Page images
PDF
EPUB

be comprized. But in order effectually to apply the remedy, it is first necessary to ascertain the complaint. I proceed therefore now to enumerate the several kinds, and to inquire into the respective natures of all private wrongs, or civil injuries, which may be offered to the rights of either a man's person or his property; recounting at the same time the respective remedies, which are furnished by the law for every infraction of right. But I must first beg leave to premise, that all civil injuries are of two kinds, the one without force or violence, as slander or breach of contract; the other coupled with force and violence, as batteries or false imprisonment. Which latter species savour something of the criminal kind, being always attended with some violation of the peace; for which in strictness of law a fine ought to be paid to the king, as well as a private satisfaction to the party injured. And this distinction of private wrongs, into injuries with and without force, we shall find to run through all the variety of which we are now to treat. In considering of which, I shall follow the same method that was pursued with regard to the distribution of rights: for these are nothing else but an infringement or breach of those rights.

[Trinity College, 1840.]

:

75. But, Sir, in wishing to put an end to pernicious experiments, I do not mean to preclude the fullest enquiry. Far from it. Far from deciding on a sudden or partial view, I would patiently go round and round the subject, and survey it minutely in every possible aspect. Sir, if I were capable of engaging you to an equal attention, I would state, that, as far as I am capable of discerning, there are but three ways of proceeding relative to this stubborn spirit, which prevails in your

[ocr errors]

colonies, and disturbs your government. These are to change that spirit, as inconvenient, by removing the causes. To prosecute it as a criminal. Or, to comply with it as necessary. I would not be guilty of an imperfect enumeration; I can think of but these three. Another has indeed been started, that of giving up the colonies; but it met so slight a reception that I do not think myself obliged to dwell a great while upon it. It is nothing but a little sally of anger, like the frowardness of peevish children, who, when they cannot get all they would have, are resolved to take nothing.

[St John's College, 1840.]

76. PHILEMON has passed through the most considerable offices in the state. He was, when

very young, captain of a trireme at the battle of Salamis, and narrowly missed taking the famous Queen Artemisia, who escaped him by a very extraordinary stratagem. He has been since overseer of the fortifications, archon, one of the five hundred, and is now a member of the Areopagus. In all these employments an unblemished integrity, and an exact discharge of his duty, have recommended him to his countrymen as one of their most deserving citizens. He has frequently opposed the measures both of Cimon and Pericles; but it was in such a manner, that you saw, though he condemned the faults, he spared the men; and that his opposition proceeded not from ambition or caprice, but from an honest zeal for the public welfare. He is always well heard in the assemblies of the people, not from the art or eloquence of his orations, or a command of words, that rather overpowers than convinces the reason; but because he speaks to the purpose, and with an air and

gesture, that shews he does not mean to impose upon his hearers, unless he is first deceived himself. Another quality, which distinguishes my friend, is a singular humanity: his door is open to every poor citizen, and his table prepared with a frugal hospitality to receive any stranger, who comes recommended either by his own deserts, or the request of a common friend. There is not a greater test of his benevolent temper, than that though he is an old man, he can encourage the mirth, and bear with the levities of the young; nor a stronger instance of his good breeding, than that he does not abound in the narrative faculty of years, and is rather forward to promote the conversation of others, than to assume an air of superiority, by obliging them to listen to his. This is an imperfect sketch of Philemon's character: I pass next to that of my other companions.

[Craven Scholarship, 1841.]

77. In my youth I had an insatiable desire to learn that science which is called Natural History; for I thought it was something great and divine to know the causes of every thing, of their generation, existence, and death. And I spared no pains, nor omitted any means for trying, in the first place, if a certain corruption of heat and cold will, as some pretend, give nourishment to animals; if the blood makes the thought; if air or fire, or the brain alone is the cause of our senses, of seeing, hearing, smelling, &c.; if memory and opinion take their rise from these senses, and if knowledge be the result of memory and opinion. Then I wanted to know the causes of their corruption, and extended my curiosity both to the heavens and the cavities of the earth, and would fain have known the cause of all the phenomena we meet with. At last, after a great deal of trouble, I found myself strangely unqualified for such inquiries; and of this I am about to give you a sensible proof. This fine study made me so blind in the things I knew more evidently before, according to my own and other persons' thoughts, that I quite forgot all that I had known upon several subjects. I thought it was evident to the whole world, that a man grows only by eating and drinking: for flesh being added to flesh, bones to bones, and all the other parts joined to their similar parts by nourishment, make a small bulk to swell and grow, so that a little man becomes large.

[Craven Scholarship, 1841.]

78. SINCE the ground of trade cannot be deduced from havens, or native commodities (as may well be concluded from the survey of Holland, which has the least and the worst; and of Ireland, which has the most and the best, of both) it were not amiss to consider, from what other source it may be more naturally and certainly derived: for if we talk of industry, we are still as much to seek, what it is that makes people industrious in one country, and idle in another. I conceive the true original and grounds of trade to be, great multitude of people crowded into small compass of land, whereby all things necessary to life become dear, and all men, who have possessions, are induced to parsimony; but those, who have none, are forced to industry and labour or else to want. Bodies, that are vigorous, fall to labour; such, as are not, supply that defect by some sort of inventions or ingenuity. These customs arise first from necessity, but increase by imitation, and grow in time to be habitual in a country; and wherever they

are so, if it lies upon the sea, they naturally break out into trade, both because, whatever they want of their own, that is necessary to so many men's lives, must be supplied from abroad; and because, by the multitude of people, and smallness of country, land grows so dear, that the improvement of money, that way, is inconsiderable, and so turns to sea, where the greatness of the profit makes amends for the venture.

[Classical Tripos, 1841.)

79. And now that I have gone through the six parts that I proposed, and shewn that sense and perception can never be the product of any kind of matter and motion; it remains therefore, that it must necessarily proceed from some incorporeal substance within us. And though we cannot conceive the manner of the soul's action and passion; nor what hold it can lay on the body, when it voluntarily moves it: yet we are as certain that it doth so, as of any mathematical truth whatsoever; or at least of such as are proved from the impossibility or absurdity of the contrary, which notwithstanding are allowed for infallible demonstrations. Why one motion of the body begets an idea of pleasure in the mind, and another of pain, and others of the other senses; why such a disposition of the body induceth sleep, another disturbs all the operations of the soul, and occasions a lethargy or frenzy; this knowledge exceeds our narrow faculties, and is out of the reach of our discovery. I discern some excellent final causes of such a vital conjunction of body and soul; but the instrumental I know not, nor what invisible bands and fetters unite them together,

[Classical Tripos, 1841.]

« PreviousContinue »