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in comedy, where it seems firmly established, though no reason can be assigned why we may not laugh in the one as well as weep in the other. The true reason of this mixture is to be sought for in the manners, which are prevalent amongst a people; it has become very fashionable to affect delicacy, tenderness of heart, and fine feeling, and to shun all imputation of rusticity. Much mirth is very foreign to this character; they have introduced therefore a sort of neutral writing.
(Classical Tripos, 1839.]
61. WHEN polished nations have obtained the glory of victory, or have acquired an addition of territory, they may terminate a war with honour.
But savages are not satisfied until they extirpate the community which is the object of their hatred. They fight, not to conquer, but to destroy. If they engage in hostilities, it is with a resolution never to see the face of the enemy in peace, but to prosecute the quarrel with immortal enmity. The desire of vengeance is the first, and almost the only principle, which a savage instils into the minds of his children. This grows up with him as he advances in life; and as his attention is directed to few objects, it acquires a degree of force unknown among men whose passions are dissipated and weakened by the variety of their occupations and pursuits. The desire of vengeance, which takes possession of the heart of savages, resembles the instinctive rage of an animal, rather than the passion of a man. It turns, with undiscerning fury, even against inanimate objects. If hurt accidentally by a stone, they often seize it in a transport of anger, and endeavour to wreak their vengeance upon it. If struck with an arrow in a battle, they will tear it from the wound, break and bite it with their teeth, and dash it on the ground.
(Magdalene College Scholarships, 1839.]
62. SURELY I suppose this but a vain conceit of simple men, which judge things by their effects and not by their causes; for I would rather think the cause of this evil, which hangeth upon that country, to proceed rather of the unsoundness of the counsels, and plots which you say have been oftentimes laid for the reformation, or of faintness in following and effecting the same, than of any such fatal course appointed of God, as you misdeem: but it is the manner of men, that when they are fallen into any absurdity, or their actions succeed not as they would, they are always ready to impute the blame thereof unto the Heavens, so to excuse their own follies and imperfections. So have I heard it often wished also that all that land were a sea-pool: which kind of speech is the manner rather of desperate men far driven, to wish the utter ruin of that which they cannot redress, than of grave counsellors, which ought to think nothing so hard, but that through wisdom it may be mastered and subdued : for were it not the part of a desperate physician, to wish his diseased patient dead, rather than to apply the best endeavour of his skill for his recovery?
[St John's College, 1839.]
63. I am ready to admit that according to the experience of history, the ancient democracies of the world were vicious and objectionable on many accounts. Their instability, their injustice, and many other vices cannot be overlooked. But surely when we turn to the ancient democracies of Greece, when we see them in all the splendour of arts and arms, when we reflect to what an elevation they carried the powers of man, it cannot be denied that however vicious on the score of ingratitude or of injustice, they were at least the pregnant source of national strength, and that they brought forth this strength in a peculiar manner in the moment of difficulty and distress. When we look at the democracies of the ancient world, we are compelled to acknowledge their oppression to their dependencies, their horrible acts of injustice and ingratitude to their own citizens; but they compel us also to admiration by their vigour, their constancy, their spirit, and their exertions in every great emergency in which they were called upon to act. We are compelled to own that democracy gives a power, of which no other form of government is capable. Why? Because it incorporates every man with the State, because it arouses every thing that belongs to the soul as well as to the body of man: because it makes every individual feel that he is fighting for himself, and not for another; that it is his own cause, his own safety, his own concern, his own dignity, and his own interest which he has to maintain, and accordingly we find that whatever may be objected to democratical governments on account of the turbulency of the passions which they engender, their short duration, and their disgusting vices, they have exacted from the common suffrage of mankind the palm of strength and vigour.
[Trinity College, 1839.]
64. It is too long a business to debate, whether lex scripta, aut non scripta, a text law, or customs well registered, with received and approved grounds and maxims, and acts, and resolutions judicial, from time to time duly entered and reported, be the better form of declaring and authorising laws. It was the principal reason or oracle of Lycurgus, that none of his laws should be written. Customs are laws written in living tables, and some traditions the church doth not disauthorise. In all sciences they are the soundest, that keep close to particulars; and, sure I am, there are more doubts that rise upon our statutes, which are a text law, than upon the common law, which is no text law. But, howsoever that question be determined, I dare not advise to cast the law into a new mould. The work, which I propound, tendeth to pruning and grafting the law, and not to plowing up and planting it again; for such a remove I should hold indeed for a perilous innovation.
[Trinity College, 1839.]
65. WHILE such was our conduct in all parts of the world, could it be hoped that any emigrant whose situation was not utterly desperate indeed, would join us; or that all who were lovers of their country more than lovers of royalty would not be our enemies? We have so shuffled in our professions, and have been guilty of such duplicity that no description of Frenchmen will flock to our standard. It was a fatal error in the commencement of the war that we did not state clearly how far we meant to enter into the cause of the emigrants, and how far to connect ourselves with powers who from their previous conduct might well be suspected of other views than that of restoring monarchy in France. It may perhaps be said that we could not be certain in the first instance how far it might be proper to interfere in the internal affairs of France; that we must watch events and act accordingly. But by this want of clearness with respect to our ultimate intentions we have lost more than any contingency could ever promise.
(Classical Tripos, 1840.]
66. The progress which the Romans made in navi. gation and discovery, was still more inconsiderable than that of the Greeks. The genius of the Roman people, their military education, and the spirit of their laws, concurred in estranging them from commerce and naval affairs. It was the necessity of opposing a formidable rival, not the desire of extending trade, which first prompted them to aim at maritime power. Though they soon perceived that in order to acquire the universal dominion after which they aspired, it was necessary to render themselves masters of the sea, they still considered the naval service as a subordinate station, and reserved for it such citizens as were not of a rank to be admitted into the legions. In the history of the Roman republic, hardly one event occurs, that marks attention to navigation any farther than as it was instrumental towards conquest. When the Roman valour and discipline had subdued all the maritime states known in the ancient world; when Carthage, Greece, and Egypt, had submitted to their power, the Romans did not imbibe the commercial spirit of the conquered nations. Among that people of soldiers, to have applied to trade would have been deemed a degradation of a Roman citizen.
[Magdalene College Scholarships, 1840.]
67. A PATRIOT is necessarily and invariably a lover of the people.
But even this mark may sometimes deceive The people is a very heterogeneous and confused