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ing this resemblance, a delicacy of taste is as much to be desired and cultivated as a delicacy of passion is to be lamented, and to be remedied if possible. The good or ill accidents of life are very little at our disposal; but we are prelty much masters what books we (hall read, what diversions we (hall partake of, and what company we (hall keep. Philosophers have endeavoured to render happiness entirely independent of every thing external that is impossible to be attained: but every wife man will endeavour to place his happiness on sach objects as depend most upon himself; and that is not to be attained so much by any other means, as by this delicacy of sentiment. When a man is possessed of that, talent, he is more happy by vvhat pleases his taste, than by whit gratifies his appetites; and receives more enjoyment from a poem or a piece of reasoning, than the most expensive luxury can afford.
That it leaches us to filed our Company.
Delicacy of taste is favourable to love and friendship, by confining our choice to few people, and making us indifferent to the company and con versation of the greatest, part of men. You will very seldom find that mere men of the world, whatever strong sense they may be endowed with, are very nice in distinguishing of characters, or in marking those insensible differences and gradations which make one man preferable to another. Any one that has competent Tense, is sufficient for their entertainment: they talk to him of their pleasures and affairs with the fame frankness as they would to any other; and finding many who are fit to supply his place, they never feel any vacancy or want in his absence. But, to make use of the allusion of a famous French author, the judgment may he compared to a clock or watch, where the moll ordinary machine is sufficient to tell the hours; but the most elaborate and artificial can only point the minutes and seconds, and distinguish the smallest differences of time. One who has well digested his knowledge both of books and men, has little enjoyment but in the company of a sew select companions. He feels too sensibly how much all the rest of mankind fall short of the notions which he has entertained; and his affections being thus confined within a narrow circle, no wonder he carries them further than if they were more general an 1 undistinguished. The gaiety and frolic of a bottle companion improve}
with him into a solid friendship; and the ardours of a youthful appetite into an elegant passion. Hume's EJfayt.
§ 54.. Detraction a detestable Vice.
It has been remarked, that men are generally kind in proportion as they are happy; and it is said, even of the devil, that he is good-humoured when he is pleased. Every act, therefore, by which another is injured, from whatever motive, contracts more guilt and expresses greater malignity, if it is committed in those seasons which are set apart to pleasantry and good humour, and brightened with enjoyments peculiar to rational and social beings.
Detraction is among those vices which; the most languid virtue has sufficient force to prevent; because by detraction that is not gained which is taken away. *' He who filches from me my good namr," fays Shakesp-are, " enriches not himself, but makes me poor indsed." As nothing therefore degrades human nature more than detraction, nothing more disgraces conversation. The detractor, as he is the lowest moral character, reflects greater dishonour upon his company, than the hangman; and he whose disposition is a scandal to his species, should be more diligently avoided, than he who is scandalous only by his offence.
But for this practice, however vile, some have dared to apologize, by contending the report, by which they injured an absent character, was true: this,however,amounts to no more than that they have not complicated malice with fallhood, and that there is some difference between detraction and (lander. To relate all the ill that is true of the best man in the world, would probably render him the object of suspicion and distrust ; and was this practice universal, mutual confidence and esteem, the comforts of society, and the endearments of friendship, would be at an end.
There is something unspeakably more hateful in those-species of villainy by which the law is evaded, than those by which it is violated and defiled. Courage has sometimes preserved rapacity from abhorrence, as beauty has been thought to apologize for prostitution; but the injustice of cowardice is universally abhorred, and, like the lewdnesit of deformity, has no advocate. Thus hateful are the wretches who detract with caution, and while they perpetrate the wrong, are solicitous to avoid the reproach. They do not fay, that Chloe forfeited her
honour honour to Lysander; but they say, that such a report has been spread, they know rot how true. Those *v ho propagate these reports, frequently invent them; and it is no breach of charity to suppose this to be always the cafe; because no man who spreads detraction would have scrupled to produce it: and he who should diffuse poison in a brook, would scarce be acquitted of a malicious design, though he should alledge, that he received it of another who is doing the fame elsewhere.
Whatever is incompatible with the highest dignity of our nature, should indeed be excluded from our conversation: as companions, not only that which we owe to ourselves but to others, is required of us; and they who can indulge any vice in the presence of each other, are become obdurate in guilt, and insensible to infamy. Rambler.
5 55. Learning Jhould be sometimes applied to cultivate our Morals.
Envy, curiosity, and our sense of the imperfection of our present state, inclines us always to estimate the advantages which are in the posseffion of others above their real value. Every one must have remarked ■what powers and prerogatives the vulgar imagine to be conferred by learning. A man of science is expected to excel the unlettered and unenlightened, even on occasions where literature is of no use, and among weak minds loses part of his reverence by discovering no superiority in those parts of life, in which all are unavoidably equal; as when a monarch makes a progress to the remoter provinces, the rusticks are said sometimes to wonder that they find him of the fame size with themselves.
These demands of prejudice and folly can never be satisfied, and therefore many of the imputations which learning suffers from disappointed ignorance, are without reproach. Yet it cannot be denied, that there are some failures to which men of study are peculiarly exposed. Every condition has its disadvantages. The circle of knowledge is too wide for the most active and diligent intellect, and while science is pursued with ardour, other accomplishments of equal use are necessarily neglected ; as a small garrison must leave one part of an extensive fortress naked, when an alarm calls them to another.
The learned, however, might generally support, their dignity with more success, if they suffered not themselves to be misted by superfluous attainments of qualification
which few can understand or value, and by skill which they may fink into the grave without any conspicuous opportunities of* exerting. Raphael, in return to Adam's enquiries into the courses of the stars and the revolutions of heaven, counsels him to withdraw his mind from idle speculations, and, instead of watching motions which he has no power to regulate, to employ his faculties upon nearer and more interesting objects, the survey of his own life, the subjection of his passions, the knowledge of duties which must daily be performed, and the detection of dangers which must daily be incurred.
This angelic counsel every man of letters should always have before him. He that devotes himself wholly to retired study, naturally finks from omission to forgetfulness of social duties, and from which he must be sometimes awakened, and recalled to the general condition of mankind.
Its Progress. Tt had been observed by the ancients, That all the arts and sciences arose among free nations; and that the Persians ana Egyptians, notwithstanding all their ease, opulence, and luxury, made but faint efforts towards those finer pleasures, which were carried to such perfection by the Greeks, amidst continual wars, attended with poverty, and the greatest simplicity of life and manners. It had also been observed, that as soon as the Greeks lost their liberty, though they encreased mightily in riches, by the means of the conquests of Alexander; yet the arts, from that moment, declined among them, and have never since been able to raise their head in that climate, Learning was transplanted to Rome, the only free nation at that time in the universe; and having met with so favourable a soil, it made prodigious shoots for above a century; till the decay of liberty produced also a decay of letters, and spread a total barbarism over the world. From these two experiments, of which each was double in its kind, and shewed the fall of learning in despotic governments, as well as its rise in popular ones, Longinus thought himself sufficiently justified in asserting, that the arts and sciences could never flour ilh but in a free government; and in this opinion he has • been followed by several eminent writers in oor country, who either confined their view merely to ancient facts, or entertained' too great a partiality in favour of that form of
government government which is established amongst us.
But what would these writers have said to the instances of modern Rome and Florence? Of which the former carried to perfection all the finer arts of sculpture, painting, and music, as well as poetry, though they groaned under slavery, and under the slavery of priests: while the latter made the greatest progress in the arts and sciences, after they began to lose their liberty by the usurpations of the family of Medicis. Ariosto, Tasso, Galihco, no more than Raphael and Michael Angelo, were not born in republics. And though the Lombard school was famous as well as the Roman, yet the Venetians have had the smallest (hare in its honours, and seem rather inferior to the Italians in their genius for the arts and sciences. Rubens established his school at Antwerp, not at Amsterdam; Dresden, not Hamburgh, is the centre of politeness in Germany.
But the most eminent instance of the flourishing state of learning in despotic governments, is that of France, which scarce ever enjoyed an established liberty, and yet has carried the arts and sciences as near perfection as any other nation. The English are, perhaps, better philosophers; the Italians better painters and musicians: the Romans were better orators; but the French are the only people, except the Greeks, who have been at once philosophers, poets, orators, historians, painters, architects, sculptors, and musicians. With regard to the stage, they have excelled even the Greeks, who have far excelled the English: and in common life they have in a great measure perfected that art, the most useful and agreeable of any, I'art de vivrt, the art of society and conversation.
If we consider the state of sciences and polite arts in our country, Horace's observation with regard to the Romans, may, in a great measure, be applied to the Btitisli,
Sed in longum tomen xvum
The elegance and propriety of stile have been very much neglected among us. We have no dictionary of o«r language, and icarce a tolerable grammar. The first polite prose we have, was wrote by a man who is still alive. As to Sprat, Locke, aud even Temple, they knew too little of the rules of art to be esteemed very elegant writers. The prose of Bacon, Harrington, and Miiton, is altogether stiff and pedantic; though their fense be excellent. Men in this coun
try, have been so much occupied in the great disputes of religion, policies, and phi losophy, that they had no relisli for the minute observations of grammar andcriticil'm. And though this turn of thinking mull have considerably improved our sense and our talent of reasoning beyond those of other nations, it mutt be conftst, that even iu those sciences above mentioned, we have not any standard book which we can transmit to posterity: and the utmost we have to boast of, are a few eflays towards a more just philosophy: which, indeed, promise very much, but have not, as yet, reached any degree of perfection.
Useless 'without Taste.
A man may know exactly all the circles and ellipses of the Copernican system, and all the irregular spirals of the Ptolemaic* without perceiving that the former is more beautiful than the latter. Euclid has very fully explained every quality of the circle, but has not, in any proposition, said a wor4 of its beauty. The reason is evident. Beauty is not a quality of the circle. It lies not in any part of the line, whose parts are all equally distant from a common centre. It is only the effect which that figure operates upon the mind, whose particular fabric or structure renders it susceptible of such sentiments. In vain would you look for ie in the circle, or seek ir, either by your senses, or by mathematical reasonings, in all the properties of that figure.
The mathematician, who took no other pleasure in reading Virgil but that of examining Æneas's voyage by the map, might understand perfectly the meaning of every Latin word employed by that divine author, and consequently might have a distinct idea of the whole narration ; he would even have a more distinct idea of it, than they could have who had not studied se exactly the geography of the poem. He knew, therefore, every thing in the poem. But he was ignorant of its beauty ; because the beauty, properly speaking, lies not in the poem, but the sentiment or taste of the reader. And where a man has no such delicacy of temper as to make him feel this sentiment, he must be ignorant of the beauty, though possessed of the science and understanding of an angel. Hume's Essays.
So many hindrances may obstruct the acquisition of knowledge, that there is little reason for wondering that it is in a few
hands, hands. To the greater part of mankind the duties of life are inconsistent with much study, and the hours which they would spend upon letters must be stolen from their occupations and their families. Many suffer themselves to be lured by rribre sprightly and luxurious pleasures from the shades of contemplation, where they find seldom more than acalm delight, such as, though greater than all others, if its certainty and its duralion be reckoned with its power of gratification, is yet easily quitted for some extemporary joy, which the present moment offers, and another perhaps will put out of reach.
It is the great excellence of learning that it borrows very little from time or place; it is not confined to season or to climate, to cities or to the country, but may be cultivated and enjoyed where no other pleasure can be obtained. But this quality, which constitutes much of its value, is one occasion of neglect; what may be done at all times with equal propriety, is deferred from day to day, till the mind is gradually reconciled to the omission, and th? attention is turned to other objects. Thus habitual idleness gains too much power to be conquered, and the soul shrinks from the idea of intellectual labour and intensenefs of meditation.
That those who profess to advance learning sometimes obstruct it, cannot be denied; the continual multiplication of books not only distracts choice, but disappoints enquiry. To him that has moderately stored his mind with images, few writers afford any novelty; or what little they have to add to the common stock of learning is so buried in the mass of general notions, that, like silver mingled with the ore of le2d, itis too little to pay for the labour of separation; and he that has often been deceived by the promise of a title, at last grows weary of examining, and is tempted to consider all as equally fallacious. Idler.
§ 56. Mankind, a Portrait cs.
Vanity bids all her sons to be generous and brave,—and her daughters to be chaste and courteous.——But why do we want her instructions?——Ask the comedian, whois taught a part he feels not.—
Is it that the principle* of religion want strength, or that the real passion for what is good and worthy will not carry us high enough?—God! thou knowest they carry us too high—we want not/cif——but ti Jitm, ■ ■■ 1
Look out of your door,—take notice of that man ; see what disquieting, intriguing, and shifting, he is content to go through, merely to be thought a man of plain-dealii!g:—three grains of honesty would save
him all this trouble: alas! he has
Behold a second, under a shew of piety hiding the impurities of a debauched life:
he is just entering the house of God:
would he was more pure—or less
pious!—but then he could not gain his point.
Observe a third going almost in the same track, with what an inflexible sanctity of deportmenthe sustains himself as he advances! —every line in his face writes abstinence;
every stride looks like a check upon his desires: see, I beseech you, how he is cloak'd up with sermons, prayers, and sacraments; and so bemuffled with the externals of religion, that he has not a hand to spare for a worldly purpose ;—he has armour at least—'Why does he put it on? Is there no serving God without all this? Must the garb of religion be extended so wide to the danger of it's rending? Yes,
truly, or it will not hide the secret ■
and, What is that?
— That the faint has no religion at all.
But here comes Generosity; giving—not to a decayed artist—but to the arts and sciences themselves.—'See,—he builds not a chamber in the •wall apart fur ihi prophets; but whole schools end colleges for those who come after. Lord! how they
will magnify his name 1 'tis in capitals
already; the first—the highest, in the gilded rent-roll of every hospital and asylum
One honest tear slied in private over the unfortunate, is worth it all.
What a problematic set of creatures docs simulation make us! Who would divine that all the anxiety and concern so visible in the airs of one half of that great assembly should arise from nothing else, but that the other half of it may think them to be men of consequence, penetration, parts, and conduct ?—What a noise amongst the claimants about it? Behold humility, out of mere pride—and honesty almost out of knavery :—Chastity, never once in harm's way ;——and courage, like a Spanish soldier upon an Italian stage—a bladder full of wind.—
Hark! that, the sound of that
.trumpet,—let not my soldier run—— 'tis some good Christian giving alms. 0 fciTY, thou gentlest of human passions! Toft and tender are thy notes, and ill accord they with so loud an instrument.
§ 57. Manors; their Origin, Nature, and Services.
Manors are in substance, as ancient as the Saxon constitution, though perhaps differing a little, in some immaterial circumstances, from those that exist at this day: just as was observed of feuds, that they were partly known to our ancestors, even before the Norman conquest. A manor, manerium, a manendo, because the usual residence of the owner, seems to have been a district of ground held by lords or great personages; who kept in their own hands ib much land as was necessary for the ule of their families, which were called terra dominicales, or demesne lands; being occupied by the lord, or dominus manerii, and his servants. The other tenemental lands they distributed among their tenants; which, from the different modes of tenure, were called and distinguished by two different names. First, book land, or charter land, which was held by deed under certain rents and free-services, and in effect differed nothing from free focage lands; and from hence have arisen all the freehold tenants which hold of particular manors, and owe suit and service to the same. The other species was called folk land, which was held by no assurance in writing, but distributed among the common folk or people at the pleasure of the lord, and relumed at his discretion; being indeed land held in viilenage, which we ihall presently describe more at large. The residue of the manor being uncultivated, was termed the lord's waste, and lerved for public roads, and for common of pasture to the lord and his tenants. Manors were formerly called baronies, as they still are lordships; and each lord or baron was empowered to hold a domestic court, called "the court-baron, for redressing misdemeanors and nuisances within the manor, and for settling disputes of property among the tenants. This court is an inseparable irtredient of every manor; and if the numcr of suitors should so fail, as not to leave sufficient to make a jury or homage, that is, two tenants at the least, the manor itself is lost.
Before the statute of quia tmptores, 18 Edward I. the king's greater barons, who had a large extent of territory held under the crown, granted out frequently smaller
manors to inferior persons tr» be held of themselves; which do therefore now continue to be held under a superior lord, who is called in such cases the lord paramount overall these manors: and his seigniory is frequently termed an honour, not a manor, especially if it hath Belonged to an ancient feodal baron, or hath been at any time in the hands of the crown. In imitation whereof, these inferior lords began to carve out and grant to others still more minute estates to be held as of themselves, and were so proceeding downwards in infinitum; till the superior lords observed, that by this method of subinfeudation they lost all theif feodal profits, of wardships, marriages, and escheats, which fell into the hands of these mesne or middle lords, who were the immediate superiors of the terres enant, or him who occupied the land. This occasioned the statute of Westm. 3. or quia emptores, 18 Ed w. L to be made; which directs, that upon all sales or feoffments of land, the feoffee sliall hold the fame, not of his immediate scoffer, but of the chief lord of the fee, of whom, such scoffer himself held it. And from hence it is held, that all manors existing at this day must have existed by immemorial prescription; or at least ever since the 18th Edw. J. when the statute os quia emptores was made. For no new manor can have been created since that statute: because it is essential to a manor, that there be tenants who hold of the lord, and that statute enacts, that for the future no subjects shall create any new tenants to hold of himself.
Now with regard to the folk land, or estates held in viilenage, this was a species of tenure neither strictly feodal, Norman, or Saxon; but mixed and compounded of them all: and which also, on account of the heriots that attend it, may seem to have somewhat Danish in its composition. Under the Saxon government there were, as Sir William Temple speaks, a sort of people in a condition of downright servitude, used 3nd employed in the most servile works, arid belonging, both they, their children, and effects, to the lord of the soil, like the ictt of the cattle or stock upon it. These seem to have been those who held what was called the folk land, from which they were removable at the lord's pleasure. On the arrival of the Normans here, it seems not improbable, that they, who were strangers to aay other than a feodal state, might give some sparks of enfranchisement to such wretched persons as sell to their share, by admitting them, as well as others, to the oath of fealty;
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