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abilities of the receiver extend to. David, in the overflowing sense of God's goodness to him, cries out, in the 116th Psalm, verse 12, “ What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits towards me?” So the grateful person, pressed down upon the apprehension of any great kindness done him, eases his burthened mind a little by such expostulations with himself as these : “ What shall I do for such a friend, for such a patron, who has so frankly, so generously, so unconstrainedly, relieved me in such a distress; supported me against such an enemy; supplied, cherished, and upheld me, when relations would not know me, or, at least, could not help me; and, in a word, has prevented my desires and outdone my necessities ?” Ingratitude is an insensibility of kindnesses received, without any endeavour either to acknowledge or repay them. Ingratitude sits on its throne, with pride at its right hand and cruelty at its left, worthy supporters of such a state. You may rest upon this as a proposition of an eternal, unfailing truth, that there neither is, nor ever was, any person remarkably ungrateful, who was not also insufferably proud; norconvertibly—any one proud, who was not equally ungrateful. For as snakes breed in dunghills not singly, but in knots, so in such base, noisome hearts, you shall ever see pride and ingratitude indivisibly wreathed and twisted together. Ingratitude overlooks all kindnesses, but it is because pride makes it carry its head so high. Ingratitude is too base to return a kindness, and too proud to regard it: much like the tops of mountains, barren, indeed, but yet lofty; they produce nothing, they feed nobody, they clothe nobody, yet are high and stately, and look down upon all the world about them. Ingratitude, indeed, put the poniard into Brutus's hand, but it was want of compassion which thrust it into Cæsar's heart. Friendship consists properly in mutual offices, and a generous strife in alternate acts of kindness. But he who does a kindness to an ungrateful person, sets his seal to a flint, and sows his seed upon the sand : upon the former he makes no
impression, and from the latter he finds no production. The only voice of ingratitude is, Give, give; but when the gift is once received, then, like the swine at his trough, it is silent and insatiable. In a word, the ungrateful person is a monster, which is all throat and belly: a kind of thoroughfare or common shore for the good things of this world to pass and of whom, in respect of all kindnesses conferred on him, may be verified that observation of the lion's den, before which appeared the footsteps of many that had gone in thither, but no prints of any that ever came out thence.-SOUTH. From 1633 to 1716.
INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS OF A NATION.
I THINK it a great error to count upon the genius of a nation as a standing argument in all ages, since there is hardly a spot of ground in Europe where the inhabitants have not frequently and entirely changed their temper and genius. Neither can I see any reason why the genius of a nation should be more fixed in the point of government than in their morals, their learning, their religion, their common humour and conversation, their diet, and their complexion; which do all notoriously vary almost in every age, and may every one of them have great effects upon men's notions of government. Since the Norman conquest the balance of power in England has often varied, and sometimes been wholly overturned; the parts which the commons had in it (that most disputed point) in its original progress and extent, was, by their own confessions, but a very inconsiderable share. Generally speaking, they have been gaining ever since, though with frequent interruptions, and slow progress. The abolishing of villanage, together with the custom introduced (or permitted) among the nobles, of selling their lands, in the reign of Henry VII., was a mighty addition to the power of the commons; yet I think a much greater happened in the time of his successor at the dissolution of the Abbeys; for this turned the clergy wholly out of the scale, who had so long filled it; and placed the commons in their stead, who in a few years became possessed of vast quantities of those and other lands, by grant or purchase. About the middle of Queen Elizabeth's reign, I take the power between the nobles and the commons to have been in more equal balance than it was ever before or since. Then or soon after, arose a faction in England, which, under the name of Puritan, began to grow popular by moulding up their new schemes of religion with republican government; and gaining upon the prerogative as well as the nobles, under several denominations, for the space of about sixty years, did at last overthrow the constitution, and, according to the usual course of such revolutions, did introduce a tyranny, first of the people, then of one person. In a short time after, the old government was revived. But the progress of affairs for about thirty years, under two weak princes, is a subject of a very different nature when the balance was in danger to be overturned by the hands that held it, which was at last very seasonably prevented by the late Revolution. However, as it is the talent of human nature to run from one extreme to another, so in a very few years we have made mighty leaps from prerogative heights into the depth of popularity, and, I doubt, to the very last degree that our constitution will bear. It were to be wished that the most august assembly of the commons would please to form a pandect of their own power and privileges, to be confirmed by the entire legislative authority, and that in as solemn a manner (if they please) as the Magna Charta. But to fix one foot of their compass wherever they think fit, and extend the other to such terrible lengths, without describing any circumference at all, is to leave us and themselves in an uncertain state, and in a sort of rotation that the author of the Oceana never dreamed on. I believe the most hardy tribune will not venture to affirm, at present, that any just fears of encroachment are given us from the regal power, or the few. And is it then impossible to err on the other side? How far must we proceed ? or where shall we stop ? The raging of the sea and the madness of the people, are put together in Holy Writ; and it is God alone who can say to either, “Hitherto shalt thou pass, and no farther."-Swift. From 1667 to 1745.
COURAGE that grows from constitution very often forsakes a man when he has occasion for it; and, when it is only a kind of instinct in the soul, breaks out on all occasions without judgment or discretion. That courage which proceeds from the sense of our duty, and from the fear of offending Him that made us, acts always in an uniform manner, and according to the dictates of right reason.
What can the man fear who takes care in all his actions to please a Being that is Omnipotent? A Being who is able to crush all his adversaries ? A Being that can divert any misfortune from befalling him, or turn any such misfortune to his advantage ? The person who lives with this constant and habitual regard to the great Superintendent of the world, is indeed sure that no real evil can come into his lot. Blessings may appear under the shape of pains, losses, and disappointments, but let him have patience and he will see them in their proper figures. Dangers may threaten him, but he may rest satisfied that they will either not reach him, or that if they do they will be the instruments of good to him. In short, he may look
upon all crosses and accidents, suffering and afflictions, as means which are made use of to bring him to happiness. This is even the worst of that man's condition whose mind is possessed with the habitual fear of which I am now speaking. But it very often happens, that those which appear evils in our own eyes, appear also as such to Him who has human nature under His care, in which case they are certainly averted from the person who has made himself, by this virtue, an object of Divine favour. Histories are full of instances of this nature, where men of virtue have had extraordinary escapes out of such dangers as have enclosed them, and which have seemed inevitable. There is no example of this kind in Pagan history which more pleases me than that which is recorded in the life of Timoleon. This extraordinary man was famous for referring all his successes to Providence. Cornelius Nepos acquaints us that he had in his house a private chapel in which he used to pay his devotions to the Goddess who represented Providence among the heathens. I think no man was ever more distinguished by the Deity, whom he blindly worshipped, than the great person I am speaking of, in several occurrences of his life, but particularly in the following one which I shall relate out of Plutarch.
Three persons had entered into a conspiracy to assassinate Timoleon as he was offering up his devotions in a certain temple. In order to do it they took their several stands in the most convenient places for their purpose. As they were waiting for an opportunity to put their design in execution, a stranger, having observed one of the conspirators, fell upon him and slew him. Upon which the other two, thinking their plot had been discovered, threw themselves at Timoleon's feet and confessed the whole matter. This stranger, upon examination, was found to have understood nothing of the intended assassination, but having several years before had a brother killed by the conspirator whom he here put to death, and having till now sought in vain for an opportunity of revenge, he chanced to meet the murderer in the temple, who had planted himself there for the above mentioned purpose. Plutarch cannot forbear on this occasion speaking with a kind of rapture on the schemes of Providence, which, in this