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The Map of Life By William Edward Hartpole Lecky
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One of the first questions that must naturally occur to every writer who deals with the subject of this book is, what influence mere discussion and reasoning can have in promoting the happiness of... More > men. The circumstances of our lives and the dispositions of our characters mainly determine the measure of happiness we enjoy, and mere argument about the causes of happiness and unhappiness can do little to affect them. It is impossible to read the many books that have been written on these subjects without feeling how largely they consist of mere sounding generalities which the smallest experience shows to be perfectly impotent in the face of some real and acute sorrow, and it is equally impossible to obtain any serious knowledge of the world without perceiving that a large proportion of the happiest lives and characters are to be found where introspection, self-analysis and reasonings about the good and evil of life hold the smallest place.< Less

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