'strange disease,' in which men hurry wildly about in a mad activity which they mistake for achievement.
For them he borrows from German criticism the name 'Philistines,' enemies of the chosen people, and he finds their prevailing traits to be intellectual and spiritual narrowness and a fatal and superficial satisfaction with mere activity and material prosperity.
For the cure of these evils Arnold's proposed remedy was Culture, which he defined as a knowledge of the best that has been thought and done in the world and a desire to make the best ideas prevail.
Though he himself was without a theological creed, he was, and held that every Englishman should be, a devoted adherent of the English Church, as a beautiful, dignified, and national expression of essential religion, and therefore a very important influence for Culture.
Culture, on the other hand, includes the strict discipline of the will and the sacrifice of one's own impulses for the good of all, which means respect for Law and devotion to the State.
Arnold's doctrine, of course, was not perfectly comprehensive nor free from prejudices; but none could be essentially more useful for his generation or ours.
"He had been introduced to Sir Walter and your sister before I was acquainted with him, but I heard him speak of them for ever.
That was his motive for drawing back, I can assure you.
I used to boast of my own Anne Elliot, and vouch for your being a very different creature from--"
"This accounts for something which Mr Elliot said last night," cried Anne.
When one lives in the world, a man or woman's marrying for money is too common to strike one as it ought.
Depend upon it, whatever esteem Mr Elliot may have for his own situation in life now, as a young man he had not the smallest value for it.