All About A Dog A.Gardiner Essay Outline

Alfred George (A.G.) Gardiner was a British journalist and author. He was a prolific essayist and his style and subject matter easily qualified him to be categorized as what the English would call a very civilized gentleman. His essays addressing the necessary qualifications to fit into proper society are “On Habits,” “On Being Tidy,” “On Talk and Talkers,” and the subject of this question, “On the Rule of the Road.” This latter essay was included in one of Gardiner’s compilations titled Leaves in the Wind and was published under his pseudonym “Alpha of the Plough.” Consistent with the theme of what constitutes the proper conduct of a civilized individual, “On the Rule of the Road” remains one of his more enduring essays because it captures a very essential point, that the essence of civilization lies in the willingness of the individual to accept constraints on his or her personal behavior for the benefit of the greater good.

In “On the Rule of the Road,” Gardiner emphasizes the necessity of certain constraints on individual liberty if society is to function in a truly civilized manner. As he wrote in this essay, “Liberty is not a personal affair only, but a social contract. . . . A reasonable consideration for the rights or feelings of others is the foundation of social conduct.” Further, Gardiner wrote that “in order that the liberties of all may be preserved, the liberties of everybody must be curtailed.” Freedom, in other words, cannot exist in a vacuum. It must conform to some degree to a set of principles that exist to ensure that one’s liberties do not infringe on other’s. We enjoy the freedom to speak our mind, but, at some point, freedom of speech runs afoul of the public good. The famous qualification to freedom of speech—that one must not yell “fire” in a crowded theater—is precisely the point. Gardiner offers his own illustrations to make his point, such as the role of the police officer in controlling traffic—a role that, by definition, imposes constraints on personal freedom. Civilization can only exist when the public collectively accepts constraints on its freedom of action.

On A Hawthorn Hedge

As I turned into the lane that climbs the hillside to the cottage under the high beech woods I was conscious of a sort of mild expectation that I could not explain. It was late evening. Venus, who looks down with such calm splendour upon this troubled earth in these summer nights, had disappeared, but the moon had not yet risen. The air was heavy with those rich odours which seem so much more pungent by night than by day--those odours of summer eves that Keats has fixed for ever in the imagination:-- I cannot see what... Essays - Post by : nava_mava - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 1373

On Taste

I was in a feminine company the other day when the talk turned on war economies, with the inevitable allusion to the substitution of margarine for butter. I found it was generally agreed that the substitution had been a success. "Well," said one, "I bought some butter the other day--the sort we used to use--and put it on the table with the margarine which we have learned to eat. My husband took some, thinking it was margarine, made a wry face, and said, 'It won't do. This margarine economy is beyond me. We must return to butter, even if we lose... Essays - Post by : imported_n/a - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 3321

On Rewards And Riches

We have all been so occupied with the war in Europe that few of us, I suppose, have even heard of another war which has been raging in the law courts for 150 days or so between two South African corporations over some question of property. It seems to have been marked by a good deal of frightfulness. In the closing scenes Mr. Hughes, one of the counsel, complained that he had been called a fool, a liar, a scoundrel, and so on by his opponent, and the judge lamented that the case had been the occasion of so much barristerial... Essays - Post by : jerryc - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 2655

In Praise Of Walking

I started out the other day from Keswick with a rucksack on my back, a Baddeley in my pocket, and a companion by my side. I like a companion when I go a-walking. "Give me a companion by the way," said Sterne, "if it be only to remark how the shadows lengthen as the sun declines." That is about enough. You do not want a talkative person. Walking is an occupation in itself. You may give yourself up to chatter at the beginning, but when you are warmed to the job you are disposed to silence, drop perhaps one behind the... Essays - Post by : Deena - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 1958

On Wearing A Fur-lined Coat

A friend of mine--one of those people who talk about money with an air of familiarity that suggests that they have got an "out-crop" of the Rand reef in their back-gardens--said to me the other day that I ought to buy a fur-lined coat. There never was such a time as this for buying a fur-lined coat or a sealskin jacket, said he. What with the war, and the "sales," and the tradesmen's need of cash, they were simply being thrown at you. You could have them almost for the trouble of carrying them away. A trifle of fifteen or twenty... Essays - Post by : stevepennington - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 3676

On Losing One's Memory

The case of the soldier in the Keighley Hospital who has lost his memory in the war and has been identified by rival families as a Scotchman, a Yorkshireman, and so on is one of the most singular personal incidents of the war. On the face of it it would seem impossible that a mother should not know her own son, or a brother his brother. Yet in this case it is clear that some of the claimants are mistaken. The incident is not, of course, without precedent. The most notorious case of the sort was that of Arthur Orton, the... Essays - Post by : hweetay - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 2401

On A Top-hat

A few days ago I went to a christening to make vows on behalf of the offspring of a gallant young officer now at the front. I conceived that the fitting thing on such an occasion was to wear a silk hat, and accordingly I took out the article, warmed it before the fire, and rubbed it with a hat pad until it was nice and shiny, put it on my head, and set out for the church. But I soon regretted the choice. It had no support from any one else present, and when later I got out of the... Essays - Post by : sanjib - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 1653

On Spendthrifts

While every one, I suppose, agrees that Lady Ida Sitwell richly deserves her three months' imprisonment, there are many who will have a sneaking pity for her. And that not because she is a woman of family who will suffer peculiar tortures from prison life. On the contrary, I have no doubt that a spell of imprisonment is just what she needs. In fact, it is what most of us need, especially most of those who live a life of luxurious idleness. To be compelled to get up early, to clean your cell, to wear plain clothes, to live on plain... Essays - Post by : Sandy_Aptecker - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 2106

On Courage

I was asked the other day to send to a new magazine a statement as to the event of the war which had made the deepest impression on me. Without hesitation I selected the remarkable Christmas demonstrations in Flanders. Here were men who for weeks and months past had been engaged in the task of stalking each other and killing each other, and suddenly under the influence of a common memory, they repudiate the whole gospel of war and declare the gospel of brotherhood. Next day they began killing each other again as the obedient instruments of governments they do not... Essays - Post by : emaccenti - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 1715

"i'm Telling You"

The other day I went into the Law Courts to hear a case of some interest, and I soon became more interested in the counsel than in the case. They offered a curious contrast of method. One was emphatic and dogmatic. "I'm not asking you," he seemed to say to the judge and jury, "I'm telling you." The other was winning and conciliatory. He did not thrust his views down the jury's throats; he seemed to offer them for their consideration, and leave it at that. He was not there to dictate to them, but to hold his client's case up... Essays - Post by : winterjay - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 3307

On The World We Live In

In one of those charming articles which he writes in The New Statesman, Mr. J. Arthur Thomson tells of the wonderful world of odours to which we are largely strangers. No doubt in an earlier existence we relied much more upon our noses for our food, our safety, and all that concerned us, and had a highly developed faculty of smell which has become more or less atrophied. Fee, fie, fo, fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman,said the Giant in the story. But that was long ago. If we were left to... Essays - Post by : cavanhaz - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 2794

On A Prisoner Of War

There are still a few apples on the topmost branches of the trees in the orchard. They are there because David, the labourer, who used to come and lend us a hand in his odd hours--chiefly when the moon was up--is no longer available. You may remember how David opened his heart to me about enlisting when he stood on the ladder picking the pears last year. He did not like to go and he did not like to stay. All the other chaps had gone, and he didn't feel comfortable like in being left behind, but there was his mother... Essays - Post by : Cybersell - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 2923

On The Intelligent Golf Ball

I read the other day an article by my colleague "Arcturus" which I thought was a little boastful. It referred to a bull-dog. Now I cannot tell what there is about a bull-dog that makes people haughty, but it is certain that I have never known a case in which the companionship of that animal has not had this effect. The man who keeps a bull-dog becomes after a time only fit for the company of a bull-dog. He catches the august pride of the animal, seems to think like a bulldog, to talk in the brief, scornful tones of a... Essays - Post by : netrific - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 3723

On Slackening The Bow

I was in a company the other evening in which the talk turned upon the familiar theme of the Government and its fitness for the job in hand. The principal assailant was what I should call a strenuous person. He seemed to suggest that if the conduct of the war had been in the hands of earnest-minded persons--like himself, for example--the business would have been over long ago. "What can you expect," he said, the veins at the side of his forehead swelling with strenuousness, "from men who only play at war? Why, I was told by a man who was... Essays - Post by : twinhorizons - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 2588

On Pleasant Sounds

The wind had dropped, and on the hillside one seemed to be in a vast and soundless universe. Far down in the valley a few lights glimmered in the general darkness, but apart from these one might have fancied oneself alone in all the world. Then from some remote farmstead there came the sound of a dog barking. It rang through the night like the distant shout of a friend. It seemed to fill the whole arch of heaven with its reverberations and to flood the valley with the sense of companionship. It brought me news from the farm. The day's... Essays - Post by : eranks - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 3428

On A City That Was

I saw in a newspaper a few days ago some pictures of the ruins of the Cloth Hall and the Cathedral at Ypres. They were excellent photographs, but the impression they left on my mind was of the futility even of photography to convey any real sense of that astonishing scene of desolation which was once the beautiful city of Ypres. We talk of Ypres as if it were still a city in being, in which men trade, and children play, and women go about their household duties. In a vague way we feel that it is so. In a vague... Essays - Post by : dbhatta - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 2777

On Writing An Article

I was putting on my boots just now in what the novelists call "a brown study." There was no urgent reason for putting on my boots. I was not going out, and my slippers were much more comfortable. But something had to be done. I wanted a subject for an article. Now if you are accustomed to writing articles for a living, you will know that sometimes the difficulty is not writing the article, but choosing a subject. It is not that subjects are few: it is that they are so many. It is not poverty you suffer from, but an... Essays - Post by : imported_n/a - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 1699

On A Painted Face

The other day I met in the street a young lady who, but yesterday, seemed to me a young girl. She had in the interval taken that sudden leap from youth to maturity which is always so wonderful and perplexing. When I had seen her last there would have been no impropriety in giving her a kiss in the street. Now I should as little have thought of offering to kiss her as of whistling to the Archbishop of Canterbury if I had seen that dignitary passing on the other side of the road. She had taken wing and flown from... Essays - Post by : esmeralda - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 6431

On Short Legs And Long Legs

A day or two ago a soldier, returned from the front, was loudly inveighing in a railway carriage against the bumptiousness and harshness of the captain under whom he had served. "Let me git 'im over 'ere," he said, "and I'll lay 'im out--see if I don't. I've 'ad enough of 'is bullyin'. It ain't even as if 'e was a decent figure of a man. 'E don't stand more'n five-feet-two. I could knock 'im out with one 'and, and I'd 'ave done it before now only you mustn't out there. If you did you'd get a pound o' lead pumped... Essays - Post by : Chuck_Evans - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 3809

On The Downs

We spread our lunch on the crown of one of those great billows of the downs that stand along the sea. Down in the hollows tiny villages or farmsteads stood in the midst of clumps of trees, and the cultivated lands looked like squares of many-coloured carpets, brown carpets and yellow carpets and green carpets, with the cloud shadows passing over them and moving like battalions up the gracious slopes of the downs beyond. A gleam of white in the midst of one of the brown fields caught the eye. It seemed like a patch of snow that had survived the... Essays - Post by : connielu - Date : October 2011 - Author :A. G. Gardiner - Read : 3699


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