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Bear and Forbear : A sympathetic understanding of the trials of other people is essential for getting along.
Bear and Forbear

From Character by Samuel Smiles (1812-1904).

In his motivational book ‘Character’, Samuel Smiles reminded us that getting along with others requires a willingness to pass over their weaknesses, faults and occasional offences, and gave the example of Queen Caroline Matilda of Denmark and Britain, sister of King George III.

NOR will the wise man expect too much from those about him. If he would live at peace with others, he will bear and forbear. And even the best have often foibles of character which have to be endured, sympathised with, and perhaps pitied.

Who is perfect? Who does not suffer from some thorn in the flesh? Who does not stand in need of toleration, of forbearance, of forgiveness? What the poor imprisoned Queen Caroline Matilda of Denmark wrote on her chapel-window ought to be the prayer of all, — “Oh! keep me innocent! make others great.”*

Then, how much does the disposition of every human being depend upon their innate constitution and their early surroundings; the comfort or discomfort of the homes in which they have been brought up; their inherited characteristics; and the examples, good or bad, to which they have been exposed through life! Regard for such considerations should teach charity and forbearance to all men.

* Queen Caroline, a daughter of Frederick, Prince of Wales, was the sister of King George III. She was married by proxy to King Christian VII of Denmark, who disliked her and treated her coldly, spending his time in brothels. Caroline had an affair, was briefly imprisoned, and finally divorced. She was banished to Hanover and never allowed to see her children again.

From Character by Samuel Smiles (1812-1904).

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Picture: Painted by Francis Cotes (1726-1770). Licence: Public domain. View original
Princess Caroline (standing), aged 16, with her sister Louisa, aged 17, in 1767. They were both younger sisters of King George III, all children of Frederick, Prince of Wales, who died before he could inherit the throne of Great Britain from his father George II (r. 1730-1760).

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