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world ransacked to its utmost verges, and luxury and arts imported from every quarter! Nay more: how do we baffle nature herself; invert her order; seek the vegetables of spring in the rigours of winter, and winter's ice during the heats of summer! I replied, we did.'-'And what disappointment, what remorse, when endeavours fail?" -It is true. If this then be evident,' said he, 'it would seem, that whatever we desire as our chief and sovereign good, is something which, as far as possible, we would accommodate to all places and times.'-I answered, 'so it appeared.' 'See then,' said he, another of its characteristics, another pre-conception.

'But further still; what contests for wealth! What scrambling for property! What perils in the pursuit! What solicitude in the maintenance ! And why all this? To what purpose, what end? Or is not the reason plain? Is it not, that wealth may continually procure us, whatever we fancy good; and make that perpetual, which would otherwise be transient?—I replied, 'it seemed so.'-' Is it not further desired, as supplying us from ourselves; when without it, we must be beholden to the benevolence of others, and depend on their caprice for all that we enjoy?—It is true,' said I, 'this

seems a reason.'

'Again; is not power of every degree as much contested for, as wealth? Are not magistracies, honours, principalities, and empire, the subjects of strife and everlasting contention?—I replied, they were.'' And why,' said he, this? To obtain what end? Is it not to help us, like wealth, to

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the possession of what we desire? Is it not further to ascertain, to secure our enjoyments; that when others would deprive us, we may be strong enough to resist them?—I replied, 'it was.'

6 Or, to invert the whole, why are there, who seek recesses the most distant and retired? flee courts and power, and submit to parsimony and obscurity? Why all this, but from the same intention? From an opinion, that small possessions, used moderately, are permanent; that larger possessions raise envy, and are more frequently invaded; that the safety of power and dignity is more precarious, than that of retreat; and that therefore they have chosen, what is most eligible upon the whole?— It is not,' said I, 'improbable, that they act by some such motive.'

'Do you not see then,' continued he, "two or three more preconceptions of the sovereign good, which are sought for by all, as essential to constitute it?' And what,' said I, 'are these ?''That it should not be transient, nor derived from the will of others, nor in their power to take away; but be durable, self-derived, and (if I may use the expression) indeprivable.'—' I confess,' said I, 'it appears so.'-' But we have already found it to be considered, as something agreeable to our nature; conducive, not to mere being, but to wellbeing; and what we aim to have accommodated to all places and times.'-' We have.'

"There may be other characteristics,' said he, 'but these I think sufficient. See then its idea; behold it, as collected from the original, natural, and universal pre-conceptions of all mankind. The sovereign good, they have taught us, ought to be

something agreeable to our nature; conducive to well-being; accommodated to all places and times: durable, self-derived, and indeprivable.'—' Your account,' said I, ' appears just.' Harris.


BRUTUS perished untimely, and Cæsar did no more-These words I was repeating the next day to myself, when my friend appeared, and cheerfully bade me good-morrow. I could not return his compliment with an equal gaiety, being intent, somewhat more than usual, on what had passed the day before. Seeing this, he proposed a walk into the fields. The face of nature,' said he, 'will perhaps dispel these glooms. No assistance, on my part, shall be wanting, you may be assured.' I accepted his proposal; the walk began; and our former conversation insensibly renewed.

'Brutus,' said he, 'perished untimely, and Cæsar did no more.-It was thus, as I remember, not long since you were expressing yourself. And yet suppose their fortunes to have been exactly parallel; which would you have preferred? Would you have been Cæsar or Brutus?— Brutus,' replied I, beyond all controversy.'-He asked me, Why? Where was the difference, when their fortunes, as we now supposed them, were considered as the same?''There seems,' said I, abstract from their fortunes, something, I know not what, intrinsically preferable in the life and character of Brutus. If that,' said he, be true, then must we derive it, not from the success of his endea

vours, but from their truth and rectitude. He had the comfort to be conscious, that his cause was a just one. It was impossible the other should have any such feeling.' I believe,' said I, 'you have explained it.'

'Suppose thèn,' continued he, ‘it is but merely an hypothesis, suppose, I say, we were to place the sovereign good in such a rectitude of conduct, in the conduct merely, and not in the event. Suppose we were to fix our happiness, not in the actual attainment of that health, that perfection of a social state, that fortunate concurrence of externals, which is congruous to our nature, and which all have a right to pursue; but solely fix it in the mere doing whatever is correspondent to such an end, even though we never attain, or are near attaining it. In fewer words; what if we make our natural state the standard only to determine our conduct; and place our happiness in the rectitude of this conduct alone? On such an hypothesis, (and we consider it as nothing further) we should not want a good, perhaps, to correspond to our pre-conceptions; for this, it is evident, would be correspondent to them all.'-' Your doctrine,' replied I, 'is so new and strange, that though you have been copious in explaining, I can hardly yet comprehend you.'

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'It amounts all,' said he, but to this: place your happiness where your praise is.'-I asked, Where he supposed that?'-' Not,' replied he, in the pleasures which you feel, more than your disgrace lies in the pain; not in the casual prosperity of fortune, more than your disgrace in the casual adversity, but in just complete action throughout

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every part of life, whatever be the face of things, whether favourable, or the contrary.'


'But why then,' said I, 'such accuracy about externals? So much pains to be informed, what are pursuable, what avoidable? It behoves the pilot,' replied he, 'to know the seas and the winds; the nature of tempests, calms, and tides. They are the subjects, about which his heart is converWithout a just experience of them, he can never prove himself an artist. Yet we look not for his reputation either in fair gales, or in adverse; but in the skilfulness of his conduct, be these events as they happen. In like manner fares it with the moral artist. He, for a subject, has the whole of human life: health and sickness; pleasure and pain; with every other possible incident, which can befal him during his existence. If his knowledge of all these be accurate and exact, so too must his conduct, in which we place his happiness. But if his knowledge be defective, must not his conduct be defective also ?—I replied, "So it should seem.'-' And if his conduct, then his happiness? It is true.'

'You see then,' continued he, even though externals were as nothing; though it was true, in their own nature, they were neither good nor evil; yet an accurate knowledge of them is, from our. hypothesis, absolutely necessary.'—' Indeed,' said I, you have proved it.'

He continued-Inferior artists may be at a stand, because they want materials. From their stubbornness and intractability, they may often be disappointed. But as long as life is passing, and mature continues to operate, the moral artist of life

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