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called a "Jack in office;" and the common remark is repeated, "How unassuming are the 66 highborn, the highbred, the men of rank, the "men of station - how insolent are the under"strappers!"
Further, adventitious rank goes well with office, in respect that it tends to smooth over an inherent disparity the wrong way, when it occurs (as it must and will occasionally) between those in command and those under command. To see reason over-ruled,
"And strength by limping sway disabled,
will doubtlesss be disagreeable, let it be warranted as it may; but it will be less odious when done by a prince or a duke, than when it is the act of a man raised from a lower rank in society to a high official station. Were it possible that preferment should always go by
* Shakspeare's Sonnets, 66.
merit, other elevation might be better dispensed with; but looking at life and human nature as they exist, and to the influence which established orders and degrees of society obtain over the imaginations of men, it may be said that that influence is well applied when it helps to render less obnoxious an inevitable official subjection of the superior intellect. That is no insignificant part of the philosophy of government which calls in aid the imaginations of men in order to subjugate the will and understanding; and so long as man shall continue to be an imaginative being, it will be expedient that those who are to enjoy pre-eminence or to exercise power, should be invested with some ideal influence which may serve to cloth the nakedness of authority. Nor is it to be supposed that an injustice is done to intellect so often as it is postponed to other attributes: on the contrary that justice which deals in equal dispensations would bid the man of great
intellectual gifts to be content with the superiority he has from nature, and leave other superiorities to those who are worse provided; and it is justice to the public, and not to him, which demands his preferment.
Moreover, if intellect were not to divide with other advantages the deference of mankind, it may be doubted whether the domination of the strong in understanding over the weak would not become oppressive; for we see every day that talents are easily divorced from wisdom and charity; and when this separation takes place, there is no pride which is more tyrannical, more insolent, more wantonly aggressive, than the pride of intellect.
THERE are divers kinds of decisiveness; there is that of temperament, and that of reason, and there is that which is compounded of both; and this last is the best for a statesman. The tendency of the reasoning and contemplative faculty is to suggest more doubts than conclusions, and to comprehend in its dealings with a subject more considerations than the human mind is adequate to bring to a clear issue. Temperament is wanted, therefore, to abbreviate the operations of reason and close up the distances, thereby enabling the mind, where many things are doubtful, to seize de
cisively those which are least so, and hold by them as conclusions. On the other hand, the tendency of a temperament energetically decisive, is to overleap some of the preliminary and collateral investigations which might, with proper patience, be available to certainty of conclusion; and the strength of a reasoning faculty trained to scrupulous habits is required to balance this tendency.
Moreover, to make a perfect statesman it is necessary that these antagonist dispositions should be so far under command that they may be curbed or indulged in different degrees at different stages in the consideration of a question. If the subject be large and complex, the state natural to a comprehensive mind at the first approach to it, is a state of some confusion and perplexity, and this is the best state to begin with; for he whose mind is not seasonably inconclusive, and cannot bear with a reasonable term of sus