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superior to ordinary men. In short, the sophism is as gross as if I should say,—the souls of all men have the faculty of sight in an equal degree—forgetting to add, that this faculty can not be exercised without eyes, and that some men are blind and others short-sighted, -and should then take advantage of this my omission to conclude against the use or necessity of spectacles, and microscopes,—or of choosing the sharpest-sighted men for our guides.
Having exposed this gross sophism, I must warn against an opposite error-namely, that if reason, as distinguished from prudence, consists merely in knowing that black can not be whiteor when a man has a clear conception of an inclosed figure, and another equally clear conception of a straight line, his reason teaches him that these two conceptions are incompatible in the same object, that is, that two straight lines can not include a space- the reason must therefore be a very insignificant faculty. For a moment's steady self-reflection will show us, that in the simple determination black is not white'-or, 'that two straight lines can not include a space'—all the powers are implied, that distinguish man from animals ;—first, the power of reflection--2d, of comparison-3d, and therefore of suspension of the mind—4th, therefore of a controlling will, and the power
of acting from notions, instead of mere images exciting appetites; from motives, and not from mere dark instincts. Was it an insignificant thing to weigh the planets, to determine all their courses, and prophesy every possible relation of the heavens a thousand
years hence ? Yet all this mighty chain of science is nothing but a linking together of truths of the same kind, as, the whole is greater than its part;—or, if A and B C, then A=B: or 3 + 4 :7, therefore 7 +5 12, and so forth. X is to be found either in A or B, or C or D: it is not found in A, B, or C; therefore it is to be found in D. What can be simpler ? Apply this to a brute animal. A dog misses his master where four roads meet ;—he has come up one, smells to two of the others, and then with his head aloft darts forward to the fourth road without any examination. If this were done by a conclusion, the dog would have reason ;-how comes it then, that he never shows it in his ordinary habits? Why does this story excite either wonder or incredulity ?-If the story be a fact, and not a fiction, I should say--the breeze brought his master's scent down
the fourth road to the dog's nose, and that therefore he did not put it down to the road, as in the two former instances. ful and almost miraculous does the simple act of concluding, that • take three from four, there remains one,' appear to us, when attributed to one of the most sagacious of all brute animals.
Τ Η Ε
SECTION THE FIRST.
ON THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL KNOWLEDGE.
Hoc potissimum pacto felicem ac magnum regem se fore judicans, non si quam plurimis sed si quam optimis imperet. Proinde parum esse putat justis præsidiis regnum suum muniisse, nisi idem viris eruditione juxta ac vitæ integritate præcellentibus ditet atque honestet. Nimirum intelligit hæc demum esse vera regni decora, has veras opes.
ERASMUS: EPIST. AD EPISC. PARIS.
Dum politici sæpiuscule hominibus magis insidiantur quam consulunt, pa tius callidi quam sapientes; theoretici e contrario se rem divinam facere et sapientiæ culmen attingere credunt, quando humanam naturam, quæ nullibi est, multis modis laudare, et eam, quæ re vera est, dictis lacessere norunt. Unde factum est, ut nunquam politicam conceperint quæ possit ad usum revocari ; sed quæ in Utopia vel in illo poetarum aureo sæculo, ubi scilicet minime necesse erat, institui potuisset, At mihi plane persuadeo, experientiam omnia civitatum genera, quæ concipi possunt ut homines concorditer vivant, et simul media, quibus multitudo dirigi, seu quibus intra certos limites contineri debeat, ostendisse : ita ut non credam, nos posse aliquid, quod ab experientia sive praxi non abhorreat, cogitatione de hac re assequi, quod nondum expertum compertumque sit.
Cum igitur animum ad politicam applicuerim, nihil quod novum vel inauditum est ; sed tantum ea quæ cum praxi optime conveniunt, certa et indubitata ratione demonstrare aut ex ipsa humanæ naturæ conditione deducere, intendi. Et ut ea quæ ad hanc scientiam spectant, eadem animi libertate, qua res mathematicas solemus, inquirerem, sedulo curavi humanas actiones non ridere, non lugere, neque detestari ; sed intelligere. Nec ad imperii securitatem refert quo animo homines inducantur ad res recte administrandas, modo res recte administrentur. Animi enim libertas, seu fortitudo, privata virtus est ; at imperii virtus securitas. SPINOSA Op. Post. p. 267.
While the mere practical statesman too often rather plots against mankind, than consults their interest, crafty, not wise; the mere theorists, on the other hand, imagine that they are employed in a glorious work, and believe themselves at the very summit of earthly wisdom, when they are able, in set and varied language, to extol that human nature, which exists nowhere, except indeed in their own fancy, and to accuse and vilify our nature as it really is. Hence it has happened, that these men have never conceived a practicable scheme of civil policy, but, at best, such forms of government only, as might have been instituted in Utopia, or during the golden age of the poets : that is to say, forms of government excellently adapted for those who need no government at all. But I am