The Limits of Principle

My friend Sir J. L., with a large cluster of intellectual qualities, and another of social qualities, had one point of character which I will not call bad and cannot call good; he never used a slang expression. To such a length did he carry his dislike, that he could not bear head and tail, even in a work on games of chance: so he used obverse and reverse. I stared when I first saw this: but, to my delight, I found that the force of circumstances beat him at last. He was obliged to take an example from the race-course, and the name of one of the horses was Bessy Bedlam! And he did not put her down as Elizabeth Bethlehem, but forced himself to follow the jockeys.

From A Budget of Paradoxes, vol. 1, by Augustus de Morgan (available from Project Gutenberg)


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