Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

liberty. In some people I fee great liberty indeed; in many, if not in the most, an oppressive degrading servitude. But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all poffible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Those who know what virtuous liberty is, cannot bear to see it disgraced by incapable heads, on account of their having high-founding words in their mouths. Grand, swelling sentiments of liberty, I am sure I do not despise. They warm the heart; they enlarge and liberalize our minds; they animate our courage in a time of conflict.-Reflections on the French Revolution.

LIBERTY AND PEACE.

LIBERTY is a good to be improved, and not an evil to be lefsened. It is not only a private blessing of the first order, but the vital spring and energy of the state itself, which has just so much life and vigour as there is liberty in it. But whether liberty be advantageous or not, (for I know it is a fashion to decry the very principle) none will dispute that peace is a blessing; and peace must in the course of human affairs be frequently bought by some indulgence and toleration at lealt to liberty ---Speech on Conciliation with America,

LIBERTY AND SERVITY DE, A brave people will certainly prefer liberty, ac. companied with a virtuous poverty, to a depraved and wealthy fervitude. But before the price of comfort and opulence is paid, one ought to be pretty sure it is real liberty which is purchased, and that ihe is to be purchased at no other price. I shall always, however, consider that liberty is very equivocal in her appearance, which has not wisdom and justice for her companions; and does not lead prosperity and plenty in her train.- -Reflečtions on the Revolution in France.

LIFE.

TAKING in the whole view of life, it is more safe to live under the jurisdiction of severe but fteady reason, than under the empire of indulgent, but capricious paflion.--Appeal from the new to the old Whigs.

LEARNING, (SEE NOBILITY AND PRIESTHOOD.)

WF are but too apt to consider things in the state in which we find them, without sufficiently adverting to the causes by which they have been produced, and possibly may be upheld. Nothing is more certain, than that our manners, our civilization, and all the good things which are connected with manners, and with civilization, have, in this European world of ours, depended for ages upon two principles; and were indeed the result of both combined; I mean the spirit of a gentleman, and the spirit of religion. The nobility and the clergy, the one by profession, the other by patronage, kept learning in existence, even in the midst of arms and confusions, and whilst

, goveșnments were rather in their causes than formed. Learning paid back what it received to nobility and to priesthood; and paid it with usury, by enlarging their ideas, and by furnishing their minds. Happy if they had all continued to know their indissoluble union, and their proper place! Happy if learning, not debauched by ambition, had been satisfied to çontinue the instructor, and not aspired to be the master! Along with its natural protectors and guardians, learning will be cast into the mire, and trodden down under the hoofs of a swinish multitude, Reflections on the Revolution in France,

LOVE.

The physical Cause of Love. When we have before us such objects as excite love and complacency, the body is affected, so far as I could observe, much in the following manner: The head reclines fomething on one side; the eyelids are more closed than usual, and the eyes roll gently with an inclination to the object; the mouth is a little opened, and the breath drawn slowly, with now and then a low figh; the whole body is composed, and the hands fall idly to the sides. All this is accompanied with an inward sense of melting and languor. These appearances are always proportioned to the degree of beauty in the object, and of sensibility in the observer. And this gradation from the highest pitch of beauty and sensibility, even to the lowest of mediocrity and indifference, and their correspondent effects, ought to be kept in view, elle this description will seem exaggerated, which it cer. tainly is noi. But from this description it is almost impossible not to conclude, that beauty acts by relaxing the solids of the whole system. There are all the appearances of such a relaxation; and a relaxation somewhat below the natural tone feems to me to be the cause of all positive pleasure. Who is a stranger to that manner of expreslion so common in all times and in all countries, of being softened, relaxed, enervated, diffolved, melted away by pleasure? The universal voice of mankind, faithful to their feelings, concurs in affirming this uniform and general effect; and although some odd and particular instance may perhaps be found, wherein there appears a considerable degree of positive plealure, without all the characters of relaxation, we must not therefore reject the conclusion we had drawn from a concurrence of many experiments; but we must still retain it, subjoining the exceptions which may occur according to the judicious rule laid down by Sir Isaac Newton in the third book of his Opiics. Our position will, I conceive, appear confirmed bevond any reasonable doubt, if we can shew that such things as we have already observed to be the genuine constituents of beauty, have each of them, separately taken, a natural tendency to relax the fibres. And if it must be allowed us, that the appearance of the human body, when all these con

[ocr errors]

fituents are united together before the sensory, fur ther favours this opinion, we may venture, I believe, to conclude, that the passion called love is produced by this relaxation. By the same method of reasoning which we have used in the enquiry into the caufes of the sublime, we may likewise conclude, that as a beautiful object presented to the sense, by causing a relaxation in the body, produces the pasfion of love in the mind; fo if by any means the paffion should first have i's origin in the mind, a relaxation of the outward orgàns will as certainly ensue in a degree proportioned to the cause.--Sublime and Beautiful.

LOVE (NOT ARISING FROM LUST.) I likewise distinguish love, by which I mean that fatisfaction which arises to the mind upon contemplating any thing beautiful, of whatsoever nature it may be, from defire or luft; which is an energy of the mind, that hurries us on to the possession of certain objects, that do not affect us as they are beautiful, but by means altogether different. We fhall have a strong desire for a woman of no remarkable beauty; whilst the greatest beauty in men, or in other animals, though it causes love, yet excites nothing at all of desire. Which shews that beauty, and the passion caused by beauty, which I call love, is different from desire, though desire may fometimes operate along with it; but it is to this latter that we must attribute those violent and tempestuous passions, and the consequent emotions of the body which attend what is called love in some of its ordinary acceptations, and not to the effects of beauty merely as it is such. Ibid.

LOVE AND ADMIRATION. THERE is a wide difference between admiration and love. The sublime, which is the cause of the former, always dwells on great obje&is, and terrible; the laiter on small ones, and pleasing; we submit to what we admire, but we love what submits to us; in one cale we are forced, in the other we are flattered, into compliance.--Ibid.

LOVER (FORSAKEN.) If you listen to the complaints of a forsaken lover, you observe that he infiits largely on the pleasures which he enjoyed or hoped to enjoy, and on the perfection of the object of his desires; it is the lofs which is always uppermost in his mind. The violent effects produced by love, which has fometimes been even wrought up to madness, is no objection to the rule which we feck to establish. When men have suffered their imaginations to be long affected with any idea, it so wholly engrosses them as to shut out by degrees almost every other, and to break down every partition of the inind which would confine it. Any idea is sufficient for the purpose, as is evident from the infinite variety of causes, whichi give rise to madness; but this at most can only prove that the passion of love is capable of producing very extraordinary effects, not that its extraordinary emotions have any connection with positive pain. Ibid.

LANGUAGE, Effects of outrageous Language. (See AMERICA.) This outrageous language, (relative to America) which has been encouraged and kept alive by every. art, has already done incredible mischief. For a long time, even amidst the defolations of war, and the insults of hostile laws daily accumulated on one another; the American leaders seem to have had the greatest difficulty in bringing up their people to a declaration of total independence. But the Court Gazette accomplished what the abertors of indepen. dence had attempted in vain. When that disingenuous compilation, and strange medley of railing

« AnteriorContinuar »