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which are apt to gather a preternatural heat and to inflame. And let no prince measure the danger of them by this, whether they be just or unjust; for that were to imagine people to be too reasonable, who do often spurn at their own good; nor yet by this, whether the griefs, whereupon they rise, be in fact great or small. For they are the most dangerous discontentments where the fear is greater than the feeling. Besides, in great oppressions the same things that provoke the patience do withal mate the courage; but in fears it is not so. Neither let any prince or state be secure concerning discontentments, because they have been often and have been long, and yet no peril hath ensued. For as it is true that every vapour or fume doth not turn into a storm; so it is nevertheless true, that storms, though they blow over divers times, yet may fall at last. And as the Spanish proverb noteth well, “ The cord breaketh at the last by the weakest pull.”
[Classical Tripos, 1831.]
31. HESIOD, in his celebrated distribution of mankind, divides them into three orders of intellects. first place," says he, “belongs to him that can by his own powers discern what is right and fit, and penetrate to the remoter motives of action. The second is claimed by him that is willing to hear instruction, and can perceive right and wrong when they are shewn him by another ; but he that has neither acuteness nor docility, who can neither find the way by himself, nor will be led by others, is a wretch without use or value.”
If we survey the moral world, it will be found that the same division may be made of men, with regard to their virtue. There are some whose principles are so firmly fixed, whose conviction is so constantly present to their minds, and who have raised in themselves such ardent wishes for the approbation of God, and the happiness with which he has promised to reward obedience and perseverance, that they rise above all other cares and considerations, and uniformly examine every action and desire, by comparing it with the divine commands. There are others in a kind of equipoise between good and ill, who are moved on the one part by riches or pleasure, by the gratifications of passion and the delights of sense; and, on the other, by laws of which they own the obligation, and rewards of which they believe the reality, and whom a very small addition of weight turns either way. The third class consists of beings immersed in pleasure, or abandoned to passion, without any desire of higher good, or any effort to extend their thoughts beyond immediate and gross satisfactions.
(Queens' College Scholarships, 1831.]
32. THE true law is right reason, conformable to nature, constant, eternal, diffused through all, which calls us to duty by commanding, deters us from vice by forbidding, which never loses its influence with the good, nor ever preserves it with the wicked. This cannot possibly be overruled by any other law, nor abrogated in whole or in part; nor can we be absolved from it either by the Senate or the people.-Nor are we to seek any other expositor or interpreter of it, but itself; nor can there be one law at Rome, another at Athens, one now, another hereafter; but the same eternal, immutable law comprehends all nations at all times, under one common master and governor of all, God. He is the inventor, propounder, enactor of this law; and whoever will not momentary conjunctures. He took upon himself the interpretation of all political measures; and gave morals whatever colour he chose, by the fine-drawn speculations of his own malicious mind. He began daily to diminish the authority of the senate: which design was much facilitated by their own aptitude to slavery; so that he despised their meanness, while he enjoyed its effects. A law at that time subsisted, which made it treason to form any injurious attempt against the majesty of the people. Tiberius assumed to himself the interpretation and enforcement of this law, and extended it not only to the cases which really affected the safety of the state, but to every conjuncture that could possibly be favourable to his hatred or suspicions. All freedom was consequently banished from convivial meetings; and diffidence reigned amongst the dearest relations. The gloomy disposition and insincerity of the prince, were diffused through all ranks of men: friendship had the air of an allurement to betray; and a fine genius was but a shining indiscretion; even virtue itself was considered as an impertinent intruder, that only served to remind the people of their lost happiness. [Trinity College Scholarships, 1831.]
35. We took the opportunity, when we were at Naples, of going to see Mount Vesuvius, which lies south-east from thence, at the distance only of four miles, if we reckon but to the beginning of the ascent, and four more they call it up to the top. Just at the beginning of the ascent stands a monument, with an inscription which is here inserted, giving an account of the terrible manner of its eruptions; it seems to have been erected by one who had been heartily frightened, and had perhaps narrowly escaped one of them; most probably the same