worketh; as if he be upon the face, that part which shall be the body is but a rude stone still, till such time as he comes to it but contrariwise when Nature makes a flower or living creature, she formeth rudiments of all the parts at one time so in obtaining virtue by habit, while a man practiseth temperance, he doth not profit much to fortitude nor the like; but when he dedicateth and applieth himself to good ends, look, what virtue soever the pursuit and passage towards those ends doth commend unto him, he is invested of a precedent disposition to conform himself there



87. THE ATMOSPHERE. Were there no atmosphere, the cold ether would not shed its snow-feathers on the earth, nor would drops of dew gather on the flowers. Our naked globe would turn its tanned and unshadowed forehead to the sun, and one dreary, monotonous blaze of light and heat dazzle and burn up all things. The evening sun would in a moment set and without warning plunge the earth in darkness. But the air keeps in her hand a sheaf of his rays, and lets them slip but slowly through her fingers; so that the shadows of evening gather by degrees, and the flowers have time to bow their heads, and each creature space to find a place of rest and to nestle to repose. In the morning, the garish sun would at one bound burst from the bosom of night and blaze above the horizon; but the air watches for his coming, and sends at first but one little ray to announce his approach and then another and by and by a handful, and so gently draws aside the curtain of night, and slowly lets the light fall on the face of the sleeping earth, till her eyelids open and like man she goeth forth again to her labour till the evening.


88. KING JAMES I. OF SCOTLAND SUSPECTS PERKIN WARBECK. But the king of Scotland, though he would not formally retract his judgment of Perkin, wherein he had engaged himself so far; yet in his private opinion, upon often speech with the Englishmen and divers other advertisements, began to suspect him for a counterfeit. Wherefore in a noble fashion he called him unto him and recounted the benefits and favours that he had done him in making him his ally, and in provoking a mighty and opulent king

by an offensive war in his quarrel, for the space of two years together: nay more, that he had refused an honourable peace, whereof he had a fair offer if, he would have delivered him; and that, to keep his promise with him, he had deeply offended both his nobles and people whom he might not hold in any long discontent: and therefore required him to think of his own fortunes and to choose out some fitter place for his exile; telling him withal, that he could not say, but the English had forsaken him before the Scottish, for that upon two several trials none had declared themselves on his side; but nevertheless he would make good what he said to him at his first receiving, which was that he should not repent him for putting himself into 'his hands: for that he would not cast him off, but help him with shipping and means to transport him where he should desire.


89. SOCRATES. Though Socrates was a good and faithful subject of the Athenian government, and would promote no sedition, no political violence, yet he could not like the Athenian constitution. He wished for wholesome changes by gentle means; and it seems even to have been a principal object of the labours to which he dedicated himself, to infuse principles into the rising generation that might bring about the desirable change insensibly. His scholars were chiefly sons of the wealthiest citizens, whose easy circumstances afforded leisure to attend him; and some of these, zealously adopting his tenets, others merely pleased with the ingenuity of his arguments and the liveliness of his manner, and desirous to emulate his triumphs over his opponents, were forward, after his example, to engage in disputation upon all the subjects on which he was accustomed to dis


90. NO MONOPOLY OF LEARNING. It is an honourable object to see the reasons of other men wear our liveries, and their borrowed understandings do homage to the bounty of ours. It is the cheapest way of beneficence, and like the natural charity of the sun illuminates another without obscuring itself. To be reserved in this part of goodness is the sordidest piece of covetousness and more contemptible than the pecuniary avarice. To this (as calling myself a

scholar) I am obliged by the duty of my condition. I make not therefore my head a grave, but a treasury of knowledge. I intend no monopoly but a community in learning. I study not for my own sake only but for theirs that study not for themselves. I envy no man that knows more than myself, but pity them that know less. I instruct no man as an exercise of my knowledge, or with an intent rather to nourish and keep it alive in mine own head than beget and propagate it in his. And, in the midst of all my endeavours, there is but one thought that dejects me, that my acquired parts must perish with myself nor can be legacied among my honoured friends.

91. FOX'S EAST INDIA BILL-OPENING OF SPEECH ON— DEC. 1, 1783. I thank you for pointing to me. I really wished much to gain your attention in an early stage of the debate. I have been long very deeply, though perhaps ineffectually, engaged in the preliminary inquiries, which have continued without intermission for some years. Though I have felt with some degree of sensibility the natural and inevitable impressions of the several matters of fact, as they have been successively disclosed, I have not at any time attempted to trouble you on the merits of the subject: and very little on any of the points which incidentally arose in the course of our proceedings. But I should be sorry to be found totally silent upon this day. Our inquiries are now come to a final issue: it is now to be determined whether the three years of laborious parliamentary research, whether the twenty years of patient Indian suffering, are to produce a substantial reform in our eastern administration, or whether our knowledge of the grievances has abated our zeal for the correction of them, and our very inquiry into the evil was only a pretext to elude the remedy, which is demanded from us by humanity, by justice and by every principle of true policy. Depend upon it this business cannot be indifferent to our fame. It will turn out a matter of great disgrace or great glory to the whole British nation. We are on a conspicuous stage and the world marks our demeanour.


92. TIONS.


He is not mistaken with regard to the ideas he

actually perceives, but in the inferences he makes from his present perceptions. Thus in the case of the oar, what he immediately perceives by sight is certainly crooked, and so far he is in the right. But if he thence conclude, that upon taking the oar out of the water he shall perceive the same crookedness; or that it would affect his touch, as crooked things are wont to do: in that he is mistaken. In like manner, if he shall conclude from what he perceives in one station that in case he advances towards the moon or tower he should still be affected with the like ideas, he is mistaken. But his mistake lies not in what he perceives immediately and at present (it being a manifest contradiction to suppose he should err in respect of that), but in the wrong judgment he makes concerning the ideas he apprehends to be connected with those immediately perceived; or concerning the ideas that, from what he perceives at present, he imagines would be perceived in other circumstances. The case is the same with regard to the Copernican system. We do not here perceive any motion of the earth: but it were erroneous thence to conclude, that in case we were placed at as great a distance from that, as we are now from the other planets, we should not then perceive its motion.



MAN'S NEED OF SOME HIGHER STRENGTH THAN HIS OWN TO FORTIFY HIMSELF AGAINST TROUBLES. Our condition is universally exposed to fears and troubles, and no man is so stupid but he studies and projects for some fence against them, some bulwark to break the incursions of evils, and so to bring his mind to some ease, ridding it of the fear of them. Thus men seek safety in the greatness or multitude or supposed faithfulness of friends; they seek by any means to be strongly underset this way; to have many and powerful and trustworthy friends. But wiser men, perceiving the unsafety and vanity of these and all external things, have cast about for some higher course. They see a necessity of withdrawing a man from externals, which do nothing but mock and deceive those most who trust most to them; but they cannot tell whither to direct him. The best of them bring him into himself, and think to quiet him so, but the truth is, he finds as little to support him there; there is nothing truly strong enough within him, to hold out against

the many sorrows and fears which still from without do assault him. So then, though it is well done, to call off a man from outward things, as moving sands, that he build not on them, yet this is not enough; for his own spirit is as unsettled a piece as is in all the world, and must have some higher strength than its own, to fortify and fix it.



In every

94. system of philosophy an error of principle like a biting cancer spreads its evil tendency on all sides: and thus in the case of Aristotle, the conception of matter, which was intended to conceal much that was vicious in his theory of the world, has only increased the evil he sought to remedy. Similarly is it with his conception of infinity in the world, whether special or temporal: it is resolved into matter and thereby rendered unintelligible. But this is still more strikingly the case, in his mode of reducing many natural causes to matter simply, by arguing that many things come to pass, merely because they are necessary: and although end or design rules the world for the most part, still accident and chance are not without their influence in the formation of things. Moreover the observation of the many perishable productions of Nature leads him to the idea that the reason of their not participating always in entity is, their great distance from the source of eternal motion: as if this principle were unable to pervade the whole system and all its parts with equal energy and power.

95. MODE OF ESTIMATING ACTIONS. The present action, like every other, is to be considered according to the extent of the injury which the person complaining to a court of justice has received. If he has received an injury or sustained a loss that can be estimated directly in money, there is then no other medium of redress but in monies, numbered according to the extent of the proof. I apprehend it will not be even stated by the counsel for the defendant, that if a person has sustained a loss and can shew it is to any given extent, he is not entitled to the full measure of it in damages. If a man destroys my house or furniture, or deprives me of a chattel, I have a right, beyond all man

« VorigeDoorgaan »