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and the relations of voyagers and travellers, confirm this truth. Let us consider for a moment the
and effects of civilisation, by comparing the laws and customs, and the civil and political state of the Romans, with our present manners, customs, laws, and civilisation.
The Romans carried the rights of paternity to a pitch of barbarity. A father had a right to expose, sell, and even put to death his children. Our manners have not this character of atrocity: our jurisprudence, more consistent with sound reason, harmonises better with morality and nature; our civil existence is better protected and guaranteed. Now-a-days
Now-a-days a son may, and ought to be the friend of his father. Education, more humane and better directed, especially for the last half century, has produced a much closer connection between parents and children.
The Romans had slaves, carried on an infamous traffic with them, and usurped the power of life and death over these wretches. They reduced their prisoners of war to servitude, chained captive kings to the triumphant cars of their haughty generals, and frequently made a sport of violating treaties. They marked their baneful power and destructive dominion by pillage, perfidy, and ferocity. Our policy is milder, nobler, more generous; our law of nations more humane. In wars, even the most inveterate, we spare private property. Our disarmed foes are placed under the safeguard of the sacred laws of humanity; our prisoners of war are treated like our own soldiers, and return when hostilities are over to their native country. Slavery has been banished from civilised Europe.
The Romans delighted in the exhibitions of gladiators : murder was their amusement. We know nothing of these sanguinary sports. Every foreigner was a barbarian in the
of the Romans; they applied this term to their enemies, the Carthaginians, who were more civilised than themselves. The European nations have renounced these national prejudices, the offspring of mistaken pride. The foreigner, of whatever nation, is welcomed among them, and every where enjoys the protection of the laws, the attentions of hospitality, and the advantages of civil society.
Any person, so inclined, might, by consulting the Roman history, carry this parallel much farther. He might also apply it to the Spartans, whose vaunted republic, no doubt worthy of admiration in many respects, nevertheless de
serves the censure of having extinguished every spark of humanity in the bosoms of her citizens, of having authorised theft for the purpose of exercising the dexterity of youth, and of having sanctioned the atrocious policy of sending forth the inhabitants of Laconia to hunt their slaves, the Helots, as we go out to chase the deer, the hare, or any other species of
game. The study of the history and manners of different nations, and a comparison between the ages of ignorance and those of knowledge between savage and barbarous tribes, and enlightened and polished nations, are sufficient to enable us to decide the question, whether the arts and sciences have contributed to refine the manners; or, in other and more general terms, whether civilisation is more beneficial than injurious.
I reserve for my Essay on the Philosophy of the Sciences some conjectures respecting the future possible and probable progress of civilisation, and the advantages which must result from it for the great family of mankind, and especially for the few individuals who, appointed to preside over its destinies, have it in their power by their influence to communicate to it either a retrograde or a progressive motion.
THE ART OF EMPLOYING TIME.
These considerations, of such powerful interest, will not appear misplaced after an Essay on the Employment of Time, more especially designed for youth ; for they ought when entering the career of life to impress upon their minds a deep sense of the destination which they have to fulfil. Their energies should be continually directed towards this noble and lofty aim :--the melioration of the state of man upon earth, the extension of his power over nature, and the augmentation of his means of happiness. Each in his sphere, however contracted, can contribute his share to this grand result. It is impossible then to throw too much light on all the questions relative to social advancement, which is the common aim of
the general conduct of nations and governm · or the public administration, and of t. vir. conduct of individuals.