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rection, suitable to their talents, their natural inclinations, or their acquired knowledge, and the circumstances in which they are placed : he ought, in short, to regard their existence rendered honourable and useful as a prolongation of his own existence beyond the grave. The first cares required by infancy are but a portion of the immense debt which paternity imposes. Thus each generation, training with attentive and religious zeal that which is to succeed it, would give a progressive and salutary impulsion to the human mind. The family spirit, properly di
Wealth has never been pointed out by us as an end, but as a
It would be an end, false and deceitful, contemptible and full of vanity; but it is a good and useful mean for him who knows how, and who is determined to make a noble and worthy use of it. With wealth, duly appreciated and employed, we possess more power to do good to our fellow-creatures, to be of service to our country, to promote the advancement of the arts and sciences, and thus to create our own felicity. The man who acquires wealth by his labour cannot obtain a benefit equal to ten for himself without conferring one equal to one hundred on society. The law of exchanges admits of no personal advantage, but what blends by a happy and necessary mixture with the great mass of public interests.
Family spirit, properly directed, tends essentially to the general prosperity. A good and enlightened father ought therefore to be desirous of possessing science, ambition, wealth, and foresight, for the sake of his children.
reeted, would then tend to promote public prosperity and social improvement. Every individual, in chusing a profession and cultivating a science, should apply to himself this beautiful passage, in which Rousseau, strong in the authority of Bacon and Pascal,* two of the brightest geniuses that ever appeared upon earth to enlighten mankind, pays homage to the almost indefinite perfectibility of human nature :-“We know, or may know, the first point from which each of us starts to arrive. at an ordinary degree of intellect : but who can tell where is the other extremity? I am not aware that any philosopher has yet been bold enough to say-here is the limit which man may attain, but which he cannot pass. We know not what our nature admits of our being: none of us has measured the distance which may exist between one man and another. What soul is so base as never to have been warmed with this idea and not sometimes to have 'exclaimed with pride: How many have I already outstripped! how many may I yet overtake! Why should my equal
* See the beautiful idea of Pascal, quoted at p. 213, in support of the doctrine of the perfectibility of man.
XXXII. NOBLE EMULATION THAT OUGHT TO INSPIRE
A young man, be his profession what it will, whether he be a merchant, manufacturer, lawyer, physician, chemist, architect, soldier, farmer, mechanic, or artisan, should be profoundly impressed with these principles: “I will not linger,” he should say to himself, “ in barren and disgraceful mediocrity: I will strive to find sufficent resources in my own genius, aided by observation and study, or in persevering and active industry, in firm resolution, in constant meditation, seconded by the intelligence and the examples which have: preceded or which surround me, to deserve to be pointed out as a model, to raise myself above the obscure and insignificant multitude, to act a distinguished part, to be happy by making myself useful.”*
* It is from a mistaken notion, I conceive, that childhood is generally called the happiest period of life. It is exempt, indeed, from the cares and troubles which frequently annoy man in the other periods of existence; but it is a kind of vegetation, a passive and negative life. It depends upon ourselves alone to be happier in mature age; for then we can enjoy the complete development of our faculties; we possess, in consequence, more means and instruments of preservation and felicity; but youth
The necessary consequence then is that he acquires fortune and celebrity by means of the immense power of continuity of action, and by the determination to attain them. Such a person does not vegetate on the earth-he lives, and is worthy of living.
XXXIII. GENERAL RESULTS OF THE UNINTERRUPTED PRACTICE
OF THE PROPOSED METHOD FOR REGULATING THE EMPLOY-
To him whose heart and imagination are strongly stimulated by the desire of distinction, who does not remain cold and insensible while calculating what he may become by the welldirected employment of his faculties; to him belongs more particularly the application of our plan.
To learn to observe ourselves and to know others, to speak little, to be silent at proper times, to will resolutely, to subdue anger, to avoid the snares of self-love, to conquer sensuality, to sub
seems manifestly to be the period most favourable to happiness. The body has more strength and vigour; the mind more spirit and activity; the soul more fire and energy, more elevation and generosity: life presents more smiling prospects and fairer hopes. Learn, beloved youth, to appreciate and to employ all your advantages: the aim of my work is to furnish you with the means of doing so.
ject the passions to reason, to curb the imagination, to follow for our instruction that order and method which are the soul of study, to employ all the moments of life with economy and discernment, according to fixed and invariable laws; to husband our strength and our powers, and thus to prolong our existence; in short, to watch, to correct, to meliorate ourselves incessantly—this is the end and aim of our method. Such are the characters that must constitute a superior man, when the first seeds of the great qualities attached to our nature and organisation are expanded by education and habit. The soul of such a superior person will be the focus of the noblest passions. His head will be cool and calm, and his character phlegmatic; for it is the phlegmatic who possess the command over others. Always masters of themselves, they easily acquire the mastery over other men. Patient and observant, they wait for opportunities, or silently create them, and make them subservient to their views. Genius, says Buffon, is but a greater aptitude to patience.
The results of our method, practised perseveringly, and in all its points, are health, peace of mind, and knowledge, advantages, to obtain which it is doubtless worth while strictly to pursue the prescribed course.