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but a faint struggle, that shews we are in an element which does not belong to us.
We all are men; we all love to be told of the extent of our own power and our own faculties. If we love glory, we are jealous of partners, and afraid even of our own instruments. It is of all modes of flattery the most effectual to be told, that you can regulate the affairs of another kingdom better than its hereditary proprietors. It is formed to flatter the principle of conquest so natural to all men.
Wisdom is not the most severe corrector of folly. They are the rival follies, which mutually wage so unrelenting a war; and which make so cruel a use of their advantages, as they can happen to engage the immoderate vulgar on the one side or the other in their quarrels.
THERE is however a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. Men may tolerate injuries, whilst they are only personal to themselves. But it is not the first of virtues to bear with moderation the indignities that are offered to our country.
It is laid in the unalterable constitution of things :None can aspire to act greatly, but those who are of force greatly to suffer. They who make their arrangements in the first run of misadventure, and in a temper of mind the common fruit of disappointment and dismay, put a seal on their calamities. To their power they take a security against any favours which they might hope from the usual inconstancy of fortune.
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No man lives too long, who lives to do with spirit, and suffer with resignation, what Providence pleases to command or inflict.
CLANDESTINE and collusive practice can only be traced by combination and comparison of circumstances. To reject such combination and comparison is to reject the only means of detecting fraud ; it is indeed to give it a patent and free licence to cheat with impunity.
The way to avoid suspicion in the settlement of pecuniary transactions, in which great frauds have been very strongly presumed, is, to attend to these few plain principles:- First, to hear all parties equally, and not the managers for the suspected claimantsonly. Not to proceed in the dark; but to act with as much publicity as possible.—Not to precipitate decision.-To be religious in following the rules prescribed in the commission under which we act. And, lastly, and above all, not to be fond of straining constructions, to force a jurisdiction, and to draw to ourselves the management of a trust in its nature invidious and obnoxious to suspicion, where the plainest letter of the law does not compel it. If these few plain rules are observed, no corruption ought to be suspected ; if any of them are violated, suspicion will attach in proportion. If all of them are violated, a corrupt motive of some kind or other will not only be suspected, but must be violently presumed.
PRIDE OF FREEDOM.
In Virginia and Carolina they have a vast multitude of slaves. Where this is the case in any part of the world, those who are free, are by far the most proud and jealous of their freedom. Freedom is to them not only an enjoyment, but a kind of rank and privilege. Not seeing there, that freedom, as in countries where it is a common blessing, and as broad and general as the air, may be united with much abject toil, with great misery, with all the exterior of servitude, liberty looks, amongst them, like something that is more noble and liberal. I do not mean, Sir, to commend the superior morality of this sentiment, which has at least as much pride as virtue in it; but I cannot alter the nature of man.
The fact is so; and these people of the southern colonies are much more strongly, and with an higher and more stubborn spirit, attached to liberty than those to the northward. Such were all the antient commonwealths; such were our Gothic ancestors; such in our days were the Poles; and such will be all masters of slaves, who are not slaves themselves. In such a people the haughtiness of domination combines with the spirit of freedom, fortifies it, and renders it invincible.
It is a great mistake, that the desire of securing property is universal among mankind. Gaming is a principle inherent in human nature. It belongs to
GO-BETWEENS IN POLITICS. As to leaders in parties, nothing is more common than to see them blindly led. The world is governed by
go-betweens. These go-betweens influence the persons with whom they carry on the intercourse, by stating their own sense to each of them as the sense of the other; and thus they reciprocally master both sides. It is first buzzed about the ears of leaders, or that their friends without doors are very eager for
some measure, or very warm about some opinion“ that you must not be too rigid with them. They are useful persons,
and zealous in the cause. “ They may be a little wrong; but the spirit of li“ berty must not be damped ; and by the influence you
obtain from some degree of concurrence with “ them at present, you may be enabled to set them
Thus the leaders are at first drawn to a connivance with sentiments and proceedings, often totally different from their serious and deliberate notions. But their acquiescence answers every purpose.
With no better than such powers, the go-betweens assume a new representative character. What at best was but an acquiescence, is magnified into an authority, and thence into a desire on the part of the leaders; and it is carried down as such to the subordinate members of parties. By this artifice they in their turn are led into measures which at first, perhaps, few of them wished at all, or at least did not desire vehemently or systematically.
FEAR OF GOD.
It were endless to enumerate all the passages, both in the sacred and profane writers, which establish the general sentiment of mankind, concerning the inseparable union of a sacred and reverential awe, with our ideas of the divinity. Hence the common maxim, Primus in orbe deos fecit timor. This maxim may be, as I believe it is, false with regard to the origin of religion. The maker of the maxim saw how inseparable these ideas were, without considering that the notion of some great power must be always precedent to our dread of it. But this dread must necessarily follow the idea of such a power, when it is once excited in the mind. It is on this principle that true religion has, and must have, so large a mixture of salutary fear; and that false religions have generally nothing else but fear to support them. Before the christian religion had, as it were, humanized the idea of the Divinity, and brought it somewhat nearer to us, there was very little said of the love of God. The followers of Plato have something of it, and only something; the other writers of pagan antiquity, whether poets or philosophers, nothing at all. And they who consider with what infinite attention, by what a disregard of every perishable object, through what long habits of piety and contemplation it is, any man is able to attain an entire love and devotion to the Deity, will easily perceive, that it is not the first, the most natural, and the most striking effect which proceeds from that idea.
PLANS AND FORMS OF
GOVERNMENT, &c. It is one of the finest problems in legislation, and what has often engaged my thoughts whilst I followed that profession, " What the state ought to take upon “ itself to direct by the public wisdom, and what it “ 'ought to leave, with as little interference as possible, “ to individual discretion.” Nothing, certainly, can be laid down on the subject that will not admit of exceptions, many permanent, some occasional. But the clearest line of distinction which I could draw, whilst I had my chalk to draw any line, was this; that the state ought to confine itself to what regards