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advocates of theirs, one honest man in every town in England, and one decent place in which that honest man may get a hearing, and down falls the vampire down, and awakened Reason shall wonder at the phantom it had feared.
Under these auspices our society terminates the third year since its glorious inauguration in Dublin, and cheerfully anticipates the issues of another.
For the patronage and assistance which its circumstances but too eloquently call for, to enable us to enter upon the occupation of our rew chapel, our appeal is to yourgoodness, to your generosity, but above all to your consideration. And to whatever determipations that consideration may lead you, as grateful for the sincere good-wish as for more effectual aid, where that may
lie beyond your wishes commanding. I most heartily wish you many, very many happy returns of the new year, and that the youngest person in this assembly, may live to be very old-and I live to see it.
DELENDA EST CARTHAGO.
OF SHAFTSBURY'S “ CHARACTERISTICS."
(EXTRACTED BY H. D. R.)
Continued from p. 192.
The injuries we do ourselves, by excess and unforbearance are then surely apparent, when through an impotence of this sort, and an impossibility of restraint, we do what we ourselves declare to be destructive to us. But these are matters obvious of Themselves. And from less than what has been said, it is easy to conclude, “ That luxury, riot, and debauch, are contrary to real interest, and to the true enjoyment of life.”
There is another luxury superior to the kind we have been mentioning, and which in strictness can scarcely be called a self-passion, since the sole endofit is the advantage and promotion of the species. But whereas all other social affections are joined only with a mental pleasure, and founded in mere kindness and love ; this has more added to it, and is joined with a pleasure of sense.
Now whether it be the interest or good of the animal to feel this indigence beyond a natural and ordinary degree, is what we may consider.
If it be allowed, that to all other pleasures there is a measure of appetite belonging, which cannot possibly be exceeded without prejudice to the creature, even in his very capacity of enjoying pleasure ; it will hardly be thought that there is no certain limit
or just boundary of this other appetite of the amorous kind. There are other sorts of ardent sensations accidentally: experienced ; which we find pleasant and acceptable, whilst they are held within a certain degree ; but which as they increase, grow oppressive and intolerant. Laughter provoked by titillation, grows an excessive pain ; though it retains still the same features of delight and pleasure.
Now if there be in every sensation of mere pleasure, a necessity of stopping somewhere, and determining on some boundary for the passion ; where can we fix our standard, or how regulate ourselves but with regard to nature, beyond which there is no measure or rule of things ? Now, nature may be known from what we see of the natural state of creatures, and of man himsell, when unprejudiced by vicious education.
Where happily any one is bred to a natural life, inured to honest industry and sobriety, and unaccustomed to any thing immoderate or intemperate ; he is found to have his appetites and inclinations of this sort at command. Nor are they on this account less able to afford him the pleasure or enjoyment of each kind. On the contrary; as they are more sound, healthy, and uninjured by excess and abuse, they must afford him proportionate satisfaction. so that were both these sensations to be experimentally compared; that of a virtuous course which belonged to one who lived a natural and regular life, and that of a vicious course which belonged to one who was relaxed and dissolute; there is no question but judgment would be given in favour of the former, without regard to consequences, and only with respect to the very pleasure of sense itself,
As to the consequences of this vice, with respect to the health and vigour of the body, there is no need to mention any thing. The injury it does the mind, though less noticed, is yet greater. The hindrance of all improvement, the wretched waste of time, the effeminacy, sloth, supineness, the disorder and looseness of a thousand passions, through such a relaxation and enervating of the mind; are all of them effects sufficiently apparent, when reflected on.
What the disadvantages are of this intemperance, in respect of interest, society, and the world; and what the advantages are of a contrary sobriety, and self-command, would be to little purpose to mention. It is well known there can be no slavery greater than what is consequent to the dominion and rule of such a passion. Of all other it is the least manageable by favour or concession, and assumes the most from priviledge and indulgence. What it costs us in the modesty and ingenuity of our natures, and in the faith and honesty of our characters, is as easily apprehended by any one who will reflect. And it will from hence appear, “ That there is no passion, which in its extravagance and excess more necessarily occasions disorder and unhappiness."
Now, as to that passion which is esteemed peculiarly interesting; as having for its aim the possession of wealth, and what we call a settlement or fortune in the world: if the regard towards this kind be moderate, and in a reasonable degree; if it occasion no passionate pursuit, nor raises any ardent desire or appetite, there is nothing in this case which is not compatible with virtue, and even suitable and beneficial to society. The public as well as private system is advanced by the industry, which this affection excites. But if it grows at length into a real passion, the injury and mischief it does the public, is not greater than that which it creates to the person himself. Such a one is in reality a self-oppressor, and lies heavier on himself than he can ever do on mankind.
How far a coveting or avaricious temper is miserable, needs not surely be explained. Who knows not how small a portion of worldly matters is sufficient for a man's single use and convenience, and how much his occasions and wants might be contracted and reduced, if a just frugality were studied, and temperance and a natural life came once to be pursued with half that application, industry, and art, which is bestowed on sumptuousness and luxury? Nowiftemperance be in reality so advantageous, and the practice as well as the conseqnences of it, so pleasing and happy, as has been expressed, there is little need, on the other side, to mention any thing of the miseries attending those covetous and eager desires after things which have no bound or rule; as being out of nature, beyond which there can be no limits to desire. For where shall we once stop, when we are beyond this boundary? How shall we fix or ascertain a thing wholly unnatural and unreasonable ? Or what method, what regulation, shall we set to mere imagination, or the exorbitancy of fancy, in adding expense to expense, or possession to possession ?
P. 158. There is a certain temper placed often in opposition to those eager and aspiring aims of which we have been speaking. Not that it really excludes either the passion of covetousness or ambition, but, because it hinders their effects, and keep them from breaking into open action. It is this passion, which by soothing the mind, and softening it into an excessive love of rest and indolence, renders high attempts impracticable, and represents as insuperable the difficulties of a painful and laborious course towards wealth and honours. Now though an inclination to ease, and a love of moderate recess and rest from action, be as natural and useful to us as the inclination we have towards sleep; yet, an excessive love of rest, and a contracted aversion to action and employment, must be a disease in the mind equal to that of a lethargy in the body.
How necessary action and exercise are to the body, may be judged by the difference we find between those constitutions
which are accustomed, and those which are wholly strangers to it; and by the different health and complexion which labour and due exercise create, in comparison with that habit of body we see consequent to an indulged state of indolence and rest. Nor is the lazy habit ruinous to the body only. The languishing disease corrupts all the enjoyments of a vigorous and healthy sense, and carries its infection into the mind, where it spreads a worse contagion. For, however, the body may for a while hold out, it is impossible that the mind, in which the distemper is seated, can escape without an immediate afflictiori and disorder. The habit begets a tediousness and anxiety, which influences the whole temper, and converts the unnatural rest into an unhappy sort of activity, ill humour, and spleen.
It is certain that as in the body, when no labour or natural exercise is used, the spirits which want their due eniployment, turn against the constitution, and find work for themselves in a destructive way; so in a soul or mind, unexercised, and which languishes for want of proper action and employment, the thoughts and affections being obstructed in their due course, and deprived of their natural energy, raise disquiet, and foment a rancorous eagerness and tormenting irritation. The temper from hence becomes more impotent in passion, more incapable of real moderation, and like prepared fuel, readily takes fire by the least spark.
How wretched that state is, in which, by this habit, a man is placed, towards all the circumstances and affairs of life, when at any time he is called to action ; how subjected he must be to all inconveniences, wanting to himself, and deprived of the assistance of others, whilst being unfit for all offices and duties of society, he yet, ofany other person, needs most the help of it, as being least able to assist or support himself. All this is obvious. And thus it is evident, “That to have this over-byasing inclination towards rest ; this slothful, soft, or effiminate temper, averse to labour and employment, is to have an unavoidable mischief and attendant plague.”
These affections, as self-interesting as they are, can often we see, become contrary to our real interest. They betray us into most misfortunes, and into the greatest of unhappinesses, that of a profligate and abject character. As they grow imperious and high, they are the occasion that a creature in proportion becomes mean and low. They are original to that which we call selfishness, and give rise to that sordid disposition of which we have already spoken. It appears there can be nothing so miserable in itself, or so wretched in its consequences, as to be thus impotent in temper, thus mastered by passion, and, by means of it, brought under the most servile subjection to the world.
Is is evident withal, that as this sellisliness increases in us, so
must a certain subtlety, and feignedness of carriage, which naturally accompanies it. And thus, the candour and ingenuity of our natures, the ease and freedom of our minds must be forfeited, all trust and confidence in a manner lost, and suspicions, jealousies, and envies multiplied. A separate end and interest must be every day more strongly formed in us, generous views and motives laid aside, and the more we are thus sensibly disjoined every day from society and our fellows, the worse opinion we shall have of those uniting passions which bind us in strict alliapce and unity with others. Upon these terms, we must of course endeavour to silence and suppress our natural and good affections, since they are such as would carry us to the good of society, against what we fondly conceive to be our private good and interest, as has been shown.
P. 163. The passions, therefore, which in the last place, we are to examine, are those which lead neither to a public nor a private good; and are neither of any advantage to the species in general, or the creature in particular. These, in opposition to the social and natural, we call the unnatural affections.
Of this kind is that unnatural and inhuman delight in beholding torments, and in viewing distress, calamity, blood, massacre, and destruction, with a peculiar joy and pleasure. This has been the reigning passion of many tyrants and barbarous nations, and belongs in some degree, to such tempers as have thrown off that courteousness of behaviour which retains in us a just reverence of mankind, and prevents the growth of harshness and brutality. This passion enters not where civility or affable manners have the least place.
Such is the nature of what we call civilization, that in the midst of many other corruptions, it admits not of inhumanity, or savage pleasure. To see the sufferance of an enemy with cruel delight may proceed from the height of anger, revenge, fear, and other extended self-passions; but to delight in the torture and pain of other creatures indifferently, natives or foreigners, or of our own or of another species, kindred or no kindred, known or unknown; to feed, as it were, on death, and be entertained with dying agonies ; this has nothing in it accountable in the way of self interest or private good above mentioned, but is wholly and absolutely unnatural, as it is horrid and miserable.
There is another affection nearly related to this, which is a gay and frolicsome delight in what is injurious to others, a sort of wanton mischievousness, and pleasure in what is destructive ; a passion which instead of being restrained is usually encouraged in children.
Malice, malignity, or ill will, such as is grounded on no self consideration, and where there is no subject of anger or jealousy, nor any thing to provoke or cause such a desire of doing ill to another; this also is of that kind of passion.
Envy too, when it is such as arises from the prosperity or hap