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That ought to be above such fancies,
A breach of oath is double,
Will not fear, favour, bribe and grudge,
Does not in chanc'ry ev'ry man swear
Do not your juries give their verdict
He that imposes an oath, makes it,
Hudibras, Part II., Canto 2.
And if you make a question on't,
Quoth she, Some say, the soul secure
Is free from action, and exempt
Hulibras, Part III., Canto 1.
LORD, with what care hast thou begirt us round !
Parents first season us : then schoolmasters Deliver us to laws; they send us bound
To rules of reason, holy messengers, Pulpits and Sundays, sorrow dogging sin,
Afflictions sorted; anguish of all sizes, Fine nets and stratagems to catch us in,
Bibles laid open, millions of surprises, Blessings beforehand, ties of gratefulness,
The sound of glory ringing in our ears ;
Yet all these fences and their whole array,
King John. Act IV.
Fairfax. Tasso, Book IV
Virtue's guard is Labour-ease her sleep.
FAIRFAX. Tasso, Book II. I HAVE seen it quoted from Aristotle, that the end of labour is to gain leisure. It is a great saying. We have in modern times a totally wrong view of the matter. Noble work is a noble thing, but not all work. Most people seem to think that any business is in itself something grand : that to be intensely employed, for instance, about something which has no truth, beauty, or usefulness in it, which makes no man happier or wiser, is still the perfection of human endeavour, so that the work be intense. It is the intensity not the nature of the work that men praise. You see the extent of this feeling in little things. People are so ashamed of being caught for a moment idle, that if you come upon the most industrious servants or workmen, whilst they are standing looking at something which interests them, or fairly resting, they move off in a fright, as if they were proved, by a moment's relaxation, to be neglectful of their work. Yet it is the result that they should mainly be judged by, and to which they should appeal. But amongst all classes, the working itself, incessant working, is the thing deified. Now what is the end and object of most work? To provide for animal wants. Not a contemptible thing by any means, but still it is not all in all with man. Moreover in those cases where the pressure of bread-getting is fairly past, we do not often find men's exertions lessened on that account. There enter into their minds as motives, ambition, a love of hoarding, or a fear of leisure, things which in moderation may be defended or even justified, but which are not so peremptory, and upon the face of them excellent, that they at once dignify excessive labour. The truth is, that to work insatiably requires much less mind than to work judiciously, and less courage than to refuse work that cannot be done honestly. For a hundred men whose appetite for work can be driven on by vanity, avarice, ambition, or a mistaken notion of advancing their families, there is about one who is desirous of expanding his own nature, and the nature of others in all directions, of cultivating many pursuits, of bringing himself and those around him in contact with the universe in many points; of being a man, and not a machine.
Friends in Council.
Nipt in the bud;
The sweetness and the praise were thine :
* As when fayre Cynthia in darksome night
Is in a noyous cloud enveloped,
Where glowing embers through the room
BEAUTY NO ARMOUR AGAINST LOVE.
Yet you yourselves are not above
The empire, nor the griefs, of love.
Beauty's but an offensive dart;
SIR GEORGE ETHEREGE.
RIGHTS OF MEN.
FAR am I from denying in theory, full as far is my heart from withholding in practice (if I were of power to give or to withhold) the real rights of men. In denying their false claims of right, I do not mean to injure those which are real, and are such as their pretended rights would totally destroy. If civil society be made for the advantage of man, all the advantages for which it is made become his right. It is an institution of beneficence; and law itself is only beneficence acting by a rule. Men have a right to live by that rule; they have a right to justice, as between their fellows, whether their fellows are in politic function, or in ordinary occupation. They have a right to the fruits of their industry and to the means of making their industry fruitful. They have a right to the acquisition of their parents; and to the nourishment and improvement of their offspring; to instruction in life, and to consolation in death. Whatever each man can separately do, without trespassing upon others, he has a right to do for himself; and he has a right to à fair portion of all which society, with all its combinations of skill and force, can do in its favour. In this