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adjusted towards a peace, all other differences were soon accommodated, insomuch, that for the future they resolved to live as good friends and confederates, and to share between them whatever conquests were made on either side. For this reason, we now find Luxury and Avarice taking possession of the same heart, and the same person between them. To which I shall only add, that since the discarding of the counsellors above-mentioned, Avarice supplies Luxury in the room of Plenty, as Luxury prompts Avarice in the place of Poverty. Spectator.
43. THE IMPUDENT AND THE ABSURD.
NEVER was a man so much teased, or suffered half the uneasiness, as I have done this evening, between a couple of fellows with whom I was unfortunately engaged to sup, where there were also several others in company. One of them is the most invincibly impudent, and the other as incorrigibly absurd. The conversation, where there were a thousand things said not worth repeating, made me consider with myself, how 'tis that men of these disagreeable char acters often go great lengths in the world, and seldom fail of outstripping men of merit; nay, succeed so well, that, with a load of imperfections on their heads, they go on in opposition to general disesteem, while they who are every way their superiors, languish away their days, though possessed of the approbation and good-will of all who know them.
If we would examine into the secret springs of action in the impudent and the absurd, we shall find, though they bear a great resemblance in their behaviour, that they move upon very different principles. The impudent are pressing, though they know they are disagreeable; the absurd are importunate, because they think they are acceptable: impudence is a vice, and absurdity a folly. Sir Francis Bacon talks very agreeably upon the subject of impudence. He takes notice, that the Orator being asked, what was the first, second, and third requisite to make a fine speaker? still answered, Action. This, said he, is the very outward form of speaking, and yet it is what with the generality has more force than the most consummate abilities. Impudence
is to the rest of mankind of the same use which action is to orators.
The truth is, the gross of men are governed more by ap pearances than realities, and the impudent man in his air and behaviour undertakes for himself that he has ability and merit, while the modest or diffident gives himself up as one who is possessed of neither. For this reason, men of front carry things before them with little opposition, and make so skilful a use of their talent, that they can grow out of humour like men of consequence, and be sour, and make their dissatisfaction do them the same service as desert. This way of thinking has often furnished me with an apology for great men who confer favours on the impudent. In carrying on the government of mankind, they are not to consider what men they themselves approve in their closets and private conversations, but what men will extend themselves farthest, and more generally pass upon the world for such as their patrons want in such and such stations, and consequently take so much work off the hands of those who employ them.
Far be it that I should attempt to lessen the acceptance which men of this character meet with in the world; but I humbly propose only, that they who have merit of a different kind, would accomplish themselves in some degree with this quality of which I am now treating. Nay, I allow these gentlemen to press as forward as they please in the advancement of their interests and fortunes, but not to intrude upon others: in conversation, also, let them do what they can with the rich and great, as far as they are suffered, but let them not interrupt the easy and agreeable. They may be useful as servants in ambition, but never as associates in pleasure. However, as I would still drive at something instructive in every lucubration, I must recommend it to all men who feel in themselves an impulse towards attempting laudable actions, to acquire such a degree of assurance, as never to lose the possession of themselves in public or private, so far as to be incapable of acting with a due decorum on any occasion they are called to. It is a mean want of fortitude in a good man, not to be able to do a virtuous action with as much confidence as an impudent fellow does an ill one. There is no way of mending such false modesty,
but by laying it down for a rule, that there is nothing shameful but what is criminal.
44.-ON GRIEVING FOR THE DEAD.
WE sympathize even with the dead, and overlooking what is of real importance in their situation, that awful futurity which awaits them, we are chiefly affected by those circumstances which strike our senses, but can have no influence upon their happiness. It is miserable, we think, to be deprived of the light of the sun; to be shut out from life and conversation; to be laid in the cold grave, a prey to corrup tion and the reptiles of the earth; to be no more thought of in this world, but to be obliterated in a little time from the affections, and almost from the memory, of their dearest friends and relations. Surely, we imagine, we can never feel too much for those who have suffered so dreadful a calamity. The tribute of our fellow-feeling seems doubly due to them now, when they are in danger of being forgot by every body; and, by the vain honours which we pay to their memory, we endeavour, for our own misery, artificially to keep alive our melancholy remembrance of their misfortune. That our sympathy can afford them no consolation, seems to be an addition to their calamity; and to think that all we can do is unavailing, and that, what alleviates all other distresses, the regret, the love, and the lamentations of their friends, can yield no comfort to them, serves only to exasperate our sense of their misery. The happiness of the dead, however, most assuredly, is affected by none of these circumstances; nor is it the thought of these things which can ever disturb the profound security of their repose. The idea of that dreary and endless melancholy, which the fancy naturally ascribes to their condition, arises altogether from our joining to the change which has been produced upon them, our own consciousness of that change, from our putting ourselves in their situation, and from our lodging, if I may be allowed to say so, our own living souls in their inanimated bodies, and thence conceiving what would be our emotions in this case. It is from this very illusion of the imagination, that the foresight of our own dissolution is so terrible to us, and that the idea of these circumstances, which undoubtedly
can give us no pain when we are dead, makes us miserable while we are alive. And from thence arises one of the most important principles in human nature, the dread of death, the great poison to the happiness, but the great restraint upon the injustice of mankind, which, while it afflicts and mortifies the individual, guards and protects society. DR ADAM SMITH.
45. ON REMORSE.
As the greater and more irreparable the evil that is done, the resentment of the sufferer runs naturally the higher; so does likewise the sympathetic indignation of the spectator, as well as the sense of guilt in the agent. Death is the greatest evil which one man can inflict upon another, and excites the highest degree of resentment in those who are immediately connected with the slain. Murder, therefore, is the most atrocious of all crimes which affect individuals only, in the sight both of mankind, and of the person who has committed it. To be deprived of that which we are possessed of, is a greater evil than to be disappointed of what we have only the expectation. Breach of property, therefore, theft and robbery, which take from us what we are possessed of, are greater crimes than breach of contract, which only disappoints us of what we expected. The most sacred laws of justice, therefore, those whose violation seems to call loudest for vengeance and punishment, are the laws which guard the life and person of our neighbour; the next are those which guard his property and possessions; and last of all come those which guard what are called his personal rights, or what is due to him from the promises of others.
The violator of the more sacred laws of justice can never reflect on the sentiments which mankind must entertain with regard to him, without feeling all the agonies of shame, and horror, and consternation. When his passion is gratified, and he begins coolly to reflect on his past conduct, he can enter into none of the motives which influenced it. They appear now as detestable to him as they did always to other people. By sympathizing with the hatred and abhorrence which other men must entertain for him, he becomes in some measure the object of his own hatred and
abhorrence. The situation of the person who suffered by his injustice now calls upon his pity. He is grieved at the thought of it; regrets the unhappy effects of his own conduct; and feels at the same time that they have rendered him the proper object of the resentment and indignation of mankind, and of what is the natural consequence of resentment, vengeance and punishment. The thought of this perpetually haunts him, and fills him with terror and amazement. He dares no longer look society in the face, but imagines himself as it were rejected, and thrown out from the affections of all mankind. He cannot hope for the consolation of sympathy in this his greatest and most dreadful distress. The remembrance of his crimes has shut out all fellow-feeling with him from the hearts of his fellow-creatures. The sentiments which they entertain with regard to him are the very thing which he is most afraid of. Every thing seems hostile, and he would be glad to fly to some inhospitable desert, where he might never more behold the face of a human creature, nor read in the countenance of mankind the condemnation of his crimes. But solitude is still more dreadful than society. His own thoughts can present him with nothing but what is black, unfortunate, and disastrous, the melancholy forebodings of incomprehensible misery and ruin. The horror of solitude drives him back to society, and he comes again into the presence of mankind, astonished to appear before them loaded with shame and distracted with fear, in order to supplicate some little protection from the countenance of those very judges, who he knows have already all unanimously condemned him. Such is the nature of that sentiment, which is properly called remorse; of all the sentiments which can enter the human breast the most dreadful. It is made up of shame from the sense of the impropriety of past conduct; of grief for the effects of it; of pity for those who suffer by it; and of the dread and terror of punishment from the consciousness of the justly-provoked resentment of all rational DR ADAM SMITH.
46.-ON THE INCREASED LOVE OF LIFE WITH AGE. CHINVANG the Chaste, ascending the throne of China, commanded that all who were unjustly detained in prison du