; and I am convinced, that many of those who differ from me in opinion, would gladly be able to boast of resembling me in congruity of principles, and steadiness of conduct.
Let us meditate their wisdom and vibrate with their beauty; and, in the words of the prayer of Socrates to the Nymphs and to Pan, ask for beauty in the inward soul, and congruity between the inner and the outer man; and reflect in such manner the gifts of great art and of great thought in our soul's depths.
An element in this tonality is naturally Hawthorne's style: it is the best illustration American literature affords of excellence of pattern in contrast with the "purple patch" manner of writing so popular in modern diction. Congruity, the subjection of the parts to the whole, and to the end in view the doctrine of key Hawthorne illustrates all this.
You see Cardinals with dirty robes, under the most gorgeous stoles, while the surplices are as yellow as the stained gold-worked bands which hang across them. There is, indeed, no sense of congruity or the inherent fitness of things about the Italian ceremonials.
While he was rolling out the psalm, expounding the chapter, or 'wrestling' in prayer, he was a personality and an influence even for the wife who, in spite of a dumb congruity of habit, regarded him generally as incompetent and in the way.
"It's so puzzling, you see," he said in explanation, as Philip smiled another superior and condescending British smile at this infantile proceeding; "the currency itself has no congruity or order: and then, even these queer unrelated coins haven't for the most part their values marked in words or figures upon them." "Everybody knows what they are," Philip answered lightly.
It is in this way that heroes and gods have been created. A legend or fable lying in the mind and continually repeated gained insensibly at each recurrence some new eloquence, some fresh congruity with the emotion it had already awakened, and was destined to awake again.
In a subconscious way, when he had entered the room, he had been cognisant of a certain strangeness in its appointments, but then his mind had been centred only on the work in hand; now there seemed a sort of pitiful congruity in the surroundings themselves and in the old heirloom that had been stolen. It seemed as though the room spoke to him of past glories.
The same law of congruity between message and hearers, which He enjoined on His followers, when He bade them be careful where they flung their pearls, and which governed His own fullest final revelations to His truest friends, when He said, 'I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot carry them now, moulded His first words to the excited but ignorant crowds.