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in his own lodgings, which had windows fronting to each avenue, and ports to sally out upon all occasions of prey or defence. In this mansion he had for some time dwelt in peace and plenty, without danger to his person by swallows from above, or to his palace by brooms from below : when it was the pleasure of fortune to conduct thither a wandering bee, to whose curiosity a broken pane in the glass had discovered itself, and in he went; where, expatiating a while, he at last happened to alight upon one of the outward walls of the spider's citadel ; which, yielding to the unequal weight, sunk down to the very foundation. Thrice he endeavoured to force his passage, and thrice the centre shook. The spider within, feeling the terrible convulsion, supposed at first that nature was approaching to her final dissolution; or else, that Beelzebub, with all his legions, was come to revenge the death of many thousands of his subjects * whom his enemy had slain and de voured. However, he at length valiantly resolved to issue forth and meet his fate. Meanwhile the bee had acquitted himself of his toils, and, posted securely at some distance, was employed in cleansing his wings, and disengaging them from the rugged remnants of the cobweb. By this time the spider was adventured out, when, beholding the chasms, the ruins and dilapidations of his fortress, he was very near at his wits' end, he stormed and swore like a madman, and swelled till he was ready to burst. At length, casting his eye upon the bee, and wisely gathering causes from events, (for they knew each other by sight,) “a plague split you,” said he, “ for a giddy puppy, is it you, with a vengeance, that have made this litter here? could you not look before you? do you think I have nothing else to do but to mend and repair after you?”—“Good words, friend;" said the bee (having now pruned himself, and being disposed to be droll): “I'll give you my hand and word to come near your kennel no more, I was never in such a confounded pickle since I was born.”—“Sirrah," replied the spider, “if it were not for breaking an old custom in our family, never to stir abroad against an enemy, I should come and teach you better manners.”—“ I pray have patience,” said the bee, “ or you'll spend your substance, and, for aught I see, you may stand in need of it all, toward the repair of your house,” —“Rogue, rogue,” replied the spider, “yet methinks you should have more respect to a person whom all the world allows to be so much your
* Beelzebub, in the Hebrew, signifies lord of flies.
betters.”—“By my troth,” said the bee, “the comparison will amount to a very good jest; and you will do me a favour to let me know the reasons that all the world is pleased to use in so hopeful a dispute." At this the spider, having swelled himself into the size and posture of a disputant, began his argument in the true spirit of controversy, with resolution to be heartily scurrilous and angry; to urge on his own reasons without the least regard to the answers or objections of his opposite; and fully predetermined in his mind against all conviction.
“Not to disparage myself,” said he, “ by the comparison with such a rascal, what art thou but a vagabond without house or home, without stock or inheritance ? born to no possession of your own, but a pair of wings and a drone-pipe. Your livelihood is a universal plunder upon nature; a freebooter over fields and gardens; and, for the sake of stealing, will rob a nettle as easily as a violet. Whereas I am a domestic animal, furnished with a native stock within myself. This large castle (to show my improvements in the mathematics) is all built with my own hands, and the materials extracted altogether out of my own person."
“I am glad," answered the bee, “to hear you grant at least that I am come honestly by my wings and my voice; for then, it seems, I am obliged to Heaven alone for my flights and my music; and Providence would never have bestowed on me two such gifts, without designing them for the noblest ends. I visit indeed all the flowers and blossoms of the field and garden; but whatever I collect thence enriches myself, without the least injury to their beauty, their smell, or their taste. Now, for you and your skill in architecture and other mathematics, I have little to say: in that building of yours there might, for aught I know, have been labour and method enough; but, by woeful experience for us both, it is too plain the materials are naught; and I hope you will henceforth take warning, and consider duration and matter, as well as method and art. You boast indeed of being obliged to no other creature, but of drawing and spinning out all from yourself; that is to say, if we may judge of the liquor in the vessel by what issues out, you possess a good plentiful store of dirt and poison in your breast; and, though I would by no means lessen or disparage your genuine stock of either, yet I doubt you are somewhat obliged, for an increase of both, to a little foreign assistance. Your inherent portion of dirt does not fail of acquisitions, by sweepings exhaled from below; and one insect furnishes you with a share of poison to destroy another. So that, in short, the question comes all to this : whether is the nobler being of the two, that which, by a lazy contemplation of four inches round, by an overweening pride, feeding and engendering on itself, turns all into excrement and venom, producing nothing at all but flybane and a cobweb; or that which, by a universal range, with long search, much study, true judgment, and distinction of things, brings home honey and wax."
GUIZOT. We have translated the following broad view of Civilization from M. Guizot’s • Histoire Générale de la Civilisation en Europe. Of that remarkable volume there is a very good translation, -as also of the · History of Civilization in France,'-by Mr. W. Hazlitt, the son of the eminent critic. M. Guizot is a signal example of the force of great talents to win exalted station, under a particular system of society. He was born at Nismes in 1787; was a journalist in the time of Napoleon, and was wholly devoted to literature till 1816. He is Prime Minister of France. His great rival, M. Thiers, has pursued the same course. In England it is otherwise. The man of letters seldom wins wealth,-never power. The only class permitted to intrude upon the monopoly of hereditary politicians is the class of the lawyers. It may be a question, whether the technical practice of the courts, and the habit of advocacy which makes a lawyer successful in proportion to his power of identifying himself with narrow individual policies, are the best preparations for dealing with the great interests of humanity, and legislating for the most complicated condition of society that ever existed on the earth. Be this as it may, the man of letters is invariably regarded here as an impracticable man. The largest acquaintance with the past-the readiest power of observing the present-the widest benevolence—the most inflexible integrity-are no passports to worldly honour or greatness. It is better, we believe, that it should be so. There are enough second-rate intellects in the world to carry on the great game of expediency.]
The term civilization has been used for a long period of time, and in many countries : ideas more or less limited, more or less comprehensive, are attached to it, but still it is adopted and understood. It is the sense of this word, the general, human, and popular sense, that we must study. There is almost always more truth in the usual ac: ceptation of general terms, than in the apparently more precise and hard definitions of science. Common sense has given to words their ordinary signification, and common sense is the genius of mankind. The ordinary signification of a word is formed step by step in connection with facts; as a fact occurs, which appears to come within the sense of a known term, it is received as such, so to speak, naturally ; the sense of the term becomes enlarged and extended, and by degrees the different facts, and different ideas which in virtue of the nature of the things themselves, men ought to class under this word, become in fact so classed. When the sense of a word, on the other hand, is determined by science, this determination, the work of one individual or of a small number of persons, originates under the influence of some particular fact which has struck upon their minds. Therefore scientific definitions are generally much more limited, and from that alone, much less trụe in the main than the popular sense of terms. In studying as a fact the meaning of the word civilization, in seeking out all the ideas that are comprehended within the term, according to the common sense of man, we shall make more advances in the knowledge of the fact itself than if we ourselves attempted to give to it a scientific definition, though that definition might at first appear more precise and clear.
To begin this investigation, I shall endeavour to place before you some hypotheses: I shall describe a certain number of states of society, and then we will see if common instinct can point out the civilized state of society, the state which exemplifies the meaning that mankind naturally attaches to the term civilization.
Suppose a people whose external life is pleasant and easy; they pay few taxes, they have no hardships; justice is well administered in all private relations; in a word, material existence, taken as a whole, is well and happily regulated. But at the same time the intellectual and moral existence of this people is carefully kept in a state of torpor and sluggishness—I do not say, of oppression, because that feeling does not exist among them, but of compression. This state of things is not without example. There have been a great number of small aristocratic republics where the people have been thus treated like flocks, well attended and corporeally happy, but without intellectual and moral activity. Is this civilization? Is this a people civilizing itself?
Here is another hypothesis. Suppose a people whose material existence is less easy, less agreeable, but endurable nevertheless. In compensation, their moral and intellectual wants have not been neg. lected; a certain amount of mental food is distributed to them; pure and elevated sentiments are cultivated among this people; their moral and religious opinions have attained a certain degree of development; but great care is taken to extinguish the principle of liberty; satisfaction is given to intellectual and moral wants, as elsewhere to material wants; to each is given his portion of truth, no one is permitted to seek it by himself. Immobility is the character of the moral life; this is the state into which the greater part of the populations of Asia have fallen, where theocratical dominion holds back humanity: this is the condition of the Hindoos, for example. I ask the same question as about the preceding people: is this a people civilizing itself?
I will now completely change the nature of the hypothesis. Imagine a people among whom there is a great display of some individual liberties, but among whom disorder and inequality are excessive : strength and chance have the dominion; every one, if he is not strong is oppressed, suffers, and perishes; violence is the ruling character of the social state. Every body is aware that Europe has passed through this state. Is it a civilized state? It may doubtless contain the principles of civilization which will develop themselves by degrees, but the acting principle of such a society is not, unquestionably, what the judgment of men calls civilization.
I take a fourth and last hypothesis. The liberty of each individual is very great, inequality between them is rare, or, at least, very transient. Every one does nearly what he likes, and in power differs little from his neighbour; but there are very few general interests, very few public ideas, in a word, very little sociability: the faculties and existence of each individual come forth and flow on in isolation, without one influencing the other, and without leaving any trace behind; successive generations leave society at the same point at which they found it. This is the condition of savage tribes; liberty and equality exist, and yet, most certainly, civilization does not.